For more than 80 years, three generations of the Minsberg family have overseen Creative Lighting’s bright, well-stocked showroom, where attentive consultants help illuminate dark dwellings with a selection of hundreds of ceiling lights, lamps, and other twinkling light fixtures. Deftly navigating the sea of ornate, glowing décor, they work to engineer thoughtful solutions for customers’ specific lighting needs for interiors and exteriors. A resident squadron of trained designers also helps devise custom lighting plans, and further extends their interior-design wisdom with a collection of mirrors and wall art.
Creative Lighting vows to keep its inventory affordable through a best-price guarantee, and stocks its website with helpful decorating hints and tips, such as what to do when a cluster of fireflies swarms upon a wall sconce thinking it’s their mothership.
Googly eyes. Gas masks. Mannequin arms. Blowguns. Ax-Man Surplus Stores dares crafters, DIY enthusiasts, and tinkerers of all stripes to dream bigger, better, and weirder with an enormous stock of new surplus items. Each shop's collection of oddities and odds-and-ends resides in open-air barrels and on easily browseable shelves. Bins entice shoppers to rummage through metal bits in search of the next piece to a welded sculpture, and other aisles hold several decades? worth of electronic wiring, fans, speakers, and fuses, perfect for building a robot that every generation can relate to. Frequent shoppers are rewarded with a new truckload of treasures every week, along with an ever-changing collection of signs that artistically warn of the hazards of shoplifting and suggest off-label uses for the merchandise.
Whether applying makeup to clients or creating a new line of products, makeup artist Nicole Fae concentrates not on concealing flaws, but rather on highlighting each individual?s beauty. The cosmetic devotee brings this philosophy to her expansive retail emporium, where she vends her original line of foundations, eye and lip makeup, and lotions and cleansers. Knowing that the ability to correctly apply makeup, unlike the ability to correctly execute a flying barrel roll, is not innately coded in every woman?s DNA, Nicole also hosts one-on-one private lessons to teach proper application and color use tailored to the individual and occasion. Additionally, the aesthetic artist invites groups of six or more to cavort at brow parties, where she demonstrates how to maintain eye arches in between wax visits.
In 1969, the founder of Padelford Riverboats, Captain William D. Bowell, Sr., launched the Jonathan Padelford steamwheeler into the Mississippi, hoping to bring visitors to the riverfront for leisurely jaunts. After more than 30 years of expanding his fleet and ferrying passengers along the historic waterways, he handed the reigs over to his daughters and nephew. Today, the family operates five boats equipped with dance areas, bars, sun decks, and the nostalgia that William hoped to keep alive. With the Twin Cities' skyline and the rugged, green banks of the river as the backdrop, US Coast Guard–licensed vessels float passengers past sights such as Pig's Eye Cave, Fort Snelling, and Pike Island. Some cruises also include dinner or fireworks, and special holiday cruises are also available.
Entrepreneur and frame designer David Ulrich has cleared the vision of Twin Cities citizens since 1969. Besides creating a wealth of exclusive eyeglasses frames, such as the sleek 8 Below Zero collection and the retro-inspired Studebaker line, Ulrich opened Spectacle Shoppe to serve customers’ optic needs. There, teams of certified opticians accurately assess prescriptions and fashion single-vision, progressive, or bifocal lenses in the in-house lab. Clients confer with the staff to design custom frames or choose from the shop's thousands of one-of-a-kind frames, vintage cat's-eye styles, and double monocles.
Swift Music wants its students to forge a relationship with music, no matter their level of engagement. Whether students want to learn a few simple licks, pursue a professional career, or simply play music as a stress reliever, instructors await with the knowledge and patience to help them reach their goals. The bustling building teems with students working in seven lesson rooms and two ensemble rooms, and it entertains visitors in a waiting area stocked with complimentary drinks and wireless Internet. Axe men and women can also bring instruments to the Swift’s in-house repair shop, where technicians can correct a guitar’s faulty bridge.