At Young Art kids' boutique, staffers fill shelves with designer children's clothing and premium art supplies that encourage creativity and self-expression. BioChalk, for instance, advances chalk beyond the boundaries of the chalkboard: the dust-free sticks leave their mark on walls, whiteboards, windows, mirrors, and invisible friends with easy wipe-up cleaning. Ensuring creativity remains a safe pursuit, Young Art offers versatile supplies with easy cleanup, many of which are AP-certified nontoxic by the Arts and Creative Materials Institute.
Kids use their tools at home to expand on lessons learned during the shop's art classes, where students as young as 4 create masterpieces depicting child-friendly subjects, such as animals and flowers. Some imagination-centric locations also encourage kids to wear their creativity on their backs with a selection of clothing, such as vibrant accessories, colorful dresses with graphic prints, and outerwear.
Though you might have seen one hiking Tamanawas Falls and the other helming the Doctor Zhivago –themed float as a Battle Ground Rose Princess, the self-described spankettes of Spanky's are typically found hawking consignment items or chatting enthusiastically with sellers at their shops in Vancouver and Beaverton. As managers at their respective locations, Rhonda and Erika train their eyes on the latest fashion trends and watch out for functional yet flattering apparel to resell to local women, men, and families. Their collections change frequently, though they are known to snag duds from major brands such as Armani Exchange, Ann Taylor, and Coach. They also manage consignment drives at schools where parents, teachers, and undercover cops posed as students can drop off their gently used clothing and accessories.
Play It Again Sports’s owner, Jackie Bauter, is a veteran of the sports-and-fitness industry since 1993. With his trained eye, Bauter curates a selection of new sports equipment to meet his customers’ needs within their price range. In addition to carrying new equipment for activities such as aquatic sports, soccer, baseball, skiing, and hockey. The store also rounds up home fitness equipment such as treadmills and elliptical trainers. Play It Again Sports buys customers’ gently used, brand-name equipment for cash, store credit, or a handful of magic beans, which the store resells it for about half the original price.
When it was founded in 1987, Frame Central was a social hub for artists, and was even curiously named for facial hair. However, Beard Outlet has since morphed into a seven-location franchise, dedicated to simplifying the framing process. The shops’ onsite stock of matboard, frame moulding, and other key supplies ensures speedy DIY framing projects—which visitors can complete in an hour—and single-day professional framing. An array of pre-framed mirrors and artwork allows shoppers to enhance their blank walls without taping a napping friend to them. Shoppers can also stock up on framing supplies such as case glass and hanging hardware.
Maximo Products is a Washington-based audio accessory developer obsessively dedicated to providing quality sound products. Airborne iPod listeners can shut out engine noise and the chatter of talkative travelling companions with Maximo's iM-590 enhanced-definition isolation earphones ($60), whose ergonomically-designed eartips snugly fit into even the most oddly shaped canals. Closer to the ground, the lightweight in-line mic and nearly invisible rubber cable of the iP-HS2 isolation headset ($50) make it easy for onlookers in city parks to mistake businessmen on conference calls for pigeon whisperers. A single-touch control button rests on the chest for easy access when you need to hang up or switch tracks. See the full selection of earphones and headsets on Maximo's website.
Everyone has to eat, but not everyone has the time to cook. That's where Dine In 2Nite, brainchild of chefs Claire Kats and Marcus Todd, comes in: They take the planning and preparation out of dinnertime. Every weeknight, Dine In 2Nite trucks travel to customers' doorsteps toting steaming hot entrees and side dishes crafted by gourmet chefs. The menu offers a mix of reimagined comfort foods, such as beef stroganoff, and ethnic plates, such as sesame beef chow mein. Each individually portioned meal is well balanced and chock full of vegetables and protein, giving you the energy to stay up past the Boogieman's bedtime. The chefs use local ingredients as often as possible, and never rely on foods laden with preservatives or artificial additives, so diners can rest assured their dinners are both delicious and healthy.