Beneath the high ceilings of Cast Away & Folk's modern craft shop, towering shelves overflow with bundles of color-coordinated yarn and fabric. Cobblers' tool shelves, iron baby bathtubs, and even a dingy retired from its maritime duties catch the runoff, creating a homey space peppered with vibrant colors for a distinctly bohemian feel.
At the center of this eclectic and cleanly designed space, customers can recline and survey how-to books or familiarize themselves with the supplies for one of Cast Away & Folk's staff-taught classes. Though the calendar implies a steady buzz of activity, the shop's proprietor doesn't stop there.
In its four-decade history, Bananas at Large has provided production equipment and instruments to musical acts including the Grateful Dead, Carlos Santana, and Poison. At both the business' locations, soon-to-be superstars can stock up on their own equipment from well known and specialty brand names. Musicians just learning to tickle guitars till they cry melodies meet with dedicated teachers, many of whom studied music in school or have played professionally for years. In classes, the teachers draw upon their backgrounds in genres from funk to classical to lead 30- to 45-minute classes on instruments including the guitar, keyboard, and drums.
Legendary Beads’s craft connoisseurs illuminate the art of jewelry making with classes and curate an inspiring collection of baubles and beads. The Getting Started Stringing class will be temporarily apprenticed to one of Legendary Beads’s skilled crafters to learn basic jewelry-birthing techniques. Class attendees create two bracelets using provided materials, which they can to take home or donate to a park statue's drab, unadorned wrist. Classes are usually held multiple times a month for two hours, but check the online schedule for more details and current offerings.
In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
For more than 21 years, Mendocino Avenue Car Wash & Detail Center has been fortifying vehicles against exterior damage. Soft-cloth machines wash away rain stains and dirt before technicians wipe down exteriors by hand or leave the work to the automated rotations of a hand buffer, either way, ending up with a new car smell air-freshener. Open 7 days a week, Mendocino, offers full detail packages including coats of carnuba wax, upholstery deep cleaning, and interior vinyl and leather conditioning. While their rides get gussied, drivers can peruse the gift shop's tiny figurines, model cars, dolls, and stuffed animals, as well as magnetic-therapy bracelets that will help you snag a date with a cute young paper clip.
Scribbles and Giggles started in founder Lisa Russell's garage in 1986 as a way to teach local children how to create art. Over time the business grew, and it now hosts classes in a three-building campus with a garden and play area. Classes help kids create 3D sculptures, illustrations, and paintings.