Sick of buying expensive supplies and having to adhere to a class schedule just to create art, Jennifer Kurtz Rubin started the first of her chain of ceramic lounges in 1993. Each Petroglyph Ceramic Lounge is designed as a social and creative space, one that all customers can use to express themselves artistically while catching up with friends. The lounge throws open its doors for both kids and adults to decorate clay bisque pieces, such as mugs and salad bowls, with a bounty of colorful supplies, never worrying about cleanup afterward. Once they’re complete, the art pieces are glazed, fired, and ready for pickup in a few days. And because artists can stay for a whole afternoon or just 30 minutes, the lounge even grants a few moments of creativity to patrons with the busiest schedules. The company also goes beyond casual art making to host parties for kids and adults, in which they can bring in live music, serve food, and train scoops of ice cream to paint their own bowls.
Razzberry Lips is awash in color. Countless mirrors reflect bright-green and pink walls, tufty princess dresses, and the generous helpings of glitter that grace tiny eyelids and updos. Squeals of delight reverberate though the vibrant salon, where makeover specialists embellish birthday girls and their guests with painted nails, rock-star accessories, and, of course, more glitter. With the finishing girly touch of a feather boa or antique Viking helmet, girls can embrace their inner diva in the presence of staffers dressed as Disney princesses. Razzberry Lips also brings the celebration to home with mobile party services and can transport guests inside a limousine for added glamour.
Glenn Young studied art at Santa Clara University before serving as a photographer in the Peace Corps in The Gambia. Upon his return, he founded Artscapes, where he funnels his 20 years of professional photography and framing experience into art preservation. His clientele includes private collectors as well as museums such as the DeSaisset Museum and the San Jose Museum of Art. And to stay at the forefront of art preservation, he learns best practices and advanced techniques from the Western Regional Paper Conservation Laboratory, where paper cloning was invented.
Glenn pours all this experience and training into leading his team of trained visual artists and craftsmen. The skilled staff takes an individualized approach to framing that relies on museum-quality materials such as hand-wrapped fabric liners, French matting, and UV-filtering plexiglass for long-lasting results. In addition to housing works of art from paintings to photographs in a selection of 2,000 frames, they keep their gallery stocked with antique posters, movie posters, and paintings for elegant home decor.
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.
After buying the Exclamation Point's original location in Saratoga, owner Melanie Vancil moved the studio to Santa Clara, expanding the workshop's inventory of needlepoint and cross-stitch manuals, crochet threads, buttons, and hand-painted canvases. Needlepoint, originally developed in the 16th century to create beautiful cloth tapestries without bulky looms or expensive trained spiders, draws from a proud tradition of craftsmanship, decorating household objects such as pillows, chair backs, and rugs with patterns and pictures of colorful fiber. Students of all ages learn to master this ancient form of art, as well as machine sewing and crocheting, in fun, informative classes, creating beautiful fabric keepsakes of their very own.
Trade a Book maintains a stock of more than 40,000 titles, mainly works of fiction including sci-fi, romance, and horror. The shop sells both new and used books at a discount up to 50% off retail prices and takes trade-ins of books from customers. The team can also search for out-of-print and hard to find books by request.