After spending years as a salesman for top mattress lines, Steve Shore needed a new mattress himself. Rather than opt for a steep employee discount on one of the mattresses he sold, the enterprising Mr. Shore collected various natural materials and had them assembled into a mattress that met his exacting specifications: a comfy sleep cushion made with no potentially toxic components. The result was such an improvement over the big-name mattresses he sold that Mr. Shore and his son eventually decided to produce a line of organic mattresses based on the prototype, on which Mr. Shore slept soundly for more than a decade.
Now, the Shore men sell their mattresses under the Eco-Cloud name in The Natural Mattress Store. Made from high-quality steel coils topped with natural latex, Eco-Cloud mattresses resist accumulating allergens and nightmare blueprints and retain their shape and support for years. Organic wool and cotton covers help keep sleepers cool and snug in bed by deflecting body heat and wicking away moisture. Each Eco-Cloud mattress comes with a 12-year, nonprorated warranty. In addition to the Eco-Cloud line, The Natural Mattress Store carries more than 20 organic mattresses, as well as eco-friendly, solid wood bedroom furniture from Pacific Rim Woodworking, Bedworks of Maine, and Vermont Furniture Designs.
Visitors to the unassuming Los Gatos bar Carry Nation's might stop at the door transfixed by a set of stained-glass panels, alive with the outstretched wings of a phoenix rising before a flowerlike sun. The piece, commissioned in 1976, is the work of Tom Stanton, a glass artist with 44 years of experience who shares his expertise with students in his studio and at South Bay high schools. Along with injecting translucent loveliness into unexpected architecture, Stanton has also created pieces for Linda Ronstadt, George Lucas, and more than 1,000 other commissioned clients. Within a former post office, Tom cuts, stains, fuses, and paints glass using a deep toolbox of techniques, inviting pupils to create original pieces and inviting visitors to snatch up inimitable items during the studio's seasonal sales and goblet-tosses.
Since 1982, three generations of a Santa Cruz farming family have opened the farm’s gates between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve to equip fellow community members with bountiful white and douglas firs for the holiday season. Families walk the fields to pick out their perfect tree and browse the selection of fresh wreaths and local honey, after which they set up a brought lunch at one of the picnic tables and enjoy the view.
With vibrant floral bouquets and thoughtful gift baskets, Rosie's & Posie's helps convey affection, well wishes, or just a general love of spring. Roses, lilies, daisies, and other blooms burst out of decorative vases in balloon-strewn arrangements, and stuffed animals can herald occasions from weddings to birthdays or deliver get-well and thank-you messages. The florist also stocks living plants, such as orchids and bromeliads, to serve as enduring gifts and the perfect place to hide small birthday presents in plain sight.
Between partner-based exercises and the inspirational commands of a certified personal trainer, community is a constant motivator during EmpowerFIT’s boot-camp classes. The savvy team of fitness gurus switch up the maneuvers of each daily class to help keep students engaged, and high- and low-impact variations of each move scale to the abilities of each student. The result is a full-body workout that relies on functional movements such as jumping, running, pushing, pulling, and bopping it.