Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
The DeRonne family continues its seven decades of hardware heritage by stocking life-simplifying hardware and home goods in the largest of the DeRonne True Value Hardware stores. Overcome childhood fears of the Canadian flag to eradicate autumn leaves and spruce-up down-spruced lawns with the help of a Green Thumb 24-inch rake ($9.49), 3-pound bag of fall-mix grass seed ($9.49), or weed and feed fertilizer ($10 for 5,000 sq. ft. of coverage). A Master Tradesman 8'x10' multipurpose tarp shelters moisture-sensitive goods from the elements ($8.99), and the shop's selection of Michigan-made products, such as Carhartt clothes, helps support and promote in-state manufacturers.
Open more than 45 years, the Van Jaarsveld Decorating Center showroom abounds with furniture, framed art, area rugs, and household decorations in a variety of designs and styles. Knowledgeable staffers stand by to suggest products, such as designer wall coverings or premium paints from C2 and Pratt & Lambert, that best complement existing furniture or a household theme. Using customer-specified measurements, they’re also happy to customize window treatments. Customers in need of more involved assistance can look to the shop’s team of designers, who journey to homes to provide interior-decorating consultations or fill in for injured players during family games of backyard softball.
The Sewing Room's custom clothing-design services range from dresses to quilts, but all stem from the cornerstone of its business: basic clothing alterations and repairs. After all, the same principles for raising the shoulders on a jacket or replacing a pants zipper can be used to design one-of-a-kind gowns for proms , baptisms, and weddings, as well as intricately detailed Victorian costumes. Behind each of The Sewing Room's fashionable creations is a talented seamstress with more than 28 years of experience and a lifetime's ingenuity. The Sewing Room staff shines in the small details as well, whether it's resizing garments without losing beadwork, working with leather and fur, or patching uniforms in proper military fashion.
For more than 75 years, Cranbook Academy of Art has enjoyed a reputation as one of the nation's leading independent graduate schools for art and design. Renowned graduates such as designer Florence Knoll, architect Hani Rashid, and fiber artist Nick Cave all honed their craft on the verdant 315-acre campus, where crammed lecture halls are replaced with small studios and students enjoy one-on-one mentorships with the Artists-In-Residence. Designed to inspire creativity as much as possible, the academy supplies each student with his or her own private studio space, and allows artists to design their own program of study without formal boundaries or beret-based dress codes.
The Cranbrook campus is a work of art in itself, owing the design of its original buildings to famed Finnish architect Ellel Saarinen. The academy further inspires its graduate students and the surrounding community with a museum that grew out of the eclectic personal collection of George Booth in 1930, and has grown to focus on the art, craft, design, and architecture of the 20th, 21st, and 22nd centuries.
The equipment experts at MTEC (Midwest Tool & Equipment Center) have rented, sold, and fixed everything from lawn edgers to rough terrain forklifts for more than three decades. They turn DIY projects from drawings in ketchup on the backs of placemats into vivid reality by supplying homeowners with rental equipment ranging from rug cleaners to drywall sanders for hours, days, weeks, or weekends. The company’s technicians also sell industrious contraptions to committed handymen and fix equipment that has begun to rebel.