In true family style, brothers Nick and Kirby Kuklenski own and operate two “sister” Ace Hardware stores in Colorado Springs, keeping local homes beautiful with name-brand products and services. Lawns grow thick and colorful with Scotts fertilizers, plants, and seeds from the shops’ lawn departments, whereas computerized color matching in the paint aisles keeps outsides as vibrantly hued as flowers in a garden or a house fly strolling across an artist’s palette. Collections of DeWalt and Craftsman hand and power tools help homeowners assemble Weber grills, with staffers standing at the ready to build any piece bought at the store. Even autos can get in on Ace Hardware’s helpful services: keys are cut onsite, with Sidewinder keys including built-in chips that interact with car computers to ensure proper starts without feeding vehicles buckets of floppy disks.
From its modest origins in a garage, Appliance Factory Outlet & Mattresses has blossomed into a full-fledged appliance-vending behemoth with 14 locations throughout Colorado. The outlet compiles an enormous collection of handy household appliances from top-quality brands such as GE, Whirlpool, LG, KitchenAid, Sealy,and Tempur-pedic.
At each location, knowledgeable staffers shepherd patrons through sprawling showrooms, which collectively tout more than 150,000 pieces of equipment, including laundry machinery, kitchen appliances, microwaves, and macrowaves. They can special order items not in stock or tap into a stash of spare parts to repair busted apparatus. In addition to appliances, the staff can point patrons toward a fleet of mattresses and overstock items.
Melt Bath & Skincare Online Boutique's toiletry artisans handcraft each of their skin-smoothing lotions, creating silky creams and oils, exfoliating scrubs, and wholesome cleansers that enrich the body and spirit. Customers celebrate the connection between smell and memory as they enter Melt's fragrant emporium of tinctures and tonics, which conjure recollections of fluffy birthday cakes with vanilla-tinged soaps or forgotten dreams of a career in beekeeping with the floral-scented sugar scrub. Samples of the shop's sweet-smelling wares abound, helping customers match themselves with an appropriate moisturizing brew or exotic olfactory blend.
Capsules do all the work at Aquarius Tanning Salon & High Tech Spa, where high-tech equipment takes the place of spa technicians. Clients step into tanning beds outfitted with Wolff lamps to turn their skin a bronzer hue, or lay down inside of the slim capsule to boost their metabolism and burn calories. Aquarius's other booths hydrate the skin, soften fine lines and wrinkles, and mist UV-free spray tans.
Owned by a 15-year home-brew veteran with more than 9,000 beer recipes, Do Your Brew educates burgeoning malt mavens on all the basics of concocting brews during a hands-on introductory brewing class. Aspiring brewmasters can select from twelve brew kits, such as the Bitter Bob Bitters, a deep and big-bodied pale ale with a quick-brewing process and a satisfying result, or the Dark Roast Porter, a dark-coffee brew
with rich, spicy hops and a smooth finish. Other selections include the Atbier, Black Canyon Stout, Bronco Amber Ale, Enlightened Black Ale, Gold Coast Pale Ale, Irish Red Ale, Kolsch, Nut Brown Ale, California Common Beer, and Sundown Wheat. In addition to their newly gleaned imbibing insight, beer believers can take home five gallons of beer from the resulting handcrafted batch, ideal for impressing family members or German dignitaries that randomly appear in one’s basement. Aspiring barley pop experimenters also get 10% off all home-brewing supplies and kits at Do Your Brew if they want to continue crafting hop concoctions.
The trip from the forest to the living room is a short one thanks to Tree Land Christmas Trees. This company imports its Noble Fir, Grand Fir, and Frasier Fir trees straight from North Carolina and Oregon, and within days of being harvested they end up poised in one of 10 lots scattered throughout the area. Tree Land Christmas Trees sees the act of picking out a tree as a ritual as much as a purchase, and so they welcome families to stroll through their lots, inhale the fresh smells, and pick out the tree that will decorate their home for the duration of the holiday season. The helpful staff will even tie the tree to customers' vehicles or schedule deliveries for customers whose cars or bike baskets can't accommodate the tree.
In the spirit of the holidays, Tree Land Christmas Trees also makes it a point to donate trees to families in need.