Hidden just east of Cobb Parkway, a complex of low, slate-blue warehouses shelters a community of textile workers, sculptors, and graphic designers intent on refining their art. Beads by Design's shop and atelier contributes to this creative wellspring, and today the Southern Flames—a society of glass-bead makers—gather there for their monthly meetings. The shop opened in 1998, displaying a wealth of Japanese Delica seed beads, fire-polished and pressed glass beads, pearls, gemstones, and glittering Swarovski crystals under the high, exposed-metal roof. Visitors can pick up notions or tools, or stick around for jewelry-making classes. These begin with the basics of knotting wire rings and stringing necklaces and expand into the creation of broad, beaded cuffs inspired by Ndebele jewelry and macramé techniques for braiding copper wire. To give students complete creative control of their work, instructors provide propane torches attached to work tables, and safely teach how to fabricate glass beads and intimidate nay-saying critics.
Imagine That! and Future Tech founder Kelly Williams has always loved science and art—up until her children were toddlers, she had spent her life building a career as an environmental engineer working for the EPA. But when she began volunteering as a leader of art and science programs at her local church and school, she unexpectedly discovered that she loved teaching children even more. Since 1995, Imagine That! and Future Tech learning centers have fostered a passion for science and technology in students aged 3 through 14. Alongside hands-on, age-appropriate instruction in the basics of physics, chemistry, and simple machines, the kids learn to work futuristic wonders such as building and programming robots to navigate obstacle courses and follow instructions. Science camps and workshops at locations all over the Atlanta metropolitan area give children a firm foundation in the sciences and prepare them for tomorrow’s world of ever-more-advanced computers and automatic doors.
A massive collection of stylish adornments at warehouse prices, Decorating Mart packs more than 10,000 pieces of furniture (starting at $79.88), accessories (starting at $5.99), fabrics (starting at $4 per yard), and more into 50,000 square feet of décor decadence. Untamed, overstocked pieces from major manufacturers make Decorating Mart a temporary depot until loving buyers convince them to settle down. Browse armoires, bedroom and dining sets, and accent pieces in traditional and transitional styles to complete too-bare rooms, or purchase fine fabrics from top makers to reupholster chairs damaged by persistent rhinestone-jacket crazes. Decorating Mart also stocks a large selection of wallpapers and borders and can special order more styles from its library of hundreds of sample books.
Pure Eco-Wellness Salon and Spa's team is so focused on natural treatments, they even strive to emulate natural light.This belief in nature's beautifying and healing capacity also suffuses their treatments. They brighten their chic haircuts, for example, with botanical, organic color, and their facials combat conditions from acne to aging with natural ingredients. Their vegan nail polish is infused with ecocert-certified bamboo for stronger nails, and contains no DBP, Toluene, Camphor, formaldehyde, or formaldehyde resin. Their commitment extends to their eco-friendly business practices, too, which range from recycling to cleaning with products that contain no chemicals nor monster-truck parts.
FastFrame first germinated in Europe before spreading to Japan, Brazil, Australia, and the United States. A trained local helms each of the 300 locations, and guarantees every design for 30 days and the craftsmanship for a lifetime. Artisans crown original works of art and prints with ornate mouldings. They also store historical artifacts and three-dimensional memorabilia in shadow boxes. FastFrame?s team has even been known to frame sports equipment, plasma-screen televisions, and childhood homes.
All Fired Up!'s homey studio invites artists of all ages to participate in kiln-fired activities. Whether perusing the shelves laden with blank pottery or cutting and arranging colored glass to design their own plate, visitors get the chance to create personalized mementos and dishware. Classes let students try their hands at a pottery wheel, and kids' parties keep birthday guests distracted with painting while their parents wrap last-minute gifts.