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 savvy staff of Roswell Do It Best Hardware–an authorized dealer of STIHL and Big Green Egg products–keeps shelves stocked with all the tools, supplies, and accouterments needed for a cornucopia of home-improvement tasks. Hardware-minded visitors can fill fists with a 16-ounce hammer ($8.49) or grab hold of a 6-pound, double-face sledgehammer ($23.49), which gives arms the oomph necessary to drive stakes into the ground or smash them into nail-size shards. Customers can peruse the hefty selections of nails ($15.99) and upholstery pins ($2.49), which come in handy for holding projects together, and 16-ounce bottles of exterior wood glue ($7.49) assist home-tinkerers in fulfilling hammerless home improvements. Two-pound chopping axes ($39.99) stand at the ready for chopping wood, overgrown trees, and those pesky telephone poles that get tangled in overgrown trees.
Kid to Kid is an upscale children's and maternity resale store that buys clothing, toys, furnishings, and baby gear before selling it back at affordable prices. Before making the cut, all clothes and shoes must be deemed certifiably elite in stylishness, cleanliness, and newishness. Items are hand-selected by discerning staffers who put them through an intense screening process in which the gems make the rack and the duds are sent back. Back-to-school shoppers can find brands such as Gap and Gymboree, and moms-to-be can find fashions for themselves and their baking buns. Each piece of equipment and every toy is squeaky-clean and well-mannered, always poised for an invite to the most exclusive teddy bear picnics.
Hong Trinh, trained by her father who was a master tailor in Vietnam, demonstrates her 20-plus years of experience with the deft strokes of her sewing needle. Trinh and her team of tailors can mend slacks made un-wearable by growth spurts or exposure to enlargement lasers by hemming the pant legs, which remedies length issues by sewing folded cloth onto itself while still maintaining the original, professionally sewn look. They can also employ their garment expertise to replace broken zippers ($15), take in suit blazer sleeves ($30), adjust pant waistlines ($15), and disable self-destruct devices in vintage spy wear. Hong's Custom Tailor staffers also offer custom embroidery and per-project services upon request.
Contributing to local commerce isn’t new territory for the Howard family. In 1925, Edwin Howard’s in-laws founded a small grocery in Doraville, which he took leadership of 30 years later. After gaining experience in that business, he decided to expand the family’s venture, and in 1972, he opened the first Howard’s True Value Hardware right next door. Now, after more than 35 years and currently under the ownership of Howard brothers John and Doug, the hardware store keeps shelves stocked with more than 100,000 hardware items, tools, and home-garden accouterments from the likes of Carhartt and Honda, as well as charcoal grills from Big Green Egg, wood pellet grills from Traeger, and a line of propane grills with tanks they can fill in-store. For sports enthusiasts, they're an authorized YETI Cooler and Tifosi Eyeglass Dealer.
Building materials, including adhesives and mason tools, lighten the burdens of home-improvement projects, and a constellation of hand tools relieves the hassle of hiring a beaver to chew its way through 2”x4”s. A full stock of interior paints helps customers brighten the hue of living quarters, while a sturdy pair of jeans from Carhartt helps them to withstand the wear-and-tear of maintenance projects or slow dances with rose bushes.
At Let's Paint Pottery, aspiring artists can drop in anytime to customize plain pieces of pottery. After selecting an unfinished ceramic piece from the studio's selection of serving ware and home decor items, they’ll use provided stamps, stencils, and idea books to map out their design and next tattoos. They then draw from a palette of more than 50 paints and glazes to coat their creation before handing it over to a staff member, who fires the work in the studio's kiln. The studio also offers two-hour canvas-painting sessions, wherein guests armed with acrylic paints learn brushstroke basics.