The bead emporium hosts coveted classes for jewelry-crafting pilgrims, ranging from the basic techniques of Beading 101 to the Level 27 magical Loremaster powers of advanced metalsmithing. Basic classes range in price from $32 to $42, while more-advanced classes range from $38 (soldering and forming lentil charms) to $135 (bezel setting and intro to silversmithing). If you have any of your $50 Groupon credit left after registering for a class, spend it on the materials necessary for the class (except the etching pendants or dichroic classes), or use it toward bringing a friend along or taking a second class. The store's quaint, whitewashed façade conceals a dragon's den of beads, gemstones, and jewelry-crafting supplies, some of which, like dragons, spew fire. Beads are arranged in an organized and beautiful manner on a variety of tabletops and in glass display cases, simplifying the hunt-and-gather process for nomadic artisans. The bead collection comes from countries around the world, and 90% of the semi-precious beads are handpicked and gem-graded A+ by sparkling schoolmarms.
• For $10, you get $20 toward instrument repairs. • For $12, you get one music lesson (a $25 value). The musicians at Warren Henry Music, helmed by titular owner and former guitar manufacturer, combine their love and knowledge of instruments to refurbish musical machinery with a slew of services and teach the art of note producing. After a free evaluation and estimate, skilled hands restring ($15 plus the price of strings), adjust and align guitars ($35–$45), patch cracks, or upgrade hardware, rehabilitating rock-star accessories smashed onstage or trampled in savage-beast-soothing incidents gone awry.
Fancy frocks flourish at Lizzy & Jane, where the masterworks of young, independent clothing designers shine brightly against repurposed industrial fixtures. Customers can leisurely stroll the boutique's shiny concrete stage, perusing petticoats and caressing creative clothing.
Tempt summer breezes and mask barbecue-sauce stains in a black ruffle tank dress ($74) or tie-dye leggings ($79) by L.A.M.B. This season, shoppers can count on finding denim from William Rast, festival-ready rompers by Young Fabulous & Broke ($132), and sheer blouses by Diesel. Guys can scoop up Diesel tees, toddland jackets ($51 for a lightweight coaches jacket), and Hugo Boss shorts ($121). Accessories, such as Cheap Monday's envelope necklace ($29) or Alternative Apparel's emerald Pima scarf ($20), make affordable ensemble upgrades for transitioning from day job at the Pop Tart factory to nightly bourbon-and-ballroom dance parties.
Margaret and Phillip Nabors were ahead of the curve in championing natural and organic foods when they opened Mustard Seed Market & Café in 1981. To ensure the integrity of every item stocked on their shelves, the Nabors developed a list of golden standards—nine guidelines that range from a ban on high-fructose corn syrup to selling only cruelty-free cosmetics. This combination of rigor and passion has propelled Mustard Seed for more than 30 years, filling two locations with locally grown produce, fresh-baked vegan cookies, and naturally lean-but-tender beef from certified Piedmontese cattle, which are raised on an all-vegetarian diet free of steroids and antibiotics.
Today, the Nabors' children, Abraham and Gabe, have joined their parents in leading Mustard Seed's team of natural-foods experts—who include everyone from the customer-service associates to the stockers, ensuring that shoppers can find answers to their questions around every corner. The store also educates customers through classes and free lectures on topics such as California wines and what’s going to happen when they run out of letters to name the vitamins.