In 1986, Tod Colbert opened Weather Tight Milwaukee, putting his focus, unlike many home-improvement outfits, on bolstering homes' exteriors to improve the living conditions inside. More than a quarter of a century later, the company has helped more than 15,000 clients, and Colbert's concept is still going strong. Clients can replace regular windows with energy-efficient panes that stave off extreme temperatures with multiple layers of reflective coating. The company’s capable technicians can also install doors insulated with polyurethane foam, and roofing that resists ice to keep frozen slabs from sliding off the roof and denting cars or bullying helpless recycling bins.
It might be hard to believe considering its vast array of products, but Sears, Roebuck and Co. began with one accessory: watches. In 1886, Richard W. Sears bought a box of unwanted watches from a jeweler, thinking he could turn a profit by selling them. He was correct and committed to the watch business by hiring Alvah C. Roebuck, an experienced watchmaker.
As time went on, though, their business expanded its umbrella far beyond what people wore on their wrists. Sears became known as the place to shop for almost any appliance, from sewing machines to those magical boxes that create water from nothing and clean your clothes.
Today, the stores stock clothing, accessories, electronics, kitchen equipment, tools for outdoor living, and home decor. This variety is sustained by Sears's proprietary brands—Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard, to name a few—and other national names that populate the shelves.
Twenty-six years ago, working mother Karen Scott had a light-bulb moment. She envisioned a one-stop children's clothing, toy, and furniture emporium. Karen and her husband set up shop in their garage, connecting new moms and dads to high-quality baby clothes, nursery furniture, and educational toys. They meticulously researched products before creating their own catalogue, and as a result watched their enterprise blossom into a lucrative online business. Today, One Step Ahead employs their own in-house design team responsible for exclusive labels of kidswear such as Cozy Cub winter wear Sun Smarties swimwear and summer gear.
Regular meetings with a Parents' Panel keep One Step Ahead designers in touch with the needs of modern parents. Seeking out their input has led the design team to create products such as a fleece-lined car seat for comfortably toting a baby in cold weather and a hanging closet organizer for managing a child's superhero identities.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Most popular offering: Place Lift?decorative reorganization.
Pro Tip: Imagine the possibilities and don't get stuck in the way your home or office looks now..
The closet connoisseurs at Perfection Closets help keep bedrooms, garages, home offices, and pantries well-ordered via an array of organizational materials and accessories. A free in-home consultation provides clients with a 3-D rendering of proposed closet designs and an estimate that includes the potential costs of design, materials, fabrication, delivery, and installation. Clients can store garments on shelving units 14 inches deep in a 6-foot-wide reach-in closet ($500) or hang their collection of Scooby-Doo costumes in a standard 6'x7' walk-in closet with 11.75-inch-deep hanging units and 14-inch deep shelves ($1,200). Feel free to stop by Perfection Closets' Niles showroom and peruse the vast display of organizational choices and materials, including eco-friendly melamine in a variety of colors to complement rooms and pledge allegiance to your favorite Power Ranger.