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.
In 1967, a pair of rock climbers founded the first Eastern Mountain Sports store to share their passion for nature and provide the hard-to-find gear they used to explore its wildest depths. Since then, the outdoor-gear-and-apparel purveyor has expanded to encompass 69 retail locations and 11 outdoor-adventure schools between Maine and Virginia. Using input from their own climbing-school guides, they design, engineer, and test much of their own gear and apparel—often amid harsh conditions on Mount Washington Observatory’s wintry peak.
In each store and adventure school, a knowledgeable staff outfits customers for year-round camping, hiking, kayaking, skiing, and other outdoor expeditions. Bianchi, Jamis, and Marin bikes speed cyclists along paths, and multipurpose backpacks help adventurers keep their secret diaries safe from bears. Stores also stock men’s and women’s seasonal outdoor apparel and high-tech outdoors electronics such as altimeters, GPS tools, camping lanterns, and portable audio devices.
To ensure customers venture out with the proper gear, Eastern Mountain Sports also backs up services and products with a satisfaction guarantee. Upon request, they can replace products, adjust climbing gear, and perform maintenance on bikes, skis, and snowboards. Staff members may also recommend their favorite trails, climbs, and rivers, or help customers embark on international adventure tours conducted by Austin-Lehman Adventures.
With programs tailored for clients age 40 and older, chief fitness officer MaryAnn Molloy and her staff of personal trainers at Healthy Body, Fit Mind help to enrich lives through fitness and healthfulness. Personal trainers assist each client in customizing training regimens to meet their own health needs and goals. Training programs may include core exercises, developing breathing techniques, and weight training exercises.
At Glazey Days, shelves upon shelves of unembellished ceramic pieces await colorful brushstrokes to help them reach their aesthetic potential. The robust collection ranges from bowls, plates, and mugs to picture frames and vases. Free to follow their own creative instincts, the shop's visitors personalize and decorate chosen pieces using an arsenal of painting tools, such as stencils, brushes, and sponges. Afterward, the Glazey Days staff finalizes the process by firing and glazing finished pieces and has them ready for pickup within a week. For further inspiration, Glazey Days keeps its selection stocked with themed pieces for different seasons and holidays and hosts special events, such as couples nights and BYOB nights.
Led by internationally adept artistic director Laurence Miller, Pulse schools fledgling boogie-footers in the fine art of ballroom and Latin light-tripping. Each new student enlists in four lessons, held once per week for four consecutive weeks, and the studio's generous calendar offers up a multitude of class times to accommodate schedules bogged down by work or stints on the competitive canning circuit. Aspiring elegant movers may opt for ballroom lessons, learning the basic steps of the fox trot, swing, and waltz, and saucy shakers can enlist in Latin dance, which introduces freshly hatched hot-to-trotters to the fiery footwork involved in rumba, salsa, and onion-dip dancing.
For more than half a century, Mill Stores has dispensed an enormous array of high quality, ready-to-finish wood furniture and accents to enhance homestead comfort. As a factory-finished solid-oak rocker ($249.99) supports reclining spines, a three-step stool ($19.77), crafted from solid eastern white pine, aids customers in accessing difficult to reach shelves filled with stashes of candy and bacon fat. Stockpile bottles of grapey goodness in a solid wood Tuscany wine box ($39.99) or artfully arrange CDs and DVDs in the sliding separators of a solid pine rack ($23.99). A shingled-roof doghouse ($179.99) shelters canines in safe, cozy pine, and a cast-stone scroll birdbath ($49.88) cleanses neighboring loons and fallen airplane peanuts in its stylish cement surface. Shoppers unable to find their desired décor in stock can request customized designs, which Mill Stores crafts in two weeks or less.