For more than 100 years, Red Wing Shoes has shod workers’ feet with purpose-built, lasting footwear ideal for toiling on the job or around the home. Industrial work boots are crafted to resist gas, chemicals, and banana peels, including styles such as the 2240 men’s 6-inch boots built to protect feet from water and electric hazards ($159.99). Their lineup of classic oxfords, including the full-grain black-leather 6337 oxfords ($114.99), are triple-stitched with wax thread and sent to England for finishing school.
The designers at Twisted Jeweler aren’t afraid of the competition—in fact, they'll train competitors themselves. While crafting pearl bracelets and 14-karat-gold-filled Daddy Hug Me rings, which bear the birthstones of both a child and a parent deployed in the military, they'll also teach crafters of all ages to string beads and sculpt with wire. Once they've learned the basics, fledgling artisans can sort through sparkling rows of loose Swarovski crystals and jewelry-making supplies such as clasps and head pins. Supplementing a sparkling array of handmade pendants and earrings, the jewelers take on custom design projects to create pieces not found in department stores or the jewelry box of one's elementary-school rival.
Owner of The Paper Trail and avid crafter Karen has made paper her medium of choice for more than a decade. Why? Because “scrapbooking is all about leaving a paper trail of you…what we have done, who we are,” she writes on her welcome page. Not only do Karen and her staff supply patrons with the goods to leave their own trail––from patterned paper and albums to pearls and rhinestones for embellishing crafts or friends while they sleep––but also the techniques. Through regular classes and events such as scrapping parties, they teach the art of cropping, crafting cards and scrapbooks, and even building photo albums from scratch. They also create invitations and cards or custom albums for customers.