As a kid, Corwyn Thomas helped choose the ties his father wore to work at a prestigious local bank in Shreveport, Louisiana. That preternatural knack for accessorizing eventually blossomed into a full-fledged fashion-design career, and in 2001, Corwyn unveiled his first collection of chic, Italian-inspired neckties forged from elegant materials and hand-sewn detailing. Since the ties' debut, they have lined the shelves of more than 300 stores across the globe and adorned the necks of celebrities at glamorous events, such as the Academy Awards and the Grammys. Today, Corwyn and his team of haberdashers cultivate complete, gentlemanly ensembles, complementing their arsenal of neckwear with custom-made suits and dress shirts. Each tie’s sheath of top-quality, hand-finished silk spiffs up collars with floral prints, stripes, and geometric designs, and it includes a fully fitted interlining that helps yield pristine knots and makeshift lassos.
Willis Music’s staff of dedicated musicians taps into the shop's century in business to guide fellow melody makers of all levels amid more than 3,000 instruments and a jungle of accessories. Though in-store stock may vary, patrons can peruse racks for catalog items such as a Planet Waves chromatic headstock tuner ($39.99), which dials in string tension using vibration, or they can pacify rampaging folk singers with strums on a ukulele ($39.99+). A Peavey Max 158 bass amp ($99.99) gives modern and vintage voice to bass guitars, and metal-encased DigiTech effects pedals ($49.99) awaken drowsy ears with four roaring styles of distortion. Customers can beat out rhythms on LP wood bongos ($49.99) or browse various other African, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, and Irish hand drums captured, tamed, and refurbished by independent craftspeople.
Woodcraft and its dedicated staff have fulfillled woodworking needs since 1928 and now house an inventory of more than 20,000 woodworking tools backed by a 90-day guarantee. Whittlers with an eye for detail can carve delicate self-portraits into the undersides of neighbor's benches with the eight-piece detail-carving tool set ($23.50), outfitted with 5-inch handles for extra control. CAD-generated project plans such as the Curley maple rocking-chair plan ($19.95) prepare furniture makers with the necessary instruction to populate front porches with gently swaying accouterments. Dull blades get whipped into woodcutting shape with the Sharp-n-Easy two-step knife sharpener's ($4.99) coarse ceramic rods, which keep fingers and prehensile tails safe with a non-slip grip. Keep windpipes clear with a toxic-dust respirator ($39.99), which blocks 99.97% of toxic dusts such as lead and asbestos.
Cincinnati Overstock Furniture & Mattress packs its two prodigious warehouses with quality home-wares designed to enliven bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens, with prices comparable to wholesale during their epic weekend sales. The Alberto bedroom set is anchored by a queen bed frame ($228), boasting a warm espresso finish and a sleigh-bed design that beckons gaggles of housecleaning elves into the home. Sleeping chambers are further enhanced with the set's nightstand adorned with brushed nickel colored hardware ($98), and the simple, modern-lined mirror ($48). An eight-inch Serta memory foam queen-sized mattress conforms to supine bodies and molds to horizontal tissues, greeting sleepers nightly with a cushioned, spring-less, full-bodied smooch ($378). The earth-toned Big Daddy rocker-recliner ($308) cradles reposed patrons in its overstuffed, pillow-top arms, gently propelling them through viewing parties of Little House on the Prairie.
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.