It's not every day that online shopping includes as much personal attention as you get from Stoneside Blinds. In most areas, their online-shopping process starts off with a free house call from a designer, who helps clients pick out materials and styles for their window dressing. Once the client has made their choices, the company will send out teams to measure the window frames and, later, install the final product for a flat fee. Their handiwork, and the blinds themselves, are backed by a rigorous guarantee that lets customers change their minds within 30 days and safeguards against defects up to a year later, so customers never have to cover up faulty blinds with a poster of their backyard. The only online part of their signature process, really, is placing the order. Minutes after the order is placed, the team at the production warehouse gets to work making it a reality, whether it's roller shades in a custom fabric, sleek solar shades, or classic wooden blinds.
Short of creating physical clouds to hold people aloft, Mattress Warehouse stocks almost every imaginable furnishing to help customers catch a few Z’s. Rows of name-brand mattresses from Sealy, Simmons Beautyrest, Serta, and Tempur-Pedic entice customers to replace their worn pad for new bedding, such as a standard mattress, a fluffy pillowtop unit, or a memory foam piece that conforms to bodies. Beyond mattresses, the warehouse also carries an ample collection of box springs, full bed sets with rails and headboards, and even premium futon mattresses that revitalize foldable couches.
It's a big leap from the bustle of an athletic field to the solitude of a darkroom, but Calumet Photographic made the transition seamlessly more than 70 years ago. From its origins as a Chicago sporting-goods store, the company evolved into a one-stop shop for cameras and darkroom equipment and eventually into an innovator of photographic technology. In the 1960s, Calumet's most brilliant minds were behind the development of the Caltar large-format-lens line and nitrogen burst film.
Today, Calumet Photographic continues to manufacture and sell professional photographic products and software across the globe, boasting more than 25 retail stores throughout the US and Europe. Their shops abound with both new and used high-quality cameras and equipment, rental gear, and knowledgeable technicians eager to help customers find the right equipment for the job. The company’s extensive online catalog enables shoppers to purchase equipment from around the world and have it shipped directly to their home, studio, or mall photo booth they’ve claimed as a studio.
It’s easier to connect The Spa Room’s seeming hodgepodge of treatments if you look at owner Mary Szegda. Her background and training includes a master of arts degree in applied psychology, a certification for infant massage instructorship, a massage-therapy license, and training in the Feldenkrais method—a therapy designed to pinpoint and correct habits that can cause shoulder pain and muscle tension.
Together, Mary and her skilled staff, administer Swedish and prenatal massage, aromatherapy treatments, craniosacral therapy, and spa services such as a hand treatment that combines pomegranate cream and paraffin. The staff holds four advanced degrees among themselves, and several of them have experience teaching at the university level. Most of them have served as lead or assistant teachers at local massage schools. In addition, The Spa Room offers a variety of classes and workshops including massage education, infant-massage instruction, and restorative yoga.
For more than two decades, Alexandria Art and Framing's knowledgeable staffers have meticulously enveloped and conserved images with expert framing services that transform personal memorabilia into elegant artwork. Elegant rectangles line store walls in an array of shapes, colors, and styles—including gold frames with antique appearances and stained wood etched with ornate motifs. Alexandria Art and Framing's artisan picture enhancers put their passion into practice to beautify each image with mat boards, mouldings (from such brands as Larson-Juhl and Roma Moulding), and box frames, a specialty of the frame shop. From valuable baseball cards to blue ribbons from hot-dog-eating contests to poster-size family portraits, any piece of artwork can be skillfully encased before proudly displayed.
Nestled between bay windows with verdigris awnings, Just Paper & Tea’s bright-red door serves as a cheery invitation to enter the store. Behind the cardinal-hued portal, happy sighs cut through the rustle of paper as patrons riffle through the shop’s hand-picked assortment of stationery accented with custom designs and elegant lettering. Perched at their workstations, calligraphers artfully emblazon blank cards with birth announcements or legally binding grocery lists, and staffers help brides- and grooms-to-be draft up dream wedding invitations. Along with lavish paper wares, Just Paper & Tea’s shelves also brim with a vast selection of teas that call to mind distant landscapes with smoky darjeeling and herbaceous green matcha.