The staff at New Balance of Philadelphia & South Jersey isn't concerned with simply selling shoes—their mission is to pair customers with the footwear that will carry them comfortably through life’s arduous steps. Understanding that an ill-fitting pair of athletic shoes can cause pain to joints and potentially damage knees, hips, and the back, associates measure the length and width of each client's foot and conduct a gait analysis to chart the trajectory of their stride when walking normally or running through ball pits. The data are collected to help the staff match clients with their ideal shoe, keeping them running longer and looking good while doing so.
After more than 30 years in the Toledo music business, Pat opened Culture Clash Records. His knowledgeable staff strives to help music lovers to find old favorites and discover unfamiliar treasures in the massive, genre-spanning inventory. New and used CDs and vinyl records pack the shelves along with a selection of turntables and styluses. On certain days, live tunes from local artists permeate the store, introducing guests to new music without the usual awkward handshake.
Czech glass, polymer clay, and Swarovski crystals glitter along the walls of Stony Creek Bead's interior, waiting to add their sparkle to bracelets, necklaces, and baubles created by visiting beaders. Buyable jewelry crafted by local artisans also dots the shelves and displays, lending inspiration as they await purchase. The knowledgeable and patient staff leads the way to customer-created wares, referencing the shop’s kits, books, patterns, and tools, and leading classes on beading techniques, jewelry making, and lessons on why the “a” in bead is silent.
When Yourist Studio Gallery's founder Kay Yourist first touched clay at the age of eight, she instantly fell in love with the art of pottery. In 1984, this passion led her to open a home studio and begin teaching. When the number of students outgrew her small studio, Kay decided to open a facility that would fuse the aspects of a workshop, gallery, and art education center. Beneath the skylights of this equipped studio, Kay and her team of talented instructors lead classes that can take students from introductory to advanced levels. Boasting art degrees, international experience, and knowledge of any pottery wheel's circumference, the teachers use their expertise to design workshops that cover specific techniques and plan creative events. In other areas of the studio, reduction and oxidation kilns solidify freshly created masterpieces. Sculptures, pottery, and paintings populate exhibitions that introduce visitors to the works of celebrated artists, and free monthly video screenings tempt potters to fill their vases with popcorn.
Stuffed animals are our first friends as children, comforting us during long scary nights and on road trips to unfamiliar new solar systems. Chelsea Teddy Bear Co.?s employees realize how important these companions are to children, so they pay the utmost attention to detail as they stitch together soft, plush fabric, ensuring that the custom furry friends last a lifetime. The comforting pals range in size from 4.5-inch key chains to 20-inch animals that inspire reassuring hugs. Children can outfit their choice of a bear or other wild creature, ensuring that their companion is suitably dressed for tea parties or waging war on an infestation of Furbies.
Passionate staff members stroll through bell-shaped fairy doors at The Bead Gallery’s Ann Arbor location, which has housed a voluminous spread of crafting accessories in an idyllic Victorian abode for more than 20 years. Both here and at the store's Howell locale, sprawling aisles house an epic selection of Czech pressed glass beads, Swarovski crystals, and semiprecious gemstones, which customers can buy loose, by the strand, or in repurposed Skittles bags. Crafters can also sign up for classes that cycle through beadwork, metal and stone techniques, and methods for manipulating wire and glass. Along with their expert instruction, The Bead Gallery’s crackerjack staff can also flex their restringing skills to repair beaten-up baubles.