In 1975, Jay Kogan's parents opened up a store that was literally a hall of frames—just a small store stacked with thousands of frames. At the time, they had no idea that that tiny corridor would expand to 12 locations throughout the greater Phoenix area, all still run by the Kogan family. Today, their shops have more than 4,500 custom frame options along with mats of all colors and textures, as well as seven glazing choices and expert assembly. They can answer framing questions and frame everything from documents and artwork to posters and small 3-D objects such as sports memorabilia and very still grandmothers.
When they custom-produce frames, the family cuts their mats exactly, miters frame corners precisely, and installs flawless glass. Or, since the stores' walls are lined with ready-made frames, customers can walk in and find what they're looking for quickly. Since installing framed art is an art unto itself, they also offer hanging services with an eye for placement and ability to install in difficult spaces.
After decades of winning the admiration of stock-car racing fans with his aggressive driving strategy and off-track charisma, Rusty Wallace now gives others the chance to experience the rush of racing. He joined forces with Sodikart to roll out the Rusty Wallace Kart Experience, pairing kart with driver at some of the country's most celebrated racetracks. Racers can hop in a custom RT8 (or its kid-friendly counterpart, the LR4) and hit the gas, tearing up everything from the versatile road courses and speedy main track of the Atlanta Motor Speedway to the challenging lava pits of the Milwaukee Mile.
But this go-karting business has a big brother?the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience. It's a high-speed trip into the pro-racing trade, with breathtaking ride-alongs and racing experiences in stock cars. Guests buckle up and sit shotgun alongside professional drivers as they fly down straightaways and around curves. They can even get behind the wheel themselves, finally feeling what it's like to be a professional driver.
K. Adam Tanner spent much of his childhood on his grandfather’s ranch outside Wilcox, Arizona, working with colts and cattle. He loved all the work, but there was one part of the cowboy lifestyle that especially caught his imagination: the intricately crafted leathers of saddles and tack. With the help of an uncle and a Tandy leather craft set that showed up under the Christmas tree one year, Tanner began to advance his skills as a hobbyist. Meanwhile, he got intimately acquainted with saddles from another angle—riding bucking horses in the rodeo ring. With an eye toward both comfort and flash, Tanner began to make custom rodeo accoutrements, fitting each saddle not only to its rider but also to the body of the horse, which was especially appreciated by his centaur customers. In addition to saddles, Tanner trains his leather skills on holsters, belts, chaps, briefcases, and even notebook covers stamped with ornate, swirling flowers and oak leaves.
Visitors to CataVinos Wine Shoppe & Tasting Room are treated to a flight of six hand-selected wines tied together by a common theme. On Thursdays, Fridays, or Saturdays, folks taste their way through six wines?along with cheese and crackers as palate-cleansers: each week, the wines might all hail from the same country, or they might focus on a holiday, such as "Thanksgiving Feast Wines." The themes change weekly, but the atmosphere stays the same, with visitors invariably meeting someone new as they sip their wine flights.
For customers ready to commit to a whole bottle, the shop has a full selection of reds, whites, sparkling, and dessert wines, including domestics and imports from around the world. They're modestly priced, too?hundreds of them are under $15. For special occasions or as gifts, the team packages custom-designed?wicker gift baskets, alongside goodies like chocolate, bruschetta sauce, cheese, and olives.
Family-owned Florian Flowers arranges aromatic gift baskets full of fresh, multicolored flora for every occasion. Romantic gestures can be made in-store, online, or out-of-body, with options including the Upsy Daisy basket, a yellow-themed bouquet of fully bloomed flowers gracefully rising from a ribbon-tied base ($22.95). Apologize for leaving footprints on a friend’s ceiling with regally packaged roses in a glass cube ($25.95). The blooming cupcake ($7.99) bestows birthday wishes from a novel pastry-shaped petal arrangement, complete with ascending candle, and the Daisy Daydreams basket ($22.99) presents proud new parents with a cornucopia of colors exploding from a white bamboo basket. Accent arrangements with add-ons such as Mylar balloons ($4.95) for celebration, boxes of Fran's Chocolates ($7.80) for sweet teeth, and stuffed animals ($13) for children preparing for careers in taxidermy. Florian’s professional bloom slingers ship baskets and bouquets for a variety of occasions, from love and romance to corporate gifts, ensuring timely delivery of perfectly preserved flowered arrangements.
Founded by an Ironman athlete and staffed by a stable of knowledgeable sportspeople, TriSports outfits triathletes with cycling, swimming, and running gear. Outfit feet with a pair of hot-pink women’s Saucony ProGrid Kinvara kicks ($89.95) or treat tender toe-holders to a pair of men’s Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11 running shoes ($99.95)–winners of Runner’s World Best Update category in 2010. Legs jealous of their pampered nether-neighbors can dry their resentful tears on the soft chamois cloth of men’s Louis Garneau Comp tri shorts, ideal for cyclists and frequent sitters ($59.95). Meanwhile, aquatic athletes can improve underwater sight with TYR Velocity goggles ($14.95) and reduce coif-induced drag with a De Soto Neopreme swim cap, which provides 3 millimeters of insulation from chilly waters and the cold-hearted taunting of sea otters ($25.95). Each purchase allows customers to support 80 TriSports-sponsored athletes around the world without chasing them down after a workout and dousing them with a tub of gatorade. Additionally, the altruistic outfitter contributes to a host of charities, including the Challenged Athletes Foundation. TriSports has donated more than $650,000 during the past three years.