Providing an arsenal of home-improvement tools and services, Ace Hardware arms handypersons in the war against home repairs and DIY projects. Grill hamburgers and hot dogs over a 20-pound bag of Cowboy hardwood charcoal ($12.99), or use an LED flashlight ($2.99) to illuminate a dim closet or dark-chocolate bar. Customers can also challenge ACE Hardware's sociable staff to hunt down HTH liquid pool chlorine ($2.99), which preps swimming holes for incoming belly flops by sanitizing water and adding a bull's-eye, or explore a rainbow's worth of Benjamin Moore paints and a shed's worth of Craftsman tools.
Floral designers at Vase One Floral Design Studio arrange colorful blossoms into aesthetically pleasing custom designs to create centerpieces, bouquets, and decorative vases. Surprise a loved one, friend, or favorite allergist with a classic glass vase brimming with orange, white, and pink blooms ($39.99). Alternatively, pick a table-gilding arrangement adorned with pink carnations, white blooms, and grassy swoops ($45.99) or a centerpiece of blue and white blossoms atop a cobalt base ($57.99) to jazz up dinner parties and black-tie séances.
Like most success stories, Leader's Casual Furniture didn't start at the top. Founded in a single west Florida show room in 1971, the company now boasts 19 retail show rooms, a 150,000-square-foot distribution center, and an ever-increasing selection of rattan, wicker, and patio furniture. Upon browsing the virtual show room, visitors find rattan dining sets, beds, and entertainment centers as well as wicker tables with stone or glass tops. Custom fabrics and tropical-themed pieces add personal flair to interiors or exteriors, and an online room planner helps customers get a feel for how chosen pieces will fit into their homes.
The seasoned brewers at Southern Brewing & Winemaking impart the secrets of crafting artisan ales at home during friendly, intimate beer-making classes. Up to 15 students savor sample brews and light snacks as hops-loving experts explain basic equipment and recipes and discuss the bottling and tasting of home-brewed beverages, demystify the brewing process. Instructors fill the lesson plan with their passion for brewing and encourage students to ask questions or stage modern-dance interpretations of “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.” The class covers enlightening topics open to students of all ages, but only participants 21 or older can drink alcohol.