Eager to assist home-improvement and upkeep projects, neatly arranged drills, garden hoses, paintbrushes, and other hardware sundries populate the shelves at family-owned Avalon Hardware. Stacks of mulch team up with rakes and watering cans to keep landscapes lush but tidy, and fluorescent light bulbs promise to emit steady, more sustainable light in homes. Customers can also swing by to grab gallons of PPG Porter paint, which staffers mix to exact specifications after a small sacrifice of crayons to a prism spirit.
In 1714, the symbolic gesture of giving flowers as gifts was just beginning to take root, thanks to Charles II and his introduction of message-bearing blooms to the Swedish court. Today, the floral artists at Avalon Park Florist continue the tradition, weaving colorful blossoms into official FTD arrangements. They compose bouquets to suit specific occasions and sentiments, from crimson roses that bespeak romance to pastel petals that celebrate new babies or recently beating colorblindness.
Gwen Willhite founded Cookies by Design in 1983, when an unsatisfying brainstorming session about gift ideas led her to ponder one question: why should flowers and sweets remain separate? Her solution was to design the cookie bouquet, where custom, hand-decorated cookies are displayed on sticks and arranged like flowers in gift baskets. Her invention quickly became a popular gift among locals, particularly those allergic to real blooms or too bashful to look at naked cookies.
Twenty-five years later, there are more than 200 Cookies by Design locations across the country. Each shop's team of bakers creates cookie baskets with a degree of care that matches Willhite's original vision, decorating and arranging sweet shapes for birthdays, holidays, and any other special occasion.
Mattress World's owners bring 30 years of experience in the mattress industry to their five stores, which stock a wide variety of Serta, Simmons, and Tempur-Pedic sleeping surfaces. Once patrons choose their desired mattress or mattress set, clerks call patrons' attention to the more than 50 styles of headboards, frames, and bedding, which add height and style to plush, pillow-topped mattresses. The store offers delivery and set-up services, dispatching staffers—who first remove old frames and bedding without the use of dangerous black holes—to construct new beds on-site.
Those who visit Artistic East Orlando Florist interact directly with the talented arranger who crafts their bouquets, instead of trying to communicate their tastes via smoke signal. That artist puts special care into each order, creating hand-tied bouquets and arrangements in traditional or exotic styles. Local delivery services are available, and late orders can often be accommodated.
They say that no one can touch a rainbow, but the florists at The Flower Nook might beg to differ. For they create several every day in the form of stunning, colorful floral arrangements. Freshly cut blossoms—from red roses to bright yellow sunflowers—mingle in vases or baskets, reaffirming spousal love, proclaiming filial affection, and offering praise to the plant people who live in the attic. Same-day deliveries ensure that arrangements reach their recipients while still fresh and vibrant.