When owner Julie Byrne founded Clay Caf? in 1996, she wanted to establish a cozy, unpretentious environment where families could spend quality time pottery-painting and embarking on other art projects. Describing what she envisioned to the Columbus Dispatch, Byrne stated, ?We kind of wanted a grandma kitchen?something homey.? At Clay Caf?, visitors might forget they?re not relaxing in their own homes amid the studio?s popular mismatched chairs, flower tablecloths, and resident father yelling at a sports game on TV. The hospitable staff invites guests of all ages to let their artist instincts run wild during open-ended potter-painting sessions, and they host an array of special events including baby showers and birthday parties.
Ever since Joseph and Josephine Fortin founded Fortin Ironworks in 1946, the company's artisans have wrought ornamental furniture and home furnishings from iron and metal. They showcase products such as mailboxes, picture frames, and wine racks in a 5,500-square-foot show room, and also create larger items that range from custom handrails to heavy-duty benches emblazoned with logos. Patrons can plan ahead for warm weather activities with fire pits, lawn chairs, and other outdoor furniture to be enjoyed by houseguests or meddlesome garden gnomes.
Things Remembered features over 5,000 personalized gifts available for any occasion. The award-winning company has become a go-to gift source for that perfect gift for all kinds of special occasions, from birthdays and weddings to "thank yous" and "good lucks". At ThingsRemembered.com customers can find engraved items, luxurious embroidered gifts, hand-painted items, and more. With over 600 stores across the country, customers can easily buy a personalized gift online and pick it up in-store.
Mattress Mart's slumber experts stock their stores with major-brand sleep surfaces?such as Serta, iComfort, and Simmons Beauty Rest?in twin, full, queen, and king sizes. Customers can rest their backs on the firm billows of a Factory Select twin set or support larger-scale lumbar regions with a soft, flippable Newport Flush set.
Tropical Trends' sunny shopkeepers fill the shelves of their cheery environs with adornments for body and home alike. Freshen interior breezes with the fragrant tendrils of hand-dipped Wild Berry incense, which uncurls 40 aromas including vanilla, sandalwood, and root beer (30 sticks for $5.50). Scented WoodWick candles ($10–$12) mimic the crackles and pops of a roaring bonfire when burned, turning innocent anecdotes into instant ghost stories. Customers can also spruce up bodies with Tropical Trends' fashions and accessories—adorning digits with elegant sterling-silver rings in sizes 5–14 ($12–$22) and bodies with breezy exotic-print skirts and dresses ($18–$26) that flutter in colorful anticipation of spring breezes and summer tornado chasing.
One of the oldest stores of its kind in the country, Helen Winnemore Craft has been providing adornment seekers with artisanal gifts for all occasions since 1938. After being offered complimentary tea and coffee in a ceramic cup, customers will get to browse the cozy, charming house at their leisure—including more than 40 custom-built drawers stuffed with high-quality, carefully constructed jewelry.
Tether earlobes with ceramic drop earrings ($35) made using the ancient technique of milleflori, mirror your multiple floral personalities with a reversible petal necklace ($36.50), or keep flocks of starlings from roosting in your child's neck with a cute owl charm necklace ($24.50). A selection of usable, wearable, and beautifully useless art line the store walls, ceilings, and floors, which retract to reveal an underworld of mythical, compostable trinkets. Avenge a neighbor's many newspaper thefts by loading up on handmade glass windchimes ($32.50), make mom shed a tear with a Leigh Standley card ($4.25), or gift a silk leaf mobile ($169.50) to the environmentalist newborn in your life. American artists are responsible nearly 95% of the goods in the shop.