Part greenhouse and part home décor shop, Fads & Frames stocks an abundance of supplies for DIY home decorating, gardening, and landscaping. The shop’s crafty staff fills shelves with bright ribbons, picture frames, and bins of silk flowers that attract groovy, disco-era bumblebees. A wide candle selection scents the store’s air with aromatic fruits, flowers, and spices. In the spring, a garden center blooms with annuals such as begonias, impatiens, and petunias, as well as Kimberly Queen porch ferns and Knock Out roses. While browsing blossoms, shoppers can also peruse a selection of French-inspired and rustic outdoor furniture.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Nicole Hall, a third-generation master jeweler, spent years creating and repairing fine jewelry before opening Buckingham Jewelers with her husband, Simon. To forge custom pieces, she works closely with customers to understand their vision before sketching ideas and compiling a small mound of precious stones and gems. Most of her designs are bold statement pieces, such as a necklace of diamonds circling a pale-green opal. When clients want to include family heirloom stones or enhance existing jewelry, Nicole draws from her repair experience to carefully renovate their precious items. She even welds with a laser to avoid potential heat damage from soldering or outsourcing the job to an amateur fire-swallower.
In addition to Nicole's custom pieces, she and Simon carefully curate their shop's display cases with bold European jewelry. Hard-to-find pieces from Orit Schatzman, a handmade line in Israel, glisten alongside Danish Skagen watches. They also carry Angelique de Paris's colorful resin bangles, which are fashioned with sterling silver, vermeil, and gemstones, and have been featured in In Style and Harper's Bazaar.
Sandra Mitchell, Clarke Jewelers' master jeweler and owner, grew up watching her father repair watches, jewelry, and guns in his jewelry shop. The fascinated youngster decided to attend jewelry school and has been repairing and custom designing baubles for 35 years, recently with the help of her daughter Nicole, a master jeweler who specializes in repairing sterling silver, a difficult metal other jewelers are afraid to touch. In addition to their handiwork, they stock high-quality fine jewelry and trendy items, including bridal sets by Gabriel & Co., Citizen Eco-Drive watches, and sterling-silver bangles, rings, and halos.
When Block and Crackle's owner, Ellison, lightheartedly claims his tables could hold a pickup truck, you get a sense he's not joking. Sturdiness has been at the business's core since the beginning, when Ellison and his wife had their first kids. In an effort to build a table that could withstand his youngsters' exuberance, Ellison—a former ad man whose hobby was building furniture—hammered together a 200 lb. table with a 3-inch-thick butcher-block top. Today, at Block and Crackle, he stamps his trademark top on an array of tables that are all crafted, painted, and distressed by mankind's original foam finger: the hand.