Patrons enter Kingston Glass Studio and Gallery to discover the handmade work of more than 30 North American artists, including unique glass creations that focus on various styles, shapes and colours. Adorn freshly cut evergreens in a candy-cane design that reflects twinkling lights across its crimson hues, or place a bucket beneath a green-glass icicle in case it melts back into sand. An on-site studio beckons visitors over for daily demonstrations, in which local artisans use pipes to transform glowing glass into semi-transparent vases or summon flames by loudly gossiping about dragons in order to render glass beads. After selecting their five ornaments, customers can peruse the other artwork that occasionally sprouts from the store's exposed stone wall, including paintings, sculptures, and vases.
Winexpert aims to make the ancient traditions of winemaking accessible to both wine enthusiasts and newcomers. With over 100 varietals to choose from, their award-winning winemaking kits give home vintners the chance to put their own stamp on personal batches of ambrosials such as chardonnay, pinot grigio, and merlot, rather than printing out images of their face and pasting them onto bottles at the store. Winexpert also works with dedicated retailers around the world, who help buyers choose the right vino and learn the secrets of the wine-making lifestyle.
Since 1959, Guignard Florist has been a flowery haven, supplying customers both from its colorful shop and via delivery throughout Onondaga County. The store prides itself on featuring the freshest flowers in novel arrangements, most of which change daily, like an indecisive animorph. Its insistence on using in-season blooms whenever possible ensures that bouquets leave the shop smelling their sweetest. The Serene Retreat ($47.95) is a riot of greenery, starring dieffenbachia, spathiphyllum, ficus, and boston fern in an elegant clay dish, and a dozen red carnations ($32.50) arrayed in a clear glass vase provide the elegance of pricier roses with the delightful texture of a spongy clown extremity. Save space and adhere to simplicity with the Tender Trio ($19.99), three pink roses presented with stylish foliage in a curvy vase.
"Never, never, never give up," is the driving mantra for David Oreck, who flew combat missions with the US Army Air Forces in World War II and returned home to build a business empire from scratch. He set out to design a machine to lighten hotel employees' load, making a lightweight vacuum cleaner as opposed to the traditional bulky, burdensome commercial cleaners. Naturally, the domestic market began clamoring for his high-powered yet easy-to-handle devices, and soon Oreck vacuums could be found in homes throughout the country.
Today, the company continues its tradition of innovation, simplifying household tasks with Steam-Glide mops for hard floors, HEPA-filter upright vacuums, and stain-killing cleaning products. Oreck's commitment to clean sends it headlong into the future, with high-tech air filters that react to their environment with automatic sensory controls, filtering odors, allergens, and curse words.