Working with artisans in developing countries who would otherwise be underemployed, Ten Thousand Villages supplies handicraft lovers with hand-crafted jewelry, home décor, accessories, and gifts from Latin America, Africa, and Asia, while paying artisans fair wages for their products. Support marginalized women in Bangladesh with YWCA Craft Centre's bright and goosy Super Duck backpack (Bangladesh, $24), which allows school children to strut confidently into second grade and medical malpractice lawyers to swagger into the courtroom with a duck on their backs. Socially conscious crafters can take home a hand-stitched measuring-tape cat (Vietnam, $8) from Mai Vietnamese Handicrafts, while frugal fashionistas can sport dancing-girl earrings made from recycled soda cans by KICK Trading Ltd. (Kenya, $12) or a marbled bead choker from TARA Projects (India, $16). Fair-trade staples, such as Equal Exchange coffee, tea, and chocolates, make tasty gifts for Father's Day, Secretary's Day, or Father's Secretary's Day.
An affordable and mountainous selection of goods lines Traditions Furniture and Design’s spacious confines, making it an excellent location for a swashbuckling sword duel. Closely inspect a variety of cocktail tables ($299+), mirrors ($139+), and artwork ($200+) before pondering how they’ll fit inside a bicycle basket on the ride home. Peruse the selection of uncommon furniture pieces gleaned from around the world and accessorize domiciles with bookends ($39+) and a trio of vases ($249+). Additional items span the spectrum of home wares, including mattresses, outdoor furniture, flooring, lighting, area rugs, windows, bedding, and more.
In business for more than a century, the family-owned centers specialize in a wide array of photography services. Utilizing the latest digital printing equipment, the knowledgeable robo-staff can create high-quality digital prints from film, digital images, and more. They can turn images into a life-sized poster ($24.99–$29.99) or museum-worthy canvas print ($39.99 and up) to comfort and watch over the cat while you're at work. Create greeting cards, announcements, and invitations for special events ($0.99 and up), or celebrate any occasion with photo-laden gifts such as mugs ($12.99–$16.99), T-shirts ($16.99–$24.99), and calendars ($16.99–$29.99). Harold's can also convert VHS to digital form while editing and adding narration, graphic titles, and music with audiovisual artistry ($19.99 and up).
For her successes, Crave Photography's Ashley Horton credits one constant: passion. Ashley's desire to capture everyday emotions–mischief, curiosity, wonder–shines through during her shoots, where she relies mostly on natural light to illuminate the faces and expressions of her subjects. Ashley also backs each session with years of experience, during which she's documented a mélange of milestones including engagements, weddings, newborns, and graduations.
Inside a 6,500-square-foot retail and instruction space, Dakota Stained Glass owner Ken Bird inspires merry bands of visitors to create glass-based masterpieces. The one-night glass-jewelry class introduces a technique known as fusing, in which individual fragments of colored glass are arranged in a specific design and run through a superheated kiln, rendering previously disparate pieces part of a harmonious mass. Under a Dakota Stained Glass expert’s tutelage, students are provided all the necessary tools, materials, and know-how to create four fused-glass pendants of their own conception, fulfilling aesthetic visions and filling bare body parts with bedazzling glass designs of abstract colors and all-seeing Elvis Presley heads. Several class dates and times are available for busy beekeepers and overworked warlocks alike.
Owners Amy Donelan and Sharon Rons keep their quaint shop stocked with an ever-changing abundance of quality home goods and room fillers to liven up even the dankest of dwellings and homeliest of hobbit holes. Shoppers can peruse interior upgrades such as artwork, silk florals, and original lamps (starting at $29.99), as well as exterior upgrades to their body-temples in the form of scarves ($29.95), purses ($50+), jewelry ($29.95+), and lotions ($10.99–$12.99). One-up the neighbor's makeshift Kool-Aid stand with Tea Forte's iced tea brewing pitchers ($29.99), a revolutionary new method for brewing whole-leaf teas into freshly flavored seasonal sips overflowing with antioxidants. Otherwise, stock up on Jaunty 100% wool rugs to politely shield the home from unwanted barefoot baggage. Hanging a picture frame (starting at $24.99) around the suspicious rectangular hole in the wall will make it look intentional, while a few well-placed candles ($4.50+) and potpourri ($19.99 for 14 ounces plus refresher oil) will mask the smell of poltergeist B.O. Likewise, accumulating a collection of wind chimes can wreak a subtle vengeance on any newspaper-swiping neighbors. At John Adam Collection, the home improvement possibilities are as endless as most American soap operas.