At more than 1,000 Mattress Firm locations around the country, shoppers sink into plush mattresses, recline on firm beds, and belly-flop onto pillow tops. Knowledgeable staffers can help customers create an ideal bedtime environment by dispensing advice based on sleep preferences and illuminating the difference between the many kinds of mattresses. And to the delight of their customers, much of Mattress Firm's bedding wears the label of a premium brand, such as Sealy, Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, or Stearns & Foster.
The name Finish Line Auto Sports & Window Tinting tells only part of the story. Although the team of uniformed auto technicians specialize in tinting windows, they also wield the equipment and know-how to perform a range of creative aftermarket mods to import and domestic vehicles. Clients can commission anything from Lamborghini doors for their Corvette or a supercharger for their muscle car to remoter starters and heated washer fluid.
Stocking shelves with new and recycled duds since 1971, Ragstock fortifies wardrobes with a storefront brimming with new and recycled men's and women's clothing and accessories. In addition to mainstream garments, stores sling eclectic outfit accouterments such as neon suspenders ($9.99) and thick-rimmed spectacles ($4.99+) that allow shoppers to evoke the air of literature professors without blithely quoting Joyce.
The Fire combats artistic snobbery with an all-inclusive array of creative building blocks. Inside the studio’s downtown location, rows of paints and unfinished ceramic pieces line countertops, and an old-fashioned television set leisurely recounts its favorite Lone Ranger episodes. Large work surfaces and a play place for kids ensure that both children and adults have room to take creative risks. Cavalier creators can paint pottery, craft mosaics, or cobble together a transparent 10-gallon hat with glass fusing (the average project is between $10.99 and $25.99). Pottery painters select their objects from a selection of plates, platters, and other decorative items, then begin painting with the help of a color consultant.
The Exclusive Company—a Wisconsin-bred music-and-movie retailer—has given the gift of song since 1956, earning a Best of Milwaukee award from Shepherd Express readers in 2011. Passionate staffers guide visitors toward sprawling collections of rock and jazz and bins brimming with DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, and loose 8mm slides from Kenny G's summer vacation. In addition to peddling new vinyl releases such as El Camino by the Black Keys and Revolver by T-Pain, the shop functions as a trading post, helping to find loving homes for preowned films and music. All used discs are carefully buffed into shape before meeting their new owners, and each comes backed by a money-back guarantee, which promises store credit if a preowned item exhibits biting tendencies. Most used CDs, DVDs, and vinyl cost less than $20.