Since 1988, the staffers at Pet Supplies Plus have welcomed millions of furry critters of every stripe—from llamas and monkeys to potbellied pigs—into their animal-friendly stores in Pinellas Park and Clearwater. They design their shop so that both pets and their owners can easily navigate the inventory of more than 10,000 items. Wide aisles give leashed pups enough room to roam, colorful signage keeps shoppers moving in the right direction, and low shelves allow dogs to sniff out their preferred brand of rawhide chew. A self-serve dog wash enables guests to scrub their canine companions' coats to a youthful, puppy-like shine, whereas grooming services enlist professionals to tackle tougher jobs, such as brushing out matted fur or convincing dalmatians to stop mixing white and black after Labor Day.
At being, owner Amy Bromley draws on her two decades of professional design experience to help shoppers convert their spaces into breathtaking expressions of style. Throw pillows burst with geometric and animal-print designs in the show room, which also holds kiln-dried hardwood furnishings and handmade jewelry and accents. Like the formal plaid suit of a lumberjack, pieces in the show room express both an elegant gentility and rustic, rough-hewn ethos. Shoppers peruse vases carved from driftwood, tables made from twisted roots, and candleholders made of silvery deer antlers. The attentive staff at being works hand in hand with homeowners to help make over living spaces with in-home appointments and full-scale consultations from professional designers.
The all-female staff at Milagros, who proudly believe in “long, hot baths” and high-quality ingredients, routinely handcraft half-pound bars of Sister Agnes soap from glycerin, a natural humectant that deftly draws moisture and magnets to the skin. Their selection of soaps evokes innumerable essences, from the intoxicating musk of a wine cellar to the homespun nostalgia of the linen closet. The friendly instructors happily impart their squeaky-clean art to budding soapsmiths, teaching them to create with a variety of shapes, colors, and scents during 90-minute classes.
With more than 30 sweet and savory olive oils and vinegars to choose from, Kalamazoo Olive Company may overwhelm the shrewdest gourmand. That?s why the shop?s expert staff members happily lead customers on tasting tours, pouring small samples from the gleaming fustis that line wooden shelves. Customers can taste oils infused with exotic ingredients such as chipotle peppers or persian limes and lap up sweet, syrupy dessert vinegars. Oil experts are also happy to recommend complementary food pairings from their shop?s selection of Italian pastas, antipasti, and stuffed olives. Once customers have honed in on their ideal oil or vinegar, staff will bottle and seal them onsite to ensure they stay fresh and free of genies.
Like most success stories, Leader's Casual Furniture didn't start at the top. Founded in a single west Florida show room in 1971, the company now boasts 19 retail show rooms, a 150,000-square-foot distribution center, and an ever-increasing selection of rattan, wicker, and patio furniture. Upon browsing the virtual show room, visitors find rattan dining sets, beds, and entertainment centers as well as wicker tables with stone or glass tops. Custom fabrics and tropical-themed pieces add personal flair to interiors or exteriors, and an online room plannerhelps customers get a feel for how chosen pieces will fit into their homes.
A private, women-only gym, American Woman Fitness Center encompasses workout warriors with strength and conditioning equipment. There’s also fun fitness technology such as the Jump-Q, a semicircle of steps where members can compete against their own time or each other. For boxing and kickboxing, there’s the score-keeping 3 Kick that lights up areas to be kicked and punched. Rounding out the trio of workout toys is Heavy Ball, which challenges exercisers to maneuver and move medicine balls into a series of lit-up slots while being timed. American Woman Fitness also takes surveys from their members to customize fitness classes to their desires.