In 1958, Guy Day and Dale Williams founded their mattress store with a focus on high-quality products and excellent customer service. After 10 years, the partners unveiled their line of handcrafted, personalized mattress sets under the name Verlo, a combination of their wives' names—Verna and Lois. After more than 40 years, the company has perfected its craft, manufacturing customized mattresses and selling them directly through their show rooms. The stock ranges from plush pillowtops to firm sets, both capable of supporting healthy sleeping patterns and cutthroat pillow fights for years to come.
Internationally exhibited mixed-media artist Ember Cheney mans the artistic fires at SoulShine Arts. Inside her studio, she sculpts colorful molten glass into lighting, jewelry, and vases—sold in an attached gallery and retail space—and teaches students of all skill levels to do the same during glassblowing classes.
Ticket stubs, needlework, oil paintings: the experts at The Great Frame Up have handled them all, turning them into wall-ready hangings. Their selection of hundreds of frames, matting options, and varieties of glass makes it easy for clients to find the right colors and textures to complement their artwork. In addition to custom framing, the professionals offer conservation framing for paintings with monetary value or used napkins with sentimental value. Three-dimensional objects are also a specialty: The experts can slip hockey pucks and musical instruments into acrylic cases or send clients home with one to keep empty in anticipation of finally acquiring that unicorn horn. Inside the store, customers can peruse a selection of ready-made frames and framed art work.
Owners Kyle and Amy Sterkenburg have been with Worzella Photography Studio since 1992 and since then have carried on the photographic integrity and dedication that prompted Chet and Marlene Worzella to start the company in 1974. As Amy uses her people skills when handling sales, marketing, and customer-service needs, Kyle steps behind the camera to snap shots of families, high-school graduates, and sports teams. The Sterkenburgs' more than 10,000-square-foot studio contains four camera rooms adorned with props and art pieces, Kyle frequently hits the road for on-location shoots, replacing traditional props with the bounty of nature and myriad big sticks. Along with generating quality prints and digital images from its lab, Worzella Photography supplies a trio of additional framing, restoration, and design services.
Shoot the Moon Photography's trained artists specialize in preserving candid, natural moments on film. The 4,000-square-foot Mequon studio has more than 40 distinct shooting areas, and the Okauchee studio offers dozens more. Outdoor locations just steps away from each studio also offer ideal backdrops for scenic heirloom portraits. After the shoots, the digital team perfect portraits to ensure subjects look their best. Personalized ordering appointments provide a number of options, including wall art, Heirloom Albums, painted imagery and gifts.
It might be hard to believe considering its vast array of products, but Sears, Roebuck and Co. began with one accessory: watches. In 1886, Richard W. Sears bought a box of unwanted watches from a jeweler, thinking he could turn a profit by selling them. He was correct and committed to the watch business by hiring Alvah C. Roebuck, an experienced watchmaker.
As time went on, though, their business expanded its umbrella far beyond what people wore on their wrists. Sears became known as the place to shop for almost any appliance, from sewing machines to those magical boxes that create water from nothing and clean your clothes.
Today, the stores stock clothing, accessories, electronics, kitchen equipment, tools for outdoor living, and home decor. This variety is sustained by Sears's proprietary brands—Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard, to name a few—and other national names that populate the shelves.