With an enormous inventory of instruments, a dependable technician, and friendly instructors, The Guitar Factory is the kind of store that performers come to count on over the course of their musical evolution. Here, musicians can browse from simple-starter electric guitars from Ibanez to high-end acoustics from Martin. Keyboards, percussion, amps, basses, and other gear are also available. When wear and tear strikes, the shop’s in-house repairman, Charles J. Quagliana, can nurse instruments back to functionality. Charles has honed his handiwork by working for superstars such as Mary J. Blige, Prince, The Beach Boys, and the Mos Eisley Cantina band.
In the studio’s 10 air-conditioned lesson rooms, a team of teachers with more than 30 years’ experience teach guitar, drums, bass, keyboard, and other instruments. Joe Shanahan, who teaches bass, guitar, vocal, keyboards, and drums, was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame with his band, Only Humen, and guitarist/singer/teacher Tommy Z has performed for the U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Instructors tailor each lesson to student’s individual needs; with a current student pool ranging from ages 4 to 70, instructors are comfortable working with a wide range of skill sets.
William's Florist & Gift House’s botanical tenders weave verdant tendrils into striking bouquets and gifts for all occasions inside their quaint storefront. Purple orchids nestle under an exotic palm leaf in the Zen Artistry bouquet’s lush container ($42.95+), and the Be My Love bouquet melts icy hearts and snowmen shaped like ex-boyfriends with roses and carnations delicately placed in a ruby red vase ($47.95+). Teleflora's Be Happy bouquet mixes yellow roses and chrysanthemums in a smiling vase ($34.95+), and the Uniquely Chic bouquet stylizes tabletops with myriad colored roses in a cubic glass vase ideal for angular décor ($47.95+).
Since 1953, the team at Perry's Nurseries and Garden Center has helped customers refine the appearances and health of their homes' precious landscapes. The greenhouse introduces local gardeners to a vast inventory of ornamental trees, roses, annuals, and perennials, while the shop's interior houses all manner of yard accents and tools. Perry's gears up for holidays with decorative items such as Thanksgiving corncobs, Mother's Day hanging plants, and Christmas wreaths and poinsettias. Hand-tuned wind chimes sing in the breeze created by a neighbor's industrial-strength hair dryer, and birdbaths and statuaries strain to remain utterly still while humans ponder their adoption.
For years, Rebecca Ruger collected the smooth pieces of glass that washed up on Lake Erie’s beaches. It started out as a pastime, but one day, she had a creative impulse and used some of the pieces to make a piece of artwork as a gift for her boyfriend. After that, she continued to create glass-based artwork, selling the pieces at craft shows alongside her jewelry-maker daughter. The work began to grow in popularity, and today, Ruger owns her own art boutique—Beach Bum Glass Cottage.
According to metroWNY, Ruger and her boyfriend now spend more than 20 hours each week scouring the Hamburg beaches for the glass, driftwood, and fossils that she uses to make the artwork and jewelry in her shop. Ruger also supports other local artisans by stocking handmade products that range from dog treats to soy candles.
Since 1910, Hallmark has stocked its shelves with a wide variety of greeting cards, gifts, and thoughtful keepsakes. Patrons can write a formal request for better candy from neighbors with Halloween greeting cards ($0.99+ each) or record a personalized greeting card to document a baby's first words in English or made-up baby language. Keepsake ornaments ($9.95+) inspired by the memorable Peanuts comic strip feature Snoopy, Lucy, and Charlie Brown decked out in Halloween costumes, and a variety of scrapbook kits and photo albums help to preserve memories without having to pickle the brain. A large selection of wrapping paper, ribbons, and bags encloses gifts in layers of festivity.
With locations in 13 states across America, Stanton Optical helps clients from Georgia to California achieve better vision with prescription glasses, sunglasses, and contacts. Its shelves are stocked with more than 3,000 frames and sunglasses from high-end brands, including Coach, Calvin Klein, and Armani. Full-service onsite labs help optometrists immediately craft glasses and clone monocles without the delay of sending eyewear elsewhere. Eye exams are performed by independent eye doctors conveniently located within or adjacent to Stanton Optical stores.