Grand Frame Inc, an Arlington Heights establishment since 1974, corrals more than 3,000 frames, posters, and display museum cases in its 8,000 square-foot space. Gary Grana, the framery's cofounder, holds two patents in framing technology and has passed his passion for the industry to several members of his family who now guide customers through framing options for sports memorabilia, wedding photos, and lovingly audited tax documents. In addition to carefully inspecting every project that goes through the shop, Gary's expert staff also doles out frame-hanging services to help complete customers' decor. Over the years, the store has continuously evolved its services by offering LCD TV framing and Grand Gone Green products, a signature line that embraces an eco-friendly approach to picture framing.
Jessica Kaplan Lundevall and Donna Zaidenberg aren't just the owners of Studio Beads—they're also beaders themselves, and passionate about the art of jewelry-making. They can often be spotted around the shop wearing their own wares or jewelry made by other artists, and they help customers create their own wearable masterpieces during a full slate of classes. Beadwork lessons meet once a week, helping students complete a finished piece by the end of the month. Alternatively, specialty workshops—some of which are taught by nationally known instructors—generally last a few hours, and the whole class works on a specific piece. And on Monday afternoons, those in need of a creative fix can stop in for open beading, where they can take advantage of the studio space and talk openly about their deepest, darkest beading fantasies.
Candy-coated shades of pink, lime, and turquoise coax mini mavens into Glamour Girlz, a kids' makeover mecca perched on the upper level of Northbrook Court. Under the supervision of friendly staff, glittery accessories gild little pigtails, earlobes, wrists, and fingers, and mini makeup kits gloss cheeks and lips with color without the need to melt crayons in an Easy-Bake oven. Divas can opt for one-on-one pampering during an individual makeover package, or invite friends for a full-blown party with photo shoots, dress-up sessions, and mock paparazzi interviews about revelers' favorite limo colors.
On the outside, Quilter's Heaven appears to be another stately old home in Northbrook, IL, but the inside is dedicated to everything quilting and sewing. Filled with 2,700 bolts of fabric, a full notions wall, patterns, books, kits, and a Gammill long-arm machine, the store carries everything for the novice to experienced quilter.
Loomcraft’s textile experts guide home decorators through a show room of more than 200,000 yards of designer-brand fabrics, and resurrect furniture with their custom labor, reupholstery, and slipcover expertise. Lost shopping carts wander amidst a jungle of striped and floral cotton prints, and velvets and silks try to out-snuggle one another on tightly packed shelves ($10.99+/yd.). Stitch a variety of decorations to use all over the home with housebroken indoor fabrics or rugged outdoor materials strong enough to weather the elements. An array of trim and lining crisply define home-improvement projects, adding a professional edge to re-covered couches or modern tapestries depicting the shape of the Internet.