Occasionally, an Italian exporter will ask the owner of Poggi Bonsi why she named her business after Poggibonsi, a small town in Tuscany. The answer is simple: it's fun to say. It may be even more fun to peruse the shop's shelves, which hold handpicked items from artisans across the pond. The woman who owns the shop seeks out suppliers who practice crafts the same way her ancestors did. This explains Poggi Bonsi's extensive stock of Italian ceramics and French linens. They supplement this timeless selection with modern appliances, kitchen gadgets, and bakeware.
The founder of Moe's Home Collection, Moe Samieian, began his enterprise with a Vancouver rug store in 1985, eventually getting into the furniture business and steadily increasing his number of storefronts. Today, Moe's four locations boast a big selection of custom chairs, sofas, and desks, conversation-starting artwork and wall decorations, and rare cabinetware and Chinese antiques. Like a royal estate or lucky cow, the company has passed from father to son, with Moe Jr. sourcing exotic furniture pieces from as far away as Jakarta and Beijing, and consulting with homeowners to create one-of-a-kind Italian leather sofas or made-to-order contemporary pieces.
Mattress Depot USA unites a team of bedding experts to help customers end restless nights with a mattress that meets their individual sleep specifications. The sleep store's plenitude of private-label and national brands include Sealy, Restonic, and Lady Americana. Memory-foam mattresses, like sociable elephants, never forget a human form, cradling silhouettes in a firm, spongy embrace. Customers have up to 120 days to evaluate their mattress for its comfort capacity, and can consult with one of the shop's sleep consultants prior to purchase, reducing the likelihood of an imperfect fit.
Although most chefs have their own unique style of peeling, dicing, and julienning veggies, they all have one thing in common: they each require precise, sharp knives. At Excalibur Cutlery and Gifts, the staff ensures that tools remain as close to their factory condition as possible. During sharpening services, a water-cooled belt system and buffing wheels restore a piercing blade while removing a minimal amount of steel. They can sharpen kitchen, pocket, and hunting knives, as well as dull scissors and razors.
The shop also stocks premium models of nearly every edge they sharpen. The cutlery department stocks German-made Wusthof and Henckels, Swiss-made Forschner, and Oregon-grown Kershaw knives. Ideal for camping trips, pocket knives come in both blade and multitool varieties. More genteel wares include manicure sets and old-fashioned shaving kits. Excalibur also boasts a collection of swords for the collector or CEO whose business suit needs extra panache.
Lined wall-to-wall with pieces for every conceivable room in your house (yes, even the medieval belfry), Costless Warehouse caters to a variety of home-decorating tastes. In each massive store, you'll find everything from overstuffed leather sofas to ultramodern dining-room tables. Fully customizable furniture sets make it easy to pick a fabric, color, and look that's right for you. Costless also stocks a wide array of home accessories, including lighting fixtures, office chairs, and haunted grandfather clocks.
To Akiko Graham, good food is an art form worthy of as much reverence as those found in any gallery. Restaurateurs agree: her pottery graces tables at dozens of presentation-focused restaurants, from high-end sushi bars to outposts of Wolfgang Puck's empire. Having imported her artisanal talents from Japan to Seattle two decades ago, Akiko now works in a rustic, vine-covered cottage where she both throws clay atop the wheel and uses slab-building techniques.
The resulting flowerpots, vases, and tableware stand up to the demands of hot food, dishwashers, and ovens without their Japanese characters changing into curse words. Intimate classes stoke the fires of inspiration with patient one-on-one attention that results in a solid grasp of technique.