An array of gently used apparel and accessories eagerly await loving wardrobe homes through Second Chances' consignment program. Though inventory changes frequently, recent items have included Dooney & Bourke wallets ($20) and a like-new Coach bag ($75), which team up with skirts from Banana Republic ($14.99) or a flattering pair of Seven Jeans (all jeans less than $30). Among the fabric-filled racks, a selection of gowns ($100 and less) begs to be included in momentous wedding celebrations and trips before obedience-school deans. A dedicated formal room, replete with a multitasking style consultant, personal shopper, and seamstress, helps fashionistas make elegant selections like Judi Dench picking a kickball team.
Clothes Mentor stocks its high-end resale racks with lightly used, stylish clothing, handbags, and accessories. Carrying sizes 0–26, as well as petite apparel, it supplies the raw materials for women of any body type to radiate glamour like countesses caught in a solar storm. Customers can savor seasonal looks in a spring top by New York & Co. ($7) or slip into flattering pairs of Express jeans ($16). Sweaters from Ann Taylor Loft ($16) and White House Black Market skirts ($16) pair together for a professional ensemble. The store also pays cash on the spot for gently used, high-quality items, keeping store shelves buzzing with a steady influx of fresh arrivals.
Guns and Leather is as much an artists' studio as a shooting range. As onsite gunsmith for more than 30 years, Jeff Walle spends his days restoring and customizing firearms, sometimes machining a part for an antique rifle or working on an engraving.
Walle's respect for the tradition and history of firearms characterizes Guns and Leather, started by the Williams family as a humble 800-square-foot shop in 1999. By 2004, the Williams nearly tripled the size of their operation, moving to a 2,100-square-foot facility in Greenbrier. Today, they oversee a 75-foot indoor range split into five standard lanes with electric target retrieval and five computerized lanes with a Mancom system that can make targets pivot and moonwalk. They also supervise a 35-foot, 15-lane range in Hendersonville, which, like its predecessor, is outfitted with climate-control and air-filtration systems. Beyond supervising the ranges, the Williams also oversee a team of state licensed, NRA-compliant instructors that runs the Guns and Leather Shooting Academy, an instructional suite with courses tailored for everyone from everyday citizens to military personnel. To further demonstrate their commitment to responsible firearms practices, the Williams also coordinate a Junior Shooting Sports Program.
Across hundreds of stores in the U.S. and Canada, Lumber Liquidators provides homeowners and contractors with more than 340 flooring options. Lumber Liquidators, which has been featured on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and HGTV’s Dream Home, lays down floors such as solid and engineered Bellawood pre-finished hardwood with a transferable 100-year warranty and eco-friendly bamboo and cork. An array of professional-grade tools, such as table saws and floor nailers, help homeowners easily install their new floors, and the company's Flooring 101 search engine and Ask Bob customer-support team answer any questions that arise on the fly.
If geneticist and horticulturalist Gregor Mendel were still alive today, he would marvel at Rivergate Garden Center. Owner Jonathan Buck fills the nursery with plants from breeders such as the aptly named Proven Winners and the Conard-Pyle Co., which has been developing hybrid roses since 1897. From spring through the moment when the world's executive producers decide it's winter, the center is rampant with blossoming roses, lipstick-red weigela, and violet butterfly bushes engineered to expend energy continuously in colorful abandon. These plants also require less maintenance, as their stems resist frost and mildew and quit growing once they have reached a manageable, predetermined size.
On the Academy Of Self Protection’s indoor shooting range, instructors Rob Corcoran and Ian Palmer lend their expertise as former United States Military personnel—a Combat Arms Instructor and weapons armorer respectively—to classes that train citizens in armed self-defense. Their backgrounds in the USAF also qualify them to teach military and law-enforcement officials, drilling them in using nonlethal weapons such as chemical sprays, expandable batons, and a disarming smile. In addition to the range, the academy also houses a pro shop where gunsmith services are available.