At more than 1,000 Mattress Firm locations around the country, shoppers sink into plush mattresses, recline on firm beds, and belly-flop onto pillow tops. Knowledgeable staffers can help customers create an ideal bedtime environment by dispensing advice based on sleep preferences and illuminating the difference between the many kinds of mattresses. And to the delight of their customers, much of Mattress Firm's bedding wears the label of a premium brand, such as Sealy, Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, or Stearns & Foster.
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.
An affordable and monumental selection of plush beds, sturdy end tables, and stylish home accessories mingle good-naturedly in Ashley Furniture HomeStore’s warehouse. Pick up a Matrix accent chair in a bevy of academic hues, such as scarlet, black, and chocolate brown, then use it to accent your next book-club meeting’s discussion of Lego Star Wars. Ashley Furniture's wide selection of sofas ($299+) make symbiotic pairs with night stands and side tables (available for under $100). Augment somnolence and fill the skeletal squares of empty bed frames with mattress sets from household brands such as Simmons and Ashley's own Ashley Sleep.
Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
Over the course of three generations of family ownership, Blind & Sons has grown up in the community that it serves. John W. Blind began the company in 1937, offering only coal furnaces and gas-conversion burners. The business was around for the invention of forced-air furnaces in 1957 and has since kept expanding. They began cleaning ducts and installing whole-home humidifiers in 1996 and broadened their plumbing services in 2001. Three years later, their electrical experts started performing jobs such as installing new outlets and generators.
Today, Joe Bilotta and John Hartmann continue the Blind-family legacy. Their highly trained technicians have answered a quarter of a million service calls and are available 24 hours a day. They charge no overtime fees for emergency repairs or for a demonstration of how to duct tape a vent to make it whistle "Flight of the Bumblebee." The company's commitment to quality and customer satisfaction earned it a Beacon's Best 2012 award from the Akron Beacon Journal. As a way of saying thanks to the people who have helped them succeed, the company gives back via youth-program sponsorships, giveaway contests, and outreach efforts.
Albatross Roofing started with an old truck, a few rusty tools, and a single employee. More than three decades later, the company has shaken off that early rust and expanded to a team of five licensed and certified roofers. During complimentary inspections, these roofers scale houses and search for damage from the likes of rot, floods, and Santa's sledding cleats. After providing homeowners with an estimate, they can use GAF roofing products to install new asphalt shingles or completely tear off and replace a roof.