SVS Vision Center?s founders opened their first shop in Sterling Heights, Michigan, in 1974 to help the community clear up its vision. But even these optical gurus never foresaw their humble business expanding to more than 60 locations sprawled across 8 states. Today, each shop continues the tradition of ensuring ocular health and crystalline sight, beginning with exams from seasoned optometrists. Afterward, patients head to the optical dispensary, where they try on frames by Coach, Tiffany, Nike, Versace, or Ray-Ban. The staff then fits the stylish selection with polarized and scratch-protected prescription lenses to help guests read books clearly or see a charging moose from a distance. Most of SVS Vision Center?s frames can also hold sunglass lenses as well, eliminating squinting during summer months and tropical vacations.
Czech glass, polymer clay, and Swarovski crystals glitter along the walls of Stony Creek Bead's interior, waiting to add their sparkle to bracelets, necklaces, and baubles created by visiting beaders. Buyable jewelry crafted by local artisans also dots the shelves and displays, lending inspiration as they await purchase. The knowledgeable and patient staff leads the way to customer-created wares, referencing the shop’s kits, books, patterns, and tools, and leading classes on beading techniques, jewelry making, and lessons on why the “a” in bead is silent.
For more than a quarter century, Margolis Nursery has helped beautify landscapes with its selection of plants, trees, and supplies. A hearty collection of shrubbery cures the doldrums of a dejected lawn, with 2-gallon gold-cluster forsythias promising to brighten yards with bushes of golden yellow ($14) and 5-gallon endless summer hydrangeas joyously deploying their cool hues ($41). The 6- to 7-foot flowering dogwood ($100), famous for its bunches of hot-colored bracts and inability to operate a motor vehicle, spruces the vertical plane with its delicate umbels. Beneath all manicured shrubbery is a Monty Python reference and a solid foundation, obtainable in a variety of soils and mulches such as topsoil ($21/cu. yd.) or hardwood mulch ($27/cu. yd.), which brings out the vibrant colors of the plants it supports with its earthy tones. Margolis' green-thumbed staff provides free consultations for tentative gardeners and lawn enthusiasts ready to fill in the void between the sidewalk and the house.
An almost overwhelming selection of cigars, pipes, hookahs, and various accessories surrounds customers as they enter the walk-in humidors at each Wild Bill's Tobacco location. Thankfully, this mystifying world isn't all smoke and mirrors. A trained staff is always on hand to help tobacco enthusiasts navigate all the available items?which often include different-shaped cigars from around the world.
This international selection sure has helped Wild Bill's Tobacco expand its reach throughout the U.S. Since the first store opened in 1994, the company has billowed into an empire with more than 50 locations stocked with cigars, cigarettes, and roll-your-own items. Many locations also house a lounge area, where friends can relax while puffing on cigars and trying to hula-hoop through each other's smoke rings. In recent years, the stores have branched out into the world of e-cigarettes, selling kits and liquids in more than 20 flavors.
At each Lover's Lane location, a team of romance specialists busies itself with increasing the chemistry between partners. The process requires a few key ingredients—a non-intimidating atmosphere, a broad knowledge of the shop's erotic wares, and most importantly, a playful and creative approach to intimacy. This fun approach is what keeps the store stocked with such a wide variety of items, from enticing lingerie sets available in petite and full-figure sizes to Kama Sutra massage oils.
In order to ensure customers feel completely comfortable, the lingerie and costumes are separated from the adult toys. The apparel side of the store turns into a holiday hotspot filled with romantic seasonal styles. The other side features such items as luxury massagers from Lelo and California Exotic Novelties and Lover's Kits, which package several products into a single purchase. The Perfect Seduction kit, for example, includes a silk blindfold, rose petals, and a singing gondolier.
The florists at Norton's understand the thoughtful sentiment behind a vase full of velvety roses, a ribbon-strewn corsage, or a summery bouquet, handmaking each floral masterpiece to complement a wide range of special occasions. They owe their expertise to Norton's well-established tradition as a local institution and family-run enterprise?the shop traces its origins back to 1892, an age when men still wore hats, horse-drawn carriages roamed the streets, and a gift of flowers was a legally binding marriage contract. Today, Norton's creates gifts for nearly any occasion, from bright yellow flowers in a smiley-face vase for Get Well messages, to full-scale designs of arrangements and bouquets for weddings.
Emblazoned with the company motto??We Deliver the WOW!??Norton's fleet of brightly colored delivery vans travels throughout Washtenaw County seven days a week, brightening homes with floral well-wishes, unique gifts, and romantic roses.