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.
Originally founded in 1959 by Kurt Ziebart as Ziebart International Corp., Ziebart has morphed from an auto-rust-prevention outfit into a full-service auto accessory and detail shop that has cropped up at some 400 locations in 30 countries. Performing everything from window tinting and professional detailing to electronics installation, Ziebart's experienced staff cares for cars with high-end products, including seasonal paint protectant and the company’s renowned rust inhibitors. To protect cars inside and out, Ziebart technicians also install accoutrement such as alarm systems to thwart thieves and sunroofs to thwart unflattering film negatives from processing correctly (services may vary by location).
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.
At Fantasy Attic Costumes, hundreds of costumes and vintage pieces are imbued with an aura of authenticity via accessories, makeup, and wigs. A baseball costume ($40) outfits revelers in a button-up, pinstriped uniform, and 21st century Marilyn Monroes ($30) keep dresses from billowing up against wind turbines. Pint-size candy seekers can carouse the neighborhood as the Headless Horseman ($35) or go glam with a gold-and-emerald sequined Cleopatra costume ($47). Additionally, Fantasy Attic Costumes supplies Michiganders with an abundance of Ben Nye makeup, accenting eyes with a pearl sheen ($7) or combining hues from various F/X color wheels ($11.00+). To top off ensembles, Annie wigs ($24) enhance hairlines and colonial wigs ($30–$33) transport wearers back to days when land ownership was determined by hair height.
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.