If you're one of the seemingly rare Houstonians that likes to get out and camp/hike/kayak etc. They're one of the few stores in town that sells - and resoles - Chacos (actually they send the Chacos away for resoling, but so does REI). I was impressed with the knowledge of the staff - this place reminds me of the places I would find in SLC or someplace truly outdoorsy, so it was refreshing to discover it here.
I guess having just graduated from a Top 5 liberal arts college, I was expecting more out of my $7,000 CALS experience. I was disappointed to find that the professors were not challenging (with one exception - Judge Otero), and my classmates were not of the caliber I expected. I went here straight out of college b.c I was new to the area and thought it would be good preparation for the legal field and eventually law school. Well, it got me a job (though I'm not sure now I couldn'thave gotten one on my own), but every time I write a check to Loanstar wonder if it was worth it. Seriously, they could challenge students MUCH MUCH more. I read a dozen books in class and still managed to learn everything and get "A+" . That should give you an idea of how slow the pace was and how dumbed down the material was. Oh well.
PROS: Gives you some experience useful for being a paralegal
CONS: not sure if it's worth the time or money
My husband and I went to Vanna's for three years that we lived in that area, and she always did a very good job. My husband particularly had her do a lot of shirt alterations, which she is a whiz at. She can make a tailored shirt better than Custom Tailors in the Galleria. She also did a fine job hemming my pants and always made them long, just like I like it.
PROS: Competent timely work
I went here at the recommendation of someone from the boutique Wink; however Bea jsut didnt seem to get the concept that pants still look good when they're "long". I had about 4 pairs of pants, including some Gucci jeans, and brought my highest heels to wear when hemming. I told her that I still wanted them as long as possible, almost dragging on the ground. I had to push and push her to keep lowering the hem, which should have been a warning sign. Ultimately when I got my pants back they were hemmed to a length where they can now only be worn with low heels - wearing them with high heels makes them look like pedal pushers.
Yes, you CAN hem jeans and have them look storebought if you bring them here. I first discovered this place b/c I bought some jeans from Jeans Couture in the Galleria area, and they had them hemmed for an additional $15. I cam to pick them up and they didn't even look hemmed - but they fit me perfectly! I had to know which tailor could do jeans like that, and voila. Apparently he detachtes the original hem on the jean, cuts it to measurement, and sews the hem back on to keep the original look. All for the price of a normal hem - $15!! Amazing work.
PROS: Does amaxing things with jeans
She does lots of high end fabrics and custom made apparel, but her alterations are also just out of this world. I had heard good things about her, so I ENTRUSTED her with altering my Chloe horse pants that originally cost $1500. Chloe is known for their tailoring so to alter it one must be very careful to remain true to the original style. Nima did just that, and so I brought more items to her and every one was done beautoifully. She is a true artist - go to her!
PROS: Extremely competent, eye for fashion, FAIR PRICE
My husband and I have our engagement and wedding rings insured here because they deal with Chubb's gem insurance, which is the one most recommended for jewelry it seems. Luckily we have not had to file a claim yet, but they have been easy to deal with and their policies are comprehensive. They're reps are kind enough to always call if you forget a payment, so nothing is ever totally late or reported on your credit.
PROS: reps easy to deal with
Craigs is better than your average dry cleaner, but because they are so coroporate and huge I don't trust them with my really high end designer stuff. However, nor do I trust the little places you get coupons for on your Randalls receipt. Craigs has always returned my clothes in good condition and in a timely manner. They're bags are helpful and service is efficient, if impersonal.
PROS: competent, quick, fair price
CONS: corporate and impersonal
This place has wonderful people working there - friendly and personable. They are always happy to help me pick out champagne or liquor depending on my budget and tastes, and are never judgemental. They also seem to take their job seriously - I've always seen them card people and refuse to sell alcohol without an id produced. Plus, they're right next to Ginza, so you can get your sushi and your Sapporo to go!
PROS: friendly employees
I was pleasantly surprised when I wrote to the Amarula company (a liquer that I'd had in South Africa but never seen in the states) and they wrote back saying that Fountainview Liquor was a distributor. I went over there and sure enough, they had it. I got into a discussion with the nice lady that works there (owns it?) about rarer liquors, and that's always more interesting than having your change brusquley handed to you on your way out. I'll be going back.
PROS: nice staff, good selection