Featured Shop: Zoë & Company• Concord.Zoë & Company, 92 North Main Street, Concord, is where you’ll find the lights on after the sun goes down. This classy storefront, with stretchy store hours, is not your typical Main Street boutique. It’s a bra store, where you’ll find more bras than in Dolly Parton’s closet. According to Elyssa Paris, store manager and professional bra fitter, business is booming.How does a bra store like Zoë & Company keep so busy? We specialize in professional bra fitting. Eighty-five percent of all women are wearing the wrong bra size and that’s because most stores don’t carry the range of sizes that real women fit in to. We carry AA to JJ and band sizes 28 through 54, which is essentially every size bra makers make, and we take the time to fit every customer for their true size.What should one look for in a correctly fitting bra? Basically, you want to make sure the center piece (which is called the gore, the piece between the breast and where the two wires meet) lay flat from top to bottom over the breast bone. Make sure the band is snug enough to anchor the straps down and that it rests at the small of your back. The straps are lifting you and the band is anchoring the straps down to maintain that lift.This sounds really serious. It is. Think about it, the only other supportive garment we wear is shoes, and we expect them to fit and be comfortable all day. Why not demand the same from a bra? The right size can make you look better, slimmer and stand up taller. A bar should be supporting you, not pulling you down.So, is it just bras or, um, other items? You mean sexy lingerie and racier things? Yes, we offer pretty much everything you would want to find.So What's New?Steamy Playroom
Skip over to Great Bay Spa and Sauna, 275 Constitution Ave., Portsmouth, if you’re looking to make a splash this Valentine’s Day. Is there anything better than a hot tub cuddle under the stars with a little bubbly? Four-seat tubs are popular, affordable and more energy efficient and reliable than ever before. Ozone generators purify the water to eliminate need for smelly chemicals. “An outdoor hot tub is like adding another room to your house without the price tag of an expensive addition,” says Peter Robart, one of the owners.Visit Great Bay Spa and Sauna at www.greatbayspas.com or (603) 436-8893Bead Boutique and Gallery
Vessels & Jewels, 207 Main St., New London, is a “two for one”! Part beading gallery (you can make a pair of earrings for as little as $2) and part gallery, this is the perfect place to linger on a snowy day. No fee to sit and design beautiful jewelry at the large friendly work table. Owner/artist Brandi Pellerin will gladly help you create a memorable piece. The gallery side features exquisite American handcrafted items. Nothing beats a pair of porcelain mugs from Wellhouse Farm Pottery (featuring wood ash glaze and made in N.H.) for a steamy cup of hot chocolate in front of a roaring fireplace.For more information see www.vesselsandjewels.com or (603) 526-8902Romantic Pastries
Just like Mom’s Pastries, 353 Riverdale Rd., Weare, is giving a whole new meaning to the saying “a way to a person’s heart is through their stomach.” Beginning with heart-shaped quiches in a variety of flavors ($13.95-$14.95), this bakery has a sweet spot for romance. Choose from more than 50 varieties of Whoopie pies, including a few “adult” flavors (khalua). For a truly memorable gift, let owner Karen Car put your own special message on a large conversational heart-shaped pink or white-iced shortbread cookie ($5.99) — be sure to order ahead of time. The wedding cakes (should you need one) are exquisite.www.justlikemomspastries.com or (603) 529-6667Pretty Petals
Cobblestone Design Company, 88 Fort Eddy Rd., Concord, is pure sophistication when it comes to flowers and all things in bloom. Look for artsy, light and airy designs with non-traditional flowers for panache. While long stem red roses are always popular in February, other flowers such as heart-shaped anthuriums ($8-$10) in reds, pinks, greens and whites tied with a simple ribbon make a lovely statement. Rick Talbot says short-stemmed roses bunched tightly together in a clear glass container are “European and very popular.” Look for unique home décor items and great customer service.Visit www.cobblestonedesigncompany.com or call (603) 228-5980 for more information.
This article appears in the February 2010 issue of New Hampshire Magazine