As someone who grew up playing competitive sports, Michelle Gaine always understood the importance of therapeutic massage and proper physical training when striving to achieve peak performance and overall fitness. This fundamental understanding sank in even deeper after she was involved in a life-changing car accident. Over the course of 12 difficult months, a number of therapists helped her regain control over her body, ultimately inspiring her decision to spend the rest of her life assisting others in the same fashion. In 2000, she graduated from a clinical massage program, achieved an NC LMBT license, and became nationally certified in the art of massage therapy.
Rather than offering standardized treatments, Gaine draws from nine modalities to formulate custom massages. She eschews the one-size-fits-all philosophy found in some studios, pricing the use of any of her techniques based solely on the length of the session. This allows her to treat each patient in a manner that will reap the most benefits and address specific problems, such as chronic pain or a dray of back-burrowing squirrels. Yoga and qi gong instructors also help further Gaine's mission of restoration and healing with breath training, stretching, and meditative philosophies designed to help bodies align themselves from the inside out.
At Flaunt Boutique and its sister store, Bad Poodle, ladies and girls of all ages can unleash their inner fashionistas. Playing ringleader is owner Jessica Lamarre, an image coach with more than 20 years of experience making women look and feel their best. Jessica travels and researches extensively to find budding fashion trends, which she brings back home so she and her crew can use fashion to encourage others to find their voice and move in the direction of their wildest dreams.
Jessica encourages ladies to play dress-up with unique garments procured from designers such as Desigual, Maxi, Cecico, and Jessica Simpson. Pieces range from casual tops and dresses for all occasions to furry boots, suede heels, and jewelry. At Flaunt Boutique, ladies can dress up during fun, store-sponsored adult events including tea parties. At little sister store Bad Poodle, kiddie birthday parties let little divas flaunt their fashions like a kitten with a new pair of mouse-fur socks.
A graduate of the New York Institute of Photography with more than 20 years of experience, Tania Stafford channels her deep love of family and penchant for capturing human emotion into fun, interactive photo shoots that involve subjects of all ages. Tania sits down with each customer to make sure she knows exactly what they want, aiding their decision on an outdoor locale—such as Duke Gardens, Bond Park, or a local horse farm—nuptial venue, or haunted creamery. As the mother of two boys and an avid crusader for displaced animals, Tania has a seemingly inexhaustible reserve of energy, which she uses to coax the cutest, most smiley poses out of young ones and foreground trees.
Though automotive size, shape, and horsepower have evolved considerably since 1929, Black's Tire & Auto Service's commitment to vehicular maintenance and safety has remained constant. Now the brand boasts 32 locations throughout North and South Carolina, an ASE-certified squad of auto technicians, and an arsenal of trusted tires from the likes of Michelin and Goodyear. Drawing from a large slate of services, technicians maintain and treat the entire auto ecosystem, repairing air conditioning, replacing fluids, and fixing electrical systems, such as starter cables and dashboard Lite-Brites.
Barley & Vine's wine aficionados demystify the art of fruitful grape-juice guzzling during wine-tasting classes that borrow sips from the shop's bountiful collection of adult elixirs. Throughout the tasting session, knowledgeable instructors funnel wine-swilling tidbits into inquiring noggins, such as the beverage's basic components, how to check for body, and techniques to decipher a good wine from a bottle of Listerine. After sipping, students learn how to articulate the flavors and notes radiating from each sample, and which styles best suit their palates.