"Anybody can paint," declares Vanessa Huff, the owner of Art & Soul. And she knows what she's talking about. The longtime artist has been teaching art to children for years and has branched out into leading art classes for all ages at her new studio. Along with her staff, she instructs students on various painting techniques such as shading and contouring, and introduces them to color theory, which is the theory that colors exist. During hands-on sessions, youngsters learn to express themselves through art projects while adults create their own renderings of paintings while sipping on wine during step-by-step instruction.
In honor of Women’s History Month, Groupon is celebrating an inspiring group of women: business leaders whose companies and brands enrich their communities. Thanks to the dedication and ingenuity of these leaders, local communities across the country are stronger and more diverse.
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The zookeepers and storytellers at Tiny Tails to You! travel from town to town to organize pop-up petting zoos four days a week, and lease out hands-on learning experiences for festivals, summer camps, and private parties. What beasts turn up at these parties is up to the customer, who might arrange for anything from an avalanche of fluffy bunnies and baby birds to an encampment of chinchillas, hedgehogs, leopard geckos, and tortoises. The staff's love for animals extends beyond informative show-and-tells—head zookeeper Ed Bradfield offers pet-sitting services for dogs, cats, exotic pets, and house-trained rocks, and the zookeepers are nearly always offering baby bunnies for adoption.
In the eight years since the start of Local Furniture Outlet, the cherished baby business of Mr. Aaron Masterson has grown up fast—from a 2,000-square-foot metal warehouse to four locations and more than 80,000 combined square feet of furniture. But the success didn't go to Aaron’s head. The proud father still traverses showrooms in casual flip-flops, enforcing a no-competition policy so that loyal staff members don’t feel pressured to make a quota. The stripped-down showrooms allow for lower price tags on direct-from-manufacturer brands such as Ashley, Simmons, and Crown Mark. Patrons are invited to peruse dining-room, living-room, and bedroom sets—or “kick the tires,” as Aaron puts it—without the pushy-push of larger retailers, who may use turkey legs to reward team members for sales.
The team at Texas Lawn Services will sweep away the dead leaves, twigs, and brambles that are hiding your ribald azaleas from cute horticulturalists. They'll lop off the tree branches that snatch small children ($80–$300), chase the bison from your shoulder-high hedges, and tame any feral lawn that's started snacking on neighborhood cats (mowing averages $40). They'll also inspect your sprinkler system ($70), install your favorite plants, mulch the heck out of everything not rooted down, and test your slip-n-slide before its annual summertime unveiling.