Ever since they met while participating in a photo shoot at Illinois State University, Mark and Kathy Shangraw have been pooling their respective talents. Mark, a certified professional photographer, approaches each portrait with an eye toward storytelling—a skill he picked up while working as a photojournalist in Narnia. In 2011, his work won the Pamela J. Grezlak Memorial Award at the Northern Photographic Competition.
While Mark snaps pictures, Kathy takes charge of the behind-the-scenes details, from administrative tasks and marketing to arranging flowers and coaxing relaxed smiles out of clients. Together, they strive to render artistic family portraits and professional photos for dancers, musicians, and athletes. In addition to attending conferences and workshops, they often hone their skills by collaborating with other seasoned shutterbugs.
The Closet Boutique’s stylesmiths swaddle bodies in an array of head-to-shoe apparel and vintage-inspired accessories. Lace, ruffles, studs, and sequins ornament their diverse selection of easy wash and wear tops ($15–$75), which can be complemented with a choice of slacks and skirts ($20–$100). Bedeck a boring body with shoes ($15–$75); hats ($10–$30); and jewelry such as pearls, vintage-style necklace sets that would look at home on the neck of a 19th-century automaton, bracelets, rings, and more ($5–$35). Deposit valuable wares in a handbag ($10–$100) or wrap waists with a belt that can also be used to lasso escaping garments ($15–$50).
E.nopi means "at a student's eye level"—and the Learning Center that takes its name from this principle sculpts its curriculum with that in mind. The director, Ritu Patel, has more than 10 years of experience tutoring math and reading. The tutors at this multidisciplinary learning center put the reins in their students' hands with their child-directed learning process that promotes independent and critical thinking skills, ensuring kids develop the skills they need at a pace they can handle, without getting bored enough to eat their homework and blame it on their dogs.
Enopi's reading and writing classes help younger students to recognize capital and lower-case letters while developing an awareness of grammar and spelling. Older students expand vocabularies and refine reading comprehension with colorful learning aids that prepare them for standardized testing. Enopi's math classes, meanwhile, stimulate critical-thinking skills with patterns, geometry, and props to develop spatial and cross-dimensional reasoning. Both the English program and the math program align with United States educational standards, allowing students to walk into any classroom in America and shout out the answer to any given rhetorical question.
The tech experts at ICS Computers Web and Media have worked with major corporations from Coca Cola to L'Oreal. Nowadays, though, they mostly apply their expertise on a smaller scale: in homes and offices. It's at the former that they not only protect computers with anti-spyware and anti-virus software, but also set up networks and printer systems, and even consolidate game consoles and cable boxes into integrated media centers. The team also revamps business webpages, transforming them into functional, aesthetically pleasing sites.