As Anne and Kelly Campbell can tell you, it's impossible to witness civil crisis in Kenya, spend time with people with mental disabilities in India, or watch women beg for food in the streets of Ethiopia and not feel compelled to take action. The sisters have gone from working for some of the top names in fashion—including BCBGMaxAzria and Tommy Hilfiger—to cofounding The Village Experience in 2008, a company inspired by its global journeys and dedicated to providing socially responsible travel and fair-trade goods. The business's accolades have since piled up: it won the Best Women's Accessories category of TheIndyChannel.com's A-List in 2010 and 2009. Additionally, Kelly was named one of Indiana’s 2011 Forty Under 40 by the Indianapolis Business Journal.
The Village Experience was also asked to partake in the Emmy's The Red Carpet Luxury Lounge, where Emmy nominees, celebrities, and media peruse and try different products and retail items, with their jewelry also included in the Lounge's gift bags.
But the sisters' rewards do not come from high praise or recognition. Rather, the duo finds satisfaction in helping underserved communities build self-sustainability and making a difference in people's lives. In a 2009 feature, Rachel Meacham of Nuvo quoted a portion of Kelly's 2006 travel journal, which explains the impression left by an ailing Malawi woman: "She is [the] reason I risk getting sick . . . She is the reason I don't sleep well at night. Everyone has something they live for and risk their lives for—she is just that." Together with their partners, The Village Experience has opened a medical clinic and a nursery school in Kenya, as well as rebuilt The University of Fondwa in Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake.
The compassionate crew has led more than 50 trips to various destinations, during which guests ate, shopped, and stayed at local establishments. The store supports more than 30 artisan cooperatives in 25 countries, paying a fair wage for items such as handmade jewelry and envelope wallets that are ideal for holding IDs, credit cards, and Monopoly money. Each purchase provides economic sustenance for organizations such as women's cooperatives, microfinancing projects, and orphanages.
Splitting your working hours between a career as an attorney and as a self-employed style consultant might seem odd to most, but it makes perfect sense for Niquelle Allen. After deciding not to define herself completely as an attorney, she put her entrepreneurial spirit and keen eye for fashion to use and opened Butterfly Consignment. Through curating an inventory of designer brands such as Gucci, Banana Republic, and Seven For All Mankind, she creates a haven for shoppers determined to save designer duds from ending up in landfills or on mannequins with no sense of style.
Her shop showcases gently worn and stain-free items purchased within the past three years, alongside a small selection of vintage bags and jewelry. She categorizes the inventory into three broad subsets, including pre-loved items, never-been-worn boutique items, and handmade accessories and body products. In order to transform customers from one-time visitors to loyal regulars, she constantly refreshes her racks with recent consignments of seasonal attire.
One of the hostage takers adjusts his protective mask nervously as the dull thuds of the police team's fire hits outside the makeshift house. He and his four allies protect a VIP they kidnapped while the rescue team waits outside. Moments later, the door bursts open as the rescue team breaches through and unleashes a fury of paintballs at the villains. After a few tense minutes and paint-spatter casualties on both sides, the battle is over, the hostage rescued, and the teams reversed. This is a regular scene at Indy Acres Paintball, a field that takes pride in the variety of scenarios available on its six fields.
From hostage rescue to large-scale woodsball and fast-paced speedball, the outdoor fields accommodate every type of play, and Indy Acres equips players with .50-caliber paintball guns that hurt more than a rubber-band snap but less than knowing that the sun has a shelf life. Additionally, the field?s rules of conduct maintain fair play and fun for every participant.
John Searcy started his battery business out of the back of his truck in spring 1950. He opened an official storefront in 1952, naming it Interstate Battery System after the new network of interstate highways that was under construction across the country. Over the next 60 years, his company expanded to all 50 states, as well as Australia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Panama, and the Dominican Republic. Each Interstate All Battery Center location—as well as the company's online database—houses an extensive selection of batteries for cars, electronics, household items, and computers. They also collect power sources for security systems, medical equipment, and other niche devices. Many of their batteries come with a 45-day satisfaction warranty, though it doesn’t cover batteries stolen by siblings to power their Game Boys.
Phantom Fireworks first burst onto the scene more than three decades ago. Today, the company lights up backyards of America from coast-to-coast with more than 1,200 permanent and temporary locations.
Much like its products, Phantom?s employees frequently take to the skies. They travel around the globe in search of the industry's latest ground and aerial displays before returning home with rockets, missiles, fountains, and aerial repeaters. From there, an extensive in-house testing program takes over, checking each item's safety before it?s sold to the public.
That testing program is just one of Phantom?s pillars of safety. The company also holds memberships with multiple pyrotechnics organizations, and it offers customers additional information about fireworks laws and history through its Fireworks University.