Skateboarding shop Gravity Sports first flipped the open sign in 1976. If it catered to any other sport, this might not be terribly notable, but at the time skateboarding was just establishing itself as an organized, competitive activity and emerging industry. Since it was the first such shop in the state, Gravity Sports can honestly consider itself as something of a pioneer. The things that established it as a go-to resource for the area's early skateboarders?a skate-obsessed staff, deep inventory of brands?continue to help the shop thrive today. It's long since expanded into boards for surfaces aside from asphalt, including those for frothy ocean waves and powder-covered ski runs, and keeps its clientele safe with many options for helmets, other protective wear, and tune ups. The shop's decades of continued commitment has earned it a top-five ranking in KING 5?s Best of Western Washington?s skate-shop category.
Corks and Canvas Events, like a work of fine art, came about by pairing a good idea with a passion to create. The founders both came from the marketing world, where they spent their days devising campaigns and events to inspire their audiences to take action. A shared love for art and wine inspired them to bend their action-creating talents toward a new goal?hosting painting and wine events in area wineries and wine bars, allowing guests to "uncork their creativity" and promote the burgeoning Washington wine industry in a social setting.
Their idea took the form of Corks and Canvas Events, where experienced artists lead guests step-by-step through the painting creation process. Guests re-create various paintings, everything from lush vineyard scenes to preening roosters, while sipping on glasses of local wines.
Nationally certified personal trainer Luka Hocevar turned to fitness tutelage after 20 years of shooting hoops, which took him to the NBA Summer Pro League and Europe's premier basketball leagues. Since then, he has applied his exercise expertise to help fitness newbies and UFC, NBA, and NFL athletes alike whip into shape, making his way into the top five best personal trainers named by KING5 Best of Western Washington in 2010. He doesn’t just dive right in, though. After a friend revealed to him that “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” Hocevar has made a commitment to get to know his clients before building an expedited fitness program around their goals and needs.
Hocevar leads a diverse team of passionate, experienced trainers that includes a seasoned martial artist, a soccer player, and a kinesiologist. They motivate clients in both mind and body with customized exercise regimens during group personal training and athlete-performance training, a strength and conditioning program designed to enhance sport-specific movements and improve recovery time. The 4,600-square-foot facility brims with Olympic platforms, kettlebells, dumbbells, and strongman equipment, as well as functional implements to ensure that each workout is varied and challenging.
Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance also serves as home base for the award-winning Renton Results Boot Camp. Hocevar designed this results-driven program that mixes cardio and strength training with vigorous interval workouts to trim fat from physiques. To help students best burn fat, trainers constantly rotate drills to keep different muscles engaged, and nutritional manuals outline wholesome meal plans. With Bootcamps-to-Go media in the form of videos, mp3s, and self-destructing scrolls, students can continue to hone their flab-blasting moves at home. Hocevar also strives to make each boot-camp endeavor a personalized one, providing unlimited email support to all of his clients.
An osprey hovers 30 feet in the air over Lake Washington, virtually silent until it spots something beneath the water's surface. Quickly, it folds its wings and plunges into the water, emerging seconds later with a fish ripped firmly between its talons. Nearby, Cascade Canoe & Kayak Centers' founder, Dan Henderson, floats by silently. This slice of the pristine outdoors happens to be his workplace, but none of it would have happened if his mother hadn't forced him to take a canoeing lesson in 1972. Despite his initial reluctance, Mr. Henderson took to the water like a robot to a magnet store. He went on to race whitewater canoes and flat-water Olympic-style canoes, eventually earning four medals as a member of the U.S. national team. Later, Mr. Henderson became a coach and set out to train a new crop of water athletes. To this end, Cascade Canoe & Kayak Centers serves as the natural continuation of Mr. Henderson's journey: a place to, in his words, "share paddling with the community in a manner that is fun and safe."
Under the leadership of expert guides—many of whom learned their trade directly under Dan Henderson's wing—visitors embark on day trips into inlets and bays, paddling in the shadow of the Olympic Mountains or tailgating orca whales. The staff also leads canoe and kayak classes that aim to take novices from beginner to expert. Their efforts have proved fruitful, as three of Cascade Canoe & Kayak Centers' students have made it to international-level competitions.
Access Wellness Center beautifies patients with an arsenal of noninvasive medical procedures, cosmetic treatments, and holistic healing. Staffers firm up sagging stomachs with Cellu M6 Lipomassage treatments and perform noninvasive face-lifts to invigorate drooping cheeks without the use of surgery or a troupe of standup comedians. They also assuage aches with endermotherapy treatments and bring chakras into balance with holistic-healing methods that incorporate energy awareness and meditation.
Behind Silver Moon Jeweler's stately black flared awning, delicate wood and glass display cases glitter with precious stones and sterling-silver jewelry for women and men. Baubles from more than 40 artists such as Boma, Holly Yashi, and Rosselini dapple bracelets with inlaid stones, lend spartan embellishments to stately men's rings, and crown women's rings with jewels such as onyx and blue topaz. Silver Moon Jewelers nestles every bauble in a sealed gift bag along with an anti-tarnish strip to ensure ornaments remain sparkling and free of smudges and ancient curses.