At PersonalizationMall's bustling headquarters in Burr Ridge, Illinois, skilled technicians and graphic designers render customer-submitted family photos and children's names onto coffee mugs, photo frames, and T-shirts. Gift-making artisans sandblast anniversary dates into glass chalices, while textile experts embroider his-and-hers towels and baby blankets. Family names are emblazoned across more than 5000 different products, such as garden stones, golf balls, and handsome gift boxes. Shipping times as short as one day allow for the immediate gifting of presents that convey messages such as “happy birthday” or “forgive me for falling asleep in your rose bush”. Customers can preview their customized design before purchasing to help fashion the ideal gift or individualized party favor.
The first Ebert Studio opened almost 100 years ago on Chicago's west side. Since then, four successive generations have preserved memories for countless families in studios that now reside in Oak Park and Hinsdale. At the helm today is Jeff Ebert, the great-grandson of the studio's founder. Jeff makes a very small distinction to give you the big picture—"It's not so much that it's photography," he says, "but it's photographing people."
Making people feel comfortable and look better is just one part of his job. The next part is to create "a piece like a painting that can be hung above a mantle and somebody can be proud of for years and years to come." As the latest in a line of artists stretching back to 1915, Jeff does that well, harnessing the power of passed time and using it to build a portfolio that showcases families, weddings, animals, and individuals. Some of his notable subjects have included Cardinal Francis George, Walter Payton, and film director Christopher Columbus, known for his historical documentary of babysitting, Home Alone.
For nearly a decade, the technicians at Fodeo have preserved grainy videos, film, slides, and photos from the effects of wear and age by transferring them onto more dependable and accessible digital formats. On a daily basis, celluloid formats spend their days aging inside drawers and on shelves, where they can fall victim to such hazards as water, dust, and snack time. Technicians work in-house to rescue captured images, ensuring treasured footage remains safe and in one place during its transformation.
In addition to preserving images, Fodeo has developed innovative methods for displaying them as well. Fraimz–durable adhesive photo frames that can stick on multiple suface types without causing damage to either the photo or surface–is the result of their nearly four years of research and development.
ThinFast MD's team of weight-loss specialists—including physicians, nurses, and dietitians—works together to design custom programs for patients of all sizes and ages. With focuses ranging from appetite suppressants to diabetes and nutrition counseling, they help regulate the body's intake of food and spotlight the healthiest choices for each patient's body. They also work with the Optifast meal-replacement program, which kick-starts weight loss with 16 weeks of nutritious meals, custom transition diets, and regular labs and monitoring as needed. Every patient receives a complimentary initial consultation so that the doctors can divine realistic goals. At the root of those goals is the recognition that the best reason to adopt a healthy diet and start exercising is not simply to lose weight or make a lazy pet jealous, but because it feels good and develops a sense of overall well-being.
The DJ is spinning hits, the MC is keeping the fun flowing smoothly, and the dance floor is packed, all in a room decked out with billowing fabric, crystal chandeliers, and dramatic lighting. Guests standing in the photo-booth line gaze at video screens, or scope out a spot on comfy mod lounge furniture. The scene isn't a hip nightclub—it could be any event managed by Elevated Event Design. The company aims to make parties as fun to throw as they are to attend by providing a comprehensive bundle of services under one roof. Opportunities for customization abound, whether hosts are selecting a set from a music library of 150,000 songs, designing a monogram for the center of a portable dance floor, or deciding whether there's any risk of guests mistaking Chinese lanterns for piñatas.