The brand American Apparel, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, conjures up images of stylish and well-fitting fashion basics. It also likely brings to mind sassy advertisements featuring long-haired beauties in natural makeup posing in skin-bearing bodysuits and loungewear.
But what many don't know about the brand?despite its name and the slice of apple pie that comes with every purchase?is that all of its clothes are made in America. Everything from sewing and cutting to accounting and marketing happens in one building in downtown Los Angeles, and the rest occurs within a 30-mile radius. Not only that, every slim-fitting pair of pants, spandex bodysuit, and v-neck T-shirt is made in a sweatshop-free environment.
Plus, keeping everything in house means the company eliminates unnecessary and wasteful factors, such as shipping fuel and packing materials, as well as provides jobs to Angelenos, instead of outsourcing them.
For more than 60 years, Toys“R”Us has been helping kids be kids and grown-ups to revisit their childhoods by providing one of the largest selections of top-brand toys, electronics, games and everyday baby essentials. Founder, Charles Lazarus, revolutionized the toy business by modeling his stores after supermarkets, providing a variety of options to suit varying ages and interests and offering customers to help themselves and have fun in the process. Today, that sense of playfulness is evident at nearly 600 stores in the United States alone, including a flagship location in Times Square where kids are greeted by a 60-foot Ferris wheel, a 5-ton animatronic T-Rex, and a life-sized, 4,000-square-foot Barbie house.
Beyond everybody's favorite bikes, trains and video games, each Toys“R”Us store keeps its shelves stocked with the season’s must-have toys as well as nostalgic standbys that never go out of style. Time-tested brands such as LEGO, Radio Flyer, NERF and Fisher-Price share the shelves with an expansive selection of electronics for older kids, including Wii U and tablets. And though the company has inspired generations of boys and girls to try their hardest not to grow up, it also strives to ensure budding brains develop right on track by devoting a significant portion of its stores to “smart-play” with a wide selection of electronic learning toys and software.
Toys“R”Us—whose extended family of brands includes Babies“R”Us and FAO Schwarz—has earned a number of awards and recognitions through the years, including a spot on Fortune’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies in 2012. The company has also drawn considerable recognition for its expansive charitable efforts, which include partnerships with the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and Save the Children. This year also marks the tenth consecutive year that the company has partnered with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to collect new, unwrapped toys and monetary donations in its stores to benefit the organization.
For the CEO of Daniel's Jewelers, helping people realize their sparkling and diamond-studded dreams is more than a business—it's a family legacy. In 1948, his grandparents mortgaged their home in order to open a small jewelry store in Bell Gardens, California. His grandmother managed the details of their office and family life while his grandfather sold jewelry, gifts, and socket-wrench sets, creating an in-store credit system that allowed customers to conveniently pay for their purchases. His father and uncle joined the ranks after college and expanded the company from the original storefront.
What began as a glimmer in the eye of Helene and Joe Sherwood has blossomed into a leading jewelry establishment that spans 61 locations throughout central and southern California. The Sherwoods and their employees still strive to treat their customers as family, and they still offer credit options for a variety of budgets. In addition to stunning gold and silver pieces, they showcase design-your-own wedding and anniversary bands and offer a full-range of jewelry repair, including clasps and re-sizing. The diamond rings in their exclusive Love Song collection are embedded with a pink diamond, and come in a music box that, when opened, plays either Debussy's famous Clair de Lune or the Alvin and the Chipmunks singing "The Song That Never Ends."
SwimSpot brings high fashion poolside by amassing a collection of designer bikini and one-piece swimsuits by brands such as Athena, Guess, and Nautica. Each swimsuit and cover-up incorporates contemporary trends such as asymmetrical cuts or tropical colours to create stylish silhouettes, and a fit-specialist service provides body-shape searches and remote one-on-one discussions with experts to find a flattering suit for any shape. Lauded in the pages of People Style Watch, Lucky, and Seventeen, an online bikini builder enables the beach bound to build their own ensemble by mixing and matching tops and bottoms using a tool that yields more than 1,000 possible combinations. In addition to providing detailed descriptions and material breakdowns, each swimsuit offered in the online store is modeled in a video that offers a 360-degree view, allowing customers to get a better idea of what they’ll look like as they run into the surf or slowly back away from a sleeping bear.
For a while, Live Train Play CrossFit’s owner, Jai Lewis, was the only trainer, often staying in the gym from the beginning of the 6:30 a.m. class to the end of the 7:30 p.m. class to make sure his students fulfilled their potential. Now he is joined by trainers Brady, Ryan, Ashley, Gilbert, Heather, Virginia and Matt, and together they lead students through a different CrossFit Workout of the Day (WOD) every day. WODs are never the same, though they may incorporate moves ranging from weight lifting, push-ups, and pull-ups to box jumps, burpees, rowing, running, and kettlebell training.
In addition to adding new trainers, Live Train Play CrossFit has further expanded by opening a new facility, which sprawls across approximately 6,000 sq. ft.
Before hitting the beach, clients flock to Endless Summer Tanning Centers to bestow golden hues onto their limbs or help their efforts to shed a few pounds. The boutiques' high-end tanning equipment lends comely color to skin, distributing rays throughout the whole body or solely on the legs to match gams with tan faces for more convincing sawing-a-body-in-half magic tricks. Customers can diminish cellulite with Beauty Angel red-light therapy, which boosts collagen and the regeneration of skin cells. Staffers also aid in readying bodies for the beach with Formostar body wraps, which use infrared heat to stimulate metabolism. A single 60-minute session can blast up to 1,400 calories via the wrap's nonallergenic, silicone material.