Although it's not an NFL place kicker's living room, Mozi Foot Spa pays tons of attention to the feet and happens to air sports games on its flat-screen TVs. The staff pays ample attention to kicking tools by using ancient Chinese reflexology techniques—massage therapists apply their kneading techniques to the feet, stimulating blood circulation and promoting detoxification. They enhance foot-spa treatments with soothing soaks that include the relaxing power of jets and a steam, followed by a bunny spooning with your ankle. The massage therapists also help guests relax with a variety of bodywork, including Swedish, deep-tissue, and hot-stone massages.
The salon's decor promotes serenity as much as the services. Plush off-white treatment love seats are divided by flowing white curtains, and pink flowers loom overhead.
The mingled scents of coffee and fresh-baked donuts greet visitors at Verna's Coffee & Donut Shop, whose baked creations were named Best Donuts Around Boston by CBS Boston. Amid sage-green walls, visitors lean over a glass case that displays traditional glazed donuts and pert jelly donuts infused with cherry or strawberry filling. A pot of coffee stands at the ready to perk up tired eyes, much like a sentry who yells, "Wake up, there's a bear behind you!"
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.
It all started with a deflated basketball. Though longtime friends Mike Kennedy and Eric Martin scoured downtown Boston for an inflating needle to fill it, no shops in the area carried one. They were frustrated—and they realized that other Bostonians looking for athletic gear were likely frustrated too. So in 1983, they opened City Sports, a shop stocked with all the footwear, athletic apparel, and sports equipment that the metropolis had been missing.
Nearly three decades later, Mike and Eric's neighborhood business has expanded to 20 shops across the East Coast. In addition to stocking popular brands such as Vibram, The North Face, and Patagonia, the store engineers its own CS by City Sports line. Shoppers include yogis, cyclists, and tennis players—anyone seeking to outfit active lifestyles, whether they're playing a team sport or braving the hike up the world's largest gumdrop. In addition to footwear and apparel, the staff stocks fitness equipment such as kettlebells, lifting gloves, and dumbbells.
Experienced framers Barry Stahl and Bob Clayton built Big Picture Framing from scratch in 2000, holding meetings around an old card table as construction roared around them. Today, framers at 15 area locations craft custom frames to display artwork, photographs, and record sleeves, and shadow boxes protect three-dimensional items such as ballet slippers, macaroni art, or a swarm of wasps. Patrons can dictate all design choices, choosing from metal and wooden frames in a multitude of colors and styles, or ask for recommendations from one of Big Picture Framing's resident experts. Big Picture Framing also stocks pre-framed art, prints, and posters to spruce up bare-walled homes or a drab doghouse.