Imagine for a moment diving into the ocean, resurfacing with not only memories of the sub-aquatic environment, but a full reel of photographs, too. Underwater photography is just one of the many courses offered at Scuba Quest, a family-owned company that has shown students how to safely explore the seas for more than 25 years.
Scuba Quest began as a single shop, but has since spread to six locations across the state of Florida. At each, the company’s NAUI-certified instructors lead refresher courses, beginner classes, and comprehensive certification programs. Rather than climbing into fish tanks while pet-store clerks are on break, Scuba Quest's students can put their new skills to the test in unfamiliar waters during the company’s exotic diving excursions around the globe.
Complete Nutrition recognizes that dietary supplements fill only one realm of a healthy lifestyle, so the team also emphasizes hydration, exercise, and a balanced diet. To help clients achieve such well-rounded wellness, the stores employ certified personal trainers and strength coaches, who educate customers while simultaneously showing them how to flex the bridge of their nose.
The brains behind Complete Nutrition collaborate with nutritionists and healthcare providers to formulate new proprietary supplements for their shelves. In addition to designing products that can help patrons lose weight, build muscle, or increase their energy, the teams also figure out how to combine complementary supplements into specialized kits, which compound the effects of individual products.
The team of meticulous jewelers at John Michael's Fine Jewelry outfits hands, wrists, necks, and ears with sparkling gems and breathes new life into damaged accessories with repair services. Conducted on-site, repair services can re-solder jewelry chains torn asunder ($18–$22), replace watch batteries ($8; $12 for lithium), or resize 14-karat rings ($30–$35, one size up) to their predryer-shrunk sizes. Pirates looking to catalogue their cache of goods can enlist an expert jeweler for appraisals ($45/hour), or add to their bounty with a pair of sterling silver Huggies hoop earrings ($95) or a Zable bracelet ($60).
One of the East Coast's best-known members-only wholesale retailers, BJ’s Inc. serves more than six million members in 201 clubs as far west as Ohio. Within these sprawling locations, savvy shoppers knock out most of their errands in a single stop. In the same visit, members can stock up on economy-sized groceries—including USDA choice meats, farm-fresh produce, and everyday essentials—grab name-brand electronics, and even plan a vacation through BJ's Travel. Each service makes up a single part of the club's well-rounded retail experience, but simplifying shopping isn't BJ's only goal; in 2012 alone, the company donated more than $3.2 million to charitable organizations.
Lolli's Jewelry makes old, broken jewelry look like new with onsite repairs performed by a team of registered jewelers. In business since 1993, the store also offers watch repairs, engravings, and custom jewelry design. Gemologist Jeff Hicks is on hand to appraise gemstones and other valuable pieces, so clients know exactly how many dollars worth of rubies they can fit into their mouths.
Inside Vapin' Apes, a host of starter kits, charging cases, and batteries ensures that customers can outfit themselves with the best e-cigarette equipment available. The store stocks a host of e-liquids, which come in flavors ranging from tobacco to blueberry to cappuccino.