Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
At Bella Mia Fashion, women can revamp their wardrobes, creating entire ensembles with dresses, blouses, pants, and skirts. Gals can garb themselves in current style trends without selling their gold fillings, as every article of clothing in the store costs $40 or less. Beyond apparel, customers can nuance outfits with accessories such as scarves, belts, and jewelry.
In 1911, 15-year-old Elroy L. Payne dropped out of his Lincoln, Nebraska high school and journeyed to Los Angeles. A year later, he persuaded his parents and seven siblings to join him, and by 1933, the Paynes were the largest manufacturer of gas furnaces in the western United States. That was also the year Elroy painted the company trucks to match the state flower: vivid orange like the california poppy. Throughout the decades, the home-air experts' focus shifted. Today, they repair air conditioners, perform regular maintenance, improve air quality with filters and UV treatments, and sell AC systems.
Payne trucks are still bright orange today, but now they're also fuel-efficient Scions, which the company estimates has prevented 384,000 pounds of carbon from leaking into the air. Likewise, eco-friendly refrigerant, instead of snowman tears, flows through every device technicians install, and the team designs custom energy-efficient "zoning" systems for homes whenever possible.
With the exception of apprentices, all on-staff installers and service technicians have between 10 and 28 years of experience in perfecting air quality and go through a rigorous in-house training program on top of that. Payne specialists are so confident in their AC-whispering abilities that they insure their repairs with a one-year guarantee. Specialists adhere to a strict set of policies on the job, promising to be punctual, tidy, and respectful of clients' homes, first burning symbolic offerings in crankier furnaces. Though the company offers products by York, Lennox, and Carrier, technicians do not work on commission, and pride themselves on eschewing pushy sales tactics.
Most car-wash lounges don't give customers a hotel-lobby vibe. However, the one at Tempus Auto Spa gets pretty close, surrounding guests with marble countertops, exposed-brick walls, and large windows that cast sunlight onto posh furniture. As they wait here for their vehicle, visitors can sip gourmet coffee or browse the Internet at computer stations. The designer bathrooms' warm colors add to the ambiance?even they are part of the venue's mission to pamper cars and people simultaneously.
CS magazine_ highlighted Tempus Auto Spa as one business that "make[s] daily duties super swanky." As its waiting area charms clients with all that's chic, so its services indulge vehicles with careful cleaning and detailing. The technicians rely on their own meticulousness instead of traditional car-wash machinery and giant car dunk tanks, even refusing to use mitts and towels for more than a single hand wash. The same manual attention goes into their most comprehensive treatments?the Spankin New Look complete exterior and interior detail, for example, includes an engine cleaning, which technicians can do with steam or by hand.
A Southwest-based company for more than a century, Frazee Paint and its team of manufacturers are well acquainted with the unique climactic conditions of the region. Always pulling from the latest technology, their technicians design each of their paint and coating products to withstand dry heat, sparse rainfall, and showers of chewing tobacco from passing cowboys. Their quality paints, wall-coverings, wood-care products, and painter's tools stock the shelves of more than 125 retail locations throughout California, Arizona, and Nevada, as well as international dealers in Mexico, China, and Guam.
The committed technicians at uBreakiFix restore fragile pocket appliances and entertainment consoles with an arsenal of original manufacturers' OEM parts and 15-minute service times. The repair team reunites customers with fresh new screens for HTC Evo 4G, iPhone 4, or iPhone 3G smartphones along with 90-day warranties. While waiting for trusty telephones, customers can enjoy lounging in a comfortable waiting area with TV screens and friendly staff members who serve caviar and wear tuxedo T-shirts. In addition to screen replacement, the circuit surgeons can provide water-damage diagnostics for iPads, game consoles, and Apple computers that have been waterlogged after haphazardly trying to surf the web.