Red and orange splotches undulate across the surface of a canvas, sprawling across the sea of deep blue hues and ridges of rainbow colors that rise from the frame. This isn't a description of a striking modern painting but of a photograph of a soft drink. The photograph, taken with a powerful photomicroscope, magnifies the fluid beyond recognition, capturing its starkly beautiful microscopic crystal structures. Tropical fruit, beer, coffee, and pharmaceutical products all get similar treatments in Unleashed Visions' series of abstract and undoctored prints. Each visual exploration yields equally beautiful results, with the crystals, colors, and tiny Sasquatches appearing exactly as they do under a microscope.
Due to improper training or seemingly aggressive appearances, some dog breeds have bad reputations. At Northeast K-9 Academy, however, the trained and dedicated staffers see past stereotypes and offer grooming, boarding, and training services to dogs regardless of their size, breed, or questionable musical tastes. Inside the three spacious indoor playrooms, pooches can explore, romp, and nap. Outside, a fenced-in stone play area provides dogs with fresh air and room to run while keeping their paws and coats clean.
The staff at Zoots Dry Cleaning extracts stains and stress by pairing eco-friendly dry-cleaning services with the convenience of extended evening and Sunday hours, 24-hour drop-off and pickup services (available at most locations), and an automated drive-thru system. Team members clean clothes, draperies, bedding, and rugs with a biodegradable solvent as opposed to harsh PERC chemicals, and some staff are trained to expertly excise stains from the delicate lace and beadwork of bridal-gown bodices. Most stores also have a tailor on location who is able to alter ensembles in a snap. Customers get e-mail notifications when orders are ready or they can download a smartphone app to keep a close eye on the status of their dirty laundry.
In the mid 1960s, Murray and Ida Rotman gave the family name to their growing furniture and carpeting business, confident that it would hold employees accountable and remind them to interact with customers as one community member to another. Throughout multiple expansions and a change from the "7 Stores on 5 Floors Under 1 Roof" slogan to "New England's Largest Furniture and Carpet Store," the Rotman family has stayed true to its promise of treating people with honesty and respect. According to Furniture Today, the National Home Furnishings Association named the company a Retailer of the Year in 2011, remarking on its "outstanding customer service and involvement in community services and activities." To that end, the Rotmans have helped raise $1 million for the local Walk for the Homeless, and cofounded a furniture-exchange program that allows customers to donate their gently used furniture to a family in need.
The award-winning business owes its success not only to a commitment to core values, but to an eye-popping assortment of furniture, mattresses, and televisions—all arranged in curated displays that inspire home-decorating ideas and make people believe they’re in a house built for a hundred families. The helpful staff measures and installs carpeting or flooring and fleshes out creative plans with the design-a-room service: a free in-home consultation with a computerized analysis. The store also stays ahead of the latest industry trends and innovations, offering, for example, pieces from Paula Deen’s furniture line and budget-friendly clearance deals in a space known as the Attic.
Worcester Photo Studios unveils a picture-snapping emporium to customers and photographers alike. Inside the 10,000-square-foot facility, a dozen shooting areas surround sessions in a wide range of settings, and mammoth bay doors grant access to larger-than-life props, such as cars, boats, and scale replicas of downtown Worcester. For shutterbugs lacking their own home base, the studio offers a membership program that includes use of its spaces; in the future, the studio plans to install a classroom, salon-style stations, and a kitchen set, complete with fully functioning appliances and a fully functioning Emeril Lagasse.