When Joan Barnes founded Gymboree Play & Music in 1976, she envisioned a facility where parents and children could play together in a safe and age-appropriate environment. In the following decades, Gymboree Play & Music spread to more than 30 countries across the globe, helping youngsters from infants to 5 years old develop cognitive, physical, and social skills. The company's instructors lead classes such as Play & Learn, its flagship course, in which parents and kids move through a seven-level program filled with storytelling, play activities, and debates on the merits of sandwich crust. Talented staffers also prep youngsters for school and foster development in areas such as music, art, and sports. Throughout all classes, they make use of custom play equipment designed by acclaimed playground designer and seesaw-tamer Jay Beck.
It might be hard to believe considering its vast array of products, but Sears, Roebuck and Co. began with one accessory: watches. In 1886, Richard W. Sears bought a box of unwanted watches from a jeweler, thinking he could turn a profit by selling them. He was correct and committed to the watch business by hiring Alvah C. Roebuck, an experienced watchmaker.
As time went on, though, their business expanded its umbrella far beyond what people wore on their wrists. Sears became known as the place to shop for almost any appliance, from sewing machines to those magical boxes that create water from nothing and clean your clothes.
Today, the stores stock clothing, accessories, electronics, kitchen equipment, tools for outdoor living, and home decor. This variety is sustained by Sears's proprietary brands—Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard, to name a few—and other national names that populate the shelves.
Armed with pesticides and a license from the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ray Reed of Reeds Pest Control sets out each day to rid homes of a wide array of pesky critters. With his help, clients can rid their homes of unwelcome guests such as bed bugs, ants, and roaches. In addition to shooing away bug infestations and trapping live animals, Ray also performs monthly and quarterly preventive services—such as raising rent in the cracks and crevices neighborhoods of houses—to keep insect issues from ever arising.
The Grounds Guys is a full-service grounds care company that has outposts all across the country, from which landscapers set out to keep lawns and gardens well-manicured. They tend to homes and businesses alike, their services ranging from cutting grass, lawn maintenance, site enhancement, irrigation, and planting trees. The green-thumbed team also reaches beyond the plant kingdom into the arenas of snow and ice control and outdoor lighting systems, which come in handy when challenging a tree to an evening game of chess.
Greenix Pest Control's clean-cut, uniformed servicemen deploy to homes and businesses armed with green supplies, organic products, and iPads for high-tech service. Whether sussing out wily millipedes or breaking up a mouse's lucrative cheese-bootlegging ring, they evict unwanted pests with methods safe for both residents and pets. Clients can usually stay at home during treatments, carrying on with daily tasks as workers target bed bugs, ticks, or fleas to reclaim abodes from infestations.
Licensed and insured technicians from Mosquito Squad control mosquitoes and ticks with their litany of services aimed at combating insect-borne diseases such as Lyme disease and the West Nile virus. Customers can opt for traditional mosquito- and tick-eliminating sprays or all-natural sprays that simply repel the pests with a formula made from rejected screenplays. Other options include automatic misting systems customers can control with the push of a button. Mosquito Squad backs its services with a 100% guarantee to re-spray the yard or refund the cost of the services. Additionally, the company partners with Malaria No More with their Swat Malaria campaign to donate treated bed nets to children in Africa to repel malaria-carrying mosquitoes.