At A Healing Paradigm, wellness-focused practitioners collaborate to help their clients achieve optimal health, inside and out. Counseling sessions aim to lift inner spirits, and yoga classes burn calories and sculpt muscles. The center's walking group leads travelers along a nature trail featuring colorful foliage and the occasional lost yeti.
Blake “Top Dogg” Rashad has spent more than 30 years earning his nickname. At age 12, Blake began training neighborhood dogs, a talent that would later lead him to prep military pooches for action during his enlistment in the Army. After his time in the service, Rashad joined the Atlanta police force to train crime-fighting canines.
Today, the expert in dog behavior hosts a weekly Internet radio show about dog behavior, local pet businesses, and canine-related news—playfully called “You Talk I Bark”—and also heads up Top Dogg K-9 Academy. At the academy, Rashad teaches dog owners the training techniques he has accumulated over the past three decades. Pooches leave six- or eight-week courses with a better understanding of how to communicate their needs to owners, and owners leave with dogs that respond quickly to commands such as “heel” and “drop my wedding ring.”
After seven years spent as a banker, Fish Window Cleaning founder Mike Merrick decided to try his hand at something that mattered. He packed up his business acumen, drew up a plan, designed his own uniforms, and finally opened shop in 1978. With his characteristic hands-on approach he grew the small business from one location into a bustling network of 220 franchises spread across 40 states and one lonely lunar outpost. Today, Mike's foundational principle of pairing residents with thorough, uniformed professionals continues to impress organizations, earning accolades from Entrepreneur magazine and a Torch Award from the Better Business Bureau.
Even though they don't own a time machine, the photographers at Switch Blade Betties Pin-Up Photography can still transport their clients into the past. The staff transforms subjects into sultry retro models with midcentury hair, makeup, and costume, giving them free rein of a studio filled with inspiration, such as vintage furnishings and photographs of Mamie Eisenhower in a leather jacket. During shoots, photographers direct and give advice as they incorporate props ranging from feather fans and country-western hats to diner counters and real classic cars. Sometimes, they organize photography sessions at cities around the country, uniting participants under a common retro theme, such as Ice Cream & Hot Dog Stand or Vintage Vixens & Hot Rod Betties.
The seventh-annual incarnation of the Alive! Expo presents more than 200 participating local and national businesses representing every facet of the green products and services industries. Join in an interactive yoga or Pilates demo, or watch in horror as a professional chef batters organic fruit into a deliciously bruised smoothie during a healthy-cooking demo. Guests can participate in a complimentary health-and-wellness screening to see how their current lifestyle practices measure up before sprinting down the aisles of exhibits peddling information about vitamins, recyclable products, health foods, home goods, pet perks, and more, snagging free product samples along the way. With exhibits and demos spanning the 86,000 square feet of the Georgia World Congress Center's A2 hall, there's something for everyone, from the casual naturalist to the British big-game hunter.