John McDonough has spent his life rising to meet outdoor challenges. Years ago he began traveling the globe as a skier and rock climber, finding adventure and challenges on faraway mountains and snowy cliffs. After more than two decades on skis and 15 years scaling rocks, the AMGA Certified Single-Pitch Instructor??who once accompanied an inspiring group of blind climbers on a trip??now operates First Ascent Mountain School. The gig comes with the daily pleasure of watching beginners submit to the powerful sense of awe and accomplishment that comes with mountaineering. As First Ascent's founding director, John has assembled a small band of professional mountain guides who shared his zeal for nature and teaching. The crew touts a penchant for making the sometimes-intimidating activities of rock-terrain climbing and snowshoeing accessible to anyone who is interested.
Udaan Arts & Cooking founder Deepika Atkinson is a woman of many talents. After running an arts business in Mumbai for 15 years, she emigrated to America, where she became a real-estate professional, a property investor, and a licensed private pilot. Atkinson blends her experience with art and the cooking skills she learned from her mother to create a diverse curriculum of hands-on classes. Students untangle the complex spices of Indian food in two-hour cooking classes devoted to dishes that include potato samosas, naan, and butter-chicken curry. Artistic talents flourish in inclusive classes running the gamut from stained glass to embroidery to fabric painting. In mehndi classes, pupils learn to apply traditional body paint to hands and arms in elaborate scrolls, filigree, or full transcriptions of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.:m]]
Colorado Springs Gazette’s Gold Winner for Best Children's Clothing Store of 2011 and 2010, Recess stocks quality preowned children’s clothing and new items handmade by local artisans for kids size 0–10. Name brands such as Gymboree, Baby Lulu, and Gap drape over wood hangers throughout the cozy boutique, with daily additions reflecting changing trends and moon phases. Only displayed if in perfect condition, shirts, shoes, and dresses are generally priced around half of their original retail value. Doll up a wee one in fine fluff with locally made tutus ($10–$14) and hairclips ($3–$6), or prepare your nephew for his first play-date with a handsome beanie ($6–$10). Flashdance ambitions are catalyzed in newborns with a warm pair of BabyLegs ($10–$12), displayed beneath chandeliers in Recess’s repurposed, sky-blue shingled Victorian house.
In her former life as an office worker, Laura Webber found herself suffering from lower back pain that medication and chiropractic work could not relieve. When she turned to massage therapy, something clicked—not just with her back pain, but with her spirit. Soon, she became a massage therapist and opened Webber Wellness, adding two other therapists to her team. Laura specializes in neurological massage, which alleviates the chronic symptoms resulting from an auto accident or wandering the countryside giving noogies. But her massages are almost as much about the experience as the results. In the center's low-lit room, she and her colleagues work amid relaxing music in the vein of Enya and Deep Forest. They also use a table warmer and a fan to control temperature as they unknot muscles with organic lotions and aromatherapy oils, and sometimes they even provide extras such as tea and chocolate truffles.
The best place to study traditional Chinese medicine is in China, which is where licensed acupuncturist and herbalist Na Zhai completed her training. She was invited to teach medical professionals in Austria at the same time, where she completed more than three years of courses in western medicine. She combines knowledge from her education in eastern and western medicine with over 20 years of clinical experience to provide services to her patients.
Caposhi Salon & Spa's armada of experienced stylists boasts more than 100 years' combined experience in the industry. Following the namesake of the studio⎯a '70s slang term for cool and stylish⎯each mane tamer strives to infuse hairdos with salon style. The trendy salon greets each guest with olive walls and sleek wood floors before the visitor is shepherded to a padded chair. A savvy stylist then sinks their shears into tresses, removing dead ends, evening out layers, and shooing away hibernating squirrels to shape locks according to each client's desired style.
Patrons can also opt to splash their hair canvases with color by adding coloring service to their cuts. Single-process color paints tresses with all-over tints, and partial highlights streak strands with desired hues, giving monochromatic manes depth and texture and patrons street cred with zebras. On the way out, guests can maintain their salon looks by purchasing quality products from brands such as Redken, Moroccanoil, and Goldwell.