Big things can grow from small beginnings. Just ask Zoe, the cartoon (and real) canine mascot of The Laptop Guy. The computer-repair shop began with a rented counter in a toy shop, where the company's founder and his dog sold laptops to passersby. His dedication to his customers and Zoe's playful nature brought in more and more customers, until the repair and sales shop could no longer fit next to the action-figure aisle. More than 10 years later, The Laptop Guy has grown into a multi-store business that solves customers' smartphone, Apple, Android, and PC issues with online support, in-house repairs, or onsite troubleshooting. Cartoon Zoe and her owner still greet customers on the company's website, and the real-life versions can be found in one of the repair shops on any given day.
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.
Signature service: Expert computer tuneup
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30–60 minutes
Brands Used: Malware and spyware software
Pro Tip: The sooner you alert our techs about an issue, the less damage it can do to your PC.
Telepathy hasn't been invented—yet. That's why iGadget Repair and Recycle specializes in smartphone and tablet repair and eco-friendly recycling for top-of-the-line brands such as Apple and BlackBerry. Highly trained technicians can fix a cracked screen or broken antenna or repair water damage incurred while scuba diving in a mall fountain. Clients may also peruse the shop's diverse inventory of handheld accessories for both home and vehicle.
Exquisite Threading's eyebrow-fashioning operation is led by a team of certified threaders plying their art in a soothing environment. Brow bearers seeking a refined look recline in the studio's comfy chairs as expert weavers adroitly lasso loitering hairs, expelling them at the root. A natural and chemical-free treatment, threading spares patrons much of the discomfort, swelling, and redness of waxing. After the shaping session, clients leave with a set of suave eyebrows to suit their countenance, making for crisper smiles and frowns less prone to getting stuck upside down. A second treatment after three to four weeks keeps disciplined forethreads in line.