In the eight years since the start of Local Furniture Outlet, the cherished baby business of Mr. Aaron Masterson has grown up fast—from a 2,000-square-foot metal warehouse to four locations and more than 80,000 combined square feet of furniture. But the success didn't go to Aaron’s head. The proud father still traverses showrooms in casual flip-flops, enforcing a no-competition policy so that loyal staff members don’t feel pressured to make a quota. The stripped-down showrooms allow for lower price tags on direct-from-manufacturer brands such as Ashley, Simmons, and Crown Mark. Patrons are invited to peruse dining-room, living-room, and bedroom sets—or “kick the tires,” as Aaron puts it—without the pushy-push of larger retailers, who may use turkey legs to reward team members for sales.
Mary Helen Johnston of M&J Photography strives to capture all aspects of her subjects’ personalities, nabbing senior portraits, wedding snapshots, family profiles, and sports-team photos. Before shoots, the photographer guides clients through a complimentary consultation over the phone or in the studio, during which models-to-be can plot hair, makeup, and cravat placement. Helen's photo shoots typically last from 30 to 60 minutes, and outdoor shoots usually take place two hours before sunset, when natural light is at its most flattering. M&J Photography can also take motion pictures with an array of videography services that capture images and emotional tenor alike, thereby creating a keepsake more potent than cave hieroglyphics depicting a prehistoric wedding reception.
The floor technicians at Pro-Kleen smarten up shag and refine tile with a combination of industrial-age steam power and cutting-edge technology. After a free estimate nails down a firm flat rate, berber inspectors put rugs through an eight-step process that includes inspection and pretreating stains. A truck-mounted Rotovac 360 machine dissolves soil, grease, and spots with 180-degree water before a high-powered vacuum extracts the mix, leaving behind soft, allergen-free fibers and terrified Lego people. The process removes most of the water it uses to saturate the fibers, reducing drying time to a few hours. All jobs are guaranteed and backed up with the promise to reclean any unsatisfactory jobs or refund the total cost.
Gymnastics rings dangle from the ceiling and flags dress the walls at SeaCity CrossFit, where workouts draw inspiration from Olympic sports such as weightlifting, gymnastics, cycling, and running. Here, experienced coaches stress form and posture during training sessions that incorporate strength and cardio exercises. The trainers focus on performance and skill acquisition as students use tools such as kettlebells, medicine balls, and sandbags to perform functional exercises. They’ll tailor movements to a variety of fitness levels to ensure that every participant, whether they’re pro athletes or infrequent exercisers, gets the most out of their workouts.
Shape Up Fitness nutritionist and fitness expert April Rojas tightens tummies and trims torsos with exercise programs tailored to shed pounds and fitness inhibitions. Tone trouble spots at unlimited classes led by certified aerobic instructors, and engage in kinetically charged moves that condition the upper and lower body, core, and hard-to-slim foreheads. Warm up with calisthenics and plyometrics before plugging into circuit-training sessions that get hearts pumping and substructures sweating with permissible pain. Each day is slightly different than the next, and Shape Up Fitness's instructors ensure a boredom-proof workout regimen while hosting a free nutrition seminar once a month for those wondering if gravy is a fruit or a vegetable. New boot-camp sessions begin February 1, March 1, March 30, and April 28.