At Zandi K Salon, everyone has a story. Stina Nelson didn't realize her passion for massage until a string of bad car accidents led her to the muscle-mending techniques for her own pain relief. Co-owner Nicki Wenz, meanwhile, worked as one of just 12 national Aveda makeup artists in the mid 2000s, traveling the country for photo shoots and trade shows. Educators, artists, world travelers, and Aveda-trained beauty professionals all gather within the earth-toned and stacked-slate walls of Zandi K to lend their life experiences to the looks of others.
They get a little help from their products, of course. The team uses all-natural, plant- and flower-based Aveda products made with sustainably harvested ingredients that are gentle on hair, skin, and Mother Nature's patience. These combine in services that run the gamut from styling and coloring to waxing and ousting acne with facials. But before clients watch their appearances transform in minimalist, steel-framed mirrors, they can sit back in the waiting room with a Session beer, Barefoot red wine, or fruit-infused water, and share their own story.
At Complete Nutrition, the staff and the store's product line work together to help clients slim down, bulk up, or improve their overall health, drawing on an arsenal of hormone balancers, nutrients, proteins, and supplements. Each store helps visitors get the most out of their metabolic processes with a staff full of personal trainers, strength coaches, and 19th-century circus strongmen who teach clients about proper nutrition, dieting goals, and effective exercise plans. Built on the principle that no miracle pill can supply instant results, Complete Nutrition stocks over 200 products that deliver dependable positive effects. They're developed in the company's own labs and include tried-and-true vitamins, detox tools, and energy formulas.
Agates, amethysts, and luminous glass beads come alive in the settings that The Colorado Bead Company’s jewelry instructors help students design— elegant yet whimsical loops of wire, antique-looking chains, earring hoops that recall delicate dreamcatchers. Classes bring out the jewelry artist in kids, adults, and even first-time crafters who get to experience the thrill of walking out clad in the necklaces they've just designed. The shop glistens with strands and packets of such exotic baubles as freshwater pearls, hypoallergenic beads, and Swarovski crystal beads, ready to be incorporated into a new project or used to make a pair of maracas sound classier. Shoppers browse in a bright, open space lined with huge windows, hardwood floors, and airy flower prints.
The brand American Apparel, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, conjures up images of stylish and well-fitting fashion basics. It also likely brings to mind sassy advertisements featuring long-haired beauties in natural makeup posing in skin-bearing bodysuits and loungewear.
But what many don't know about the brand?despite its name and the slice of apple pie that comes with every purchase?is that all of its clothes are made in America. Everything from sewing and cutting to accounting and marketing happens in one building in downtown Los Angeles, and the rest occurs within a 30-mile radius. Not only that, every slim-fitting pair of pants, spandex bodysuit, and v-neck T-shirt is made in a sweatshop-free environment.
Plus, keeping everything in house means the company eliminates unnecessary and wasteful factors, such as shipping fuel and packing materials, as well as provides jobs to Angelenos, instead of outsourcing them.
Skilled stylist Jim Speck uses high-end products by American Crew, TIGI, and Schwarzkopf when sculpting out voluminous layers or splashing color highlights on bland strands. Guests may also solicit an aesthetician for a Dermalogica facial and waxing session, or retreat to a private room for deep-tissue or hot-stone bodywork from the salon's licensed massage therapist.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ?She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.?
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.