Thanks in part to Miracle on 34th Street, the classic Christmas film, and its annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, Macy's has been immortalized in the minds of generations of Americans. It's hard to imagine that Macy's was once a small storefront operation founded by a businessman whose previous stores had failed. But success was just around the corner.
Eleven dollars and six cents. That was the total of first-day sales when Macy's opened its doors in 1858. Of course, at that time, it wasn't a retail superpower—it was a small dry-goods store on the corner of 14th Street and 6th Avenue in New York City. Before founding that little shop, Rowland Hussey Macy had suffered several failed retail ventures. This time, things would turn out differently.
By 1877, R.H. Macy & Co. had become a full-fledged department store, spreading its way into the ground spaces of 11 adjacent buildings. Just about 25 years later, the store had outgrown even those expanded confines, so the company moved to its iconic Herald Square location on Broadway and 34th Street. There, Macy's began to attract shoppers from the rest of the country and the world. This location also saw the store become a major part of American holidays, especially in 1924, when immigrant employees wrangled the city's packs of stray floats and organized the first annual Macy's Parade.
Today, Macy's boasts 850 locations across 45 states and US territories. A far cry from that initial dry-goods shop, the modern-day stores carry everything from clothing and shoes to furniture and electronics. Though it is now headquartered in Cincinnati, the company's flagship store in Herald Square still attracts throngs of customers from all corners of the globe. The same can be said for the Macy's website, which is one of the most visited retail destinations on the Internet.
Licensed massage therapist Amanda Howard first conceived of Crystal Blue Health Spa for a school project, and she realized her dream with the spa's opening in 2011. In the interim, she crafted a menu of soothing spa services, including massages, body scrubs, and facials. Amanda navigates the treacherous terrain of knotted musculature during Swedish, deep-tissue, hot-stone, and aromatherapy massages, which wheedle backs into relinquishing stockpiled stress, tension, and missing socks hidden beneath shoulder blades. For surface-level pampering, the spa's resident aesthetician treats visages to deep-cleansing facials and exfoliating body scrubs. The hot-chocolate scrub emulates its wintertime namesake with a sweetly scented, warm elixir infused with Giovanni PureOrganic Technology—an essential-oil medley designed to nourish and heal wizened pelts—and the hypoallergenic tropical scrub's jojoba, macadamia, avocado, and sweet-almond oils replenish thirsty pores more effectively than dunking them in a pool of Gatorade.
Former health-care management professional and current owner of Mozaic Arts, Inc., Michele Petno began dabbling in the mosaic arts after receiving sample tiles at Wits End––an antique/junk shop she opened in the mid-'90s. Making sure no tile went to waste, Michele bedecked the bathroom door of Wits End with a fetching design that garnered praise from customers and howling hand-driers, unlocking a fiery passion that lead her to explore other mediums and styles of mosaic. At Mozaic Arts, Inc., Michele hosts private and semiprivate mosaic workshops, where she shares arts-and-crafts knowledge that she acquired through years of self-teaching and study in Italy and Mexico. During those classes, participants use included materials––such as shards of glass, beads, and found objects––to create prettified memory jugs, inimitable jewelry, and hangable portraits of animals, landscapes, and shattered car windows. Mozaic Arts, Inc. also rents out studio space for resident artists to work on their masterpieces and brush elbows with fellow glass manipulators.
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.
The plate beneath a meal can say as much about the chef as the ingredients in it, especially when that chef is also the plate’s artist. The sculptors at Pottery Pad offer that chance to dish users of all ages, providing the paint, workspace, glaze, and kiln to finish off premade clayware. They produce mugs, cereal bowls, and even pet dishes, arranging the sculpted products in neat rows around the circumference of their room. In the middle, long tables covered in palettes and pools of paint await the presence of a creative mind to turn each dish into a work of art.
The staff hosts individuals, birthday parties, and even entire scout troops, keeping careful track of each participant's wares. At the end of sessions, they collect the painted pieces and ready them for a trip into their 1,800-degree kiln. Once the firing is finished, they call up the piece's owner to let them know its ready and warn them to blow on it before use.