Joe Naquin, namesake of Joe's Piano Lessons, has witnessed firsthand the healing effects of music. He's taught students with ADD, physical disabilities, and even partial deafness how to tickle the ivories. And he's seen the way this form of self-expression can liberate them. Of course, his 30-minute piano lessons welcome any student willing to learn. He teaches everything from classical music to gospel and pop.
Most Popular Service: Handcrafted clutch purses
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 1–2 hours
Material Used: A Variety of leather materials
Pro Tip: Bring your own bottle of wine, cupcakes, etc.
What's one tip for first-time customers that will make them feel like regulars?
Come in with an open mind; don't get intimidated by the process of designing a quality custom handbag. During the process of a Build-A-Bag Mixer, each guest will do the basics of designing a clutch and our professional sewers will actually sew the bags using industrial sewing machines. It's simple yet a fun experience with friends.
When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?
I've always had a passion for fashion and creative arts. I began producing leather handbags in 2011, and it immediately became therapeutic for me after losing my job of 10 years in corporate America and as a single mother. As I began to make new pieces, I would post them on Facebook and immediately they would sell. My therapy turned into revenue and now I'm able to add a twist to handbag making so that others can enjoy with friends.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Just come have fun and leave with a beautiful handbag that you will remember because you designed it with your best friends.
A lifelong poker player and theorist, founder and head instructor Sean Hansen knows that gambling doesn’t have to be a gamble at all. Big Slick Poker Academy helps students of all skill levels—from absolute novices to experts whose grandfathers were decks of cards—learn the logic and strategy behind one of the world’s favorite card games. The keystone Red Chip introductory course is designed for beginners and experienced players who want to fix holes in their game. Over four weeks, students learn valuable skills such as basic profitable strategy, bet sizing, reading tells, and no-limit theory. BSPA also leads seminars on topics such as starting hands and basic bet sizing, offers individual pre-coaching evaluations for advanced players, and shares bare-bones fundamentals during "The Fish Bowl," a free monthly round table discussion for absolute beginners.
In 1972, Raymond Dauphinais was an army air traffic controller in Germany who had never given much thought to photography. That all changed when he caught a glimpse of the castle in the small town where he was stationed. Seized with inspiration, he grabbed a camera and spent the day capturing the ancient fort. When he came back home, his newfound passion for photography ignited a four-decade career as a professional photographer. Specializing in head shots, family portraits, and corporate event coverage, Raymond's studio also offers classes that help amateurs improve their skills to enhance family albums and ensure they can capture photographic evidence of neighbors stealing blades of grass.
DuVall’s School of Cosmetology epitomizes hands-on education. Though students do spend time in the classroom, most of their training is spent in the 11,900-square-foot school’s salon and spa, where they perform a roster of services on real people under the guidance of their instructors. Cosmetology students shampoo and cut hair, add length with extensions, and add hue with highlights. Students partake of elite training from instructors versed in the Sassoon method, a system honed by Vidal Sassoon himself during his more than 50 years as a top stylist. Meanwhile, aspiring aestheticians perform facials with products crafted by Dermalogica, a skincare brand that is produced without such common skin irritants as artificial colors, fragrances, and puns. Those outside of the training program can also take advantage of the school's pedigree by basking in carefully mastered beauty services performed by students at a fraction of standard salon prices.
At Metroflex Gym Midcities, you can grunt through your last bicep curl and slam that dumbbell to the floor in triumph—and no one will chastise you for the resounding thud. The husband-and-wife team behind the MidCities franchise opened the gym after they became tired of the rules, lack of loud music, and outright napping that they found at most corporate gyms. Today, they run the kind of gym they feel comfortable in, where high-energy music motivates workouts and members sweat it out in non-climate-controlled rooms. Exercisers can get toned with traditional fitness machines and free weights, or join in on cross-training and boxing classes that build muscle and general athleticism throughout the whole body.