Some may find fashion intimidating––not Kristin Dahl. She's been in the biz 20 years. While she was working wholesale in New York City’s Garment District, retail stores would ask her to present their lines across the country. "Afterward,” Dahl says, “these people were like, 'Why aren't you taking me shopping?' So that's what I decided to do." Dahl still takes advantage of her retail contacts and attends fashion trade shows in LA, Las Vegas, Dallas, and Atlanta, using what she learns to pair every client with the perfect item and every mannequin with sunglasses so you can’t see its creepy eyes. "I like to take them to chain stores like Ann Taylor, Loft, Banana Republic, J.Crew," she explains. "I can go up in cost, it just depends on the customer. I'll take them into Manhattan too." And she adds that because there's no commission, there's no hidden agenda. “They feel like they're shopping with their best friend,” she says. In addition to personal shopping, Dahl specializes in closet-and-wardrobe organization, for which she uses a time-tested method. "Your closet should be like a mini boutique, organized by color, by group and category. We get rid of things, we reorganize." This methodology functions under the idea that one should stock up on must-have building blocks and then layer outward. She adds that these organizational and shopping services are also great for men. She'll work with anyone, because it's her passion. "The biggest reward is being out and seeing someone wear what I helped pick out. I love having an impact, seeing them transform."
In the late 1970s career educators Eileen and Raymond Huntington opened the first Huntington Learning Center in Oradell, New Jersey. Their goal was to take an individualized approach to education, adjusting instructional tactics according to each student's set of needs. Their success in helping K–12 students prepare for exams and improve grades and study skills quickly spawned franchises across New York and New Jersey.
Today, the certified Huntington tutoring staff utilizes testing and rubrics for assessing each child's skills, academic needs, and potential for growth. The teachers even note the student's behavior in different testing and academic situations to craft a methodology sensitive to each child's learning style. Teachers also adhere to the company's code of ethics that stresses professionalism and confidentiality and encourages pupils to improve their grades honestly through dedicated study rather than shortcuts.
That luminous glow around which everyone is gathered is not a campfire, and no one is telling stories. Still, they're communing just the same as the do battle with and against one another in Entertainment on Wheels' video-game café. A row of wide-screen HD TVs casts that glow, not a jar full of fireflies, and they flicker with images of the exciting multiplayer Xbox and Wii games. Up to 20 players can engage at the same time, competing in games of Mario Kart, matching moves during bouts of Just Dance, or ducking and running in Halo battles. Party planners can reserve the café for birthday celebrations that can include pizza and cupcakes, as well as visits from Mario and Luigi themselves. Beyond the café, the mobile unit travels to party sites to entertain guests with interactive play.
Since bursting from a confetti cannon in 1995, All About Parties has elevated birthdays, weddings, and get-togethers to new levels. Owner Kevin Kiernan and his roster of performers wave their magic wand over bashes and escort customers through the entire party-planning process, from the first dance song to the last exhausted guest to be hauled out by a backhoe. Using the host's vision as a blueprint, All About Parties dispatches emcees, live musicians, and motivational dancers to celebratory scenes. The business also offers a vast array of extra entertainment options, including games, casino tables, and carnival attractions such as dunk tanks and rides.
More than just a boxing gym, International Boxing & Fitness provides both kids and adults with programs that build self-esteem and discipline. Programs include boxing as well as mixed martial arts. Members can work directly with trainers or punch and kick their way around the gym on their own. To do that, there's a couple of speed bags, six punching bags, and a full weight system. They can also climb into the ring or onto a treadmill to build stamina. Other equipment includes squat benches and medicine balls. Protein shakes are also available for purchase for members looking to add muscle.
Sensei Anthony Diaz and the staff at Ridgewood Martial Arts have been teaching kids, teens, and adults how to defend themselves since 1997, the year danger was invented. Although their specialty is shotokan kickboxing, they also offer boxing and general martial-arts lessons. Each lesson is a workout in itself, but for an exclusively fitness-minded session the team also schedules calorie-scorching circuit-training classes.