Marina Bichinsky knows the importance of art education firsthand. She had her first art lesson at age 5, and, though it may have seemed like a childhood hobby at the time, art paved the road for her career path, a road that had perfectly straight yellow lines thanks to her artistic skill. She studied architecture in college, earned her doctorate in visual communications, and, today, funnels these skills into her position as director of Living Art Studio. Here, she teaches students of all ages and skill levels enlisted in the studio’s classes, in which instructors trained by Marina teach realist painting techniques.
The team generally starts first-time artists off with classes that teach gesture and proportion before graduating them to charcoal-drawing classes, color study, and, finally, painting still lifes and figures. For their younger crowd, instructors lead Mommy & Me classes, during which 2.5- to 5-year-olds learn techniques amenable to their age, such as how to turn baby-food splats on highchair trays into impressionist opuses that suggest Monet and Renoir, but with an underlying current of originality in the vein of a Pissarro. The school also offers a specialty curriculum for adults who are seeking further education in areas such as fashion design, photography, and advertising.
Wherever Wenny Blackman goes, Aveda's organic products are sure to follow, and vice versa, as the stylist, aesthetician, and owner of Wen Chic Salon and Spa—an Aveda Concept Salon and Spa—has been attending Aveda classes since 1996. Needless to say, she and her skilled staff employ Aveda products exclusively to augment their repertoire of salon and spa services, including colorings that use HeadMapping, instead of traditional wizards, to predict the amount of time, product, and cost for each session.
Before the Texas board-certified stylists can cut, color, or treat hair, Blackman requires them to attend classes at the Aveda Institute. The stylists' mastery of Aveda's curriculum, coupled with their overall experience, determines their status as a stylist, senior stylist, master stylist, or director. Similarly, the licensed aestheticians and registered massage therapists reach for Aveda products during facials, massages, waxing treatments, and airbrush-tanning sessions, which are staged in the spa area's quiet summer and winter rooms, free of cell-phone ringtones and piles of burning leaves.
In addition to cardio and weight-training equipment, ClubSport Green Valley hosts sundry athletic endeavors from running to swimming to shooting hoops. Runners can leave the stationary machines behind and hoof it on the three-lane indoor track, which provides separate lanes for walking, jogging, and fleeing packs of wild medicine balls. With courts designated for racquetball, squash, tennis, volleyball, and basketball, patrons can hone their ball-handling skills, and swimmers can paddle in the six-lane outdoor pool or the four-lane indoor pool.
The certified fitness trainers instruct guests in using the facility’s Precor and Life Fitness weight and cardio equipment, and supervise sets in the designated stretching and core-training area. When not conducting personal-training sessions, trainers lead group classes of step, power sculpting, Zumba, and Pilates. The staff also wrangles children aged 6 weeks to 12 years old in Kids World, helping them burn extra energy with fitness activities and arts and crafts as their caretakers burn calories.
As an Aveda Lifestyle Salon, So-Pure Salon and Spa performs haircare and spa treatments with the essential oils and natural herbal ingredients found in Aveda products. Stylists accompany restorative conditioning treatments and color services with calming herbal tea and relaxing Aveda mind-body rituals. The team can enhance full-body massages with aromatherapy and deeply hydrating wraps or soften hands and feet with milk baths and sugar scrubs during Caribbean Therapy mani-pedis that, like a day in Carmen Miranda’s fruit hat, manifest the citrusy fragrances of the tropics.
The salon and spa's decor is as botanically based as its products. The earth-toned space boasts natural wood furniture and floors and pops of bright green from potted plants. The walls are a testament to the beauty experts' support of their community, displaying the work of local artists, including those of Pyramid Incorporated—a nonprofit organization dedicated to training adults with intellectual and physical disabilities in the visual and performing arts.
Longtime friends Dena Tripp and Debra Shwetz founded Nothing Bundt Cakes in 1997 after toiling for months to perfect their bundt-cake recipe and business concept. Now a national brand, Nothing Bundt Cakes specializes in daily made cakes crafted from high-quality ingredients?such as fresh eggs, real butter, and real cream cheese?and decorated with designs that tickle customers' nostalgia bones. Bakers forge cakes for special occasions, including congratulations, birthdays, or baby's first psychic predictions, in flavors such as red velvet, marble, or pecan praline. Confectioners can customize moist rounds with signature frosting petals and frosting drizzles, as well as personal images and messages. After visitors cross the threshold of a Nothing Bundt Cakes store, they're surrounded by whimsical gifts, vintage decor, pastel colors, and cozy furnishings, all combined to foster an atmosphere as folksy as Mark Twain's blog about Norman Rockwell.
Doctors of Chiropractic Freericks and Doyle make adjustments at two Discover Chiropractic locations, addressing pain, arthritis, stress, and whiplash in their discipline's signature, drug-free style. The practice takes on patients of most ages, including children and older adults, establishing it as a wellness center where one's entire family can receive treatment. And family is important to each of the clinic's practitioners, as each doctor lists time with their loved ones among their favorite off-hours activities. That approach informs the team’s care philosophy, affording the doctors firsthand perspectives on the physical demands of many of their patients’ up-tempo lifestyles. With adjustments, x-rays, and other modern equipment, the team is able to find the sources of patients’ pain and help them heal while getting them back to their regular routines with less discomfort.