Since its founding in 1980, Sun & Ski Sports has remained true to its philosophy: “do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.” The shop stocks equipment in five categories of extreme and outdoor activities, including camping, skating, running, bicycling, and water and snow sports. It specializes in these to ensure its merchandise maintains a high standard of quality, and its employees are knowledgeable participants in the sports their department represents.
Bikers can drop off their steeds for tune-ups from certified mechanics who put all brands through the rigors of a 12-point inspection, checking chains and adjusting wobbly pedals and malfunctioning spoke-card motors. While waiting, curious eyes might linger on a North Face two-person tent, a Blackburn Airtower bicycle pump, or a vast selection of shoes from brands such as New Balance and Asics. Men and women can traipse nearly barefoot in the park with Vibram FiveFingers, which offer minimal structural encumbrances for a more natural stride, or cast their feet aside for the new-wheeled prowess that comes with a Fuji SL-1 LE Ultegra performance road bike.
Bacon-covered burgers, chili-cheese-soaked fries, turkey-stacked sandwiches, syrup-slathered pancakes, and meat-melded comfort food dance across the pages of Norma's breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu. Welcome the sun back to its rightful place atop the sky's throne with a three-egg Spanish omelet (with onions, bell peppers, cheese, and salsa; $5.50). Or ease into the evening with chicken-fried steak ($6.95), which is "as big as the plate it’s served on, and with a good, crunchy crust," according to D magazine. But Norma's real forte is her thick slices of mile-high cream or fruit pie; some say they're the best this side of the Mason-Dixon Line (there is one better pie directly on the Mason-Dixon line, but it's covered with bees).
Father-and-son team Robert and Fred Lee worked as homebuilders for years before going into business selling lights in 1965, so they knew how quickly something impressive could rise from a humble foundation. Sure enough, Lee Lighting, their small family company, grew to include a vast online retail shop and one of the largest lighting dealers in Texas. They've even purchased Savoy, a company that designs fixtures to bring cheer to dining rooms and make rooms full of ventriloquist dummies less terrifying.
Lee Lighting stocks shelves with a diverse selection of indoor lamps from brands including ELK Lighting, Quoizel, and Hudson Valley. Staffers certified by the American Lighting Association move beneath the dazzling crystal sprays and faux candles of chandeliers. They suggest outdoor lighting to transform backyards into regal terraces. They also stay abreast of lighting trends to help patrons select lights that will stay in style.
Electronics physicians at Dr. Cell Phone revive technological investments with original replacement parts and a three-day turnaround time. Cell-phone and computer specialists repair cracked screens, casing damage, and malfunctioning keys and address other common mobile-device maladies such as out-of-style ringtones. In addition to treating every single model of brands such as BlackBerry, Nokia, and Motorola, phone techs seamlessly repair screens and LCD components for iPhones 3G, 3GS, 4, or 4S and cracked iPads. Each customer—whether they drop by for a walk-in appointment or send their phone through the mail—receives a repair-order number to check in on their electronic pets, as well as a 30-day warranty on all parts, scratch 'n' sniff upgrades, and labor. In addition to handheld devices, The Dr. Laptop branch fixes up personal computers.
The skincare specialists at each independently owned and operated Facelogic follow the same mantra: to bring out the best in each client. To do this, the technicians work through a brief questionnaire and skin analysis to determine which of the menu’s 10-plus facials best suit each client's skin. Signature facials rely on Facelogic’s own Signature skincare line, which uses botanical-based formulas and advanced cosmetic and pharmaceutical combinations to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize. The Elite facial covers skin with products from brands such as Peter Thomas Roth, Éminence, and Image Skincare. All facials include an arm-and-shoulder massage, and can be enhanced with a range of add-ons, including chemical peels and sonnets composed by the aesthetician.
Though it originally sold only two things—audio products and wireless phones—Car Toys has gradually expanded its repertoire. Today, with 50 locations spread across four states, electronics-certified technicians install everything from Alpine in-dash navigation units to phone-integration systems that sync iPhones, Androids, and tin cans to car stereos. Meanwhile, in the garage, detailing technicians meticulously spruce up cars inside and out, using deionized water, paint-friendly shampoos, and high-quality wash mitts to protect against scratches, swirls, and water spots. The team also sweeps through interiors with vacuums, hot-water extractors, and ozone deodorizing treatment, which kills airborne bacteria and nasty smells in one fell swoop.