The staff members at Sylvan Learning's numerous study facilities understand that each child learns differently. Therefore, they don’t try to implement a uniform tutoring system; instead, they design custom lesson programs based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and one-on-one interviews.
Tutors work with students from kindergarten through grade 12, illuminating topics ranging from basic reading and writing to remembering complex algebraic formulas without having them tattooed on your chest. Many of Sylvan’s instructors work in local schools, so they are intimately familiar with common curricula and understand how to gear lessons toward optimal results. After-school and summer classes can ready high-schoolers for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students to wow college-admissions officers with their superior essay-writing skills.
In November 2010, AnnMarie DiMaio purchased a small brickyard nestled in the midst of undulating farmlands with a dream to remodel the property in honor of her late mother and father. Drawing inspiration from her Italian heritage, AnnMarie modeled The Villa DiMaio after a Tuscan villa replete with tiled floors, Tiffany-style lighting, and walls covered in authentic Mona Lisas. The culinary-arts graduate specializes in wedding- and corporate-catering services and opens her picturesque villa to the public for a family-style Sunday brunch that marries Italian and southern cuisines. The facility’s covered wraparound veranda and rustic brick-and-stone courtyard pair meals with panoramic views of the landscaped grounds and decorative waterfalls.
The seasoned trainers at OPT Fitness help blossoming athletes build strength, endurance, and confidence with a comprehensive roster of fitness-minded services. Drawing from years of experience in disciplines such as volleyball, running, and battling ropes, each skilled instructor works to singe calories and coerce muscles to emerge from hiding under rock-shaped tattoos.
Looking for a way to bring fresh, locally grown produce and antibiotic-free meats to consumers, founders Joseph and Vicky Allen and Chris Lewis corralled a cartload of local farmers to create Carolina Grown. After harvesting the hearty veggies, the staff members deliver handpicked comestibles directly to customers’ homes.
They also stock the residential kitchens of Carolinians with jams, nuts, herbs, fresh-caught seafood, and deli meats free of the nitrates and time cards associated with factory-farmed meat. In addition to supplying an abundance of fresh fare, Carolina Grown’s staff also educates consumers about sustainable living and the importance of eating locally through events such as farm tours.
At The Mattress Capital, a knowledgeable staff of salespeople guides visitors through firm or downy mattresses that are all eager to go home and snuggle up to their new owners' slumbering forms. Guests consult with staff members before receiving a personalized tour as salespeople demonstrate the knowledge they gleaned by training one-on-one with experts until they knew each mattress like a horse trainer knows sugar-cube melting points. All of the store's mattresses, including brands such as Tempur-Pedic and Simmons, come with a 90-day comfort guarantee.
Sleep 123 puts fence-hopping sheep to rest with a variety of comfy mattress models by Serta and Corsicana. When sleepyheads walk in the door, they''ll be greeted by staff members who provide instruction in the fundamentals of mattress and bed choices. A Serta Vera Wang Plush queen set ($799) cradles sleepers in softness while keeping them near the bed’s support system and eschewing additional layers of upholstery. Budget-conscious monarchies can turn to queen economy pillowtop sets ($399), and the Corsicana line treats dream-seekers to the 12-inch Canterbury pillowtop, a thick, foam-encased mattress crafted from 567 pocket springs and 398 cloud fibers ($599–$799).