The quadrilateral connoisseurs at the frugal framer perform all production in-house to ensure that posters, memorabilia, and artwork are encased in the finest shells. The skilled craftspeople specialize in custom framing, a process in which they design, size, and construct picture cocoons based on the dimensions, characteristics, and food allergies of the artwork. Customers have their choice of frames ($5+/ft.), mats, glazing, and moulding material. Box experts can forge a standard 8”x10” frame with matting for laundry folding certificates ($40 on average), or construct a 16”x20” edifice with a wooden frame, mat, backing, and regular glazing for prized post-it note ideas ($80 average). The frugal framer will also equip a 26”x34” piece of art, raised and floated on a rag mat with spacers ($300 average), or enshrine pieces in specialty casings such as shadow boxes with UV-blocking glass.
Angie Acosta, founder of Queen City DanceOut, has a simple motto for her students: "If you're moving, you're doing it right." This encouraging, low-pressure attitude attracts people of all ages to her dance-inspired fitness classes, which meet at 18 public locations. Angie and her instructors aim to make exercise feel like a celebration and a refreshing break rather than a dreaded routine. To this end, their classes incorporate intuitive dance moves and invigorating music. DanceOut, the signature course, blends genres as diverse as swing, hip-hop, and reggae into a workout, relying on repetition and basic choreography to keep everyone grooving. Other highlights of the curriculum include the Latin rhythms of Zumba; the Dance Impact class, which fuses dance and kickboxing; and JamStrong, a mixture of core-conditioning, dance, and fun.
Community is a central aspect of every DanceOut class. As pupils practice their twirls, they can follow both the teacher and the Jam Crew—a team of regulars who help make the steps easy to follow and can assist fellow dancers. In addition to group workouts, instructors host skill workshops such as Booty Bootcamp, where attendees learn rump-shaking techniques and how to turn any chair into a rocking chair. They also put on performances and lead private classes for special events and parties.
For decades, JCPenney Portraits has welcomed families into its friendly studios, where professional photographers expertly photograph subjects of any age. Digital cameras, professional lighting, and a wide selection of backgrounds all work together to ensure a professional, personalized look for every family portrait, school picture, business headshot, or baby announcement. To customize the session even more, the staff also encourages guests to incorporate items with special meaning such as a baby blanket or a family heirloom. From a first baby portrait to senior pictures and engagement photos, JCPenney Portraits helps to preserve special family memories to come.
After the final flash, clients and a team member head to the viewing kiosk, where they can select their photos and customize them. Beyond traditional printed portraits, memories may also be preserved on high-resolution CD, gallery wraps, wall art, or through JCPenney Portraits' archival program, which allows clients to store and share their portraits online.
When it comes to high-resolution images, photographer Darby lives by the truism "do unto others as you would have them do to you." She says, "I personally would only hire a photographer for my family that would provide full-resolution digital images at a reasonable cost, so I decided I would offer that to my clients." She simplifies the photo-shoot process even more by coordinating outside services such as belly painters for maternity shoots and hair and makeup artists for boudoir shoots. At the end of the day, whether it was a wedding or a portrait session, her mission is to make the shoot as enjoyable as the modernly styled photographs.