Matt Janke dreamed of landing the perfect glass-blowing job. After moving to Atlanta in 1986, he realized there wasn't a single glass studio in town, granting his art a ready-made niche. After settling in, he returned to grad school, earning an MFA in glass with the intent to launch his own university program and ultimately procure his own space. By the time he graduated in 1992, Matt further honed his skills, stockpiled equipment, and, in 1996, opened his own studio and hired himself.
Beyond the perks of being his own boss, having his own studio affords Matt a great deal of creative freedom. He infuses all his handblown light fixtures, tumblers, and vases with the prismatic swirls of his signature style, in which precise lines and natural variations vie for attention across undulating surfaces. A downtown gallery space facilitates sales of these works.
But the studio has also fulfilled more than Matt's original goal of finding glass-blowing employment, going on to catalyze a glass-blowing community. From single apprentices in the early days, the studio is now a full-fledged classroom, with space for five instructors, a dozen students, and the kilns that must melt their glass until they each finish their training by capturing and taming a fire-breathing dragon.
In honor of Women’s History Month, Groupon is celebrating an inspiring group of women: business leaders whose companies and brands enrich their communities. Thanks to the dedication and ingenuity of these leaders, local communities across the country are stronger and more diverse.
Shop the Women in Business collection.
Since 1939, this family-owned chain with four dry-cleaning locations in the Columbus area has provided clients with professional laundry and dry-cleaning services. Wade Cleaners strives to provide customers with the same quality and warm service that one would expect from family-run business. A crew of cleaners is ready to clean anything, whether it be a favorite shirt or a cherished family treasure, and treat each item with care before it is returned in pristine condition.
You don’t need a million-dollar ego to train like an elite athlete with today’s Groupon: $35 gets you four classes at D1 Sports Training, an $80 value. The 25,000-square-foot facility, about 20 minutes from downtown Nashville, is the same place where pros such as Peyton Manning and Chris Hope, among others, have pumped iron. We’re not saying that a trip to D1 will make you next year’s first-round draft pick and we’re not saying it will make you a second-round pick either; what we are saying is you can train as if you were.Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
At Athens Running Company, shopping for running shoes is much like test-driving a car. As part of their mission to educate customers, owners and childhood friends Mark Schroeder and David Laggis consult closely with clients and perform complimentary fittings, whereby a foot scanner and a video gait analysis narrow down the best options for stability and comfort. Guests then slip their feet into the latest styles of footwear by the likes of Saucony, Asics, and Brooks before taking shoes for a 15-second spin on the shop’s treadmill so employees can evaluate their movement. Once customers have reviewed a selection of suitable pairs, they take the finalists out on an actual walk or jog, ensuring that the shoes give proper support by squeaking “great job” after every mile.
Aside from carrying shoes for all running disciplines ranging from light jogs to triathlons, the shop’s staff also outfits visitors with workout apparel and accessories, including compression gear, orthotics, heart-rate monitors, and jogging strollers. Despite the breadth of their catalog, Mark and David both reject the personal detachment of a large retail store. They invest in several local running programs, sponsoring races where they time the competitors and host finish-line services. Works by neighborhood artists decorate the shop’s walls, alongside leashes and pet jackets by Ruffwear—items of potential interest to Mark's dog, Sam, who accompanies his owner to work each day.
At Formwell, owners Rami and Heather Odeh and Andy Berman keep their mission focused on personal training by seeking out credentialed trainers—including elite trainers who have worked at Formwell for at least five years and who possess a combination of a master’s degree in exercise science and advanced training certification. Throughout the indoor and outdoor facilities, they lead clients through tailored workouts that may incorporate traditional fitness equipment, such as free weights and cardio machines. They may also draw upon alternative exercises, such as lifts on Olympic rings, kettlebell swings, and tug-o-war with a horse.
Beyond personal training, Formwell’s team leads partner training and small-group classes, such as CrossFit, plus a weight-loss program that extends to nutritional education. Tiled bathrooms with showers let guests transition between work and the gym, and a children’s room entertains young ones with a television, DVD player, and video games.
Macon Bedroom & Mattress and Robins Bed & Mattress furnish sleeping quarters with quality sleep helpers from top-flight brands such as Simmons, Enso Sleep Systems, Tempur-Pedic, and more. Stop paying exorbitant fees to sheep-counting businesses by resting easy on queen mattress sets ($199+) and queen memory-foam mattress sets ($599+), or replace elaborate pillow forts with more sustainable furniture, such as futons, bunk beds, and headboards with frames ($199+). Those with a smaller bed to cushion can peruse the store’s selection of twin-size mattresses ($79+), and sea-loving sleepers can simulate their time aboard the USS Burt Reynolds by napping on a waterbed. Whether you’re picking up furniture for a child's bedroom or coffee tables for the living room, the considerate, attentive staff at each location is available for every step of the process, from selection to delivery and setup.