To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ?She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.?
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
Ride On Bikes’ specialists match customers with a two-wheeled transport to fit their needs, whether they’re exploring downtown Columbus or off-roading in a neighbor’s backyard sandbox. The store buys new bicycles each season, and an in-house mechanic ensures that existing equipment is kept in proper rolling order. The helpful staff can also suggest ideal routes for any type of excursion. Should clients seek repairs on their own bikes, the team provides free estimates before restoring their rides.
Guests searching for Essentials Day Spa and Salon will find it discretely nestled at the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains inside the DoubleTree by Hilton Claremont hotel. Calming music fills the air as staffers enhance clients' natural beauty in equally elegant rooms enhanced by rich, dark wood accents and ornate, gold-framed mirrors. Hair stylists and color specialists create new looks with products such as Redken and Pureology, and aestheticians exfoliate and hydrate skin during facials, pulling complexion-revitalizing tonics from the highly customizable Dermalogica line. Massage therapists ease muscle tension with four different modalities and reflexology treatments, and the team also soothes the nerves of clients hearing wedding bells or suffering from tinnitus with all-encompassing bridal packages.
While devoting countless hours of their creativity and skill to making human beings more beautiful, Essentials' staff also remains mindful of the health and beauty of both the environment and the local community. Day-to-day efforts include recycling all possible materials, recycling or donating old equipment, and using only biodegradable laundry soap. They frequently donate to local schools and charities, and collect hair for the Matter of Trust Foundation, which uses shed strands to help clean up oil spills and build toupees for balding walruses.
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.
With a PhD in nursing from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, registered nurse Carol Dean Baker understands that wellness involves more than getting a physical every year. That’s why, in addition to her nursing practice, she helms PureBalance, a yoga studio dedicated to building a health-oriented community.
The studio’s eclectic offerings range from Vinyasa sessions in an 85-degree room to basic Hatha classes focusing on breath work and meditation. Flexibility-enhancing sessions emphasize deep, slow stretches of major muscle groups, and condensed classes pack a full course’s punch into just 45 minutes without resorting to cheap time savers such as eliminating the exhalation portion of each breath.