In 1975, Jay Kogan's parents opened up a store that was literally a hall of frames—just a small store stacked with thousands of frames. At the time, they had no idea that that tiny corridor would expand to 12 locations throughout the greater Phoenix area, all still run by the Kogan family. Today, their shops have more than 4,500 custom frame options along with mats of all colors and textures, as well as seven glazing choices and expert assembly. They can answer framing questions and frame everything from documents and artwork to posters and small 3-D objects such as sports memorabilia and very still grandmothers.
When they custom-produce frames, the family cuts their mats exactly, miters frame corners precisely, and installs flawless glass. Or, since the stores' walls are lined with ready-made frames, customers can walk in and find what they're looking for quickly. Since installing framed art is an art unto itself, they also offer hanging services with an eye for placement and ability to install in difficult spaces.
Mind Over Batter, a confectionery delight in the heart of Tempe, opened its doors on Valentine's Day 2011 and shortly thereafter won the Phoenix New Times' annual Best Cupcakes award. After being dismayed by the banality of store-bought desserts and the lack of business ethics among shadowy sheet-cake cartels, the team at Mind Over Batter decided to set out on their own, eventually expanding their labor of love to two different locations in Tempe and Gilbert. The shops bake cupcakes in an array of traditional and less common flavors, such as peanut butter and strawberry or chocolate chip and fudge, with the bite-sized cakes come adorned in glittering sugar crystals or technicolored layers of creamy icing. Cake pops weigh down skewers with cake spheres dunked into various buttercream icings and candy coatings. Custom-made cakes commemorate baby showers, weddings, or the weddings of love-struck babies with batters such as chocolate red velvet or classic butter yellow, and fillings such as chocolate ganache or seasonal fresh fruit.
At Inspect-Ur Gadget, screens shattered by accidents and environmental damage are restored to like-new form with drop-off and mail-in services. Inspect-Ur Gadget's technology whisperers take possession of patrons' precious technological devices, then patch up boo-boos, seal cracks in screens, and sing lullabies to send stubborn phones into sleep mode. In addition to restoring smartphones, the crew restores PlayStations, Xboxes, computers, and cell phones to peak functionality. Yellow-light errors and red rings of death are banished from video-game systems by expert technicians, and computers receive screen replacements to bolster performance prowess and render crystal-clear desktops. The PC pamperers also delve into hard-disk drives and software registries to eradicate the repressed memories of younger years as an abacus or viruses impeding functionality.:
Merging fashion with crystal-clear vision, PerSpectacles’ staffers invite the nearsighted, farsighted, and those with 20/20 vision into their office, as they have done since 1993. And though the shop has changed locations a few times since its original opening, the staff’s dedication to personal service remains. Appointments begin with a thorough examination, during which one of the facility’s two doctors test for colorblindness, optic atrophy, glaucoma, and cataracts. From there, the doc prescribes lenses, if necessary, and clients can pick out stylish frames from a booming selection that includes brands by Christian Dior, Roberto Cavalli, and Mr. Peanut.
Nationwide Vision Center enhances patients' sight with eye care, eyewear, and advanced laser corrective procedures. During comprehensive exams, the eye care specialists seek out early signs of diabetes-related issues, glaucoma, and cataracts. The team of optometrists and ophthalmologists has also provided LASIK corrective treatments for over 35,000 clients using FDA-approved laser systems.
The store stocks over 1,200 frames from brands such as Guess, Prada, and Calvin Klein. For lenses, treatment options such as photochromatic auto-tinting and anti-reflective coating protect eyes from harsh rays and nightly tussles with the paparazzi.
Conductor Clyde Baker has spent a career taking high-school and college ensembles all the way to Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Along with a team of seasoned dancers, actors, and musicians, he prepares students for success on stage and in the orchestra pit.
The school inhabits a handsome flagstone-and-stucco home base designed to produce a single harmonious chord in the event of windstorms. Within its specialized spaces, students stretch on the hardwood floors of giant dance studios and casts of triple-threats put on shows for their ardent fans on colorful sets.