For the CEO of Daniel's Jewelers, helping people realize their sparkling and diamond-studded dreams is more than a business—it's a family legacy. In 1948, his grandparents mortgaged their home in order to open a small jewelry store in Bell Gardens, California. His grandmother managed the details of their office and family life while his grandfather sold jewelry, gifts, and socket-wrench sets, creating an in-store credit system that allowed customers to conveniently pay for their purchases. His father and uncle joined the ranks after college and expanded the company from the original storefront.
What began as a glimmer in the eye of Helene and Joe Sherwood has blossomed into a leading jewelry establishment that spans 61 locations throughout central and southern California. The Sherwoods and their employees still strive to treat their customers as family, and they still offer credit options for a variety of budgets. In addition to stunning gold and silver pieces, they showcase design-your-own wedding and anniversary bands and offer a full-range of jewelry repair, including clasps and re-sizing. The diamond rings in their exclusive Love Song collection are embedded with a pink diamond, and come in a music box that, when opened, plays either Debussy's famous Clair de Lune or the Alvin and the Chipmunks singing "The Song That Never Ends."
Hailing from Mexico's silverworking heartland near Taxco, owner Maria Alberta of Maola's Silver Imports selects craftsman-quality jewelry and adornments with a professional eye and personal passion. The store sparkles with the twinkling glow of ornaments made from shiny sterling silver and semiprecious stones and gems. Necks are artfully bedecked with one of Maola’s glimmery necklaces ($75–$500), and rings ($14–$700) grace digits with beautiful circles that, like shimmies up an ouroboros, literally never end. Cuff links ($75+) and money clips ($45–$95) make themselves useful with fashionable flair, and picture lockets ($15–$58) are ideal for carrying miniature portraits of loved ones or expansive panoramas of the inside of a locket.
Zazzle.com is an intensely popular provider of personalized presents, stamping T-shirts, coffee mugs, postage, greeting cards, and more with a singular seal of your own idiosyncratic identity. Quickly customize a basic men’s T-shirt ($12.95–$19.95) to commemorate your stellar parking-lot rugby season, or go for a cutely stylized greeting card ($2.95 and up, discounts available for mass quantities). Other popular items include self-designed mugs ($13.95–$22.10) and absurdly cute pet clothes ($18.95 and up). Since each item is created on the spot by Zazzle’s nondenominational gift-making elves, more complicated orders and items may take longer to produce and ship.
Drawing inspiration from bygone years as well as current trends, 1928 Jewelry Company's designers craft chic, vintage-inspired baubles that have been featured in Elle Girl, InStyle, and other publications. Shoppers can peruse elegant earrings, necklaces, and bracelets or opt to personalize custom photo jewelry with meaningful snapshots. Cufflinks and tie clips add sophisticated accents to men's wardrobes.
For A Runner's Circle’s founders, Joe and Derek, running is more than just a sport, it’s a way of life. With Joe’s running experience and Derek’s physical therapy expertise, they decided to team up and create a place where runner’s could come for support in all aspects of the sport. The result is A Runner’s Circle, where the duo has established a loyal community at their running store that topped Competitor magazine’s list of Best Running Shops in 2011 and 2012 in Los Angeles.
The friendly staff is highly trained in gait analysis and shoe technology, allowing them to offer expert recommendations on which shoes customers should wear on their feet, and which shoes they should wear on their elbows. They can outfit customers with selections from the store's stock of running, trail, and minimalist shoes from some of the top brands in the industry, including Asics, New Balance, Newton, and Hoka OneOne. They also have access to apparel and accessories ranging from shoe bags to water bottles and high performance hats
A Runner’s Circle also supports the running community with frequent events, races, and running clubs. They host educational events and running clinics, support environmental preservation, and also contribute to AIDS research funding by community awareness campaigns and donations.
DanceGardenLA was created by Zahra Zuhair and Jenna, who have been belly-dancing since childhood and have travelled the world accumulating impressive professional credits. Zuhair has trained in traditional folk and Eastern styles—including Lebanese, Turkish, Moroccan, and Tunisian—but her specialty is Egyptian belly dance, which she has studied with some of the top teachers in Cairo. She has also been featured on the cover of Zaghareet! magazine and has written, directed, and choreographed productions as the artistic director of the Ghazella Dance Company and Po Na Na Dance Theatre. Jenna acted as a goddess bellydance instructor on an episode of Sex and the City, and made appearances on The Tyra Banks Show and the Food Network program Aarti Party. She has also starred in several bestselling belly dance-instruction DVDs.
Thanks to their more than 50 years of combined teaching experience and a talented team of award-winning instructors, the studio was named the Best Place to Learn the Art of Bellydancing in 2012 by LA Weekly. The site recommended instructor Princess Farhana's "witty repartee (and Hollywood rock-scene anecdotes)," and described the predominantly female atmosphere as "always encouraging, never intimidating." The crew teaches classes including classic and tribal-style bellydance, Bollywood, and cutting-edge dance fitness such as Bellyquake and E5.