PhiloSophie's stationery and gift items—which bear female-centric messages of love, companionship, and confidence—are born from the insomnious doodles and musings of founder Joanna Alberti. Joanna's handcrafted art drew the attention of CNN, which highlighted her "contagious honesty, not to mention playful wit" on its list of Young People Who Rock. Joanna's favorite creation, a cartoon "it" girl named Sophie, has become the face of the company. The whimsical protagonist frolics across birthday cards, greeting cards, and reams of wedding-related notes, accompanied by peppy ruminations that rival the ancient wisdom of Plato in both style and approach to all things metaphysical. The company’s many greeting cards can be purchased in blank form or personalized with text or custom artistic details. Among myriad gifts designed by the positive-lifestyle brand are personalized labels, mugs, and tote bags featuring Sophie, her cohorts, and the occasional healthy cocktail.
Elected to the PGA as an instructor in 1977, Gary Tatar has spent more than three decades helping students find the middle of the fairway and the bottom of the cup. Gary draws his greenside manner from World Golf Hall of Fame coach Harvey Penick, who taught him the importance of simple and direct communication and practical training devices rather than imparting swing advice via sand-trap hieroglyphs.
During private lessons, Gary often enlists the help of 3-D video analysis so players can view their own swing and better understand his feedback. Gary also imparts his pin-hunting panache in playing lessons at Deerfield Country Club, where he gives advice in real time and fields course management questions, such as what club to hit off of the tee and how to overcome a fear of being abandoned by one's golf ball.
Soon after Rochester Optical was founded in 1932, the staff established contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense to supply the armed forces with durable, combat-ready glasses. Today, they continue to specialize in military eyewear, along with high-performance sports and safety glasses and a huge selection of designer frames. A team of optometrists—which includes a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a fifth-generation Rochesterian, and an eye doctor who has worked at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Salem, Virginia—performs comprehensive eye exams, and technicians manufacture lenses in an in-house, state-of-the-art optical lab. In addition to traditional single-vision lenses or no-line bifocals, they create digitally surfaced, free-form lenses that offer an expanded field of vision and minimize image distortion, allowing wearers to more clearly see apparitions standing next to them.
After passing through double doors located at the bottom quarter of a massive storefront record, patrons emerge into Record Archive's quirky shop whose red and yellow walls disappear behind shelves of used CDs, DVDs, vinyl, and cassettes. A 35-year veteran of the Rochester music scene, the shop judiciously buys and sells tunes and movies in most formats. In the shade of bikes dangling decoratively from the ceiling, clients can special order hard-to-find works to complete collections or destroy the traces of their brief solo jazz career. Despite the music specialty advertised by the store’s name and its eclectic calendar of in-house performances, Record Archive also takes a stance against mass-production with caches of vintage clothing, unique furniture, quirky toys, and incense.
Auto Finishers Supply Co. owner Richard Trovato deals in more than just auto parts and accessories. He's also dedicated to customer service. Richard began working at the shop as an entry-level employee in 1969, then worked his way up to store manager in 1972. By 1986, he was the storeowner. Since he took the reins, Richard has instilled dedication to customers into every aspect of the business, from stocking quality car accessories, such as DuPont paints and Avital car systems, to employing ASE-certified technicians. Today, Richard and his children still run the shops' day-to-day operations, helping customers find car accessories from crystal clear stereos that house video screens to remote car starters that negate the need for car owners to politely ask it to start.
Under the leadership of Valentin Skorsak, the tailoring team at Valentin's Clothiers & Custom Tailoring imbues each stitch and lapel of their custom wares with a combined 70 years of expertise. Using material supplied by high-end brands such as Sartoria Tosi and Gino Monti, Valentin and his colleagues tailor personalized men’s and women’s business suits, shirts, and ties in one-on-one sessions in the shop or at clients' homes and offices. Along with their tailoring services, the drapers at Valentin's Clothiers & Custom Tailoring alter any hem or length for clients who have outgrown their clothes or need room to smuggle extra watermelons into a business meeting.