Forrest Briggs claims the South as his home, and indeed he grew up and attended college there. As a photography student, he earned admission into several galleries and juried exhibitions, but his post graduate work honed his eye. He travelled the world, learning to speak fluent Vietnamese and becoming trapped in Nepal during the 2006 coup d’état, all the while documenting his journeys through his camera. The temporary expatriation sharpened his skills, helping him excel at photographic composition, natural lighting strategies, and more abstract concepts such as how to make photos “pop.”
Now, as a photographer and teacher, he passes along these lessons to a new generation of shutterbugs, while lending his eye and skill to clients in search of classic portraiture and boudoir shoots. He also has an eye for shooting martial arts action, working behind the scenes at mixed martial arts events and even pulling a stint as the personal photographer of Cheryl Murphy, nine-time US Nationals Karate Champion.
Edible Arrangements offers up more than 50 fresh, artful fruit baskets that combine the aesthetic elements and emotive properties of floral arrangements with the juicy edibility of fruit. The sweetery's designers stud the Delicious Daisy ($35), a bouquet of sliced honeydew, pineapple, and cantaloupe, with strawberries and strings of grapes that double as a 25th-anniversary gift for a Smucker's jam heiress. Decadent, gluten-free layers of white and semisweet chocolate coat fruit in a 12-piece box of hand-dipped strawberries, apples, and bananas ($25). Customers can also put today's Groupon toward a larger centerpiece, such as the Melon Delight ($76), a decorative spray of watermelon wedges, pineapple daisies, cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes, and double-dipped bananas sprouting from a watering can. The preservative-free treats are all handcrafted at the apex of freshness, readying hand-dipped dainties to be hand-shoved into eagerly awaiting mouths.
NaturaLawn of America devotes itself to caring for both lawns and the environment, eschewing harmful chemicals in favor of eco-conscious products. Natural, organic-based, and biodegradable products are administered to create healthy outdoor spaces that repel intrusive pests such as fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and aging golf-course greens searching for a place to retire.
Technicians determine the individual needs of each lawn to develop custom treatment plans, taking soil tests and enhancing lawns with zero-phosphorus fertilizers, seeding and aeration treatments, or regimens that focus on balancing nitrogen, potassium, and sulfur. The pest-control professionals also fight off invasive species, applying milky-spore grub control—which uses a naturally occurring bacteria—to evict japanese beetles and european chafers. The lawn liaisons deter Lyme disease–carrying creatures with Tick Ranger and send moles on their way with biodegradable repellents or inside jobs to infiltrate the neighbor’s vegetable garden.
Triple C Landscaping & Lawn Care is the brainchild of Zane Neugebauer, a certified horticulturist who started the business six years ago. He and his team of professional landscapers beautify lawns with a full menu of services. In addition to mowing the grass, trimming hedges and laying down mulch, they also help out with more labor-intensive projects such as planting trees and evicting intransigent garden gnomes.
Annoyed by bites and wary of diseases carried by mosquitoes and ticks, Mosquito Squad spritzes its signature barrier spray across more than 20 states. Technicians protect home acreage with an EPA-registered spray, which kills adult mosquitoes and ticks using synthetic chemicals that emulate a compound found in chrysanthemums. They take care to avoid blossoms and harming helpful bugs such as honeybees and sentient VW Beetles. As an alternative, staffers can spritz an all-natural spray, whose scent confuses and repels pests for about two weeks. Mosquito Squad can also equip yards with remote-controlled automatic misting systems, as well as spray lawns and municipal places before outdoor events.
Old Colony Furniture, which has been family owned since 1946, inspires interior-design compositions with a 30,000-square-foot show room, showcasing both contemporary and classic pieces. Upon entering the expansive show room, guests will feel as though they're walking through an expertly designed home as they peruse rich, opulent furniture from more 50 respected brands, such as Sherrill and Hancock & Moore, artfully arranged in inviting vignettes. With a collection of dining chairs ($269+), patrons can strategically seat guests in vulnerable positions should a mashed-potato fight break out. A nightstand ($449+) provides optimal access to water glasses and bedside reading materials, and an upholstered occasional chair ($475+) coddles fatigued appendages. Shoppers glance into mirrors ($225+) to admire the way a shirt complements their pants and for instant reassurance of their non-gorilla status.