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.
In 1991, the surprise discovery of a Lomo Kompakt Automat?a compact Russian camera?in a Vienna shop struck inspiration into a group of local students; they reveled in the shadowy corners, lo-fi graininess, saturated colors, and light-leaks that riddled its photos. The group traveled to the camera's birthplace in St. Petersburg to meet with the original manufacturers at the Lomo PLC factory, and forge a contract for global distribution. Over the next 20 years, the students' venture expanded into Lomography, a global company that develops experimental cameras and accessories and operates stores in 17 countries.
Whether on gallery shop shelves in an online store, Lomography boasts full-size and compact analog cameras, many in hues such as bright blue, green, and goldenrod. Classic cult picture-takers such as the Diana F+, Lomo Kino, and Lomo LC-A+ join experimental eight-frame and fish-eye cameras, pocket cameras, and kinoscopes. Accessories such as flash, wide-angle lens, and fish-eye lens attachments, and a line of darkroom equipment, spur creative exploration and provide justification for annexing the shadiest corners of the basement. Lomography fuels its cameras with film types such as 35mm, 120 medium format, and instant that can be developed at professional studios or through its online development services. The store also compiles photography books and city guides, and fashion such as shirts, bags, and button sets.
At The Lashe Spot, a team of highly skilled eyelash technicians led by owner Melinda Rodriguez help their clients break free from the hassles of clumpy, high-maintenance mascara. By placing a single extension on each individual natural eyelash, they instantly create long, luscious lashes with natural-looking volume. Eyelash extensions range from dramatic cat-eyes to natural looks to fit each client?s personal style. Most looks require upkeep every two to three weeks. The Lashe Spot also offers a training program for aspiring lash technicians who can then go on to use Lashe Spot?s proprietary lash extension products and techniques and encourages interested candidates to inquire when visting. Waxing and nail care services are also available.
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Wading through indoor heated pools, the instructors at British Swim School teach independent swimming skills to learners aged 3 months and older, adhering to a curriculum devised by British national swimmer Rita Goldberg. The 30-minute one-on-one sessions and small-group lessons, containing six or fewer swimmers, elucidate essential techniques for water safety and the importance of speaking fluent manatee. Swimboree (ages 3 months–3 years with parents) and Young Minnows sessions (ages 1–3 years without parents) teach wee swimmers basic water-survival skills, such as the back float. Turtle One and Turtle Two classes focus on freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke maneuvers, honing more structured swimming skills in older kiddos. British Swim School's Shark courses enhance stamina and speed and teach even more demanding strokes, such as the butterfly and little-known mountain-goat flail. Certain British Swim School classes require parents to participate in the water or to supervise from the pool deck, and adults-only lessons allow grown-ups to refine their own abilities without the supervision of a toddler.
The family behind Prime "N" Tender Meats likes to think of themselves as friendly neighbors?ones who can slice a piece of roast beef to perfection. Regular customers know the men behind the shop's counter, Dan Sr. and Dan Jr. The butchers have been at it since 1985, helping shoppers select the perfect rib eye steak, cut of veal, sirloin burger, or other type of beef, all of which is graded USDA Prime. Their glass display case also showcases Perdue poultry, Iowa pork, Boar's Head deli meats, and oven-ready items such as stuffed chicken breasts and filet mignon stroganoff. Beyond that, they keep their shop stocked with gourmet grocery items, including many specialty sauces that go great with meat or a salad made of potato-chip crumbs from the bottom of the bag.
However, the Dans don't make their customers wait til dinnertime to sate their appetites. They also serve housemade salads and stuff their gourmet meats into custom deli sandwiches, which come crowned in toppings such as smoked gouda.
The first Ebert Studio opened almost 100 years ago on Chicago's west side. Since then, four successive generations have preserved memories for countless families in studios that now reside in Oak Park and Hinsdale. At the helm today is Jeff Ebert, the great-grandson of the studio's founder. Jeff makes a very small distinction to give you the big picture—"It's not so much that it's photography," he says, "but it's photographing people."
Making people feel comfortable and look better is just one part of his job. The next part is to create "a piece like a painting that can be hung above a mantle and somebody can be proud of for years and years to come." As the latest in a line of artists stretching back to 1915, Jeff does that well, harnessing the power of passed time and using it to build a portfolio that showcases families, weddings, animals, and individuals. Some of his notable subjects have included Cardinal Francis George, Walter Payton, and film director Christopher Columbus, known for his historical documentary of babysitting, Home Alone.