More than a decade ago, Harrell Spencer landed a job with a carpet-cleaning company. He enjoyed his work so much that he eventually bought the business and dubbed it Ultimate Carpet Cleaning. A resident of Memphis for 34 years, Harrell keeps his good name in the community by quoting honest prices and backing his work with a satisfaction guarantee. After a light preconditioner, he extracts carpet stains with deep-steam-cleaning techniques and eliminates odor-causing bacteria with live enzymes. In addition to purging rugs, Harrell scrubs ceramic tiles by hand and dries them with high-pressure heat to extract grease and grime. Once they’re clean, he can seal the grout to give them a glossy finish that repels dirt so well you can't even write dirty language on it. In the event of an emergency, Harrell springs into action both day and night to help repair water damage.
At Salsa Memphis, renowned dancer and choreographer Edgar "TunTun" Mendez leads each lesson, deploying skills he attained through years of dancing as a professional, performing onstage with Tito Puente and onscreen for Marc Anthony, as well as in salsa congresses and competitions. Within his airy, yellow-walled studio, Mendez shows students of all ages and ability levels how to perform a range of fast-paced, seductive salsa moves, beginning with basic steps, right and left turns, and cross-body leads. Intermediate and advanced lessons are designed for those ready to move on to more complex combinations, such as how to dip a partner in an airplane aisle. A private lesson bestows fledgling dancers with focused one-on-one time with the salsa professor for quicker learning and personalized tips. Lessons can be taken at the student's convenience, allowing dancers to learn on their own time as opposed to adhering to a weekly schedule.
Jody Herndon believes that portraits should reveal as much about their photographer as they do their subjects. Whether he's photographing kids, families, or former President Bill Clinton, he approaches each session as a collaboration—a chance to capture his subjects' personalities in their favorite environments, free of contrived poses. He takes a similar approach to shooting wedding days, as he unobtrusively documents each element of the events, from the bride anxiously preparing for the ceremony to the DJ singing the traditional one-hour-long wedding sea shanty. Once his sessions wrap up, Jody preserves his color and black-and-white shots with products including high-quality prints, albums, and high-resolution CDs and DVDs.
A piggy bank covered in polka dots, a platter celebrating Mother?s Day complete with each of her children?s handprints, a ceramic replica of Sesame Street?s Ernie?these are just a few of the projects that have emerged from Seize the Clay, a hands-on art studio specializing in pottery painting. In addition to embellishing various bisque pieces with unique designs, visitors can create glass-fused pendants, multihued mosaics. They can also try their hands at the potter?s wheel, hold birthday parties, or attend an interactive summer camp.
Teresa White, AKA "Blown Fuse," zooms around the track, knocking into her roller-derby opponents while fans cheer. She's clearly not afraid of breaking a nail. During the day, however, White gives her alias a second meaning and demonstrates her delicate side—she's an artist and a teacher, and her choice medium is glass.
It wasn't always easy for White to work in glass, however. Even though she earned her bachelor of fine arts degree from Memphis College of Art, she had to rely on friends, books, and videos to teach her the more specialized techniques of glass fusing and blowing, as reported by the Commercial Appeal. Wishing to share her new knowledge and give others access to the glasswork instruction that she couldn't easily find, she opened Studio 1688 and began teaching.
Today, backed by 14 years of teaching experience, White leads beginner to advanced classes in glass blowing, fusing, slumping, and flame work, teaching students the fine arts of shaping glass pendants, coasters, and ornaments of their own. In her studio, she also fills clients' orders for custom pieces, such as tailor-made sink basins, sushi sets, and oil lamps.