Since its founding in 1980, Sun & Ski Sports has remained true to its philosophy: “do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.” The shop stocks equipment in five categories of extreme and outdoor activities, including camping, skating, running, bicycling, and water and snow sports. It specializes in these to ensure its merchandise maintains a high standard of quality, and its employees are knowledgeable participants in the sports their department represents.
Bikers can drop off their steeds for tune-ups from certified mechanics who put all brands through the rigors of a 12-point inspection, checking chains and adjusting wobbly pedals and malfunctioning spoke-card motors. While waiting, curious eyes might linger on a North Face two-person tent, a Blackburn Airtower bicycle pump, or a vast selection of shoes from brands such as New Balance and Asics. Men and women can traipse nearly barefoot in the park with Vibram FiveFingers, which offer minimal structural encumbrances for a more natural stride, or cast their feet aside for the new-wheeled prowess that comes with a Fuji SL-1 LE Ultegra performance road bike.
For Meredith McCord, looking at a piece of pottery brings back decades worth of memories. McCord started The Mad Potter in 1998, and since those early days, she's used her kiln to immortalize countless special moments. She traveled to hospitals to capture the footprints of newborns, helped a young man create a dessert plate with the words "Will you marry me?" emblazoned across it, and auctioned off items for charity. Yet some of her fondest memories center on the day-to-day interactions with customers, specifically when they return to pick up their fired pieces and utter three words of amazement: "I did that?"
The Mad Potter has since expanded into three Houston-area locations, where children and adults come to paint their own works of art or create replicas of their ancient ancestors' garden gnomes. More than 500 bisqueware items line the shelves of each studio, including coffee mugs, plates, and figurines. Staffers then help visitors select from more than 54 available colors of paint and supply them with everything else they might need, including brushes and stencils. The staff can even take things over and create more intricate designs?while still consulting closely with the customer. Whatever route a person chooses, there's always time for a sip of wine or beer; the River Oaks location sells wine and beer while Bellaire and Woodway maintain a BYOB policy.
Instead of picking out a premade, cookie-cutter holiday card for her family, Kristen decided to make her own. This small decision eventually led to huge opportunities: her husband, Sammy, was so impressed by her homespun creations that the two of them decided to channel Kristen’s craftiness into their own business. Today, the married duo captain Keeping Me Posted, a creative operation that combines Kristen's talent for colorful designs with Sammy’s business know-how to yield custom, one-of-a-kind cards printed on first-rate materials.
Once customers choose from more than 200 designs, including modern shower invitations, moving announcements, and Christmas cards, they can upload images from their computer or straight from Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, or SmugMug. The program easily filters pictures into black-and-white or sepia tones for those sending cards to family members who live in the 1920s. Customers can also personalize the cards with their names and personal messages. Once an order is submitted, the staff optimizes each photo for printing by removing red-eye, brightening hues, or sharpening the resolution if needed. HP Indigo printing presses then emblazon designs on thick, high-quality matte paper. Customers interested in crafting a wholly unique creation can call to have Keeping Me Posted custom design any card for no extra cost.
Owner Connie Broome envisions Vino Artino as a place "all about art, friends, and fun," a concept she solidifies through relaxing, hands-on classes. Sessions are led by artists with degrees from art and design schools across the South. As they swill any libations they wish to bring, pupils sit at tabletop easels and follow step-by-step instructions to re-create scenes appropriate for a girls' night out, a Mother's Day outing, or a hide-the-hole-in-the-living-room-wall party. Though each class is grounded in a particular painting, the studio urges artists to put their own stamp on the finished product by using different colors, adding fun flourishes, and choosing their own canvas size.
In honor of Women?s History Month, Groupon is celebrating an inspiring group of women: business leaders whose companies and brands enrich their communities. Thanks to the dedication and ingenuity of these leaders, local communities across the country are stronger and more diverse.
Shop the Women in Business collection.
The 2004 MLB All-Star Game. The longest baseball game in postseason history. Craig Biggio’s 3,000th hit. For a stadium that just opened in 2000, Minute Maid Park has already hosted its share of memory-making moments. Astros fans pack the field’s 40,963 seats during baseball season. The Astros invite fans to take in full-field views from luxury boxes and terrace decks or track players from seats along the first and third baselines situated within 43 feet of the game's action. The stadium welcomes teams and performers from across the spectrum of sports and entertainment. Whether tracking the pitch during international soccer face-offs or jamming to tunes of artists including Madonna and Taylor Swift, visitors stay comfortable beneath a retractable roof designed to combat the unique climate conditions that Texas weather can present.
Designed with Texas’s railway history in mind, the park blends naturally into the classic red brick and glass looks of nearby Union Station. A full-sized vintage locomotive runs intermittent trips along 800 feet of track along the left-field wall, giving fans a glimpse of Wild West transportation and the lead character of next summer’s Cowboys Vs. Transformers.
Jennifer Buergermeister is very flexible. She not only moves from job to job—she's an entrepreneur, independent filmmaker, spiritual healer, and app designer—but also from pose to pose while teaching yoga. She has created two yoga DVDs and has a third coming out in November. She's also the owner of Jennyoga, where she works with a deep bench of fellow yoga teachers, offering a variety of classes for all levels. These include Sunrise and Awakening, Hatha Flow, and Deep Relaxation and Restorative yoga classes.
The team at Jennyoga strives to make coming to the studio easy. They built a Jennyoga app for mobile devices that allows students to schedule classes on the fly. And they run an in-house store, where visitors can pick up any yoga gear they might need before heading into one of the studios. They even made a short film to inspire attendance, a sort of narrative commercial about the beneficial effects of yoga in our noisy, modern world where neighbors rev motorcycle engines and fire alarms scream in delight whenever you get home.