As Anne and Kelly Campbell can tell you, it's impossible to witness civil crisis in Kenya, spend time with people with mental disabilities in India, or watch women beg for food in the streets of Ethiopia and not feel compelled to take action. The sisters have gone from working for some of the top names in fashion—including BCBGMaxAzria and Tommy Hilfiger—to cofounding The Village Experience in 2008, a company inspired by its global journeys and dedicated to providing socially responsible travel and fair-trade goods. The business's accolades have since piled up: it won the Best Women's Accessories category of TheIndyChannel.com's A-List in 2010 and 2009. Additionally, Kelly was named one of Indiana’s 2011 Forty Under 40 by the Indianapolis Business Journal. The Village Experience was also asked to partake in the Emmy's The Red Carpet Luxury Lounge, where Emmy nominees, celebrities, and media peruse and try different products and retail items, with their jewelry also included in the Lounge's gift bags.
But the sisters' rewards do not come from high praise or recognition. Rather, the duo finds satisfaction in helping underserved communities build self-sustainability and making a difference in people's lives. In a 2009 feature, Rachel Meacham of Nuvo quoted a portion of Kelly's 2006 travel journal, which explains the impression left by an ailing Malawi woman: "She is [the] reason I risk getting sick . . . She is the reason I don't sleep well at night. Everyone has something they live for and risk their lives for—she is just that." Together with their partners, The Village Experience has opened a medical clinic and a nursery school in Kenya, as well as rebuilt The University of Fondwa in Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake.
The compassionate crew has led more than 50 trips to various destinations, during which guests ate, shopped, and stayed at local establishments. The store supports more than 30 artisan cooperatives in 25 countries, paying a fair wage for items such as handmade jewelry and envelope wallets that are ideal for holding IDs, credit cards, and Monopoly money. Each purchase provides economic sustenance for organizations such as women's cooperatives, microfinancing projects, and orphanages.
Royal Pin’s four bowling centers boast a total of 270 gleaming lanes, but their widely varied facilities offer far more than games of tenpins. At all four locations, cosmic-bowling nights create a psychedelic atmosphere with fog, music, and black lights.
The Woodland location, though, was voted Best Bowling in Indianapolis 2012 by CityVoter and ups the ante with flat screens above the lanes and cushy couches where players recline while waiting their turn to take a ride through the pinsetter. Its adjacent outdoor mini-golf course, Pirates’ Cove, sends putters on a salty adventure with 18 Lilliputian fairways populated by streams, waterfalls, and a pirate ship. In addition, the location recently received a makeover, with a new midway, lounge, bar and restaurant. In that same center, there's also the two-story Pirate's Quest laser tag, which combines the excitement of laser tag and swashbuckling.
At the Expo location, the theme relates to another exciting frontier: space. In Laser Storm tag, players battle for rights to moon territories. Besides their alleys, Royal Pin also manages the 5-acre Greatimes Family Fun Park, where kids zip around a go-cart track, bounce through a multilevel playland, or pilot bumper boats equipped with blaster squirt guns and highly sensitive grownup detectors.
Splitting your working hours between a career as an attorney and as a self-employed style consultant might seem odd to most, but it makes perfect sense for Niquelle Allen. After deciding not to define herself completely as the corporation counsel for her hometown of Gary, she put her entrepreneurial spirit and keen eye for fashion to use and opened Butterfly Consignment. Through curating an inventory of designer brands such as Gucci, Banana Republic, and Seven For All Mankind, she creates a haven for shoppers determined to save designer duds from ending up in landfills or on mannequins with no sense of style. Her shop showcases gently worn and stain-free items purchased within the past three years, alongside a small selection of vintage bags and shoes. She categorizes the inventory into three broad subsets, including preloved items, never-been-worn boutique items, and handmade accessories and body products. In order to transform customers from one-time visitors to loyal regulars, she constantly refreshes her racks with recent donations of seasonal attire.
One of the hostage takers adjusts his protective mask nervously as the dull thuds of the police team's fire hits outside the makeshift house. He and his four allies protect a VIP they kidnapped while the rescue team waits outside. Moments later, the door bursts open as the rescue team breaches through and unleashes a fury of paintballs at the villains. After a few tense minutes and paint-spatter casualties on both sides, the battle is over, the hostage rescued, and the teams reversed. This is a regular scene at Indy Acres Paintball, a field that takes pride in the variety of scenarios available on its six fields.
From hostage rescue to large-scale woodsball and fast-paced speedball, the outdoor fields accommodate every type of play, and Indy Acres equips players with .50-caliber paintball guns that hurt more than a rubber-band snap but less than knowing that the sun has a shelf life. Additionally, the field’s rules of conduct maintain fair play and fun for every participant.
For more than two decades, American Mattress has promoted peaceful slumber in bedchambers throughout the Midwest with their vast selection of mattresses, headboards, and linens. The sleep experts strive to stay abreast of the latest bedding technology: their Serta mattresses are made with gel foam that supports curves, and Tempur-Pedic mattresses repel allergens, mites, and poltergeists looking to spoon. This devotion to a good night’s sleep has helped them earn the title of Best Mattress Store from suburban Chicago’s Daily Herald five years in a row. Additionally, American Mattress doubles down on each of its beds with a 30-day comfort guarantee and a 60-day best-price guarantee.
A little girl named Judy guides a piece of string through pieces of uncooked macaroni, fashioning a necklace she's excited to show off to her friends. As she grows up, Judy funnels this creative spark into a passion for picture taking, relishing more than two decades as a children's photographer. When a slew of physical disabilities left her unable to continue her art, Judy rekindled her childhood love of hand-crafting jewelry and opened Heirloom Classics with the help of her husband Ed. Since the 2,500-square-foot shop first opened its doors in 2010, Judy Champa has fulfilled countless custom orders for one-of-a-kind trinkets, including natural-stone rosaries and a necklace designed around a customer's century-old pocket watch. Meanwhile, the store's spacious classroom hosts crafting classes for all skill levels, covering topics such as glass fusing, wire working, and preparing macaroni necklaces to a delicious al dente.