Since launching off from the shores of Fort Myers Beach in 1982, Paradise Parasail’s signature smiley-face parachutes have become an iconic image in the sky, now flying high above the waters of both the Gulf of Mexico and the Lake of the Ozarks. USCG-licensed captains navigate each of the company's boats as riders trail behind at heights of up to 500 feet. With feet flopping in the wind, thrill-seekers are free to wave to their friends, family, and nearby migratory birds. Parasailers can also pose for photos and videos captured by the company's onboard photographers.
Most Popular Service: Dance lessons, salsa, swing, ballroom
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30?60 minutes
Brands Used: Global Dance Alliance, DVIDA dance syllabus
Pro Tip: Dress comfortably and wear closed-toe-type shoes.
Upscale French eatery Chef J Bistro takes its name from executive chef Jethro Joseph, who understands that fine dining can be relaxing rather than fussy. His cooking has received accolades from publications such as the Gulf Coast Times, which called his four-star gourmet fare “mouthwatering.” Chef J curates two seasonal menus replete with seafood, smoky pastas, and steak, among other dishes. His staff understands the importance of presenting entrees elegantly, supplementing them with artfully scattered greens or sandwiches made in the shape of Picasso’s Guernica.
Signature service: Painting events for fun and relaxation
Staff Size: 1 person
Average Duration of Services: 1?2 hours
Brands Used: Acrylic paints, easels, variety of brushes, aprons, canvases
Pro Tip: Come to paint a personal masterpiece and receive some paint therapy. No skills required.
Describe a time your services really changed a client's life for the better.
Painting, even with no skill, is like therapy. Our events create a moment in time where you can let life stresses fade away.
Sometimes it's all about the little things in life. What supplemental courtesies do you include with your main services to leave clients with a smile on their face?
Everyone who attends a Paint Niche event receives personal attention and walks away with a personal masterpiece. Classes are taught in a step-by-step process, ensuring everyone is successful, even those who have never picked up a paintbrush.
When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?
I have always been interested in art. I began creating my own mini masterpieces as a young child. I had art classes every year from childhood to adulthood. I graduated with my bachelor's in fine arts and my master's in education. ... Creating art is a way for every person to express themselves. Whether your art is hanging in your own home or on a gallery wall, the meaning behind it is always from within.
The art masters behind Vino's Picasso throw pretentions aside during each of their painting sessions, where artists of all skill levels gather to express their creativity and make new friends. As students arrive with their favorite drinks in tow, they settle in amid lime-green walls dotted with finished paintings. Local artists pass out all necessary supplies?such as acrylic paints, brushes, canvases, and easels?and begin a lesson on a particular painting while offering tips as pupils complete their masterpieces. In addition to their instructed sessions, Vino's also offers open paint sessions, and private parties for brides-to-be and spies who just want to learn about painting. While artists wait for their paint to dry, they can peruse the Starving Artist's gallery and bar, where limited production wine and craft beers bask in the glow of paintings produced by local artists. Students are also welcome to purchase gifts or stock up on supplies.
Before finding her calling as a yoga instructor, Sylvia taught biology, Earth science, and general science for more than 25 years. Throughout her years in the classroom, she practiced yoga as a way to calm her mind and balance her body. In 2005, she switched gears—she trained for more than 1,000 hours and earned her E-RYT 500 certification. She specializes in Kripalu-style mindfulness yoga, which emphasizes self-acceptance and consciousness of the interplay between life and yoga. Although she primarily teaches multi-level classes, some sessions, such as chair or adaptive yoga, are intentionally geared toward those with limited mobility. At the beginning of class, she occasionally reads inspirational passages or practices levitation.