Hard work and tenacity are the key ingredients that led Kimberly Saunders to realize her dream. Always intent upon owning her own salon, she graduated from Vancouver School of Beauty Washington State in 1991, and spent the following two decades continually honing her skills via educational seminars and work with volunteer models. She never lost sight of her ultimate goal, and in 2010, she watched her dream turn into a reality upon Imagine Salon?s grand opening. Today, she gussies up lackluster strands via a host of services ranging from sleek haircuts or elegant updos for brides-to-be, to trendy feather extensions that elicit admiring stares from hunky ornithologists.
Imagine Salon also welcomes donations to the Locks of Love charity foundation, which uses donated ponytails measuring 10-inches or longer to make wigs for children with cancer and other hair-loss causing disorders.
The licensed massage therapists at Massage Advantage dote on visitors with a slew of custom massage techniques, including Swedish, prenatal, and deep tissue. Armed with warm blankets and a credo to respect patients' privacy, therapists begin each 30- or 60-minute session with a discussion on clients' specific aches and ailments. Therapists can also haul their equipment to office buildings for workplace chair massages that help reinvigorate fatigued employees or stressed-out water coolers during 5–15 minute stints. Each succession of kneads is designed to alleviate stress, muscles soreness, and various medical conditions, such as high blood pressure.
Back in 1999, brothers David and Rick Kueber noticed a lag in business at their chain of video-rental shops during the summer months, when no one wanted to be cooped up inside watching movies. The two put their heads together and found a rather unconventional solution to their problem: tanning beds. They installed a new fleet of skin-bronzing machines and sat back as so many clients flocked to their shop that the brothers were forced to open an entire store just to cater to their clients’ tanning demands. This was the birth of Sun Tan City. Today, what started as an experimental side business boasts more than 200 locations across 16 states.
The staff at each location maintains a meticulously clean space, where they show clients to UV beds dubbed fast, faster, fastest, and instant. The beds include features such as facial tanners and self-contained air conditioners. Alternatively, clients can opt for the UV-free, automated VersaSpa system, which swathes physiques in a DHA, plant-based bronzing solution. The liquid reacts naturally with skin’s amino acids, creating an even coat as radiant as the high beams on Helios’s chariot within 46 seconds.
Ignite Sunless Tanning's skin specialists know that spray tans look best when skin has been properly prepared. So they encourage clients to use their onsite showers and sea-salt scrubs or exfoliating towelettes before their tan. They also offer free pH balancing treatments before every sunless tan to create a darker, more natural tan. Those who want a custom airbrush tan can keep comfortable in a temperature-controlled room while the technician bronzes limbs.
Since 1993, the family-owned EyeMart Optical Outlet's goal has been to furnish central Iowans with affordable eyewear. The eye boutique spans nine locations and its inventory of basic and designer frames presents stylish options for all face structures. Optometrists at each location furnish their patients with prescriptions that can be quickly traded for single-vision or progressive lenses with protective coatings and lasers.
What do a mainframe programmer and a massage therapist have in common? Both break down complex puzzles into their elemental parts and work toward solutions methodically. But for Bruce Morgan of Bodyworks By Bruce, a former engineer, no matter how long he worked with a particularly confounding programming problem and no matter how technically rewarding the project was, the human element of building relationships was missing.
That difference is what drew him into massage therapy. Whereas programming works within defined parameters, Bruce never knows what sort of puzzle he's going to solve when presented with a client suffering from pain. Before sessions, he consults with all clients extensively to get to know them and their symptoms, and encourages them to give feedback during sessions so that he can customize his approach. Shoulder pain, for example, may be symptomatic of a person compensating for damage in the ankles, which is why Bruce routinely delivers full-body massages. His training specialized in myofascial release and cross-fiber friction, whose strokes alternate between going with and against the muscle grain, and he uses these techniques to target problem areas.
Each client enjoys warmth in the private treatment room, both from a table warmer and the sage green shade of the walls. A salt lamp lends the room a relaxing glow, and Bon Vital all-natural lotion keeps skin hydrated. To set the soundtrack for their session, clients can select from a range of light jazz, Native American music, or nature sounds, including a chorus of dolphins covering Barry White songs.