Century-old trees line the quarter-mile driveway to Focus On You Photography's log-cabin studio, greeting visitors with the same timelessness owner Kim Cartmell and her team create in their photographs. Kim has travelled around the Niagara region snapping wedding shots since 1993, and now she and the team welcome subjects to their own idyllic photogenic turf. Outside, an antique buggy and wrought-iron gazebo dot the three-quarter acre of land, which serves as a natural outdoor backdrop for family portraits beneath the leaves or engagement shoots by the creek.
Focus On You Photography's unique children's fantasy portraits immerse young ones in whimsical scenes, whether exploring moments as a fairy, unearthing a pirate's booty of dubloons and Reader's Digest back issues, or flaunting leather jackets atop a miniature motorcycle. In addition to Kim's many specialties are her bike portraits, which capture the just-as-tender love between riders and their rides.
Since 1988, Pet Supplies Plus has welcomed millions of furry critters of every stripe—from llamas and monkeys to potbellied pigs—into their animal-friendly stores. The shop is designed so that both pets and their owners can easily navigate the inventory of more than 10,000 items. Wide aisles give leashed pups enough room to roam, colorful signage keeps shoppers moving in the right direction, and low shelves allow dogs to sniff out their preferred brand of rawhide chew. A self-serve dog wash enables guests to scrub their canine companions' coats to a youthful, puppy-like shine, whereas grooming services enlist professionals to tackle tougher jobs, such as brushing out matted fur or convincing dalmatians to stop mixing white and black after Labor Day.
The instructors at East Meets West Yoga lead classes rooted in Ashtanga and Vinyasa traditions for all skill levels. In addition to the core classes' more vigorous workouts, the instructors also lead meditative yin and gentle yoga classes, which they perform at a slower pace in order to integrate more breath work.
"Never, never, never give up," is the driving mantra for David Oreck, who flew combat missions with the US Army Air Forces in World War II and returned home to build a business empire from scratch. He set out to design a machine to lighten hotel employees' load, making a lightweight vacuum cleaner as opposed to the traditional bulky, burdensome commercial cleaners. Naturally, the domestic market began clamoring for his high-powered yet easy-to-handle devices, and soon Oreck vacuums could be found in homes throughout the country.
Today, the company continues its tradition of innovation, simplifying household tasks with Steam-Glide mops for hard floors, HEPA-filter upright vacuums, and stain-killing cleaning products. Oreck's commitment to clean sends it headlong into the future, with high-tech air filters that react to their environment with automatic sensory controls, filtering odors, allergens, and curse words.
The theater at The Screening Room Cinema Cafe bears more of a resemblance to an intimate club than a multiplex, seating its guests at small tables so they can sip on beer and wine during films. The floor-level screen flashes with arthouse cinema, including new indie flicks and cult favorites, as well as classics from cinematic giants such as Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg. In addition to its usual screenings, the café also hosts poetry nights, film festivals, and high-definition broadcasts of sports games recorded by a mascot with a giant camera for a head.
The professional handlers at Reptilepartywny know no birthday is complete without a bite of cake, a round of games, and a quick hug from a boa constrictor. Packing exotic creatures such as snakes, tortoises, and chinchillas, they arrive at celebrations ready to let kids discover the wonders of the animal kingdom. Add-ons such as safari hats, bubble machines, and cotton candy enhance events, helping kids pretend that they’re jungle explorers or attendees at the first rave held along the Amazon. In addition to their signature menagerie, the party planners also maximize fun with attractions such as stuffed-animal creation, balloon animals, bounce houses, and costumed characters.