State investigator Suzan Armstrong sifts through heaps of paperwork, carefully mulling over government cases. Though her eyes focus on the documents' dense text, her thoughts momentarily drift away to daydreams about erecting a creative haven where people can funnel their imaginations into a slew of colorful crafts. In January of 2007, Suzan's reoccurring daydream materialized when she hung up her investigative briefcase, broke the glass on her emergency paintbrush holder, and opened her own franchise of Color Me Mine—named one of the top 10 places for kids' birthday parties by Parents magazine.
The 1,750-square-foot studio brims with décor and fixtures crafted by its own staff members, including custom-tile floors and a grandfather clock made from shards of shattered pottery. Patrons browse well stocked shelves of ceramic plates, vases, and—thanks to an exclusive partnership with the magic magnate—Disney characters, then garnish their chosen bisques around crafting tables in the main studio or long tables in the private party room. Experienced staff members stand closely by to help with bisque or paint selection and answer any questions about materials, design ideas, or how to emblazon Tinker Bell with a perfect Mona Lisa smile, then glaze and fire each creation to forge a bounty of long-lasting keepsakes.
The professional staff at Car Toyz overhauls vehicular cosmetics with a portfolio of tinting, remote starting, and multimedia upgrades. Window-tinting services carry a lifetime warranty for the carefully applied films, designed to diffuse annoying glares and slowly reveal secret identities to drive-thru workers. As the sun sets, high-intensity headlights illuminate obstructions in ample time and heated seats help make waiting for the hot air less unpleasant. Remote starters conjure visions of the future as they set pistons pumping from up to one mile away, and mobile video installations let toddlers catch the morning milk prices during the preschool commute.
CNC Services of Alaska can make windows disappear—sort of. The family-owned business has spent the last 10 years making its mark on homes by removing them with detailed window-cleaning services. Licensed technicians can beautify homes with simple exterior window cleaning or perform more complicated tasks such as cleaning multistory houses or removing slobber marks from curious dogs or creepy neighbors. CNC also dispatches crews to provide housecleaning services during routine or one-time spruce ups.
From its humble origins in 1946 as a single glass shop, Speedy Glass has expanded across the country into a network of more than 120 locations, where technicians stand at the ready to repair and replace the glass in cars, homes, and offices. The centers’ automotive technicians handle all manner of automotive-window services, including repairing chipped windshields or shattered back windows cracked while drivers were chauffeuring opera singers. To overhaul homes' glass panes, the residential specialists can cut, polish, and install fresh windows. They tackle projects ranging in scope from fashioning new glass tabletops to building solariums for clients who run on solar panels inside their skulls. Speedy Glass's workmanship and quality are guaranteed, and all of its services are backed by an array of warranties.