Skyler McCurine's winning Stratejoy essay describes her long-time fascination with red balloons and how she serendipidously saw them at key points in her life. One day, while sitting in her car and crying because of her lack of life direction, a little girl in the car in ahead of her released a single red balloon. This was the beginning of an important realization: that she had to let go of comparing herself to others and embrace her own weaknesses. She went on to found Le Red Balloon, and today she pours this personal revelation––along with her experience in retail––into her work as a stylist.
Skyler's raison d'être is to help her clients remember that they are beautiful no matter their size, shape, or idiosyncrasies. To aid their transformation, she takes the hassle out of shopping by going with her clients and even looking after their kids while they try on clothes. When the new garments come home, she purges messy closets and organizes new pieces by color, style, and house sigil. When she isn't gussying up her own clientele, she teaches workshops that strive to reverse the media's negative influence and help women treat themselves and others with true kindness.
Tucked inside the newly renovated Westfield UTC mall in University City, Brookstone has been a reliable supplier of high-quality consumer products for years. It’s the perfect store to pop in and find an unexpected gift idea or specialty gadget to use around the house. The service here is top notch, with highly knowledgeable staff eager to answer any questions or steer patrons in the right direction. The products range from electronics such as iPads accessories and innovative chargers to bedroom items such as massage pillows. Rest assured the line of products here are top-quality and often provide unique items for personal hobbies or electronic desires.
When two moms—Tina, a senior-level corporate employee, and Kathy, a former carpenter turned stay-at-home mom—found themselves out of work, they decided that instead of waiting for the perfect jobs to open up, they would create their own. The idea they settled on was Handy Moms, offering services such as landscape and interior design, sustainable gardening, and home-improvement project management for large-home remodeling projects. Handy Moms is at its best when homeowners are most in need, making sure projects come in on time and on budget.
In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
Clients entrust their valuables to Baker Fairview Self Storage, and the facility pulls out all the stops in order to keep those belongings safe. A computer-controlled gate greets each entrant, and a closed-circuit television system keeps constant watch over the grounds. At the storage unit—which come in a variety of sizes—the door is alarmed individually, discouraging intruders from tampering with your stuff even if they manage to get past the gate. Owners, meanwhile, can opt for cool basement units and take advantage of the packing and moving supplies available for purchase.