In 1911, 15-year-old Elroy L. Payne dropped out of his Lincoln, Nebraska high school and journeyed to Los Angeles. A year later, he persuaded his parents and seven siblings to join him, and by 1933, the Paynes were the largest manufacturer of gas furnaces in the western United States. That was also the year Elroy painted the company trucks to match the state flower: vivid orange like the california poppy. Throughout the decades, the home-air experts' focus shifted. Today, they repair air conditioners, perform regular maintenance, improve air quality with filters and UV treatments, and sell AC systems.
Payne trucks are still bright orange today, but now they're also fuel-efficient Scions, which the company estimates has prevented 384,000 pounds of carbon from leaking into the air. Likewise, eco-friendly refrigerant, instead of snowman tears, flows through every device technicians install, and the team designs custom energy-efficient "zoning" systems for homes whenever possible.
With the exception of apprentices, all on-staff installers and service technicians have between 10 and 28 years of experience in perfecting air quality and go through a rigorous in-house training program on top of that. Payne specialists are so confident in their AC-whispering abilities that they insure their repairs with a one-year guarantee. Specialists adhere to a strict set of policies on the job, promising to be punctual, tidy, and respectful of clients' homes, first burning symbolic offerings in crankier furnaces. Though the company offers products by York, Lennox, and Carrier, technicians do not work on commission, and pride themselves on eschewing pushy sales tactics.
In 2001, Carrie Rezabek Dorr's only venue for her Pure Barre workouts—a blend of dance, Pilates, and strengthening stretches—was the basement of an office building. Crowds drawn by Carrie's choreographing expertise and the infectious music of her routines necessitated expansion, however, and eight years later, Pure Barre spread its franchises to what is now more than 160 locations across the country, spurred by mentions in Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Health magazines.
Pure Barre guides students through precise isometric movements that craft lean, not bulky, muscles. By flowing through scalable maneuvers that balance limbs against a ballet barre, physiques can lift and tighten traditional problem areas such as the thighs, abs, seat, and arms. The total-body workout is accessible to all fitness levels, and can help new mothers to regain their desired shape without leading the daycare's piggyback carpool. High-energy, intimate classes with small amounts of attendees ensure personalized adjustments and tips, allowing each guest to derive the deepest possible burn from the workout's alternating strength and stretch drills. Pure Barre also offers private barre-ties, DVDs, equipment, designer exercise apparel, and more.
Each of the guitar coaches at American Guitar Academy are certified in the school’s signature teaching method. Developed over 25 years, this house-honed instruction technique incorporates scientific research to help fingers learn to shred frets up to eight times faster than alternative methods. During private half-hour lessons, instructors guide budding rock stars aged 4 years and up through the basics of strumming chords and seamlessly stitching together riffs. These comprehensive lessons on classical, electric, or acoustic guitars are offered once a week with a live instructor or online and guarantee that students will be playing their favorite music within six months of training. Students may begin lessons without owning a guitar, but are encouraged to gain access to one quickly for mastering scales and the ability to solo with their teeth.
Since 1994, Wing Stop's franchise locations?more than 600 currently operating or in the works?have cooked up and served more than 2 billion wings, and amassed a considerable following. Whether regular or boneless, these modern-day game-day staples come in one of the shop's 10 signature flavors: Louisiana rub and hickory-smoked barbecue have a classic spicy kick, whereas tanginess prevails in the lemon pepper, Hawaiian, and teriyaki.
Because the wings are always made to order, they derive their heat from their seasonings and their recent stay inside the fryer, rather than from heat lamps or tiny, individual Snuggies. The same amount of care goes into the Wing Stop's housemade sides, which range from fries that are cut daily at each shop to the bourbon baked beans. Even the honey mustard, blue cheese, and ranch dipping sauces are mixed onsite.
With locations in Downtown Los Angeles and Downey and an online emporium, Your Furniture Now's experienced staff outfits homes with bed stands, chairs, dining-room sets, tables, and other essential pieces. Throughout the virtual and brick-and-mortar showrooms, the stock shines with glass-topped coffee tables, leather recliners, and team members who can provide in-person or online consultation. They can also assist clients as they figure out how to best position a sofa in the living room or during a food fight.
After customers select their items, such as a durable innerspring Serta mattress or a marble-accented bar set, the company delivers the products as soon as the following day. They even assemble pieces for free, saving homeowners the hassle of having to find something other than a toolbox to weigh down important documents.
FrameStore's craftsmen have created more than 250,000 custom frames in the store’s 35-year tenure, designing pieces that now adorn the walls of prestigious institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Ritz-Carlton, and the Walt Disney Company. Professional designers guide FrameStore’s clients through the 2,200 moulding options that can accent paintings and treasured items while adding style and elegance to rooms. The store’s craftsmen then fashion pieces to patron specifications, outfitting frames with classic or museum-quality glass that blocks UV rays from bleaching out images or censoring pictures of the moon. Every piece goes through a 16-point inspection before it is given to patrons, and the team averages a seven-day turnaround on all of its projects.