Most students in introductory stained-glass-making classes are in search of a new hobby or a fun few hours, but not Connie Beckers. In 1995, she took such a course and soon built a career around the art of stained glass and kiln-working. Now, through The Goddess of Glass, she teaches others her craft during classes that cover the creation of jewelry, coasters, plates, and transparent overalls. She?s also been known to flex her instructional muscle as a guest artist on the DIY Network show Cramped Quarters, where she taught the show?s host and contractor how to make stained-glass tiles for a kitchen in the middle of remodeling.
The Goddess of Glass also sells artwork and gifts out of a separate retail shop. Patrons can commission a custom piece, such as a stained-glass window, or peruse a collection of pieces by more than 80 local artisans. The shop?s staff can also advise clients who need custom framing, helping them to pick the proper matting and frame so that their Richard Nixon rookie cards really pop.
At CL!X Portrait Studios, photographers can capture well-posed shots of siblings in matching sweaters or click away at kids in their natural state of play, whether they are giggling in a frilly tutu or banging on a set of pots and pans. The studio’s array of portraiture styles reflects its founders’ goals: Sandy and Michael Pawlyszyn started CL!X after searching fruitlessly for a user-friendly way to document their own kids’ childhoods. Now, their team of photographers snaps youthful smiles in the studio as well as on site in the community, helming shoots at local schools, dance studios, and sports games. Their subjects need not be children, though—they can craft portraits of entire families, moms-to-be, and high-school seniors before they graduate and cycle back to preschool. The crew also takes photographic fun on the road via photo-booth rentals, which let partiers create their own lasting memories at special events.
For Andy and Rachel Lee of Art and Frame World, their framing projects don't end at two-dimensional objects. Photos surround a folded American flag to depict a beloved family member in his military years. A commemorative Minnesota Twins jersey hangs with sleeves folded to show off its decorative patches. A Stratocaster guitar, signed by Jon Bon Jovi and his band, floats on mounts next to a gold record and a ruby-encrusted 8-track tape. This attention to detail is also apparent in the business's traditional frame jobs, which ensconce photographs in intricate patterns. Conservation items such as acid-free matting and UV-protective glass ensure that prized artwork is kept safe from the elements.
Bob Fisher, a third-generation shoe repairman, has saved soles, healed heels, and brightened boots for more than four decades. Bob, along with son Jeremy, fixes footwear of all makes, models, and blood types, offering up heel replacement (normally $12.50–$25.50), shines (normally $6.50–$11.50), stretching of leather and vinyl shoes ($8/width, $12.50/length), shoe patching ($6.50+), and more. Should someone step on newly-bought blue-suede shoes ($6.50), boots ($9.50), or Ugg boots ($35–$45), Bob can spiff them up with a scrub down that leaves them so clean they'll strike unless their wearers learn to walk on their hands. Prices listed are normal costs; to get an exact figure, bring your footwear into Bob's Shoe Repair for an estimate.
Amber Hein's longtime fascination with photography?as well as her life as proud mother to a fast-growing daughter?instills in her a passion for capturing precious family moments, with a specialty in documenting weddings, newborns, and family portraits. Amber doesn't ply her trade in a stuffy studio, but instead travels on-location, using her favorite green spaces and secluded urban spots as stunning natural backdrops to engagement pictures, kids' photos, and maternity portraits. Hein takes an organic approach to her art, snapping memories of real, candid human interaction and family bliss, with a touch of soft-focus vintage charm.
Lifetouch Inc. became the world’s largest employee-owned photography company one portrait at a time.
Today, Lifetouch and its subsidiaries serve the photographic needs of people of all ages. Lifetouch truly is “memories for a lifetime.”