Steve Appel and Lee Whitehead found themselves in a design dilemma regarding the messy home of a wealthy client. She wanted to sell her house, but no one would buy the building in its current state. Instead of passing on the case, the duo visited the home and constructed a battle plan during a 10-hour consultation. Within the week, they'd completely repainted and replaced most of her furniture, readying her for a Saturday open house, and by Sunday, she'd received multiple offers from potential buyers. By Monday, the house was sold. As graphic-design majors and interior-design enthusiasts, Steve and Lee have used their talents in many such situations, under short time limits and with exceptional challenges, to refurbish a range of spaces—even helping famed baker Duff Goldman of Food Network's Ace of Cakes choose furnishings for his lobby at Charm City Cakes.
At Nouveau Contemporary Goods, the duo fills their space with an ever-changing roster of upholstery, dining sets, bed sets, and colorful crystal-infused wallpaper. Modern furnishings such as egg chairs and aquamarine crushed-velvet benches share a mutual territory with traditional pieces such as a red cabinet with a marble top and the actual couple who posed for American Gothic. In addition to showpieces, samplings of glass panels, blinds, and other window treatments ooze inspiration for potential clients coming up with their own projects. Anyone on a tight deadline can also count on the design duo for same-day delivery, be it for full showroom sets or unique recycled artwork and furniture.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ?She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.?
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
In 2001, Dr. Robert Samit had a vision, which was a pretty appropriate phenomenon, considering that he's an optometrist. He saw in the future a network of eye doctors, united under the banner of a single company that provides trusted community doctors and a huge selection of value-priced and designer eyewear frames.
Together with company president Sue Downes, they equip this army of eye examiners with the latest technology. When a doctor determines that a corrective lens is called for, he or she prescribes them and MyEyeDr.'s team of eyecare consultants helps patients choose from a huge array of frames from such brands as Gucci, Coach, Oakley, and Ray Ban RX.
At Jamachi Plastic Surgery & Medi-Spa, a diverse team of practitioners helps beautify clients from head to toenail. At the helm is plastic surgeon Dr. Emeka Onyewu, who has performed thousands of procedures—with a specialty in breast surgeries and liposuction—earning him a level of expertise that's been shared on news programs such as NBC 4. He's joined by Dr. Adaku Onukogu, a board-certified internist who administers flu shots and assists patients with managing their weight, overall health, and well-being.
Nail technicians, massage therapists, and aestheticians head up Jamachi's spa services, which are performed at mani-pedi stations or in treatment rooms. Aesthetician Trina McIntosh draws upon postgraduate training at the International Dermal Institute when revivifying faces with custom blends of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. April Parnell softens hands and feet with such specialty ingredients as champagne, olive oil, and happy unicorn tears during mani-pedis, and massage therapists Nmaku Onyewu and Joel Price lure stress out of bodies with customized techniques.
The staff at Fashion Time hold time itself in their hands, in the form of their store?s collection of eye-catching watches. At locations throughout Maryland and Virginia, they repair watches in addition to pairing customers? wrists with low- and high-end watches from name-brand designers, such as Edifice, Kimio, Seiko, and Citizen. Customers can also peruse the store?s inventory on its comprehensive website, with shipping available nationwide. Already-purchased watches can be registered online through an easy submission form or a more difficult smoke-signal pattern.
An authorized AT&T retailer, AT&T Portables sets itself apart from the crowd with customer-service-oriented staffers who guide shoppers through the process of picking phones and accessories from an extensive inventory. Each employee is well versed in the bells and whistles of the latest smartphones from Apple, Samsung, Blackberry, and Nokia, helping shoppers translate tech specs into real-world pros and cons. Customers’ chosen phones are accompanied by a range of protective and stylish accessories, as well as cellular plans that provide an appropriate amount of minutes, text messages, and bandwidth for sending and receiving urgent cat videos.