SVS Vision Center?s founders opened their first shop in Sterling Heights, Michigan, in 1974 to help the community clear up its vision. But even these optical gurus never foresaw their humble business expanding to more than 60 locations sprawled across 8 states. Today, each shop continues the tradition of ensuring ocular health and crystalline sight, beginning with exams from seasoned optometrists. Afterward, patients head to the optical dispensary, where they try on frames by Coach, Tiffany, Nike, Versace, or Ray-Ban. The staff then fits the stylish selection with polarized and scratch-protected prescription lenses to help guests read books clearly or see a charging moose from a distance. Most of SVS Vision Center?s frames can also hold sunglass lenses as well, eliminating squinting during summer months and tropical vacations.
“Stocky.” Justin Yule remembers when others used this adjective to describe him, an observation he considered to be a nice way of saying that he was overweight. It wasn’t until his dad invited him to work out at the gym that Justin discovered a passion for fitness and a desire to chisel away the stockiness he carried. Since achieving his goals, he has kept up his fit physique more than 22 years.
Justin also channeled his passion into a bachelor’s of science in physical education with a concentration in adult fitness. He used his extensive training to devise the curriculum for Look Great at the Lake Boot Camp, which he also founded. Justin calls his program the “fitness revolution,” mainly because it breaks exercisers out of the tedious routines they often fall into at the gym or when their friend Sisyphus asks them to push his rock and promises he’ll only be gone for five minutes. Every one of Justin’s workout moves come in three levels, each scaled to challenge exercisers of different strengths and experience levels. He also relies heavily on body-weight resistance exercises, and coaches provide guidance and support to clients in reaching their goals.
Justin considers the most valuable part of his program to be the camaraderie that he encourages among his participants in and out of the boot-camp classroom. He organizes charity events and parties so that groups can mingle and become a cohesive unit working toward a single goal. To further ease his clients’ path to fitness, he also offers nutrition programs, online exercises and tips, and education in the form of newsletters and fitness books that he’s penned himself.
Chili Pepper's Tanning Inc. Megastores’ trophy case is getting full—in addition to being named one of Detroit’s best tanning salons three times in a row by CityVoter, it has acquired accolades from Local 4 and CBS Detroit, which commends its spray tanning. Its growing awards reflect Chili Pepper’s growth; since opening in 2002, Chili Pepper’s has expanded to 15 locations, spreading across Detroit like the buffalo pox.
In every location, five levels of tanning beds turn skin a sun-kissed gold or deep bronze. Mystic Tan sessions let customers avoid things associated with booth and outdoor tanning—UV rays and pool lifeguards who push you in the water to practice saving you. No matter which option they choose, patrons can turn to knowledgeable Smart Tan–certified staff members who help clients decide what is best for their tanning goals.
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.
Though SEE Eyewear?s specs are only found in their stores, their designs sprout from imaginations around the world. Winner of reader's choice awards in cities ranging from San Francisco to Nashville, SEE Eyewear stocks its frames directly from fashionable frame crafters and passes on the savings of doing business at the source to customers. The company calls on fashion designers from France, Italy, and other style-conscious countries to create one-of-a-kind designs to be featured on store shelves and client faces. Before that happens, though, each potential frame goes through a rigorous design and review process to ensure its distinctiveness and quality before it can be added to the national eyewear shop?s exclusive coveted selection.
From cat-eye to horn-rimmed and perfectly round to wayfarer-inspired, the cost of each frame includes single-vision lenses, giving customers the simplicity of a flat price that doesn?t require customers to pay an extra prescription fee or mine their own bifocal quarry. SEE Eyewear also trains its staff members to be aesthetically savvy so they can find the perfect fashion-forward, vision-correcting specs for any face shape, mood, or fashion sense.
Across three locations, the opticians at Cunningham Vision Centers help customers select from a variety of designer frames and fit them with high-quality lenses. In the show room, experts help match frames with customers' individual face shapes. Cunningham Vision Centers then forges any existing prescription into accurate single-vision or progressive lenses before fitting the lenses into the frames. Lens prices vary based on the patient's prescription, and lens materials range from standard plastic to polycarbonate to the thinner and lighter high index. Clients have the option to add additional lens treatments, such as anti-glare treatments, ultraviolet protection, or a scratch-resistant coating that protects spectacles from grizzly bears demanding to try them on just once.
For eye exams, available by appointment, Dr. Thomas Cunningham channels more than a quarter-century of experience when regaling patients about the ‘80s invention of indoor sunglasses or assessing ocular health. He’s joined by the former team optometrist for the Detroit Lions—Dr. Jeffrey Rautio—who takes a special interest in dry eye and glaucoma management as well as specialty contact lenses.