“Unique” is what Steven calls his new terra-cotta tiles. Starting with just a few designs, Fired Up Tiles became truly unique and recognized for their bright colored glazes, bold designs and most important—functionality. Each hand-made tile could be used as a hot plate trivet, art for the wall, or inlaid into a floor.
With more than 35 facilities spread across Arizona and California, StorAmerica helps homeowners, renters, and business owners manage their living and working spaces with handy self-storage units, huge 14? moving trucks, and safe stowing spaces for RVs, cars, and boats. Before freeing up valuable square footage in their domiciles, clients zero in on their exact storage-space requirement with a 3-D calculator, ensuring that every inch of storage is put to use. In addition to helping customers haul and stock cargo, California Arizona Storage Centers recycles computers, TVs, copiers, and other electronics through its All Green Electronics Recycling program, diverting more than 250,000 pounds of waste from landfills since 2010, and staving off the imminent nanobot uprising for at least a few more years.
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.
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.
Cognoscenti Coffee owner Yeekai Lim sources most of his beans from Four Barrel in San Francisco. But when he finds a new flavor he likes from another roaster, he’ll bring that in for his customers, too; previous beans have come from Heart Coffee Roasters in Portland and the local Handsome Coffee Roasters. With these carefully selected coffees, he churns out some of the city’s best brews—LA Weekly ranked Cognoscenti Coffee number two on its list of Los Angeles’ top coffee shops in 2011. A favorite of the magazine's is Cognoscenti’s cortado, a Spanish-style beverage that’s half espresso and half warm milk. Lim finishes each mug or highball glass of java by etching hearts, swirls, and scone recipes into the foam on top.