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.
Zaggora's founder Dessi was scrambling. She needed to lose a little weight before her wedding, but none of the weight loss products she used seem to move the needle. Eventually, she took matters into her own hands, inventing her own effective method for slimming down. Zaggora's multi-layer capris, tops, shorts, and blazers put the heat naturally emitted by the body during exercise to work burning more calories. A 2012?2013 study conducted by ETScience at University of Southern California showed users wearing Zaggora used less energy to achieve high cardio levels and burned anywhere from 6?18% more calories and than those wearing standard exercise clothing.
Made from a comfortable bioceramic material, the shorts' ThermoFit technology smoothes thighs and other dimple-prone areas by warming body tissues and increasing their metabolic rate. This process boosts energy expenditure before and after exercise, and aids in eliminating cellulite-causing toxins.
AME Computers' electronics guru and founder Anthony Elias is still as passionate about computers as he was 21 years ago when he first dissected a Commodore 64 computer to see how it worked. That passion inspired Anthony to found the website, AME Computers, where he wrote and hosted more than 500 articles that helped to share his technological know-how. As he gathered article contributions from fellow tech gurus, Anthony saw his site grow to attract more than 5,000 visitors each month. Inspired by the growing audience of his site, Anthony opened the brick-and-mortar AME Computers in 2011. Anthony and his staff strive to give the kind of personalized service that is often hard to find at large computer-repair centers. They repair and improve the performance of all computer makes and models, smart phones, and gaming systems, as well as iPods, iPhones, and iPad tablet devices. Other services, which range from data recovery to custom-building computers, ensure smooth and quick sailing across digital-data fields. The staff also can ready machines for recycling, ushering them into the afterlife by erasing their data and absolving their guilt for abetting downloads of instructions for bank robbery.
Dressing up digits since 1905, Sartor Hamann employs a well-versed crew of registered jewelers and certified gemologists to adorn shoppers with a vast selection of sparkly stones and accessories. Swarovski Crystal figurines ($40+) replace shabby hood ornaments with geometric symphonies of light, and freshwater-pearl necklaces ($99) seek sanctuary from clamshell captors by elegantly clinging to safe-harbor necks. Sartor Hamann's own line of swiss watches ($150+) simultaneously pleases eyes and dissuades Captain Hook with beautifully crafted precision tuning. A panoply of 14-karat gold earrings ($50+) and engagement rings ($295+) awaits to illuminate romantic gestures. The Gemvision CAD system lets you create your own custom jewelry, bringing personalized bling to life like a laser-wielding Geppetto. The gargantuan showroom at Sartor Hamann’s newest Lincoln location on Pine Lake Road casts a glowing sheen over an impressive showcase of designer pieces, and the blisteringly bright array of engagement rings at the O Street location keeps emergency-apology supplies on hand following another disastrous weekend getaway to the cement museum.
In 2000, a group of farmers decided to diversify their crop production by planting twirling wine grapes into the rolling Midwestern hills. The initial smattering of vines quickly grew into a 4-acre vineyard and led to the launch of Silver Hills Vineyards & Winery, a small operation intent on crafting 100% Nebraska wines. The vintners’ Midwestern pride can be seen in their choice of ingredients—all wines are made with fruit grown at local vineyards and tattooed with the state motto—as well as their choice of decor: the outdoor tasting deck is shaped like Nebraska.
Silver Hills produces red, white, rosé, and berry wines, which visitors can sample during the vineyards’ limited hours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Bottle labels display woodcuts by John Schirmer, a resident of neighboring Iowa who has carved wood professionally for more than 35 years.
Winery owners Randy, Kelly, and Nate Meyer are so passionate about winemaking that they've designed their entire vineyard to symbolize it—each phase of the buildings' architecture reflects a different step in the winemaking process. A planter crafted from locally harvested limestone marks the entrance to the winery and supports arbors symbolizing trellised grape bushes in the vineyards. The arbors extend through the earth-toned Chancellor Hall, where a towering cathedral ceiling laced with heavy beams can shelter more than 200 guests at once. Inside, light streams in through towering windows overlooking the vineyard, as well as through heavy double doors leading out to a patio and courtyard, where the same arbor continues to form a roof and shield wines from straw-wielding helicopter pilots. Outside, 16 acres of vineyards house rows of Midwest varietals such as Vignoles, St. Vincent, Frontenac, and Catawba. Staffers pluck vines entwined on trellised rows and carry their bushels into a processing building, where they unload pounds of fruit into imported presses and custom-made fermentation tanks. These grapes age into wines in a room designed in the shape of a barrel, which represents the winemaking and fermentation process as well as the winemakers' fear of being trapped inside a barrel. The Meyers also use the wines in these barrels to reflect their love for the region; they've named many of the dry and semidry wines for weather phenomena associated with Tornado Alley.