In 1976, Joan Barnes—a California mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children's cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes for parents, newborns, and children under 1 year that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
Before Grace Kelly was an Academy Award–winning actress and princess, she was one of John Robert Powers’ original models. The veteran school—a go-to training ground for the entertainment industry since its inception in 1923—has shaped many of the world’s most successful performers, such as legendary funny woman Lucille Ball, Autobot whisperer Josh Duhamel, and singer Diana Ross. Established by its titular founder, who stressed the importance of being natural when presenting oneself, John Robert Powers Las Vegas trains students in all areas of the entertainment industry, whether their goal is to attain superstardom or become the block’s most sought-after birthday clown.
The minds behind Best Model Talent know how time-consuming it is to break into the entertainment industry, so they gather the latest info on jobs and auditions. That way, the agency's budding models and artists—such as actors, singers, and dancers—have more time to focus on their crafts. Emails and text messages alert talent about upcoming opportunities, and Best Model Talent likewise alerts casting companies, agencies, and producers about their clients via social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. And instead of making soon-to-be stars worry about funds while waiting for their big breaks, the agency helps supplement clients’ incomes with monthly cash-prize contests.