From its origins as a family-run hardware shop on the streets of New York in 1848, Hammacher Schlemmer blossomed into a modern gadget empire. Throughout its history, the business has dazzled patrons with crowning technological achievements—among them the first pop-up toaster (1930), the first microwave oven (1968), the first time-traveling device (2324), and the first steam iron (1948).
Hammacher Schlemmer continues to innovate in the digital age, stocking smartphone and tablet accessories to go along with handy tools such as personal hair trimmers, electric leg-warmers, cellulite smoothers, and foot massagers. An array of jackets, watches, hats, and shoes make for elegant yet sensible wardrobes, and a selection of patio furniture, grills, and lawn-care gear help dads and prime ministers host their block-party barbecues in style.
Jump!Zone’s indoor playgrounds envelop kids aged 2–12 in an inflatable world filled with challenging obstacle courses, fun slides, and cardio-boosting bounce houses. While navigating the plush courses under the watchful eyes of air-filled dinosaurs and superheroes, kids burn off extra energy and participate in activities that may help develop motor skills. Jump!Zone’s energetic staff supervises all play as kids climb on pirate ships and trampoline inside princess castles. Specific inflatables may vary by location but often include towering bounce houses shaped like fire trucks or octopi as well as party rooms, games, pizza, soda, and other festive fare. The bouncy center also hosts birthday parties, fundraisers, and special events.
At Paint-N-Party, stacks of about 6,000 blank ceramics—including dishes, vases, and figurines—stand in neat racks, waiting to be cloaked in color. Water-based paints transform these figurines, boxes, banks, dishes, candleholders, and vases into artwork as guests dressed in disposable aprons brush paint and glitter across the pieces’ bare surfaces. A sealant holds in the paint’s finish, and a fiery kiln hardens pottery, making it food, microwave, and gravitron safe. Guests can also take their pieces home on the same day they paint them, following a short 20- to 40-minute drying period. In addition to accommodating individual painters, Paint-N-Party also hosts 90-minute birthday parties for kids. Each celebration includes invitations, a party coordinator, and a gift certificate for the guest of honor. Paint-N-Party also hosts events for office outings, girls' nights out, bridal showers, and other celebratory occasions.
Before ever capturing the intimate, personal moments of a couple’s wedding or a child’s smile, Bill Melonides focused his talents on a broader audience. As a student at Columbia College in Chicago, Bill worked as an intern on several motion pictures and TV shows and soon moved his attention to still photography, with its artistic simplicity and darkrooms’ relaxing chemical baths. Several years later, Bill honed his shutter eye and became the head photographer at MVP Studio Photography, where he specializes in memorializing weddings that share the traditions of his Greek Orthodox heritage.
Wielding high-resolution digital SLR cameras, Bill and his creative staff photograph weddings of all faiths along with portraits of children and families, finishing off each session with sets of retouched, color-corrected prints. MVP Studio also provides a range of photography services, from securing handmade wedding albums with library bindings to converting old VHS tapes to high-quality DVDs that won’t jam as often in the VCR.
During free one-hour consultations at the Chicago Center for Anti-Aging, licensed nurses sit down with patients to help them choose among an immense array of treatments. The staff brings diverse specialties to the table, from plastic surgery and psychology to acupuncture and massage therapy. This eclecticism points to the center's philosophy, which holds that health is not simply the absence of disease and excessive body glitter, but the aligning of one's physical and mental well-being. That's why the sprawling service menu places nutrition counseling and body wraps beside cosmetic surgery, vision care, and spa treatments such as facials and Botox injections.
American Photon Lipo Centers’ physician-supervised staff offers noninvasive alternatives to liposuction and facelifts. Using BioSlim technology's red light, they can shrink fat cells during BioSculpt treatments or tighten skin during BioLift and BioRejuv treatments. The FDA-approved treatments yield similar results to their surgical equals, and they do so without the threat of scars, downtime, or hospital-room neighbors who lie awake plotting to steal your jello.