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.
Most of the time when kids go to get their hair cut, they're lucky if they're able to watch a movie they've seen a thousand times or play with the single toy the salon keeps on hand. But even that doesn't generally happen. And because most salons don't bother to entertain kids, haircuts can be a difficult thing for them to sit through.
Yet, when kids go to Snip-its Kids Hair Salon and Spa, they get an adventure. Staffers first hand kids a Snip-its Adventure Club card, and then invite them to sing along with the salon's own cast of animated characters. There's Curly Comb, the adventurous Flyer Joe Dryer, and the group's leader, Snips, an anthropomorphized pair of scissors with a shock of brown hair. This same crew stars in computer games and activities that kids can play at each salon station, which dazzle eyes with more bright colors than a car covered in Lisa Frank stickers.
While their clients explore imaginative worlds, stylists use a proprietary line of natural and allergen-free products to create buzz cuts and bobs. At the end of the process, kids visit the Magic Box. The enchanted device awards kids a prize in exchange for a swatch of hair. On special occasions, stylists can also photograph a baby's first haircut or transport girls to Tinseltown during a Hollywood Party.
In order to make every salon experience exciting for kids and relaxing for adults, Snip-its Kids Hair Salon and Spa's partners with Autism Speaks and trains stylists to work with kids with autism.
Jade Aveda is a devoted ambassador of their namesake brand. By using Aveda's naturally derived, eco-conscious skin and hair products, they're able to support their mission to "take care of our guests and our planet, keeping both looking beautiful." In keeping with the Aveda spirit, Jade refers to their services as "experiences," turning even a routine haircut into a chance to unwind by including a scalp massage and other relaxing rituals. As stylists perform cuts, coloring treatments, and complimentary chair spins in the salon, the spa team nourishes skin with brightening facials and rosemary-mint body treatments.
Jade's interest in beautifying the planet and its people runs deeper than what they do at the salon, however. They're also invested in two philanthropic initiatives: the first is an annual fashion show to raise money for the Catawba River Keeper Foundation to protect local watersheds, and the second donates funds to area cancer centers during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Given this devotion to both their clients and their community, it's not surprising that Jade was the recipient of an Angie's List award for outstanding service in 2012.
While vacationing in Park City, Utah, some time ago, Georganne and Keith McDaniel wandered into an olive oil and vinegar shop. They had such a marvelous time tasting gourmet imported oils and infused vinegars that when they returned home to Pinehurst, they decided to open Green Gate Olive Oils. Their unstoppable enthusiasm and fervor was so contagious that their enterprise spawned three stores, which they operate along with their son, Brandon.
Each outpost stocks olive oils, vinegars, chocolates, and bath products imported from international artisans in Sicily, Greece, and Chile. Infused vinegars pop with flavors such as lavender, pineapple, and pomegranate. For a unique local concoction, extra-virgin olive oil chocolate barks from Chocolates by Carol feature Green Gate?s own flavored olive oils. The boutiques also carry Olivella bath and body products, and home accents such as candles and cookware. For those who think that olive oil is best used to elevate a bowl of microwaveable mac ?n? cheese, the gourmet enthusiasts also host frequent cooking classes for all ages and cooking camps for kids.
D-Source Sports Performance and Fitness founder Ivan Jenkins—a former All-American collegiate and professional basketball player—marshals an experienced squad of certified personal trainers, therapists, and yogis that fight alongside clients in their calorie-burning battles. A cap of 100 active memberships at a time frees up equipment and allows instructors to focus on individual patrons. Guests rev up hearts, tone muscles, and build endurance in 10 different fitness and aerobics classes such as the intense full-body boot camp, the midsection-molding Ab & Glute Blast, or the Dancer's Workout that blends ballet, hip-hop, and Broadway jazz like a Juilliard student who hasn't declared a major.
To soothe overexerted anatomies, licensed therapists send stress packing with massages and reflexology treatments, which boost circulation, infusing uptight limbs with oxygen. Therapists perform the treatments in private rooms in an effort to maintain clients’ modesty and ensure minimal distraction. Reflexology treatments strategically apply pressure to hands, feet, and ears, reducing inflammation of the joints, enhancing detoxification, and displacing unfashionable stick-on toe rings.
At G'nique's Spa Services, owner, aesthetician, and massage therapist Genique Freeman guides her team with the conviction that total wellness is achieved when each patient feels beautiful, relaxed, and cared for. Freeman's staff makes a point of opening communication lines with each client, welcoming both English and Spanish speakers and discovering their patients' treatment preferences and favorite Kevin Bacon films via a simple online health-history form. Organic and wild-harvested ingredients from product lines such as De La Terre ease health concerns, and skin-purifying treatments are frequently paired with massages to heighten the therapeutic effects of both. Calm lighting and soft music welcome clients to leave their workplace stresses at the door, and a no-walk-in policy ensures patient comfort by safeguarding against overcrowding or a sudden influx of encyclopedia salesmen. Also supporting the spa's philosophy that physical and psychological health go hand in hand, G'nique's encourages veterans and their families to take respite in pampering by offering military discounts on specialty services, such as massages and facials.