The ample hands-on experience that Aveda Institute's students receive in cosmetology, hair styling, and skincare is only one part of their extensive training. Even as these burgeoning professionals master more advanced techniques, their instructors work to impart a sense of social and environmental responsibility. These are the tenets of founder and environmentalist Horst M. Rechelbacher, whose vision of living in sync with nature led to Aveda's botanically based products for hair and skin.
At the institute, students cull knowledge from industry experts through extensive practical training under the supervision of mentors. Stylists learn how to cut hair and soothe stress with complimentary mini facials, makeup touchups, and horn sharpening. Future aestheticians restore balance to faces and bodies with relaxing skincare treatments.
To connect with both the local and global community, students also apply their efforts toward charity events such as Earth Month. This campaign helps raise funds for the Sierra Club, who in turn uses the donations to help protect sources of clean water worldwide. The Institute is also hosting an upcoming fashion benefit show on April 23, with procedes going to the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Columbus.
Three times a week, Just U Relax's owner and principal massage therapist paid a 90-minute visit to one of her favorite clients, an elderly Italian woman who could barely speak a word of English. One day after a visit, the woman's daughter called and asked the massage therapist if she could come back again right away, saying her mother was not doing well. She arrived and set to work massaging her client's body, much of which had collapsed inward from a previous stroke. But instead of seeing the usual results, such as the woman's hands relaxing for a short time before tightening back into a bound position, the massage therapist saw her client maintain her peaceful composure. Then, this elderly Italian woman who could speak little English, let alone speak at all due to the effects of her stroke and Alzheimer's disease, looked at her massage therapist and said with perfect clarity, "Thank you." The woman's daughter called later, saying her mother died that evening, and that she wanted to say thank you for giving her mother such comfort before she passed. It was that moment that made the massage therapist realize she knew she could help people.
Raised by a cardiologist, the future owner of Just U Relax and her brother made a pact to go to medical school together, but when she found herself disenchanted by clinical environments and desiring a more hands-on approach to patient care, she explored massage therapy. Today, she and her team of licensed massage therapists at Just U Relax assess posture, gait, and occupational stress to customize bodywork for each client. The staff sees to guests' comfort in a variety of ways, including giving visitors warm robes and plush slippers, using massage tables with triple-cotton-padded tops, and playing relaxing music as aromatherapy wafts between rooms. Therapists also offer clients snacks such as fruit smoothies and granola bars. Additionally, each therapist is required to undergo at least three hours of training each month to learn new massage techniques and stay sharp.
Red Dog Pet Resort & Spa founder Ray Schneider understands why his clients would want to pamper their pups with massage and reiki sessions or warm-water swims. As he told Dan Monk of the Business Courier, "It’s a relationship that’s very hard to explain. When you have a dog, you can understand it.” The Blue Ash resident and entrepreneur created the sprawling, 25,000-square-foot pet hotel—and its second location in Boston—because he realizes the lengths to which people will go to care for their furry friends.
Swathed in upscale atmosphere, the spa is outfitted with all the comforts of home and more; after touring the facilities, Jeff Elkus of David's Voice said, "I wish the last resort I visited had half the amenities of Red Dog." Dogs can stay in private, themed boarding suites with flat-screen TVs and owner-monitored webcams. They exercise and socialize in climate- and airflow-controlled play areas, romp in a three-acre dog park, and don buoyancy vests to soothe achy joints in the heated aquatic center. The hotel also offers multilevel lodging for cats, as well as canine grooming and training services.
Schneider hired and trained a staff for around-the-clock supervision and care. Dogs who are aging, have health issues, or secretly write reviews for Frommer's get special attention in a room with a fireplace and stretch lounges.
Ken Cappelletty and Fred Moor, the men who man Ken’s Flower Shops, didn’t grow up dreaming about buds and stems. Raised by a local policeman, Ken likely spent more time playing cops and robbers than sniffing the neighbor’s rosebushes. It wasn’t until he helmed the cash register at a neighborhood florist in L.A. that he discovered his knack for design. Here, he started to see flowers as more than just plants, viewing them as art supplies that happen to smell nice. When Ken returned to Ohio, his parents helped him launch a small shop that arranged blooms in the morning and delivered them in the afternoon. Two years later, in 1967, his friend Fred took some of the reins, helping him grow the business into three local stores affiliated with FTD and Teleflora. From this labor of love, a legacy began to take root. At each shop, seasoned designers incorporate customers’ requests into birthday bouquets, wedding corsages, and gift baskets filled with wine, house-baked cookies, and stuffed toys cute enough to melt hearts and plush enough to sop up the mess. Their talent and creativity takes center stage as well, whether they’re filling vases with orchids, crafting wreaths from roses, or building bouquets from singing balloons. To this day, Fred often answers the phones, discerning customers’ style preferences from friendly chats rather than pilfered diary pages. To make giving easy as getting, the shop’s wares can be delivered locally or internationally, seven days a week.
At each of its international locations, Fresh Healthy Café delivers—as its name implies—a fresh and healthy alternative to fast food. More than a dozen creations take form as wraps, panini, or salads, such as the Mediterranean packed with roasted chicken, olives, and feta cheese, or the Mexican Fiesta teeming with black beans, spicy mayo, and corn salsa. At the juice bar, a friendly staffer fills biodegradable cups with fresh-squeezed juices or blends whole fruit and non-fat yogurt into hearty smoothies. Beyond lunch, Fresh Healthy Café caters to the morning crowd with oatmeal bowls and parfaits layered with fruit and yogurt. They also do their part for the community by sponsoring school programs and picking up the gold coins that reckless people litter.
The Winans family has been making lives a little sweeter for more than a century. During the Great Depression, townspeople would flock to the family?s bakery in Piqua with their sugar rations. Owner Wayne Winans would take that sugar and turn it into freshly baked cookies?a small pick-me-up at a time when even small pick-me-ups were a luxury. Years later, Wayne?s sons, Max and Dick, carried the family torch into the 1960s, when the first Winans Fine Chocolates & Coffees was born.
Today, the Winans family continues to do what it does best at three Ohio locations. All of the business?s chocolates are handmade, with no preservatives or fillers, and never cryogenically frozen. The family?s emphasis on freshness carries over to their coffee, too, which has frequently been named the area's best by the readers of the Dayton Business Journal and the Dayton Daily News. The secret is in their roasting process?their small, 15-pound roaster requires them to roast the beans in small batches, which leads to a more consistent product. Once the beans are ready, coffee artisans carefully combine them with other roasts to create a vast assortment of flavors, which includes 11 house coffee blends, 12 flavored coffees, and even more seasonal selections.