Though SEE Eyewear’s specs are only found in their stores, their designs sprout from imaginations around the world. Winner of reader's choice awards in cities ranging from San Francisco to Nashville, SEE Eyewear stocks its frames directly from fashionable frame crafters and passes on the savings of doing business at the source to customers. The company calls on fashion designers from France, Italy, and other style-conscious countries to create one-of-a kind designs to be featured on store shelves and client faces. Before that happens, though, each potential frame goes through a rigorous design and review process to ensure its distinctiveness and quality before it can be added to the national eyewear shop’s exclusive coveted selection.
From cat-eye to horn-rimmed and perfectly round to wayfarer-inspired, the cost of each frame includes single-vision lenses, giving customers the simplicity of a flat price that doesn’t require customers to pay an extra prescription fee or mine their own bifocal quarry. SEE Eyewear also trains its staff members to be aesthetically savvy so they can find the perfect fashion-forward, vision-correcting specs for any face shape, mood, or fashion sense.
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.
Since its founding in 1980, Sun & Ski Sports has remained true to its philosophy: “do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.” The shop stocks equipment in five categories of extreme and outdoor activities, including camping, skating, running, bicycling, and water and snow sports. It specializes in these to ensure its merchandise maintains a high standard of quality, and its employees are knowledgeable participants in the sports their department represents.
Bikers can drop off their steeds for tune-ups from certified mechanics who put all brands through the rigors of a 12-point inspection, checking chains and adjusting wobbly pedals and malfunctioning spoke-card motors. While waiting, curious eyes might linger on a North Face two-person tent, a Blackburn Airtower bicycle pump, or a vast selection of shoes from brands such as New Balance and Asics. Men and women can traipse nearly barefoot in the park with Vibram FiveFingers, which offer minimal structural encumbrances for a more natural stride, or cast their feet aside for the new-wheeled prowess that comes with a Fuji SL-1 LE Ultegra performance road bike.
Ken's Flowers, a top-ranked Teleflora and FTD merchant, brims with an ambrosial array of bouquets, flanked by scented candles, fine wines, and a bevy of edible delights. A sun-drenched potted chrysanthemum beams photosynthetic love rays ($19.95), and delicate stargazer lilies nestle ethereally in a crystalline vase ($25). A dozen roses present an ideal means of identifying oneself to blind dates and showcasing powerful 12-rose-gripping jaw power ($25). The shop's blossom artists sculpt European-style, contemporary, and traditional bouquets, as well as dried and silk arrangements.
Award-winning Akron Life Magazine regales its more than 15,000 subscribers with colorful pictures, helpful lifestyle tips, and fun, engaging guides to the thriving arts scene of Summit, Portage, Medina, and Stark Counties. Gastrophiles flip through the Food & Dining section for reviews of up-and-coming hot spots or hidden culinary gems. Arts & Entertainment coverage livens up cultural calendars with band interviews, information about upcoming plays, and instructions for turning back issues into a pair of opera glasses. Bright, color-saturated photos of the Akron region's happy residents and fill the Beauty & Wellness and Home & Garden sections, which also clue in readers with tips on how to keep their bodies in shape and their backyards bristling with verdant plants.
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.