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.
A fixture in the automotive industry since 1980, Clarke's Discount Inc.’s efficiency-boosting services and repairs helped earn the shop certifications from the Department of Energy and the Department of Environmental Quality. Inside each service bay, ASE-certified technicians swap in factory quality parts backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty. No matter the repair, Monday–Saturday hours do their best to accommodate busy schedules, while an early-bird and night-owl drop box cares for those who can't meet shop hours. Recognizing that some drivers prefer to fix things themselves, Clark's Discount Inc. also stocks a fully supplied repair shop flush with fluids, tools, and taped readings of the Kelley Blue Book.
Serving gadget enthusiasts since 1978, Hear No Evil can equip any home or vehicle with the latest stereos, TVs, speakers, and sound- and vision-enhancing devices. The massive showroom boasts gizmos from brands such as Samsung, Krell, Alpine, and JL Audio. Enthusiastic employees help customers with challenges such as purchasing audiovisual electronics, figuring out which stereo system to buy, or cloning a doppelg?nger to help them watch every episode of The X Files. Versatile electronic experts draw from a wide range of knowledge to program and design custom sound systems for vehicles, businesses, and living spaces.
Honest-1 Auto Care's ASE-certified technicians keep vehicles in good health with surgery-like precision and care. Mechanics can rotate tires, repair the brakes or engine, or replace the vehicle's oil with synthetic-blend lubricant that matches the engine's recommended viscosity, ensuring the motor runs smoothly and has a competitive edge in the swimsuit portion of the 21-point inspection. As an environmentally-friendly business, Honest-1 Auto Care concludes services with eco-friendly disposal of old motor oil, and, if needed, lubrication of the chassis. Along with top-notch vehicle maintenance, Honest-1 Auto Care's centers cultivate a family-friendly environment complete with children's play areas, complimentary beverages, and large-screen TVs.
Brains need workouts, too, according to the founders of Braingystics, a licensed Brainobrain learning center. Here, adults, seniors, and children aged 4–14 hone their abilities to listen, learn, and tackle nearly any problem that comes their way. The center’s whole-brain development program revolves around games, coaching, and brain training that incorporates neuro-feedback, music therapy, and multisensory exercises. As kids hone their math and reading skills, they build confidence, creativity, and a vocabulary as broad and sophisticated as an ocean with a British accent. To help all children achieve their true potential, the center offers learning assessments and therapy for gifted children as well as those with challenges such as dyslexia, ADHD, and autism-spectrum disorders.
Seniors can attend classes that use both instructor-based and technologically enhanced exercises to keep mental faculties sharp and improve emotional health. Adults 18 years and older can also benefit from brain training, beginning with an assessment to determine mental fitness and continuing with small-group classes or one-on-one coaching, which can enhance focus, memory, and communication skills, and even help with weight-loss and stress-relief efforts.
Though it originally sold only two things—audio products and wireless phones—Car Toys has gradually expanded its repertoire. Today, with 50 locations spread across four states, electronics-certified technicians install everything from Alpine in-dash navigation units to phone-integration systems that sync iPhones, Androids, and tin cans to car stereos. Meanwhile, in the garage, detailing technicians meticulously spruce up cars inside and out, using deionized water, paint-friendly shampoos, and high-quality wash mitts to protect against scratches, swirls, and water spots. The team also sweeps through interiors with vacuums, hot-water extractors, and ozone deodorizing treatment, which kills airborne bacteria and nasty smells in one fell swoop.