The brand American Apparel, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, conjures up images of stylish and well-fitting fashion basics. It also likely brings to mind sassy advertisements featuring long-haired beauties in natural makeup posing in skin-bearing bodysuits and loungewear.
But what many don't know about the brand?despite its name and the slice of apple pie that comes with every purchase?is that all of its clothes are made in America. Everything from sewing and cutting to accounting and marketing happens in one building in downtown Los Angeles, and the rest occurs within a 30-mile radius. Not only that, every slim-fitting pair of pants, spandex bodysuit, and v-neck T-shirt is made in a sweatshop-free environment.
Plus, keeping everything in house means the company eliminates unnecessary and wasteful factors, such as shipping fuel and packing materials, as well as provides jobs to Angelenos, instead of outsourcing them.
While living in Kenya, Leslie Mittelberg was amazed at the skills displayed by artisans and the vast variety of items that were sold in the community marketplace. After returning to the United States, she often longed for a way to access those rich textiles and beautiful sculptures, but found that very few African products made their way to the US. Guided by her passion, she began contacting sellers along the East African coast and encouraging them to export their wares. Today, she employs fair-trade policies to stock stores throughout the country, supporting artisans living in Kenya, Tanzania, the Sudan, Uganda, South Africa, Mozambique, Mali, Senegal, and Ethiopia.
Lavender walls surround Vanity Junkie's easygoing stylists as they transform patrons from head to toe with salon and spa services. Experienced hands carefully snip new hairstyles and infuse heads with color using products from brands including Redken, evo, label.m, and Pureology. Frizzy heads can be smoothed out, whereas perms convert flat tresses into well-orchestrated curls. Staffers also rejuvenate countenances with facials and microdermabrasion treatments, and extract or add hair to body areas with waxing and hair extensions, respectively. As stylists work, Vanity Junkie's street-facing garage door floods the main space with natural light that gleams off mirrored tables and a dangling chandelier. Before and after sessions, customers lounge at an in-salon bar enjoying coffee, beer, wine, and the comical screams of shorn locks as they fall to the ground.
The High Brow?s aesthetician tucks 10 years of experience into her hands as she tackles pesky acne, oil, and fine lines on the face. She uses warm wax to quickly remove unwanted hair on the body, and shapes overgrown eyebrows into perfect arches. The studio?s floral-print chairs and cantaloupe-hued walls evoke a cheery atmosphere.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Staff Size: 11?25 people
Parking: Metered street parking
Most popular service: Essential Facial and waxing services
Brands Used: Dermalogica, Cirepil
Pro Tip: Come relaxed and ready to be pampered, and you will leave feeling beautiful.
What is one of your signature services? How is it performed?
The Essential Facial, which is ideal for simple monthly maintenance for healthy skin. The treatment begins with cleansing, steam, and extractions. After exfoliating the skin, I perform a facial massage and apply a mask, toner, and moisturizer. I also include a relaxing scalp-and-hand massage. You will leave with a personal face-mapping sheet, as well as a recommended home skincare regimen.
The interior of a business can affect how its customers feel. What kind of decor do you use to help make your clients feel pampered and at ease?
The salon is glamorous yet edgy. We have concrete floors, high ceilings, open windows that overlook the Pearl District, and chandelier lighting. As a full-service salon, we use and sell only professional products. My facial-and-waxing room is private, inviting, charming, and tranquil.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
I love meeting people and making them feel special and beautiful through my facial and waxing services.
Out of your entire repertoire, which is your favorite service to perform and why?
I love performing facials because they are a great way for my clients to treat themselves. Taking care of our skin and face is an essential part of staying and being healthy, yet it is also relaxing and pampering. It is a treat that should also be a normal part of taking care of ourselves.
Most popular offering: Local, organic, raw milk; Quest bars
Walk-ins Welcome: Yes
Good for Kids: Yes
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
It's not always easy to know if you're eating a balanced diet. But if you don't know how to get in all your leafy greens or omega fatty acids throughout the day, there's help. Total Health owners Kevin and Laurel set out to bring their knowledge of nutrition to the local community, helping all their customers live healthier lives and get over debilitating fears of swiss chard. They stock healthy snacks, gluten-free foods, vitamins, and a variety of organic and local goods.