After one look at the pristine pools packed with toys, and it?s no surprise why La Petite Baleen?s four San Francisco?area swim facilities are so popular with kids. What may be surprising, however, is that the flourishing network of schools started humbly in the backyard pool of John Kolbisen and Irene Madrid.
In 1979, the public school teachers were brainstorming ways to integrate their passion for educating kids with their love of the water. Starting with their own three children, some neighborhood kids, and their logo?Waverly the Whale, John and Irene began teaching swim lessons with a rather progressive philosophy: They approached swimming not just as an extracurricular activity, but as a means to boost self-confidence, build friendships, and learn to overcome fears.
More than 30 years later, La Petite Baleen has become a renowned family of schools, partnered with the U.S. Swim School Association and the Swim for Life Foundation. Part of the success has to do with how children are grouped. In weekly sessions, pods of tots of similar age, skill level, and personality evolve at a similar pace?earning individual achievement ribbons as they do. Kids make friends in the group, and the recurring scheduling means that they can stay enrolled with their new buddies indefinitely or until they grow their own dorsal fins. Each location?s indoor pools are kept at an inviting 90 degrees, in an attempt to make even the most timid student to feel comfortable in the water. Perhaps most importantly, the teachers participate in ongoing training designed to encourage empathetic, yet firm teaching methods.
Dragonfly Designs is a socially conscience jewelry business that offers exceptional handmade jewelry and the opportunity to create it, while promoting social justice, personal style and fun! We offer handmade jewelry, supplies, birthday parties, jewelry making classes for adults and children, Jewlery making camps!
Charmelle 28 features high-quality lingerie from renowned European designers such as Aubade, Marie Jo, Lise Charmel, and PrimaDonna. Delicate camisoles, lacey bras, and seamless panties fill the store’s racks and tables at two area locations, where expert staffers are on-hand to make recommendations and take measurements. Charmelle 28’s stock of underthings also includes low-key sleepwear as well as hosiery and more risqué bustiers.
Launched more than three decades ago, Site for Sore Eyes now operates in more than 35 showrooms throughout the Bay Area. Staffers at every location share their dedication when pairing customers with head-turning eyewear and contacts. The company offers a $25 warranty that secures all of its products, replacing broken frames for free and furnishing half-price replacements for glasses that are lost, stolen, or transformed into an acorn squash. In case eyes require prescription tweaks, each shop sits next door to California-licensed Sterling VisionCare doctors of optometry.
What started out as a simple consignment shop quickly evolved into something more. Today, more than 15 years later, Ricochet echoes some of its initial framework, as owner Jill Pillot specializes in selling "up-cycled" clothing that has been repurposed and reimagined. Inside the store, she also leads sewing classes to share her knowledge?bolstered by a degree in costume and fashion design?suited for all ages and abilities. Ricochet is also a proud supporter of local artists, frequently showcasing and selling wearable works of art made nearby at the local Art Factory.
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.