In 1975, Jay Kogan's parents opened up a store that was literally a hall of frames—just a small store stacked with thousands of frames. At the time, they had no idea that that tiny corridor would expand to 12 locations throughout the greater Phoenix area, all still run by the Kogan family. Today, their shops have more than 4,500 custom frame options along with mats of all colors and textures, as well as seven glazing choices and expert assembly. They can answer framing questions and frame everything from documents and artwork to posters and small 3-D objects such as sports memorabilia and very still grandmothers.
When they custom-produce frames, the family cuts their mats exactly, miters frame corners precisely, and installs flawless glass. Or, since the stores' walls are lined with ready-made frames, customers can walk in and find what they're looking for quickly. Since installing framed art is an art unto itself, they also offer hanging services with an eye for placement and ability to install in difficult spaces.
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Bead Bar's bead baristas guide jewelry crafters with a wealth of bauble knowledge, provisioning projects from the amply stocked store. Students can bring their own spirited refreshments to make sessions merrier, journeying past bead-bedazzled walls and cascades of clasps to reach the workshop, where they'll discover the basics of jewelry creation during basic stringing and crimping classes (click here to view the schedule). After pupils choose one of five bracelet kits—which include a clasp, four fire-ball beads, finishing beads, wire, wire guards, and a strand of firepolish beads—instructors model foundational stringing techniques and imbue new crafters with a sense of symmetry and color combinations. Bracelet makers learn how to highlight feature beads and artfully select accent beads, then take an oath to use filler beads only for fighting crimes of bare-wristedness. To bring closure to both classes and adornments, the staff imparts advice on selecting clasps to make sure bracelets can't leave wrists or ankles without asking permission first.
With a bachelor's degree in business administration in one hand and an MBA in the other, ANR owner Amy O'Brien knows a thing or two about running a successful business. It takes a well-trained and hard-working crew, for one, and ANR's cleaners have earned a reputation for their attention to detail, whether they're erasing grime from around the base of a toilet or crawling under sofas to catch dust bunnies where they roam. Whether her crews are cleaning carpets, laundering linens, or cleaning large offices, Amy backs all daily, weekly, and monthly services with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and vows never to ask her customers to sign a contract or her high-school yearbook prior to service.
With the same techniques used to clean Yankee Stadium and U.S. Army bases, Enviropro Group LLC fights disease-causing microbial systems in the homes of civilians. The savvy techs fend off bacteria, mold, and fungi for up to three years with one application, killing 99.99% of microorganisms such as H1N1, the mumps, and cooties. The microbial experts can also inspect and remediate mold form the home without the use of chemicals, and scrub homes with green seal-certified cleaning products and microfiber cloths. EnviroPro's obsessive housecleaning teams can also tackle typically overlooked areas such as toilet-paper holders, electrical cover plates, and fireplaces.
High-school sweethearts David and Kassie Estrada turned their marriage into a merger of business savvy when they founded A/C Solutions, Inc. together 18 years ago. While Kassie balanced office work with motherhood, David strapped a ladder to the roof of the family minivan and rode to the rescue of ailing air conditioners and sweltering clients. Today, their staff of experienced techs shoulders the grunt work, performing 15-point checkups, repairs, and installations. When repairing any make or model of air conditioner, they charge by the job—not by the hour—to avoid startling clients with bloated invoices.