Inspired by their twin boys, the family behind Green Heat Services decided to create a company that would improve the energy efficiency and health of their home. They had been in the indoor-heating-and-cooling business for more than a quarter century, and so applied their knowledge toward rounding up a capable crew and streamlining the experience for their patrons. A licensed HVAC technician oversees each team during installations and commands the use of portable negative pressure vacuums. In addition to helping families breathe easier via cleaner indoor air, the business lowers blood pressure by scheduling their visits in three-hour increments, rather than having clients wait all day for crews to arrive.
American Shredding - Oakland may specialize in destruction, but it's in the business of protection. The licensed, bonded, and insured collectors understand that until your confidential documents are no more than thin, illegible strips of rubbish—they’re valuable and must be treated with sensitivity.
One way they get the job done is by shredding the documents immediately in mobile trucks. The collectors can also pick up the materials and shred them at their facility, a system that comes with a set of safeguards: documents are transported in locked, secured, and GPS-tracked trucks and destroyed within 24 hours. Furthermore, customers can choose a shred size they feel comfortable with, and all employees undergo background screening and drug tests. After the materials have been shredded, American Shredding - Oakland’s staffers haul the residue to local paper mills for recycling. They also offer hard-drive shredding for those who don’t trust their computers to self-implode when compromised.
With more than 25 years of experience, Box Brothers offers a panoply of packing supplies and accouterments along with brand-name and custom shipping services. Box Brothers stocks more than 100 different sizes of boxes, including standard 1.5-cubic-foot book- or record-carton boxes ($1.49 each, $1.29 each in a bundle of 25) and sweater-sheltering wardrobe boxes ($12.99, $11.99 each in a bundle of five). Box Brothers’ cardboard cowboys will help find the right receptacle for hand-woven wares, and they can also make or cut custom-size boxes for oddly shaped items such as spare harpoons and handcrafted kitchen sinks.
Through Studio+One:Design, professional abode beautifier Susan Hershman enlivens home interiors by drawing from her expertise in interior architecture and bathroom and kitchen renovations. Color consultations guide customers through thousands of paint-color options and enlists a medium to consult the restless spirit of Van Gogh. Susan can ensure walls are dressed in modern palettes, match an established decor, or evoke desired interior looks and feels. An interior-architecture consultation helps beautify and maximize the space inside kitchens, hallways, and underground racquetball arenas. Those who would like to read more about the aesthetic and financial benefits of proper color coordination can check out Susan’s book, House Colors: Exterior Color by Style of Architecture, which includes detailed information on how great exterior design can impact property value and which windowsill colors make you look the slimmest.
While pacing in the light of a pristine glass foyer, a team member from Sparkling Cleaning Service speaks proudly about a recently serviced home. "Mary and her husband," he explains, "they were elderly, and not in the best position to clean their windows. We removed all the dirt, the water spots, and after we finished, Mary calls me and says, 'I can see!'" That's not to say that Mary had been living with false blindness, but as she elatedly explained to an employee, she'd never seen her windows so clean.
This type of phone call is what owners Fernando Moreno and his wife, Sandra Gomez, wanted from their business from the beginning: to have strong personal relationships with clients—relationships built on thorough and fair service. The couple earned their business stripes as daycare owners, but decided to start Sparkling Cleaning Service in order to provide even more working opportunities for others––relatives included.
A family owned and operated business, one day the team of relatives sat down and sorted out the details of the company's vision. They decided to offer gutter cleaning, pressure washing, and window cleaning. They decided that they would use eco-friendly products. The family also decided that the prices should be based on square footage rather than number of windows––because it's more fair. "It's not as easy these days to trust someone to do a service. We want the customers to see that we can be trusted."
Gil Stancourt says he'll put a light bulb in anything. Take one look around his studio and you'll believe him. The born tinkerer, who built his first lamp at the age of 12, has spent the last quarter century restoring antique lamps and designing original lighting fixtures, and in that time he's custom-made crystal fixtures, reproductions of cathedral chandeliers, and even art objects from repurposed items. Gil's specialty is bringing back to life antique lamps, which he can convert into more eco-friendly fixtures by retrofitting them to use energy-efficient GU-24 compact fluorescent bulbs and to not shine directly in the eyes of an endangered species that's trying to get some rest.
The lighting master shares his expertise in instructional classes, during which students learn basic wiring techniques and proper tool usage by constructing their own lamp from a wine bottle and other materials.