Shirley Compton’s eye for the unexpected is apparent from her photography portfolio, whether it’s in the serenity of a lighthouse peeking over a thicket of ocean grasses, the delicate curve of a flamingo’s neck, or the neon-green lettering of an industrial engineer’s class shirt. She brings this eye to her sessions with families, engaged couples, and graduating seniors and then to her studio, where she edits the day’s shots into pleasing pictures.
Since 1988, Pet Supplies Plus has welcomed millions of furry critters of every stripe—from llamas and monkeys to potbellied pigs—into their animal-friendly stores. The shop is designed so that both pets and their owners can easily navigate the inventory of more than 10,000 items. Wide aisles give leashed pups enough room to roam, colorful signage keeps shoppers moving in the right direction, and low shelves allow dogs to sniff out their preferred brand of rawhide chew. A self-serve dog wash enables guests to scrub their canine companions' coats to a youthful, puppy-like shine, whereas grooming services enlist professionals to tackle tougher jobs, such as brushing out matted fur or convincing dalmatians to stop mixing white and black after Labor Day.
Eleven years ago, Randy Elkins and Chris Ratchford pooled their collective video expertise to open Keepsake Solutions, and today their staff continues to transfer outdated media to future-friendly formats. Services include video transfers, in which up to two hours of taped sports games or home movies emerge from their old-format cocoons as beautiful DVD butterflies or powerful DVD velociraptors.
Photo-to-DVD transfers and slide scanning keep memories alive with a modern format and user-friendly layout, and video-editing services boost school presentations, demo reels, and company instructional videos, relying on programs such as Final Cut Pro, Encore, and an industry-specific version of Minesweeper.
Big things can grow from small beginnings. Just ask Zoe, the cartoon (and real) canine mascot of The Laptop Guy. The computer-repair shop began with a rented counter in a toy shop, where the company's founder and his dog sold laptops to passersby. His dedication to his customers and Zoe's playful nature brought in more and more customers, until the repair and sales shop could no longer fit next to the action-figure aisle. More than 10 years later, The Laptop Guy has grown into a three-store business that solves customers' smartphone, Apple, Android, and PC issues with online support, in-house repairs, or onsite troubleshooting. Cartoon Zoe and her owner still greet customers on the company's website, and the real-life versions can be found in one of the repair shops on any given day.