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.
Grateful Body is an all natural, botanical-based skin care company. We offer luxurious products that deliver beautiful results. Of course we are chemical and synthetic-free, vegan and great for those with sensitive skin. Grateful Body is a family owned and operated company since 1998.
Antique Balinese fountains, crimson wall hangings, and verdant plants enliven the luxurious confines of Pacific Tan, a go-to bronzing destination for 29 years. Boasting attentive customer service and the vibe of an exotic getaway, the tanning emporium ushers clients into its elegant space for traditional UV tans in state-of-the-art beds, including the Garden of Eden, which customizes a tan for each individual using an optical sensor, and the Shangri-La, a high-pressure bed that delivers a dark tan in minutes. Alternatively, natural-looking, flawless airbrush tans are administered by skilled and certified technicians using a safe, all-natural paraben-free solution.
Whether he's rocking a mountain-man beard, a five o' clock shadow, or the smooth cheek of a 31-year-old playing a teenager on TV, every man needs a grooming product he can trust. That's where Every Man Jack comes in. Eschewing chemicals, harsh dyes, and unbelievable promises, the shaving, skincare, and hair experts keep men groomed with their unpretentious washes, creams, deodorants, and shampoos. These old-fashioned solutions have earned Every Man Jack shout outs in publications from Men's Health to Esquire to Maxim.
Certified by the American Board of Opticianry, the staffers at 20/20 Optical match faces with a pair of their more than 5,000 frames aided by customer-service chops that earned them a spot on Pacific Sun's Best of Marin Hall of Fame 2012. Their cache of glasses includes haute and stylish frames from designers such as Tom Ford, Lindberg, and Anne Et Valentin, which stand ready to welcome newly crafted single- or multifocal lenses. All lenses are cut with laser technology in 20/20’s own onsite laboratory by certified opticians.
Most popular offering: Couture Gel Nail Polish Starter Kit
Reservations/Appointments: Not offered
Staff Size: 11–25 people
What sets your business apart from your competition?
We were the first company in the world to offer gel nail polish for home use. We manufacture our polishes in California; they are free from harmful chemicals and never tested on animals. We also offer more than 100 "true gel" nail polish colors. Many celebrities wear our polishes, such as Jennifer Lopez, Kristen Bell, and Oprah.
What was the inspiration for starting this business?
While my daughters and I were vacationing in Europe, we received gel nail polish manicures. When we returned home to the US, we couldn't find anyone who had even heard of gel nail polish, let alone a salon that had the ability to remove it. And because the polish lasted for three weeks without chipping, fading, or peeling, we wanted more of it. We searched and sourced the world over until we could put together a non-toxic gel nail polish product that we could use at home. We decided that every woman needed to have access to this wonderful product, so we started Couture Gel Nail Polish for home use.
What is the best reaction you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
Elderly women love our polish because it is "self leveling" and hides the ridges that women tend to get in their nails as they age. My mother is so happy to be able to show off her beautiful hands again, because she was so embarrassed by the ridges that she could not hide prior to the launch of our gel nail polish.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
I love being able to work with my daughters. My eldest daughter, Melissa, is the President of Couture Gel Nail Polish. My younger daughter, Kelsey, is Vice President of Fulfillment. We are also very proud of the fact that we are able to give back by donating a percentage of our proceeds to the fight against breast cancer for all the women we love. We also donate a percentage of our proceeds to the children of Somalia through UNICEF. At this stage in my life, giving to others is most important part of what I do.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Our product is a true salon-quality polish. Our bottles are a full size (0.5 fluid ounces), and our LED lamp is safe and holds the entire hand.