Carrie Lozier began by teaching students how to play piano from her home studio in 2003, with just 10 students on her roster. By 2011, Lozier Music had 70 students enrolled and new digs of its own. Staff began by teaching only piano, using the Simply Music method, which emphasizes being able to play music before being able to read music, in the same way children learn to speak before they are able to write long letters to the editor about rescheduling Yo Gabba Gabba during naptime. Some of the concepts of this method is translated to other instruments, where classes mirror four steps on learning to play. First is immersion, where students up to age 5 get comfortable being surrounded by the sounds of music; then introduction, where they learn to makes sounds with instruments; finally, musical instruction followed by integration, where musicians learn to play together with other musicians.
At Mattress Closeout Center, the staff uses negotiation skills to continuously replenish a diverse inventory of brand-name mattresses—many of them culled from factory overstocks, liquidations, last-year models, and overruns. While grazing through one of the brand-name liquidation center's four locations, guests can sip a cup of complimentary Starbucks coffee or bottle of Coca Cola and research consumer reviews and retail prices on the store's iPad. Mattress Closeout Center also provides exact lists of inventory and pricing online, with a comparison of the store's discount prices beside the normal retail prices. The store's well-established rapport is also backed by myriad testimonials from satisfied sleepers and bounce-happy trampoline enthusiasts.
Founded by two wilderness guides in 1992, Moosejaw has merged an Everest-sized variety of top-flight outdoor goods with thoughtful, friendly service, leading CityVoters to name the retailer the Best Outdoor Apparel store for two years running. Beloved brands such as The North Face, Patagonia, Mountain Hard Wear, Marmot, and Arc'teryx decorate the walls, and Moosejaw's own product line has fanatics worldwide. Outfit a summer surfing trip with some funky boardshorts ($19.99–$59) and some Hyperflex Mesh gloves ($23.95) to ensure maximum tread when open-face slapping disorderly waves. There's an extensive array of footwear to pacify and protect your lower paws. Lace haters and hip Dutch tulip farmers can slip on the snug Merrell clogs ($70). Moosejaw's glut of gear covers a wide range of activities, from snowboarding and rock climbing to indoor sunglassing and extreme strollering.
Inaugurated in 2007, the Muddy Watters trail series fuses the tough terrain of trails, mud, and rivers into single 5-kilometer routes hindered by frequent stops for boot camp-style exercises. Along with three main races throughout the summer, several offshoot versions adapt the rules into new themes, such as a women-only run and a miniature, 1-mile scramble ideal for kids and 5,000-foot-long snails. Despite the tenacity of the courses, the slog pays off in more ways than one: beyond building character and doling out awards for the speediest participants, the race helps benefit local charities, which in the past have included Volunteers of America and the Alzheimer’s Assocation.
K-9 Cuts has been in the dog-grooming business for more than 20 years. In that time, the staff has developed the best practices for dogs, including the use of all-natural products, cage-free spaces, and a special HydroSurge bathing system that simultaneously massages and cleans coats. Dog lovers brush dogs’ teeth, clean ears, trim nails, and brush out coats until silky smooth and ready for prom with the neighbor's poodle. Pampering services range from nail polish applications to facials.