With just an inch of space separating pavement from pedal, the go-kart drivers at Willow Springs Racing zip around the facility's tracks, getting hands-on experience in beginner- or advanced-level racing techniques. Entry-level drivers can get behind the wheel of a 4-stroke Honda engine, which allows them to approach speeds of up to 50-mph while learning such basics as trail braking, sliding, and how to program the kart's pre-set radio stations. More advanced drivers, meanwhile, can climb into 125cc shifter cars and hit speeds of up to 100-mph or take control of full-sized Formula vehicles in courses designed to prepare racers for competition.
Each of Paint A Dream’s three studios are ringed by shelves, each stacked high with bleached-white ceramics that stare out longingly, ready to welcome creative coatings of paint. Artists pick out their ceramic soulmates from plates, platters, cups, and figurines before turning them into personalized masterpieces. Using provided paints and brushes, they adorn pieces with colorful designs, drawings, and algebraic equations. Once muses deem painting finished, staff members usher each piece away to be glazed and fired. The studios welcome walk-in creators as well as groups including class trips, birthday parties, and fundraisers.
For the CEO of Daniel's Jewelers, helping people realize their sparkling and diamond-studded dreams is more than a business—it's a family legacy. In 1948, his grandparents mortgaged their home in order to open a small jewelry store in Bell Gardens, California. His grandmother managed the details of their office and family life while his grandfather sold jewelry, gifts, and socket-wrench sets, creating an in-store credit system that allowed customers to conveniently pay for their purchases. His father and uncle joined the ranks after college and expanded the company from the original storefront.
What began as a glimmer in the eye of Helene and Joe Sherwood has blossomed into a leading jewelry establishment that spans 61 locations throughout central and southern California. The Sherwoods and their employees still strive to treat their customers as family, and they still offer credit options for a variety of budgets. In addition to stunning gold and silver pieces, they showcase design-your-own wedding and anniversary bands and offer a full-range of jewelry repair, including clasps and re-sizing. The diamond rings in their exclusive Love Song collection are embedded with a pink diamond, and come in a music box that, when opened, plays either Debussy's famous Clair de Lune or the Alvin and the Chipmunks singing "The Song That Never Ends."
24|7 Frenzy offers online shoppers a convenient and affordable way to create a new head-to-toe look—just ask the bevy of bloggers who have given the site rave reviews. In her Marlie & Me blog, busy mom and fashion aficionado Teresha Freckleton-Petite said that she found two trendy dresses, adding, "What I like most about 24|7 Frenzy is that I can shop for an entire outfit and dress it up from hat to leggings on one site." Missi Rose's Views blogger Melissa Moreno wrote, "When choosing an article of clothing for review, my oldest daughter, Amanda, found so many items that she absolutely loved, choosing just one was almost impossible." Fashionistas browse the expansive collection to match tops with skirts and pants, then add accessories to complete the outfit.
The company was created by a group of professionals with more than 12 years of experience working in the apparel industry. The team is constantly seeking out the latest in-season looks and budget-friendly classic pieces, such as animal- or floral-print dresses.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ?She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.?
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.