Charleen "Char" Gagliardi owes her life to dry cleaning. In 1937, her parents bought a red bungalow on McHenry Avenue and opened up Deluxe Cleaners. The business kept Char's dinner plate full and her wardrobe natty as a youth, and it became her bread and butter 40 years later, when she left her career as a teacher to continue her parent's legacy. With the help of her husband, Carl, Char built a laundry room and initiated free pickup and delivery service, and the couple joined the Lions Club to share their work ethic and the free wattage emanating from their luminous smiles with the community.
Char and Carl now watch proudly as their daughter, Pam, follows a familiar path to happiness. Pam began learning the ins and outs of Deluxe Cleaners when she was 13. She has since modernized its gadgets with the support of her husband, and she designed an invisible fairy-wing steamer at the behest of her three children. Three generations of know-how inform their technique, which relies on petroleum-based solvent to clean fine garments and household textiles such as rugs and bedding without damaging the environment.
Patients at Gill Dental Group have the unique privilege of having their teeth looked after by a movie director. When he's not working on independent films, Dr. Param Gill makes sure teeth are camera ready by preventing cavities and improving smiles with cosmetic treatments such as Invisalign and dental implants.
He founded Gill Dental Group, which now boasts multiple locations, alongside Dr. Lavanya Gill, a dental expert who has written more than 50 dentistry articles for local newspapers. If necessary the Gills can administer sedation or play a CD of Morgan Freeman singing whale songs to relax patients during dental treatments.
Code 3 Cleaners' seasoned staff spruces up garbs and household textiles through professional laundry, dry-cleaning, and alteration services. Dry cleaners eschew water in favor of a chemical solvent to wrest stains from fine fabrics; the laundering and hand-washing specialists use top-quality detergents and softeners. After washing, they carefully sort and fold spotless duds into neat piles or crisp airplanes. A pickup and delivery option accommodates clients who are busy or who have no clean pants left to wear.
When Omar Morineau was 17 years old, a local businessman named Cal handed him an airbrush and car-paints, entreating the teenager to “learn how to use ‘em.” The self-taught youth was soon plastering flashy graphics on sports cars, and before long had moved on to custom surfboards and his own mural business. Then he thought he’d get some higher education. A stint at L’Acedemia di Belle Arte in Florence informed his expressive technique, which ranges from anatomically accurate, occasionally surrealistic oil paintings to stylized graphic designs for bands, businesses, and the lemonade stands of overly ambitious five-year-olds. Today, when he isn’t laboring on his latest commission, the enterprising artist promotes creativity through classes for all ages, with early-childhood sessions aimed at fostering a love of creation and workshops for older students focused on launching careers in two-dimensional and computer arts.
In a gesture of good will toward their customers and Mother Nature, the team at Arrow Cleaners installed an organic dry-cleaning system in 2009. The new system, the EM Natura, uses effective microorganisms rather than harsh chemicals to break down dirt and eat up odor-causing bacteria. They take extra care with delicates, leathers, and tapestries, and they refrain from asking too many questions about any superhero costumes they encounter.
Inside the Douglaston School of Music and Art, certified yoga instructor, Daniela Crocchiola, uses her years of experience and extensive training to guide students through hot vinyasa yoga and ballet bar classes. Brought to her mother's yoga classes as a young cobra, Crocchiola learned the benefits of regular stretch sessions at an early age and credits the practice for helping her grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. While working in Manhattan in fashion and cosmetic marketing, Crocchiola studied a variety of yoga styles, such as Bikram, ashtanga, and kundalini, and obtained 200 hour yoga teaching certifications recognized by the Yoga Alliance and by loyal downward facing dogs everywhere. In addition to being a certified yoga instructor, Crocchiola's skills equip her to lead Pilates and ballet bar workouts.