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.
In the bright spaces of Jamba Juice, mixers sprinkle mountains of all-natural, low-fat frozen yogurt with choices from seven toppings, such as almond and coconut. Dubbed Whirl'ns, cups filled with swirling, rivulet-etched peaks of frozen yogurt fuse the nutrition of real fruit and natural ingredients with the beneficial circuit training of active yogurt cultures.
Over the course of 50 years, the family that runs Helm of Sun Valley has amassed an inventory of top-shelf gear for wintry recreation and summertime watersports. Before stocking their shelves, the shop's athletic staffers take skis from Alpina, kiteboards from Cabrinha, and water skis from Connelly for test spins to appraise their performance. Standout sports gear snags a spot inside the store, along with apparel and accessories. Employees also rent out and tune up equipment. They specialize in fitting snowboard boots to feet, sometimes fashioning custom ZipFit liners by molding foam around arches. New kiteboard owners can master the sport by attending lessons, during which instructors teach basics on land before waving pupils onward into frothy crests.
Dinner can be a hectic affair, and some families find that getting a filling, nutritious meal onto the table every night is sometimes exhausting. Knowing that dining out every night can quickly break the budget, entrepreneur Jay Cornwall decided to bridge the gap between takeout and at-home meals with a menu of freshly prepared pasta, ravioli, sauce, and entrees that can be fashioned into a full meal in less than 10 minutes. Every day, his chefs create a selection of 24 pastas, 15 sauces, and a signature entree, as well as mac 'n' cheese and lasagna. Chefs also curate a range of sides, bread, and wine, and even offer pairing advice on complementary flavors.
Mother-daughter team Saloni and Sudha started Nine Rubies Knitting to provide crafty customers with high-quality knitting supplies and patterns. The shop supplies knitters with everything they need to complete a project from beginning to end. Customers can pick out a pattern for a poncho, a bag, or even a baby toy, then browse the shop's selection of needles, crochet hooks, and looms. Once they have all their tools, crafters can choose their yarn from a huge selection that features more than 20 brands. But if their skills aren't quite yet up to par, customers can sign up for a basic knitting, crocheting, or weaving class offered in-store. More advanced students can opt for a class such as the custom fit workshop, where they'll learn how to create their own clothing patterns.
When Kit Morse took a sewing class in high school, she was certain never would again—she hated everything about sewing, especially the sewing part. But when her near-and-dear baby blanket needed mending, Morse took up a needle and thread. When she started making something beautiful to be proud of, she saw the art form in a whole new light, and fell in love with the hobby's meditative nature.
Morse opened Always Quilting & Sewing Center to create a sanctuary for people who shared a love of the craft—where they could take classes, share wisdom, and stock up on necessary tools. The vast inventory includes everything from batik fabrics to thimbles and even completed quilts.