Sick of buying expensive supplies and having to adhere to a class schedule just to create art, Jennifer Kurtz Rubin started the first of her chain of ceramic lounges in 1993. Each Petroglyph Ceramic Lounge is designed as a social and creative space, one that all customers can use to express themselves artistically while catching up with friends. The lounge throws open its doors for both kids and adults to decorate clay bisque pieces, such as mugs and salad bowls, with a bounty of colorful supplies, never worrying about cleanup afterward. Once they’re complete, the art pieces are glazed, fired, and ready for pickup in a few days. And because artists can stay for a whole afternoon or just 30 minutes, the lounge even grants a few moments of creativity to patrons with the busiest schedules. The company also goes beyond casual art making to host parties for kids and adults, in which they can bring in live music, serve food, and train scoops of ice cream to paint their own bowls.
After Camille Smith-Ballon was struck by a car, she refused to treat her neck, back, and shoulder injuries lying down. Instead, she hit the gym. As she pushed through rehabilitative exercise and resistance routines, she accumulated numerous fitness certifications and acquired the knowledge that would one day fuel her own training business. Now, as the owner of CruzFit, she stands by the belief that willpower trumps all other circumstances on the road to wellness. She leads private- and group-training sessions based on her clients’ preferences, asserting that fitness should stem from the activities you love to do. She also hosts Aqua Running classes at neighborhood pools, utilizing water resistance to tone the body's sprinting muscles and prepare runners to finally outpace showoff mechanical rabbit lures.
Californian abodes can emulate the relaxing, laid-back atmosphere of the tropics with the island-inspired, eco-friendly home accoutrements found at Element Home Furnishings. Many of the items in the shop's unique collection were imported from exotic locales or supplied by local businesses. Multicolored flip-flops, banana-leaf journals, and scented candles immediately evoke vacations on the beach, and a selection of artwork invites a second look with signs made of surfboards and vibrant paintings of Hawaiian landscapes. The shop's furniture show room unveils beds and tables constructed out of sustainable materials, such as plantation-grown mahogany and teak, and towering divider screens made of bamboo wrestled from the jowls of a panda.
Out through the harbor and into the gorgeous Monterey Bay, the skippers of Pacific Yachting & Sailing navigate their sailboats onto the open waters during lessons and chartered boat rides. They lead a variety of classes here, catering to uncertain beginners and seasoned sailors alike. They also leave Monterey Bay on chartered trips to exotic locales, including Greece, the British Virgin Islands, and Tahiti.
A fleet of shiny, three-wheeled, GPS-smart scooter cars eagerly awaits city travelers at Cruz Carz, all fully equipped to take passengers on a zippy ride through the history, beaches, and architecture of Santa Cruz. Strap on a helmet and hop into one of the eco-friendly, gas-powered, two-seated buggies, and you'll be afforded a half-day (four hours) of self-guided GPS tours.