At the end of a fruitful career that led her from the Cincinnati Ballet to the Sacramento Ballet, Jennifer Williams funneled her dance savvy into creating the barre-inspired exercise system taught at Pop Physique, a 2013 CityVoter finalist for Best Gym. Her fleet of handpicked and personally trained instructors pairs graceful ballet moves with other low-impact exercises in order to chisel cores without injuring muscles. Deep stretches further preserve tendons and leave each student more relaxed than a tortoise moseying past a state patrolman with a radar gun. Sessions run multiple times a day, seven days a week at an expanding network of SoCal locations. The roomy studios are lined with sprung dance floors and design accents that lend each location a distinct personality and a chance to forget its past as a storage room for defective food processors.
Port carries the sort of casual, unfussy menswear that characterizes southern California, from short-sleeved T-shirts in vintage washes to slouchy, earth-toned duffel bags. As noted by the New York Times, it “has a minimalist assortment of vintage finds and store-brand clothes inspired by the city’s nautical spirit.” Its wares include graphic-print tees that portray acerbic humor, cuffed shorts, and sweaters with stripey embellishments. In addition to its collection of clothing, the store’s cool-conscious staff maintains a blog and a Tumblr account, where they post images as inspirational as Mohandas Gandhi quoting himself.
Thousands of styles of shoes from cobblers such as Nike, Jordan, Converse, Skechers, Adidas, and Puma reside at WSS Footwear. A 62-store Southern California footwear chain, WSS allows customers to browse their extensive shoe selection online and find a store nearby. New styles, such as Nike Running shoes, arrive daily alongside classic Vans Authentics, which come in sizes to accommodate the feet of both adults and future adults. Women's fashion shoes ready feet for holidays parties, weddings, or walks in the park, and WSS also offers trendy clothing and accessories such as hats, backpacks, and sports balls.
The running shoe specialists at Runners High utilize a computerized foot-scanning machine to analyze arch patterns, weight distribution, and tickle zones in order to pair customers up with the right shoes. During 20–30-minute fitting sessions, customers stand on the scanner before running or walking in different pairs of shoes. Staffers can also examine wear patterns on the customer’s old sneakers to inform their suggestions. After analysis, Runners High can donate the used shoes to One World Running, an international program that promotes health, fitness, and nutrition by providing running shoes to those in need around the world.
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."
Like that time you rode your older brother's Schwinn into the pool, a triathlon requires you to bike, swim, and run. Tri-Pacific sports outfits athletes for all three aspects, filling its Naples storefront with competition-grade equipment. Racks of bike frames and wheels populate the walls, alongside slick jerseys and aerodynamic helmets. Runners plop onto comfortable couches as they slip on a rainbow of running shoes, searching for the perfect fit. Wet suits and swimwear aid swimmers in slipping through the water with the least resistance. The shop also augments the competitor's most important piece of equipment, their body, with nutritional supplements and energy bars.