Drawing creative inspiration from hobbies that include crafting and cooking, photographer Jennifer Owens specializes in capturing spur-of-the-moment images of engaged couples, families, and newborns. She also shares her expertise in classes that introduce beginners to concepts such as adjusting ISO settings on a digital camera or using the right shutter speed for moving subjects. Owens is equally comfortable in outdoor settings, and can demonstrate how to take advantage of the magical "golden hour," the time around dawn or dusk when the sun adds warmth to portraits and turns photographers’ photos of raw pizza dough into fully baked pizzas.
The professionally trained fencing instructors at Rhode Island Fencing Academy & Club seek to develop their students' mind, body, and character through participation in the centuries-old sport. During the academy's classes, students of any skill level may choose to learn on all three Olympic weapons: foil, sabre, and épée. The one-hour sessions generally last for six weeks and each builds on prior material to help students improve their skills on the strip. Two meetings are composed entirely of competition with fellow classmates, allowing students to show off their newfound skills, and the last session is a class tournament.
Rhode Island Fencing Academy & Club, which originally operated as a two-location enterprise, consolidated into one 12,000-square-foot full-time professional fencing studio in March of 2012. The air-conditioned facility features 15 electric strips and zero chandeliers from which swashbuckling fencers may swing. Though the sport finds its roots in the practice of sword fighting, modern fencing is much safer, and the academy has advanced equipment and instructors that hold CPR certification just in case.
For more than 80 years, Hope Cleaners has transformed the crumpled contents of overflowing hampers into handsomely cleaned and pressed garments prepared to flap fashionably in the wind. Using nontoxic and biodegradable solvents, professionals march unruly accouterments through a thorough dry, wet, or hand cleaning process that picks off garb-sullying specks with the efficiency of a mother gorilla tending to her young with a lint roller. After weathering an ankle-splattering coffee spill or wandering into a lump of gum, marred pants can walk themselves to the cleaners and return the next day, freshly revived ($5). Hope Cleaners also restores a two-piece suit—be it double-breasted, zoot, or space ($10.75)—in an equally rapid manner, and helps customers get the gravy stains out of a favorite Thanksgiving sweater just in time for a mid-summer practice run ($5.25).
Mocha’s Pet Salon, named after the owner’s dog, operates under the philosophy that pets should be groomed in a place that’s as relaxing and stress-free as home. The salon’s team strives to build a cozy environment where pooches feel comfortable while they’re getting bathed, trimmed, cleaned, and pampered with oatmeal treatments. As a result, dogs of all shapes and sizes prance out of the salon’s two locations looking, feeling, and smelling like a million bucks.
Professional School of Bartending has taught the art of cocktail creation to more than 10,000 bartenders since the school's inception in 1977. Inside the lounge-inspired training facility, instructors teach the necessary bartending skills ranging from exotic and traditional mixology to responsible customer service.
Graduates of the comprehensive program benefit from a lifetime job-placement-assistance program that has blossomed from a regional effort to a coast-to-coast hunt. Besides ensuring a smooth transition from graduation to career, the school has an open-door policy that leaves the light on for all graduates: former students can repeat any class free of charge helping them to revamp their mixology skills or recall how to skewer an olive without making it scream. Professional School of Bartending also streamlines local businesses' day-to-day operations by lending out its training methods and expertise through its consulting services.