One sunny day, Rob Kelley's kids did something characteristically adorable: they decided to make juice from berries they'd picked in the fields. Not so adorably, they spilled the pitcher of just-smashed berries all over one of his dining-room chairs, and the dark purple juice spread across the upholstery. Luckily for the kids, their father owns Sweet's Chem-Dry, and after a session with the company's hot carbonating extraction system, all evidence of the accident disappeared. Kelley documented his success in a small Facebook album.
His team employs the same carbonation system, along with a green, nontoxic cleanser, to lift dirt and debris from carpets, area rugs, and car interiors. Propelled by a truck-mounted machine, the system's microscopic bubbles delve deep into fibers to push grime to the surface, where hot-water extraction flushes it away. Since this system does not leave residue the way cleaning a carpet traditionally or just letting the birds have at it does, carpets stay clean longer. Fabrics dry in up to two hours, and optional protectant shields carpets and upholstery from future stains.
Growing up on a farm granted Ryan and Shane Stonemetz a firsthand look at the injustices of the industrial-food market. The brothers watched their father and grandfather toil daily to make ends meet and subsequently swore off entering the family business. However, as the pair established their adult lives in Portland and Seattle, they realized that injustices live forever unless someone puts up a fight.
And so began ProFarm Produce, a small farm-to-customer enterprise that lowers prices for shoppers and increases wages for farmers by eliminating the middleman. The company started with nothing more than a 12-foot truck and a bed full of organic cherries, but it has since grown to a fleet of trucks thanks to an extra-potent fertilizer that's safe for automobiles' digestion. The expanding staff transports ProFarm's bounty to 20 area farmers' markets and various wholesale clients. ProFarm also participates in a CSA program that provides weekly boxes of fresh, local produce to participants in surrounding communities.
Sherwood Ice Arena welcomes people of all ages to lace up their skates and hit the ice seven days a week during public skate, group lessons, and sport programs. On staff are more than 15 coaches who earned their skating chops with years of figure skating or hockey playing, and who impart their icy wisdom during group and private lessons for children, adolescents, and adults. Classes include a basic Learn to Skate course for true beginners, which is based on the U.S. Figure Skating Basic Skills program. The arena's more than 50 hockey leagues divide players into eight divisions based on their ability to balance a stick on their chins. Skaters can also relax during Friday-night date nights and special-occasion skating parties that can accommodate various group sizes. The onsite pro shop outfits skaters with a range of equipment from more than 20 brands including CCM, Mission, and Nike.
After the birth of her first child in 2001, Baby Boot Camp’s founder and certified trainer and spin and Pilates instructor Kristen Horler wanted a postnatal fitness program that didn't require her to leave her baby at the door. Her solution was to start a suit of programs just for new and expecting parents where mothers could bond with their infants while soaking up the support and camaraderie of their peers. During Strollfit sessions, certified trainers and Radio Flyers equipped with outboard motors lead ladies through innovative routines that incorporate baby-filled strollers into yoga, cardio, and strength training. For long-term fitness, coaches encourage aspiring runners to break through the tape during the 5K training program, and Kristen's own Nutrition Solutions teaches the benefits of healthy-eating habits during a four-week program designed by registered dieticians.
Each of the guitar coaches at American Guitar Academy are certified in the school’s signature teaching method. Developed over 25 years, this house-honed instruction technique incorporates scientific research to help fingers learn to shred frets up to eight times faster than alternative methods. During private half-hour lessons, instructors guide budding rock stars aged 4 years and up through the basics of strumming chords and seamlessly stitching together riffs. These comprehensive lessons on classical, electric, or acoustic guitars are offered once a week with a live instructor or online and guarantee that students will be playing their favorite music within six months of training. Students may begin lessons without owning a guitar, but are encouraged to gain access to one quickly for mastering scales and the ability to solo with their teeth.
As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.