When Katie Kaplan graduated from Suffolk University with a master's degree in business, she found herself struggling to find a job in the midst of a recession. After finally landing a high-stress, low-paying position, she realized she had to make a career change. Katie decided to attend The Salter School, earned her massage license, and joined the ranks of the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals by donning their trademark foam fingers. Today, she helps others find overall wellness through massage modalities that can mend injuries, ease the discomforts of pregnancy, and quell anxiety. Kate also volunteered her services at a charity event raising funds and awareness for multiple sclerosis.
Persistent ear infections were once a big problem for Lewis, VioClean owner Trung Nguyen's dog. Despite following the vet's advice, Lewis's eardrum blew out—a complication that led to a surgery with no explanation for the cause. At first, it didn't occur to Trung that the cause could be related to his carpets. After all, he worked for a carpet-cleaning company while in college, cleaned his own carpets regularly, and flossed them every night before bed. What could the explanation be?
Eventually, Trung looked to the environment inside his house for the answers, which led him to seek out natural cleaning products. Soon after making that change, he was inspired to leave his accounting career and start a carpet cleaning company using only non-toxic products. Now he and his techs offer cleaning services that range from floor cleaning to indoor environmental testing and mold remediation. Their Green Seal-certified products don't leave sticky residue behind, dry quickly, and are safe for children and pets.
Fast Frame originated in Europe and now has more than 300 locations worldwide. With the understanding that people are prone to changing their minds, the teams at these 300 Fast Frame stores back up all their custom-framing projects with a 30-day design guarantee, giving patrons a month to decide if they want to swap their memorabilia for one of more than 2,000 other frame styles, paying the price difference if applicable. For each project, a team with more than 60 years of combined experience performs the work onsite, generally completing designs in less than a week and sometimes on the same day. In addition to photos and diplomas, customers can commission shadowboxes or framing of bulkier items, such as jerseys or baby’s first rap sheet. For all finished projects, Fast Frame secures its craftsmanship with a lifetime warranty.
Zimman's is a multifloored menagerie of fine silks, wovens, chenilles, jaquards, prints, sheers, velvets, mohairs, decorative textiles, and decorative trim. Residence-renovators can peruse a panoply of fabric styles ($1.99–$149.99 per yard) on their own, or Zimman's team of experienced design associates can help navigate row upon row of stylized, simple, and chromatically scintillating textiles from top designers. Dress antique doorstops in one of 26 varieties of Thai silk shantung ($29.95) or revamp a high-school-mascot costume in one of 140 tones of 100% silk Dupioni. A destination for design enthusiasts, set designers, and dressmakers, Zimman's will also work with clients to create custom-made fabrics. Their staff of designers will partner with mills around the world to weave wares based on a sample swatch, photo, or sock-puppet eyebrows.
Though the horse-drawn vacuums of yesteryear have come and gone, North Shore Vacuum and Appliance retains its family-run ethos from when it first opened in 1934. Now helmed by fourth-generation salesman Wayne Simonelli, the shop carries vacuums from dozens of brands, such as Dyson, Eureka, and Panasonic, and the staff performs repairs on a slew of models as well. In an interview with the Daily Item, Simonelli said, "I know vacuums. I go to seminars, conventions. I probably repair 1,000 machines a year." This dedication has earned North Shore Vacuum and Appliance the distinction of Miele Diamond Dealer, with access to limited-edition models only made available to exemplary retailers and scientists still trying to build a time machine.
Alan J. Gardner opened his Salem factory in 1933, winning over generations of loyal customers with custom-made and odd-sized mattresses in a wide range of styles. Massachusetts-made pallets support sleepers with hand tufted construction and fluffy cotton fillings catered specifically to each client's specifications. The company's direct manufacturer-to-customer supply chain erases the influence of bothersome middlemen or arrogant, cigar-chomping mattress barons. Sleepers select from a variety of comfy cushion styles, such as latex, plush top, tufted, or pocket coils, with options for all-natural materials such as Joma wool and layers of thick cotton-knit fabric.