As a little girl, Vanessa Ortega was often found snoozing underneath her family's mobile home alongside her german shepherd, Giant. An intense sleepwalker, on many nights she would leave her bedroom, open the front door, and make her way down the front steps with the faithful Giant. Her bond with canines continued into adulthood, during which she's owned up to four dogs at a time. After trying different overnight-boarding facilities, Ortega noticed that her pups displayed anxiety, timidity, and other signs of trauma, so she decided to open her own pet-care business to give dogs high-quality attention.
During daily visits, Ortega and her staff care for pets in their owners' homes, taking them out for walks, filling their food and water bowls, and playing games such as catch and Stratego. Staffers spend the night at the animal's home during overnight visits, which can be a comfort to anxious pets, or take more sociable pets to their own home for a sleepover. Without fail, regular customers are assigned the same caretaker and substitute caretaker for each visit, both of whom they meet during a consultation before the first visit. They can rest assured knowing that Ortega interviews and background-checks all employees thoroughly to ensure that they love pets and are not going to dress them up like the characters of Little Women. Staff also provide masters concierge services, which include running errands and performing light chores, such as grocery shopping, house sitting, and home organization.
Each of Le Tutor Language School's experienced instructors is a native speaker of the language they teach, and they believe that anyone can learn a foreign language. The staff crushes communication barriers and expands cultural horizons with dynamic, interactive language programs that teach students of all ages to master conversational skills. Through step-by-step instruction, these teachers dive into cultural fluency as they impart both speaking and listening skills with simplified learning strategies. Their pedagogical prowess is available for small group classes, private lessons, and kids' classes. Le Tutor’s team teaches more than 15 languages—including Russian, Farsi, Chinese, and American Sign Language—in beginner to advanced levels. The sessions can help students communicate in real-life situations, increase business opportunities, and find more enjoyment in travels to exotic locales, such as the basement, where one might find a surly teen refusing to speak English to his family.
Le Tutor Language School is the official language partner of the Phoenix Sister Cities, which include Catania, Italy, Ennis, Ireland, and Taipei, Taiwan.
At Jerry’s Artarama, resident artists draw on personal experience and channel the shop's four decades in business to help create works in nearly any medium. Shelves bravely bear the weight of multitudinous tubes of paint ranging from traditional oil paints made from 150-year-old processes, to easy-to-use acrylic pigments. Artists can wield a Mejillo TruColor palette to serve as a launching pad for paints, or take up PrismaColor colored pencils to add vivid pigmentation to sketches. For more specialized projects, customers can stock up on the store's street-art supplies and screen-printing kits.
Meanwhile, the framing professionals at Jerry’s Artarama navigate a bounty of glass, mats, mounting, and moulding options to personalize the framing of photos, watercolor landscapes, and napping bats. Frame options include the warm whorls of wooden frames as well as silver, black, or gold aluminum frames to complement any work's color scheme.
The Sylvester family had bartending in its blood. Whether it was Uncle Mickey holding court with 40 years' worth of regulars or Tony Sr. mixing one of his signature Skip and Go Nakeds, they exemplified the easy grace and no-nonsense craftsmanship found in a true barman's barman. That dedication to well-poured drinks carried over to Tony Jr., who has spent the last 35 years training mixologists nationwide through the curriculum of his ABC Bartending Schools. Taught behind fully functional bars, his courses educate students in topics ranging from drink recipes and equipment setup to flair moves and alcohol awareness. His schools also emphasize employment; after graduation, students can take advantage of a nationwide job placement service to land gigs in Miami nightclubs, Las Vegas casinos, or the bar cars of Chicago's El trains.
The trainers at Ultimate Body Boot Camp forage through the workout wilderness to curate a fitness omnibus. They pull from multiple exercise styles—including Pilates, plyometrics, kickboxing, yoga, and core work—to build workouts that combine the benefits of cardio and resistance training. This earned the program a top spot on Arizona Foothills magazine's Best of Our Valley list for 2012.
To keep clients' muscles from hitting the wall, getting bored, or taking off in the dead of night to pursue a career as an anatomy textbook model, coaches change the routine each class and give campers personalized tips to fuel individual journeys. Body-composition tests and nutritional plans augment the sessions, inspiring long-lasting habits for healthy physiques.
The photos we leave behind may be the only way for future generations to see the styles and personalities we bear. That’s why the professional makeup artists and photographers at Glamour Shots strive to capture the true essence of a person with their shoots. Whether commemorating a milestone event or a successful trip to the grocery store, each session begins with the shop’s signature full airbrush and style makeover, which works to prevent unwanted shine while imparting a chic aesthetic. Makeup artists tailor looks to the purpose of the shoot, imparting children with a red-cheeked glow and boudoir subjects with a dark, seductive color palette.
Photographers encourage everyone to bring a few outfits and props from home, allowing them to give each photo shoot an individualized touch without snapping close-ups of their subjects’ fingerprints. Clients get to see the photos immediately so they can approve the looks and order their favorite shots in the form of pictures, phone cases, or calendars. A professional lab then prints out the chosen items using a range of color finishes—including colorization to make one color pop and the company's signature Glamour Touch retouching—onto made-to-last Kodak paper.