There's a reason why owner Bill Lawrence decided to set Bubbles Hand Car Wash apart with upscale services and a pleasant ambiance. As Lawrence relayed to Allison Wollam of the Houston Business Journal, he was charmed by a clean, welcoming car wash he visited shortly after moving to Texas from New York, where car washes typically charged a convenience fee to any customer who smiled. Lawrence knew he could cater better to luxury car owners like himself with a conveyerized hand-wash system that combined the convenience of the tunnel model with the hands-on meticulousness of a traditional hand wash. His idea has caught on with some very high-profile customers. Houston Texans linebacker Mister Alexander trusts his ride to the skilled hands of Bubbles’ technicians, as do Houston Rockets players Hakeem Olajuwon and Kenny Smith, not to mention former president George Bush.
Even patrons without a Porsche or a professional sports career appreciate Bubbles' gentle lamb's wool mitt washes and eco-friendly soaps, sealers, waxes, and conditioners, as proven by the business’s 2010 and 2012 Houston A-List awards for Best Car Wash. Customers seem to be as taken with the company’s facilities as they are with its services; each lobby invites relaxation with free WiFi, a bemusing gift shop, and shoe shines so effective that patrons need only stand beside their vehicle to check its undercarriage. The community-conscious car washes also use less than a quarter of the water typically expended during a home wash, and the locations offer free car washes for military personnel on Veterans Day.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ?She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.?
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
If you ask a professional cheerleader how she got her toned physique, agile limbs, and powerful muscles, she might point you to Jay and Lin Johnson. The husband-and-wife duo are the brains behind Jay Johnson's Boot Camp Fitness?an exercise program designed to slim waistlines and pump up muscles of students of all abilities, from fitness newbies to professionals and prestigious clients such as the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. They have also introduced the program to national audiences through numerous television appearances, including Dr. Phil's Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge.
Drawing from their extensive training in the US Army and years of fitness experience, the pair and a staff of elite trainers?including professional football players and mixed martial artists?lead boot-camp programs in the Dallas area. Within parks, fields, and parking lots, they conduct high-intensity workouts, keeping patrons engaged with constantly varied regimens, along with games, obstacle courses, and scavenger hunts. They focus on functional training throughout the sessions, challenging students to heave barbells, flip tractor tires, and lug fire hoses.
The trainers also offer a specialized cheerleading boot camp ideal for high-school teams training for upcoming seasons or assistant grocery managers seeking ways to motivate their teams of disillusioned bag boys.
H2O Car Wash and Detail's staff keeps cars in showroom condition with an emphasis on attentiveness and high-quality products. Meticulous hand washes are the team members' hallmark, and they perform each scrub down with soft, wool mitts instead of relying on machines or enormous carnival dunk tanks. To keep every vehicle looking its best, washes incorporate 100% carnauba wax to baby paint jobs and Lexol conditioners to gently maintain inside upholstery. The technicians rid interior and exterior dirt with a suite of washing and detailing services that leaves finishes glowing and interior fabrics looking freshly laundered. While the team does its work, motorists stay entertained in a lounge furnished with free WiFi and cable TV, and a kids' play area complete with video games works even better than hiring the GPS navigator to babysit.
At Genie, nearly a half-century of business success lends an air of wizened experience to locations recently upgraded with $500,000 in renovations. A large staff efficiently shuttles vehicles through a wash tunnel cushioned with foam pads designed to leave exteriors unscratched. Patrons can choose between one of six multistep car washes, or cherry-pick à la Carte services such as leather conditioning, engine cleaning, and headlight restoration. Detailing packages assemble extra touches that subject disheveled cars to white-glove once-overs including trunk cleanings and carpet steam cleanings.
The highly trained technicians at Jiffy Lube tend to about 24 million customers each year with services such as the Jiffy Lube Signature Service Oil-Change, which helps promote the longevity of each vehicle. Staffers acknowledge that oil plays a crucial role in maximizing the lifespan of each car—it cools the motor and helps prevent moving parts from deteriorating. More than 20,000 technicians who have completed an extensive training program certified by the National Institute Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) service vehicles at Jiffy Lube.
In addition to performing oil changes, technicians perform preventative services such as air-filtration, among others, as well as state emissions inspections. Jiffy Lube’s quality pledge includes a commitment to transparency, which stipulates that they will inform car owners of any necessary services, complete a service only after it has been approved, and refuse to replace windshields with saran wrap.
Unlike dimpled cheeks, a dimpled windshield can compromise safety on the road and won't earn you the lead in Annie. TGS Auto Glass mends windshields and headlights with brisk efficiency and steadfast attention to detail. The TGS crew injects a clear acrylic resin into windshield fractures, bonding the glass together. The 15- to 30-minute process helps conceal unsightly damage and comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Those looking to improve their car?s visibility can opt for TGS?s headlight-restoration services. Technicians dissolve discolorations that cloud headlights to clear the way for every last watt of bulb power. Crystal-clear carriage lamps can increase road safety and boost your auto?s resale value.