When Dave Compton needed food for his dog, Shorty, he didn't spend hours searching for deals on the Internet. He just invented an algorithm to do the work for him. Now patented, that algorithm—ShopGenius—helps shoppers on NetPlenish find the best deals on more than three million household products. When members place items in their NetPlenish shopping carts—such as batteries, coffee and tea, and haircare products—the website searches its trusted merchants, such as Walgreens, Sephora, and Walmart, to find the lowest total cost on both products and shipping. Shoppers can harness NetPlenish's powers through its website, NetPlenish.com, or through its iPhone and Android apps. Customers can also sign up for yearly Premier memberships, which grant perks such as free shipping, cash back, and the password to the Internet's secret clubhouse.
Patrons step into the locally owned Patterson Self-Storage and Moving Box Supply Store, a winner of Santa Barbara Independent’s Best of 2008 and 2009 Self-Storage, to procure secure boxes and storage materials for bundling up household valuables. For added padding, patrons can wrap fragile figurines in large plastic bubble wrap ($0.40/ft.) or fill pools with packing peanuts ($6.55) to perfect jackknives during the winter. Customers can tuck prized possessions into small ($1.85) or large ($3.85) boxes, or send them in holiday shipping cubes ($1.20). For customers in a rush to get to the post office or to the pony express, sets of supplies are available, such as the quick pack ($26.32), which includes small, medium, and large boxes, as well as a roll of tape.
In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of ?hard-to-find tools,? and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone?s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
Allegro Assistants owner MistiLynn Lokken, recognized as Admin of the Month by the American Society of Administrative Professionals in 2011, has more than 11 years of experience under her belt helping individuals clear out their to-do lists. Her efficient talents include responding to emails, phone calls, and communicating by semaphore, and they extend to abolishing clutter in an office or home or organizing calendars. When it comes to travel arrangements, she goes beyond just booking hotels—she even scouts out events to keep her clients entertained on location.