Marie Griffin’s love of photography started at a young age when she would snap pictures of birds while sitting with her grandmother beneath the feeder. Today, she carries on the family-based tradition by shooting portrait sessions for newborns, kids, couples, and families. She also captures the energy and myriad emotions at weddings, and can enliven all private events with photo-booth rentals.
In 1976, Joan Barnes—a Californian mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children’s’ cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beck to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
Believing it’s easier to stay well than better from injury, Dr. Ashley Randall preaches preventative care and gentle adjustments. Trained in sacro- occipital technique, Dr. Randall helps cure back and body pain through hands-on, drug free techniques and offers nutritional counseling services. Dr. Rich also caters to chiropractic needs of expecting mothers and children, using adjustments to help heal childhood maladies such as colic, ear infections, and measles on an imaginary friend.
The Dry Clean Spot's team of deft dud scrubbers simultaneously eliminates stains and carbon footprints by applying environmentally friendly cleaning solutions with expert care. General stain lifting ($2.75 per garment) relieves fibers of stubborn blemishes that refuse to leave or pay rent. Laundered shirts ($1.50 each) outfit scores of sanitized office workers as unsullied formal dresses ($12 each) outfit scores of out-of-work fashion models. Specialty spot removal helps keep memorable keepsakes clean, whether it be a wedding dress ($150) or a comforter ($17; $20 for down) that once sheltered childhood couch forts.
It’s hard to miss Artmart: Pollock-esque splatters of paint cover its bright-red exterior. Inside, its just as striking. Artists of all disciplines draw from the art superstore’s wealth of supplies and skills to further their next projects. Thousands of colors of paints, pencils, and sculpting materials are in stock here, as well as brushes, easels, canvas and a vast paper selection.
As a locally owned creative marketplace, Artmart has a number of divisions in its store depending on your artistic needs: you can immortalize your pieces and prints at the Framing Center, or stock up on colorful cards, stationery, and decorative paper at the paper boutique. Children as young as three can sign up for the store’s small-group classes, which cover various media including painting, sketching, and sculpting skills. You can be inspired at their Studio which boasts a host of events from fine art adult classes to craft workshops to creative birthday parties.
Owner and clean coach Denise Lee takes a holistic and no-judgment approach to home organization that takes clients' behaviors, attitudes, and skills into consideration. She has a B.A. in cognitive psychology and an A.B. in data processing; she has trained with the National Association of Professional Organizers and the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization; and she is certified to work with hoarders. First, she'll create a detailed plan of attack that outlines organizational goals, ideas, tools, and steps to sustain a cleaner life. The final three hours of the visit are devoted to hands-on space shaping, putting clients on track to tidiness.