Exhale Spa seeks to transform its clientele inside and out. The founding team of fitness professionals and aestheticians sought to create an environment where they could empower visitors with pampering spa treatments, invigorating fitness classes, and lifestyle education, helping clients attain a sense of control and holistic balance. Now with 19 locations across 11 cities, Exhale Spa and its signature services have earned mentions in numerous national publications, including People magazine, the New York Times, and O, The Oprah Magazine.
Exhale's signature Core Fusion classes incorporate dance-inspired stretches, yoga poses, and Pilates exercises into total-body workouts that build long, lean limbs and sturdy abdominal muscles over time. For an even more varied workout, the instructors introduce boot-camp techniques, cardio exercises, or multiplication tables to select sessions. Yoga classes present a similar amount of breadth and variety, drawing inspiration from a number of introspective and physically oriented styles. To help hasten physical transformations, nutrition and wellness coaches teach attendees about the impacts of diet. These sessions build an awareness of healthy eating habits through custom meal plans and by teaching clients how to identify the edible parts of a fruit basket.
Many of the center's traditional spa services seek to inspire confidence. Facials pamper and refine skin using everything from green tea and fruit extracts to microcurrent technology, and mani-pedis revitalize digits before glazing nails with a vibrant new coat of color. Bodywork treatments look beyond physical relaxation and focus on holistic concerns. Massage therapists can use Eastern or Western modalities to soothe overstressed musculature, and acupuncture treatments and reiki sessions jump-start natural healing processes by encouraging the free flow of inner energies.
One might not expect an immigrant with no formal education to name his family business after Yale University. But that's just what Steve Sheinkopf's grandfather did in 1923, and the pluckiness of the name was a harbinger of the company's ability to thrive against all odds. Over the course of almost 90 years, Yale Appliance & Lighting weathered the Great Depression and other economic crises, yet Sheinkopf's grandfather kept the business going and even made enough to help his four brothers emigrate to America. In 1984, when the landlord sold the Portland Street building that had housed Yale for 30 years, Sheinkopf helped his father measure a space on Freeport Street on the coldest day of that year. They've been there ever since.
What keeps the company going is a refusal to rest on its laurels and an almost obsessive commitment to customer satisfaction. On any given weekday, you'll find Sheinkopf blogging exhaustive side-by-side comparisons of a variety of his merchandise. The now 25,000-square-foot store houses more than 3,500 lights and thousands of appliances and plumbing products, and its delivery and service departments have grown to include 112 experienced employees and a fleet of 25 heavy-duty vehicles and industrial-size Tonka trucks.
The family legacy continues to flourish. Yale Appliance & Lighting’s kitchen appliances have made the megastore a multiyear winner of Boston magazine’s Best of Boston awards. As reported in the Boston Business Journal, Yale earned a Green Award from Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the city of Boston in 2007 for promoting energy-efficient appliances with education and in-store rebates. That same year, the Journal named Yale Appliance & Lighting one of the best places to work in Boston, which may be partly due to the frequent in-store cooking demos performed by regional chefs.
When Lou Whitney founded Twig, he wanted to offer a level of flower quality that he felt other shops lacked. Having been named one of the Best Flower Shops in Boston by CBS Boston, Twig seems to have done exactly that.
Whether the shop’s florists are artfully arranging tulips and hydrangeas into bouquets for the seasonal collection or creating custom arrangements to suit any event, they use the freshest blooms available. The selection of in-store gifts helps buyers accompany their bouquets with goods from Michael Aram, Juliska, and other quality brands. On-staff installation professionals can also create indoor and outdoor garden installations, which last longer than hiring a skywriter to draw flowers in the air.
Twig's staffers also share their passion for flowers with customers through themed floral-design workshops.
The employees at Unique Furnishings Boston shepherd patrons through 10,000 square feet of antique, new, and preowned furniture and appliances encapsulating the evolving tastes from the 1950s to today. Staffers habitually refresh their inventory—which ranges from traditional, American-made furnishings to eclectic masterpieces—with new additions, such as a vintage armoire with an artfully framed mirror. Unique Furnishings Boston embraces a philosophy of sustainability by buying or trading quality used items before owners relocate or completely refurbish apartments due to a newly prescribed diet of entirely edible furniture.
As the owner of Harvard Art & Frame, Tony Tisei carries on what the original owners started in 1938. He's been manning the old Boston shop for the past four decades, overseeing the staff as it crafts custom frames using acid-free materials. After the artisans help clients select mattes and frames from hundreds of options, including products from Omega Moulding, they encase pieces ranging from maps, prints, and paintings to antique 3-D objects. They also restore old photographs so you can always look fondly upon the scowling face of Great-Grandpa Earl.
At WICHIT, patrons can draw up blueprints for their own sandwiches or choose from signature house specialties. Served on a choice of eight types of bread, custom sandwiches include meats such as seasoned pulled pork and new york sirloin strip and are covered in fresh veggies such as dill pickles, caramelized onions, and avocado. On the other hand, unique hot and cold house specialties brim with venerated offerings, from the sushi-inspired spicy tuna-maki sandwich to the oven-fresh Stonemill with sirloin strip steak and roasted garlic aioli.