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9:25 a.m.Josh Rickey takes a client on an adventure hike to Belle Island. Ash Daniel photo
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Sarah Walor photo
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James Dickinson photo
Best Pet Sitters:
Canine Adventures LLC
Josh Rickey's business started with taking his own dog on two-hour hikes. Realizing he was enjoying the hikes more than his day job, he formed Canine Adventures in 2008 and now offers a range of services from adventure walks to pet sitting. "When I show up, I'm their favorite because something fun happens," Rickey says of his canine clients.
2. Pets at Play
3. Pet Pleasers
Best Mobile Pet Grooming:
Aussie Pet Mobile
A pet-grooming studio for your dogs and cats, Aussie comes to you. No trips in the car, no carriers or crates needed. Part of a nationwide network of franchises, the Richmond pet mobile is locally owned by Rob Hull. Four Aussie groomers work their magic around town in four separate vans.
2. The Barking Lot
Best Auto-Body Repair:
(Tie) Bruce's Super Body Shops; Conner Brothers
Bruce Hutchins opened Bruce's Super Body in Midlothian in 1990. Today there are two additional centers. Bruce's supports the Central Virginia Food Bank and are uniform sponsors for Powhatan Soccer Association. Conner Brothers, founded in 1976, has four locations. For the past two years, they have refurbished cars for the needy through Bon Air Baptist Church.
2. Baugh Auto Body
3. Harrison Body Works
Best Watch Repair:
11525 W. Broad St., 364-6000
According to manager Eric Tyree, Capri's secret is master watch repairman Bill Nicholson. Though Nicholson is now officially retired, the store sends the broken watches to him at his home in Florida, where he fixes them, then returns them in a few days. "He's an old-world craftsman who also does very good work with new technologies," says Tyree.
2. Adolf Jewelers
3. (Tie) Fink's Jewelers; Schwarzschild Jewelers
Best Long-Hair Stylist:
MaryJo Myers-Battiston of Imago
2602 W. Main St., 355-1040
Imago owner Myers-Battiston says she's always had the ability to see what would look best on someone before starting the haircutting process. Trained extensively in precision cutting and coloring techniques, she also specializes in cutting curly hair. And she doesn't deal in inches: "No one carries a ruler. I point to where I'm planning to cut it."
2. Eric Michael Steward, Nesbit
Best Yoga Studio:
Bikram Yoga Richmond
3024 Stony Point Road, 330-3353
"Bikram's founder wanted to create a style of yoga that anyone could practice. We have folks as young as 8 to 93," says studio co-owner Garland Hume. The 90-minute class includes a series of 26 yoga postures and two breathing exercises and is taught in 105-degree heat. Each posture targets a specific area of the body.
2. Glenmore Yoga and Wellness Center
3. Yoga Source
Best Exotic Spa Treatment:
(Tie) Oxygen-Infused Facial or the Bliss Massage at Glow Med Spa
5109 Lakeside Ave., 262-0330
The oxygen-infused facial first became known when Madonna touted its benefits, says Shia Noth, master aesthetician. During the noninvasive procedure, a serum is applied to the skin through a stream of pressurized oxygen. "It feels like a really gentle wind close to your face," Noth says. The Bliss Massage gives you the sense that you are being massaged by four hands. Its goal: a deep sense of relaxation for the client.
Best Makeover Maven:
(Tie) Bombshell Brazilian Waxing and Skincare Studio; Design One Hair Salon and Day Spa
Bombshell: 10 S. Crenshaw Ave., 342-0051; Design One: 220 Heath's Way Road, 794-4247
From the 21-day Gelish manicure to the Keratin treatment that straightens hair, Bombshell offers a wide variety of services and also sponsors a burlesque troupe. Design One is a full-service salon with 16 stylists, most trained in Mirabella makeup application. "We do a lot of bridal parties," says Jamie Downing, marketing manager.
Best Makeup Artist:
Joy Pfister of Faces by Joy
Joy Pfister is the daughter of a salon owner and a former Mrs. Virginia America and International. "I've always been into makeup," she says. In 2008, she became a local pageant director and started doing the makeup of the women who advanced to nationals and internationals. She's a MAC pro artist and loves to airbrush makeup.
2. Jennifer Mantura
Best Men's Hairstylist:
(Tie) Cathy Zecca of Mango; Sport Clips
Mango: 123 Libbie Ave., 285-2800; Sport Clips: sportclips.com
With more than 20 years' experience, Cathy Zecca loves to razor cut and always provides a hot towel wrap and a head, scalp and shoulder massage. "I do pamper my men." With three locations in Richmond, Sport Clips, a national franchise, focuses on men's and boys' haircuts in a sports-themed environment.
2. Bubba's Barber Shop
3. (Tie) MaryJo Myers-Battiston of Imago; Eric Michael Steward of Nesbit
Best Short-Hair Stylist:
MaryJo Myers-Battiston of Imago
2602 W. Main St., 355-1040
"Hairdressing is quite simply the best job in the whole world," says Myers-Battiston, owner of Imago, which opened in 1999. "To be able to transform someone who is feeling ordinary to extraordinary is indescribably satisfying." The trend in short: "I'm noticing a cleaner cut in the nape area, less wispy and more geometric."
2. Sabrina Shell, Nesbit
3. Karen Mills, Mango Salon
Best Place to Get a Barber-Shop Shave:
William Byrd Hotel Barber Shop
800 N. Davis Ave., 355-0621
In a world in which things seem to get faster and faster by the day, a barber-shop shave is a luxury that's worth slowing down to experience. Speaking of experience, two shop staffers have plenty of it: Shaving experts John Lyell and Willie Carlton (a former owner of the shop) both turned 85 in July.
2. Bubba's Barber Shop
3. John Marshall Barber Shop
Best Preschool Playground:
Tuckaway Child Development & Early Education Centers
Monkey bars, swings, slides, swimming pools, merry go-rounds, at least two acres of land per center and humongous plastic things. Need we say more?
2. First Presbyterian Preschool
3. The Goddard School
Best Babysitter and/or Babysitting Service:
River City Sitters
Susanne Turley launched her business in 2002, after hearing from some high-school teachers about their difficulty finding summer babysitting jobs. Guessing correctly that there were families who would rather have someone a little older and with more experience care for their kids, Turley has since opened a second branch in Charlottesville and plans to expand to the Raleigh area.
2. College Nannies and Tutors
Best Chimney Cleaner:
Cougot's Chimney Service
Dan Fitzpatrick purchased his business in 2008 from the original owner and kept the name. Cougot's serves all of Central Virginia, tending to flues, wood stoves and fireplaces in everything from one-room homes to office buildings. Fitzpatrick describes the sensation of working from great heights: "It's as if you are on a little island."
2. Neat Sweep
3. Hanover Chimney Sweeps
Best Gift Wrappers:
4035 Lauderdale Drive, 249-3900
Tweed owner Kate Stottlemyer offers free gift wrapping on anything purchased in her store. She'll even wrap companion presents that weren't purchased at Tweed. Last December, her staff wrapped at least 500 gifts in a single day. "We have our signature brown and blue wrapping, but we've expanded into college colors and paper fun for summertime."
2. World of Mirth
3. (Tie) Barnes & Noble volunteers; Buttons & Bows; Macy's; Mongrel; Nordstrom; Toys that Teach
Visit carpool-llc.com for locations.
Car Pool, with eight locations, the newest in Short Pump, has been in business since 1977. The company's "Extreme" wash is probably the best value on its menu for $29.95, says Paul Carr, CEO.
2. Dave's Auto Spa
3. Flagstop Car Wash and Quick Lube
Best Antiques Appraiser:
12700 Buckingham Road, 794-8472
Jay Gates has been working in his family's 50-year-old business since 1976, when he was 5. In 2001 he completed a formal appraisal apprenticeship under his dad as required by the New England Appraisers Association. Today, he usually appraises entire estates, but he will set appointments for in-store appraisals.
2. Motleys Auction and Realty Group
3. (Tie) Alexander's Antiques and Auctions; Tinker and Company
Best Piano Tuner:
10300 W. Broad St., 358-1929
Richmond Piano started with piano rebuilding and tuning when Doug Wurz founded the company 37 years ago. Just as people steer clear of the dentist — if it isn't bothering me, why go? — pianos often suffer from a hands-off approach. Prevention is the key, says sales manager Charles Garrison. "Temperature change knocks it out of tune most of all."
2. (Tie) Mike "Sorvino" Bauer; Gary Fralin; Barry Taylor
Best Fat-Burning Fitness Class:
Express Boot Camp at Oxygen & Iron Fitness Studio
208 Heath's Way Road, 423-1375
Linda Alexander, personal trainer and co-owner, had been leading hour-long boot-camp sessions two to three days a week, but come the holidays, attendance dropped off sharply. After the gym introduced a 30-minute daily class between Thanksgiving and Christmas, no one wanted to go back to the hour. "It's better for everyone, and we get to see them every day."
2. Bikram Yoga Richmond
3. Body Pump at Gold's Gym
Best In-Home Computer Repair:
Whether you need an in-home appointment or a consult in the store or over the phone, Best Buy's Geek Squad is ready to assist. They promise not to talk over your head and to teach you to how to use your newest necessity or toy, be it a home theater, camera, gaming system or computer.
2. Avec Computers
3. House Call Computer Services
Best Dry-Cleaning Specials:
Visit puritancleaners.com for locations.
Amid economic crisis, our readers undoubtedly appreciate Puritan Cleaners' recent weekly specials. Still, Puritan has won Richmond magazine's "Best Of" for some form of clothing-cleaning service for years. Says president/owner Gary Glover, "I guess it has to do with our customer service." That and "we pay our customers $100 to vote," jokes manager Norman May.
2. HandCraft Cleaners
3. Joy Cleaners & Alterations
Two Guys and a Truck
2210 Magnolia St., 744-2400
Dave Tindall says people like his company because they do not have this experience: "The moving guys wait until all your worldly goods are on the truck, then they say, ‘Oh, by the way, it's not going cost $400; it's going to cost $800 because of blah blah blah.' " He says the price on your initial quote is the one you pay.
2. Starving Students
3. Kid Gloves Moving & Storage