By Sara Hodon

Beautiful Home
10 N. 3rd Street  I  Emmaus, PA 18049  I  610-774-9777

Start to finish, large or small, interior design firm Beautiful Home can help you with your next decorating project. For the past 15 years, owners Quentin Eshelman and Ronald Gilbert have worked with clients on design projects of all sizes. Whether redoing one room or an entire home, Eshelman works with his clients to design the perfect living space to their specifications. Eshelman will schedule an in-home consultation with a client first, to learn more about the client’s decorating plan and overall project scope. Next the client will pay a retainer, and the fun really begins. “It’s my job to come up with options to present to the client,” he says. “I never force my opinion on anyone. This is a job we do together, so I let the client choose. I don’t wake up in the homes I’m doing. My goal is to give the clients what they want and a little bit more.” Besides the Lehigh Valley, Eshelman has worked with clients in Delaware, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Florida, and California.

Besides interior design work, Eshelman and Gilbert’s custom interior design showroom offers customers a sampling of items that can help them visualize their finished project. “Customers can buy some of the accessories, but most of the items are for custom projects,” Eshelman explains. Browse through the collection of furniture, art, lamps, and custom window treatments to find just the right look for your own beautiful home.

Blink Optical Boutique
524 N. 19th Street  I  Allentown, PA 18104  I  610-351-4848  I

Dr. Suzanne Hauck’s patients know they can expect more than just a standard eye exam at Blink Optical Boutique. Dr. Hauck strives to give her patients a whole experience, from the exam to one-of-a-kind eyewear from top European designers, with brands by Chanel, IC! Berlin, Bvlgari, Francis Klein, Walter Wissing, Undustrial and many more. “Wearing glasses since I was five, I  wanted to give people the opportunity to choose from a variety of frames and not have to settle. I wanted to bring a higher level of fashion to the Lehigh Valley so people don’t need to travel to Philadelphia or New York City to purchase something unique and high quality. Eyewear is extremely important in how you portray yourself. It is one of the items that defines you,” says Hauck. “It is also an item that can change you. I love to make people try things on that are out of their comfort zone. They don’t realize how a new pair of glasses can change their view of themselves and how other people view them as well.”

In keeping with their “visual” business, and as another way to connect with the community, Blink regularly displays works of art for sale by local artists, and new talent is always welcome. Hauck also volunteers at St. Thomas More School in Allentown, sits on the board of Allentown’s West End Alliance – she spearheaded their annual Oktoberfest celebration, now in its fifth year – and supports a number of other local charities.

Sports Chalet
1535 Hausman Road  I  Allentown, PA 18104  I  610-395-0606  I

Sports Chalet has everything the outdoor sports enthusiast needs, whether their passion is skiing, snowboarding or sailing.

Sports Chalet is a one-stop shop for specialty sports. If you’re a veteran skier who only needs a few items or a brand-new snowboarder who needs to be outfitted from head to toe, you can find it all at Sports Chalet. Besides apparel and equipment, owner Kristen Dolgos Smith says ski and snowboard rentals are also a big part of their business. They also offer sailboat and kayak rentals throughout the summer.

Joseph Dolgos started the business in 1969 at their original location at 5th and Hamilton Streets in Allentown. In 1975, Dolgos built the business’ current home on Hausman Street.  Smith says that while most of their customer base comes from the Lehigh Valley, word-of-mouth has helped them become something of a retail destination for area visitors.

Whether a customer has driven one mile or 1,000 miles to Sports Chalet, Smith promises the same experience, complete with friendly, knowledgeable associates: “When you come in, it feels like you’re in a ski lodge. Our sales staff is very visible and our customers are treated like a member of the family. We provide customer service that you won’t find in a chain store.”

Friendly Tree Service
88 Cedar Road  I  Bangor, PA 18013  I  610-588-1110  I

Trees have histories all their own. They can also give your home a touch of natural beauty and provide welcome shade in the hot summer months. But, just like your home, trees require regular maintenance and sometimes need a dose of TLC. This is where the team at Friendly Tree Service comes in.

Since 1980, Friendly Tree Service has provided tree care and maintenance services to customers in the Lehigh Valley, Poconos, Bucks County and northern New Jersey. Owner Tighe Nostrand says that the goal of his team is to “improve your landscape, one tree at a time. Basically if it’s anything involving trees, we handle it.” Services include pruning, removal, spraying for insect and disease control, and planting, as well as plant health care such as mulching, fertilizing and soil health care.

Nostrand says that they try to preserve a tree as much as they can. While trees may be a potential safety risk, their beauty and sense of history—it’s possible that a tree on someone’s property was standing long before the house—may be reason enough to preserve its integrity. “Many historical properties in the Lehigh Valley have trees that are hundreds of years old; you don’t see much of this in residential areas,” Nostrand says. “We try to preserve trees as much as possible. A good healthy tree, if it’s maintained and monitored, can live for hundreds of years.”

Besides residential customers, Friendly Tree Service volunteers their time with a number of local organizations. Every Arbor Day, the crew spends the day at one of the Valley’s many historic sites and provides pruning, tree, deadwood or hazard removal services.

All About Accessories
201 Village at Stones Crossing  I  Easton, PA 18045  I  610-253-5250  I

As the saying goes, “The clothes make the man,” but we all know it’s accessories that make the outfit. All About Accessories carries a complete line of accessories – from jewelry and scarves to handbags and belts – that can add a finishing touch to any ensemble.

Owner Audrey Rehnert opened her store in June 2010 after getting some inspiration while on vacation. “I was at Rehoboth Beach and I came upon a store that was easy to walk through. Everything was organized by color and the people were so nice. I walked in only meaning to look around and I left with a bagful of items and went back 2 days later. I said it was something we could use in this area, so when I came back I started looking for properties.”

Rehnert says that costume jewelry is her biggest seller, but stresses that “we have anything you would consider a fashion accessory, from wallets to scarf clips.” She says her store caters to everyone, from the mature woman who prefers pearl necklaces and clip-on earrings to the “tween” looking for feathered earrings and headbands. “Every age should find something they like in the store,” she says. Rehnert has her store organized by color, so customers can go right to the section of the colors they need if they don’t have much browsing time. The store also has a small lounge area – a bonus for children and weary spouses.

Rodale Aquatic Center
100 College Drive  I  Allentown, PA 18104  I  610-606-4670

Rodale Aquatics Center, located on the campus of Cedar Crest College in Allentown, has been serving the Lehigh Valley community since 2002, but in many ways remains one of the Valley’s best-kept secrets. The center provides education-based aquatic programs for individuals at all swimming levels and serves as a training facility for triathletes and Paralympians. “We have a unique array of classes,” says Center Director Susan Danish. “We go all the way into technique and make sure the physiology and kinesiology are correct.”

One of the main goals of the Center’s staff is to provide customers with an unintimidating, pleasant, professional experience with consistency. “People who frequent pools know that the physical plant of a pool can be inconsistent in things such as the air or water quality or the equipment. We try really hard to provide a spot-on physical plant with high-end technology, and to stay on the cutting edge of the industry. People who come in our doors should be confident that the leadership is into aquatics,” Danish says.

Meeting the health and wellness needs of the community is a major focus at Rodale Aquatics, explains Center Director Scott Rowland. Several Lehigh Valley organizations use their facilities regularly. “We’re pretty much civic-oriented. We do not have memberships. We’re educationally-based so everything has an instructor. You can purchase course packages and sign up for courses and classes. Everything has an end date. You only pay for what you take.”

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