Stuart’s Apparel owner set to shutter shop in February for new adventures

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Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Stuart’s Apparel owner Nellie Kumagai plans to close her women’s clothing boutique and retire in February.

Nellie Kumagai decided some time ago that when she turned 70 years old, she would close her women’s clothing boutique, Stuart’s Apparel by Nellie K in Los Altos, so she could travel, golf and spend more time with her children and grandchildren.

Los Altos-based PowerFlex merges with EDF Renewables

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Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High School has 26 PowerFlex Systems electric-vehicle charging stations.

The Los Altos-based PowerFlex Systems – which installs electric-vehicle charging stations with adaptive charging network technology in the community – was recently acquired by international company EDF Renewables, whose North American headquarters is in San Diego.

Eye Lite Optometry celebrates 20 years in downtown Los Altos this month


Julia Wagner/Town Crier
Eye Lite Optometry’s optometrists include, from left, Dr. Audrey Chu, Dr. Andrea Dong, Dr. Emily Yuen and owner Dr. Jabina Ramde.

When Dr. Jabina Ramde opened Eye Lite Optometry in downtown Los Altos, she had just two staff members and one exam room. Twenty years later, Ramde’s practice has grown to include three other optometrists, five support staff and three exam rooms in an office with approximately twice the square footage.

Ramde said something that hasn’t changed over time, however, is the way she and her staff treat their patients. From day one, Ramde said Eye Lite’s goal has been to make personal connections with patients and provide them with quality service.

The boy Nextdoor: Introducing the real estate wunderkind some residents mistook for a scammer

Bob Lane” width=
Melissa Hartman/Town Crier
Bob Lane gained local attention after a Springer Trees neighborhood resident posted a picture of him on Nextdoor, questioning whether he was a scammer. It turns out the 18-year-old was going door to door as a part of his real estate license training.

A resident of the Los Altos Springer Trees neighborhood authored a post on the online Nextdoor site Aug. 23 with the title “Possible real estate scam.” Below the resident’s explanation of how a young man came to her door that afternoon asking if any neighbors were interested in selling their homes, she included a screenshot from her Ring security camera – a grainy image of 18-year-old Bob Lane.

The resident, who requested her name not be used, said she did not intend “to open a can of worms,” but she thought it curious that Lane was handing out Alain Pinel Realtors business cards that were worn (possibly from floating around in his pockets, she speculated) when the company had been acquired by the New York-based Compass Realty in March.

Chasing a moonshot: LA venture capitalists fund companies seeking to change world for better

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Future Ventures co-founders Steve Jurvetson and Maryanna Saenko finalized their 10th investment last month, with the venture capitalists drawing from their $200 million inaugural fund.

Well versed in aerospace innovations, the Los Altos-based team is now seeking out every conceivable sector generating tech “unlike anything they’ve ever seen before,” Jurvetson said.

Los Altos massage therapist opens incubator

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Eric Davidove/Special to the Town Crier
Kua Body Studios founder Upuia Ahkiong, front, celebrates the company’s fifth anniversary with a luau party Aug. 25. Behind her are massage therapists who have undergone her training program, from left, Crystal Perretta, Jennifer Ruiz, Annette Oevermann, Carolina Huerta and Estel Pereira.

Twenty years ago, Los Altos businesswoman Upuia Ahkiong couldn’t have imagined becoming a massage therapist, let alone owning her own massage studio.

“It wasn’t part of my plan,” said Ahkiong, owner of Kua Body Studios at 106 First St., which celebrated its fifth anniversary last weekend. “I wanted to be a principal for a school. … My desire was to make an impact on the school level and at the state level because I just saw how the government and the school systems were really challenging.”


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