New Pilates studio gets to the roots of familiar fitness routine

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Nicole Grand, proprietor of Empowered Body Pilates in downtown Los Altos, guides Bill Friedman of Atherton through a Pilates lesson. Joseph Pilates himself looks on from a black-and-white photo on the wall.

Nicole Grand has been practicing Pilates for more than a decade and believes that she has learned a thing or two about the physical fitness system. The regimen, she said, has a misunderstood history.

Grand’s Second Street studio, Empowered Body Pilates, is decorated with black-and-white photographs of Joseph Pilates training boxers and gymnasts in his Manhattan gym. She calls the man “Joe,” and shares anecdotes of his life in class.

Los Altos business women foster community downtown

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Shashi Murthy, owner of Gitane, works with other local women on business ventures.

Shashi Murthy has been busy since she came to the Bay Area in 1990. Originally from Bangalore, India, she earned a master’s degree in computer science from San Jose State University and worked at a high-tech company before starting a consultancy and serving a stint as a kindergarten teacher – the better to be on her daughters’ schedule once they were in school.

“Now they’re out and about and I thought, ‘I need a job,’” Murthy said.

Farzana's offers downtown patrons organic beauty

Asher Kohn/Town Crier
Farzana Farzam is a hair stylist at Farzana’s, a new beauty salon that also offers nail service and sells jewelry.

Farzana Farzam has a unique way to celebrate 20 years in the beauty business: She opened a new salon.

After moving from Palo Alto earlier this year, she found a new home for her business in Los Altos, where she has lived for five years.

Realtors help seniors with housekeeping

Courtesy of SILVAR
Silicon Valley Association of Realtors President Denise Welsh, standing, and realtor Nargis Sadruddin clean a Mountain View senior’s mirrored closet doors as part of the Realtors Service Volunteer Program.

Members of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors completed a variety of household tasks for local seniors last month.

The annual Realtors Service Volunteer Program (RSVP), in its 16th year, serves seniors who cannot otherwise perform certain tasks due to physical or financial constraints. Seniors can request to have light bulbs replaced, furnace filters changed, windows cleaned, mattresses turned or smoke detector batteries installed.

MV mother-daughter team makes and sells 'Cool Jams'

Courtesy of Rose and Amy Wolfrom
Rose Wolfrom, right, began selling jams with her daughter, Amy, after they secured a Cottage Food Operator permit enabling them to make jams at home.

As a college student, Amy Wolfrom wondered what “cool” careers might be possible.

Her love of cooking and baking led her to the idea of making and selling something she’d always enjoyed – jam. Working at Whole Foods Market, she realized that an organic, homemade specialty jam was a niche waiting to be filled.

Every day is Earth Day at Rancho's Therapy Salon

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Sarah Zebb, owner of Therapy Salon, holds a bag of hair she plans to recycle through Green Circle Salons. Hair has been used for oil-spill cleanup in the past.

While Earth Day is an annual reminder for many people to tend to the environment, Therapy Salon owner Sarah Zebb focuses on sustainability year-round.

For the past three years, Zebb has worked with Green Circle Salons to recycle her Rancho Shopping Center shop’s hair, dye and tinfoil waste. Therapy Salon is one of 31 California beauty salons in the partnership, along with small businesses across the U.S. and Canada.

Schools »

Read More

Sports »

Read More

People »

Read More

Special Sections »

Special Sections
Read More

Photos of Los Altos

Browse and buy photos