site stats
October 8, 2017 |

Archive for » October 8th, 2017«

Peace House seeks volunteers and donations for Bling Fling

Bling Fling, an annual fundraiser for Peace House, a nonprofit dedicated to wiping out domestic violence in Summit and Wasatch counties, is scheduled for Nov. 10 and 11 at the Park City Community Church.

Although the event is more than a month away, preparations are in full swing.

Nancy Tosti, Peace House board member and Bling Fling chairwoman, said she is seeking donations and volunteers.

“We aren’t looking for clothing and hats,” Tosti told The Park Record. “We are seeking gently used scarves, handbags and purses, jewelry for both men and women, and belts that we can sell at the Bling Fling. And the belts we’re looking for aren’t just the plain strip belts. We are accepting hand-crafted leather belts or belts that are adorned with designs and accessories.”

Past Bling Fling donations have included many high-end items including Prada bags and fur scarves.

“Last year we received a beautiful set of emerald earrings,” Tosti said. Donors can drop off items in purple bins located at various locations around Park City and Summit County.

Here are the locations:

  • Shepherd of the Mountain Lutheran Church, 4051 N. S.R. 224
  • Right at Home furniture and gifts, 1745 Bonanza Drive.
  • Park City Community Church, 4501 N. S.R. 224
  • Promontory concierge desk, 9065 N. Promontory Ranch Rd.
  • Jeremy Ranch Golf and Country Club, 8770 Jeremy Rd.
  • Mountain Life Church, 7375 Silver Creek Rd
  • Vessel Kitchen catering, 1784 Uinta Way, Suite 1E. All donations are tax deductible.

“Each bin should have tax deductible receipts attached to them,” Tosti said. “If not, then donors can ask for them at the location.”

Another way people can donate is through Bling-It-On parties.

“People can throw these parties at their homes or with their book club and things like that,” Tosti said. “For example I have an open house where people can come get cookies and punch with their donations.

“We ask people if they are doing this that they are collecting items for Peace House and tell what we do,” she said. “They can also contact me for ideas and information.”

In addition to donations, volunteers are required to ensure Bling Fling’s success, Tolsti said.

“We can’t live without our volunteers,” she said with a laugh.

Volunteers are needed for marking and sorting the donations.

“They clean, prep and make minor repairs and get them ready for sale,” Tosti said.

Volunteers are also needed to maintain the donation bins, and work the event.

“They welcome the customers during the Bling Fling and help them find items and accessories that go with together,” she said.

Tosti asks each volunteer works at least two hours.

“We will recruit anyone from teens to older adults, but we do prefer teens volunteer with their parents,” she said. Although Peace House is always taking volunteers, those who want to specifically work on Bling Fling can contact Tosti up until the event.

Anyone interested in volunteering for Peace House’s Bling Fling, can email this address. They can also sign up by visiting Peace House’s website.

Category: Accessories  Tags: ,  Comments off

Evoware Hopes To Reduce Plastic Waste With Edible Seaweed Wrappers And Ello Jello Cups


Evoware wrappers used to wrap Bruxel Waffles (Photo Credit: Evoware)

While reducing plastic waste is something every consumer wishes to do, it is not an easy goal to achieve. That’s because the cheap, versatile, and durable material is found in almost every household item – from dinnerware to drink bottles to even food wrappers. Now, an Indonesian-based startup has come up with a delicious and nutritious solution to help reduce our dependence on this environmental hazard.

David Christian, the co-founder of Evoware says the idea of creating the edible and biodegradable products stemmed from concern at the country’s alarmingly high pollution rate. Indonesia is home to four of the world’s worst polluted rivers and is second only to China when it comes to plastic waste. Since single-use packaging is a large contributor to the problem, the innovators decided to tackle that issue first.


Edible wrapping and pouches (Photo Credit: Evoware)

After investigating various material options, the company settled on seaweed. In addition to being completely compostable, it is also very sustainable. Unlike corn, commonly used for biodegradable containers, seaweed does not require resources like water, fertilizers, or large amounts of space. According to Evoware, as much as 40 tons of seaweed can be grown in an area the size of a baseball field. The marine algae also helps reduce ocean acidity by absorbing harmful greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. Since Indonesian farmers already harvest more seaweed than they can sell, it was easy for the company to find the material.

Though they will not reveal their production process, Evoware asserts the seaweed packaging contains no chemicals and is safe to consume. In addition to wrapping fast food items like burgers and waffles, it can also be used to house things like instant noodle seasoning and single-serve sachets of instant coffee. Consumers simply drop the entire packaging into the hot water and watch the odorless, tasteless, packet melt away leaving behind no trace of its existence.


Ello Jello (Photo Credit: Evoware)

While the edible wrappers may not have any taste, the same cannot be said about the single-use cups that the company has also invented. Dubbed Ello Jello they are currently available in four flavors — orange, lychee, peppermint, and green tea — and according to the company have a texture that is similar to jelly. The best part? You can order the powder and cup moldings and make them at home yourself! Though the current cups cannot withstand hot liquids, Evoware is working on making those as well. If consuming wrappers or munching down soda cups, no matter how delicious, does not sound appealing, tossing them is perfectly okay given that they will disintegrate within 30 days!

While replacing plastic with the seaweed products may seem like a no-brainer to most of us, it is a hard-sell in Indonesia. According to Christian, “The awareness, understanding, and sense of urgency to minimize the use of single-use plastic is still very low. This makes our bioplastic seem irrelevant and unnecessary.” Also a factor is the cost, which is higher than using plastic. However, Evoware is convinced they can reduce it substantially once the company moves to full-scale manufacturing. Hopefully, Evoware will succeed in convincing Indonesians and people worldwide, that switching to their products will go a long way in protecting our beautiful planet.

Resources: Fastcompany.com,evoware.id

Category: Dinnerware  Tags: ,  Comments off

Branson, Missouri, feeds columnist’s soul — and belly | News OK

BRANSON, Mo. — I’ve had a love affair with the Ozark Mountains for more than 20 years. Since I first breathed in those hills and hollers in northwest Arkansas, I’ve been seduced back countless times. The Ozarks feed my soul — especially in the fall when the leaves change colors.

I hadn’t visited Branson, though, since Branson Landing debuted in 2006. It’s more than worth the about 4 ½-hour drive from Oklahoma City, if you just relaxed right there at the well-appointed Hilton Branson Convention Center, as I did last month — and shopped, ate and listened to live music at the more than 100 stores and restaurants along what looks like a river but is really Lake Taneycomo, a man-made reservoir on the White River.

If you stay elsewhere in Branson, a free trolley will deliver you to the Landing. Kirkland’s and the Bass Pro Shops are there and Bass Pro’s sister restaurant, White River Fish House, which juts out on the water. I had catfish and jalapeno cornbread that was delicious.

The locals have a saying that “No one starves in Branson.” They ain’t kidding.

A few blocks opposite Branson Landing is historic downtown Branson with two breakfast choices — institutions really: The Farmhouse Restaurant and Clockers Cafe, where you can enjoy a hearty ham, grits and biscuit kind of day-starter. If there’s a wait, no worry. Pop into the charming 100-year-old dime store next door — Dick’s 5 10 — to view the owner’s arrowhead collections, World War II prints signed by guys who flew them and other displays, or buy a toy cap gun, a Golden book, chiffon scarf or specialty soda. The store literally is packed with a mix of nostalgic and funky/quirky stuff.

Back to good eats. It’s mostly not the rides that annually draw millions of visitors to Silver Dollar City, but the 60 craft shops and unique boutiques, including parlors that every year make 90,000 gallons and pounds of homemade ice cream and candy, respectively. Between browsing or Christmas shopping at glass-, pottery-, leather-, candle-, basket-, soap- and jewelry-making shops where artisans, in a re-created 1880s mining town, make crafts on site, visitors literally eat their way around the 100-acre park.

Aside from favorites like pulled pork sandwiches, turkey legs, foot-long pretzel dogs on a stick, double-battered/double-dipped fried chicken and hot apple dumplings with cinnamon ice cream, the park just this year introduced some 200 new healthier items, including strawberry, spinach, antipasto and vegan bean salads. My favorite is their signature succotash, a stir fry of okra, corn, squash, chicken, green peppers and onions cooked in 5-foot skillets. You can learn how to make the tasty dish yourself at an on-site cooking class taught by resident chef and homegrown Missouri girl Debbie Dance Uhrig (who also swears by adding vodka to her pie dough for flakier crusts).

Uhrig is among the park’s 1,300 employees, 60 percent of whom have 20 years or more service. The employees, or “citizens,” joke that after two years, you’re a lifer; you’ve become part of the park’s culture. You can more than feel that pride and utmost customer service as you walk the comfortable, tree-shaded pathways of the park while a steam train shrilly rings “Woo, Woo!” on a regular basis.

The roller coasters, water, carousel and other rides are tucked into nature, in a circle around the park. The wooden coaster Outlaw Run and multi-looping steel coaster WildFire drop down the Ozark mountainside at thrilling speeds. Meanwhile, a new two-minute Time Traveler coaster, which will debut this spring, will reach speeds of 50.3 miles per hour and feature a 100-foot high point, 90 percent vertical drop and individual cars spinning 360 degrees.

To burn off all the vittles you’ll undoubtedly consume, be sure to leave time for a one-hour tour of Marvel Cave, which starts in the gift shop and is included in the day pass. Designated a National Natural Landmark, the cave features a 20-story entry room and many awe-inspiring rock formations.

Here are other shows and attractions worth checking out:

• Raiding the Country Vault at the Starlite Theatre: Billy Yates (who composed for George Jones, Kenny Chesney and others), Michael Peterson (who sang the hit songs “From Here To Eternity” and “Drink, Swear, Steal Lie”) and other top industry talent treat you to the greatest country music hits ever, with tidbits about the various artists’ lives displayed on a background screen. Think about a preshow happy hour, with craft beer and barbecue nachos, at the adjacent Gettin’ Basted restaurant next door.

• Titanic Museum: View about 400 actual artifacts, like room keys, china plates, the sole surviving Bible, mirrors, hairbrushes, deck chairs, postcards or menus, mailed or recovered from the ship that sank on its maiden April 1912 voyage, two hours and 40 minutes after striking an iceberg, taking all but 705 of the 2,208 souls aboard. Submerge your fingertips in 28-degree water, the same temperature that killed capsized passengers in 20 minutes. Grab on to the railings of a recreated broken-in-two, angled deck. And listen to a present-day pianist play “Nearer, My God, to Thee,” the last song played by the eight musicians who, versus scrambling to get on life boats, played on to calm and comfort passengers.

• Chicago’s Navy Pier Ferris Wheel: Moved to Branson last year, it stands 150 feet tall, holds 240 passengers in its 40 gondolas and lights up at night.

• Showboat Branson Belle: Enjoy a full-course dinner and a variety show — with singing, unbelievable tap dancing, magic and comedy — while cruising Table Rock Lake at 5.5 miles per hour.

• Bigfoot on the Strip: Attractions include a slingshot ride, arcade, mini golf and yummy food truck dining.

Editor’s Note: The Oklahoman was a guest of Branson/Lakes Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and Silver Dollar City.

You might also be interested in…

Category: Skillets  Tags: ,  Comments off

Moving is extra stressful when you are a fashionista with a mountain of clothes and accessories

I recently moved. Unless you cling to your adult umbilical cord and live with mum and dad, it’s something you’ve likely endured. The process can be traumatic but also exciting, and a lot of work.

Essentially you’re unending your life, untethering from a familiar moor to a new and presumably nice dock. My new flat is great, but it doesn’t have any built-in closet or storage. I knew I would have to buy or create some wardrobe space but that fell in priority among more urgent things I needed to do in the immediate move.

Given the importance of fashion in my life, not to mention the amount of shoes and clothes I’ve amassed, this massive couture migration was my biggest stress.

First, there was the purge. There are simply not enough boxes in Hong Kong to hold my mountain of dresses, garments and apparel. As much as I dreaded it, I knew I had to part with some items. In the end, it was a painful series of Sophie’s choices to whittle Everest down to Kilimanjaro.

The actual packing was equally monumental. It’s no small task to carefully fold, bag and categorise everything. I should have hired an extra army of maids to help. The sweaty muscular movers gruffly threw my kitchen utensils into boxes all they wanted, but they were not permitted to lay one hand on anything from Milan or Paris.

I should have hired a proper wardrobe organiser. My stylist told me about this new kind of specialist who helps people declutter (throw away) and rearrange closets into functional storage. It’s sartorial logistics.

Alas, I thought I knew I my clothes better than anyone and paid the price in fashion duress. Especially difficult to move were the gowns. I wish that I had a few of those mobile clothes racks from fashion shows. I saw some at a recent private viewing, and actually envied the rack and forgot about the dresses.

Because the new place doesn’t have a ready closet, the first few days after the move were a frustrating mess of dressing dysfunction. The perfectionist in me wanted to find the ideal cabinet, with drawers exactly as I wanted them, to fit everything without wasting an inch of space, and to have enough sectional compartments so that I could separate everything according to season, occasion and whether it matched. Rome wasn’t built in a day and my dream walk-in closet will take even longer to achieve.

That means living out of cardboard boxes for a while longer, an existence I will never get used to. Every morning it is like searching for matching needles in a fashion haystack.

How do I find something to wear when my apartment looks like the warehouse at the end of Raiders of The Lost Ark?

On the bright side, I have had an excuse to buy new things.

Follow our Aristocrat as she attends the city’s hottest events and parties

Category: Accessories  Tags: ,  Comments off

Grafton’s Farmers Delight Closing after 68 years

GRAFTON — After more than 68 years in business, Farmers Delight in Grafton will soon be closing its doors for good.

The eclectic store — known for carrying everything from hardware and live chickens to cast iron skillets and gardening equipment — will be holding a continuous retirement sale in the coming months as business winds down.

Owner Tony Veltri said he made a promise to his wife, Gerry, more than 18 years ago to retire so the pair can travel and spend more time with their family.

“I’m just now fulfilling my promise to her,” he said.

To help him keep that promise, Veltri said he has hired a professional liquidation company to help organize a final sale and rid the store of its inventory.

“We’re going to keep selling until we’re down to zero,” he said. “I’m going to be here for probably another two or three more months trying to get rid of everything.”

The store’s first incarnation began in Webster in 1949, adjacent to the small community grocery store run by his parents, Veltri said.

“My mom and dad used to sell a lot of feed, livestock feed,” he said. “So my dad thought it would be a good idea to build a building strictly for the feed.”

Veltri ran the store for his parents after school and during his free time, growing the store from a supplement to the grocery store into a thriving business of its own.

“I kept working at that and working at that and then I started adding more items,” he said. “We got into fertilizer and different farm items.”

After graduating from Grafton High School in 1955, Veltri said his parents approached him about attending Purdue University, but he had other plans.

“They had the money to send me and they wanted me to go,” he said. “But I was too interested in this store. I just kept adding more products to the store. I added hardware.”

After growing the store as much as he could in Webster, Veltri moved it to Grafton in the mid-1980s.

“I moved into Grafton because I wanted to try and be able to reach more people,” he said.

The store quickly became a fixture of the community, Veltri said.

“We’ve always been known as the store that has everything,” he said. “And when someone would ask us for something, if we didn’t have it, we would make an effort to get it for them.”

During more than a half-century in business, Veltri said he has seen quite a bit of change.

“I never learned to use a computer,” he said. “We have a computer here that my employees use for me.”

He has also seen a shift in the way customers shop, Veltri said.

“The internet and the way people can buy things now has certainly eaten into our business,” he said.

Gerry said her husband, who serves on the Taylor County Commission, will remain an active member of the community even into his retirement.

“He’s a community person,” she said. “He’s always done a lot for the community and he’s still going to do that; he’s not going to go to the La-Z-Boy.”

In fact, Veltri said he has big plans for his retirement.

“One of things I would like to do is go see the Grand Canyon. Never in my life have I been there,” he said. “I’d like to go to Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore, all the things out West that everybody always talks about.”

Gerry said Veltri and his store will be sorely missed in Grafton and the surrounding communities.

“He’s been connected here for years and years and years,” she said. “It’s just been such a big part of his life.”

Farmers Delight is located at 501 Blueville Drive No. 3 in Grafton. The store is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

For more information, visit www.farmersdelightcompany.com or call 304-265-1945.

Category: Skillets  Tags: ,  Comments off

Rise of the Instapreneurs: meet the craftspeople making their names on Instagram

After sparking a retail revolution with curated shopping site Not On The High Street, HOLLY TUCKER has turned her attention to encouraging craftspeople to showcase and sell their pieces on social media

Not On The High Street co-founder Holly Tucker

Once seen as the enemy of small business, the internet has shown itself also to be a surprising force for good in retail. This is due in no small part to one woman: Holly Tucker, who set up Not On The High Street with her friend and co-founder Sophie Cornish in 2006 as a curated shopping site with the aim of offering buyers more unusual wares, handcrafted in Britain. One year after celebrating its tenth anniversary, the site is now one of the biggest online marketplaces in the world for small businesses, representing some 5,000 of them, and last year its transactions amounted to £158 million. 

It has fulfilled – beyond its founders’ wildest dreams – its mission of connecting artisans in far-flung corners of the UK with ‘conscious consumers’, those who hanker for quirky, ethically produced goods with a story behind them. The upside is that it is now easier than ever for creative types to ditch the nine-to-five and make a living from doing what they love.

Clearly, then, the internet has provided independent vendors with a positive platform. ‘Absolutely! We are seeing a revival in great British craftsmanship thanks to the internet,’ says Holly, 40, who has an MBE for her services to business and is the UK Ambassador for Creative Industries and Small Creative Businesses. She retains an involvement in Not On The High Street but has ceded day-to-day control to a CEO in order to channel her passion into her new venture, Holly Co (holly.co). 

An online portal (not a dedicated shopping site, though it does hold some stock), with a shop in Southwest London, this was set up last year to encourage, mentor and inspire craftspeople to follow their dreams through workshops, advice and networking. The timing couldn’t be more apposite, with the post-Brexit climate spawning a renewed interest in British goods and a growing awareness of the environmental impact of what we buy. Social media sites such as Instagram and bloggers hungry for content also means ‘free advertising’ for creative enterprises with ‘Instagrammable’ offerings.

Not surprisingly, it is predicted that by 2020, 50 per cent of the working population will be self-employed. ‘We haven’t seen such a shift in working patterns since the Industrial Revolution,’ says Holly. ‘I want to help these small businesses – the dreamers, dabblers and doers – rewrite the rule book. It’s an exciting opportunity for them because they aren’t restricted by the structures that big businesses impose. My job is to ensure that they retain their individuality. I want to be their virtual cheerleader.’

Here, five of Holly’s artisan alumni explain how harnessing the power of the internet has enabled them to succeed.

 

THE WOOD CARVER

‘The world may have gone digital but people still like to hold something handmade,’ says Sophie

Sophie Sellu, 29, set up Grain Knot in 2013, after being made redundant from her job as a trend forecaster for clothing chain Jack Wills. Having discovered a passion for wood carving after doing a workshop, she decided to put her redundancy money into setting up a business making handmade spoons and kitchen utensils out of reclaimed timber. She works from a studio in Southeast London and her products are stocked in Liberty of London.

Digital advantage When I first started carving, it was more like a hobby. I never imagined this could become a lucrative business. I posted images on Instagram, Pinterest and my blog, to document what I was doing, and people quickly became interested. Nowadays, most young people can’t afford their own home and have to rent, and they’re often on the lookout for items to make their rental feel special and personal. No one wants to have the same Zara bowl as everyone else – something unique from an independent maker becomes a talking point. Millennials look to social media for inspiration, and this has led to lots of sales.

Breakthrough moment The world may have gone digital, but people still like to hold something handmade. I realised this and sent spoons to bloggers as gifts, so they could see and feel the quality. This has given the business a definite boost.

Sophie whittling a spoon

Biggest challenges All my items are handmade and take a lot of time. People love the idea of this, but we live in a world where we’re all used to the speed of Amazon and people want things immediately. There needs to be more acceptance of having to wait for artisan products. Because my business is driven by social media, it can also be a challenge for me to switch off from my constantly buzzing phone, but it’s important to take a break for the sake of sanity!

Best part A customer may have chopped down a tree or have some old furniture, and they’ll ask me to make something with the wood. It’s so rewarding. I was lost in my last job and dreamed of working like this. I’m so happy that I made it happen.

grainandknot.com

 

THE GLASS ETCHER

‘I’ve found that “likes” and “follows” really do translate into sales,’ says Andy 

Andy Poplar, 43, set up Vinegar Brown Paper in 2011, after leaving a stressful job as an advertising executive following a breakdown. He became a stay-at-home dad, and while out on a walk with his then infant daughter (now eight), he saw a cafetière in a shop window and thought ‘how cool it would be to personalise it by putting words on it’. Six years later, he has a thriving business, etching witty slogans on to apothecary bottles, mirrors, glasses and more, which he runs from a studio in his garden in Leeds.

Digital advantage I was used to advertising, where people pay thousands of pounds to have their products marketed. When I started my business, I couldn’t believe how – through sites such as Instagram and Facebook – I was able to promote my products for free to customers from York to New York, Austria to Australia. I post visuals of new products, and people who like what they see can click through to my website to purchase. I’ve found that ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ really do translate into sales. Last year, I earned more than I did on my advertising salary.

Breakthrough moment One of my first efforts was an apothecary bottle with the words Creative Juices etched on it. Someone spotted it at a fair and posted a picture online; then a well-known blogger picked it up, and from there it was shared many times, eventually going viral. My iPad was pinging with orders all night and within two days someone had rung on behalf of Oprah Winfrey to order some items.

Andy's creative glass-etching creations; the 'creative juices' bottle went viral

Andy's creative glass-etching creations; the 'creative juices' bottle went viral

Andy’s creative glass-etching creations; the ‘creative juices’ bottle went viral

Biggest challenges I work longer hours than I ever did before, as every piece is etched by hand, but as it’s my own business I don’t mind. At the beginning, I had no idea how to sandblast – shooting sand at glass at high velocity to etch the words – but I taught myself how to do it very quickly.

Best part I used to spend two hours every day on the train simply getting to and from work. Now my commute is a one-minute walk through my garden. I find it so satisfying working with my hands, and my customers love that what they get has the human touch. They don’t want something that has been mass-produced on the other side of the world.

vinegarandbrownpaper.co.uk

 

THE FLORIST

Florence with one of her bouquets

Florence Kennedy, 30, founded Petalon, a bicycle flower delivery service, in 2013, after seeing how happy it made her husband James to set up his own small business (a bike company that Florence now uses for Petalon deliveries), and how quickly he was able to turn a profit. ‘I felt miffed that I had to go off to an office every day while he got to follow his dreams!’ A trained architect, she had been through a variety of unfulfilling jobs and used some of the salary she had saved to buy a trailer – to transport her flowers behind her bicycle – and to build a website. Within three months, she was profitable.

Digital advantage A lot of people think that it is only big businesses that profit from the internet. A turning point for me – when I had a job in trend forecasting – was learning about small businesses that were being transformed by technology. Were it not for the internet, I would not have a business. And Instagram is brilliant for helping to move stock that otherwise might go to waste; if one of our bouquets isn’t selling, I’ll do a pretty post of it and sales go up. The business wouldn’t be what it is without Instagram – the perfect visual tool to showcase your brand and the person behind the brand.

Breakthrough moment I couldn’t believe it when, at the end of my third month of operating, I had made a profit. It was only £400, but I thought, ‘I can do it.’ Then this amazing thing happened: there was a spider’s web effect and people who had been given my bouquets started to order them, and it grew and grew.

Florence with her great dane Huxley

Biggest challenges In the beginning, I was often working from 4am, when I would go to the flower market, until 7pm, when I finished my delivery route, having handmade the bouquets in between. At first, it was just me doing the deliveries – luckily, I could use James’s bikes. As the business has grown, it wasn’t long before I was able to employ people to ease the load.

Best part A big incentive for me at the start was that we had just got a puppy, who I wanted to spend time with. Having a dog has been wonderful for our online marketing: he appears in many of our posts, as does our five-month-old baby. Customers like to see the family behind the brand. I also love the pride you have in your own small business. When someone says they like what you’re doing – or ‘likes’ a photo you’ve posted – it feels so flattering.

petalon.co.uk

 

THE BRACELET MAKERS

Jewellers Kirstie (left) and Patroula in their Surrey studio

Their bestselling personalised bracelet

Jewellers Kirstie (left) and Patroula in their Surrey studio, left, and, right, their bestselling personalised bracelet

Kirstie King and Patroula Waters Coles, 45 and 44, are two old friends who dreamed up the idea of starting a jewellery business together while travelling around Southeast Asia in their 20s (and collecting beautiful trinkets along the way). They set up Lily Belle – a combination of their daughters’ names – from a cupboard under the stairs in 2006, after both had left ‘exhausting’ careers in the film industry. These days, they work out of a studio in Weybridge, Surrey.

More dreamers and doers… 

Jerry Jo A children’s brand with Scandinavian elements started by Swedish-born Nanna Adjua Osei-Kwaku (mother of three sons) for ‘anyone looking for cool, durable and fun clothes’. jerryandjo.com

Denim and Bone A fashion and accessories store founded by artist and designer Daisy Harkness, who says, ‘Every piece is designed and handcrafted by me to be enjoyed and loved by you.’ denimandbone.com

Bread Jam A gifts and homewares company based in the North Pennines, which was set up by husband-and-wife team Catherine and Jamie Douglas. wearebreadandjam.co.uk

Paper Wood Started in 2015 by Zack McLaughlin, who creates dramatically beautiful sculptures of birds from little more than paper and wood. paperandwood.co.uk

Anges De Sucre A family-run business in West London – founded by Kuwait-born Reshmi Bennett – that’s whipping up incredible cakes and confections. angesdesucre.com

Chambers Beau Set up in 2008 by Amy Elson whose jewellery collections, designed and handmade in her Devon studio, are full of rustic charm and simple elegance. chambersandbeau.com

Fred Noah A luxury clothing label for boys and girls aged up to four years, run by husband-and-wife team Daniel and Natalie Reynolds. fredandnoah.com

Digital advantage The internet hasn’t just made a difference to our business, it has made our business. Driving around the country, loading and unloading products at shopping fairs – where you can only reach a narrow demographic anyway – is not an efficient way to sell; the practicalities are very difficult. Selling online takes so much less time and frees us to do the creating, which is the real point of our business. Without that, we might still only be designing as a hobby.

Breakthrough moment We introduced a personalised bracelet, which has always been one of our bestsellers. It comes on a card that looks like a Polaroid photo, and people just love it. It’s those sort of touches that draw people in: it’s a very Instagrammable piece and sums up what our jewellery is all about, which is sharing a moment in time.

Biggest challenges When we started out there was still a question mark over whether people would actually buy jewellery online. The key is to focus on photography and getting the images just right. With the internet, business can grow very fast, which sounds like a good thing, but you have to be prepared for it. As two passionate creatives with no corporate training, who have never pretended to be anything more than a cottage industry, it was hard to make some of the big decisions, but we just had to do it.

Best part It’s great that we are small enough to be able to interact with our customers. People increasingly want to ‘meet the makers’ and hear the story of where pieces have come from and how they’ve been made; you can really play into that through all the social channels we have these days.

lilybelle.co.uk

 

THE TOP-NOTCH CHOCOLATIERS

Mother-and-daughter chocolatier team Andrea (left) and Lucy

Mother and daughter team Andrea Huntington, 53, and Lucy Elliott, 29, set up Creighton’s Chocolaterie in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire in 2011, after doing a weekend chocolate-making course taught by an Italian pastry chef. Lucy had worked as a graphic designer (with a baking blog on the side). They have a shop – where everything is handmade at the back – and an online business. The brand is known for its unusual flavours (maple bacon chocolate, anyone?).

Digital advantage The internet has allowed us to reach way beyond the small town we live in. Without it, we would only be able to do this as a hobby. We’d be reliant on customers who live nearby and just happen to walk past the shop, and that wouldn’t be enough to sustain a business. Now people see us online or on social media and often make a special trip to Leighton Buzzard just to see us. Or they can buy from the website. Packaging and design is a huge part of our brand – and that is a perfect fit with the image-led nature of social media.

Breakthrough moment A few months after we set up, Liberty of London got in touch, keen to stock us. They had seen us at a fair where we were offering chocolate to taste. We just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

'The internet allows us to reach way beyond our small town,' says Lucy

'Packaging and design is a huge part of our brand ¿ and that is a perfect fit with the image-led nature of social media'

‘The internet allows us to reach way beyond our small town,’ say Lucy (left) and Andrea. ‘Packaging and design is a huge part of our brand – and that is a perfect fit with the image-led nature of social media’

Biggest challenges Anyone who tells you that running your own small business will be easy is lying: it’s a great deal more work than a regular day job and you can forget holidays for the first few years, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. While social media is a huge asset, it also creates pressure to always have something new and exciting to put out there – you can’t afford to just not post for a while.

Best part Being a small artisan business, it’s easy for us to facilitate the constant changing of products. When we dream up a new chocolate flavour, we mix it up in our kitchen and – boom! – it’s out there. That’s one of the things that inspired us to want to do this in the first place. In a big business, there’s such a lengthy process involved in developing something new; as a small business, we have the ability to be far more agile.

wearecreightons.com

 

 

 

 

Category: Accessories  Tags: ,  Comments off

Reviewing Wayfair (W) & Liberty Interactive Corp (LINTA)

Wayfair (NYSE: W) and Liberty Interactive Corp (NASDAQ:LINTA) are both retail/wholesale companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, dividends, profitability, risk and earnings.

Insider Institutional Ownership

66.2% of Wayfair shares are held by institutional investors. 56.9% of Wayfair shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations for Wayfair and Liberty Interactive Corp, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Wayfair presently has a consensus price target of $77.07, indicating a potential upside of 11.71%. Given Wayfair’s higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Wayfair is more favorable than Liberty Interactive Corp.

Profitability

This table compares Wayfair and Liberty Interactive Corp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Wayfair and Liberty Interactive Corp’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Liberty Interactive Corp has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Wayfair.

Summary

Wayfair beats Liberty Interactive Corp on 5 of the 8 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Wayfair

Wayfair Inc. (Wayfair) offers browsing, merchandising and product discovery for a range of products from various suppliers. The Company operates through two segments: U.S. and International. The U.S. segment consists of amounts earned through product sales through the Company’s five sites in the United States and through sites operated by third parties in the United States. The International segment consists of amounts earned through product sales through its international sites. It has an online selection of furniture, decor, decorative accents, housewares, seasonal decor and other home goods. As of December 31, 2016, it had offered five sites, including Websites, mobile-optimized Websites and mobile applications: Wayfair, Joss Main, AllModern, DwellStudio and Birch Lane. Wayfair is an online destination for all things home. Birch Lane offers a collection of furnishings and home decor. Its sites feature certain products under its house brands, such as Three Posts and Mercury Row.

About Liberty Interactive Corp

Liberty Interactive Corporation owns interests in subsidiaries and other companies, which are primarily engaged in the video and online commerce industries. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, the Company operates in North America, Europe and Asia. Its principal businesses and assets include its subsidiaries QVC, Inc. (QVC), zulily, llc (zulily) and and Evite, Inc. (Evite). The Company’s segments include QVC, zulily, and Corporate and other. Evite is an online invitation and social event planning service on the Web. As of December 31, 2016, QVC marketed and sold a range of consumer products primarily through live merchandise-focused televised shopping programs distributed to approximately 362 million households each day and through its Websites, including QVC.com, and other interactive media, such as mobile applications. Zulily’s merchandise includes women’s, children’s and men’s apparel, children’s merchandise and other products, such as kitchen accessories and home decor.

Receive News Ratings for Wayfair Inc. Daily – Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts’ ratings for Wayfair Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com’s FREE daily email newsletter.

Category: Accessories  Tags: ,  Comments off