Archive for April, 2009

Feng Shui

Posted in Inspirational with tags on April 30, 2009 by Artform

We’re doing a little Feng Shui around the office. It’s amazing what a little rearranging every now and then can do for your chi…

(for the record, I know absolutely nothing about feng shui or chi)

TM~

Advertisements

It’s a shame

Posted in Perspective with tags , , on April 29, 2009 by akila004

I was having lunch with a friend of mine yesterday. And we had this great conversation on brands being more than a product, but actually having a purpose. So many brands claim their association with being Green. And they should since nowadays it is something that attracts people. But truly, are they?

Anyway, we ended up talking about trash and pollution. It brought to my attention something I didn’t know, and shame on me for not knowing.

Between California and Japan, there is this huge pile of plastic and trash in the middle of the ocean. The pile is twice the size of Texas and 90 ft deep. I just wanted to mention this today, because I think it is a shame. Our oceans are as important as the oxygen we breath, so we should stop littering and throwing out cigarettes over the car window. We should start making more effort by being more respectful to our Earth. I’m over hearing people or companies saying they are green, take action!

Surfrider is an amazing nonprofit that will help you make the 1st step. Spread the word, and don’t litter anymore.

Check out the video: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/23/oprah-shines-light-on-gre_n_190552.html

~CG

How much is too much?

Posted in Knowledge, Perspective with tags , , , on April 28, 2009 by akila004

After getting into snowboarding (which is pretty crazy in my opinion), Ed Hardy now comes with a Wine product.

Ed Hardy Wine

Ok, is this how it is supposed to go? Doesn’t it become too much at some point?

I mean Ed Hardy stepping into the action sports industry was already quite a joke to me, but I figured that there was a lot of casual snowboarders out there that love Ed Hardy and don’t care about what is considered cool or core in the snow industry. So ok, I guess, I can respect that, even though Ed Hardy is far from being an expert at marketing to snowboarders.

But now, with the launch of Ed Hardy wines, I really don’t know what to think anymore. I am French and I have been a core snowboarder for the past 17 years. To me, wine and snowboarding are not just products you can brand and throw out in the market. You need passion and knowledge about the products. With Ed Hardy, it seems like it’s a lot more about growing the business however they can, thinking that all these branded products are great ideas, but in the end I think they might want to be careful, because no connoisseur will buy Ed Hardy wines or snowboards, and this is guaranteed.

Maybe Ed hardy should try to gain respect from the industries they are tapping into instead of taking advantage of what they think will sell.

Check out the article

~CG

The Allure Of Action Sports

Posted in Knowledge, Perspective with tags , , , , , , , on April 24, 2009 by akila004

I just read this great article written by Billy Carter on MediaPost (You can find the full article at this link).

Billy explains the growth of action sports and what these “sports” are all about. He concludes with the following suggestions to any non-endemic brand out there that wishes to start an action sports program to reach GenY. Here are his main suggestions:

  • Before the start of your project, speak with young people who are invested in action sports culture to educate yourself and your staff
  • Whether they are pro athletes, amateur athletes or other respected personalities in action sports, get well-respected “ambassadors” to help be the face and voice of your brand when trying to reach young people
  • Sponsor grassroots action sports events and competitions, not just the large, made-for-TV events
  • Advertise in endemic print and online outlets
  • Hire photographers who specialize in the respective action sport to photograph anything you are doing in the sports

Here are my comments:

The tips are really good, and from all of them I would (WITH NO EXCEPTIONS) say that if you are a non-endemic company and want to break into action sports, you HAVE TO have a team of smart business people that live and breathe action sports. No one else can better tell you what looks good to our eye. We are picky, we are passionate, we are a community that hates to be invaded by outsiders.

AUTHENTICITY is key, but don’t try too hard, or we’ll notice it. Be involved for sure. If you want to be successful, you have to have some type of grassroots program. Our industry is not about impressions, it’s about making your mark everywhere all the time. You’ll get more respect, especially if you contribute something positive to the industry.

The X-Games and Dew Tour are not for the core. These events are for the mainstream. Core action sports people don’t care if your brand sponsors this type of mass market events. We are not like baseball or football fans. Watching an X-Games final is not what we’ve been waiting for all year long. We are participant first and foremost. And action sports with everything that comes with it (Art, music, etc,) are our life. People (Brands) that don’t live the culture will NEVER be able to understand it, no matter how much they read, research, watch, etc.

To finish up:

1. Get yourself a great team of action sports people that also understand where you are coming from as a non-endemic brand

2. Listen to them and embrace their lifestyle

3. Don’t try too hard. Be yourself but be respectful and committed to this market. The action sports industry will recognize your efforts and eventually will reward you for your support and for contributing positively

4. We are a lifestyle, not just a sport. So don’t forget about how art, music, and fashion work with skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, etc. (notice how I talk about “work” vs. “influence”)

Just a refreshing memory

Posted in Knowledge with tags , , , , , on April 24, 2009 by akila004

Tim and I were talking about old skate and snow videos this morning. And the first video that came to my mind and that I would LOVE to watch again was the Haakonsen Factor (1999 I think).

I thought I could easily find the full video on Youtube.com but not really. The first clip that came up though is the one with the soundtrack from The Sound Providers (btw, the soundtracks of both Terje’s movies are dope), and after about 2 minutes 30 sec, it features Shaun White’s first pro video part ever (if I am not mistaken, so let me know if it’s not). The kid might be about 12 or 13 years old and he is already throwing down some big 9s in the pipe or BS 3s on some transition in skate. Check it out and remember that was 10 years ago!!!

~ CG

Keep the Juices Flowing

Posted in Creative, Perspective with tags , on April 23, 2009 by timagine

Part of business and entrepreneurialism is knowing how to keep the creative juices flowing. This can be true in concepting new products, creative financing, ad campaigns, guerilla marketing and so forth. A business needs creativity to keep it competitive and/or one step ahead of the competition. 

I find it very important to have a good resource of creative wells to draw from. There are numerous resources out there to find creative inspiration. Here are a few that keep my creative juices flowing, thus helping me to be a better entrepreneur:

The Apprentice – Rent it and watch it. There is also the UK and Celebrity versions.
Art Venues- Local shows, Galleries, Museums, Low Brow, Fine Art, etc…
Music – Pandora radio anyone? Yes, please… Music makes the world go ’round.
Magazines – There are so many great magazines out there from Artforum to Juxtapoz and beyond.
Sketching – Grab a cheap sketch binder, a few pens and markers and start doodling. It’s a good workout for the brain.

TM~

EARTH DAY : Do Your Part

Posted in Inspirational, Perspective, Thoughts from our great interns with tags , , , on April 22, 2009 by akila004

The oceans are rising and the earth is getting warmer each year. Yes, on this Earth Day, I’d like to post another global warming, environmental awareness blog. I’ll keep this short and sweet, but you have to admit that it is a serious problem. If this trend keeps up, where are you going to shred? And if you are able to find some fresh snow, how long will you have before the season is over due to warm weather? On a more formal note, how long will industry businesses lasts if there’s no market for them? I mean, that is if the economy doesn’t get them first (sorry, Quik). A little less reaction and a little more pro-action is what we need. Here are some steps to get you started. Props to Eath911 for the info.

“The environment is now on everyone’s minds. How can you go green at home? Here are 10 simple steps to green up your life and change the planet.

1. Buy Only What You Need
* Plain and simple—don’t over purchase.
* However, when buying items that you use daily or in large quantities, consider buying in bulk. You will save money and packaging. Consider splitting bulk purchases with neighbors or friends to get that savings but not the full quantity of the purchase. Sometimes we can’t always use 50 rolls of toilet paper!

2. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle!
* Earth 911 offers recycling, reuse and proper disposal options for over 250 different materials. Everything from plastic bags to construction materials.
* Remodeling? Don’t forget to look for recycling and reuse programs for your household items—windows, doors, tile, etc. New technology has enabled some companies to recycle old porcelain toilets and tubs into beautiful counter tops and tile.
* Don’t forget the last step in the recycling loop—buy recycled! In order for recycling to be sustainable, we need to purchase recycled-content materials! Look for and purchase post-consumer recycled content packaging and products whenever possible.

3. Change a Light, Change the World
* When your incandescent lightbulbs stop working, replace them with the new, energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) CFLs use 2/3 less energy than traditional incandescent lightbulbs and last 10 times as long! Making this switch will save you money AND energy!
* Some incandescent light bulbs may contain mercury, so remember to dispose of both properly at your local household hazardous waste facility.
* Take the U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR pledge, to save energy and help reduce the risks of global climate change by replacing at least one light in your home with an ENERGY STAR qualified one.

4. Bag It Up the Green Way
* Plastic bags are getting the “thumbs down” in several communities around the country because of litter problems. When going to the store, consider bagging your own groceries in cloth, reusable bags. Many stores sell reusable bags and charge to provide plastic grocery bags. Save a plastic tree (and petroleum)—use a cloth bag!
* When walking your dog and cleaning up after then, use a biodegradable bag rather than a plastic bag.
* If you decide to use plastic bags, remember to recycle them. Thousands of locations are available across the country—use Earth 911 to locate a recycling location near you!

5. Green Your Gadgets
* Electronics become “outdated” so much more quickly than 10 or 20 years ago. To insure you are responsible with your gadgets, consider doing the following:
o Resist the urge to upgrade every time a “newer” or “cooler” gadget comes out. Reduce at the source—you save money and the time (and frustration) to learn how to operate and program the new gadget!
o Donate working electronics to charities or school programs resell or refurbish them.
o Completely broken? Recycle! Electronics are the new “hot” item being recycled across the country.
o Refill or recycle your inkjet or toner cartridges
o Close the recycling loop and buy recycled, post-consumer content paper for your printer. Most local office supply stores, such as Staples, offer a growing selection of environmentally friendly papers.
o Keep in mind even computer game equipment and iPods now have reuse and recycling programs available. G4 TV, in partnership with Earth 911, offers a new campaign encouraging e-gadget reuse and recycling.

6. Make Every Drop Count
* Even though 70 percent of the world is covered by conserve all that we can.
* Turn off the water faucet when brushing your teeth.
* Use your dishwasher and washing machine only when they are full. Try to avoid small, partial loads.
* Compost food scraps instead of using your garbage disposal. You’ll save gallons of water every time and have a great soil amendment for your garden.
* Clean your driveway or sidewalk with a broom instead of hosing it down with water. You’ll save at least 80 gallons of water every time.
* Don’t use running water to thaw food.

7. Turn Up the Savings
* A few degrees can make all the difference in your energy savings and your wallet. In the summer raise your thermostat two degrees. In the winter lower your thermostat two degrees. You probably won’t notice the difference, at least until your utility bill arrives!
* Use a ceiling fan to cool off a room or house. It consumes as little energy as a 60-watt bulb, which is about 98 percent less energy than most central air conditioners.
* Install a programmable thermostat to better regulate the temperature in your house through the day and night. Remember to recycle your old, mercury containing thermostats!
* When replacing an appliance, be sure to look for one that is more energy efficient. Always look for the ENERGY STAR symbol and compare water and energy usage to ensure you get the best product and environmental savings to suit your needs.

8. Clear the Air
* Carpool, ride the bus, use public transportation or bike to work
* Telecommute. Employee productivity will increase.
* Trip chain! Save fuel and time by planning ahead and consolidating trips into one trip. Also, vow to only go to certain, far away stores less frequently.
* Keep your tires inflated to the appropriate air pressure level. This will extend the life of your tires and give you better gas mileage.
* Drive the speed limit.
* Service your car on a regular basis per the manufacturer guidelines.
* In the market for a new car? Consider one of the new hybrid or fuel efficient vehicles.

9. Save A Tree
* Save paper, time and postage; pay your bills online.
* As the price of paper cards and postage increases, consider emailing e-cards. There are lots of fun and environmentally-friendly e-cards and options on the Internet.
* When printing documents, print on both sides of paper. You can cut your paper consumption in almost half. Besides, when printing out a 200 page report, do you REALLY need 200 one-sided pages?
* Email documents and information instead of printing and mailing them.
* Save documents on your computer or on a disk instead of in a print copy in your filing cabinet. You’ll free up lots of space!

10. Home Sweet Home
* Clotheslines are making a comeback—Dry your clothes on the line instead of in the dryer. They will smell better and you will save money (and get some exercise!).
* Use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins. They can be used over and over again and thrown in with your weekly load of towels each week.
* Make your own less toxic cleaning alternatives using baking soda, soap and vinegar. You will save money and your house won’t smell like a hospital!
* When repainting a room, be sure to look for paint that is low VOC (volatile organic compounds). Several manufacturers now offer VOC paints and they don’t leave that paint fume smell!
* Open the doors and windows to let the fresh air in! Indoor air quality is often times worse than the air outside. Open doors and windows daily to circulate fresh air in and germs and smells out.”

Earth911 is a great resource to help you out. I know most of us don’t want to go back to school but do your homework! You’ll not only get that gold star but maybe you’ll get the chance to rip it up with your grand kids.

SO NOW GO SHRED ON THIS BEAUTIFUL EARTH DAY!

~ JC