Monday, June 12, 2017

Selling Fashion Through Social Media?

Five years ago, teaching assistant Alice Hall was struggling to pay her mortgage, despite having three jobs. To help pay the bills she bought a £90 pack of eight dresses and then sold them on eBay for £240..

Her mother, Julie Blackie, advised her to reinvest the money, and she did. Eventually, when Hall’s 30-minute lunch breaks became too short to dispatch all the customers’ orders from the local post office, mother and daughter decided to focus on the business. In its first financial year, Pink Boutique turned over £500,000.

During a single day last month it sold 3,500 garments for £101,000. This year’s turnover is expected to be £22m. Central to its success is “its close connection” to the target 18- to 35-year-old customer, says Chris Tighe in the Financial Times. The company, which advertises solely on social media, has 336,000 followers on Instagram and 1.3 million Facebook fans. In five years, Pink Boutique has taken off without borrowing or a business plan. With a stock shelf life of about 12 weeks, the firm is “part of a wave of low-cost, fast-fashion online retailers”.

The Doctor Peddling Smart Drugs

Doctor Molly Maloof optimise's health instead of just fixing illnesses, says Michael Coren in Quartz. Her concierge medicine practice in Silicon Valley charges patients $5,000 for an initial assessment, while comprehensive care can cost more than $40,000 a year. Her clients are often engineers and executives “looking to hit peak performance, or recover from an overstressed work life”. Maloof’s data-heavy approach begins with a battery of tests – measuring thousands of bio markers in all – to understand her patients at the cellular level.

After analyzing the results, Maloof (pictured) prescribes a diet and lifestyle tailored to each individual. If needed, she also helps patients practise harm reduction with nootropics – “smart drugs” designed to enhance cognitive function – and micro-doses of LSD. Some investors are betting this approach will become standard, with start-ups such as Color Genomics, Forward and Nootrobox aiming to go mainstream. “In a perfect world, your body is like the airplane and I’m the co-pilot and we’re using all these tools to identify if there are issues going wrong with the engine,” Maloof says.

Investors Bedazzled By Bike Sidelights

When Dan Goldwater first attached kaleidoscopic LED lights to the spokes of his bicycle wheels, festival crowds were “wowed”, says Christie Hemm Klok in The New York Times. But Goldwater couldn’t at first see how to make a commercial project out of it. Today, his company MonkeyLectric has been in business for ten years, “convincing night cyclists that front and back lights are inadequate and that they need bright side lighting too”. Cyclists pay $25 to $60 for a set of lights to attach to their bicycle wheels, and MonkeyLectric makes $1m in sales annually.

The product is a result of Goldwater’s time as an electrical engineer at the MIT Media Lab, where he was researching smart paint and self-assembling robots. Twelve years ago he made what he calls “a monumental art piece” – the bicycle with kaleidoscope wheels. MonkeyLectric sits at the intersection of safety and art, “with an overlay of whimsy”. When the wheels spin, they produce rotating light shows with various designs. The market is growing as more and more people start commuting on bicycles. MonkeyLectric has raised capital via Kickstarter several times. On the last occasion, it raked in $248,331.

The “Millennial Whisperer” Helping The Young Grow Their Savings

“For someone who built a career on getting what it means to be cool”, Acorns’ chief executive Noah Kerner is not – “at least not in the aloof, exclusive way 2017 seems to deem desirable”, says James Watkins on Kerner is a “millennial whisperer”, according to Jeff Cruttenden, the man who recruited him to run Acorns, a start-up that helps low-income earners to save and invest. The firm targets “the 182 million Americans who make under $100,000”, rounding up their card purchases to the nearest dollar and directing these micro-investments into passive exchange-traded funds. Today, around 1.8 million account holders save with Acorns.

Almost 70% of Americans have under $1,000 in savings and Acorns aims to “democrat[ise] access to the financial industry” for them. Kener is “a product and marketing guru” with expertise across hip-hop culture and brand consultancy. Before Acorns, he was the co-founder and chief executive of Noise, a product development and marketing agency that helped firms from Intel to Vice connect with “millennials”. Together with Chase Bank, Noise created a credit-card product aimed at college students that became the first product to launch on Facebook.

Raised in Manhattan, Kerner showed an entrepreneurial spirit early by selling baseball cards. When he received a set of turntables at 13, “everything changed”. As a self-taught DJ, he worked his way up playing at events in New York’s hip-hop scene. The gigs funded most of his economics and psychology degree from Cornell University, during which time he interned at firms such as Merrill Lynch and Vibe magazine.

By 28, Kerner had founded online hip-hop culture marketplace OneLevel, music agency Soundproof, and Noise. In 2010, London-based Engine Group acquired Noise and Kerner started working with various start-ups as an investor, adviser and board member. Six months after investing in Acorns and serving as a mentor to Cruttenden, its co-founder, he was asked to run the business. “He’s a brilliant product builder, marketer and branding mind,” says Cruttenden.

Guest Authored By Alice Gråhns. Alice is a Journalist for MoneyWeek, the UK's Best Selling Financial Magazine. She's from Stockholm - London. Follow Alice on Twitter

MONEY MAKERS - Selling Fashion Through Social Media!

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    • Authored by:
      Fred Hansen Pied Piper of Social Media Marketing at & CEO of Millennium 7 Publishing Co. in Loveland, Colorado. I work deep in the trenches of social media strategy, community management and trends.  My interests include; online business educator, social media marketing, new marketing technology, skiing, hunting, fishing and The Rolling Stones..-Not necessarily in that order ;)
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