My favorite Alt Summit business cards

Anyone who follows the Alt Summit twitter feed knows that business cards are a REALLY BIG DEAL at Alt. Attendees spend weeks brainstorming ideas, DIYing elements and creating some of the most amazing and unique biz cards I have ever seen. I feel like I must admit that I didn’t spend quite as much time on my card. Don’t get me wrong, I obsessed over spacing and double, triple and quadruple-checked for typos I already knew weren’t there, but for the most part I utilized design elements that already existed on my website. While I love the idea of having one of those cards that everyone talks about, I also realize I am not a DIYer or designer, so as long as my card delivers the necessary info with a bit of personality, I’m more than happy.

I collected tons of cards (Literally dozens! Maybe even a hundred or more!) and they all have something that makes them pop. Seriously, there are no duds in the group! I decided to select my six favorites (originally it was five, but then I couldn’t narrow it down) and share them with you. After picking my faves, I can see that I have some pretty obvious aesthetic preferences. Choosing my top Alt business cards was a hard job, but someone had to do it, right?  Take a look and let them inspire you!

Favorite Alt Summit CardsAlt Summit Business Cards

Clockwise from top: Pinegate Road // Courtney Callahan // Jess Lively // Cloth & Kind // Bucket of Squash// Paper & Stitch

Looking for more Alt Summit posts? Check here, here and here.

Warby Parker #1
You know how every once in a while you discover a company and are just amazed by how cool it is? Well that’s how I feel about eyewear company Warby Parker. I’ve known about the company for a while, but it wasn’t until I recently saw my Dad wearing a pair that I knew I needed to order some for myself as well.

Warby Parker, which is named after characters from Jack Kerouac’s unpublished journals (see, I told you they’re cool!), was founded by four friends who wanted to produce affordable eyewear. Each and every one of their frames with lenses included costs $95 which is about the best deal you will ever find on glasses. Trust me, as someone who has worn glasses since 5th grade, I know this for a fact.  Not only are Warby Parker’s glasses affordable and impeccably stylish, but the company boasts an admirable and inspiring business model.

Warby Parkers Webb
Similar to the TOMS model (which I’ve talked about before here), Warby Parker donates one pair of glasses to someone in need (via their partners at VisionSpring), for each pair of glasses that customers purchase. It’s easy to compare Warby Parker and TOMS and think there must be competition between the two companies (this was my initial thought), but after a little internet research I found out that wasn’t the case at all.

Here’s a great quote from Warby Parker founder Neil Blumenthal from an interview with Halogen TV: 

“Obviously, I want people to buy as many Warby Parker glasses as possible. But, I don’t think it’s an “either or” situation. It’s not Warby Parker vs. TOMS, it’s Warby Parker and TOMS both trying to encourage other companies to give back and don’t just take my word for it.”  

Later in the interview he continues on to say:

“I think TOMS has been amazing at helping unleash this compassionate consumerism that has been emerging over the last decade. They’ve given an outlet to people to purchase with their heart. I think the world needs more TOMs and more Warby Parkers. The problems that we face are too big for individuals or nonprofits or governments to tackle on their own. We need for-profit companies being active participants and problem-solving. And I think TOMS is a great example of this. I think Warby Parker is a great example of this. Earlier brands like Patagonia and others also have similar ethos. Ethos Water is a great example.”

How inspiring, right? Hopefully we will see more and more companies pick up business models like Warby Parker and TOMS and run with it. There is definitely more than enough room out there for this type of model in the corporate landscape.

In addition to Warby Parker’s forward-thinking business model, they boast a unique process for customers to personalize their shopping experience and easily find the right pair of specs. Since they are mainly based online, WP offer an at-home try-on program that I used to test the product. You pick five pairs of frames from their website and they mail out your picks to test out for five days, then you simply send them back. The system couldn’t have been any easier.

This was my experience with Warby Parker and I was so impressed I decided to put together a little VideoBite to share the joy.

Niel started this company because he was one of those “‘I want to change the world’ guys but I did not know exactly how.” For all of us that also want to be part of a change, we can spread the word about fabulous and inspiring companies like Warby Parker.

 

Now, I just have to decide which pair to order. Or should I order more to try on…

 

Wayfare Magazine

03.02.12

Wayfare-Pilot-1

*Photo from Wayfare wesbite

Have any of you read the new travel magazine Wayfare yet? If you haven't seen it yet, I must insist that you drop everything and check it out. I haven't been this excited about an internet discovery in quite some time.

The new digital magazine about "the art of the journey" has its pilot issue now available via the Wayfare website for your viewing pleasure. The magazine has a fanstastic layout and stunning pictures. I love the concept of an all digital magazine with numerous interactive components. You can actually click on tons of direct links spread all throughout the magazine, so if they mention a specific piece of music there is a link to listen to the song. If Wayfare recommends a far flung hotel or a unique boutique there is a link to that particular business' homepage. The magazine feels fresh and innovative in both content and form and I'm excited to check out the next issue.  

Happy reading!

 

I am a huge fan of Anthropologie. I love all their clothes and have always been impressed with their customer service and branding. They are one of the few companies where I actually look forward to receiving each new catalogue in the mail, because they are beautfiully photographed, nicely designed and they make me want to buy every new item in stock.

Screen Shot 2011-11-13 at 1.36.45 PM
*Pic from the Anthro website

For example, the cover of the latest catalogue just made me swoon. I want to drive a little mini car in Europe with a Christmas tree on it! This week, I also recieved their latest newsletter and am really digging it.  First off, I am recently obsessed with email newsletters that have video embeds in them (TOMS just did one as well) and not only does the new Anthro newletter have a video, but it's holiday themed. Yipee!  Click on the link and it brings you to a page of holiday cheer called 'The Branch Bunch' where you can select and send two dozen or so digital greeting cards, all of which are adorable.

111011_trim
*Pic from the Anthro Novemeber newsletter

So cute! Keep up the great work, Anthropologie!

Happy shopping :)

 

It's finally Friday, woot woot! This was a long week and I am really looking forward to the weekend. 

For your listening pleasure, here is "Kids" by blog phenom duo Sleigh Bells.

 

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Art in the Streets Outdoor Sign

With the in-laws in town, the Husband and I had a perfect excuse to finally make it to a few exhibits we’ve been meaning to go to. The first stop was MOCA’s ‘Art in the Streets’. I had pretty high expectations for the exhibit after hearing great reviews and I am happy to report that it exceeded my high expectations.

Art in the Streets Sign I pretty much loved the show as soon as I walked in the door. Actually, I loved it before we even got in the front door. It took us now time to get downtown, we found a cheap lot directly across the street (score!) and we saw some cool street art on the way to the museum, so the success rate for the day was already high.

As you walk into the exhibit, you start down a chronological history of street art and get some background on how the movement started, where and by whom. I didn’t really know anything about street art as an actual art form, so the exhibit was as informative as it was hip and inspiring. Maybe my next art project should be graffiti-ing the side wall of my duplex. Just kidding! The landlord would not like that at all.

The exhibit itself is huge and has multiple rooms and levels to look at. There are installations, movies, photos, pretty much anything you can imagine there being, was there. The layout was also great because it never felt crowded although there were a good amount of people there. Here are a few of my favorite pieces.

Mural Outside of Art in the Streets

WOW Art in the Streets Crayon Gun - Art in the Streets

Husband in front of Spray Cans at Art in the Streets Banksy at Art in the Streets
Seriously, check this show out. You wont regret it! Also make sure to check out the Levi’s film lab which is attached to the exhibit. We didn’t have the time to stick around, but I’m hoping to make it back down to the lab for some of the special events.

Outside the LACMA

Our next stop was the LACMA to see the Tim Burton exhibit. I also had high hopes for this show and although the art work was great, my expectations were not quite met. Let me explain…

You have to buy your tix ahead of time and the tickets are sold for one hour blocks. As soon as you get into the exhibit you are surrounded by a sea of people all trying to look at the same picture/model/etc that you are. Although the pieces are amazing, I don’t think the layout of the exhibit suited the crowd that was there. If you are a Tim Burton fan or just want to see a different type of art show, I would still recommend going, but I would suggest trying for an off time (if there are any). Since I am a LACMA member I definitely plan on returning to the exhibit during a Members Only night and actually listening to the headset tour thing in order to learn a bit more about Tim Burton, because after going to this show I realized I don’t know very much about him and I haven’t seen very many of his movies. I must add Beetlejuice and Edward Sissorhands to my movie queue. I’m not sure how I missed out on these movies because they seem to be staples in movie history, especially for my particular age bracket.

One more note: the LACMA does not allow photography inside the Tim Burton exhibit, so I grabbed a pic from the LACMA website showing one of his sketches.

Burtonmain
Happy adventuring!

In order to counteract the horrible Los Angeles weather (June gloom to the max), I decided to make a very summery purchase.

Toms sunglasses- small smile
I present my news TOMS sunglasses. Not the best pic, but you get the idea (it’s really hard to take a self-portrait with an iphone…husband has the real camera today). Anyways, it was a bit of an impulse purchase, but once the idea was in my head there was no use trying to fight it.

In addition to loving the sunglasses, I love everything about the packaging, from the box they come in, to the case and cleaning cloth. Isn’t it fantastic?!

TOMS Sunglasses Box
Full TOMS package

I’ve been a fan of Toms for quite some time and think it’s a super cool company. I love the promise of ‘One for One’ and think its great that by purchasing something I need (well… want might be a better word) I am helping someone else out.

For a company that is only a few years old, they have incredible customer loyalty. Almost everyone I know who owns Toms shoes has more than one pair (myself included). I’m sure everyone who owns any TOMS product can also tell you exactly how the company started, and what their mission is.

I’ve often wondered exactly how their business model is structured since they seem to be a non-rpofit/for profit hybrid. I did a little digging on the website and found this:

“Is TOMS a non-profit organization? TOMS is a for-profit company with giving at its core. With our One for One™ mission, TOMS transforms our customers into benefactors which allows us to grow a truly sustainable business rather than depending on fundraising for support. This model has enabled us to give at a rapid rate and created thousands of customer-philanthropists along the way.” TOMS WebsiteI love the idea that by purchasing shoes or sunglasses we are becoming benefactors. For every pair of shoes purchased, a pair is donated to a child in need and for every pair of sunglasses purchased, vision services are provided. It makes you wonder what would happen if more companies operated with a similar business model…

So, do you want to be part of the TOMS movement?

 

"Wish you the top, top, top, top of the morning" 

Take a listen to Patrick Wolf's "The City". It will make your day better. Promise.

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Griffith Park Sunrise