Archive for the ‘business’ Category

dilemma of craft vs. cheap

Monday, January 4th, 2010


When I was at mall last week in search for an inexpensive dress for New Years, I saw a very familiar knit ‘hat’ in one of the teeny-bopper stores. It was the EXACT SAME style, hand-knit hat that I had bought just last year around Christmas time from Volang, during my (seemingly annual) trip to Union Square, NYC.

Of course, this mass produced product, selling at the mall was less than one-third the price of hat from Volang where, at the Christmas stall, I was able to chat with the craftswoman who made the very hat I wear during these cold months. I suppose this goes hand-in-hand with knock-off and counterfeit luxury brand items. But, at what point does one go for quality and personal touch over price? People want to be fashionable, yet purchase items that are affordable. And even if items are affordable and supporting independent artists and designers, they’re hard to locate. There are very few outlets other than Etsy, which has been saturated with “junk” where people can purchase or browse independent designs. You could try checking out Supermarket, but the best part of experiencing the craftsmanship is actually getting to touch and feel the products! Oh the dilemma…! end rant.

On a side note, the reason I really enjoy shopping so much when traveling is because it allows me to explore new (or old) cities, while hunting for specialty items.. (outside of touristy areas, of course!) Can’t wait for the new adventures that 2010 hold 🙂 Stay tuned!

ABC (Already Been Chewed) Cookie Cutters and Uniqueness

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010


Hoping that everyone had a great holiday season and a wonderful new year!

I was itching to make this post earlier, but couldn’t give away the gift I used for my family Secret Santa. So, here it is -adorable holiday cookie cutters by WorldwideFred that were found during holiday shopping in NYC. Oddly (or not so oddly), I found them at Henri Bendel, located at 712 5th Avenue.

Initially, I would have never expected such a quirky gift from a prestigious fashion retailer, but after being delighted to have found a unique gift, I made the connection –uniqueness. Retailers are constantly on the search to differentiate themselves and be trend setters. They need to offer clients and customers a reason to come back. Is that reason pure product quality? Affordability? Luxury? Variety? It’s a combination of a many differentiators which range from the convenience of a one-stop-shop or being a specialty store to selling the customer service experience. Regardless the exact strategy at Henri Bendel, I was happily surprised and excited to have found WorldWideFred products there and would certainly go back to find that ‘special’ gift. It seems like a mission accomplished for both retailer and gift-hunter.

the future of food by Philips Design

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009


Looking at how we currently source and eat our food with today’s social trends, Philips Design conceptualized the possibility that could exist in 15-20 years. The first of 3 concepts shown above is the “Nutrition Monitor” which helps visualize the amount of food each person in the household eats and the nutritional needs of the individual. It tells the user the amount to eat based on the their health and body requirements.

These beautifully simplified concepts from Philips Design address our societal issues of obesity, the food we choose to eat, and sourcing food locally. Next 2 concepts after the jump.


Alessi’s OrienTales: a whimsical east meets west

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009


Alessi‘s OrienTales by Stefano Giovannoni.

In collaboration with the National Palace Museum of Taiwan, Giovannoni shows his ability to provide everyday utensils with a playful slant in this new collection that provided for the creation of the corresponding book OrienTales – Eastern stories through Western eyes.

See or buy individual pieces at AllModern.

via Otto

Goods of Desire re-interprets food as gift

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

G.O.D. (Goods of Desire) is one of my must-see stores whenever in Hong Kong. I love seeing all the expressive east-meets-west lifestyle elements. However, this press release has me both excited and disappointed.


These tasty roll-bustos have an irresistible charcoal grilled aroma. They are made from natural egg white and black sugar. Egg white is full of protein and is low in cholesterol. In the production process, natural minerals and vitamins that are beneficial to health have been carefully retained. It is a delicious treat with tea and coffee.

From cigars to eggrolls: brilliant concept, but are they trying to sell me the wonderfully novel idea or the supposedly great health benefits? What do you think?

Visit G.O.D to learn more about their concept and the products they carry. Visit them in 3 HK locations here.

Gijs Bakker at Harvard GSD

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Gijs Bakker, one of the founders of Droog Design, spoke at the Harvard Graduate School of Design tonight.



jumbo-jet to Jumbo Hostel

Monday, January 5th, 2009



Jumbo Hostel is a Boeing 747-200 converted into a hostel at the entrance of the Stockholm-Arlanda Airport in Sweden. It sounds like a great, affordable way to layover for the night to ensure that you won’t miss your flight (unless you get confused-since you’re already on a plane)!

25 rooms with most three beds in each. All together, the hostel offers 72 beds; one more luxurious are to be found at the uper deck.  The aircraft’s cockpit has been converted into a de luxe suite with parts of the original interior saved as curiosities.

Book your bed beginning January 15. One night is about US$45 (350SEK).

via Core77

STRANGEco: 2d fine art to 3d commercialization

Thursday, December 11th, 2008


STRANGEco vinyl toys are inspired by PopCulture 2d illustrators and artists. The 2d illustrations are brought to 3-dimensional life for commercialization and play. It’s quite an exciting way to bring fine art into mass production, along with educating the consumer to appreciate such work. Above limited edition piece titled “Turtle Camper” by Jeremy Fish, which is about living and traveling in your own head.


I’ve also been seeing these Mr. TTT in a lot of places lately (maybe because of the holiday season?), but never delved further until Jim Crawford of STRANGEco spoke at the ICA/AIGA speaker series.

NYC weekend recap: food

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008


Brilliant concept #1: Brunch at Cafetaria (24/7 breakfast at a trendy joint).


Brilliant concept #2: Delicious, vegetarian, egg free, yeast free doughnuts at DoughnutPlant

Sarah’s Smash Shack, San Diego

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008


I didn’t have the best of days today and coincidently heard a short report about Sarah’s Smash Shack on the radio during my drive home this evening! Too bad it’s all the way out in San Diego, CA. But what a great business concept! Choose from a “menu” of breakables and go into the “Break room” to express your emotions, whatever they may be or just go in to have some fun that you wouldn’t at home 🙂 Plus broken glass and ceramic is donated to local mosaic artists.

aah, knowing that this place exists makes me feel better already!

YouTube Video Report and YouTube Fun with Photos and more at

designing Target

Thursday, September 18th, 2008


There were 4 Target’s Bullseye Bodegas open for 4 days in NYC.  Sounds like an interesting store concept that carried designer-named designs for Target products.

Now, ever wonder where these name-designers got themselves into Target? Your answer at Target’s Design Scout from BusinessWeek

Bodegas via NotCot

Business tips for Women

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Came across a new blog today: BizChicksRule which links to many more in her blogroll. Learn about networking, self-promotion, business planning, marketing+branding, career management, and much more. Wow, I think I’m only now discovering (or finally realizing) the vastness that exists on the internet…

Relates to my previous post and the Design*Sponge resources.