Tag Archives: Fashion

Welcome Home, Chip & Joanna!

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Image result for Martha Stewart Home Collection

Image result for Martha Stewart Home Collection

Home collections are just one of many product trends these days.  Whether it is sets of plates or bedding sheets, people enjoy purchasing home products from notable brands.  Some brands are basing their strategy around a particular celebrity.  For example, Martha Stewart collaborated with Macy’s to launch her Martha Stewart Home Collection for her audience.  The audiences that enjoy watching Martha Stewart will follow her brand and that includes purchasing goods from the Martha Stewart Home Collection catalog.

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But it isn’t just Macy’s that is collaborating with celebrities for product launches.  Businesses such as Walmart, Home Depot, Petco Store, Kmart, and even Target are working alongside with celebrities for their marketing strategy.  This marketing tactic is useful for two reasons – one is that it raises more awareness of the brands and two is that it increases their daily profits.  What’s also interesting about this strategy is how the two types of brands are flourishing in the long run (Martha Stewart’s collection brings awareness and raises profits for Macy’s and vice-versa!).  Martha Stewart is helping to bring more attention towards Macy’s department stores while Macy’s is drawing consumer’s attention towards Stewart’s brand.

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Image result for Department Store Closing

It’s this kind of idea that help department stores thrive in the 21st century.  Department stores are losing hundreds of thousands of dollars and most brands are losing their business to the point where they have to declare bankruptcy.  With more consumers of the millennial generation shopping online and as retail shopping becomes an idea of the past, department stores are scouting for any game plan to drive in more business.  Target’s newest marketing strategy involves two celebrities from HGTV.

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Image result for hgtv Chip and Joanna

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Fixer-Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines are collaborating with Target to launch their new product line called Hearth & Hand with Magnolia.  The and Hearth & Hand collection will feature over 300 products designed by the home-flipping duo.  Some notable items featured include tables, gifts, pitchers, vases, and other common household items.  Chip and Joanna’s newest home collection will release on November 5th.

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Image result for HGTV Fixer-Upper

Chip and Joanna Gaines star in HGTV’s Fixer-Upper, a real-estate series where the duo ‘flip’ undesired homes into beautiful pieces of art.  Joanna acts as lead designer of the process while Chip manages the realty and construction aspect of the company.  With their powers combined, Chip and Joanna salvage undesired homes and showcasing them as how they always intended to be.  These flips help revitalize whole neighborhoods within the area.  The duo operates under their company Magnolia Homes, a design and remodeling business in Waco, Texas.

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Image result for Hearth & Hand Target

Hearth & Hand with Magnolia is another perfect case study where celebrities are utilized to further the company’s business agenda.  Target is driving more consumers into their stores by working alongside with Chip and Joanna Gaines to create a profitable home collection.  This home collection will definitely be more affordable (especially for millennials!) than their competitors are offering.

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I thought this HGTV+Target home collection collaboration was a fantastic idea!  I always liked the concept of businesses working with celebrities about endorsement deals.  Celebrities bring about tons of attention from the audience and they can certainly steer them towards another particular brand.  Target is definitely on the right path as far as driving more business goes.

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While I don’t watch Fixer-Upper too much, I do think Target is working with an intriguing marketing strategy for their business.  Consumers are much more different now than they were in the 20th century now that social media came into play.  Social media sites introduced consumers into a whole new way of conducting business.  For example, the concept of delivery services only applied to pizza places; nowadays, you can get all kinds of products delivered right to your door (including cannabis!).

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We’ve entered the digital age, with the brick-and-mortar concept slowly dying off.  Retail shopping is becoming a thing of the past and department stores are now being replaced by online sites.  It’s marketing strategies like Target’s collaboration with HGTV that shine the light of hope for the brick-and-mortar concept in this digital world.


The United Airlines Sexist Dress Code Club

Ever since I was a kid, I have been on many airplanes for vacation trips.  I took flights to PRSSA conferences, to California (one of my personal favorite trips!), to Miami for the cruise the next day, and even to Georgia to visit my extended family.  It was always exciting to pack my favorite games to bring with me on the plane.  Now that I’m older and security has tightened up even more around the airlines (thanks to 9/11), getting through the airport is pure HELL.

We used to be hopeful adventurers who were enthusiastic about flying, but now we’ve succumbed to becoming lab rats being pulled into institutionalized buildings where employees scream directions to us every minute. “Take your shoes OFF and put ALL electronic devices into the tray NOW!”, says the disgruntled worker to all passengers.  All this screaming and yelling over basic instructions has decreased our enthusiasm about flying.  If that isn’t enough to cause you to go insane, then you’ll lose it even more when you find out that some airlines won’t let you on board because of the way you are dressed.  This particular scenario happened recently with United Airlines.

Here’s the PR nightmare for today: two girls were boarding a flight in Denver to head back to Minneapolis on Sunday morning.  Since the girls were wearing leggings, United Airlines barred the girls from boarding the flight.  To make matters even more embarrassing, they were forced to change into a dress when the gate agent thought that the leggings were inappropriate.  United Airlines doubled down on their decision through a series of tweets.  This news was first posted by Twitter user Shannon Watts, a passenger who witnessed the scene while boarding a flight to Mexico.

Let me get this straight…two young girls, that weren’t even teenagers yet, were barred and forced to put on a dress because of their style choice.  Not because they wore something that promoted sex/drugs/violence, but simply because they wanted to wear leggings.  Seriously guys…LEGGINGS are what barred the two tween girls from flying United Airlines.  To make matters even worse, they were forced to put on a dress in front of EVERYONE at the gate. This PR nightmare is on another level of stupidity that its hurting my brain.

This sexist story hit the social media bug, causing a wildfire of shocked reactions from users everywhere.  More users were offended by the PR nightmare rather than the girls that decided to wear leggings on board.  Airline companies like Delta took to Twitter to troll United Airlines with their preposterous rule.  Even after the shocking reactions from users appalled by the nightmare, United Airlines STILL stood by with their decision.

Jesus Christ…just when I thought airports couldn’t get even more frustrating.  What is this country coming to?  Since when did we start allowing gate attendants to judge what’s proper clothing for women to wear onboard the airplane?  Not too long ago, people secretly had sex on a plane before landing (which was called ‘joining the Mile-High Club’).  Now we’ve gotten to the point of paranoia that we can’t allow tween girls to wear leggings on board the plane.  This PR nightmare really set a bad tone for United Airlines and their culture.

As a man, I think it’s absolutely preposterous that United Airlines barred the girls just because they wanted to wear leggings.  I could give a shit what women are wearing (whether it’s a big dress or tiny skirt) because I respect women for who they are.  Women should be allowed for choosing what to wear and not feel judged based on some bullshit sexist issues.  If you’re a woman and want to wear leggings on a plane, go ahead and do that (I’ll give you brownie points if they have a pot leaves on them!).  Leggings are an appropriate style choice, not some slutty accessory that would be deemed unacceptable in American culture.

Next time I’m planning a trip, I’ll be sure to wear some leggings before heading to my destination (probably something with pot leaves or horrific monsters as a design!).  There ARE such things as leggings for men and I’ve been thinking about purchasing a pair.  I’ll have to search for some good ones before I’m flying out for vacation.

With that, I call on all women to wear whatever clothes that they enjoy.  You do YOU, girl!  No man/woman can tell you that your fashion sense isn’t deemed ‘appropriate’ to wear!

From the Malls to the Digital World: 21st Century Clothes Shopping

Taking trips to the mall was one of my favorite activities as a teenager.  After a long day of craziness in high school, I saw comfort in roaming around clothing stores at the mall.  I would do some window shopping to look at clothes designed by Ed Hardy or Affliction for hours on end.  While I never had the money for that type of clothing (minimum prices for an Ed Hardy T-shirt started at $50!), I enjoyed the pleasing aesthetics within the store.  Department stores will still in the rage over a decade ago.

But these days, retail brands have taken serious blows in the digital age.  Every year, thousands of department stores are closing up across the country.  From JC Penny to Walmart, more and more stores are closing up after years of being in business.  And these closing pose SERIOUS threats to malls across America.

Back in the 20th century, developers built hundreds of malls across the nation every decade.  From the 1960s to 2000, hundreds of malls were constructed to house various retail companies; these malls provided spaces for retail stores to conduct business with their customers.  But since 2010, only 9 new malls have been developed.  Nowadays the country has too many malls/shopping centers and sales within the stores have been declining.

So why are so many retail brands closing their stores?  What caused the slumping sales all across America?  And since the economy has been better since the recession 8 years ago, why are retail brands still not improving their profits?

Well folks, our answers to the questions started when smartphones were released.  Smartphones were released in 2009 and gained massive popularity over the past few years.  With the rise of smartphones comes hundreds of apps that people could download for their phones.  What kinds of apps are people downloading, you may ask?  Shopping apps, of course!

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More and more consumers are connecting to the digital world, discovering better shopping deals through their mobile apps.  And it isn’t just mobile apps that’s causing the destruction of the mall era.  Increased competition from stores like Costco and Amazon have turned people to their laptops/desktop computers to complete their online shopping at home.  People are finding better deals on Amazon, thus taking their business from the mall to the digital world.  At this point, you can complete your shopping agenda in your bathrobe and binge-watch your favorite shows on Netflix!

Clothes shopping these days doesn’t just involve driving to a mall for those sales and this creates a serious blow to department stores everywhere.  The Brick and mortar concept has now been replaced with an IPad and a few shopping apps.  And with new industries slowly being socially acceptable in society (the cannabis industry, for example!), business will have to think outside the box to reel in potential customers to increase profits.

What kind of future will we see for the cannabis industry as we jump into the digital bandwagon?  Would there less retail dispensaries operating since people can purchase their products online?  We’re already seeing delivery options popping up in retail cannabis stores (within Colorado, California and Oregon just name a few!), so brick and mortar cannabis shops could quickly become a thing of the past!  Who knows, there could be less dispensaries opening up in MA since people would order their cannabis strains online for delivery.

I’ve been hearing a lot about these department store closings lately and it was interesting to see what the causes were!  Going to Liberty Tree Mall was such a fun activity as a teenager and it’s sad to see malls slowly closing their doors.  In this day and age, I could complete all of my shopping without even stepping outside of my apartment.  I own an Android phone as well, but I do enjoy exploring stores around Newbury Street in Boston.  There are some amazing smoke shops around Boston as well and the employees are knowledgeable on the products.

Who knows what the future holds for malls all across America.  As we move closer and closer to 2020, we are slowly transitioning into what could be a digital nation.  Retail brands will have to leave their 20th century thinking behind to catch up with our plugged-in world.

Saugus Hilltop Community: Shop, Dine, Live!

One special landmark I’ve been to plenty of times was the Hilltop Steak House.  Located in Route 1 of Saugus, the Hilltop Steak House was a landmark restaurant in the Greater Boston area.  People came in to check out their steaks, chicken, and even seafood entrees that the restaurant served.  I remember coming into the Hilltop Steak House a few times with my family and the food was absolutely delicious!

Unfortunately, the Hilltop Steak House closed its doors in 2013.  The decline of their business was due to increased competition, a continued change of demographic in the town of Saugus, and increased costs to run the restaurant.  It was amazing restaurant while it lasted, but time and money became the main factors in its decline.  Everything within the landmark has been torn down, except the Hilltop cactus.

So what does the new chapter hold for the Hilltop Steak House area?  What kind of development will we see in the future?  Could this new entry improve the deserted area that used to be the infamous Hilltop Steak House restaurant?

Well there actually is going to be a restaurant developed in the designated area…multiple restaurants that is!  Senior vice president of Boston development for AvalonBay Communities Michael Roberts plans to transform the former restaurant into a housing and retail outlet.  The infamous cactus sign will continue to stay up, but new lighting and other renovations will be made to coincide with the brand’s new identity in Saugus.

AvalonBay Communities is looking to build about 24,000 square feet of retail space that would be built near the front of the 14-acre site, with 280 residential units placed towards the back.  Roberts remarked that retail space would fit between three and six retailers, depending on their size.  Their hoping to find tenants with background experience in both the restaurant and coffee shop industry.  These presentations were announced yesterday at a public meeting and it will still need town approvals to move ahead with the projects.

No other information has been spread about what kind of businesses will open, but they’re looking to add a few restaurants in the mix.  They should definitely consider opening a new steak house (to continue the Hilltop Steak House spirit that is!).  It’ll be interesting to see what type of restaurants will be opening that would appeal with the ever-changing demographic in Saugus.  If not restaurants, there’s definitely some opportunity to provide new businesses/services in the area (how about a recreational cannabis dispensary?  It wouldn’t be close to the schools and it would generate more foot traffic within that area again!).

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see what’s in stores for the Hilltop Steak House area.  Restaurants are always great, but it would be nice to see some other businesses operating as well.  Hopefully we’ll see some attractions that will persuade people to roam around Saugus sometime.

I’m hoping for some great restaurants to operate in the Hilltop Steak House area.  The Hilltop Steak House was an amazing restaurant and it would be an insult to NOT provide any steakhouses there!  These plans won’t be kicking in anytime soon, but it is interesting to see what developers are thinking about to help the town of Saugus.

This is more than just about some historic steakhouse; it’s about developers brainstorming ways to transform a deserted landmark into a goldmine for Saugus.  Saugus took a pretty big hit with the Hilltop Steak House closing and now their new scenario deals with keeping the old audiences while staying on top of the latest trends to rake in the new demographics.  Could a new steakhouse be the solution to Saugus’s scenario?  Would the ever-changing demographics even be satisfied with the Avalon Bay Communities new plans?

We’ll have to wait and see if these development plans will be put into place in the near future.  For now, let’s take this moment to reminisce on an amazing steakhouse restaurant on Route 1 of Saugus that once was the Hilltop Steakhouse.

Golden Globe 2017 Highlights

Greetings, fellow readers!  Hope everyone had a good weekend (also hope that my New England region readers were keeping warm!).  Was going to post some good content, but I caught a random stomach bug that eradicated most of my motivation over the past few days.  Feeling MUCH better now and ready to kick off the week with a bang!

The Patriots weren’t playing on Sunday (it was their bye week), but the next best thing aired that night: The Golden Globe Awards.  Today is all about discussing the highlights from the Golden Globes.  From the glitz/glamour of the Red Carpet to celebrities cracking the best political jokes, it was quite an eventful night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.  Here were some memorable moments from this year’s Golden Globes:

Red Carpet

It was a beautiful sunny day in Beverly Hills as the celebrities exited their limos and out onto the Red Carpet.  All the hottest actors/actresses arrived looking absolutely stunning.

Sylvester Stallone, one of the presenters of the show, arrived with his family.  40 years after the release of Rocky and Stallone looks just as badass as ever.  What was even more impressive was his wife and daughters all dressed in black.  If there’s any squad to join, it HAS to be with the Stallones.  Can we get a ‘Stallone Squad’ shoutout right here?   #StalloneSquad.

Besides Stallone’s badass squad, Vince Vaughn rolled in looking dapper as well.  The funny comedian got serious about Mel Gibson’s nominated film Hacksaw Ridge where Vaughn plays Sergeant Howell.  Hacksaw Ridge was released on November 4th, 2016 and raked in $137,300,000 in the box office so far.

Casey Affleck dropped by the Red Carpet to discuss his newest film Manchester by the Sea.  What was more interesting than his movie was the beard/manbun combo he was sporting.  I hope that he sports that look during his new film!

Steve Carrell & Kristin Wiig Animated Film Gag

Kristin Wiig & Steve Carrell presented the award for Best Animated Feature in the most humorous way possible: creating a dark story from animated films.  Carrell told the story of how his parents got divorced when he was six years old on “Fantasia” day.  Wiig got even more depressing with her experience of putting her 3 dogs down the same day she saw Bambi in theatres.  Note that none of these were true stories, but they made for a hysterical presentation.  Kudos to Steve and Kristin for presenting the category through black humor!

Andrew Garfield & Ryan Reynolds = Randyan ❤

Ok…I don’t know HOW I missed this, but there was some pure GOLD that happened on the Golden Globes.  So here’s what happened: Ryan Gosling won for Best Performance by Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical, or Comedy for his lead role in La La Land.  Gosling was shocked as he accepted his award, but what was happening in the background was even MORE shocking.  While Ryan was heading up to the stage, Ryan Reynolds and Andrew Garfield were seen in the background…making out.  SERIOUSLY…Ryan Reynolds and Andrew Garfield making out during the Golden Globe Awards.  YOU GUYS…I CAN’T!

I’ve heard that California was the land of fruits & nuts…but DAMN!  We have a new couple to watch for and it’s Randyan!


La La Land was a common film within the show that won all 7 awards that they were nominated for.  Moonlight grabbed 1 Globe, but it was a major win for the motion picture.  Ryan Murphy’s The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story swept through the TV categories by taking home 5 awards.  American Horror Story: Roanoke didn’t receive any nominations, but Murphy’s other series certainly took over the TV categories.

Cecil b. Demille Award – Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep won the Cecil b. Demille Award for this year’s Golden Globe.  She accepted the award in her black dress with sparkly, colorful flowers hanging around her neck (she looked ABSOLUTELY stunning!).  After accepting her award, she used her speech to take a few jabs over the presidential election that happened in November 2016.  You better watch out, folks!  Streep isn’t messing around these days, even after receiving her Cecil B. Demille Award!

“My First Job”

This was an interesting segment where some celebrities discussed their very first job.  Some of them seemed common while others were just flat-out strange.  American Horror Story alumni Sarah Paulson mentioned that her first job before acting was a waitress for a restaurant.  You see folks?  Celebrities were JUST like us before they got famous!  They’ve struggled through terrible jobs before landing their big role in Hollywood.

So another Golden Globe Awards has come and gone.  There was glitz, there was glamour, there was even some celebs making out in some shots.  All in all, it was another crazy award show in Hollywood.  Now’s the time to start heading to the theaters to check out these films.