The 12 Biggest Downsides to Buying New Construction

Many prospective homeowners dream of buying a brand-new house, or having one built to their specifications. But a number of disadvantages come along with the excitement of owning a home in which no one else has ever lived. In fact, a brand-new house isn’t always better than one with a few more miles on it. Before you start interviewing contractors and looking at lots in new subdivisions, consider these downsides to buying new construction.
Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert

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Gundlach recommends buying rate volatility on long maturity U.S. Treasuries: Sohn

Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive officer of DoubleLine Capital, said on Monday at the Sohn Investment Conference that his best idea for investors is to buy interest rate volatility on long maturity…


Reuters: Wealth

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5.3.19 How to handle buying travel insurance before a trip; Clark Stinks

Travel insurance can be confusing. Clark talks about where to shop for travel insurance and how to know if you need it or not; Christa reads listener posts about how Clark has missed the mark in his advice this week. If you have a “Clark Stinks” to share you can leave it here.

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The post 5.3.19 How to handle buying travel insurance before a trip; Clark Stinks appeared first on Clark Howard.

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Back To School Sale – Get up to 40% OFF stylish footwear at Payless.com

Verizon Looking to Sell Tumblr After Destroying It By Removing Adult Content, PornHub Interested in Buying and ‘Restoring It to Its Former Glory’

Late last year, Tumblr announced that it would start banning all adult content.

Late last year was also the last time most people logged into Tumblr.

According to The Wall Street Journal, that Verizon has approached other companies in recent weeks that may be interested in buying Tumblr.

via The Verge:

On Thursday evening, Pornhub VP Corey Price claimed in a statement to BuzzFeed News that his company is “extremely interested” in buying Tumblr and “very much looking forward to one day restoring it to its former glory with NSFW content.” The company did not say whether it has actually made any legitimate offer to Verizon, however.

Price is referring to a major change implemented late last year, when Tumblr took the controversial step of banning porn on its platform. The company has been using AI to detect and automatically block images and videos that contain certain adult content. Existing posts containing porn were made private and are no longer publicly accessible. The move resulted in harsh criticism toward the company and a steep decline in web traffic, but Tumblr has given no indication that it plans to reverse its decision. Pornhub quickly sought to attract those users that Tumblr drove away.Tumblr itself was acquired by Yahoo for $ 1.1 billion in 2013 during the Marissa Mayer era as an attempt to revitalize and steer new, younger users to the sinking internet staple. But Yahoo never really knew what to do with Tumblr, and the micro-blogging site — with its millions of personal blogs and some of the weirdest, best things on the internet — did nothing to reverse Yahoo’s business fortunes.

Verizon finalized its $ 4.5 billion acquisition of Yahoo in 2017, which led to it taking ownership of Tumblr. Tumblr is currently part of Verizon Media Group (formerly Oath), the umbrella brand for digital properties that Verizon ultimately controlled after its two buyouts of AOL and Yahoo. The Journal notes that Verizon’s attempt to offload Tumblr comes as it tries to make the best of its collective media business after a $ 4.6 billion write-down last year, which was essentially an acknowledgement that both deals had been a mistake. Verizon sold one of its Yahoo assets, Flickr, to SmugMug about a year ago. Guru Gowrappan, the executive put in charge of Verizon Media Group last year, later criticized that sell-off as too time-consuming without enough reward.

But publicly, Verizon executives remain committed to the properties despite layoffs that have affected some of the sites and entertainment divisions. “I hope there is no doubt about our commitment to Verizon Media Group and how it fits into our whole strategy,” CEO Hans Vestberg said earlier this week, according to the Journal. Tumblr, it seems, is not necessarily part of that strategy. But now the question becomes whether there’s even a viable buyer for the platform in 2019 that won’t let it slowly wither away.

Listen, we’re all adults here — PornHub stepping in wouldn’t be a bad idea.

The post Verizon Looking to Sell Tumblr After Destroying It By Removing Adult Content, PornHub Interested in Buying and ‘Restoring It to Its Former Glory’ appeared first on lovebscott – celebrity news.

lovebscott – celebrity news

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Bitcoin Buying Machines Installed In Over 2000 US Locations

Coinme, the largest Bitcoin kiosk network in the world, expanded its Bitcoin buying machine services in the United States by installing more than 2100 Bitcoin ATMs across 19 states in collaboration with Coinstar.

Coinme became the first licensed Bitcoin kiosk company in the US in 2014.

Coinme CEO and co-founder Neil Bergquist said that after its success in select Albertsons and Safeway stores a
RTT – Top Story

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Duplicates in Your Menswear Wardrobe – Buying Multiples of the Same Item

When you first set out on the path to finding your own personal style, variety is the name of the game. You’ll want to try different colors, styles and patterns: glen check, houndstooth , and windowpane; tassel, penny, and horsebit loafers; linen, fresco and seersucker summer jackets. But when you have satisfied your thirst for collecting variety, you’ll discover the value, as well as the risk, of having duplicates in your classic menswear closet.

Multiples of the Same Item

Plain white dress shirt - simple and neat
Plain white dress shirt – you can never have too many

The most common item (not counting underwear) of which a man will own multiples will be white dress shirts. They’re a staple item that you might wear multiple times a week, so you’ll need duplicates unless you like to do laundry every day. If you prefer a particular brand and fit, it’s definitely safe to acquire more than one white shirt, because you’re bound to use them. Another common item to duplicate is suit pants. Because pants wear out faster than jackets, many guys will order a second pair to prolong the time they can wear the suit, since you can patch jacket elbows but not fix a worn seat. Moreover, it will be nearly impossible to match fabrics in a certain number of years when the first pair wears out. These are no-brainers for getting two (or more) of the same item.

Hopefully Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola has a duplicate pair of suit pants

However, be careful, as a rule, about buying multiples of the same item on impulse. Many of us have had the experience of absolutely falling in love with a new article of clothing. We treat it with great care, brushing off every speck of lint, storing it properly in a garment bag–surely you need two of this garment, right? Maybe not. You need to be really sure that this is a long-term relationship, even though you may not have that much time to decide before the piece is sold out. As with any new relationship, try to picture the future: Is it possible your feelings will change? Will you be indifferent to it later? If you feel any hesitation or doubt, wait. Try to take an objective perspective on the matter. We at the Gentleman’s Gazette know from experience that you may think you absolutely love something at first, only to find something better later–and now you’re stuck with two to get rid of at a loss on eBay.

A selection of Crockett & Jones shoes advancing through the facrory
A selection of Crockett & Jones shoes advancing through the facrory

Your duplicated item may be of average quality, which you didn’t realize until you gained more knowledge of craftsmanship. Using the author (Christopher Lee) as a case study: he bought two pairs of SuitSupply monk strap shoes, which are decent enough, but then discovered Crockett & Jones. For less than the price of the two identical pairs he bought, Chris could have gotten a superior version from C&J. Alternatively, you may outgrow a certain style. For Chris, SuitSupply was again the culprit; in this case, their shorter, slim-fitting jackets. One day, after trying on a Ring Jacket in a more classic cut, he discovered his earlier choices had been influenced by trends and not by what looked best on his form. The two duplicate jackets from SuitSupply had to be sold off.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with trial and error, but don’t compound the error by committing it twice. It’s perfectly fine to settle for the best you can afford at a certain time in your life, but it’s important to realize that in a few years you may change, so wait until you’re reasonably sure that you understand your style and are happy with it before doubling up on the same article of clothing. Sometimes “one of a kind” will be more precious and gain more of your appreciation.

Multiple Shades of the Same Color

When you begin building a wardrobe of classic menswear, your guiding principle will be versatility. Maybe you’re young and on a limited budget but need some tailored clothes for a new job after college. Or you may be an older guy just discovering the appeal of dressing well who has a mortgage and kids who will soon head off to college. All of these are valid reasons to rely on a single item to do a lot of heavy lifting, like a pair of mid-gray pants that you can wear with navy blue, brown or charcoal sport coats. Eventually, you buy a different navy blazer as your clothing budget picks up, but this navy is more of a mid-blue and the first one you had is more of a “midnight” navy. At this point, you realize that not all grays are the same. Some contain an undertone of light blue (marketed as “ice” or “glacier”). Some may have an olivegreen cast; others tend toward brown (taupe), and the one you have doesn’t look exactly right with your new blazer. Gray is both versatile and tricky–it can go with so many other colors, but as we all know, there are “fifty shades of gray,” and you need the right one. A gray pair of pants that contains a hint of brown will look better with blue or beige but maybe not as nice with charcoal. You’ll also want the right amount of contrast, so a mid-gray pair of pants pairs with a darker navy jacket, but a dark gray pair will not. All of this is why menswear connoisseurs often own more gray pants than any other color. These aren’t exact duplicates but are all “gray pants.”

Some of the varying tones of gray

Other colors demand varying tones too. In an earlier article, we’ve talked about how to wear off-white, which can be quite difficult to combine because it exists in so many tones. Some have a yellow cast, others with more grey, some whiter, some browner. Yellowish versions will go nicely with royal blue but might look odd with a light gray. In short, multiples of the same color are a necessity for the growing wardrobe.

Stylistic Variations of the Same Item

Even if you vary the tone of an item like pants, at a certain point in your menswear journey you begin to wonder how you’d like the same pants with pleats, with side adjusters, with cuffs, or in a high rise. These stylistic differences would be another good reason to own multiple examples of “gray pants,” or blue, or brown, or any other color. You already have multiple white shirts from a brand you like, but why not in a spread collar, point collar, cutaway collar, and turn-down collar? If you own suits in the Neapolitan style, the sleeves can be shorter than ones with more of a British cut. This could mean getting the same shirt in two different sleeve lengths. In the colder months, you may want to layer with a brown cardigan with sleeves when it’s freezing but a sleeveless version when it’s a few degrees warmer, so you need two brown knits. Sometimes you set out to get one thing to fill a gap in your wardrobe–like a blue striped shirt, and then you discover that there are pinstripes, banker stripes, Bengal stripes, and more; one blue striped shirt can quickly turn into a half dozen.

Common Types of Stripes in Menswear
Common Types of Stripes in Menswear.

Accessories are just as useful to duplicate. A single burgundy grenadine tie is terrific, but one with a small weave (garza fina) is subtly different compared to a large weave (garza grossa), and a 3″ wide version has a different look than a 3.5″ or maybe even a 3.25.” If you bought those high-waisted gray pants, you’ll need a shorter length burgundy grenadine too, so it can end at your waistband. Based on your individual style, you could potentially own five
grenadines of any single color.

Fort Belvedere Grenadine tie in Burgundy Red
Fort Belvedere Grenadine tie in
Burgundy Red

The principle of doubling up can also help to span the the formal/casual divide. If you want to put on something casual as one part of your outfit, all of it needs to be casual and likewise if you are dressed more elegantly. So, if you’re wearing a blue cotton sport coat and no tie, you may want a pair of casual gray chinos instead of a wool pair with a sharp crease down the front.

Dress pants (left) with a distinct crease; chinos (right) with more evident seam details, no pleat, and a metallic button closure.
Two pairs of navy pants: dress trousers (left) with a distinct crease; chinos (right) with more evident seam details, no pleat, and a metallic button closure.

Keeping a color or fit you enjoy but adding some sort of important difference helps fill different niches in your wardrobe. It fulfills the desire to keep collecting and keeps things interesting. Going down the rabbit hole of possibilities is a fun way to experiment and bring variety into your clothing repertoire.

Same Item, Different Fabric

Jersey, linen, cotton and giro inglese navy shirts
Jersey, linen, cotton and giro inglese navy shirts

Once you go beyond the basics of worsted wool for suits and cotton for casual wear, you can explore different fabrics and try the same items in different materials. In summer, you might invest in a navy linen shirt, a navy giro inglese shirt, a linen-cotton combination (because you want to see how it compares to pure linen), and a cotton jersey knit. They all might all be navy, all have the same collar, button style, and fit. but each fabric will have its own character. Linen will have a sheen and wrinkle in a way that suggests relaxed summer ambiance. Giro inglese will feel cooler because of its open weave, allowing breezes to penetrate on hot days. Linen-cotton is more formal and can be worn to the office. Different fabrics are also required to match the rest of what you’re wearing. If you have a relaxed linen jacket on, worsted wool pants will simply not look good. A printed silk tie looks great with a business suit, but you might prefer a knitted tie or a shantung silk with a casual sport coat in the same color.

Same Item, Different Seasons

Another aspect of the “same-item-different-fabric” principle is owning parallel accessories or garments for different seasons. A pair of mid-weight gray wool pants might be fine for three-season wear, but when cold air rushes through them in December, you’ll be yearning for heavier gray flannel. When you enjoy the cool breeze of your open-weave shirt. you’ll wish you had the same material for pants in your favorite shade of gray. A similar approach applies to accessories. Some tie fabrics, like grenadine, can be worn any time of the year, but a linen tie says “summer” while wool flannel ties look great with cold weather knitwear. When you hit on a combination you love, you will also want to do the same in different seasons, even down to your favorite patterns. So, you wear a brown fresco sport coat and beige linen glen check necktie in the summer but a brown tweed jacket and a beige wool glen check tie in the winter.

Same Pattern, Different Color

Though they aren’t duplicates in a strict sense, owning a menswear item in range of colors featuring the same pattern is a great way to expand on the concept. The author is a fan of the glen check and has rust, brown. blue, and beige glen check ties as well as glen check jackets in blue, tan and gray. One can never have enough of a classic menswear pattern, and repeating it across your wardrobe is easy to do. You can increase the variations exponentially by expanding your glen check into a Prince of Wales pattern, which is essentially the same but with the addition of a grid in another color. Using the same pattern in different base colors with different overcheck colors multiplies your options considerably.

Conclusion

Variety may be the spice of life, but sameness can also have its perks. Though buying two of the exact same menswear item requires careful consideration to avoid wasting money, there are lots of other ways to use duplication to enhance your style. Whether it’s getting multiple shades of the same color, the same item in different finishes, or the same pattern in different colors, “variation on a theme” makes for a creative way to grow your wardrobe. So, how do you do duplicates? Tell us in the comments section.


Gentleman’s Gazette

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ICYMI: What We’re Buying This Season, Victoria’s Secret Doesn’t Get It & Seoul Street Style

Sure, we’re all glued to our phones/tablets/laptops/watches that barely tell time, but even the best of us miss out on some important #content from time to time. That’s why, in case you missed it, we’ve rounded up our most popular stories of the week to help you stay in the loop. No need to thank …

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New type of mobile tracking link shoppers’ physical movements, buying choices

A new study used a targeting strategy that tracks where, when, and for how long consumers are in a shopping mall to determine how shoppers’ physical movements affect their economic choices. The study found that targeting potential customers in this way can significantly improve advertising via mobile phones.
Consumer Behavior News — ScienceDaily

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Pros and Cons of Buying Vintage

If you’re anything like me, for example, not only do you enjoy learning about classic menswear but you enjoy wearing it as well and while it is possible to assemble a classically styled outfit using only more contemporary pieces, turning your attention to consignment stores, second-hand shops and so on to look for vintage pieces will also be a fantastic option. Still, buying vintage isn’t always a breeze.

Benefits Of Vintage Clothing

Vintage Clothing
Vintage Clothing

1. You May Find Garments That Are Not Commonly Produced Any More.

If you do find garments like these, they’ll allow you to stand out even from other well-dressed men; you can be a true dandy in head-to-toe vintage if that’s your thing, or you can mix vintage and contemporary pieces for a look that’s still classic and harmonious. Whatever the case may be, having a few vintage pieces in your wardrobe will allow you to be truly unique and inventive with your outfits.

2. Prices Are Often A Fraction Of What You Would Pay For Something New.

Our founder, Sven Raphael Schneider has had good luck purchasing things at European flea markets especially in the off seasons. For example, he once found an overcoat in the summer that no one else was looking at because it was out of season and got it for a real bargain.

Yours Truly in Firenze wearing a vintage brown flannel glencheck
Yours Truly in Firenze wearing a vintage brown flannel glencheck

3. Vintage Garments Can Generally Be Tailored Just As Easily As Something New.

This depends on the individual garment, of course, and whether it’s got excess fabric to let out or remove. As an example, you could find a sport coat for $ 15- 20 dollars, spend another $ 30 or so on tailoring and end up with a vintage piece that fits you like a glove for just a fraction of the price of what you would have paid for a new garment and that’s one that probably wouldn’t fit you as well right off the rack anyway.

4. Vintage Garments Are Often More Durable.

In a similar vein, older methods of clothing construction were often more durable both in terms of the raw materials used and in the detail of human construction. Conversely, a lot of modern clothing made for the fast fashion world that we live in is frankly designed to fall apart in the days when durability was prized over having the newest and latest garments of the season. You could get a great deal more wear out of your pieces.

Greenwich Vintage Co. Showroom
Greenwich Vintage Co. Showroom

5. You Will Be Supporting Your Local Economy.

Another plus by shopping at a consignment store or similar establishment, you’ll be supporting your local economy rather than some giant corporation; this isn’t to say that we’re suggesting you swear off Macy’s, of course, but it is nice to know that in some circumstances, you’re supporting small businesses in your area.

Vintage Ties
Vintage Ties

6. Buying Vintage Is A Greener Way To Shop.

In a similarly conscious frame of mind, buying vintage garments is a particularly green way to shop since you’re essentially recycling old garments and giving them a new lease on life. Furthermore, because you’re not buying a new garment and therefore contributing to that supply chain, you are theoretically reducing the amount of raw materials needed to produce more similar new garments.

7. You Might Not Have To Buy At All.

If you’ve got older relatives who are looking to downsize their wardrobes, family heirlooms like watches, for example, or friends who just know that you’re on the lookout for vintage items, you might be able to come up with some vintage finds at no cost to you.

Vintage Showroom in London
Vintage Showroom in London

8. Vintage Pieces Make For A Great Conversation Starter.

Finally in the positives category, buying and wearing vintage provides a great conversation starter for those who might be especially curious about what you’re wearing. For example, a comment on your vintage tie might get another gentleman the path of dressing stylishly and as we all know in the vintage menswear community, the more the merrier.

Drawbacks Of Vintage Clothing

So as you can see, there are a lot of potential positives when shopping for vintage menswear. With that said though, you should also be aware that there can be some potential downsides.

Vintage WWII Peacoat Tag
Vintage WWII Peacoat Tag

1.Limited Sizing Options.

Firstly, you might not always find the size you need especially if you’re a larger man in terms of both height and weight. The average man has just gotten bigger around the world in the last 100 years. As such, if you’re looking for vintage garments, you might not always find something in your size.

2. Tags & Labels On Vintage Garments Can Be Misleading.

Still the bottom line is trying something on for yourself to see just how well it fits is always going to be your best course of action.

Vintage Scarves
Vintage Scarves

3. Vintage Clothing May Have Some Form Of Damage.

Here’s a drawback you may already have thought of, some vintage clothing may have issues with odors, stains, or other damage, however, even if this is the case, there are workarounds available to you. Also, a good tailor can sometimes remedy structural damage to vintage garments depending on the severity of the damage in question.

4. Vintage Garments Are Irreplaceable.

Speaking of damage, though that is another potential downside, if you do damage a vintage piece irreparably or lose it for that matter, you might not be able to find another one quite like it. That old item you found might truly be one-of-a-kind at this point or at least rare enough to basically be such. Even so, in the case of a sartorial emergency, because they do happen to all of us from time to time, there are solutions there too.

5. Sellers Might Overcharge You.

Now regarding pricing, while many vintage shops and online retailers will often be offering things for great prices, there is the occasional chance that a seller might be trying to overcharge you after all. Once you become a more frequent and savvy vintage shopper though, you’ll develop a better sense of what truly makes for a good deal. As with most things, practice makes perfect and experience is the best teacher. Also along this line though, the market is getting more and more saturated by people who aren’t as knowledgeable about either what makes for a good deal or about garment quality in general. This is particularly true online, therefore, developing a sharp eye for materials, construction, sizing, and price will be the best way that you can get ahead. Don’t make foolish mistakes and buy something you won’t wear just because the salesperson talked a good game.

Flea Market in London Spitalsfields
Flea Market in London Spitalsfields

6. You Have To Make Time To Scout Out Vintage Stores.

While the online space is becoming more crowded, physical storefronts are becoming a bit more scarce. So if you’d like to go that route, you’ll probably have to put in a bit of additional time to scout out locations in your area. It may take more time than you might otherwise prefer to actually go out and track things down. As such, you really should enjoy the process of shopping vintage as it will be something of a treasure hunt.

7. Poor Fitting Room Conditions.

The lighting may be substandard and you might not find a three-way mirror so in other words, you might not get the best look at how a garment fits you from all angles. Some stores may not even have fitting rooms at all which can leave you in a particularly awkward spot if you’d really like to try something on, which of course, you should.

Vintage Tennis Sweater, Boater Hat & Blazers...
Vintage Tennis Sweater, Boater Hat & Blazers

8. Limited To Zero Returns Policy.

This may translate into a monetary loss if you end up not wearing or liking a garment barring additional financial outlay for tailoring.

Taking all of these factors into consideration then, the required effort may ultimately result in you falling prey to the so-called “This will do” phenomenon. Since you might only find one sizing option for a particular garment, for example, you may decide to lower your standards a little bit and buy it even though it might be too loose or too tight and even if a garment does fit you well, you may be willing to buy something that you don’t truly love or think you’ll wear often just because you are getting a deal. In short, just don’t settle for something that you’re probably not going to wear. There will always be other vintage finds out there that will suit you better.

CONCLUSION

So there’s our list of the pros and cons of buying vintage menswear in general. Though the question remains, do we recommend that you actually try it out? The short answer is absolutely yes! There is a bit of work involved and granted you may not hit a home run with a great vintage find right away but if you’re looking for a unique way to add a distinct flair to your wardrobe at an economical price, the benefits of buying vintage are clear.

Which of the arguments we laid out today did you find most compelling? If you haven’t tried it before, are you tempted to try shopping for vintage menswear now? Let us know in the comments section below.


Gentleman’s Gazette

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Rachel Hollis Has Sold More Than a Million Self-Help Books. But Not Everyone Is Buying Her Advice

Kara Kading wishes she weren’t crying, but there it is. The mother of three from Racine, Wisconsin, is overwhelmed. She’s working two jobs so her kids can go to a private Lutheran school. She has just sat through a day of lectures for one of them, helping to market and sell essential oils from her home. And now, after waiting in a 50-person line, she has met the conference’s keynote speaker and the woman who has helped her hold it all together, Rachel Hollis.

“I’ve been in that funk of trying so hard to keep up with everybody,” says Kading, 40, who started a book club with three friends just to read Hollis’ first self-help book, Girl, Wash Your Face. “She makes me feel like it’s O.K. to be me. That I don’t have to listen to the voice in my head that tells me I can’t do this.”

Hollis, 36, a 5-ft.-2-in. dynamo, has just spent an hour alternately laughing at herself and cajoling the several-thousands-strong audience to do what she does from the stage of the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. But she still has bubbles to spare. She signs whatever each woman brings her and leans in for a selfie, tilting her head forward for the best angle before each shot. She hugs some and pauses to give specific advice to others. Despite the fact that she’s been up since before 4 a.m., her cheer and warmth never flicker.

Of course, Hollis has never sold essential oils. She has no need. She’s already found the perfect product to pitch to you, dear modern woman. She figured out just the thing you need. It will change your life.

The product is you. Hollis is 100% persuaded that you are the answer to all your problems. You just need to invest in you, to believe in you, to prioritize you.

Girl, Wash Your Face, which came out in February 2018 and expounded on this theory, was the No. 2 best-selling book of the year, right behind Michelle Obama’s Becoming, according to Amazon. About 1.5 million people have bought it so far, more than bought anything about Trump or wimpy kids or by Jordan Peterson. It was a social media phenomenon, its insights celebrated by Jen Hatmaker, Drew Barrymore, Reese Witherspoon and thousands of female readers. It was also derided as dangerous nonsense by both liberal media outlets and conservative Christian ones, a twofer few books can manage.

As of March 5, it has a sequel. Girl, Stop Apologizing is more tactical and practical, and even more insistent on women’s need for self-improvement. It makes Hollis ache, she writes, when women don’t have a dream. “I don’t think that a beautiful life happens unintentionally,” she tells me in a conference room before her speech. “I think that you have to decide what kind of life you have.” It hit No. 1 on Amazon its first week.

Peyton Fulford for TIME

There’s nothing revolutionary about Hollis’s advice. Get healthy, get up earlier, choose a goal, plan how to reach it, ignore the naysayers and work the livelong day. But her pithy, down-home, just-between-us-girls voice is both Instagram-quote-worthy and has the urgency of a siren. “I no longer spend a single second of my life worrying about what others think of me for having dreams for myself,” she writes in Stop Apologizing. “Embracing the idea that you can want things for yourself…is the most freeing and powerful feeling in the world.”

Her popularity, which came as a shock to the book industry (she had already written three fiction books and two cookbooks, all selling in the low thousands, according to NPD BookScan), is one of those barometric indicators that mark the cultural weather fronts in the U.S. To some, Hollis is their totally relatable best friend, a successful working mom of four who tells it like it is, isn’t afraid to be vulnerable and has motivated them to up their game. She talks about how she overcame being bad at sex, the time she peed her pants, her boob job, her mommy guilt and her hairy toes. She inspires women to believe in themselves. “As I read the book over the summer, tears just started flowing,” Angel Hepp, 35, a mom of one with another on the way, who works in marketing in Oregon, tells me by phone. “She gave me the courage to start my own podcast.”

I don’t think that a beautiful life happens unintentionally…I think that you have to decide what kind of life you have.The conference at which Hollis is speaking is for doTerra, a multilevel marketing organization (MLM). The mostly female attendees have been invited because they’ve persuaded a number of people to become doTerra wholesalers, to buy a preset amount of oil each month that they can then try to resell to friends. MLMs, which are often compared to pyramid schemes, have come under fire for overpromising results and trapping people with too much product. (A doTerra spokesperson says 80% of its customers buy for personal use without intending to resell.) They also offer one of the few jobs women can do in their own time, with small kids. All they need is a work ethic and ties to the local community. Hollis speaks at a lot of MLM events. It’s exactly the kind of crowd she thrives on.

To her critics, Hollis is a vapid purveyor of false hope and white privilege. She tells women their problems will be solved if they just work harder and journal more intentionally. She seems to believe women’s empowerment means telling women they have power. She ignores the structural inequities, racial disparities and economic pressures that many women face, essentially asking them to put out fires with their bare hands. For all her willingness to talk about anything, she pointedly avoids politics. “I only want to talk about things that I’m really passionate about,” says Hollis. “I don’t like politics because I don’t have faith in [politicians] at all.”

When pushed on whether it’s unfair to tell young moms to fix their own lives without addressing, say, the parlous state of America’s family leave policies, Hollis displays, for the first time, a reluctance to step up. “I start to worry that if you share too much of that stuff it’s like you’re trying to tell people to vote a certain way,” she says.

Hollis also gives her haters plenty of ammunition. Among the revelations in her new book, for example, are that she has the word “mogul” tattooed on her wrist and that one of the ten affirmations she writes for herself every day is that she only travels first class. She opens chapter six proclaiming that 850,000 people saw her fail, only to reveal her definition of failure by explaining that she told her social media followers she wanted a New York Times bestseller and Wash Your Face took 10 weeks to get there.

Some critics bother Hollis more than others. She finds the accusation that she can’t possibly know what it’s like to struggle pretty easy to shrug off. As she tells it (her parents declined to be interviewed for this story), Hollis grew up no stranger to want. Her father was a Pentecostal preacher, as was his father, which might explain her declarative style. Her family lived in rural California near Weedpatch, a community that John Steinbeck drew on when writing The Grapes of Wrath. Her parents fought often and frequently separated.

One Monday morning, when her older brother, Ryan, was supposed to take her to school, she found him in his room dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. She was 14 and her parents weren’t home. For years afterward, she assumed that every person she encountered who was not moving might be dead. “I am still here,” she writes, “because I will not let a nightmare have more power than my dreams.”

She attributes her drive to her childhood shame over poverty, not a lust for wealth. “Anybody who grew up poor,” she says, “and now has the ability to make a business, to be self-made — well, I heard Tyler Perry say this years ago. He said if you’ve ever been hungry, then you’ll never be full.”

Hollis finished high school early and hightailed to Los Angeles where she got an internship at Miramax. From there she started an events company (Chic Events), which became an online lifestyle blog (MyChicLife), which then began to veer into self-help (The Chic Site) and was recently rebranded The Hollis Company, specializing in “arming people with the tools to make positive and lasting change.”

Each business iteration marked a phase in Hollis’ metamorphosis from marketer to liberator of women. “For the longest time, it was sort of like, Here’s my life and my kids, and here I am with this [laundry] detergent,” she says, of the sponsored content she used to produce. “But that started to feel very soul-sucking.” Having suffered from anxiety, she began to post about her vulnerabilities. She saw the response those posts got and began to orient her content around that. Whether Hollis has described the plight of most American women with any degree of accuracy is open to debate, but clearly millions of them—and even some men—feel seen.

Backstage at the doTerra event, the lone man in the line of people seeking to have a meet and greet with Hollis, Troy Miller, 50, from Toronto, said he had never heard of her before the weekend, but he and his fellow travelers had listened to her audiobook on the car ride down. “I don’t relate to all of it,” he says. “But don’t we all compare ourselves to others and have a negative voice in our head?”

Hollis has adeptly ridden several waves in her rise to the top: the emergence of a new type of Christian, a more widespread desire for women’s empowerment, the gig economy and the dawn of the Instagram age. She writes freely about her faith, and anthropologists would put her in the tribe of so-called hipstians, hipster Christians who follow Jesus with the ardor of Ned Flanders but different sartorial choices. They tend to live in cities, have no problem with same-sex marriage or feminism, believe climate change is real and might even vote Democratic. (She voted for Hillary Clinton and President Obama.) They worship in churches with names like Foundry and Mosaic. And they’re hungry for cultural role models like Hollis, both for lifestyle tips and personal direction.

That said, not every Christian loves her. The Gospel Coalition, a Christian leadership training group, recently called her advice “exhausting and damning” because it puts self rather than God as the ultimate source of salvation.

Hollis has needed little institutional help — from church, media, or venture capitalist — in building her brand. She acquired hundreds of thousands of followers using social media even before the self-help books. But beyond that, almost her entire post-high school education has come via the web, conferences, YouTube videos and podcasts. (She is a Tony Robbins fanatic.) In the way of the internet, she aggregates liberally from other sources — Julius Caesar, Margaret Mead, Theodore Roosevelt — without worrying too much about attribution. She built her companies “through hard work and hustle and the wealth of knowledge that can be found from a Google search bar,” she writes.

A 2015 social media post in which she showed off her stretch marks on the beach is textbook Hollis. Rather than bemoan her fate, she captioned the beaming self-portrait with an upbeat ode of gratitude to her body for bearing her three sons, Jackson, 12, Sawyer, 10 and Ford, 6. “They aren’t scars ladies, they’re stripes and you’ve earned them. Flaunt that body with pride!” (She also has an adopted daughter, Noah, 2.) Practically overnight, her followers more than doubled.

Almost every day, Hollis and her husband, Dave, 44, stream a live show on Facebook where they answer questions and talk about their lives. Topics range from why she got acrylic nails to how to make a business idea a reality to what it was like to be interviewed by TIME magazine. (Despite her determination not to care about what others think of her, she replays the interview in her head, judging her answers.)

You can’t be a fan of Hollis’ without also adoring Dave. He is the cherry on the ice cream sundae of her life, the 6-ft.-4-in. trophy of a husband, whom she jokingly refers to as her “emotional support animal.” They met when she was 19. They married when she was 21. She thanks him for “covering my losses” early in her career. Their marriage — and his puppy-dog devotion to her — is a big part of her brand’s appeal.

Last year, he left his job as an executive at Disney to run the business side of his wife’s company, which they recently relocated to Austin. During our interview, he sits a few yards away from his wife, chiming in when he wants to amplify one of her answers, even though he knows it looks like classic mansplaining. “Honey, it’s O.K.,” says Hollis.

Now she and Dave have what Hollis would call “big, obnoxious dreams” for The Hollis Company. They’ve committed to a bunch of speaking engagements and business deals this year, but after that they’re not taking on more. Any content they produce will be made for The Hollis Company alone. They have a series of business and life-coaching lectures listeners can access for a monthly fee starting at $ 39. Hollis will be speaking only at their own conferences, known as Rise.

In the last year, Hollis has surpassed many of the goals she wrote in her journal. It’s clearly a bit disorienting for her. “I manifested all the things I wrote down,” she says. “But I – I don’t know how this sounds – I wrote down the wrong thing. I wrote down goals that were about myself and who I wanted to be, and maybe not as much about what I wanted to create for other people.”

Often, contemporary women are painted as these ambitious go-getters delaying marriage and family for a shot at their dream job. But Hollis seems to have found a different group, women who aren’t sure exactly what they want or who they should be. They like the mess of marriage and kids and keeping a home together and shopping at Target (which sold tens of thousands of Hollis’ books), but their lives aren’t quite how they’d pictured them. Hollis gives these women permission to pursue a dream, any dream, a way to be someone other than somebody else’s something. She might not be everyone’s idea of a revolutionary, but for many women, she’s what change looks like.


Entertainment – TIME

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Sex Workers Aren’t Buying Kamala Harris’ New Tune: She ‘Put Our Country Many Years Behind’

Noah Berger/Getty

During a Thursday night event at The Wing titled “Unpacking Sex Work Stigma & Intersectional Feminism,” a panel of sex workers and activists talked about the deadly aftermath of FOSTA/SESTA and recent pushes toward decriminalizing sex work.

Sen. Kamala Harris recently told The Root that, “We can’t criminalize consensual behavior as long as no one is being harmed.” But Harris’s stated support of decriminalization hasn’t been fully embraced by the sex working community. The organizer of the panel at The Wing, who asked to be identified by the name of the platform that she founded, @SXNOIR, explained to the audience that, “Kamala isn’t talking about decrim the way that we’re talking about decrim.”

There has been concern that Harris is not calling for full decriminalization, but for a system inspired by the Nordic Model, which criminalizes individuals who purchase sex. Gizelle Marie, the leader of the NYC Stripper Strike, shared her experience attempting to lobby at Harris’s office during International Whore’s Day. “She didn’t want to speak to us, obviously,” Marie recalled. “She had one of her assistants just writing down notes and stuff…The fact that she’s actually trying to speak up about sex work now is kind of strange.”

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Is Warren Buffett Buying Southwest Airlines? Possibility Pushes Stock Up 4%

A few days after Warren Buffett told Berkshire Hathaway shareholders that the company is hoping to make “an elephant-sized acquisition,” investors have begun to speculate on what big game Buffett has in mind. The most likely candidate right now: Southwest Airlines.

Southwest’s stock, which lists under the ticker LUV, rose 4.1% Thursday to $ 56.04 a share as some investors bid up the stock to bet that Berkshire Hathaway may move to acquire the airline.

Berkshire Hathaway ended 2018 with $ 112 billion in cash and U.S. Treasuries and another $ 20 billion in other bonds, Buffett’s letter said. The company will always keep at least $ 20 billion on hand “to guard against external calamities,” Buffett wrote, leaving more than $ 100 billion for potential acquisitions, which he says Berkshire is eager to make at the right price.

“In the years ahead, we hope to move much of our excess liquidity into businesses that Berkshire will permanently own,” Buffett said. “The immediate prospects for that, however, are not good: Prices are sky-high for businesses possessing decent long-term prospects.”

Buffett said “the disappointing reality” was that Berkshire would keep buying stakes in publicly traded companies in the meantime. “We continue, nevertheless, to hope for an elephant-sized acquisition,” he wrote, before adding “Just writing about the possibility of a huge purchase has caused my pulse rate to soar.”

Berkshire has invested in a number of public companies, including banks like JPMorgan and Bank of America, with tech companies like Apple, and airlines like Southwest. Berkshire is already the second-largest shareholder in Southwest, which has a market cap of about $ 31 billion. Buffett wrote that Berkshire’s goal is to buy “ably-managed businesses… that possess favorable and durable economic characteristics.”

Those comments left Buffett-watchers guessing which company Berkshire could buy out, with some noting that Southwest’s reputation as a profitable and well-run company fits Buffett’s investment goal. An analyst report from Morgan Stanley last week viewed “a full-scale acquisition of an airline by Berkshire as a possibility and not worth dismissing.”

And Berkshire Vice Chairman Charles Munger also recently compared airlines to the railway industry as an investment. “It was a terrible business for about 80 years,” Munger said. “But finally they got down to four big railroads and it was a better business. And something similar is happening in the airline business.”

The speculation surrounding Southwest was strong enough to draw a comment from the airline itself. In an email to StreetInsider.com, a company spokesperson said, “There has been speculation circulating that Warren Buffett might be looking to acquire an airline for some time, and that Southwest might be a good fit. As a policy, we do not comment on speculations but appreciate Berkshire’s continued support of Southwest Airlines.”

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How Maud Barrionuevo Climbed the Ladder at Le Bon Marché to Become Head of Buying at 24 Sèvres

In our long-running series “How I’m Making It,” we talk to people making a living in the fashion and beauty industries about how they broke in and found success. Maud Barrionuevo might not be a street-style mainstay or a must-follow Instagram star. But she has been stocking some of the world’s …

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15 Tips for Buying a Home Out of State

Successfully buying a home in a different state is doable—it happens all the time—but because you must take care of many details from afar, it’s a bit trickier than buying a home in your current town. Choosing a house, making an offer, and then closing, all while you’re living in another state, requires care and savvy. The following tips will help ensure that the deal goes smoothly and that you end up with a home you’re proud to own.
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NASA mulls buying new rides to space from Russia amid program delays

NASA said on Friday it was weighing an option to buy two additional astronaut seats aboard a Russian rocket as a contingency plan against further delays in the launch systems being developed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Boeing Co.


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Americans are starting to feel better about buying homes — sort of

The share of Americans who say it is a good time to buy a home increased 4 percentage points to 15 percent in January compared with December, according to a monthly survey from Fannie Mae.
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Dear Penny: I Want to Help My Elderly Parents by Buying Their House

This sounds like a super generous move. After so many years of turning to your parents for care and advice, this is, for many, the dream: to be able to return the favor. But caring for your parents in this way can have a lot of complications.

I called in help from two experts: financial adviser Stephanie McCullough, and financial adviser Andy Wang, who also hosts the “Inspired Money” podcast.

First: Can you afford to take on another mortgage in addition to your own? It’s worth spending the money to discuss the long-term impact of this move with a tax professional and an attorney, Wang advised.

McCullough took her warning even further. “If I were your financial planner, I’d be advising you to look out for yourself and your husband,” she wrote in an email.

Consider your upcoming retirement. What will happen when the paychecks stop and you have to start living on your savings? Look carefully at your cash flow and imagine what would happen if you or your husband lost your job, or became disabled prior to your target retirement date, she recommended.

Two technical matters Wang said to check on before moving forward: whether the loan is assumable, meaning you could take over mortgage payments by assuming the loan; and whether the loan has a “due on sale” clause that would require the loan balance to be paid upon transfer of property. The former might provide an alternative option for you, while the latter could lead you to pause on your plan to buy.

If there’s a reason you want to own the house beyond your parents’ tenure there — maybe it’s been in your family for some time — you’ll need to plan for that future, McCullough said. Unless you plan to eventually live there yourself, keep in mind that managing a rental from far away can be stressful.

Wang brought up one more “what-if”: the possibility that your parents could outlive you. “You’d also need contingency plans in case something were to happen to you to ensure your parents may continue to reside there,” Wang said.

What’s your real motivation here: to keep the house in your family, or provide financial stability for your parents? If it’s the latter, it may be worth thinking about alternative options to support them while ensuring your own long-term financial security.

Have a tricky money question? Write to Dear Penny and you might see your question answered in an upcoming column.

Lisa Rowan is senior writer at The Penny Hoarder, and the voice behind Dear Penny.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Black Interior Designer Creates Beautiful Spaces in “Buying It Blind” on Bravo TV

Interior designer Michel Smith Boyd knows a thing or two about beauty. The star of Buying it Blind, set in Atlanta, on Bravo TV, is one of the top black interior designers in the country. His love of architecture and tailored details pays off each week as he work with people in decorating their dream homes. In an interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE, he discusses his hit reality show; home buying for millennials; and the art of mentorship.

BE: Describe the premise of Buying It Blind and how were you approached to participate in this reality show.

Michel Smith Boyd: A team of experts, including myself, a contractor and a realtor, meet real life couples who are desperately trying to purchase a house — and all of that is dependent on budget, school district, and other factor — and have decided to enlist us to find a property.

As a team, we are present in each space as we initially meet with each and every client. I became involved in this project because I was approached by a casting agency, and due to my reputation and level of work produced, and I just happened to be the guy they needed. Actually, it is so interesting that you find yourself rooting [for] and identifying with the couples. These strangers are making decisions, entrusting you with their life savings which makes the stakes much higher to deliver a stellar product. I find myself creating spaces I have never done before especially when preservation comes into play.

Tell us about your career as a celebrity interior designer.

That term is such a strange one because I tend to focus on being excellent and making a huge contribution for my clients every day. If it is based on doing amazing work, and then only if I am being great is being an inspiration to kids who look up to me — then yes, I accept that title.

buying it blind

Photo Credit: Tomas Espinoza

 

 What advice do you have for millennials or those seeking to purchase their first homes?

The most important thing to remember is to spend money once! Buy good quality over quantity. Never be in a rush to complete a space; make sure you design in phrases. Start with what you would use the most: sofas, mattresses and multi-functional pieces like dining tables. Always remember: Function before form.

 If you had your choice of a dream client who would it be and why?

My dream client is not necessarily a celebrity. My client who allows me to do my job. Interior design is all about Romanticism and we’ve lost the idea of letting us completely transfer a space without interruption. And big budgets don’t hurt either!

As a black man in this field how do you distinguish yourself in the design world?

The only one thing you can be is yourself; present your full authenticity. I don’t water down my presentation for no one. I always present myself as a professional and consider myself a student — always learning and constantly growing to be excellent in all areas of my life. I am obsessed with hospitality and design and love the genre. I love the idea that people live better in hotels than homes and I am changing that one home at a time.

Who are some of your mentors/colleagues in the business; and explain the importance of having mentors in your life.

Honestly, I never had mentorships and have suffered and oftentimes wondered if it is too late. Guess what? It’s not. I have a group of incredibly smart friends who have inspired me tremendously. In the beginning, I wanted to mimic Tom Ford, Kelly Werstler … and their career paths have somehow mentored me. My journey is different, but I don’t see myself as less than. I mentor young designers all the time and one of my favorite things to go (one of the few things I like about exposure). I teach them the importance of deciding what they want from this industry. You need to figure out what contribution you wish to make and then you will find direction, identify and supply your point of view.

Any words of advice for aspiring or burgeoning interiors designers of color?
Once you know your value, you can approach meetings and clients in a much more positive and confident manner. You should be well versed in art history, fashion, textiles. You cannot deny excellence regardless of what you look like or where you come from … Remember — if you don’t know who you are then you can’t offer expertise.

The post Black Interior Designer Creates Beautiful Spaces in “Buying It Blind” on Bravo TV appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

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Kate Middleton made a pretty relatable mistake while buying her kids’ uniform

Every parent’s worst nightmare.

It’s true that the royal family lead lives that are often pretty different to ours. But that’s not to say they’re strangers to some aspects of ‘normal’ life, from being on Instagram to having a royal family WhatsApp group, and ordering in their favourite takeaway on a Friday night.

Mum-of-three Kate Middleton is also no stranger to regular parenting problems, whether that’s dealing with the odd tantrum in public or stopping Prince George from opening his Christmas presents before the big day. And while shopping for her children’s uniform recently, she made an error that all parents will understand.

A source told HELLO! that the Duchess of Cambridge took her children George and Charlotte to Peter Jones in Sloane Square, Chelsea, to buy new shoes before the start of the 2018-19 school year. The John Lewis & Partners branch is also the stockist for George’s uniform at St Thomas’s Battersea, where he is in Year One.

However, with her eldest two children wearing sandals in the warmer weather, Kate forgot to bring something pretty essential for the shoe-fitting – spare socks!

Fortunately George and Charlotte were able to borrow a pair from the store before trying on new shoes, but we can only imagine that moment of frustration when the duchess realised her mistake.

We’re pretty sure every parent can relate to forgetting something essential at least once or twice. You’re not alone, Kate.

The post Kate Middleton made a pretty relatable mistake while buying her kids’ uniform appeared first on Marie Claire.

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What You May Not Know About a Down Payment for Buying a Home

A new study proves something many may already know: Saving for a down payment for buying a home is the biggest hurdle for would-be home owners. However, the study reveals some facts you may not have known about down payments.

First, down payments are particularly hard for millennnials, the largest single group of home buyers and the biggest group of first-time buyers, according to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2018.

Millennial buyers also are the most likely to put less than 20% down. When they decide to buy a home — one of the biggest investments ever for many Americans — millennials are most likely to use multiple funding sources for the down payment. Nearly half used a gift or loan from family or friends for at least some of their down payment, making up one-fifth of the down payment on average. They also use investments and retirement funds toward down payments.

Zillow also reported coming up with a down payment can be a game-changer. For instance, it can help make a monthly mortgage payment that is affordable and does not bust your bill-paying budget.

The Zillow report surveyed people in Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., including 3,000 home buyers. They were asked about their down payment decisions, including how much they put down and where the money came from.

Here are other revelations from the report:

-First-time buyers are more likely to cash out investments or use retirement funds toward a down payment.

-Putting 20% down is conventional wisdom, but fewer than half of buyers do so.

-Buyers in Atlanta put down less than 5% more often than they put down at least 20%, boosting the risk of becoming underwater on their mortgages.

Yet, buyers in Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. are at least as likely as the typical national buyer to put down at least 20%.

Research from Zillow disclosed it takes over seven years for a typical American home buyer to save a 20% down payment on the typical-valued home.

Of course, buyers can put much less down than that amount. Saving up for a down payment can be tough and requires good budgeting and long-term planning, especially when for many the cost of rent and everyday life outpaces what they are able to put in the bank.

Even if you don’t have plans to buy a home in the next year or two, it never hurts to start setting aside savings for a future home purchase,” Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas stated.

“There are many mortgage options that require less than 20% down, but buyers should be careful that they don’t set themselves up to be underwater. Interest rates are rising, of course, but for many, waiting a bit longer and saving for a larger down payment might still be the way to go as they weigh their current stability and housing needs against their long-term future.

If your goal is home ownership, check out some more great advice about purchasing a home:

-INSIDER TIPS FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS LOOKING TO PURCHASE A HOME

-HOME OWNERSHIP: IT’S NOT THE SIZE OF THE HOME, BUT THE SIZE OF THE DREAM

-GOOD SIGN FOR BUYERS: HOUSING INVENTORY GROWING AGAIN

 

 

The post What You May Not Know About a Down Payment for Buying a Home appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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Trump again hits Fed on rate rises; says U.S. firms present buying opportunity

President Donald Trump on Tuesday reiterated that the U.S. Federal Reserve was raising interest rates too quickly but added that U.S. companies were “the greatest in the world” and presented a “tremendous” buying opportunity for investors.


Reuters: Business News

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Buying Black This Holiday? Consider Empower Spirits, Founded By A Black Woman

Tiffany Hall was a lawyer working for Pernod a huge spirits company Pernod Ricard, parent company to spirits like Jameson and Absolut and wines like Jacob’s Creek and Kenwood. While there, she noticed a voice in the spirits market – spirits weren’t created to appeal specifically to women, despite a growing market for female consumers. Hall’s entrepreneurial instincts kicked in and she set about creating one.

The result is Empower Cocktails, a ready-to-pour vodka that can be consumed straight or with other mixers to create different drink options. We caught up with Tiffany to find out what made her feel that she could compete in the lucrative – but crowded – spirits market and how she made it happen.

Tell us something about you and your history.

I was born in Detroit, grew up in Washington, D.C. and aspired to be an attorney and an entrepreneur. Despite this goal, while in college, I developed an interest in exploring professional roles in creative industries. After college graduation, I moved to New York City, pursued a career in marketing and worked in the music industry, the fine arts sector as well as an ad agency. Each experience was educational, thrilling and provided exposure to vastly different target consumer bases from the mass market to the highly affluent.

Then, I attended law school and subsequently was a marketing attorney at one of the largest global wine and spirits companies managing legal issues related to marketing campaigns, promotion initiatives and sponsorships.

Currently, I practice law full-time in the payments/ finance industry. I have also focused on pursuing interests beyond my career such as serving as a past Chair of the New York Public Radio’s Community Advisory Board. Now, I serve on Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy’s Alumni Council and Co-Chair the National Democratic Institute’s New York Advisory Council.

What was the impetus to get into the spirits industry as a creator?

The first cocktail, the Empower Cosmopolitan Martini, launched in NYC and Connecticut in late 2015. It has been an incredible journey. After working at one of the largest global wine and spirits companies, I realized that creating a spirits brand is a great business opportunity and my skills as a marketer and lawyer are directly applicable to the highly regulated space.

What were some of the biggest obstacles?

One of the biggest obstacles was securing all of the components needed to place a finished product on the shelf — liquid, bottles, caps, labels, etc. I did not have experience in manufacturing so I had to learn about that process and find vendors who could help.

How does one go about creating a spirit? What steps did you have to take?

It is a long process. Each spirit is different – certain spirits must be aged or come from a particular region. I created a cocktail that is vodka based. Vodka can be produced relatively quickly and there are no restrictions such as specific production locale, aging requirements, etc.

First, I worked with industry professionals to develop and test recipes for the cosmopolitan cocktail. Once the recipe was set, I had to find the vodka and was able to locate a licensed distillery on a sweet potato farm in Northern California. Once I confirmed that the vodka worked well with the cocktail recipe, we were ready for production.

However, prior to production, there are certain government approvals and licenses that one must obtain. That process should be built into your timeline. One would also need to secure elements from various vendors such as bottles, caps, labels, safety seals and cartons that work best for your product.

What did you feel was the void in the industry and how did you think you could fill it?

There are numerous alcohol beverage products in the market. However, the majority of those products, except for wine, mainly targeted men. My goal was to create a product that targeted women and give them one more choice while shopping in the spirit stores. I thought I could fill that void by researching which cocktail is popular among women and incorporate elements in the product that would appeal to them – beautiful packaging, a different spin on a traditional cocktail and ensure it had a delicious taste. Empower Cocktails is proud to have male enthusiasts as well.

How do you get financing for an endeavor like this?

I financed this venture myself.

Would you encourage other Black women to start a spirits business? Is there room for more Black female entrepreneurs in the industry?

Yes, absolutely! The alcohol beverage industry in the US alone is valued at $ 200+ billion. There is plenty of room for more of us to make an impact in this space.

What makes your vodka unique and why should consumers make it a part of their social experience?

My ready-to-pour cocktail is unique because it is refreshing and made with sweet potato vodka. Many people have never tasted sweet potato vodka. Consumers should make it apart of their social experience because Empower Cocktails was developed to be enjoyed with friends, family and colleagues. It is simple to serve and it is delicious.

Purchases can be made online at empowercocktails.com. Empower Cosmopolitan is also sold in 5 states – NY, NJ, RI, CT and MA. Every Total Wine in CT, MA and NJ carries the Empower Cosmopolitan Martini.

PHOTOS: Empower Cocktails


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Life & Style – Black America Web

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6 Statement Outerwear Brands to Know Before Buying a New Winter Coat

When it comes to dressing for the cold winter months, it’s easy to get trapped in a sea of sameness and choose a mainstay outerwear brand, such as Canada Goose or Moncler. What else is out there? A group of young designers have noticed a lack of novelty in the category, launching brands that …

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Fashionista

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Vlad Namestnikov is test case for buying into David Quinn’s vision

Regarding David Quinn’s Rangers: 1. Vlad Namestnikov has set the template for Ryan Strome, a silky, skill-oriented forward who is going to have to add a couple of tablespoons of grit to his game in order to play a meaningful role for this team. Namestnikov has been a revelation the past three weeks following a…
Sports | New York Post

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Here’s a Simple Way to Earn $20 Today… Just for Buying LaCroix

Me: “Whoa, I can get cash back for buying LaCroix?”

My brain:

“Don’t do it.”

“Don’t do it.”

“Don’t do it.”

Me: *Loads 10 LaCroix cases into the cart.*

How to Get up to $ 20 Cash Back on Your Next LaCroix Run

Relatable? Same.

When I land on the LaCroix section in Target, I lose self control. I want all the cases.

Before your next LaCroix haul, download Ibotta, a free cash-back app.

Why? For an undisclosed amount of time, Ibotta has TWO cash-back LaCroix offers:

  1. Earn $ 1 cash back on eight- and 12-packs of traditional LaCroix flavors.
  2. Earn $ 1 cash back on eight- and 12-packs of the LaCroix Cúrate flavors, which include cherry-lime, blackberry-cucumber and cantaloupe-pink grapefruit.

This LaCroix deal is good for your purchases at Target, Walmart, Publix, Safeway, CVS, Whole Foods, The Fresh Market and more.

You can redeem each of these two offers up to five times per receipt, meaning you could pull in a quick $ 10 in cash back on something you’d already be purchasing — all you have to do is snap a photo of your receipt.

Plus, if you’re a new Ibotta user, you’ll get a $ 10 bonus after your first cash-back claim.

That means at the end of today, you could have $ 20 transferred over to your bank account. Just 👏 for 👏 buying 👏  LaCroix.

When our deputy editor, Caitlin Constantine, spotted the Ibotta deal, she headed straight to Publix and grabbed four cases — a mix of key lime, grapefruit and passionfruit. She says it won’t take more than two weeks to finish off her stash.

“Not only would I do this again, I am going to do it again,” she says.

Finally, your lack of self control can pay off. Literally.

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a big fan of the cantaloupe-pink grapefruit favor. Yeah, it sounds weird, but it’s actually the best.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

The Penny Hoarder

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Sam's Club Membership Offer

Billionaire collector shares his secret to buying great art that turns into even better investment

Billionaire hedge fund manager J. Tomilson Hill has a keen eye for great art that's also made for some incredible investments. Hill shared some of his personal rules for buying art with CNBC. 
Wealth

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The Street

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Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

Mipcom: Buying, Production Trends at Major SVOD Players – Report (EXCLUSIVE)

CANNES — “Never predict, especially about the future,” the saying goes. Three of MipJunior’s key speakers and kids industry players – from Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and the BBC –  took that to heart on Cannes’ Saturday afternoon when addressing the panel subject, “View from the Top: Gazing into the Future of Kids Media.” Rather than […]

Variety

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