More Than Fashion: A Look at Madam C. J. Walker

During each week of Black History Month, we will honor an African American entrepreneur who has made an important contribution to American society. This week’s feature is Madam C. J. Walker—an activist, pioneer of the black hair-care and cosmetics industry, and the first female self-made millionaire. Although the focus of Fashion Week is on the trendiest clothes of the season, we would be remiss to forget the large amount of effort that goes into hair and makeup for the week’s events. Despite the glamour and glitz that are associated with high-fashion hair and makeup teams now, it wasn’t very long ago that many of these regimes did not exist. In fact, in the early 1900s, a common practice was to wash one’s hair with soap containing lye – a routine that caused many severe skin ailments in the African American community. Madam C. J. Walker saw this as an opportunity […]

More Than Fashion: A Look at Madam C. J. Walker

True innovation

From Lifting to Lounging: How Athleisure is Making its Mark on Fashion

Whether for running to the gym or merely running errands, athleisure attire has become many a woman’s go-to wardrobe staple. Defined as workout gear that can also be worn in non-workout settings, the athleisure concept has caught fire in recent years. In fact, it’s become so popular that the apparel has replaced many women’s on-the-go outfits (this hilarious video shows just what we’re talking about!). While Lululemon, known for its high-end yoga and performance gear, sparked the movement, dozens of smaller brands are looking to make their mark on the ever-expanding industry. At a time when the activewear business is booming—the $270 billion market is expected to grow more than 30% in the next five years—we took a look at six brands capitalizing on the athleisure trend, from established companies to popular newcomers. The Original: Lululemon Since opening its first store in 2000, Lululemon essentially created the athleisure market. With […]

From Lifting to Lounging: How Athleisure is Making its Mark on Fashion

America at work

Innovation that matters

 

THE BUSINESS OF LOVE [INFOGRAPHIC]

Being in love can end up being pretty pricey in the United States. In fact, total spending on Valentine’s Day this year is expected to reach $19.7 billion (that’s billions with a B). But just what are we spending all that money on? It shouldn’t come as a surprise that when it comes to presents on the most romantic day of the year, 50% of Americans plan to give candy, which is followed closely by greeting cards (47.9%), an evening out (38. 3%), flowers (36.4%) and jewelry (19.9%). Here’s a deeper look at the numbers behind Valentine’s Day, courtesy of a consumer survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics for the National Retail Federation.  

THE BUSINESS OF LOVE [INFOGRAPHIC]

Creating opportunity

The Rise of the L.A. Fashion District

In a field dominated by big designers backed by even bigger fashion houses, one small part of downtown Los Angeles is shaking up the fashion industry. The 100-block LA Fashion District, home to more than 4,000 businesses and around 1,500 showrooms, prides itself on fostering a creative, entrepreneurial spirit that helps lesser-known designers thrive. Take Bri Seeley, for instance. The native Minnesotan brought her brand from Seattle to the City of Angels in 2013. “My grandmother taught me how to sew when I was about seven, so this has been something that’s just been in my blood,” said Seeley. “Being a fashion entrepreneur is a lot less about being a fashion designer than it is about being an entrepreneur.” While LA may lack the international profile and couture designers of New York or Paris, its fashion district is a major manufacturing hub that acts as a home base for dozens […]

The Rise of the L.A. Fashion District

America at work

Hot Startups Are Heating Up Atlanta

Atlanta is heating up, and we’re not just talking about the weather. The southern city famous for its musical talent and humid climate is attracting more and more tech companies from across the country, thanks to a low cost of living and a growing number of financial opportunities.   “It used to be that you would see talent leave and go to [Silicon] Valley, but that doesn’t happen anymore,” says Adam Harrell, co-founder of digital startup Nebo Agency. “Now talent stays here, builds companies here, recruits here, and it works really well.” The entrepreneur, who also acts as executive director of Startup Atlanta, started his business in the city 11 years ago and has seen it grow and change over the years, thanks to an influx of Fortune 500 companies and profitable startups.   The region has seen a 19 percent increase in the number of high-tech jobs between 2003 and […]

Hot Startups Are Heating Up Atlanta

Creating opportunity

Death, Taxes, and Data Theft – You Can Only Protect Yourself From One

Online hacking isn’t new. People have been hacking computers and handheld devices for years—either with aims to improve what exists, or with more nefarious goals like identity theft. Recently, however, it seems like the number of malintended digital attacks have increased not only in frequency — but also in intensity. Last year, security officials disclosed that hackers stole financial records and fingerprints for millions of federal employees during what is described as one of the biggest government data breaches in history. Meanwhile, on the other side, consumers have seen more and more breaches for everyday gadgets ranging from baby toys to smartphones. So, what can consumers and businesses do in response? “There are a lot of things [they] can do to protect their security,” says William Budington (@legind), a software engineer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). “Using encryption is a big part of that — well vetted end-to-end encryption […]

Death, Taxes, and Data Theft – You Can Only Protect Yourself From One

Creating opportunity

Fashion Week on Free Enterprise

With New York Fashion Week just days away, we’re kicking off a weeklong series that highlights the small businesses and rising entrepreneurs of the fashion world. From a design and manufacturing hub in L.A. to a new wave of clothing brands sweeping the nation, we’re taking a closer look at the new faces and places of the industry.   But before we get started, a brief history: Fashion week was founded in New York City in 1943 by a woman named Eleanor Lambert, who was a prominent publicist in the art and fashion world. She saw that designers were lacking a way to show off their collections to the international press, and thus, Fashion Press Week was born. The semi-annual event was held throughout the city each February and September, often in difficult-to-reach or unsafe locations. So, when Lambert created the Council of Fashion Designers of America (the CFDA) in […]

Fashion Week on Free Enterprise

America at work

Why paying it forward is a business in itself

The oft-repeated phrase “pay it forward” has slowly evolved from a karmic expression into a popular entrepreneurial business plan over the years. These days, creating a business that is focused on helping others or supporting worthy causes has become so popular that there’s now a name for it: social entrepreneurship.   One entrepreneur who has built a successful business on helping others is Chase Garbarino, CEO and cofounder of a company called VentureApp. The company’s mission: helping local groups turn their ideas into success. The business connects entrepreneurs with others that can help with everything from legal work to health plans. “Fortune 500 companies have divisions dedicated to researching suppliers, service providers, price negotiations and determining what services and products are best for the company,” says Garbarino. “Small to medium-sized businesses are cash-strapped and resource-light.” With that in mind, VentureApp has built up a marketplace of vendors that can help […]

Why paying it forward is a business in itself

Doing good