Archive for the 'miscellaneous' Category

01
Nov
18

How American is your Car? Kogod

How American is Your Car?

Each year, the Kogod School of Business keep statistics on the percentage of U.S. Made by each make and model. They have been doing this for the past 5 years. By using the AUTO INDEX, one can put in their own car and see American their car is. If you follow the link, in the auto index column – one can click which year you want to look up. The 2018 winner The Corvette.

Corvette 2018

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23
Oct
18

Park and Diamond Foldable Bicycle Helmet

Indiegogo

The Crowd Funding Source Indiegogo is helping to fund a new exciting product. Park and Diamond has made a foldable bike helmet that looks like a baseball cap. And it is safer than a traditional helmet. It will be manufactured in Europe and the United States. The bad: looks like it may be assembled in Asia.
Funding
Park & Diamond: Foldable Bike Helmet
Created by ex-SpaceX engineers. Looks & feels like a baseball cap. Safe as a traditional helmet.
Project Owner.
$942,174 USD raised by 9132 backers
1884% of $50,000

fixed goal

8 days left
Park & Diamond™ is an ultra-portable, stylish and collapsible bike helmet that looks and feels like a traditional baseball cap. It will comply with the U.S.Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Canadian cycling helmet CAN-CSA-D113.2-M and EU EN-1078 safety certification standards for the protection you need and a style you’ll love. * Collapsible, comfortable and breathable * Stylish and replaceable skin * Hand washable layers * Weighs 8 oz NOTE: On Mobile, click “READ THE STORY”.
  • Backers 9,132

The Park & Diamond helmet is ultra-portable and designed to fit into a custom water bottle-sized case to easily store in your backpack or large handbag, and will pass U.S. CPSC and EU EN-1078 cycling helmet safety standards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

* NYC Department of Transportation Study

 

 

 

Co-founder David Hall’s sister was riding her bike through the intersection of Park & Diamond when she was the victim of a hit and run accident. She spent the next four months in a coma. While she has since recovered and graduated from college, Dave and Co-founder Jordan Klein quickly learned that Dave’s sister was one of 85,000 Americans to suffer a traumatic brain injury from cycling-related accidents that year.

So David and Jordan asked: “How can we make cycling safer?”. After three years of development, the new Park & Diamond helmet will answer this question!

 

 

The Park & Diamond helmet will pass all U.S. and E.U regulations to make sure you get the protection you need while riding a bicycle or kick scooter. Adult sizes will be available first.

 

When a traditional bike helmet bounces, the EPS foam protective material releases the energy back to the users head during impact increasing the total momentum change the wearer experiences. With this greater momentum change, there is a greater likelihood of a head injury.

The Park & Diamond Bike Helmet’s patented protective material absorbs and dissipates three times more elastic energy than a traditional bike helmet, which means significantly less energy is being transferred to the head, and making the Park & Diamond Helmet a better bike helmet.

 

 

Click on the image to earn cash rewards for pledges from your own referral link!

 

 

Our helmet is light and easy to carry. You can roll it up in its custom carry case and store in your backpack, messenger bag or handbag.

 

Make a personal statement with our customizable helmet skins.  Choose your limited edition color and pattern.

 

The Park & Diamond helmet is breathable and washable, especially important during warm biking months. Want to change your look? The outside skin is easily replaceable.

 

 

Help us choose the next two colors by filling out the survey here.

 


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Select color and size after the campaign ends when we send out the survey. 

 

 

 

The Park & Diamond helmet was designed using patented and proprietary protection materials that are significantly more efficient at absorbing and dissipating energy than traditional bike helmets, It folds/rolls-up into a unique cylindrical case, and has washable and interchangeable skins.

* The Park & Diamond™  Helmet is designed and engineered to comply with  U.S, Canada, and European Union cycling safety standards. On delivery, Park & Diamond will comply with U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Canada CAN-CSA-D113.2-M, and the EU EN-1078 safety certifications. “Safe as a traditional helmet” safety claim is based on Park & Diamond’s compliance with these regulations.

 

“We see a world without life-altering brain injuries and will relentlessly work to create this reality.”

“Building more than a brand, a product, or a company, Park & Diamond sees a barrier-free ecosystem of protection for every lifestyle.”

A project three years in the making with the support and recognition from engineering and technology communities. We are fully prepared to deliver.

 

 

 

 

Jordan Klein is CEO/Co-founder of Park & Diamond, Inc. Jordan and his co-founder, David Hall, launched Park & Diamond three years ago as a mission-based company focused on protecting as many cyclist’s heads as possible, while developing accessible and portable products to fit everyone’s personal style.

Jordan was an Application Engineer at Altec working on making their industrial trucks safer. He attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (in Blacksburg, VA), majoring in Engineering Science and Mechanics, Math, and Entrepreneurship and New Venture Growth. Jordan has had a lifetime passion for cars and has always had a great interest in automotive engineering and how to make all vehicles safer.

Jordan is a big VA Tech Hokie fan, enjoys jet skiing and is keenly interested in anything with wheels that goes fast. Jordan Klein is from Chappaqua, NY and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

 

David Hall is President/Co-founder of Park & Diamond, Inc., and also co-designer, co-inventor and co-patent holder of the first Park & Diamond ultra-portable bike helmet. He co-founded Park & Diamond as a mission-based company focused on protecting as many cyclist’s heads as possible while developing accessible and portable products to fit everyone’s personal style.

David attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (in Blacksburg, Va), majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a focus in Industrial Design, product design, medical devices, and the role of cost-effective medical care. Prior to co-founding Park & Diamond, David was on the Virginia Tech engineering team Pediatric Medical Device Institute, as inventor/team leader of an initiative to design, manufacture, and implement a comprehensive infant monitoring system for neonatal hospital units.

David is from the Philadelphia area and can find any excuse to tell you how the Philadelphia Flyers are better than the Pittsburgh Penguins. He enjoys traveling, his two most recent trips were Cuba and Hong Kong and has a knack for getting lost. David is a new resident of Brooklyn, NY and is on a mission to find the spiciest food in NYC, as long as he can find his way home.

 

Keith Cutler is Director, Marketing Partnerships and a founding team member. Keith’s extensive career in sports/entertainment, media and product marketing uniquely positions Park & Diamond to develop one-of-a-kind partnerships to help put more safe and ultra-portable helmets onto cyclist’s heads.

Prior to joining Park & Diamond, Cutler ran KCMG Consulting LLC, focused on marketing and business development for sports, entertainment and media partnerships, C-level recruiting and executive coaching and working closely with startup entrepreneurs on team growth and business development. Other career highlights include: CBS Television Stations Digital Media, Sr. VP Business Development; Turner Broadcasting (Time Warner), Executive VP, Sports Sales & Marketing; USA Today Baseball Weekly (Gannett), Publisher/co-founder; USA Today (Gannett), Sports Marketing Director.

Keith Cutler is on the NJ Make-A-Wish, President’s Advisory Board, and the University of Florida, College of Journalism/Communications’ Advertising Board. He mostly enjoys spending time with his two daughters, traveling and photographing the world around him and rooting for all Florida Gators’ teams. Cutler graduated from the University of Florida (Gainesville, FL) with a B.S. in Advertising, was born in Miami, FL and currently lives in Hoboken, NJ.

 

Zak Koster is Director of Engineering at Park & Diamond. Zak’s breadth of engineering design team leadership and research-level education position him well to lead the engineering team designing high-tech ultra-portable and safe protective bike helmets.

Since Zak’s childhood, he immersed himself in science books with his deep love of physics. In high school, Zak’s physics admiration redirected to engineering when he participated in four years of FIRST robotics and co-founded his first consumer product company, ZKD Designs. Prior to joining Park & Diamond, Zak worked at SpaceX in Test Equipment Engineering at Texas and then Life Support Systems Engineering at SpaceX headquarters in LA, designing and testing flight-level hardware. Before SpaceX, Zak led an Ohio-based NASA Glenn research team focused on rotorcraft icing.

Zak attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Blacksburg, VA) and both for a Bachelor’s of Science and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering where he designed formula racecars and mentored the school’s hyperloop team. When he’s not dreaming of space travel, Zak hits the surf, skydives, and rock climbs. Zak is from Syracuse NY and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

 

 

 

U.S. (all 50 states + DC) will be offered Free Shipping.  For rest of the world shipping, a $5 charge for single helmet orders and $10 for the 2-pack and 4-pack orders. applies. Worldwide shipping fees exclude GST, VAT, equivalent taxes and customs duties. GST and VAT, if any, will be collected from backers at the time of delivery.

Orders placed now will begin shipping in February 2019 for Super Early Bird orders.  Other perk levels will ship March 2019.  Actual ship dates may vary.

 

By backing now,  you’ll be among the first to experience the comfort, style, portability and safety that the Park & Diamond helmet offers.

 

SHARE #PARKANDDIAMOND WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY!

 

 

Check out our FAQ section by clicking here. Still have questions?  Send a message to info@park-and-diamond.com or post a comment on the page here, if you’re a backer, and we’ll be happy to help!

Thank you for your support!

 

 

 

 

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03
Jul
18

The Dos and Don’ts for an American-Made Fourth of July

Celebrate the holiday by supporting your local makers and manufacturers.

Get excited guys. It’s almost here.

The Fourth of July is upon us, which means barbeques, trips to the beach and plenty of fireworks. But whether you are staying at home or hitting the road, you can still celebrate the holiday in style — and support companies that create jobs here at home.

Here are our dos and don’ts for a festive Fourth.

Don’t: Support Sweatshop Labor with Your Attire

Red, white, and blue is the dress code for the July 4th holiday, and you’ll find plenty of options at your local retailer. The problem? Many of those festive-looking T-shirts, shorts and dresses are made abroad (cough Gap cough), often in sweatshops where workers toil in unsafe conditions. Not the kind of thing to support while celebrating a holiday that honors freedom.

Do: Outfit Yourself in Patriotic Gear

Fortunately, there are plenty of red, white, and blue outfit options out there that also are manufactured in the United States. Mizzen + Main creates men’s clothing, including BBQ-ready casual shirts, that are designed to “breathe, stretch, and wick away moisture” — and you can find them at retailers like Nordstrom. For the ladies, New Orleans-based Jolie & Elizabeth offers an array of pretty patriotic dresses, including lightweight seersucker for hot summer days. Accessorize with gear from companies like beachy Skipper Bags, flip-flops from Okabashi and Tidal, and sunglasses from Martasand Handmade Sunglasses. Looking for swimsuits? Check out Point Conception. Want something super patriotic? All USA Clothing has you covered. Still not finding what you’re after? Check out our Made in America guide for even more options.

Don’t: Fly a Foreign-Made Flag

There’s nothing that quite packs a patriotic punch quite like the American flag, but unfortunately many of the flags found in big box stores are made in places like China. Ditto for much of the America-themed party gear out there as well.

Do: Decorate with American-Made Flags and Accessories

Good news: It’s easy (and inexpensive) to find a flag that’s manufactured in the United States. Family-owned Annin Flagmakers have been making flags in America since 1847, and you can find their products at major retailers like Walmart, Target, and Amazon. Another option: Valley Forge, which makes its flags entirely of domestic materials. You can find their products online, retailers like Home Depot, and at flag stores across the country.

On the decorations front, skip the big box party supply stores and check out the online options from Norton’s U.S.A., which offers everything from party plates to fun tiaras. Amazon also is a good place to look for American-made party favors like these patriotic tattoos and mustaches.

Don’t: Host an Unpatriotic (and Potentially Unsafe) Barbeque  

Outdoor cookouts are the among the most popular events of the July 4th holiday, but do you know where the food you are serving your guests is coming from? The U.S. imports a lot of food from China, and given China’s shaky history when it comes to food safety, it’s probably best to stick to local sources whenever possible. Meanwhile, we can’t think of anything less patriotic than drinking an imported brew on the Fourth.

Do: Stick to Locally Raised, Grown and Brewed Sources

It’s a great time to find outstanding local food and beverages, from organic options at your local farmer’s market to the aisles of big chain grocery stores. Grilling out? Ball Park, Hebrew National, Oscar Meyer and Johnsonville are all American-made, along with Arnold Bread, Country Hearth Bread and Pillsbury Dinner Rolls. You can also find plenty of Made in America condiments like Guldens, Heinz, and Vlasic (along with many other locally-made sauces).

On the beverage front, big brands like Landshark Lager, Coors, Sam Adams, Blue Moon, Miller Lite and Milwaukee’s Best are all brewed in America — and there are, of course, thousands of options from microbrewers and plenty of union-made options, too. Not into beer? Big brand wines like C.K. Mondavi, Michelle, Franzia, and more are among the union-made options available in most stores; hard liquors like Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Bullet Bourbon also are American-made. On the lighter side, soft drink giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo also produce a variety of beverages on U.S. shores.

You can serve your guests those drinks in Solo cups, Ball’s Mason Jars, or Tervis cups, all of which are manufactured in the United States. Meanwhile, Fiesta makes its colorful plates, bakeware and more in West Virginia, while Liberty Tabletop bills itself as the only maker of flatware in the United States.

Don’t: Fire Off Foreign Fireworks

The Washington Post reported in June that one Chinese businessman is now the largest supplier of pyrotechnics in the United States — companies founded by Ding Yan Zhong have sent 241 million pounds of fireworks into the United States so far this year. That raises significant questions about the overall competitiveness of the overall industry — and who wants to celebrate a foreign monopoly on the Fourth of July?

Do: Pick an American-Made Firework

American Fireworks was founded by an Italian immigrant in 1899, and is still family-owned and operated in Hudson, Ohio. Black Cat also offers a variety of Made in the USA fireworks for your outdoor celebration, and Diamond Sparklers are a great way to light up the night as well. But remember: Safety first, and be sure to verify that it is legal to set off fireworks in your area.

For more American-made options, check out our Made in America Directory. Is one of your Fourth favorites not on the list? Let us know on Twitter via @KeepItMadeinUSA.

26
Jun
18

China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China For Medicine

China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China For Medicine

By Rosemary Gibson, Janardan Prasad Singh  – Authors

Millions of Americans are taking prescription drugs made in China and don’t know it–and pharmaceutical companies are not eager to tell them. This is a disturbing, well-researched wake-up call for improving the current system of drug supply and manufacturing.

Several decades ago, penicillin, vitamin C, and many other prescription and over-the-counter products were manufactured in the United States. But with the rise of globalization, antibiotics, antidepressants, birth control pills, blood pressure medicines, cancer drugs, among many others are made in China and sold in the United States.
China’s biggest impact on the US drug supply is making essential ingredients for thousands of medicines found in American homes and used in hospital intensive care units and operating rooms.
The authors convincingly argue that there are at least two major problems with this scenario. First, it is inherently risky for the United States to become dependent on any one country as a source for vital medicines, especially given the uncertainties of geopolitics. For example, if an altercation in the South China Sea causes military personnel to be wounded, doctors may rely upon medicines with essential ingredients made by the adversary. Second, lapses in safety standards and quality control in Chinese manufacturing are a risk. Citing the concerns of FDA officials and insiders within the pharmaceutical industry, the authors document incidents of illness and death caused by contaminated medications that prompted reform.
This probing book examines the implications of our reliance on China on the quality and availability of vital medicines.

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Editor’s Note: It is extremely difficult to find out where pharmaceuticals are made, whether they are prescription of non-prescription. There is no law that mandates where the medications are manufactures, so if you check the box or the label, most often it is not there. The next step to find out where the medications are made is the book China Rx, which is the book we are reviewing. And lastly, calling up the company itself. Even with this time-consuming test, you may still not get the answer.

What most Americans don’t know is that 80% of of pharmaceuticals are made in China or India but mainly in China. China has a virtual monopoly on antibiotics. As for my feeling about antibiotics, I have noted that sometimes “Keflex” or cephalexin are totally ineffective. I think cephalexin is less effective not due to increasing resistance of bacteria, but due to a decrease of the potency of the antibiotics because of cheaper manufacturing practices. Plus, the FDA does not have the funding to oversee potency of most medicines especially generics.

Of course, when one country manufactures most of the world’s pharmaceuticals, this means that monopolistic policies are soon to follow: Increasing prices; ability to ignore penalties; ability to create shortages at a minute’s notice.

The authors of the book recommend that the US Congress label pharmaceuticals a strategic asset and therefore China can not use pharmaceuticals as unfair leverage against the U.S. in the future. Certainly, it is not going to happen from this Congress.

The book: China Rx can be purchased at book stores or Amazon.com.

11
Jun
18

From On-Line to Brick and Mortar in San Francisco

From On-Line to Brick and Mortar in San Francisco

There is a trend that everything is going digital even clothing. But, guess what? People like to try on clothing and shoes. What this article shows is that there are a several “digital”companies that are renting out physical spaces in San Francisco for consumers to come in and try out their stuff. It is no different than Amazon setting up a brick and mortar store. So, in one way, a lot of brick and mortar stores are going the way of the horse and buggy, but at this point in time, we still need them to try on clothing and shoes.

Digital is Put to the Test in S.F.

Digital Native Brands Test Their Concepts on SF’s Early Adopters

When it was time for 3-year-old direct-to-consumer shoe brand Rothy’s to open a physical store, founders Roth Martin and Stephen Hawthornthwaite chose Fillmore Street in Pacific Heights. In what was once a beloved neighborhood shoe-repair shop, the founders tapped interior designer Steven Volpe to create a wood-paneled space that reflected the brand’s mantra of “live seamlessly.” Upholstered surfaces are covered in Rothy’s recycled and 3D-knit materials, and the walls are entirely magnetic — making it easy to adjust wall displays (and fun to create an Instagram video-loop Boomerang).San Francisco was a “logical jumping-off point” for the digital native to make its analog debut, Martin says. The sustainability minded brand’s DNA, and its original customer base, is rooted here, for one, and the 600-square-foot space was a way for the brand to conduct consumer research, Hawthornthwaite adds — and it’s important to get the recipe right before considering other market.

The company’s biggest following is in New York — the San Francisco customer has been “a bit slower” to adopt the fashion side of the brand — but the densely populated, wealthy Bay Area customer base is made up of early adopters eager to experiment.

Rothy’s is part of a groundswell of online retailers that are setting up permanent shops this spring and summer, many for the first time, in ways that render San Francisco a retail testing ground. Residents are not only unfazed by fresh ideas and lofty goals, but they actively seek them out with the pride that accompanies a “told ya so” early adopter — whether it’s Asian food crazes, exotic spirits like Fernet-Branca, cult makeup brands or app-enabled transportation and services. Even Levi’s, Lyft and “likes” were once merely moonshots.

Now that appetite for disruption has trickled down to the traditional retail experience. Mall rats fill in for lab rats, and guinea pigs and focus groups have been rebranded an “engaged community.” Even A/B testing has gone analog. Instead of changing a variable in a website to see which version performs best, a physical store might offer two experimental patterns to see which sells best before making it available globally.

Bespoke, in the Westfield San Francisco Centre, offers interactive demonstration space for entrepreneurs.

Photo: Bespoke

Bespoke, a co-working space that opened in Westfield San Francisco Centre a couple of years ago, is perhaps the most literal interpretation of a retail testing ground. About 80 companies work in the space daily, including retail-tech startups, venture capitalists and innovation teams from larger brands. Global retailers often visit to be paired with technologists in the Bespoke network, says Bespoke director Judith Shahvar. Hemster, for example, is a tailoring startup that works with customers of mall stores that include Zara, Guess?, Express, Michael Kors and Kate Spade.

“The Bay Area’s mentality of innovation and experimentation infuses into the work culture in the city at every level,” Shahvar says. “A culture of innovation, combined with a strong venture capital presence and talent pool of technologists, makes San Francisco an ideal place for retailers to evolve with neighboring technology companies.

Plus, she adds, when it comes to beta tests, “residents have exceedingly high expectations for a product or service.”

Rothy’s was the first apparel brand to host a pop-up at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, and is just one of many companies that first experimented with showrooms or pop-ups that have now manifested into more permanent locations, among them Allbirds, Modern Citizen, MM.LaFleur, American Giant and ModCloth.

This month, ModCloth will open its first permanent California store. Called FitShop, the space on Fillmore Street was largely informed by a temporary concept that the San Francisco brand tested near Union Square in 2015 to coincide with the brand’s first line of ModCloth-branded apparel. (The company has since been acquired by Walmart.)

Monica Caliri, left, of Los Angeles shops with the help of stylist Jenna Cianelli of San Francisco during the soft opening of ModCloth Fit Shop in San Francisco on Monday, July 27, 2015.

Photo: Dorothy Edwards / The Chronicle

Experimental features of the pop-up that made their way to the permanent store include a full range of sizes displayed together, up to 4X; the concept of a sample shop, in which the customer tries on clothes in real life (IRL) and then orders by mail; a selection of vintage clothes and accessories curated for the San Francisco market; and social shopping events.

“The demand for personalization — high-tech, high-touch — in this market allows retailers to test and trial various products, services and variations across a diverse audience that is vocal, expressive and discerning,” says Elizabeth Cooksey, ModCloth vice president of retail and customer experience.

One of the lessons of the 2015 pop-up was the array of occasions for which the customer shops, from dressing for work to weddings, in addition to a general sense of how much customers wanted to engage with the brand.San Francisco etailer Modern Citizen began a few years ago with temporary shops in Facebook, Sephora and Lyft offices, which founder Jessica C. Lee says allowed the brand to collect feedback and build relationships with a community of early adopters. After a short-lived storefront in Cow Hollow last year, Modern Citizen plans to return to Union Street to debut its first flagship store in the fall.

New York womenswear brand MM.LaFleur has opened its first San Francisco showroom; its last collection introduced “creative casual” to serve the San Francisco woman, for whom “what to wear in tech is such an interesting conundrum,” says director of offline retail Rachel Mann.

Founder Sarah LaFleur says that after 10 local pop-ups, she’s found that Bay Area customers “are more willing to take a chance on a brand they haven’t heard of.” San Francisco is the company’s third largest market, after New York and Washington, D.C., but because the real estate market is so competitive, it took three years to land the ideal location where the FiDi meets SoMa.

Local luxury consignment site The RealReal also ran into the real estate issue. Chief Merchant Rati Levesque says the brand wanted to open a pop-up in both New York and San Francisco, but New York came first because they could find the right space faster. The RealReal opened its two-month space in Union Square in November. Levesque says that although the market sizes of the two cities are significantly different, the San Francisco iteration had revenues that were “just as strong” as New York’s. (San Francisco preferred Gucci while New York clamored for Céline and Hermès Birkin bags.)

More Information

When retail gets a workout

American Citizen: 165 Natoma St., S.F.

Hint: at 2124 Union St., S.F. June.

MM.LaFleur: 23 Grant Ave., S.F.

ModCloth: 2033 Fillmore St., S.F.

Modern Citizen: 2762 Octavia St. (temporary showroom).

Rothy’s: 2448 Fillmore St., S.F.

Beloved basics etailer Everlane, too, experienced a delay in opening its San Francisco store after first putting down brick-and-mortar roots in New York.

New York street-wear brand Supreme is still waiting to open a store in San Francisco, and finally found what it hopes will be a space on Market Street near Seventh Street, but it’s not set to open until next year, pending approval from the city.

New York and San Francisco are often at the top of the list of retail openings, with San Francisco especially hospitable to newfangled ideas. Rent the Runway, for example, opened its first store-in-a-store in San Francisco’s Neiman Marcus in December 2016. The space lets shoppers rent the type of clothes and accessories they would normally buy in the high-end department store.

“We’d been wanting to come to San Francisco for a while — it’s our third-largest market in the U.S. after New York and L.A. — and realized early on how central food and homegrown institutions are to the culture,” says Glossier head of retail and offline experiences Melanie Masarin. This sparked the idea to test an entirely new format.

“We felt that the consumer in S.F. would respond well to the wacky idea of selling beauty products and fried chicken side by side.” Ultimately, the one-month experiment saw more than 20,000 visitors and allowed Rhea’s Cafe to stay in business, she says.

Local clothing consignment website ThredUp plans to open physical locations in Burlingame, Los Gatos and Pleasanton after a test store in Walnut Creek was successful.

Photo: ThredUp

A year ago, local clothing consignment website ThredUp opened test “smart stores” in Walnut Creek and in San Marcos, Texas.

“The Bay Area’s history with technical innovation — and today’s abundance of tech startups and disruptive retail brands — makes San Francisco-area consumers particularly willing to engage with new and different experiences. ‘R&D’ is a way of life here,” says ThredUp head of retail Heather Craig. ThredUp has tested concepts such as “immediate payout,” which allows consumers to bring in clothes they want to sell and be compensated immediately.

The brand closed the Texas store but now plans to open more locations in Burlingame, Los Gatos and Pleasanton, after retail tests in Walnut Creek “blew San Marcos out of the water” in terms of profitability and customer acquisition.


Testing grounds aren’t limited to stores, or fashion. Bird, a San Monica scooter-rental service, recently landed here because of the city’s heavy traffic and its goal to reduce carbon emissions. It also didn’t hurt that “transportation disrupters” have become synonymous with San Francisco. And e-tailer Brandless has experimented with “activations” on the Berkeley campus and beyond that don’t even sell product.

And, of course, there’s the desire to create something tangible that people will be compelled to share online, says Ross Bailey, who is the founder and chief executive officer of Appear Here, which matches companies with retail space to host pop-ups.

Water company Hint, whose headquarters is on Union Street, has been gradually expanding its real estate footprint as the business has grown. This summer, the brand will open its first official “store” there. The plans include a water bar, where customers can saddle up to try flavors while learning about the brand’s ethos in a space that will be designed to look and feel like a beach oasis. Chief executive officer Kara Goldin anticipates it will be very Instagrammable.

“This could be the next iteration of retail,” she says, comparing the experience she envisions being more akin to a winery. “It’s not about walking in to buy something or drink something but about experiencing ‘What does the brand stand for? What is the energy that I get when I go into this company?’”

For Hint, San Francisco was the only location that made sense — for now.

“There was no better place to launch besides here,” Goldin says, “not only because it’s the home of our product but because it makes sense in people’s minds for quality, healthy products. We didn’t think of launching anywhere else.”

Maghan McDowell is a San Francisco freelance writer. Email: style@sfchronicle.com.

 

03
Apr
18

Baseball Equipment Made in USA

Baseball Equipment Made in USA

Baseball is back!

From the bats to the hats, Made in America is a big part of baseball.

For a sport that’s been historically dubbed as our National Pastime, baseball still lives up to its atmosphere of patriotism. But is the equipment that our idolized athletes rely on to perform still Made in America?

With the nationwide breadth of activity and competition baseball commands, it’s harder and harder to find products that are made in the United States. Hall-of-Famer Leo Durocher once said, “There are only five things you can do in baseball: run, throw, catch, hit, and hit with power.” Here’s a quick guide of gear manufactured by companies that support American jobs to help you do just that.

Bats: This product is about as synonymous with baseball as ice is to ice hockey. The almighty Louisville Slugger and its Kentucky-born brand still operate and manufacture in the United States, helping MLB all-stars like Ryan Zimmerman chalk up hits. It’s also union-made, by United Steelworkers Local 1693.

Balls: Rawlings is the supplier of all baseballs used in the Major and Minor Leagues. Although founded and headquartered in Missouri, the company’s official game balls are now manufactured in Costa Rica.

Bases: Schutt makes all the bases used in the MLB in Litchfield, Ill.

Gloves: There’s a lot of choices here, but many pros use Rawlings’ gloves. While the company’s larger market production has diversified overseas, Rawlings’ pro and custom models are made in Missouri. You can even have your glove tailor-made to fit your hand, just like National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton. Alternatively, Nokona Ballgloves out of Texas offer handcrafted gloves that are 100 percent American-made.

Protection: This is another area where the mass market has opted to produce overseas. But Schutt Sports still sells helmets, catcher’s pads, and other gear that’s been made in the United States. Just make sure to check the label before you buy.

Cleats: New Balance, headquartered in Boston, boasts some of the best baseball cleats in the game. A company committed to making footwear in the USA, New Balance is transparent that some of their production is overseas. Like helmets and pads, check before you buy.

Hats: New Era Cap Company owns exclusive licensing rights to the MLB (and the NBA and NFL) and makes the official on-field hats for the league. Founded in Buffalo, New Era makes many of their hats in their city of origin. Some of the company’s caps are still produced overseas, so it’s another case of checking the label. If you want your hat guaranteed American-made, check out Americap Baseball Caps, produced in North Carolina.


Editor’s Note

Interesting this article didn’t mention the major league uniforms. Another relevation is that the American baseball is no longer made in America. Since mid 2015, Major League Baseball off-shored their baseball manufacturing to Costa Rica. So what happens, the balls are made cheaper, but also made differently. These “new and improved baseballs” have flatter seams and smaller circumferences which causes an increase of home runs by 4%, according to writer, Ben Lindbergh and  Mathematician, Mitcel Lichtman in fivethirtyeight. In 2017, 6,105 Home runs were hit in the regular season, eclipsing the previous record, in 2000, a product of the Steroid Era 5,693 home runs. Isn’t that great? Major League Baseball owners by using a cheaper baseball, made in Costa Rica, now have a Home Run barrage. I guess, it is better than when all the owners (and I mean every single one of them) turned a blind eye to the open usage of anabolic steroids. Of course, MLB owners deny that the baseball flies farther. Yea, sure. Why not just put a superball in the center of the baseball and put aerodynamic dimples on the cover? Happy Home Runs and Strikeouts!

Thanks to the Alliance for American Manufacturing for the article.

28
Dec
17

Buying American Made Matters Video

Buying American-Made Matters

from the Alliance of American Manufacturers December 27, 2017

Video




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