All Articles Tagged "spanx"
Entrepreneurs quickly become comfortable with the word “no.” They may hear it about a thousand times before they get the “yes” that takes their business to the next level. This rings truer for minority and women entrepreneurs who have the added hurdle of wooing investors who are unfamiliar with the communities they serve.
A New York magazine writer, Kevin Roose, recently came under fire when he deemed the website NaturallyCurly, a leading social network and community for people with wavy, curly and kinky hair, as a dumb investment with “no redeeming qualities whatsoever.” Many felt that Roose ignored evidence that supported investment in the site including the potential market of over 80 million women in the US with textured hair. Roose later updated his article to say he only took issue with the social network component of the idea, but his generalizations underscore an issue many women and minority entrepreneurs face.
Gatekeepers to the business world – investors, manufacturers and the like – aren’t known for their diversity. Largely white, male and upperclass, there is a myopic mindset that makes it all to easy for them to miss the potential and profitability of businesses that target consumers outside of the mainstream. It also creates an additional hurdle of shortsightedness for minority- and women-fronted businesses to overcome.
Kevin McFall, Senior Vice President of NewME Accelerator, an incubator for technology start-ups in the competitive industry of Silicon Valley, traces the root of the issue to a lack of ability to pattern match. “Patterns exist in Silicon Valley of Ivy League dropouts being the ones identified as having all of the big successes associated with their ventures, so some investors look to match that pattern and find others like that to invest in,” said McFall.
“Because there has not historically been a lot of female and multi-cultural entrepreneur success stories, those patterns aren’t as visible or as plentiful as there are of other patterns.” Fair or not, the onus is on entrepreneurs to educate investors on the potential of their ideas and to have the tenacity to not let hearing “no” stop their pursuit of success.
There is no shortage of stories of entrepreneurs who went on to success after major players passed on their ideas. Sara Blakely, the founder of SPANX met opposition from patent lawyers and manufacturers who told her, her idea for spandex-type undergarments to slim and smooth your figure was crazy. She went on to become the youngest self-made female billionaire in the world.
Bethenny Frankel, founder of Skinnygirl Cocktails, has been vocal about major liquor brands passing on her idea because they thought women wouldn’t buy low-calorie spirits. Skinnygirl Cocktails is now the fastest-growing spirit brand in the industry.
These women overcame initial opposition because not only did they have a good idea, but they were able to demonstrate success on a small scale. An idea is only worth something if a sustainable business can be built around it. Seth Godin, author and entrepreneurship guru, offers five basic components of a good business model:
- Profitable – Do the revenues from sales exceed the cost of supplies and labor?
- Protectable – Is it difficult for a competitor to enter your market? Have you accounted for potential rip offs of your idea?
- Self-priming – Can your business sustain itself? Will product sales generate enough profit for you to develop more products to sell?
- Adjustable – Is your business model flexible enough to adjust its strategy in response to unexpected challenges?
- Exitable – Have you developed a strategy that will allow your business to function without you?
If you answered yes to the questions above, you’re ready to take your idea to the next level. Tech blogger Paul Graham’s guide to presenting to investors is a good resource. He underscores the importance of being specific and narrow in your description of your idea, having data with specific numbers, and telling stories about your consumers that illustrate how you solve a problem.
The business world is becoming increasingly niche. Every day we are seeing individuals and companies tapping into the passions and needs of special groups. Investors that want to make money are opening their minds to new markets and ideas. The burden of proof is on entrepreneurs to show their potential and profitability.
Spring is steadily approaching and many of you may take this opportunity to go shopping for new spring outfits. Before you head out and swipe your credit card for the latest fashion trends, I’d like to offer tips on finding the best styles that flatter your body shape.Understanding your body shape and choosing styles that compliment your figure can dramatically change the way clothes appear on your body; change the way you perceive your body; and more importantly, give you the confidence to feel beautiful.
This is the time to embrace your figure, accept your troubled areas and accentuate your best features. Here are a few tips to make you look fabulous and feel like a million bucks!
(Note: There are roughly 4 body shapes. Please be advised each of us are made uniquely different. Thus, you may not fit one particular category, and as a result are a combination of two categories. For example, I have a straight body shape, however, I have a full bust.)
Celebrities may appear to have the best stylists and makeup artists in the industry at their fingertips, and they may seem to have complete access to the absolute best makeup products, clothing labels, and shoes that money can buy, but why can’t you have the same look for less? Well we’ve got good news – you absolutely can.
Check out these 8 tips on how you can create the same stunning and eye-catching looks that the celebrities are sporting, without the high cost products and overpriced salon stylists. Enjoy!
Forget everything you’ve read about how carbs and sugar and saturated fat in the foods we eat are at the root of America’s obesity problem. The real reason so many people are overweight is spandex.
Ridiculous right? Some people seem to think so. In NPR’s ongoing Obesity in America series, a reporter talked to a few clothing designers about the evolution of clothing over the past few decades and how spandex and stretchy material has become standard in today’s clothing and how that gives people more leeway to be overweight.
“Years ago, when we made a suit or a coat, it was built like a battleship. It was like bulletproof,” NYC designer George Simonton says. “Today, it’s beautiful clothes but high comfort level. Everything has stretch — pants, skirts, dresses, blouses, knit tops.”
When consumers were asked their take on the spandex revolution, the opinions differed by size.
One woman said, “I do like spandex because of the way it curves my body. We are not perfect bodies, but sometimes you do want to feel lean and beautiful. Put on spandex. You’re good to go.” While a size 4 argued, “I think that spandex is made to accommodate people who are overweight. I’ve seen some terrible sights. They are overweight, and they would put on the tightest spandex things they can find, and they just look absolutely awful.”
So are we talking about being overweight or wearing things that are not in your size? There’s a big difference there.
Expanding waistlines and a decline in the price of spandex in recent years has allowed for widespread purchasing of clothing and undergarments with these materials, and despite the wonders they can work on smoothing back fat and trimming a roll here or there, even those who wear them feel a bit conflicted. “It’s dishonest,” one woman said. “It lets you get away with wearing things that you probably shouldn’t just because it expands to fit. I think it is deceptive.”
What was supposed to be an article exploring America’s weight epidemic turned into a discussion of style preference,though, with comments like, “Some of us cringe when we see the things that we see. Some people will be poured into a garment and think they look fabulous, and someone else might look at that person and think that’s not very attractive.”
I personally would like to know what garments people are finding that they think would make a person feel like they’re not overweight if they are. At most, you might be able to squeeze into something one size smaller with a good pair of spanx and a dress with some flow, but for the most part all you’re going to get is a little smoothing and a sleeker silloughette. I don’t think anyone would use that for justification to not lose weight, especially if we’re talking obesity. Perhaps the point they’re trying to get at is if people didn’t look good in clothes they’d be persuaded to lose weight? Let’s just cut out plus-size clothes altogether then, that will fix the problem. Sigh.
What do you think? Does the fact that people can still find clothes in larger sizes keep them overweight? Are spanx and leggins bad for larger women’s waistlines?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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One lesson we all have to learn and relearn is that we’re all different. True, there may be some intersection but at the end of the day you can’t bet that what works for one woman will work for you. Keep this in mind when it comes to fashion. There is no way a designer can tailor clothes to accentuate every body type, so it’s up to you to carefully consider what you bring home. If you’re a woman with problem areas (that’s basically all of us), this becomes even more important. But don’t worry, problem areas don’t have to represent a problem in your wardrobe if you adhere to these simple tips.
The curvy figure is a symbol of femininity and womanhood, a physique that should be celebrated. What better way to appreciate yourself and your body than by properly adorning it with stylish clothes that accentuate the fullness of your frame? Check out these style tips to make sure you flatter your curvy form.