February 24, 2020

The Work Diary of Jessica Walsh, Designing (and Wining) Woman

4 p.m. Went to the vet. My dog Oscar has spinal cancer and had surgery and radiation last year, but they couldn’t remove all of the cancer because of its proximity to his spine. They believe it has metastasized to his liver, which means he might only live another three to six months. It’s very sad.

5 p.m. Creative ideation, et cetera. Ate a quick delivery dinner with Zak somewhere.

11:30 p.m. Talked with Nadia Chauhan, the chief marketing officer of Parle Agro, an Indian beverage company, about some of the creative choices for the upcoming print campaign and TV commercial shoots. She lives in another time zone, so I’ll often catch her late nights or early morning to chat via WhatsApp or calls.

7 a.m. Emails and calls with the production company, client and director for next week’s shoot. I typically eat breakfast and lunch while working on my computer. This morning, I had juice, nuts and overnight oats. I’m trying to eat better because of my migraines, though what I really want is a greasy egg and cheese sandwich.

10 a.m. Went to our photo studio for a small shoot. While I was in the studio, I connected with the team about our 2020 photo studio and prop library, and ideas for the new space.

1 p.m. Answered questions for a magazine press interview, worked on a presentation for an indoor vertical farm company we’re doing branding for and chatted with our producers about operations logistics.

7 p.m. Had a quick dinner with a friend, followed by a massage in Tribeca with my mom and my sister Lauren at Shibui Spa. The spa trip was my birthday present from last year from Lauren.

11:30 p.m. Watched “Fleabag” before bed.

8 a.m. We are working on digital video ads for a popular skin care company in Korea. These will run as paid media on social. I reviewed the latest video edits and the client’s feedback notes. My team is amazing and have done a fantastic job with this project; I’m happy with how all the videos have turned out.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/30/business/smallbusiness/jessica-walsh-work-diary.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

Is a 400% Rent Increase the Future of Coney Island?

Mr. Bloomberg wanted to restore the district, which began to decline in the 1960s, to its heyday by promoting the development of stores and apartments along Surf Avenue. Businesses that were open only in the summer would move to a year-round schedule, helping to bolster what Mr. Bloomberg envisioned as the nation’s largest urban amusement park.

The city leased the land to Zamperla, allowing it to open Luna Park in 2010, dictate its own lease agreements with small businesses owners, and even require those businesses to hand over some of their profits.

Beloved boardwalk businesses that did not fit Zamperla’s vision were shuttered. Others, like Ms. Carlin’s boutique, which had been evicted under Mr. Sitt, returned.

By 2012, the revival was underway, and crowds and revenue were growing. Ms. Carlin said her profits rose nearly 50 percent after Zamperla assumed control.

“Most people believe that it has been developed in a manner consistent with Coney Island’s history,” Seth W. Pinsky, the former president of the Economic Development Corporation, said about the area.

Still, the amusement district is not operational year-round. Mark Treyger, the city councilman who represents the part of Brooklyn that includes Coney Island, said he believed this stemmed from a dearth of investment by the city and Mayor Bill de Blasio in the 2009 goals.

“Businesses just don’t know where the de Blasio administration is taking Coney Island,” Mr. Treyger said. “There’s a lack of vision or holistic plan to improve the area.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/15/nyregion/coney-island-rent-hike.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

Buying Black, Rebooted

Access to capital is a recurring barrier to growth for businesses of all stripes, but traditional financing options are especially difficult for black owners. When black entrepreneurs do get loans, they tend to receive lower amounts and at higher interest rates than other groups.

Black women, the fastest growing segment of business owners, are the least likely to receive investments from venture capitalists. They account for less than 1 percent of the $424.7 billion raised in tech V.C. funding since 2009, according to the 2018 Project Diane study conducted by DigitalUndivided, an organization that empowers women entrepreneurs of color.

Michelle Dalzon is confronting this reality as she plans the next phase of the Black-Owned Market, or theBOM, her three-year-old pop-up. Ms. Dalzon put on her first event in New York in December 2016 without sponsors. It was a huge success — guests came from as far away as Ohio to shop — but it depleted her savings.

“That whole market, altogether, was, like, $16,000 that I have not recouped yet,” she said.

Since then, Ms. Dalzon has worked with brands like Airbnb, Blavity and Jack Daniel’s, and introduced a pop-up experience in Boston as well as an e-commerce site. But now that the pop-up field has become oversaturated, Ms. Dalzon wants to build a permanent market that could be a multiuse space catering to black-owned brands.

Instead of going the V.C. route, Ms. Dalzon has opted for angel investment.

“It’s important for me to make sure they’re the right investment partners for theBOM,” she said. “Not everyone who is willing to give you money is going to be the right partner.”

“Once you take V.C. funding, the clock starts ticking,” she continued. “You have eight to 10 years to get your start-up in a position to sell. I’m not sure if I want to sell, or if it’s something that I want to keep in my family for generations.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/25/style/buying-black-rebooted.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

How Can Female Entrepreneurs Attract Financing?

It’s generally acknowledged, however, that women get a fraction of venture capital globally, and that those who are black, Hispanic or Asian get significantly less.

“Money is the biggest stumbling block for female-led start-ups,” said Suzanne Norris, a partner at Victress Capital, a Boston-based firm that invests in companies with female founders and gender-diverse teams.

“People invest in people who look like them,” said Nathalie Molina Niño, author of Leapfrog: The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs” and chief executive of .

Still, leadership and financing experts say there are ways women can attract money to their start-ups.

Show your value. Half the challenge is seeing things through the lens of potential funders. Step into their shoes when you’re asked, “What’s your background? What have you done that shows your credibility to succeed in this business?” said Sanyin Siang, executive director of the Fuqua/Coach K Leadership and Ethics Center at Duke University and author of “The Launch Book: Motivational Stories to Launch Your Idea, Business or Next Career.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/19/business/women-entrepreneurs.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

Starting Your Own Business Is Hard. Here’s Some Advice.

GiftsDirect.com/TheIrishStore.com

As a young girl, Ms. O’Sullivan spent Saturday mornings watching her grandmother deftly chat up customers at the counter of her sweet shop on Merrion Row in Dublin. “Granny was quite a character,” said Ms. O’Sullivan, founder of GiftsDirect.com, the largest online retailer in Ireland, and TheIrishStore.com, which sells Irish products globally. “She loved running her own business. Customers would walk blocks past other similar stores just to spend a few minutes with her.”

In 1987, Ms. O’Sullivan embarked on her own journey as an entrepreneur, selling teddy bears and driving a moped to deliver them. She took off with start-up capital of 2,000 pounds funded by her friends and family — and the soul of her grandmother driving her forward.

Seek out women-friendly initiatives and supporters.Going for Growth is an initiative to support female entrepreneurs in the Republic of Ireland. Look for funders who support women-owned businesses. Enterprise Ireland, for example, has a special fund for female entrepreneurs.”

Keep learning. “In 2009, the opportunity to attend an intensive yearlong program sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, Leadership 4 Growth, held at Stanford University Graduate School of Business, boosted my leadership, strategic capability, and confidence. It was like an M.B.A. with no exams, thank you. This was a game changer in the business. It allowed me to step back and say ‘hang on a second what is it we really need to do to get to the next stage?’”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/19/business/women-entrepreneurs-advice.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

The SoftBank Effect: How $100 Billion Left Workers in a Hole

Compass, which is valued at $6.4 billion, now has 13,000 agents, all contractors, in 238 offices across the United States. It has grown by promising some agents bonuses and 90 percent of the commissions on future deals, in an industry where 70 percent to 80 percent is standard.

The breakneck growth has led to cracks. Several top executives have recently left, as have recently arrived brokers.

One was Tricia Ponicki, 44, who started at a Compass office in Chicago in February. She said she had been drawn by the generous compensation; the company also promised more resources to aid home sales.

But there was so much turnover in Compass’s marketing offices that it took three months to produce a brochure for a house. When she requested a For Sale sign, she was told they were back ordered. Her husband made the sign instead.

“Right from the beginning, I was constantly being misled and misled,” she said.

Over six months with Compass, Ms. Ponicki sold one property, earning $4,300. A year earlier, she had netted around $100,000 selling homes at a local agency.

In August, the mother of four applied for food stamps. She also returned to her old agency, At Properties, where her sales have picked up, she said.

Compass employees and agents have generated less revenue per person than other online brokerage firms and, sometimes, even traditional ones, according to research by Mike DelPrete, an independent real estate strategist and visiting scholar at the University of Colorado.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/12/technology/softbank-startups.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

How to Sell a House in Southern Calfornia: Make a Movie

The film, of course, is as much about the appeal of the model as the home. But by using sex, helicopters and shots of a gleaming red Corvette to sell the property, Neo made it quite clear: In this sort of marketing, peddling a fantasy can help close a deal.

Ben Bacal began adding actors to his listing videos in 2014. The Los Angeles-based agent, a former film student who also dabbles in internet companies and has more than $2 billion in sales to his name, is a fixture on the high-priced home circuit in Hollywood. He offers his clients a professionally produced video for every home he agrees to represent, and he estimates that in 40 percent of those cases, he includes actors and a story line.

Some are sweet: A home in Bel Air, which he listed in March 2016 for $48.5 million, shows a brother and sister channeling their best Ferris Bueller impressions, faking sickness in their custom bedrooms before dashing out to their backyard infinity pool with skyline views after their parents head off to work. (The home sold for $39 million in December 2016.)

Others are more slapstick, like the film for a home on Rising Glen Road in Los Angeles (the house where the actress Brittany Murphy died), in which an adorable corgi named Sherlock Bones inherits the mansion listed for $18.5 million and heads there to live his best canine life. (That home sold in 2017 for $14.5 million.)

In all of Mr. Bacal’s videos, plots are thin but visuals, and humor, are laid on thick. That’s intentional, he says.

“Instead of telling a long dramatic story, I like to pull characters through the house and do something that makes it voyeuristic, where you can see the property. Focusing too much on story takes away from the home,” he said in a phone call from Mykonos, Greece, where he was on vacation. “I’m not Quentin Tarantino.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/12/realestate/how-to-sell-a-house-in-southern-calfornia-make-a-movie.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

How to Sell a House in Southern California: Make a Movie

The film, of course, is as much about the appeal of the model as the home. But by using sex, helicopters and shots of a gleaming red Corvette to sell the property, Neo made it quite clear: In this sort of marketing, peddling a fantasy can help close a deal.

Ben Bacal began adding actors to his listing videos in 2014. The Los Angeles-based agent, a former film student who also dabbles in internet companies and has more than $2 billion in sales to his name, is a fixture on the high-priced home circuit in Hollywood. He offers his clients a professionally produced video for every home he agrees to represent, and he estimates that in 40 percent of those cases, he includes actors and a story line.

Some are sweet: A home in Bel Air, which he listed in March 2016 for $48.5 million, shows a brother and sister channeling their best Ferris Bueller impressions, faking sickness in their custom bedrooms before dashing out to their backyard infinity pool with skyline views after their parents head off to work. (The home sold for $39 million in December 2016.)

Others are more slapstick, like the film for a home on Rising Glen Road in Los Angeles (the house where the actress Brittany Murphy died), in which an adorable corgi named Sherlock Bones inherits the mansion listed for $18.5 million and heads there to live his best canine life. (That home sold in 2017 for $14.5 million.)

In all of Mr. Bacal’s videos, plots are thin but visuals, and humor, are laid on thick. That’s intentional, he says.

“Instead of telling a long dramatic story, I like to pull characters through the house and do something that makes it voyeuristic, where you can see the property. Focusing too much on story takes away from the home,” he said in a phone call from Mykonos, Greece, where he was on vacation. “I’m not Quentin Tarantino.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/12/realestate/how-to-sell-a-house-in-southern-calfornia-make-a-movie.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

Is Cold Brew Better Than Iced Coffee?

“I’ve seen this statistic a lot,” she said in reference to a oft-quoted claim that cold brew is 70 percent less acidic than regular iced coffee. “But I don’t see any scientific data to support this claim,” directing me to a study that shows “comparable” pH values from cold- and hot-brew samples, “ranging from 4.85 to 5.13.” For comparison’s sake, the stomach’s pH hovers somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5.

Wading through the world of cold brew coffee can be a brutal game of trial and error. Thanks to the wide range of brewing methods, the difference in caffeine content among cold brews is considerably harder to predict than the amount of acid. After brewing for 20 hours, 16 ounces of cold brew at Starbucks contains 200 milligrams of caffeine (12 milligrams per ounce). While that’s about 20 percent higher than their iced coffee, which clocks in at 165 milligrams (10 milligrams per ounce), it’s considerably lower than the same amount of hot coffee, which has 310 milligrams (20 milligrams per ounce). Coffee from Dunkin’ reports similar numbers, with 10.8 milligrams in every ounce of cold brew.

But when you wade into more specialty waters, especially among prepackaged brands, the caffeine content is far from predictable. Canned cold brew brands Rise and High Brew have nearly identical packaging, but grabbing the wrong one could cost you. Rise’s original flavor contains 180 milligrams in its 7-ounce can (25 milligrams per ounce), which is anywhere from 30-50 milligrams more caffeine than what’s found in High Brew’s 8-ounce can. Stumptown, a roaster based in Portland, Ore., sells cold brew in 10.5-ounce bottles that contain a whopping 29.4 milligrams of caffeine per ounce. To a caffeine addict like myself, that number sounds lovely. But to the uninitiated looking to give cold brew a shot, it’s a recipe for disaster.

“A lot of people will not tolerate that amount of caffeine,” Dr. De Latour said. “Some people’s GERD is worsened by coffee because of the caffeine content and its impact on the sphincter muscles,” adding that high amounts found in some cold brews can make people feel quite sick, with symptoms like jitters, peristalsis of the bowels, diarrhea or even increased anxiety and stress. She then reminded me that it is, after all, a stimulant.

So that leaves us with cold brew prepared at home, a great option for those looking for more control when it comes to caffeine and acidity. The New York Times’s own recipe calls for just 12 hours of brewing. Similar recipes can be found across the internet, and all are easy to adjust in order to find the balance that works for your own stomach and pocketbook. A happy medium can be found in store-bought cold brew concentrates. These brews are meant to be diluted, so if you find it too strong, just add water or milk. Not strong enough? You get the idea.

In January, I approached the counter of Starbucks at an airport after waiting alongside an amorphous line of fellow uncaffeinated travelers for half an hour and, relieved to have made it there without collapsing, ordered a large cold brew iced coffee. I even used “venti” — the Italian word for 20, as in the number of ounces it contains — when requesting the large size, even though Italians use the metric system. But my commitment to the chain’s conceptually unsound ordering language did not bear fruit, as I was told by the barista that they had just run out of cold brew. All they had left was standard iced coffee, meaning hot brew served over ice. Out of other options and surrounded by more long lines, I grudgingly accepted. It wasn’t cold brew, but it was coffee. And that’s usually enough.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/02/style/self-care/cold-brew-iced-coffee-difference.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

Instagram Therapists Are the New Instagram Poets

Instagram therapists are the new Instagram poets, in a way — only instead of posting free verse in typewriter font, they deal in pithy pronouncements about embracing imperfection, self-care, “growth mindset,” mothering oneself, impostor syndrome and trauma. The digital words of accounts like @thefatsextherapist, @nedratawwab and @the.holistic.psychologist are meant to encapsulate the “aha” moment of a therapy session. The best part? There’s no bill afterward.

Ms. Olivera, 33, started her account, @lisaoliveratherapy, in November 2017 while transitioning to private-practice work from community mental health. She thought Instagram could be a good way for new clients to find her. In the last two years, she has gained 161,000 followers — more than double that of Bill de Blasio, the New York City mayor and Democratic presidential candidate.

Ms. Olivera was something of a pioneer. “I started it on a whim, not sure what it would look like or where it would go. There weren’t many therapists on Instagram at that time,” she said. “It was inspiring to see how many people were wanting to learn more about emotional health and look internally and do the work inside themselves, even if they weren’t able to access therapy.”

Allyson Dinneen, 54, is a marriage and family therapist in Great Barrington, Mass. Online, she is @notesfromyourtherapist, posting handwritten advice on scraps of paper for 130,000 followers. Like Ms. Olivera, Ms. Dinneen opened her account in late 2017 while starting her private practice. She wanted a way to have an impact on more than one person at a time.

“The internet is filled with directives: ‘Do this, do that, stop doing this, do that.’ That’s hard for people to take in,” she said. “I’m coming from my own experience, and people feel more open to taking in what they need.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/26/style/instagram-therapists.html?emc=rss&partner=rss