Archive for Art

Set in Clay

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Like so most small startups its beginnings were modest. It began in a small garage in Fall of 2009…Here a hugely successful social enterprise was born.

“With nothing more than an old stamp set, a box of clay, and a plan to support clean water projects in Africa, handmade creations emerged and MudLOVE was born.”

The MudLOVE team is made up of artists, makers, doers, thinkers…entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs with a skill and a passion to make the world a better place: “With ‘mud’ in our hands and love in our hearts, the chance to make a difference is our inspiration to create.”

MudLOVE partners with Water for Good through providing a week of clean water to someone in need for ever ML product purchased. Like many other developing countries, lack of clean water is a huge issue. The Central African Republic is no exception. MudLOVE aims to transform communities and save lives through providing access to safe and clean water.

MudLOVE also has a “Fundraiser Marketplace.” The company chooses initiatives to support and creates a campaign and a customized product to raise funds for that specific initiative.

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 In addition to providing water, MudLOVE necklaces, bracelets and mugs were designed to be instruments of encouragement and inspiration among people. The goal is for the products to spark conversation. “On the right wrist, a simple word can take on powerful significance.”

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MudLOVE craetes products that are aesthetically pleasing…appealing to the millennial generation through the design and the story and meaning they represent. Millennials are bound to make an impact, as they already have. We are drawn to buy products that make an impact on the world, and spark connections with others. MudLOVE products aim to do just that.

The story and mission of MudLOVE carries all the way into how they produce their product.

“Rethink, reuse, recycle: We are solution solvers. In the neverending search for improvement, we invent new tools that still require the careful guidance of human hands. As we strive to streamline production, our emphasis on quality goods remains strong. Every product goes through a careful screening process. If clay gets scrapped, we simply mix it into a new batch. There is always potential for the broken to be made new.”

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Snap Caps – Maddie Bradshaw

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Maddie Bradshaw was worth her first million at only 13 years old.  At 16, she was selling over 60,000 of her unique necklaces a month and making over $1.6 million annually.

Her idea for these unique, interchangeable, bottle cap necklaces started out as simple school locker decorations.  At 10 years old her uncle had given her 50 old bottle caps.  She decorated them, attached magnets to them, and when her friends saw them they all wanted some.  This inspired Maddie to create different designs with bottle caps.

She created Snap Caps.  Snap Caps are necklaces with metal pendants on them to attract and magnetize bottle caps.  Every bottle cap has some kind of symbol, letter, or design so that a person can swap different caps out depending on the style they want to wear for the day.

Maddie found immediate success with her necklaces.  In nearly every store she launched them in they all sold out.  As her business continued to grow and she made her first million at 13, she attracted the attention of the national media and ended up being interviewed on ABC and was able to pitch her project on Shark Tank.  The Sharks loved her idea so much that THREE of them invested into her company!

Currently 19 years old, Maddie continues to grow and expand her business.  She has said, “The great thing about our company is that it’s growing with me.  As my tastes change, so will the products.”  Maddie has also published a book called You Can Start a Business, Too.  Her advise to other young entrepreneurs like her is to, “Follow your passion. If you come up with an idea and you love it, chances are other people will, too.”

Something Fishy

When Madison Robinson was 8 years old, she was an avid drawer of aquatic characters. She brought a picture to her father of the outline of a flip-flop with her sea animals inside of it, announcing “Look Dad, Fish-Flops!” Seeing potential in his daughter’s idea, Madison’s father went out and bought the fishflops.com domain that very day.

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Now 17 in high school, Madison maintains the delicate balance of a normal high school girl, and working as a fashion designer most famously known for Fish Flops. In 2012, she wrote a letter to a top Nordstrom buyer suggesting they sell her Fish Flops in-store, and they accepted with 64 stores offering Fish Flops by July 2012. The next year her product was featured in a front page article on Yahoo, and the flood of buyers began – starting with every Fish Flop in Nordstrom selling out.

Madison has been featured on shows such as The Willis Report, Fox and Friends, and Inside Edition, as well as multiple publications including Forbes. With her huge success, Image result for FISH FLOPSMadison has become a philanthropist as well as an entreprenur. A portion of every sale goes to the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s campaign, SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction). She has also donated over 20,000 Fish Flops to several charities that help people around the world who have little access to footwear.

Madison has expanded her Fish Flops line to include shoes and slippers, as well as regular T-shirts advocating for the SAFE campaign. Despite already being a millionaire, instead of kicking back and relaxing Madison constantly seeks to improve herself and help others. She frequently speaks at Jr. Achievement events, and spreads the positive message of pursuing your dreams with a “never quit attitude.” Madison is making her mark on the fashion world, with a driven and determined attitude presented with a smile.

Life is Good

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The Life is Good Company was founded in 1994 by Bert and John Jacobs. They started by designing and selling t-shirts out of their van in the streets of Boston.

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Jake, the iconic stick figure, was created in the same year the company started. Jake was the beginning of Life is Good. The two brothers printed shirts of Jake and found that they were selling like a wildfire.

Their mission is to “spread the power of optimism”

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Their story: https://www.lifeisgood.com/our-story.html

Rifle Paper Co.

Anna Bond always loved stationary and pretty illustrations. After studying graphic design and creating a few posters for her husband’s band, she decided to create her own stationary brand. Most of her easily distinguishable pieces are floral designs or illustrations. She has expanded her brand over the past few years, and it now includes fabric, calendars, books covers, phone cases, planners, and more.

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Rifle Paper Co. goes beyond an ordinary stationary company. Anna Bond seeks to create an experience for her customers. The stationary industry is currently full of elaborate designs, but Anna Bond attracts people with her simple–yet beautiful–brand and style. She unifies her brand with her classic floral pattern and hand drawn illustrations. This helps her brand stand out and makes her company great.

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Anna Bond mixed her passion of design with her desire to innovate. She was not discouraged by the already saturated stationary market, but she found a way to create a successful and distinctive brand.

Check out her portfolio.

How To Cake It: A Sweet Business Idea

1430491ed0ba289134cb2033b20500e1As a communications major, I have been wondering if there are millennials out there who have used entertainment routes to start their business. YouTube, though known for popular cat videos, has created an outlet for entrepreneurs to express their niche in the community and get a following. Through ads and merchandise, many of these youtubers have been able to make a living off a once purely entertainment field. A rising youtuber, by the name of Yolanda Gampp, (probably known by her business as “How To Cake It”) has been growing in popularity within the past year. Yolanda, a self-taught baker after her father, has been posting YouTube videos about how to make really cool cake designs…and when I say really cool…I mean realistic to the point that it’s crazy to think it’s cake! I happen to follow her on YouTube and have enjoyed watching every video her team has posted over the past year. Yolanda also customizes her own tee-shirts (a different tee-shirt for every cake she makes) along with other merchandise that can be sold at howtocakeit.com. Yolanda and her team work to produce high quality weekly videos, and just recently How To Cake It won a Webby Award for Best Online Film and Video How-to & DIY.photo

As a mere 32 year old from Canada, Yolanda has created a business that many have grasped on to (Over 2 million subscribers to How To Cake It, and those numbers continue to grow). My hope for Yolanda and her team is to watch them grow in success, and I wait in anticipation to see what other amazing ideas they put forward into the world. Yolanda is a big inspiration to me. As a communications major, YouTube is an amazing outlet to start a career… but me just as a person, I look and I see Yolanda succeeding at her line of work, because she found something she loved. Her business is great because it combines that aesthetic appeal people crave, and also a unique skill that only she has perfected. She is innovative in her techniques for creating different cake pieces, and her skill is what has captured many people’s intrigue. A degree does not define her, but instead an entertaining and respectable mindset. That is what makes her a millennial entrepreneur. Anyone can make a cake. I can make a cake! But few can turn a cake into a watermelon with such great detail and creativity. Her personality is also fantastic, which leaves me as the viewer, always hungry for more. Check out the link and let me know what you guys think!

 

IdeaPaint

Whilst looking for a way to be able to brainstorm on the walls of his dorm, John Goscha stumbled upon the concept for IdeaPaint, a product that turns any surface into a dry erase board. Through the help of several partners and friends and over the span of four years, IdeaPaint came into commercial existence and revolutionized the process of innovation.

IdeaPaint sells dry erase paint in both clear and white colors, as well as their product PULL, which is a magnetic wall covering that combines with the dry erase paint. The truly unique thing about the paint is it allows you to turn anything into a dry erase board; we’re talking table, doors, and even a camper!

Customers from all over are having IdeaPaint products infused into their offices, businesses, and even their homes. Wayfair, an online home furnishing company, has featured this innovative creation in some of their design creations. TED even had an IdeaPaint coated wall at their 2015 Vancouver Convention Center. It was a prominent place for the TEDsters to collaborate, reflect, and add to artist Cascio’s designs.

IdeaPaint calls their product “the ultimate idea tool” and they hope that they can be a part of their customer’s best ideas. Their innovations are centered around the idea of helping others be innovative, and that’s pretty neat.

JOYN – fashioning better lives

kba_india_selects__058_large1spinning_large1After attending John Brown University, a private conservative Christian college, the newly-wed Melody Murray set out with her husband to work in an African orphanage. Melody and Dave could feel God burdening their hearts to reach out and help those in poverty. Over the next decade, they dreamed of themselves working with struggling artisans. In 2010, they moved to Rajpur, India, and JOYN was birthed.

JOYN is a socially-conscious handbag company that takes pride in their artistic 100% handcrafted products. At JOYN, people are valued and art is a process.

JOYN takes local artistic entrepreneurs and teaches them the proper technique of block-printing, block-carving,  weaving, spinning, and sewing. One by one, individuals are being empowered by their artistic talents and trade to rise above poverty. They work in a nurturing community that is propelled by a vision to share the joy of Christ’s love.

Every bag goes through a 12 step process. There is no electricity or machines used in the creation of a handbag. Melody refers to this as “a model of purposeful inefficiency.” Each step that goes into the production process means another life changed and more jobs created.

Currently, JOYN has expanded to several cities across India. Melody’s vision of creating jobs and spreading hope and joy is coming to fruition.   Read More →

IdeaPaint

IdeaPaintLogo_4cIdeaPaint is a dry erase paint company that was founded in 2002 by John Goscha as a freshman at Babson College in Massachusetts. According Goscha and its other founders Andrew Foley and William Gioielli, IdeaPaint’s purpose is to inspire and encourage everyone in their creative potential through their primary product which can transform almost any smooth surface into an erasable canvas, giving people the space they need to fully explore their ideas.

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Back in their dorms at Babson College, these entrepreneurs would hang large sheets of paper on their walls to have a better space to think through their ideas. However, they would constantly have to tear it down and put more up every time they ran out of room and they thought, Surely there must be a better way. The team searched for this product but, to their surprise, they found nothing. So they set off on a six year journey to make this product commercially viable. Now they are widely successful and have been recognized by Mashable and Forbes. Goscha says “I look forward to the company bringing great products to market that inspire creativity and innovation in all of our customers for many years to come.”

JackGap: Shed Session

photoTwin brothers Jack and Finn Harries have had a relatively distinct presence on Youtubefor several years now. With over 4 million subscribers on their channel titled JacksGap since 2011, it is no wonder that have some level of influence on the Youtube community. However, their normal content is not what I want to talk about. It’s a branch of their channel that they recently formed that has caught my attention. Shed Sessions is a strand of content where they showcase musicians playing acoustic music in their neighbor’s shed. Both loving quality music, Jack and Finn, are striving to expose start-up and small town musicians to a wider audience to benefit both the artists and listeners by giving them new content to listen to. While announcing the new project on their blog, Jack said,

“Music is something that I have always felt passionate about, in particular acoustic music. So it only felt natural to me to share it on our channel… There is something really exciting about being able to share music in such a raw and intimate setting. It is important to us to record Shed Sessions in one shot, with one angle. We want to capture the song in its rawest form.”

JacksGap has featured artists such as JP Cooper, Jeremy Loops, and We Were Evergreen. I myself have enjoyed listening to new artists and experiencing their music in such a natural setting. Jack and Finn recognized that no one with a significant Youtube following was promoting growing, talented musicians and so they took initiative. JacksGap has experienced significant success with Shed Sessions with views per video averaging around 1 million. The JacksGap channel continues to grow and explore new possibilities and it will be exciting to see which new avenues they will take over the next few years.

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