Happy MLK Weekend everyone!! As you know we love to connect with other young entrepreneurs following their dreams...so today we are thrilled to bring you an interview with Scott Poniewaz, Co-Founder of CampusDibs. CampusDibs is a fully functioning sale site dedicated to the needs of today's college student. We are super psyched to be apart of this week's CampusDibs Newsletter and hope you check out our interview with Scott as well as their awesome site.
CMar: What is CampusDibs and how did you originate the idea for it?
Scott: It wasn’t long ago that we were digging for change in the cushions for beer money, and realized it would be awesome if we could help students live large on the cheap with brands they already know, while also introducing up-and-coming products, services and brands (like c. marchuska). Students have similar needs across the country, so we offer everything from deals at the local pizza place all the way up to products like dorm furnishings, textbooks, or spring break travel. We also provide the opportunity for amazing experiences like NJ Nets basketball games or touring Broadway shows like Rock of Ages.
CMar: Who currently is a part of the CampusDibs team and how did you meet?
Scott: We have a great team with Garren Givens, Manish Vora and I as the co-founders of the company. We were all born in Wisconsin and somehow connected in New York through various entrepreneur and startup channels here in the city. We also have a few full-time staff and interns from schools like Baruch, Columbia, and Trinity (and we’re still looking for more).
CMar: What role has social media played in your business?
Scott: Colleges have inherent offline social networks that are tightly knit. One person telling their 3 roommates has been a great benefit with campuses. Facebook and Twitter referral programs are also key to helping spread Campus Dibs to different campuses around the country.
CMar: Where do you see CampusDibs 5 years from now?
Scott: We’ll still be putting together great offers for students and introducing them to the best things out there. Given the pace at which things move in modern times and in technology, we have a feeling there will be a much different experience we’ll be building on to bring everything awesome to students. Who knows, maybe we’ll have space travel for spring break by then!
CMar: Have you always been an entrepreneur?
Scott: I definitely did not take a direct path to where I am today. I grew up in Wisconsin and started college at the University of Montana studying art education, graduated with a photojournalism degree, landed a job teaching photo programs in Southeast Asia for a teen travel company, then ended up building their India operations and other Asian markets before leaving the safety of a salary and jetsetting to take the leap of faith to help launch Campus Dibs. Along the way, I’ve done everything from ski instructing to graphic design to cooking. Versatility is an important trait for entrepreneurs.
CMar: What inspires you?
Scott: Success, but not in the financial sense. Everything I do, I want to do well. I think Garren, Manish and I all share the same workaholic ethic, simply because we have that drive to succeed in everything we do. You should see us at our company bowling parties, you’ll definitely see that drive come out in all of us (laughing).
CMar: What's the most important thing you have learned from starting this business?
Scott: Aside from keeping all of our students happy and saving them money, it is the ability to reflect on how each decision effects the business, then move our strategy forward or pivot quickly based on that information. From my time in India for my previous company, it would definitely be that a cup of tea can go a long way.
CMar: Will you be featuring more green companies going forward? Is it an initiative for your site?
Scott: As we grow, we want to definitely feature more green companies on our site. One of our partnerships is with Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA and they have been very adamant about doing a series of local, green deals for their campus. We think college students today are more conscious and supportive of eco-friendly brands and of course, we love them too!
Thank you so much Scott!!! Have a fabulous weekend everyone!
Until next time stay eco-fabulous,
Happy Wednesday Everyone We had the pleasure of being a part of the new web series, "Bounce Back", for WEtv and would like to take the time to introduce all of the people featured on the show. Check it out!
Special thanks to our amazing team which unfortunately was not given justice by this clip.....so let's give them serious accolades here Click on their names to find out why these peeps are SO AWESOME!!!
Blogger Meeting scene from clip:
Skype Discussion scene from clip:
Video Footage scene from clip:
Fabulous team member who was out of town during the webisode taping: Krystal Williams
Thank you SO much to all of our fans and community members who continue to help us live out our dreams! Stay tuned for tomorrow's blog coming from our newest CMar correspondent in our nation's capital
Love your skin, love your hair, love you. That's the tagline for 100% natural hair and skin care company, Yamerra. Its founder, Maryam Moma is a 25-year-old fashion model who blends the beauty benefits of shea butter and essential oils with luxurious scents that'll leave you wanting more.
Angel: Yamerra is 4 years old. How did you come up with the concept to start the line and what is your company's philosophy?
Maryam: I founded Yamerra a few years after I graduated from Temple University with a degree in architecture. I enjoyed studying architecture, however- it was not my passion. I have always been immersed in the world of beauty, skincare and haircare, and fashion, being a fashion model in the industry since I was 16. I was primarily inspired to create Yamerra by my own skincare and haircare needs to create functional and useful blends for personal use with affordable and natural raw materials. I discovered that Shea butter is extremely restorative and healing for the hair and skin. I decided to mix pure Shea with essential oils and herbs to even enhance it more.
Angel: As a young entrepreneur, what steps did you take to start Yamerra and what challenges did you encounter?
Maryam: One of the first steps I took when I started Yamerra was to work vigorously to create a nutrient-rich and titillating scent palette for its products. I wanted to restore balance and radiance to my skin and hair using raw shea, and also be left smelling delectable! Closer to Yamerra’s founding, I brought a chemist on board, Victoria O., to make sure Isure herbs and essential oils did not clash to irritate the skin and hair; rather, to rejuvenate, balance and heal.
Angel: Why did you choose to build Yamerra as an organic skin and hair care line?
Maryam: One of the primary reasons for making Yamerra all natural and organic is because all natural ingredients and raw materials are not only better for the skin and hair but also for the earth and environment. Yamerra is a sustainable brand. It has been an extremely important decision to keep the line organic and all natural so that it can be used and enjoyed by all, safely. Yamerra is recommended for even babies.
Angel: Your products are sold in three U.S. states, as well as international locations, Dubai and Nigeria. How do you manage Yamerra as an international brand?
Maryam: I have managed Yamerra as an international brand by making strong connections with trusted, like-minded individuals, who have used and seen the benefits of Yamerra first-hand. All the distributors/ store locations that carry Yamerra now, locally and internationally, are owned by Yamerra clients who use the product themselves. I deal with these people personally, sending them requested samples and products for retail as needed. Connecting with a store owner that is aware of what the market/ clientele needs and wants are, is easily reachable and communicates efficiently and timely is important in dealing with an international account.
Angel: Tell me about some of our most popular/favorite products. Besides your own line, are there other natural and organic companies or organizations that you support?
Maryam: We have three product lines, a two-in-one hair and body butter, luxurious body soap, and a whipped body soufflé. They come in six, very unique varying scents: Lemon Fire Bliss Lemongrass, Sultry Mango, Home Sweet Home Honey Vanilla, Be Bodacious Tangerine Grape, Sensual Bliss Jasmine Sage, and In Spring Lusciousness Peach Peppermint.
Yamerra also carries a line for mothers-to-be, nursing mothers, and newborn babies (6-12 months), plus unique seasonal creations.
Another organic product I support and use personally is Selara Faces Skincare. I love their face masks- they leave my skin firm, supple and revived. My favorite mask is their Honey Almond Exfoliator and Mask- After a home facial, I follow with another amazing product in their line- Selara Faces Skin Brightening Moisturizer. It’s is high in Vitamin E, smells incredible and leaves the skin feeling moisturized and loved.
Angel: What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs, especially those who want to build sustainable, eco-friendly businesses?
Maryam: I advise that young entrepreneurs starting a small business to follow their hearts and stay true to their most original concepts. Innovation, persistence, and determination to succeed in business must factor in. Especially to individuals interested in building an eco-friendly business; do not settle for or include anything that is not from the earth, not natural and chemical-free.
Angel: Do you have any last words?
Maryam: Join the Yamerra Revolution! Enjoy Yamerra’s luxurious, affordable and long-lasting Eco-essential products made with love. Otherwise, stay far away from products containing chemicals- help sustain the earth by using and supporting Eco-friendly brands and do not forget to recycle!
Kisses and cupcakes until we meet again,
♥ ✌ ☺
What to Wear:
Boot season is definitely here and we are onto a super cool eco brand out of the UK called Po-Zu. As our favorite fashionable male, Brian, wrote in a recent AskHim blog, Uggs are still all the rage and are the perfect pairing for a casual day around town. But, we are thinking of trading in those Uggs for Po-Zu Piper Tans which, not only are a lot more stylish than those standard brown suede boots, but are also organically tanned with vegetable extracts. Oh and did we also mention that they give 3% of each purchase to the charity of your choice?? If that doesn't get your feel good shopaholic hearts racing then we don't know what will
What to Check Out:
Tired of paying $250 for a mediocre hair cut?? Yeah so were we - so we hopped on the 6 train to Union Square to check out the Carsten Aveda Institute. For $19 you get a wash, hair cut, blow dry, scalp massage and hand massage. Apart from all of this, they also use all Aveda products which are composed of naturally derived ingredients. Make your appt today at the 22 East 17th Street!
What to Eat:
Did you know how many amazing nutrients are in pumpkins? Better yet, did you know how tasty pumpkin seeds can be? Check out this awesome recipe from Emeril Lagasse for some delicious roasted pumpkin seeds with a spicy kick. We made them and now are a bit addicted to this yummy snack
News from C. Mar:
As you end this fabulous first week of November be sure to check out our design process post Monika's Story: The Journey of an Eco Friendly Dress, how to get your guy's attention with this week's AskHim and a Q&A with one of the new member's of our CMar Team, Krystal Williams. Last, but not least, don't forget to turn your clocks back one hour this Sunday as Daylight Savings Time comes to an end for 2010...and luckily gives all of us some extra time to catch up on those much needed Zzzzzs!
Keep it real & keep it eco chic
If you really know me, you know that I loathe giving up some (note the word some) clothing items, no matter how ratty tat tatty they become. I kept an infamous pair of sweat pants that were such a pain to the eyes my friends wanted to kidnap them and burn them to ashes (because throwing them away just wouldn't be enough). I used to think "Man, if these tweety bird sweat pants could talk, they would yell at me for spilling bleach on them, cry about the hole I let stretch wide across their leg, and pout about the paint stain splashed all over their arse."
Now cyber friend, don't act like you don't have one clothing item in your closet that has seen some better years and should rest in peace. Think about that comfortable wardrobe piece that has never done you wrong time and time again, no matter how much you disrespected it with stains and wear and tear. If that item could tell you it's whole life story, what do you think it would say? As I have said before, clothes shouldn't talk unless they are in cartoons, but I have come today dear reader to shed light on those silent stories, to tell the untold tale of a c. marchuska dress, and why it's journey is starkly different from less eco friendly wares:
Introducing the C. Marchuska Monika Dress
Monika's journey first began as the brainchild of Christine Marchuska. Frustrated with the lack of clothing options available to wear both to work and outside of the professional office, she was motivated to design classic pieces that held a dual role. The Monika dress, inspired by Christine's ex-finance colleague, Monika Krauze Metzger, was one of those pieces. What set The Monika dress apart from other wares was Monika's entire life cycle from "birth" to finish was an eco-friendly roller coaster ride. I know we keep throwing the words eco friendly and eco fashion around, but let's break down exactly why The Monika Dress epitomizes what eco friendly clothing is all about:
Step 1: The materials matter
Fashion isn't just about the look and style, it's also about the feel. Remember those Hanes commercials, where whole families were frolicking through fields overly ecstatic over the touch and feel of their cotton undies? Those toothy-grinned- sound bites had some grains of truth in them! We are all want great feeling and functional fabric in our lives, but many of the common fabrics used in our clothes require massive amounts of resources, cause immense pollution, and are extremely hard to recycle. Let's take a comparison:
The Monika Dress materials>>
- Uses micro modal material, a fabric made from
reconstituted cellulose from Beech trees
- PROS: 100% bio degradable (won't have to worry about micro modal clothes chilling in landfills for centuries on end), is 50% more water-absorbent than cotton, holds color fast, and is resistant to fading. It seemingly can do no wrong.
- CONS: can be more costly than alternative fabrics.
A dress made from the most commonly used fabrics (like cotton, nylon, and polyester)>>
- PROS: Natural crops like cotton are breathable, wear resistant, and relatively cheap to make. Man made fibers like nylon and polyester are cheap and can resist the wear of many wash cycles, maintaining their color and resilience.
- CONS: cotton is the most pesticide intensive crop in the world, which is not only harmful due to the fumes let off from dousing the crops in chemicals, but pesticides can remain in the fabric and be released during the lifetime of the garments. Cotton crops also take up a lot of land (much of which is needed by locals to grow their food). Nylon and polyester are the evil step sisters of biodegradable fabrics, and will live in a landfill for many years past their wearable dates. They also use massive amounts of water to produce, and emit dangerous green house gases.
Don't let cheesy grins of popular commercials fool you, there are some other materials out there that are far better for the environment and your own health than those popularized in the retail industry. The Monika Dress is one example of great style with even better materials
Step 2: Production Practices
All the design sketches and clothing swatches in the world would only be ideas without the labor of stitching those ideas into reality. As I noted in previous posts (check out Sweatshop til you drop for a refresher;) The retail industry has some of the most controversial labor practices, as a majority of clothes are produced in exploitative sweat shop environments.
After Christine had her ideas sketched by a freelance designer, she sought out a local sewing contractor in NY's garment district, negotiating a feasible cost for each item crafted. The Monika Dress was made in this form, hand crafted by a skilled contracted worker. Although there are many debates about labor laws and what can be done with limited resources in an ever changing economy, knowing where your clothes come from is a step towards better quality overall. And aren't you tired of buying something that dissolves and tears after one sweat-it-out session during a night on the town? Yeah, I thought so!:D
Step 3: Dye it up
Dyeing clothes is no small feat, as it also has large environmental implications. Imagine knowing what color is in season this year by the color of your local river (crazy right? and you thought colored rivers were only willy wonka inspired fantasies). For some folks located near garment production centers, that is reality. I love bright vibrant colors in my wardrobe like anyone else, but at what cost will we pay to have those new hot-double-bubble-pink tights? To minimize the impacts of chemical and dyes, The Monika Dress is hand dyed. This labor of love conserves energy, limits waste, and also protects the integrity of that awesome micro modal fabric.
In a nutshell Monika is a stylish piece that has plenty environmentally friendly clout. The journey of this dress doesn't just end at a hand dipped dyeing session, pick up your own Monika Dress online asap http://store.marchuska.com/monikadress.aspx, because I know you want to get a little touchy feeling with some micro modal fabric!!
That's a wrap eco lovers!
Til we meet again, as always,
For the past month, I've taken time out, each Wednesday, to introduce the c. marchuska community to some interesting folks in the eco world. We've heard from Aaron Goldfarb, an up-and-coming New York author whose first book is available on Kindle. And, I've also had time to feature Amy Ludwigson, the woman behind conscious-shopping sites Pure Habitat and Pure Citizen. Now, it's time to reel it all back and let you all in on a member of the c. marchuska blog team, Krystal.
Krystal's a 22-year-old, Jersey girl, whose self-proclaimed energy, humor and curiosity is taking her to new heights in the Big Apple. She and Christine have a Cornell connection that brought them together for c. marchuska (tongue twister, yes, I know). So pop a bag of (organic) popcorn, pull up a chair, and get cozy with... Krystal!
Angel: How did you become involved with c. marchuska?
Krystal: My roommate and fellow Cornellian, Christina, met her at a conference during undergrad. Christina asked if I was interested in helping out with the blog; and because I love writing and LOVE the idea of fashion, I came on board. I've been loving it ever since.
Angel: You said that living with Christina has helped you become a more eco-conscious person. What have you learned from living the "green" way?
Krystal: It's important for people, especially young people, to become aware of how we are affecting our environment and how we can change basic habits to leave less of a harmful impact on the earth!
Angel: Why do you think eco fashion is important?
Krystal: People will always need clothes, so fashion is always going to be around. It's important for an industry that affects everyone in the world to be environmentally friendly. The fashion industry uses alot of inorganic materials and is extremely wasteful. If we could find methods that reduce that waste and reduce the amount of harmful chemicals and materials, we would be able to greatly decrease the harmful effects we leave on the earth. It's just one step in the process to living more eco friendly, but it is a huge step.
Angel: Besides blogging , what can we find you doing in your free time?
Krystal: I love attending culture-focused events such as music shows and poetry slams around the city. I love discovering new places in the city... on any given Saturday you can catch me walking down Madison Avenue, or gallery hoping in Chelsea, or catching a crosstown bus, just to explore!
Angel: Well, it's great you have down time to get out and have fun. Now that you're a working girl in the city, and have two internships on top of working with c. marchuska, what's next?
Krystal: My dream job would be to work at a magazine, or with a news station as a news anchor. I want a communications-based career that will allow me to use my writing and interpersonal skills to make a difference in the world.
Angel: Well, let's give you some room to start making that difference, right now. As always, I like to end my interviews by asking a short, simple question... any last words?
Krystal: Be more courageous than you thought you can and don't worry about the things you can't change.
Keep an eye out for Krystal's Weekly Eco-Fashion Roundup and catch her on twitter @_MissWilliams. See you next week... don't miss me too much
Do you remember your first job? For many of us, that memory isn't a glamorous one, full of flashy clientele, business jet setting and martinis. No-the first job reminiscence most likely invokes memories of serving deliciously deep fried items to impatient customers who never know what they want til the get to the front and hold up the whole line (pet peeve #1-what's up with that anyways? How you gonna be tapping your foot aggressively while waiting in line, then get stage fright when it's time to get down to bis and order?!).
My first job brings up slightly fonder memories, as I dodged the bullet of fast food vexation for a tamer route. I was a telemarketer, changing the world one Proactive skin care, Windsor Pilates, and Hooked On Phonics order at a time. Yes, I was the girl who answered your call when you dialed in to your fav infomercial. I learned many a handy thing on that fine call floor-how to type in any combination of 16 numbers under 10 secs flat, how to simultaneously eat a hotpocket and read a call script, and how to make special efforts to avoid that type of work environment later in life.
Don't get me wrong, the work environment wasn't dangerous, but it was structured in such a way that you felt like a teleslave (chea I made that word up), tethered to your phone for hours at a time, with minimal (almost non existent) breaks. All telemarketers sat in stifling cubicles, and were monitored from the big folk upstairs, constantly assessed for how long we stayed on the phones. After almost 2 years of consistently losing my voice, weird prank calls, no pay raises, and long hours, I was dunzo with that place. I even went to the movies on my final day in celebration of being freed from telehell (who knew I could remix so many telemarketing words? lol).
Most of us loathe those first jobs and will never look back (unless you lucked out and your first job was that jet setting martini dream-kudos to privileges lol), but our first jobs pale in comparison to many of the work environments constructed to create our essential household items, wares, and clothing.
Last week, I gave you a rundown on the history of garment making in the U.S...this week let's take a closer look at those work environments we hear so much about but know so little of: Sweat shops
Sweatshop early controversy
The term sweatshop stemmed from the structure of garment making itself. Middle men, known as sweaters, directed workflow of the garment making system. They contracted workers and took the profits from the bulk of the garments made. This contracting and trading structure was known as the "sweating system," thus the workplaces where clothing production occurred were donned sweat shops.
Sweat shop work environments in the U.S. were associated with dangerous health hazards, child labor, long hours, and "starvation wages"-wages that hardly allowed workers enough money for food.
The tension around sweat shop exploitation came to a head with the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which took the lives of 146 garment workers due to locked factory doors, and poor fire escape measures. A majority of the victims were young immigrant women, and was one of the most tragic industrial accidents in U.S. production history.
With a little help from investigative journalists (also known as "muckrackers") doing expose pieces on exploitative businesses, and unions bartering for worker's rights, sweat shops are a rarer thing to see in the U.S. today than compared to the turn of the century.
Sweat shops are defined presently as workplaces "considered to be unacceptably difficult or dangerous." According to the U.S. Department of Labor, over 50% of sewing factories in the U.S. currently are sweat shops by this definition. Since our service economy lends itself to our fav brands and items being outsoruced and created in other countries, where labor practices come into question, the problem with sweat shop work environments is most drastic in developing countries.
Anti Sweatshop Arguments
With so many negative consequences resulting from this labor arrangement, there have been many opponents to sweat shop labor work environments over the decades. Although there are activists of all stripes who lead various movements, their arguments against sweat shop labor are similar:
- many workers don't earn enough money to even buy the basic household items they create. For example in 2003, Honduran garment factory workers were paid US$0.24 for each $50 Sean John sweatshirt.
- low wages in sweat shop factories lowers the standard of living for other industries, as businesses reduce wages to compete with sweat shop labor prices.
- Critics also point to the fact that sweatshops often do not pay taxes for the public services they use for production and distribution, and are not contributing to the country's tax revenue
Pro Sweatshop Arguments
Surprisingly, there are a number of sweat shop supporters who argue the following points to justify such practices:
- Sweat shop jobs provide better employement and pay than other jobs in developing countries. Although conditions seem inferior by industrialized nation's standards, they are better than the majority of work alternatives available to individuals in a developing country (such as subsistence farming and maunal labor)
- when these sweat shop production jobs are removed, standards of living actually decrease as unemployment and more dangerous work alternatives are the only options available...
Both sides make valid arguments, but being the Policy Analysis Major that I am, I can't take any subject without a little more research (as you shouldn't either). Sweat shop labor in our present economy is a complicated one with no clear cut answers, with many arguments from all sides either justifying or defaming sweat shop practices.
But we at C.Marchuska believe great clothing production shouldn't come at the cost of exploiting someone who is desperate and has no alternatives. We take great care in how each C.Marchuska piece is produced, and want to spread the word that concious consumption is necessary to make any sort of difference in the fashion world.
Join me next week for a personal account of those behind the brand, the faces of those people who put in the labor to create those many clothing items we take for granted.
Thanks for reading, and remember stay fly;)
Happy Friday Eco lovers! Fridays are a special time for the C.Marchuska family, as it's not only one more day until the weekend, it's also a time for guest bloggers to shout their praises and opinions about their fav eco friendly and sustainable products. Here's Laura Autumn Floyd bringing you the latest in eco friendly makeup (didn't know it existed did ya? read on!;):
For all of the fashionistas out there who have spruced up their closet by embracing eco-friendly fashions, why not go the extra mile and green up your makeup bag? Below are 4 Eco Friendly Brands that I think are worth looking at.
1. Josie Maran Cosmetics:
The creation of former model Josie Maran, comes a brand that brings you luxury and eco-conscious makeup.
Packaging: Josie Maran Cosmetics are packaged in recyclable glass, aluminum, paper and plastic; several of their products use biodegradeable materials also. “30% of the outer carbon packaging” is made from post consumer waste.
Natural Materials:Maran's “miracle” ingredient is 100% Argan Oil which originates from Morocco and is extracted from the oil of kernels from an Argan tree. Argan Oil is a multipurpose product that you can use on hair, face, nails, body. It's unique because one can only retrieve it from a certain place in Morocco. A cooperative program with the women of southwest Morroco was set up so the sale of the Argan Oil they obtain helps their families and communities.
Availability: Sephora and www.josiemarancosmetics.com
Originally a pharmacy chain pharmacy in Greece, that is now an international brand.
Packaging: Korres’ Eco-conscious policy ensures that all of its packaging is recyclable. The brand works to reduce their carbon footprint by optimizing production so that materials needed are minimal, use steam generated heat rather than electrical, and any herbs or plants they use are guaranteed pesticide free.
Natural Materials: Mineral oil or silicones (they are not biodegradable), as well as other materials that are harmful to the body and to nature, are not incorporated into their products. Ingredients such as olive oil, rosemary, argan oil, thyme, and aloe vera (to name a few) are in abundance.
Availability: Sephora and www.korresusa.com
3. Tarte Cosmetics:
This brand is described as “high powered natural” cosmetics mixed with glamour
Packaging: Customers can participate in their recycling program where anyone can send finished or empty bottles/ pans back and they will give you 15% off your next purchase (this applies to several specific products but not all). Products use post consumer recyclables, biodegradable material, or they are refillable.
Natural Materials: Tarte's star ingredients include a “t5 super fruit complex™ “(acai, goji, maracuja, acerola and pomegranate) and clay from the Amazon River that is “sun baked” and then milled down and put into in several of their powders and concealing products. They also stay way from including harsh chemicals in their ingredients.
Availability: Sephora and www.tartecosmetics.com
This is the brand that not only covers, but treats and protects your skin all while being eco-friendly.
In addition to the absence of harmful chemicals, Jane Iredale products can provide as much as SPF 30 sun protection, and Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide ingredients to aid in anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. This company is a cruelty-free (no animal testing!) brand, and they have products that are vegan-friendly.
Availability: Find locations in your city http://www.janeiredale.com/wheretobuy.html
Of course there are many other eco-friendly makeup brands besides these four, I just happened to like these brands. Visit my beauty blog at: laflol.tumblr.com
He's an Oklahoma City native, who ventured to upstate New York for film school at Syracuse... and now this Kindle enthusiast and author wants the world to join him on a journey that's sure to be a #fail. And I mean that in the best way possible.
Aaron Goldfarb is a Midtown Manhattan-based novelist whose first book, "How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide," is available in stores and on Amazon (click here to buy). He's just a few weeks shy of his national book tour and will be collaborating with C. Marchuska for some big - and I do mean BIG - projects next year.
I (@angELLEnise) had the chance to sit down with Aaron (@aarongoldfarb), and our own lovely blogger Christina (@cblacken), over coffee. And, I must say, I'm surprised that he's just a writer... he had us laughing the entire time.
So, heeeeeeeeeeeeeere's Aaron!
Angel: Why do you think the world needs a self-hurt book? What's the premise?
Aaron: The thing is, I'm not sure the world does need a self-hurt book. But I KNOW the world doesn't need any more self-help books. George Carlin once said, "If you're reading it in a book, folks, it ain't self-help. It's help." Well, I'd say, if you're reading a self-help book it's neither help, nor is it interesting. My book is a funny, satirical take on success in modern America. The world's FIRST self-hurt guide!
Angel: Now, you're an avid Kindle reader. Was that the reason you took an eco-route and made sure ''How to Fail'' was available as an e-book?
Aaron: It's funny, I'm about as eco-friendly as a writer can be, but I'll admit it's kinda through pure happenstance. I live in the tiny world of Manhattan where you can't have a lot of "stuff" which has caused me to thusly abhor "stuff." I live a very spartan lifestyle and there's nothing more simplified than whittling down an entire collection of books into one lightweight device. I love carrying countless "books" with me at all times, I love being able to buy a new book at any given time, I love how much easier it is to hold and read off a Kindle than it was to lug a huge hardback around. I'm such a Kindle evangelist, people assume I work for them!
Angel: On Nov. 9, you'll be starting your book tour with a release party here in Manhattan. From there you're headed to Brooklyn Bowl and some stops in Jersey to promote "How to Fail." That's not the typical book promo roadmap. Why'd you choose the ''30 Bars in 30 Days'' approach?
Aaron: Quite frankly, most book events are boring. I mean boooooooring. A fumbling author standing behind a lectern nervously reading an uninteresting passage to a funeral home type crowd of old farts just there for some free entertainment before bed time.
Angel: Whew, that's a mouthful, LOL.
Aaron: Thus, I decided to take my events out of the book store and to a place innately associated with fun: the bar.
Angel: Aside from your bar-book tour, you'll be teaming up with C. Marchuska for cross-promotional ventures. What plans do you have for working with C. Marchuska in the future?
Aaron: Yeah, I love doing cross promotional stuff with the kinds of people that might seem atypical collaborators at first. I'm not a "fashion type." Most of my friends and the target audience for the book probably aren't either. Likewise, most of C. Marchuska's core audience probably isn't into the kinda dark, vulgar comedy that "How to Fail" is. At least they've never thought they were. But I can tell you they are! C. Marchuska and I have discussed outfitting me for my tour as well as a few other fashion/book party type events that have never been done before (I'll just leave it ambiguously at that!)
Angel: That sounds interesting! But, I'm going to give you a head start with the the C. Marchuska lovers out there. Give me a tweet... In 140 characters or less... Why do people need to learn ''How to Fail?''
Aaron: Every one's trying so damn hard to succeed that they aren't having any fun. "Fail" a little and you might find yourself laughing a whole lot more.
Angel: You were almost there... 147 characters (with spaces). Do you have any last words??
Aaron: When you got something to sell, the last words can only be: BUY MY BOOK.
You can join Aaron's Facebook fan page here or visit his website at www.aarongoldfarb.com. He's open to all types of (fan)mail, so drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep an eye out for his 30 Bars in 30 Days book promo, as well as his Nov. 9 release party at Amity Hall, right here in NYC.
That's all for now.
Signing off with hugs & kisses, and decked in plenty of goGREEN,