Archive for April, 2015


April 30, 2015 Leave a comment


We are excited to kick off a new blog series, FREDA 5, where we will be showcasing our top 5 favorites of anything and everything we find to be fun, fabulous and freda-girl worthy. Considering TEAM FREDA lives for our daily cup (or two) of coffee, we decided this topic would be a grand starting point because in a city vastly absorbed by artisanal coffee roasters, brewers and baristas, we find great pleasure in trying many different cups of java.  Needless to say, our standards are high, and the cafes who made this list are where you will find us frequenting most often for our pick-me-up-jolts.


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April 30, 2015 Leave a comment


April 2015

CMOs must work ceaselessly to keep up with trends in the digital and mobile marketing ecosystems. From mobile apps to the marketing technology stack, early adopters and digital laggards alike are evolving along with the consumer media landscape. eMarketer has curated this Roundup of interviews with CMOs at brands, publishers and more to collect insights about the challenges and opportunities on marketers’ horizons today. CMO INTERVIEW ROUNDUP presented by CMO Interview Roundup Copyright ©2015 eMarketer, Inc. All rights reserved. 2 CMO INTERVIEW ROUNDUP Overview Whether brands were early or late digital adopters, CMOs must work ceaselessly to keep up with trends in the space. This has never been truer than now, with smartphones in the hands of more consumers than ever. Marketers must be ready to serve engaging, seamless content to users across devices and locations, at each stage of the purchase funnel. Retailers like Neiman Marcus are taking digital offerings to the next level with visual search, the latest way merchants hope they will be able to assist shoppers in finding new products. Quick-service restaurants like Arby’s are looking to mobile to reduce the amount of time their customers spend in the drive-thru. Other CMOs, like at Papa John’s, are focused on loyalty programs, where they hope mobile can bring new life to points programs and personalized offers. Some are looking first to apps, which may be more conversion-friendly than mobile sites. At AOL, video is seen as the future of display advertising, along with programmatic buying options. All these marketers have two things in common. First, they share TD Bank CMO Vinoo Vijay’s concern that reaching a target audience with a strong, positive branding experience wherever that target wants the experience is critical to successful marketing. And second, they recognize that technology and data is going to get them to the next level, like Dun & Bradstreet CMO Rishi Dave. But that technology will have to bring together components from across the digital and traditional spectrum to add up to effective marketing. The interviews gathered for this Roundup give a taste of the wide variety of problems, and opportunities, today’s CMOs see in the digital space.

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How Freda Salvador Shoes Come to Life

April 30, 2015 1 comment
Image result for Racked SF logo

Freda Salvador shoes come across as effortless. They’re cool. They’re comfortable. Throwing on a pair of Fredas turns an otherwise ordinary outfit into a look. But, despite the easy feel of San Francisco’s favorite footwear brand, the process of bringing a pair of shoes from concept to customer takes about nine months.

Local fans have been visiting the brand’s San Francisco concept store and bumping into designers Cristina Palomo-Nelson and Megan Papay —collectively known as “the Freda girls”— since 2013, but the shoe-making magic actually starts across the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito.

On a warm spring afternoon, sunshine pours into Freda Salvador design studio, a cozy space with high ceilings in a modest building on the waterfront. When we stop by, Megan and Cristina are working with Assistant Designer Hillary Grigsby, Brand Assistant Mikaela Rascano, and Operations Manager Theresa Luke to finalize the resort collection.

Freda Salvador

For Cristina and Megan, design begins with a “hot mess” of ideas and lots of Pinterest boards. They draw inspiration from menswear, home design, and ready-to-wear, but they don’t make final decisions on which ideas will be produced until they see which leathers are available during their semi-annual trip to the Lineapelle leather show. “That’s really where the concepts come to life,” Cristina explains. “It’s basically what we’re being offered from tanneries. The colors, prints, accessories, heel shapes, toe shapes—all of that solidifies the direction that we’re going to go in.”

Freda Salvador boots

Though their factory would prefer that the ladies submit their designs before Lineapelle, Cristina and Megan maintain that it’s important for them to see which colors and textures are available first. “If it’s really bright, we’re not going to put bright colors on a whole boot,” Cristina reasons. “That’s more of a strappy sandal; it does go hand in hand.”

Once the pair makes their textile selections, they return to silhouettes and trends, deciding which constructions they want to move forward with from past seasons and which ones to introduce. Typically, only half of their ideas make it all the way through the design process. “From the starting point that we have designed and have prototyped, it’s 60–70 styles,” Megan tells Racked.

Megan Papay

“From there, when we actually sample into colorways, it’s probably 50–55 [designs]. Then we cut from there to show at market: that’s probably down to 40. What makes it  [from market] to the shelves is probably 30 [styles].”

Even when the design field is narrowed down to those 30 styles, some may never see the inside of a store. If buyers don’t place orders for a particular style or color, Megan and Cristina have to decide if they want to order it for their concept store. Though retailers have a tendency to play it safe and order neutral colors, a bright color can be a bestseller at the Freda boutique.

For the Freda girls, the constant challenge in design is making something that is both special and wearable. “We want to get repeat customers,” Megan tells us. “We want our girls to buy the first pair and decide, ‘I’m hooked.'” So far, the pair’s strategy of merging both designers’ styles into a single shoe is working.

“We’ll look at a shoe with two very different personal styles and combine that into our perfect shoe that’s unique and reads as understandable to anyone out there, but still really different, Megan explains. “Cris is more tailored, urban, and I’m definitely more baggy, beachy. To get two points of view is really helpful.”

Freda salvador studio overhead

The shoes also have be comfortable,” Cristina adds. “We also have zero pain tolerance. We are on our feet all day, walking everywhere.”

But more than boy meets boho, more than comfort, the Freda designers want to know that they have created something memorable in each shoe. “I feel like we’re very tough on ourselves all the way through,” Cristina confesses. “We’re always asking, ‘Is it special enough?’… Whenever we put something through, we make sure that the answer to that question is “yes.” There’s nothing else out there like it.”

freda salvador mood board
Freda Salvador boards
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“Digital Body Language”

April 30, 2015 Leave a comment
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Vegan Denim and Greenscreen – New Sustainable Initiatives from Orta

April 30, 2015 Leave a comment
Link to Sandeep Agarwal

Link to Sandeep Agarwal

Vegan Denim and Greenscreen – New Sustainable Initiatives from Orta

Posted: 29 Apr 2015 06:14 PM PDT

Vegan Denim

vegan_Denim_PR_image_1ORTA, Turkey , brings out a new angle to sustainability with their VEGAN Denim, a collection of denim fabrics  produced exclusively with vegetable and natural dyestuff at an industrial scale.

What makes the concept special is its unique dyeing methodology that has never been applied at industry scale before.  ORTA claims that it is the first in the industry to produce fabric using this method at an industrial scale with VEGAN Denim.

The art of dyeing is as old as human civilization. Man learnt to use different kinds of natural coloring agents to dye cloths. The major obstacle for dyeing fabric with natural dyestuff has been the difficulty in producing good color intensity and shade consistency. This problem was due to the vegetal dyestuff’s lack of efficacy when applied to cotton.

Orta has developed a new dyeing technique that thoroughly overcomes the problems of affinity and consistency. As a result of long-term research and study, this technology ensures an increase in affinity of dyestuff to cotton. The results show greater stability and consistency in dyeing. Thanks to the VEGAN methodology, it is easy to obtain intense shades in both vegetal indigo and natural colors. ORTA VEGAN Denim is an effort by the company towards sustainability. A responsible product, ORTA VEGAN Denim seems to  uses less water, less energy and fewer chemicals than conventional dyeing methods. As per the company , the energy consumed is 30%less ,the water consumption is 70 lt less/kg fabric.

Orta Vegan Denim

ORTA has obtained a legal patent for the process and it is subsidized by European Union Research Funds.


Orta Anadolu and Garmon Chemicals join forces to be the first in the industry to apply the GreenScreen® methodology on denim fabrics.

Press_Release_imageEnvironmental solutions are required as a response to game-changing business transformations that are starting to take place in the apparel industry. Those changes are driven by an increasing pressure coming from public opinion asking the textile industry for a way more ethical approach. To retain their positions of strength, fashion / lifestyle brands and industrial actors alike nowadays have to re-think the level of responsibility of the chemistry present on their products and prioritize it alongside the consumer insights and technical expertise required to conceive and produce the innovative products they need. This has allowed Garmon Chemicals and Orta Anadolu to pioneer a successful breakthrough approach to a new breed of highly conscious denim materials.

GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals” is a revolutionary, publicly available and transparent chemical hazard screening method developed by the NGO “Clean Production Action” (CPA) to help our society move quickly and effectively towards the use of greener and safer chemicals. It’s an assessing methodology purely based on toxicology and aimed at identifying safer chemicals.

Garmon Chemicals is the first company to have obtained GreenScreen® certification on a large number amount of their chemicals and currently leads the way, by far, in garment processing. Orta Anadolu has decided to pioneer the adoption of garment chemistry onto textile, leading to the development of denim fabric advancements. Orta Anadolu and Garmon Chemicals, through their GreenScreen® collaboration, pave a new way of working based on the simultaneous presence of very diverse disciplines. This cross-functionality is efficiently used to generate new knowledge and set an example to follow.

Orta Anadolu launched its sustainability division ‘OrtaBlu’ in 2010 in order to communicate company’s sustainability efforts and to promote responsible production plus lifestyles. Garmon sets its ecological standards by sustainability by innovation and efficiency. The company believes that sustainability brings the opportunity to innovate and become a pioneer in textile industry and builds greater emotional connection between brand and the community. Being well aware of these facts, and Orta Anadolu and Garmon Chemicals volunteered for the environmental missionary as they burden to introduce GreenScreen® Methodology.

Greenscreen finished products are not a specific collection but are for the customers who request for the same. Currently mainly chemicals used in finishing are certified and it is hoped that later the indigo and other chemicals used in dyeing could also be certified.

I asked Ebru Ozaydin , marketing manager at Orta Anadolu , if  using such technologies   will make difference to sustainability and if the customers are ready to pay extra for such products. She replied

“We always believe our industry can find greener and safer solutions and create awareness for the end consumer.That is why we established our sustainability division 5 years ago. It is not only Vegan Denim or GreenScreen finished products but also other best practices such as Better Cotton, AlchemyOne…
We can not ask the cost of sustainability from the end consumer, it is more of a culture, a philosophy, an approach, seeing the overall picture and being aware of the realities while doing business and try to come up with better solutions. And it is the responsibility of all members in the supply chain. The customer is now more aware, knowledgeable and asks for more, better, safer, cleaner.I think we’re far from the point thinking that it is a marketing gimmick. On the contrary, it is a necessity.”

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April 30, 2015 Leave a comment

LifeStraw® Community Water Filter delivered to Vanuatua by Linking the World

Three days after the earthquake massive shortage of clean water and sanitation propel Nepal toward a pandemic health crisis

 Clean water is the most critical post-disaster need. Lack of clean water increases the number of affected people exponentially, especially children who are the most vulnerable to disease and infection
— Mina Chang, Linking the World CEO

DALLAS, TEXAS, USA, April 29, 2015 / — On April 25th, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck approximately 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu – tremors were felt across northern India and neighboring Bangladesh and Pakistan. 15,000 people are camped-out in the center of Kathmandu, a city of roughly 1 million people. There is a massive shortage of potable water and sewage systems are broken and overflowing. The health effects of poor sanitation following a disaster can linger for years. Lack of access to clean water and sewage infrastructure in Haiti’s squalid camps following the 2010 earthquake led to a cholera outbreak that remains ongoing, killing over 8,000 and leaving thousands more sickened.

In response to the Government of Nepal’s declaration of a state of emergency and requests for humanitarian assistance,Linking the World is proud to announce a partnership to supply LifeStraw® Community water purifiers being delivered to community-based organizations (CBO’s) who will distribute and maintain the purifiers in the affected communities. The first LifeStraw® Community units arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal over the last twenty-four hours.

“Clean water is one of the most critical post-disaster needs. The lack of clean water increases the number of affected people exponentially, especially children who are the most vulnerable to waterborne disease and infection,” said Mina Chang, Linking the World CEO. “We are immensely grateful to our proud partner LifeStraw® who arranged, through their generous donors, the donation of LifeStraw® Community water purifiers that will provide clean water for human consumption, medical needs, and search and rescue efforts.”

LifeStraw® Community is a high-volume water purifier with built-in safe storage that converts microbiologically contaminated water into safe drinking water. Each LifeStraw® Community purifier provides safe drinking water for up to 100 individuals per day. It’s a vital tool for community, educational and institutional settings that don’t have access to safe water, leaving them at risk for diarrheal disease. LifeStraw® has been field tested in harsh environments and vigorously tested in the laboratory where it has exceeded US EPA requirements for household water treatments. LifeStraw® Family and Community also meet World Health Organization standards for the “Highly Protective” category of safe drinking water.

It is important to note that while we are responding to an immediate critical need, the long-term implications for recovery related to water safety, are nearly incalculable. Water is the building block for recovery on all levels. Historically in disasters, where a near complete destruction of supporting infrastructures (shelter, sanitation, transportation and communications) and the provision of clean water is compromised, recovery has taken decades not years. The toll of widespread disease and death may be many times greater and the actual financial cost of recovery will grow almost exponentially.

About Linking the World
Since 1997, Linking The World has been saving and improving lives in the world’s toughest places. Our network of committed humanitarians have responded to the global challenges of disaster, conflict and extreme poverty; enabling individuals, families and communities to survive crisis and build sustainable futures in forty-three countries. The mission of Linking the World is to deliver humanitarian aid that builds communities marked by self-reliance, sustainable infrastructures and lasting change.

About LifeStraw®
LifeStraw® is manufactured by Vestergaard, a Swiss-based global company dedicated to improving the health of disadvantaged people with game-changing solutions that fight malaria, HIV/AIDS, diarrheal disease and neglected tropical diseases. The company is the largest producer of long-lasting insecticidal bed nets that prevent malaria under the PermaNet® brand, and its award-winning LifeStraw® water filters have been designed for individual, family and community uses. Under the ongoing LifeStraw® Follow the Liters program, for each LifeStraw® product purchased by someone in the developed world, one school child in a developing community is provided with safe drinking water for an entire school year.

To donate to the Linking the World Relief Effort:
To learn more:
To partner with us:

For more information on how you can help, PLEASE CONTACT:
Ian Dailey | Chief of Staff:

Ian Dailey – Chief of Staff
Linking the World
email us here

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A Founder of Secret, the Anonymous Social App, Is Shutting It Down

April 30, 2015 Leave a comment

David Byttow, left, and Chrys Bader founded Secret.CreditBarbara Ortutay/Associated Press

But the news had broken that David Byttow and Chrys Bader, the founders of Secret, had sold part of their stake in the company for $6 million and that Mr. Byttow later bought a Ferrari. The founders did not initially tell the employees about the sale; instead, some of them found out on Secret.

Although Mr. Byttow and Mr. Bader reassured workers at the meeting that they were dedicated to the company, it was a turning point, said people close to Secret, who spoke on condition of anonymity. It shook the confidence of some workers, they said: If the founders had taken money off the table, it could mean they were protecting themselves against Secret’s failing.

On Tuesday, that course of events played out. After use of the app declined for months, Mr. Byttow told employees that the company was closing and handed out severance packages, the people close to the matter said.

“After a lot of thought and consultation with our board, I’ve decided to shut down Secret,” Mr. Byttow wrote in an online post on Wednesday shortly after BuzzFeed reported that the start-up would close. He said he would wind down Secret over the next few weeks and would return money to investors. “I believe in failing fast in order to go on and make only new and different mistakes.”

Secret’s trajectory illustrates the flash-in-the-pan nature of Silicon Valley’s current technology boom. Even as a handful of start-ups rise to stratospheric valuations and take in billions of dollars in financing, other privately held companies cannot sustain their following., a onetime e-commerce darling, was once valued at more than $1 billion and had raised more than $150 million before ending up in a fire sale this year, when it was bought for about $15 million. Other start-ups are dealing with a cooling-off process as big companies muscle in on their turf. Meerkat, a live-streaming video app that gained great traction early this year, is now grappling with the entrance of Twitter and its Periscope live-video app, for example.

Yet even by Silicon Valley standards, Secret’s arc from next big thing to yesterday’s news was breathtakingly fast. The app was started 16 months ago by Mr. Byttow and Mr. Bader, one of a group of anonymous-sharing apps that includes Whisper and Yik Yak. Mr. Byttow had previously worked at Google building social networking products, and at other hot start-ups, such as the mobile payments company Square.

Within weeks, Silicon Valley was abuzz about Secret. The venture capitalist Marc Andreessen sent several Twitter messages at the time that appeared to attack the gossip and rumors circulating on apps like Secret. At the same time, other investors were rushing to buy into Secret. In March 2014, the company raised $8.6 million from venture capital firms such as Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers and celebrities including Ashton Kutcher.

Alexis Ohanian, a founder of Reddit who invested in Secret, said at the time that it showed signs of being a contender for the future of social networking beyond Facebook. “Apps like Secret become an outlet for people to speak honestly about things that would otherwise result in career damage,” Mr. Ohanian said. He did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

“They raised a lot of money and had a good reaction initially,” said Brian Blau an analyst at Gartner, a research company. “But how do you build viral growth when the community is anonymous?”

Mr. Byttow tried to stoke enthusiasm for Secret. In a post last March, he wrote that 75 percent of users with more than five friends came back every day. “Our vision is to create a world flowing with authenticity,” he wrote. “Being more open with each other brings us closer together, builds understanding and ultimately makes the world a better place.”

Interest was so great that Secret’s co-founders had private discussions with Chris Cox, vice president of product at Facebook, about anonymity and identity, according to two people with knowledge of the meeting. Facebook declined to comment.

Still, Secret was controversial. For many, it was a morass of vitriol and catty comments, a playground for anonymous cyberbullies to take potshots at others. Secret scrambled to hire community moderators to control the negative posts. People inside Secret said it was not prepared to deal with the flood of negative posts.

More money flowed in. Secret raised $25 million from Index Ventures, Redpoint Ventures and others in July, giving it a valuation of more than $100 million.

To broaden the app’s appeal, the start-up released a new version that would let people sign up for Secret and find friends using their Facebook credentials, instead of using the contacts in someone’s address book. The company added other features, including an ability to more easily browse topics in the app.

Even so, use appeared to decline, according to App Annie, an analytics firm. Last August, a Brazilian court ordered Apple and Google to remove the app from their app stores in the country over concerns that it promotedcyberbullying.

Many close watchers of Secret have seen the writing on the wall for some time. In the last six months, nearly all of Secret’s top engineering employees have gone to other companies, including Uber, Airbnb and Twitter.

In December, Secret redesigned its app to look much like Yik Yak, a competitor, in hopes of attracting more users. It did not work, and use declined further, two people with knowledge of the figures said. Subsequently, Mr. Bader left Secret over differences about what it should become.

Closing Secret “has been the hardest decision of my life and one that saddens me deeply,” Mr. Byttow wrote on Wednesday. “Unfortunately, Secret does not represent the vision I had when starting the company, so I believe it’s the right decision for myself, our investors and our team.”

Mr. Byttow’s once-prized red Ferrari is also gone,  a person with knowledge of the matter said.

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