Business: The art world has a bad reputation among many young people. Some find it old and too exclusive for their generations, which value inclusivity.
Alexis de Bernede and Marius Jacob didn’t wait for the market to transform – instead, they innovated it themselves. In 2017, with $2,000 saved, the duo launched Darmo Art, a gallery specializing in contemporary and modern artworks that also highlights up-and-coming artists.
Young artists have trouble finding support in the art world since many can’t estimate their overall value, de Bernede told Insider. The duo’s gallery aims to spotlight emerging artists and help them grab a piece of the $50 billion market. Simultaneously, they hope to create a more welcoming environment for aspiring art patrons.
“We want to be the first dealers for our artists,” Jacob said.
Growth: Darmo Art started by hosting public exhibitions and sending cold invites to collectors, dealers, and journalists. Its first show, in 2017, booked nearly $30,000 in sales. Today, Darmo Art’s shows occur in places like the high-end Salvatore Ferragamo store in Paris and typically net six figures per exhibition. What’s more, pieces sell for between $1,200 and $600,000, according to documents seen by Insider.
Darmo Art represents five artists – including Raf Reyes, 23,creative director of clothing brand Very Rare, and Pauline d’Andigné, 24, who is working on an exhibition at a hotel in Athens. Darmo Art also works with nearly 50 collectors, ranging from young patrons in their early 20s to established connoisseurs.
The cofounders are prepping for upcoming exhibitions in Paris and are broadening operations to the French Riveria and at the Grand Hotel Heiligendamm, an exclusive report in Germany. Additionally, Darmo Art is expanding into modern art by selling blue-chip names such as Henri Mattise, Paul Gauguin, César, and Marc Chagall.
Before Darmo Art: De Bernede received a Master’s in art history from the University of Oxford and worked as a special events intern at Christie’s auction house. Meanwhile, Jacob is still studying art at L’Ecole du Louvre in Paris.
Challenges: Making transactions in the art world is about building trust with potential buyers, but people were wary to trust de Bernede and Jacob because of their inexperience and young ages. To prove themselves, they started working on smaller projects before expanding into bigger collaborations.
“Studying art is also what made us trustworthy,” Jacob said. “People saw even if we were trying to elbow our way into the art world, we were still following the path of becoming art historians, not just business people who want to start a gallery.”
Business advice: “Always sell a work at a price you’d been willing to buy it back for,” de Bernede said. The art market can be uncertain and by ensuring customers that they can return their investments with zero losses helps establish trust between the gallery and its buyers, he said.
Business mentor: The duo leans on Jacob’s family, which owns a Parisian antique gallery that specializes in 17th- and 18th-century artwork, for mentorship. They taught the pair how to develop and maintain relationships with customers and collectors.
Why is now the best time to start a business? The pandemic revealed big companies are often slow to innovate themselves, de Bernede said. This leaves a white space in many industries that can be filled with entrepreneurship. “You can be an entrepreneur without necessarily changing the world,” he continued.
On hiring: Right now, de Bernede and Jacob run Darmo Art. However, they’re ready to build a team that they can trust and will tap talent from the networks they’ve established.
Managing burnout: The cofounders depend on each other to manage stress by making sure each is doing their equal parts in running the business. “Having a business partner you can trust and who can be there to motivate you is important,” de Bernede said. “Because having a business is an emotional rollercoaster.”
Charlotte Alden was working as an art specialist at an auction house when COVID-19 reached the US and shuttered roughly 200,000 businesses. She lost her job and struggled to find another, so she bought a bead kit on Amazon and launched her own jewelry company in October.
“It’s never been more feasible to start an e-commerce company,” said Alden, founder of fine jewelry startup lottie, which already counts model Nina Agdal and “The Bachelor’s” Hannah Goodwin as fans. Alden crafts all the jewelry, including $150 body chains and $70 bracelets.
Alden is one of 4 million people who started businesses in 2020, a 24% increase from the year prior. What’s more, she entered a thriving market: The global jewelry market is growing and expected to reach a value of $292 billion by 2025. Despite just getting started, lottie is on track to book nearly six figures in revenue within the next year and Alden said average monthly revenue has risen 50% year-to-date, according to documents viewed by Insider.
Alden said practicing discipline was vital when turning her hobby into a thriving business. This includes running every morning and going to bed at the same time every night. For Insider, Alden breaks down how she structures her day so she can execute on her ideas and find balance in her life.
She wakes up at 7:30 p.m.
After waking up, Alden immediately checks her phone. She responds to unanswered text messages, skims through her email, and checks lottie’s Instagram, which already has 16,000 followers.
“It’s a bad habit, I know,” said Alden, who shuffles between her parents’ house on Martha’s Vineyard, where she keeps her inventory, and her boyfriend’s apartment in Manhattan to save money.
Phone still in hand, she makes herself a double espresso and checks Shopify to see if the company made any new sales since the day before. That wouldn’t be unrealistic for lottie: In the past 90 days, lottie’s web traffic increased by 129%.
Alden is lottie’s sole employee but she’s still able to plan a new collection and collaborations, including ones with significant properties like Palm Beach Historic Inn and Hudson Chatham Winery.
“lottie’s success and failure is my responsibility,” she said. “But another aspect of maintaining balance is never getting too high, and never getting too low.”
At 9 a.m., she prepares for the workday
Alden puts her phone down to exercise, which helps her maintain a healthy mindset and balanced routine. Then she’ll shower, have breakfast, and ship prepackaged lottie orders from USPS.
“If I don’t get out the orders first thing, I never end up making it to the post office that day,” she said, noting that she’ll get consumed by her inbox.
Once she’s home, she begins working on lottie’s social media strategy, using Instagram management app UNUM to plan posts weeks in advance. Around 10 a.m., she’ll start taking phone calls and chatting with suppliers, customers, and potential brand collaborators.
Sourcing materials and planning collaborations take up her afternoon
Alden officially starts her workday around 11 a.m. when she speaks with her manufacturers about sourcing elements for her jewelry. Finding the necessary raw materials is one of Alden’s biggest challenges and she often has to purchase goods from multiple suppliers in order to make one necklace.
Before breaking for lunch, she meets with a consultant to plan other brand collaborations. In addition to the partnerships with physical properties, Alden is making a tennis bracelet for the Adidas-backed sports company Break the Love.
Alden is also planning to open lottie pop-up locations this summer. Previous versions were in Brooklyn, Miami, and East Hampton; future ones will be in Manhattan, Palm Beach, and on Martha’s Vineyard.
The remainder of the day is reserved for making jewelry
After scarfing down lunch, Alden spends the rest of her day making jewelry. It can take her between five minutes and one hour to make a piece, but the key is keeping her materials neat, she said.
“Every little bead or crimp can get so expensive,” she said. “It’s important to stay organized and not lose anything.”
Alden taught herself how to make jewelry through trial and error, learning about semi-precious gemstones and the difference between gold-plated and gold-filled, she said. “There’s a lot more that goes into it besides stringing beads,” she added.
When she completes a piece, she photographs it for Instagram. She’ll also send press boxes to celebrities, like Charli D’Amelio and Emma Chamberlain, in the hopes that they will share them with their followers.
Getting enough sleep sets the tone for tomorrow
Around 7 p.m., Alden showers, dons her pajamas, and takes her work to the couch.
Despite the change in scenery, she’ll continue crafting jewelry, making social content, and packaging the orders she’ll send the following morning.
Even if she’s not tired, she’ll stop working at 10 p.m. and tuck herself into bed. “Getting a good night’s sleep can determine my entire day,” she said.
At 16, Sherane Chen started her first job at Steak-n-Shake as a waitress. By the age of 21, she’d launched a business specializing in restaurant marketing. Today it earns six figures, as seen in documents confirmed by Insider.
She got here by gaining restaurant industry experience, studying marketing, and having the confidence and wherewithal to spot an opportunity to combine her two areas of expertise. The hospitality industry was devastated by the pandemic, but the The National Restaurant Association is expecting some type of bounce back this year, with food and drink sales projected to hit $731.billion.
During and after college at the University of North Florida where she studied communications, Chen worked in restaurants. She made sure to build savings because she knew one day she wanted to start her own business.
After years as a waitress, she got a job in marketing at a local place called Oceanside Grill where she learned the operational aspects of the restaurant business. When she launched her own marketing firm focusing on social media management, graphic design, video creation, and hiring in 2019, Chen landed her first clients selling marketing services door to door.
“I would say, ‘hey I found your social and saw you weren’t active and I wanted to give you some tips on how you can get more customers in the door,'” she told Insider. She would leave behind her business card and wait for them to call.
Today her company has 17 clients and makes over six figures a year, according to documents provided to Insider. To Insider she reveals what her typical day is like, from walks on the beach, to endless Zoom calls with clients.
She wakes up at 7 a.m. making her first of many cups of coffee
Chen’s day typically begins at 7 a.m.
The eponymous restaurant company she founded has always been remote, which has allowed her to work from wherever, whenever. It currently has two-full time staffers including a graphic designer, a social media manager, and a part-time copywriter.
Before the pandemic, Chen used to work from local coffee shops, but now that she’s working from home, she invested in a top-tier coffee machine that keeps her going throughout the day. “I truly don’t know a marketer who doesn’t love a good cup of coffee to get all of the creative juices flowing,” she added.
After having her coffee, she then either makes breakfast or “treats” herself to a breakfast from a restaurant nearby. “Whenever I eat out for breakfast I usually take my computer so I can work on a few things while I’m out,” she continued. “The area I live in is peaceful and not very crowded so it’s usually just me getting things done while enjoying pancakes, eggs, bacon, and whatever else I decide to have that day.”
Around 9 a.m. she prepares to Zoom with her clients
After finishing breakfast, she prepares for her meetings with clients, which have been happening over Zoom since the pandemic struck.
Normally, she said, she would meet them at their restaurant to work on rebranding various parts of it, such as the menu, or develop new general marketing strategies. “We work on the strategy together and then I re-assign to my employees who took over most of the tactical things for me,” she said.
This part usually takes up most of her day. Meanwhile, Chen also makes ads for her own business, which she then runs on platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook to help attract new clients.
Chen always finds time to take a ‘breather’ during the day
Like most, her workload depends on what day she is having. “It’s not the same every day,” she said. “Some days are super chill and others are hectic. All holidays are really busy, and the start of each season – spring, summer, fall, and winter.”
Once Chen finishes the bulk of her workload, typically after lunch or in the early evening, she goes to get some fresh air. Her favorite place to go is the beach because it’s close to where she lives. “Taking a walk along the beach really helps to clear my head and gives me the boost of energy I need after being on the screen for so long,” she said.
Often during the day, Chen hops on the phone with her mentor Bruno DiFabio, a pizza chef who’s been helping her “learn the ropes” of the restaurant business for the past two years. Together they chat about ways to help grow her business.
And he isn’t the only mentor Chen has had these past few years – at 19, she met local business owner Nate Mayo, who does social media marketing and photography for various Jacksonville-based restaurants, and has a viral Instagram account that highlights popular food places in the area. Chen snagged an internship with Mayo around 2016 and began working for him, which inspired her to launch her own company.
After her ‘breather’ she goes straight back to work
She typically holds more meetings with restaurant owners throughout the evening, especially since the “lunch rush” is finished, which is usually around 2 p.m.
Chen says to manage the workload of having two jobs she makes sure to always take some time off. She books vacations and takes breathers such as the walk above. Chen also sometimes gets up an hour early to clear her head and prepare herself to stay focused for the day ahead.
After her breather, she usually goes back to work but likes to make a “quick snack.” She likes to recreate YouTube recipes, such as the snack she made pictured below. “I found this on Youtube years ago and have been eating it ever since,” she said. “Brown rice cakes, almond butter, and chia seeds are really filling and hit the spot when you are not a big lunch person.”
Around 6 p.m. she takes photographs outside
Chen’s favorite time of the day is “golden hour” – around 6 p.m. when the sky is a golden-tinted yellow. Chen takes advantage of the good quality light to take photographs of food she is seeking to help advertise.
Sometimes she has to hire someone to help her do it, as work can get busy. “I don’t really get a chance to do food photography anymore,” she said. “When I do have time to go, I love it.”
She eats dinner around 7:30, this day choosing to grab Mediterranean food. Afterward, she spends time studying – reading new books to help her gain knowledge in different areas outside of marketing. She’s currently reading “Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale” by Zig Ziglar and “Spin Selling” by Neil Rackham.
She goes to bed around 11 p.m.
Chen says she doesn’t really “finish” work until around 11 pm. “People always need me all day,” she said, of her marketing exec job. “It’s a management role so I always get my team texting me at all hours.”
But when the calls finally stop and the text messages slow down, Chen has time to think about her next business idea – a podcast agency that helps brands and entrepreneurs achieve success in podcasting. She’s already started running ads for the venture.
“I’m working toward seven streams of income to be a millionaire by 2025,” she said, adding that she has a dream board of other projects she would like to helm. Asked about possible burnout, Chen let her ambition answer for her. “Just keep your focus on what you’re working hard for,” she said. “If you want it bad enough, you’ll make it happen.”
Anyone working a public-facing job might expect to encounter some shocking moments, especially in the retail industry. That’s especially true for Walmart’s legion of nearly 1.6 million US store employees, who work at the largest retail chain in the world.
Insider spoke to six workers – four currently employed by Walmart and two who recently worked there – about the most shocking aspects of their jobs. We confirmed the employment status of every employee cited in this story. Several workers interviewed asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution.
One Walmart worker from Indiana who works as an online-order picker and dispenser said she was surprised at how stressful the job can be.
Walmart refers to “pickers” as the people who select items from online orders and place them into a cart or bin, and “dispensers” put the grocery orders into cars. Some workers, like the one from Indiana, are cross-trained to do both.
She said her store has been understaffed during the pandemic, which means she often ends up working overtime to ensure all her orders get filled and delivered to customers.
But even when there are enough people at the store, she said that having people trained on just picking or dispensing creates headaches when there are too many people loading up cars and not enough people bringing out orders.
Gypsy Noonan, a former Walmart cashier and a member of the labor activist group United for Respect, told Insider that she ended up experiencing a stress-related seizure at work in January 2020. Noonan said that aspects of the job that particularly stressed her out included dealing with shoplifters and working the registers without backup.
She said the stress didn’t abate until she left the company.
“Whenever I would get work, before I would clock in, I would pull up my car and I would just sit in my car and try to mentally talk myself into going in there,” she said.
A Walmart spokesperson said the company provides “support for self-care and mental health resources ranging from grief counseling to parenting to managing stress and anxiety,” including wellbeing services through a partnership with Thrive Global. The spokesperson said that Walmart also offers its US workforce “no-cost behavioral health services.”
“All associates and their family members, regardless of whether they’re on a Walmart medical plan, can receive support for emotional wellness through Resources for Living,” the spokesperson said. “This includes ten counseling sessions per type of concern at no cost and unlimited support by phone.”
Some customers like to snack in the store
Two Walmart workers from Florida and Virginia said they were surprised to have to confront shoppers who treat the produce section like their own personal buffet. The employees said they’d watched customers snack on grapes, apples, and other produce items before paying.
“We can’t weigh the item if it’s already consumed,” the worker from Florida said.
Another worker from Wisconsin said that they’d caught shoppers consuming hot deli items without paying for them, and that they’d even found half-eaten sandwiches in “random” spots within the store, leaving employees to clean up the mess.
“We trust our customers to do what’s right and only ask they pay for the item before leaving the store,” a Walmart spokesperson told Insider.
The returns desk can be a wild place to work
Under Walmart’s company policy, customers can return or exchange items up to 90 days after the date of purchase, aside from certain exceptions. Sometimes, consumers attempt to take advantage of that policy, and the Walmart workers with the most outlandish stories are often the ones who’ve spent time near the returns desk.
Boxes filled with bricks, nibbled-on food from competing retail chains, and well-worn undergarments are just a few of the items that workers said they have seen customers bring forward.
The higher up you go, the more your work-life balance suffers
A former Walmart manager said the retail giant is a “great place to start” when you’re early in your career, and even added that his teen daughter worked there.
But the more promotions you get and if you get to the manager position, your work life balance suffers, he said.
The former manager said he quit in part from the stress of understaffing due to Walmart headquarters’ decision to cut wages and increase metrics for individual stores. He said he had to take on extra responsibilities to ensure the store could operate.
“It’s a decision of whether you’re going to have a work life or a family life,” the former employee said. “You’re not going to be able to have both the way the environment currently is.”
Most shoppers and coworkers are great
Retail jobs often get a reputation for being grueling. In fact, many retail workers spoke to Insider recently about “rage-quitting” their gigs after butting heads with bosses or shoppers.
But four Walmart employees told Insider that customers and teammates were the best part of their jobs, despite the occasional negative interactions.
“Most customers are good people,” one worker from Virginia said. “If you give them a bit of help, most are very nice.”
A Walmart spokesperson told Insider that the company adheres to “core values of respect, service, excellence, and integrity” since the days of founder Sam Walton.
“It is our culture that creates the family environment our associates are proud to talk about and it is why many associates stay with Walmart for 20, 30, 40 or more years,” the spokesperson said.
Business: Brittni Popp likes to help people commemorate their important life moments, whether that’s a bridal party, divorce, or even an expunged DUI. Her business, Betchin Cakes, sells highly customized baked goods that come adorned with decorations like Barbie dolls or empty nips. In the two years since she launched her side hustle, she’s landed high-profile customers like Paris Hilton and Khloe Kardashian.
“It’s always been about making people happy and having a moment for them,” she told Insider. “The coolest part about it is that I’ve been the most authentic this entire time – that’s what’s getting me business.”
She doesn’t bake the cakes, just decorates them. The base cost for a cake is $150 but prices can increase depending on the amount of customization. Popp’s most expensive cake was around $900.
Before Betechin: Popp briefly studied communications at a local junior college before dropping out in 2009. Now, she works full time in business development for grants management software company eCivis.
Growth: Betchin Cakes saw a 120% increase in sales from last year and is on track to book six figures in sales this year, Popp says. The Instagram account has 12,000 followers and Popp recently expanded into making cupcakes and cakes for puppies and children.
Despite the increase in business, Popp says each week is different – in one she can decorate 18 cakes, and in another, she’ll only tackle five. “It’s never normal and I’m the queen of last-minute orders,” she said.
Challenges: Since Betchin Cakes started as a passion project, Popp has been learning how to run a business on the fly. However, she’s found it difficult to create a balanced working schedule, especially as she continues to work full time.
Business advice: Take risks, Popp said. “Don’t be afraid to try and make your ideas come to life and into something that everyone can enjoy and benefit from.”
Business mentor: Popp calls Lauryn Bosstick, founder of skincare brand Skinny Confidential, a mentor. Popp followed Bosstick’s career on Instagram before cold messaging her last year, asking for her thoughts on Betchin Cakes as a business. “It’s great to have these women in the industry who are starting out just like me and gone through the same obstacles,” Popp said, referring to Bosstick’s journey of turning her passion into a full-time job.
Why is now the best time to start a business? “I would say anytime is a good time,” Popp said, noting that many people make excuses when it comes to launching their passion projects. “I genuinely started my company wanting to make people feel special and have a moment they remembered.”
Hiring in today’s labor shortage: Popp’s friends help her bake, decorate, deliver and ship the cakes, but that’s on a part-time basis. The rest is up to her. “I do my own marketing, buying, sourcing, and client calls right now,” she said. “Everything is pretty personal.”
Popp hopes to expand her business, which could include hiring, but is still imaging what a mature version of Betchin Cakes would look like. “This year has been a big year for me,” she said. “There’s so much opportunity and the demand is really high.”
Managing burnout: Popp prioritizes scheduling personal time, including a two-week vacation each summer. She and her boyfriend visit their houseboat on the Colorado River and she disconnects from social media. “It’s a great break from reality to disconnect,” she said. “I always make time for a break.”
The chain sells products at 20% to 40% less than drug and grocery stores. Here’s how it keeps its prices low:
It offers a no-frills shopping experience
Dollar General doesn’t own its stores, which helps to keep real estate costs down. Stores are small – on average 7,400 square feet, while the average Walmart store is 178,000 square feet) – and have a bare-bones design: metal shelves, strip lighting, and low-cost signage.
It is truly a no-frills shopping experience, suitable for the customer who wants to get in, buy what they need, and get out. According to Dollar General, the average shopping trip to its store lasts no more than 10 minutes.
It has a limited selection of products
“We don’t carry every brand and size, just the most popular ones,” Dollar General states on its website.
Each store has between 10,000 and 12,000 unique products. Around 60,000 are found at a typical supercenter like Walmart. Carrying a limited number of items gives Dollar General more buying power with suppliers, as it buys in bulk.
It keeps labor costs down
Its no-frills stores require less staff to run, keeping labor costs down. According to UBS, its employee wages are also lower than its competitors.
Its understaffed stores and low wages have been criticized in the past and led to workers quitting in some locations, however.
It carries private-label goods
It stocks a selection of private-label goods, which have higher margins than national brands as the company has greater control over manufacturing costs and can set its own prices.
It stocks limited amounts of fresh produce
The majority of Dollar General stores don’t offer fresh food or perishable items, which have shorter shelf lives and tighter profit margins.
Instead of selling items in bulk, Dollar General sells small quantities of items to keep the cost of each transaction down.
It might seem like you are getting a better deal as the prices stay below $10, but ultimately, you’re likely paying more on a per-ounce or per-item basis.
Nevertheless, this lower-ticket value serves its core customer well, as they might not necessarily have the disposable income to shop in bulk.
It cuts costs in the supply chain
Dollar General is constantly looking at where it can cut costs in its supply chain.
In an earnings call earlier this year, CFO John Garratt said that the company plans to expand its private truck fleet to reduce its exposure to third-party carrier price fluctuations.
Its stores are located predominantly in rural locations
Dollar General’s strategy since the early 2000s was to go where Walmart wasn’t. The majority of its stores in the US are located in rural and suburban areas, which cost less to run due to lower rent and labor expenses.
Tianni Graham, 27, remembers the “before times” – that is, the harrowing months before Telfar introduced its Bag Security Program.
It was early last summer and she, along with thousands of others, was stuck testing their luck each day trying to buy the wildly popular Telfar handbag whose celeb fans include Beyonce, Selena Gomez, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Solange. But they often sold out before anyone could click ‘check out.’
It turns out, robots and resellers were buying products in bulk, making it harder for real customers to purchase them. So, last summer, Telfar introduced its Bag Security Program, in hopes of giving customers better access to its bags by allowing patrons 24 hours to pre-order any bag on the site, with no limits on how many can be purchased. The bag is then made to order, and shipped directly to the customer.
Suddenly, Graham, who is also a fashion archivist and consultant, had her green Telfar bag. It arrived right before Christmas and was a “present to myself,’ she told Insider, adding that other brands could benefit from implementing a similar program. “It would make things so much easier and make the customer feel like you care.”
The program’s success shows how a luxury brand can create accessibility without losing the allure of exclusivity. The old-school model for luxury brands states the product should be scarce and elite, but the next generation of high-end consumers and entrepreneurs are taking a different route.
What’s more, Telfar is growing its exposure by becoming an official sponsor of the Liberian National team for the Olympics – Clemens is of Liberian descent. Additionally, the brand released collaborations with Ugg and Converse, accessible brands that are affordable to a mass audience, rather than Louis Vuittion and Supreme or Dior and Nike partnerships, which target the aspirational class.
Teflar is rewriting the rules of luxury, and this time, it’s not too hard for other brands to follow suit.
Telfar ‘white glove treatment’ is what next-gen luxury shoppers crave
Young consumers look less at price tags and more at brand values when determining where to spend their money; these next-gen consumers want sustainability, inclusivity, and a sense of community. The new “white glove treatment” when it comes to luxury shopping is a speedy online checkout from a brand that cares.
For Telfar’s latest drop this week, customers had the option to use the payment installment plan Klarna, making it even easier for those looking to obtain a bag. While customers will have to wait a few months before receiving the bag, people often spend years on a Birkin bag “waiting list” and most will probably never get one.
Shortly before Telfar’s program ended this week, a spokesperson for the brand told Insider it was, already, “going very well.”
Telfar started with an aim of inclusive luxury
Telfar was founded in 2005 by its eponymous founder Telfar Clemens and has dedicated the past two decades to building an inclusive business model.
In 2014, it released its now-iconic vegan leather handbag, which takes inspiration from a Bloomingdale’s shopping bag. The bags became widely available around 2018 after Telfar won $400,000 from the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, allowing the company to expand production.
Clemens described his brand to The Cut as being “genderless, democratic, and transformative,” purposely seeking to challenge the notion that high fashion is only for a certain group of people, with the brand motto being “Not For You – For Everyone.”
As reported by FT, handbag sales in the US declined 18% between 2016 and 2019. Yet, Telfar stood out – in 2016, the brand earned $102,000, growing to earn $2 million in 2019. Last year, New York Magazine deemed its bag the “Bushwick Birkin” and the brand was on pace to earn eight figures, even as the fashion industry was expected to take a 90% loss in profits due to the pandemic.
Boston Consulting Group’s Head of Luxury Sarah Willersdorf told Insider that Telfar has checked all the boxes on what it takes to connect with next-gen luxury shoppers. She said the brand has a narrative that “evokes emotion” and properly intertwines timelessness, creative partnerships, and culturally relevant authorities. GQ pointed out Telfar’s customer base was built, not through influencers, but through “customer aspiration alone.”
Raising the bar for next-gen luxury
Brands like Telfar are important in proving accessible business models can be just as lucrative. Willersdorf expects other brands to follow similar strategies in a post-pandemic world, as shopping continues to pivot online.
“Luxury brands are always nervous,” Joseph Yakuel, CEO and founder of consulting firm Within, told Insider last year. “There’s so much risk to them tarnishing their brand reputation because luxury brand price points are only supported by their perception, and if their brand perception goes down market, their price point gets eroded very quickly.”
Clemens and his artistic director, Babak Radboy, said they aren’t worried about oversaturation. It’s about community, now. The new “white glove treatment” is making sure everybody gets a pair that fits perfectly.
Amazon launched the free multiplayer game “Crucible” in May 2020 after five years of work and millions of dollars in development. The game performed poorly against competitors, and never reached nearly enough concurrent players to make any money, Ben Gilbert reported for Insider.
Amazon was reportedly reluctant to commit to endeavors with Haven, its CEO left, and it lost financial backing. It shut down in February 2021, though the companies said they would still work together on healthcare plans for their own employees.
Amazon launched its Instagram-like visual shopping platform, Amazon Spark, in 2017.
The idea was that customers would browse a photo-heavy feed, with products featured in the photographs, as a new way to shop and discover the huge array of items sold on Amazon.com.
“Spark is not gone entirely, we’ve pivoted and narrowed the experience based on what resonated with customers,” a spokesperson for Amazon told Business Insider‘s Mary Hanbury.
On June 11, Amazon told Geekwire in an email that its Amazon Restaurants service would be shutting down.
First launched in 2015, the service delivered freshly prepared food from local restaurants to customers via Amazon’s same-day delivery network, which it also uses for Prime Now deliveries. It later expanded to 20 US cities and London before its demise.
On May 4, Amazon sent an email to users saying that it would be shutting down its Amazon Storywriter and Amazon Storybuilder features, effective June 30.
Combined, the services enabled TV and film writers to easily create scripts, which could then be submitted directly to Amazon Studios for consideration. It previously shut down the script submission program in 2018, putting the future of Storybuilder and Storywriter into question.
“After much review, we came to the decision to discontinue our pop-up kiosk program, and are instead expanding Amazon Books and Amazon 4-star, where we provide a more comprehensive customer experience and broader selection,” a spokesperson for Amazon said.
The stores were a place where customers interested in smart gadgets, such as Amazon’s Echo and Fire TV products, could see how they worked in the real world before purchasing them.
Dash buttons offered a way to reorder a consumable item on Amazon without having to think about it. Customers could link an item and preferred quantity to the button, and press it whenever they needed more. The buttons could be mounted in cupboards or on top of washing machines.
Amazon stopped offering them for sale this year, but a spokesperson told CNET they were a rousing success in that they got customers used to shopping without a screen.
“Dash button was an awesome stepping stone into the world of connected home,” Daniel Rausch, an Amazon vice president, said, later adding, “We never imagined a future where customers had 500 buttons in their home. We imagined a future where the home was taking care of itself, including replenishing everyday items that customers would rather not worry about.”
Now that the AmazonBasics microwave can automatically reorder popcorn, there’s simply no need for a separate $5 button.
Amazon stopped selling the device near the end of 2018, and its product page on Amazon.com tells customers: “This device is no longer available, however Certified Refurbished Amazon Tap is refurbished, tested, and certified to look and work like new.”
But as Amazon puts Alexa functionality in nearly everything, a portable device probably isn’t as useful.
Customers could order items such as snacks, drinks, and basic essentials from the Amazon app and use a barcode to access their purchases at designated Pickup locations. An Amazon employee would fill an Instant Pickup locker within minutes of the order being placed.
However, Amazon pulled the plug on the service, a company spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider in 2018. The company did not specify when the service ended.
Amazon Tickets launched in 2015 in the UK, a market with fewer exclusive contracts than in the US, potentially giving the retailer room to muscle in.
It closed by 2018. A planned rollout in the US was also cancelled in 2017.
Whole Foods 365
Whole Foods, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amazon, announced earlier this year that it would not be moving forward with its Whole Foods 365-branded stores.
These stores were designed to cater to younger shoppers with aisles full of budget-friendly private-label goods.
Business Insider’s Hayley Peterson reported that the brand would sunset and that no new stores would carry the 365 name. The company cited a diminishing price difference between 365 stores and regular Whole Foods stores as a reason for the change.
Amazon Fresh’s Local Market Seller
Amazon Fresh is Amazon’s fresh-grocery delivery service — its answer to home and business grocery-delivery services such as FreshDirect and Peapod.
Amazon acquired Quidsi for $545 million in 2010. Quidsi, founded by Marc Lore and Vinit Bharara, was the parent company of the early 2000s e-commerce darling Diapers.com, which expanded into Soap.com, Wag.com, BeautyBar.com, Casa.com, and YoYo.com.
Amazon Local was also shut down in 2015. A “daily deals” site similar to Groupon and LivingSocial, Local’s end was not too surprising, as the two other sites saw spectacular rises and subsequently drastic falls.
Amazon Wallet died before it ever got off the ground. Launched in 2014, it was a standalone Android app that stored gift cards and loyalty cards for different stores.
Amazon Local Register enabled small brick-and-mortar businesses to accept credit-card payments through Amazon’s payment processing with a card reader that attached to a smartphone, similar to a Square card reader.
Critics consider the Fire Phone Amazon’s first and largest failure. In October of the same year, Amazon announced a $170 million write-down “primarily related to Fire phone inventory valuation and supplier commitment costs” in its quarterly earnings report.
WebPay was Amazon’s version of PayPal in that it facilitated payments between people. It shut down in 2014, eliminated the person-to-person payments, and became Amazon Pay, a service that facilitates payments between shoppers and merchants.
Askville was similar to Yahoo Answers and Google Answers, but users were encouraged to answer questions through a gamified process.
With PayPhrase, Amazon customers could create a unique string of words that they would enter every time they wanted to check out quickly. It would be tied to a preselected payment option and address, so customers could just enter the phrase and PIN, and they were done, similar to Amazon 1-Click.
When it comes to the Cathy family’s reported $14.2 billion fortune, it’s all about the fried chicken. That’s because the Cathys are the family behind the Chick-fil-A empire.
S. Truett Cathy officially founded the popular fast-food chain in the 1960s, laying the roots for what is today America’s 21st-richest family wealth “dynasty,” according to the left-leaning Institute for Policy Studies’ “Silver Spoon Oligarchs” Report.
Since then, the family-owned business has remained in the hands of second- and third-generation family members. Truett’s sons, Dan Cathy and Don “Bubba” Cathy, run the company as CEO and executive vice president, respectively – they each have a reported net worth of $7.1 billion, according to the Forbes 400.
Born and raised in the south, the Cathy family has been dedicated to continuing Truett’s legacy, growing Chick-fil-A across the US. Chick-fil-A has been celebrated for its company culture, customer service, and quality food, but it has also received backlash over anti-same-sex marriage issues that align with the Cathys’ Christian beliefs.
Take a look inside the rise of Chick-fil-A and the family behind it.
The Cathy family’s multibillion-dollar fortune is rooted in the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A.
Outside of Chick-fil-A, he’s very involved in community organizations, including the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Aquarium, and Atlanta Committee for Progress. He’s particularly passionate about the revitalization of Atlanta’s Westside.
Truett raised his children in a “modest house” but had a car collection that included former House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s 1937 Lincoln Continental, George Glaze’s Brewster 8 Town Car, and a 1931 Duesenberg.
The Cathy family is known for their Southern Baptist values – Chick-fil-A is famously closed on Sundays, restaurant openings often include prayer, and employees are advised “to base your business in biblical principles.”
In 2012, Dan stirred controversy for his comments on gay marriage. In an interview with Baptist Press, he said he’s “guilty as charged” when it comes to supporting what he calls the “biblical definition of the family unit.”
WinShape was criticized for donating to anti-gay marriage groups – about $5 million since 2003, Forbes reported in 2012. Chick-fil-A told Insider in 2019 that giving to all but one of these organizations – Fellowship of Christian Athletes – has stopped.
Chick-fil-A may be considered controversial by some, but it also has a reputation for its commitment to customer service and employee experience: It’s received a number of rankings in both categories and has been dubbed the “Best Franchise Brand.”
Its giving arm, the Chick-fil-A Foundation, is focused on providing support for youth and education programs nationwide. In 2017, they funded $150,000 programs for Salvation Army, including camps for kids and the Angel Tree program in Atlanta.
Chick-fil-A’s employee culture translates to how the brand treats its customers, with a focus on quality food and a pleasant dining experience. It’s taken on a healthier menu, removing all trans fats from its foods, using only antibiotic-free meats, and even establishing an Innovation Center to develop recipes.
Bumble said it was closing all of its offices this week to help staff deal with burnout.
A spokeswoman for the female-led dating app confirmed the weeklong break to Sky News after Clare O’Connor, the company’s head of editorial content, said in a now-deleted tweet that the company’s around 700 staff were getting a paid week off.
O’Connor said the company’s CEO, Whitney Wolfe Herd, had “correctly intuited our collective burnout.”
It is not clear why O’Connor’s tweet has been deleted.
The spokeswoman told Sky News: “Like everyone, our global team has had a very challenging time during the pandemic.
“As vaccination rates have increased and restriction have begun to ease, we wanted to give our teams around the world an opportunity to shut off and focus on themselves for a week.”
Employees will be back at work on June 28, Sky News reported.