The 24-year old jewelry designer, whose rings have been spotted on Serena Williams and Meghan Markle, uses half her profits to fund female entrepreneurs

Shilpa Yarlagadda looks at the camera wearing a white coat
Shilpa Yarlagadda

This article was originally published on November 4th, 2020. On September 14th, 2021 Meghan Markle wore Shiffon jewelry on the cover of Times’ 100 Most Influential List. This article has been updated to reflect that.

When Shilpa Yarlagadda was in between her freshman and sophomore years at Harvard, she had an idea.

At the time, she was a computer science major with no experience in jewelry. She did, however, have the desire to make a change. In Indian culture, jewelry holds great sentimental value and is something that is typically passed down for generations, said Yarlagadda. And as a Silicon Valley native, Yarlagadda grew up close to one of the US’ venture capital hotspots. Her idea was a jewelry business that would also “give women access to venture capital and opportunities beyond the capital,” she told Insider in a 2020 interview.

She took $5,000 in savings and $20,000 she won from a grant in high school to launch fine jewelry company Shiffon in 2017. Half of Shiffon’s profits are given to the company’s nonprofit organization, the Startup Girl Foundation, which focuses on funding female-owned businesses.

The Startup Girl Foundation takes equity in each company it invests in and all returns go back to the foundation so it can invest in more businesses. “Twenty-five thousand sounded like a lot of money, but now growing and seeing what other founders are able to do, I’m realizing it actually wasn’t,” she said. “We had to be really resourceful in what we did.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose for the cover of Times' 100 most influential. On her left pink ring,  Markle wears a white suit while Harry is dressed in all Black.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose for the cover of Times’ 100 most influential. On her left finger, Markle wears a Shiffon pinky ring.

Now 24 years old, Yarlagadda’s business is thriving – along with the companies she invested in – and her jewelry has been spotted on Emma Watson, Kate Moss, Serena Williams, Amanda Gorman, and Shailene Woodley. Recently, Meghan Markle wore a Shiffon ring on the cover of Times’ 2021 100 ‘most influential’ people issue, which she shared with husband Prince Harry.

Last November, Shiffon partnered with When We All Vote – co-chaired by Michelle Obama – to create a line of jewelry encouraging people to vote.

“In the boardrooms, women are still not given a fair and equal say,” Yarlagadda said. “We wanted to inspire and remind women how hard they work to get these rights and that their voice matters.”

Shiffon rings have a symbolic meaning

Shiffon’s most famous product is the Pinky Ring, a version of which the Duchess of Sussex sported on her Times cover.

It’s a pinky ring to represent the pinky promise that women will pay it forward to other women and is adjustable so it can fit everyone, Yarlagadda said.

Priced between $155 and $780, the ring’s spiral designs represent how the company aims to help women spiral upward. Those who buy the rings unlock a secret menu that gives them access to more Shiffon products.

This year the company also expanded into creating hoop earrings in which 19.65% of profits will be invested back into female businesses through the Startup Girl Foundation. The year 1965 was the year the Voting Rights Act passed, which protected voting rights for all women – especially those of color.

Shiffon

To date, profits from Shiffon have gone to support 11 startups, including the bra company Pepper and the espadrille brand Sea Star Beachwear, Yarlagadda said. This kind of investment is sorely needed: Last year, just 2.3% of VC funding went to startups led by women, down from 2.8% the year prior. That number is even more dismal for women of color.

“If we can create exponential growth and a chain reaction, it’s going to help us reach equality in the venture capital and business ecosystem sooner,” Yarlagadda said.

Shilpa Yarlagadda stands against a wall wearing a Harvard sweater
Shilpa Yarlagadda

Providing mentorship opportunities is also key for female entrepreneurs

Shiffon has a mentorship board including stylist Sarah Slutsky, Obama’s stylist Meredith Koop, photographers Inez & Vinoodh, and former Elle Editor-in-Chief Robbie Myers, who also advise the founders that Startup Girl Foundation invests in.

Mentorship has played a big part in Yarlagadda’s career, and it’s almost as important for young entrepreneurs to receive mentorship as it is to receive capital, she said.

“Having key advice from people who’ve been there before and people that you look up to can just really make a huge difference,” Yarlagadda added.

Her own mentorship journey began in the early days of her business when she started contacting people she looked up to, including Slutsky, who is best known for working with celebrities like Emma Watson and Tory Burch.

A post shared by SHIFFON (@shiffonco)

It was Slutsky who, in addition to providing mentorship, taught Yarlagadda about the Kimberley Process – a certification scheme that requires participants to source conflict-free diamonds – and helped her find diamonds.

Yarlagadda has also been a mentor to the female founders who are part of her foundation, including Trisha Goyal, founder of tennis company Break The Love.

Founded in 2019, the company seeks to make tennis more accessible and has worked with Burch, sports equipment company Wilson, and received capital from Adidas’ venture fund. Goyal told Insider the foundation has given her resources on how to stand out in the male-dominated sports industry, and that Yarlagadda has reminded her that each small win is an important win for every person who comes after her.

“We jumped through so many hoops to get here and there are so many more hoops to come,” Yarlagadda said. “We’re going to have to continue advocating for women more, and I just like to remind women to use their voices, and that their voices matter.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Instant coffee is a billion-dollar market with a bad reputation. A startup backed by Meghan Markle is on a quest to usher in a new era.

Hannah Mendoza CLEVR Blends
Hannah Mendoza

When Hannah Mendoza was nine years old, she had an idea: a smoothie bar for kids.

She set up shop in her home economics class and organized a group of classmates to help sell her creations. It was something she loved, Mendoza told Insider. She didn’t know it would foreshadow the business she would one day run.

Today, Mendoza, 29, is CEO and cofounder of two-year-old Clevr Blends, a company that sells instant, “SuperLattes,” infused with “superfoods” like mushrooms and probiotics, which help with digestion. Priced at $28 a bag (each bag makes around 14 lattes), the company told Insider it saw a substantial increase in sales last year and is expecting the trajectory to continue throughout 2021.

On Tuesday, it launched its latest product, a Rose Cacao mix, infused with calming herbs.

Instant coffee has a bad reputation, Mendoza said. However, in her view, it works for next-gen consumers who are always on the go. By marketing her instant coffee as a healthy form of self-care, Mendoza is attempting to tap into the intersection of the billion-dollar coffee market and the trillion-dollar wellness industry. It seems to be working: Meghan Markle – who, alongside Prince Harry, made Times’ 2021’s 100 ‘most influential’ people list – invested an undisclosed amount last year. Oprah also posted about the brand on Instagram. Overall, packaged coffee sales rose during the pandemic, Bloomberg reported.

In an interview with Insider, Mendoza reveals the steps her company is taking to remake instant coffee’s reputation and connect with young consumers, including making sure the brand’s actions match its ethos of empowerment and investing in a sustainable supply chain.

Spotting an intersection of two thriving markets

The global instant coffee market hit $12.1 billion last year, while the global wellness market was estimated at over $4.4 trillion in 2019. Mendoza saw the chance to tap into both by making a coffee and tea alternative that has less sugar and uses an organic mushroom-infused latte mix instead of just coffee beans.

“I would love to be in a position where I can squeeze my own nut milk and blend up an elaborate drink, but that’s not the case and I know that’s not the case for a lot of people,” she continued.

Hannah Mendoza CLEVR Blends
The goal of Clevr Blends is simply to make people feel good, Mendoza said.

It took one year and “thousands” of iterations for Mendoza to settle on a recipe, she said. The result is now five different instant latte mixes, each infused with ingredients such as lion’s mane, a mushroom that helps improve memory, and ashwagandha, a root that helps reduce stress.

Young consumers, especially, seek to support brands that match their eco-conscious and social values, and Mendoza says it’s important for her brand to “put the money where its mouth is.”

That’s why the company strives to be transparent about its supply chain, touts its mostly female and non-binary team, and donates 1% of its revenue to charity.

“If there are 20 different types of matcha, we ask, ‘which one tastes the best, which one has the best transparent supply chain?” she said, adding, for example, the company sources matcha from Japan and buys turmeric from Diaspora Co., a company specializing in equitable spice trading, located in Oakland.

Clevr Blends also sources cocoa from a regenerative farm in the Ecuadorian rainforests, where farmers manage their lands to make the soil richly bio-diverse. This helps contribute to natural carbon mitigation, and the practice has been a growing trend as brands pivot toward becoming more environmentally friendly.

Knowing your customers intimately is key

In its early days, the Clevr Blends team took the time to meet with customers to garner feedback on how the products made them feel.

Daisy Pyo, a graphic designer based in Brooklyn, discovered the brand on Instagram, where its photos feature soothing pinks, yellows, and greens, waves crashing at the beach, and selfies of people sipping their instant lattes. Pyo told Insider she loves that the powders already contain adaptogens and probiotics so she can skip taking additional supplements in the morning.

Hannah Mendoza CLEVR Blends

“I really enjoy the ritualistic aspect of starting my day with making matcha in the mornings,” Pyo said. “It’s also just really tasty, so I see it as my little ‘pick-me-up.’ I feel good about incorporating it into my daily routine because I know it’s good for me.”

One high-profile customer turned out to be Markle, as Fortune reported, who found the brand after trying one of its instant lattes and became attracted to its ethical ingredients, community-focused business model, as well as the fact the company is female-led. Fortune reported that after news of the investment spread, the company had a month-long waitlist.

Hannah Mendoza CLEVR Blends
Hannah Mendoza

Working at a start-up was useful training for running her own

Mendoza always wanted to open her own business.

Growing up outside of London, she decided to move to California, without knowing a soul, after seeing an article about Emma Watson applying to school in the US.

Mendoza figured she’d give it a try, and went on to attend the University of California, Santa Barbra, where she studied applied psychology, global studies, and entrepreneurship.

Her first job was at food startup Imlak’esh Organics, where she learned the importance of organic farming, fostering healthy company culture, and how to be comfortable with the unknown.

It doesn’t hurt to take chances, either.

For instance, Clevr Blends is primarily e-commerce but is sold in one store – Erewhon Market in Los Angeles. A friend of Mendoza’s had a meeting set up with Erewhon buyers for his own product but believed in Clevr Blends so much, he snuck Mendoza and her cofounder into his own buyers’ meeting.

The buyers were skeptical at first but eventually fell in love with Clevr Blends. The same way Markle did, and Oprah, and all those kids at Mendoza’s elementary school. “It was an incredibly rough year for everyone,” Mendoza said. “But if what we’ve created made people’s mornings even ten percent easier – I’m really grateful for that.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Nearly two-thirds of Trump voters disapprove of Meghan Markle, while Biden voters overwhelmingly like her: poll

meghan markle
Photographers focus on Meghan Markle during an event in London in March 2018, when she was the fiancee of Prince Harry.

  • The favorability of the Duchess of Sussex is seen through a political lens in the US.
  • Meghan Markle gets positive marks from 72 percent of voters who supported Joe Biden.
  • However, Markle is viewed favorably by only 25 percent of voters who backed Donald Trump in 2020.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The favorability of the Duchess of Sussex is seen through a partisan lens in the US, as she fares poorly among voters who backed former President Donald Trump in 2020, according to a new poll from The Economist/YouGov.

Among Trump voters, 62 percent of respondents have an unfavorable view of Meghan Markle, with 46 percent holding a “very unfavorable” view.

Only 25 percent of Trump voters have a favorable view of Markle.

However, she is viewed favorably by a whopping 72 percent of voters who backed President Joe Biden in the 2020 election, with only 14 percent of Biden voters holding an unfavorable view.

Among the general public, Markle is viewed positively by 47 percent of respondents, with 33 percent seeing her unfavorably, and 20 percent of respondents not having an opinion.

The partisan lines are similar for Markle’s husband, Prince Harry.

While 76 percent of Biden voters have a favorable opinion of the Duke of Sussex, only 10 percent of Biden voters view him unfavorably.

Among Trump voters, 38 percent of respondents see Harry in a positive light, while 46 percent registered their disapproval.

The late Princess Diana, Harry’s mother, is seen positively by 66 percent of respondents and her enduring popularity translates across politics – 79 percent of Biden voters see her positively, with 67 percent of Trump voters expressing the same sentiment.

The Royal Family is currently in state of mourning after the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II.

The duke passed away on April 9 at the age of 99 and was the longest-serving British consort in history.

Harry flew to the United Kingdom to attend the funeral, while Markle, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child, stayed in the United States as she did not have a clearance to travel.

Markle paid tribute to the duke by providing a custom-made wreath for the funeral service and sending a handwritten note.

The relationship between Markle, Harry, and the Royal Family has been under an intense lens since the blockbuster March interview that the couple conducted with Oprah Winfrey.

The duke reportedly disapproved of the interview, but continued to support the couple.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Meet the millennial designer and CEO who wants to make comfort clothing the new power dressing

Misha Nonoo
Misha Nonoo.

Way back in 2011, Misha Nonoo was having brunch with some friends in Manhattan. She was around 25 at the time, sporting a jacket that she herself had designed.

By chance, a buyer for the brand Intermix was sitting one table over. “She said, ‘I love the jacket you’re wearing, where is it from?’ And I said, ‘Oh, I made it,” Nonoo recalled to Insider.

Next thing she knew, Nonoo found herself in the buyer’s office, showing off eight original designs. “I walked out with a purchase order for six of the eight pieces,” Nonoo said. It was worth $150,000.

A few months later, Nonoo officially launched her eponymous clothing line, and within two years, she became a finalist for the prestigious CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. In 2015, she was named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30. That same year, she became the first designer to host a fashion show on Instagram. The next year, Snapchat.

Read more: Inside the world of ‘Bling Empire’s’ Jaime Xie, the tech heiress forging her own path as a fashion influencer

Nonoo, now 35, told Insider she can’t exactly remember her first celebrity client but said her first clients were her friends and family whose support helped build the business – it’s just that Markle and Princess Beatrice happen to be in her friendship circle. Another friend, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, was a key player in her groundbreaking Instagram fashion show. (Nonoo is married to Michael Hess, heir to the Hess oil fortune and an energy entrepreneur.)

Today, the brand counts celebrities such as Bella Hadid, Cate Blanchett, Meghan Markle, and Amal Clooney as fans. In 2019, she teamed up with Markle, then a working royal, on a clothing line for the women’s charity Smart Works. The sleek designs and sustainable ethos of Nonoo’s brands are some of the reasons it’s won such highly placed fans.

“I have always been a huge fan of Misha – personally and professionally,” stylist Sarah Slutsky told Insider. “I love the way she prioritizes uniform dressing. I think a formula for what to add to your closet is empowering and helpful for many women. I believe when you can build a wardrobe with pieces that are interchangeable, the options for feeling put together are endless and the result is confidence.”

Nonoo’s latest collection, entitled “The Perfect 10,” includes white collared shirts, cozy turtlenecks, and sweatpants, intended for the new on-the-go – just from the bedroom to the kitchen table for yet another Zoom meeting.

In an interview with Insider, Nonoo talks about her latest fashion collection, getting her start in fashion, and the future of sustainability in the industry.

Her brand doesn’t keep inventory and doesn’t have seasonal collections

Growing up, Nonoo always knew she wanted to start her own thing. Born in Bahrain, Nonoo relocated with her family to London at the age of 11.

She attended college between London and Paris, going to both the European Business School and the École Supérieure du Commerce Extérieur, studying international business and French.

At 23, she came to New York to work at a menswear tailoring company, which agreed to sponsor her visa. “I wanted to live in New York,” she said. “This was my way in.”

She has come a long way since that chance encounter in Manhattan. Today, A hallmark of her business model is that she produces everything on-demand, and does not create seasonal collections. The former was inspired by a situation that arose early on in her fashion career.

In the very beginning, she had worked with one retailer that placed an enormous purchase order. She was excited, she recalled.

“Then I quickly realized you only have a 10-week full-price selling period and your gross margin agreement means that every week you’re on sale, [wholesalers are] chipping away at that gross margin,” she said.

Misha Nonoo
Slutsky told Insider that Nonoo “carefully considers what it is to invest in a clothing item in a way that you would have an item designed to last.”

“The agreement is designed so that you’ll never win as a designer,” she continued. “It was always designed in the favor of the major department store.”

The store also decided to return any inventory that was not sold, leaving Nonoo with excess product. “That was a huge learning curve,” she said, adding that all the money that was being wasted could have easily put her out of business.

“Now I look back on that,” she continued. “That was the beginning of me starting to manufacture on-demand and to understand that I wanted to own my relationship with my customer and that I never wanted to be beholden to a major department store.”

That worked out well, as wholesalers were hit hard during the pandemic. Some filed for bankruptcy, while all were severely impacted by the loss in foot traffic as shopping pivoted online.

Meanwhile, because Nonoo now produces everything on demand, as manufacturing in China shut down, she could turn to Peru and Los Angeles for production without losing much money from wasted inventory.

The brand also began honing in on its social media strategy and was able to launch a loyalty program for customers, with the highest tier including a tailoring allowance and a personal stylist. For that, customers have to spend at least $2,800.

Misha Nonoo
Jules Miller, founder of The Nue Co., wearing the latest Misha Nonoo collection.

Consumers are educating themselves more on sustainability, Nonoo says

Although the pandemic has accelerated this, Nonoo said she thinks customers have been educating themselves on how to consume less.

For those with the means, it’s about forging fast-fashion and buying pieces of clothes one knows they will reuse over and over again. That’s who Nonoo’s line seeks to service, the customers that want quality staple items that will be reused over and over again.

Even young people – many of whom still buy cheap fast fashion – have become conscious about how the industry is polluting and damaging the environment, Nonoo said.

“A lot of them use platforms like Threat Up and the Real Real, Poshmark to buy things secondhand,” she continued. “As opposed to buying virgin fashion that comes from a source like one of the major fashion brands.”

Aside from making seasonless products and not keeping an inventory, Nonoo’s brand has also eliminated single-use plastic from its supply chain and has plans to forgo using single-use polyesters.

Another trend that will follow long after the pandemic is seasonless fashion shows, Nonoo said. That’s ironic for Nonoo, as she made headlines years ago for being the first designer to host an Instagram runway show.

Misha Nonoo
Commercial lawyer Thandi Maqubela wearing the latest Misha Nonoo designs.

That opportunity came about one night while Nonoo was having dinner at the home of a friend of hers, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg.

Nonoo told Sandberg that earlier that day, she had toured Instagram’s headquarters and spoke to someone who works in the marketing and events department about how the fashion industry was quickly changing.

She relayed the conversation to Sandberg, who agreed that the industry was undergoing a shakeup. The idea of a virtual fashion show emerged.

“She said, ‘Well, Instagram can’t officially partner with anyone,'” Nonoo said. “But she was really incredibly helpful and walked me through what the parameters were and the lines we could cross.”

There were strict guidelines for the show, which, Nonoo said, helped her and her team be even more creative. But that didn’t make the task any easier. It was hard because an Instagram fashion show “hadn’t been done before.”

But now, Nonoo is leading the way to another runway disruption – hardly doing them at all.

“It’s about consuming things when you need them, that fit into your life, and that are going to work for you for a long time,” she said.

Nonoo said she thinks the pandemic has disrupted the industry so much, that even when shows fully come back, “I don’t think fashion weeks are going to be the same.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

A law firm will reportedly be appointed by Buckingham palace to investigate bullying claims against Meghan

AP21071566559359
Buckingham Palace.

  • Buckingham Palace will reportedly launch an investigation into accusations against Meghan Markle.
  • The news follows Meghan and Harry’s bombshell interview with Oprah.
  • “The actual worst incidences haven’t come out,” palace sources were quoted as saying in The Sunday Times.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Buckingham Palace is appointing a third-party law firm to carry out an independent investigation into bullying allegations made against the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, according to The Sunday Times.

The news comes after the Sussex’s sat down with media mogul, Oprah Winfrey, in a bombshell interview that revealed the couple’s strained relationships with the royal family and the ill-treatment they said they were receiving.

Last week, in the lead-up to the interview, sources said the Palace was ‘”prepared to retaliate” with fresh disclosures about the couple’s behavior if the monarchy is attacked.”

Per The Sunday Times report, the Palace plan to appoint an independent law firm to handle the allegations made against Markle and her spouse, Prince Harry, that the couple bullied royal staff. It is a surprising move since the Palace had initially announced that an in-house inquiry would examine the claims.

The Sussex’s communications secretary at the time, Jason Knauf, made complaints against the duchess back in 2018, accusing her of driving two personal assistants out and diminished the confidence of a third. Her behaviour was deemed “unacceptable” by a senior palace aide, London News Time reports.

Meghan denied the allegations.

Palace sources told The Sunday Times: “The actual worst incidences haven’t come out. There are some harrowing stories to tell.”

Responding to the allegations earlier this month, Meghan’s spokesperson said: “The duchess is saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Oprah’s interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle didn’t just expose the royal family – it also revealed just how the broken US healthcare system is

Oprah "what"
Oprah’s reaction to Meghan Markle’s claim that a member of the royal family was concerned over her baby’s skin color.

  • Oprah interviewed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in a highly anticipated CBS special.
  • Viewers from the UK were shocked by how many pharmaceutical ads ran during the American broadcast.
  • Their medical costs are covered by the government, and their reactions expose how broken the US healthcare system is.
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

In the year since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down from their official duties as extensions of the British monarchy, scandalous, albeit unverified accusations came about from either side of the conflict. It all culminated in the royal couple’s primetime interview with Oprah, which revealed allegations of racism and abuse.

While the interview exposed the royal family’s callous treatment of Harry and Meghan, the conversation it drove online inadvertently exposed how broken the US healthcare system is. The interview aired from 8 pm to 10 pm Eastern in the United States, meaning that UK residents had to stay awake until the early morning hours to watch. As they did so, they became shocked and concerned by the existence of something Americans consider normal: a swarm of pharmaceutical ads.

“watching american adverts during the megan and harry oprah interview is so surreal, why are so many of them for meds?” tweeted one UK-based viewer.

“HELP why are all american ads about medicines??” tweeted another.

The answer is just as ridiculous as the existence of the ads themselves. The United States’ healthcare system was constructed on the idea of making money. Helping sick people is just a side effect.

Money is the motive

It’s easy to forget just how messed up the US healthcare system is – we Americans have lived with it our whole lives, which makes it “normal” – but the reaction to pharmaceutical advertisements by people living in Europe illustrate just how convoluted the American arrangement is.

“American adverts make me feel like I’m in some post-apocalyptic world” one viewer tweeted.

That’s because in the UK, the vast majority of people’s healthcare is administered by the National Health Service (NHS). When you get sick, you go to the doctor and are cared for at no cost “at the point of use,” meaning that the service itself is subsidized by taxes, but the actual care is free. If you are sick, you go to the doctor and are treated at no cost. If you have an accident, you are delivered to the hospital and operated on at no cost.

You don’t need insurance in the UK because it is provided through the NHS. Some supplemental insurance can be added, but only 10.5% of UK residents have that extra insurance.

Since the government is the almost exclusive buyer of medicines, the NHS negotiates a rate that it pays pharmaceutical companies and then provides the medicines to NHS users. Therefore, there’s no reason for pharma companies to aggressively advertise, and, in fact, these types of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical ads are banned in the UK.

In America however, pharmaceutical companies are competing to win over consumers and drive up their profits. Instead of having a nonprofit government entity to negotiate on their behalf, average Americans either have to fend for themselves or rely on insurance companies – who are also profit-driven – to negotiate the price for them.

That’s also where the ads come in. There are often multiple, competing brands of any given medication, so drug ads are designed to drive people towards more expensive name brand drugs and push people to try drugs they may not need. All of this is moot in a UK-style system where the government does the negotiating with drug companies.

The results of the profit-driven US model are devastating. Let’s use diabetes type 1 for example, a condition where the body can’t make enough insulin, which causes high blood pressure and affects more than 1 million Americans.

There are three competing insulin manufacturers in the US, the lack of competition and ability to negotiate for higher profits has in turn driven the cost of insulin so high that people are engaging in “insulin rationing,” or using less insulin than they should be, to make the doses last longer. This sort of rationing has led in some cases to death. The Twitter user above may have been joking when they described this as “post-apocalyptic,” but a system where it’s necessary to ration anything you need to live fits pretty squarely into that definition.

Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical industry raked in $1.3 trillion, with a “t,” in 2019.

And on top of these drug costs, American also have to deal with soaring insurance premiums and high, uncertain costs for basic needs, like ambulances.

It makes sense how dumbfounded UK viewers were when they saw American commercials for medication. They live in a system that doesn’t penalize you for something you cannot control.

The need for an American universal healthcare system, like Medicare For All, only intensifies with time. As long as our healthcare system prioritizes profit over people, we will continue to look ridiculous to the rest of the world.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Oprah’s 7 best interview techniques that anyone can replicate, according to a psychotherapist

Oprah Winfrey interview Meghan and Harry
Oprah Winfrey spoke to Meghan and Harry in an interview that aired on CBS.

As a therapist and the host of The Verywell Mind Podcast, I see first-hand how the questions you ask and the way you ask them determine how open people are when they respond. Interviewers who help people feel comfortable encourage their interviewees to speak more freely.

Oprah’s interviewing skills have stood the test of time because she strikes a great balance between helping guests feel like they’re part of an intimate conversation while also helping her audience feel like they’re part of the interview.

Her recent interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry highlighted her skills as she got the couple to open up about sensitive subjects and their former life in the royal family. Here are seven reasons why Oprah is so good at asking questions that draw out candid, honest answers.

1. She is comfortable with silence

Silence feels uncomfortable for both the interviewer and the interviewee. And while many interviewers race to fill any pause that lasts more than a second or two, Oprah sits back and waits.

She knows her guests feel awkward too. And she lets them fill the gap.

The pause is often a sign that a guest is hesitating to share more information. When there’s an awkward silence, however, most guests will be eager to fill it – even if that means chiming in with the rest of a story that they’re hesitant to tell.

This is crucial as it means her guests often go on to share the harder parts of their stories or the raw emotions they’re experiencing.

2. She’s direct

Some interviewers sugar-coat uncomfortable questions. Others seem apologetic for asking about tough subjects. And a few seem to enjoy being intense in their questions as a way to create extra tension.

Oprah is kind when asking questions but she’s also direct. Her manner of asking tough questions in a matter-of-fact way helps people feel more comfortable answering.

After all, if you’re apologetic or you seem uncomfortable asking a question, people may think they should feel awkward about answering.

3. She uses reflective listening

People open up more when they know someone is really listening to them. But listening isn’t just about passively waiting. It’s about reflecting back what you hear to show you’re trying to truly understand.

When someone shares a story and then ends with a statement like, “That was so tough to deal with as a kid,” Oprah often responds by repeating back the last few words. Saying, “That sounds tough for you to deal with as a kid…” opens the door for them to keep talking.

4. She asks follow up questions

Oprah’s conversations are organic. She doesn’t just pick from a list of pre-written questions to ask her guests.

She asks follow-up questions that show she wants more information about what her guest just said. She shows she’s interested in taking a deeper dive into their wisdom and their experiences.

5. She doesn’t know all the answers

Some interviewers insist they only ask questions they already know the answers to so that they’re never surprised or thrown off guard. That’s definitely not Oprah’s approach.

Clearly, she conducts research on her guests. That information guides the question she asks. But, she also asks questions that people haven’t ever been asked before and she shows a genuine response to their answers.

6. She leans in

Oprah looks relaxed while she waits for her guests to answer her questions. This ensures that people being interviewed don’t feel rushed when answering questions.

She also leans in at just the right moment. Leaning forward in her chair when they’re sharing raw emotion sends a clear signal that she’s with them and wants them to keep going. People feel safe when they know they’re being heard.

7. The conversation is authentic

The conversation between Oprah and her guests appears authentic. The guests feel as though Oprah really wants to learn from them and the audience feels like they’re watching two people having a real conversation – rather than an expert interrogating someone about their story.

That authenticity is why Oprah is such a trusted resource. Her body language and facial expressions match the words coming out of her mouth.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to watch Oprah’s interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for free online

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey.

  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down from their royal duties in 2020.
  • The couple revealed more about their exit in a CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey on March 7.
  • You can watch the special right now on CBS.com or the CBS app.

Roughly one year after they left their royal duties behind, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle discussed what led to their big exit during a CBS interview on March 7.

The interview, conducted by Oprah Winfrey, was a two-hour primetime special that touched on some of the reasons for their departure. The program featured a number of revelations from the two, including that Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, made Markle cry. The two also discussed unnamed members of the royal family who had “concerns and conversations” about their son Archie’s skin tone.

CBS filmed the interview before bullying accusations were made against Markle from a number of staff members at Buckingham Palace. On March 3, Buckingham Palace announced it would investigate the accusations.

If you want to catch up on Oprah Winfrey’s CBS interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, here’s how you can watch the full special online.

How to watch ‘Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special’

Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special” aired March 7 on CBS. You can now watch the full interview on-demand through CBS.com and the CBS app.

The interview is available for free without the need to sign in with a cable subscription, but there are commercials during the program. You can access CBS.com through web and mobile browsers. The CBS app is available on most media devices, including Roku, Fire TV, Android TV, and Apple TV.

Is Oprah’s interview with Meghan and Harry available on Paramount Plus?

As of March 8 at 9 a.m. ET, “Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special” is not yet available on Paramount Plus. It’s possible that the program could be added to the service at a later date.

Paramount Plus typically airs news specials and programs from CBS shortly after they are broadcast on the network. The subscription service costs $6 a month for the ad-supported plan, or $10 a month for the commercial-free plan. 

Both plans currently include access to your local CBS network in most markets. You can see a full list of supported areas here. Subscribers also get access to a huge library of on-demand shows and movies. You can find more information about the service in our full Paramount Plus guide. If you want to try Paramount Plus, you can sign up for a one-month free trial. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Meghan Markle told Oprah that her first job was working at a frozen yogurt store, Humphrey Yogart, in LA when she was 13

meghan markle oprah interview
Meghan Markle sits down for an interview with Oprah Winfrey on March 7.

  • Meghan Markle told Oprah her first job was serving frozen yogurt at Humphrey Yogart in LA.
  • She met her idol Yasmine Bleeth, who starred as a lifeguard on “Baywatch,” while working there.
  • Markle was 13 at the time. Her old boss said she was outgoing and popular with customers.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Meghan Markle’s first job was serving frozen yogurt at a store in LA when she was 13, she told Oprah Winfrey in an interview that aired on Sunday.

In the interview with Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, the Duchess of Sussex spoke about contemplating suicide after getting married, how members of the royal family had conversations about her son Archie’s skin tone, and how Kate Middleton made her cry before her wedding.

In another portion of the interview, Markle briefly mentioned the yogurt store she worked at in Sherman Oaks, California. 

Markle, who announced she was stepping back from the royal family with Harry in January 2020, told Winfrey: “My first job was when I was 13, at a frozen yogurt shop called Humphrey Yogart.”

“I’ve always worked. I’ve always valued independence,” she added.

She didn’t go into any further details in the interview. It’s unclear exactly when Meghan worked at Humphrey Yogart, but she would have been there sometime in 1994.

Markle’s employment at the shop was already known about. According to a report in The Guardian, when Markle was taking the bins out in the parking lot of the yogurt shop, she met her celebrity idol, Yasmine Bleeth, who starred as lifeguard Caroline Holden on “Baywatch.”

Markle blurted out “Oh my God, I loved you in that Soft & Dri commercial,” to which Bleeth answered, “Okay, thank you!,” The Mirror reported in 2017

Bleeth then asked for her name and shook her hand. Markle said: “That moment with Yasmine is exactly what I base every interaction with fans on,” per the Guardian.

Markle’s former boss Paula Sheftel told the Sunday Mirror that Markle didn’t earn much, but she was well-liked by the shop’s customers.

“She earned minimum wage and was very popular with customers. She had to prove she had an outgoing personality and would work well with staff,” Sheftel told the Mirror.

Markle has come a long way since then. After landing various small roles, including appearing as a suitcase girl on the game show “Deal or No Deal,” the actress got her big break on “Suits.” 

Markle married Harry on May 19, 2018 and they had their first child together one year later.

During the Sunday interview, the couple also announced that their second child, due this summer, would be a girl. They haven’t announced an expected due date.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to watch Oprah’s interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tonight on CBS

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey.

  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down from their royal duties in 2020.
  • The couple will reveal more about their exit in a CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey tonight at 8 p.m. ET.
  • You can watch the special on cable or through streaming services with CBS, like Paramount Plus.

Plus Monthly Subscription (small)

Roughly one year after they left their royal duties behind, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will discuss their big exit during a new interview tonight on CBS. 

The interview, conducted by Oprah Winfrey, is a two-hour primetime special that will touch on some of the reasons for their departure. In clips from the program, Markle discusses the royal family’s role in spreading misinformation about her. Markle also tells Winfrey about feeling pressured to decline interviews with her while she was a member of the royal family. The program will run from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET.

CBS filmed the interview before bullying accusations were made against Markle from a number of staff members at Buckingham Palace. On March 3, Buckingham Palace announced it would investigate the accusations.

If you want to catch Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, here’s how you can watch it tonight on CBS through cable and streaming services.

How to watch ‘Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special’

“Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special” will air on March 7 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. You can watch the program on cable, over-the-air TV, or streaming services with CBS.

You can also stream the interview on CBS.com if you have an authenticated cable plan.

Streaming services with CBS

For easy streaming access to CBS, we recommend Paramount Plus (formerly CBS All Access). The subscription service costs $6 a month for the ad-supported plan, or $10 a month for the commercial-free plan. With that said, the ad-free option still has commercials during live TV. 

Both plans currently include access to your local CBS network in most markets. You can see a full list of supported areas here. Subscribers also get access to a huge library of on-demand shows and movies. You can find more information about the service in our full Paramount Plus guide.

If you want to try Paramount Plus, you can sign up for a one-month free trial. However, if you want to continue watching live CBS through the service in the months to come, be aware that the $6/month ad-supported plan will drop to a new $5/month plan in June. The new ad-supported plan will not include live CBS.

Plus Monthly Subscription (small)

Outside of Paramount Plus, Locast is another streaming option with access to CBS. The non-profit service offers dozens of local streaming channels for free in 29 markets across the country.

On the downside, Locast interrupts its streams with donation requests unless you pay the $5 a month donation fee. Its app is also very limited and it only includes local stations. 

Streaming Subscription (small)

You can also watch CBS on other live TV streaming services, such as Hulu + Live TV, Fubo TV, YouTube TV, and AT&T TV.

Those streaming services cost significantly more than Paramount Plus, however, with starting prices ranging between $65 and $70 a month. On the plus side, they all provide a larger selection of live channels, including other local stations and several cable networks.

If you’re looking for a true cable alternative, and not just a simple method to stream CBS, then it’s worth paying the extra money for one of these platforms.

+ Live TV (small)TV (small)TV (small)TV (small)

Read the original article on Business Insider