At Etsy, we believe that people-powered commerce represents a clear alternative to the world of big-box, cookie-cutter retail, with its shoving matches, Black Friday stampedes, and general sameness year after year. Commerce and holiday giving shouldn’t be, and don’t have to be that way.
Celebrating a Record-Breaking Weekend - Etsy News Blog (via fred-wilson)

huffingtonpost:

The gothic buildings of Brussel’s Grand Place have been given an extraordinary jolt of color this week, as volunteers constructed a giant floral carpet made from 600,000 begonias in the square’s open space. Created as a tribute to African tapestry weavers the 1,800 square meter artwork is expected to be viewed by 100,000 people this weekend.

Grand Palace In Brussels Pays Tribute To African Art With Giant Flower Carpet Made From 600,000 Begonias

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/16/g...

In the early ’90s, it was grunge, everybody was fully clothed. Alanis Morissette was one of the biggest artists in the world, never wore make up, wearing Doc Marten boots, and then the Spice Girls turn up, and suddenly it all looks a bit burlesque, suddenly they’re the biggest band in the world. … And as you go all the way through the ’90s, the clothes just fall off the women until you get to the year 2000, and Britney Spears is just wearing a snake.
‘How To Be A Woman’: Not A Feminist? Caitlin Moran Asks, Why Not? : NPR (via nprfreshair)

Me on the Internet in 1997

Someone asked me recently when I realized the internet was a big deal.

I gave the answer that was the first thing I could think of at the time (AOL chat rooms!), but it just occurred to me that a better response might have been: winning an Armani Exchange online contest!  A|X was one of the first retailers I remember having a web presence that I was at all interested in.  This being 1997ish, just to be clear.

So - A|X had contests calling for ideas on where/how people would wear items from their new collections.  How you entered: you sent “them” an email.  Seems charmingly outdated and limited in its social scope now, but hey - that’s how the internet used to be!  I’m sure they got dozens, if not hundreds, of responses.  

That simple, two-way interface also encouraged me around that time to write Abercrombie and Fitch and ask them why they didn’t still stock shoes.  Again, 1997, people!  I got a very friendly, well-considered response.  Who were the people manning the inboxes of these brands at the time, I wonder?!

Anyway, I won a massively oversized, terrycloth, logo-emblazoned hoodie that I wore proudly around the house.  It is now lost to the sands of time, much like my first-ever internet purchase (also around that time) - a pair of Royal Elastics sneakers from Boo.com.  I love my parents for handing over their credit card, and not judging me too much for how I took advantage of the “big deal” retail possibilities of the internet.