I've always known about the difference in compensation and quality of life between Europe and the U.S., but it is quite shocking to see it laid out so plainly. From an article about mistreatment of workers at IKEA's manufacturing plant in Danville, VA:
Laborers in Swedwood plants in Sweden produce bookcases and tables similar to those manufactured in Danville. The big difference is that the Europeans enjoy a minimum wage of about $19 an hour and a government-mandated five weeks of paid vacation. Full-time employees in Danville start at $8 an hour with 12 vacation days — eight of them on dates determined by the company.
...Swedwood's Steen said the company is reducing the number of temps, but she acknowledged the pay gap between factories in Europe and the U.S. "That is related to the standard of living and general conditions in the different countries," Steen said.
...Bill Street, who has tried to organize the Danville workers for the machinists union, said Ikea was taking advantage of the weaker protections afforded to U.S. workers. "It's ironic that Ikea looks on the U.S. and Danville the way that most people in the U.S. look at Mexico," Street said.
Then Heartsy might be for you. It's a service which utilizes the Groupon concept of online group buying to offer deals of at least 50% on items in Etsy stores. But you may have heard some of the horror stories of vendors who have worked with Groupon and had terrible experiences. Will Heartsy sellers face similar difficulties? One blogger ran the numbers.
You can really help or hurt your business, so it’s really important to know your customers, your costs, and your limits...Heartsy’s current model is similar to wholesale, but there are still sellers (and also due to the unique nature of some handmade products) who find it very difficult to achieve wholesale prices, if at all. If that’s the case with your business, then you know the answer.
Personally, having had an Etsy store for a few years (and struggled with the financial side of it), I don't think this is a business model that works for handmade items. What about you?
This can't be real, right? A real-life pen that recreates the eyedropper tool in Photoshop.
The color picker pen enables colors in the environment to be scanned and instantly used for drawing. The sensor detects the color and matches it to the color display, then the RGB cartridge located within the pen mixes the inks together to create the color that has been scanned.
(P.S. On a closer look at the comments section of the post, this looks like its just a concept. I wonder though, could something like this actually be a reality one day?)
I love seeing behind the scenes photos, interviews and clips of how big, stylish brands filled with smart female employees actually work. This is why I'm loving the new blog on Kate Spade and the video/photo Italy series on J. Crew. Not only is it incredibly effective marketing (in the J. Crew videos, I'm not only watching them selecting fabrics for new J. Crew products, I'm also drooling over whatever Jenna Lyons is wearing and her enviable personal style. Talk about a brand ambassador. Maybe if I wear J. Crew I can live this life, too...) it's done with such style and professional quality. This is not an amateur operation.
A sidenote though, why doesn't The Weekly Spade or the J. Crew Tumblr have an RSS feed? If I can't add something to my Google Reader, it's dead to me.
Our current apartment has been riddled with issues and drama that began even before we moved in in the summer of 2009 (that should have been the first clue) and continues to this day. So when I tell you that I can't wait to move in September to a little ranch house on the West side of town that our friends are vacating because they're moving to Paris for a year, I mean I really, really, really can't wait (though I will be very sad to see these friends move away).
And even though I hate moving - in a general sense - I am eagerly looking forward to this moving day. In anticipation, I'm planning ahead and taking steps to clear out junk. Since we moved to this current apartment, I shuttered the RiffeRaff Etsy store and I have a lot of craft stuff I no longer need. We'll also probably be giving away one of our dining/craft tables, some rugs, shelving units, a freezer and much, much more. Some of these are items I'd been planning on giving away for some time now, but could never bring myself to do so. And then I saw this idea on SwissMiss and I'm actually eager to use it.
The idea is this: when you need to clear out some of your possessions but are feeling hesitant or anxious about saying goodbye, simply take a photo of the item, put it in a book, and write a eulogy about it. What will you eulogize first? I think I'll start with the six boxes of blank, printed cards I keep telling myself I'm going to do something with one day.