Tahoe PaddleBoarding – Lifestyle and Adventure!

Today I want to talk about branding products as lifestyle. Companies that sell lifestyle products target an audience with a need of identity and belonging to a cultural group. We can see lifestyle purchases in technology, luxury cars, fashion and designer products, and sport equipment. Companies that market lifestyle product often relate to that consumer identity.  We can see that relation in outdoor products where both the customer and the founding innovators live an active, healthy and extreme lifestyle.


 Tahoe defiantly is a center to an outdoor cultural lifestyle. Skiing and snowboarding take place in the winter, camping and kayaking in the summer, but my favorite outdoor sports is paddle boarding. The feeling of cruising on top of various shades of blue of Lake Tahoe is truly magical. Stand up paddle surfing (SUP) started taking off in 2005 and standup paddle boarding for flat-water developed in Tahoe in 2009. It’s a sport of fitness, fun and adventure that fits for all family members – kids, adults and even dog lovers can cruise with their four-legged friend.

My favorite local brand is the Lake Shore PaddleBoard Company, which is an innovator company of that sport and lifestyle. Their boards designed for flat-water lakes, rivers and the open ocean water. With a sharp vertical shape, those boards designed for better balance and gliding with speed. Standup paddle boarding became the most popular sport in Tahoe during the summer. Racing events take place all over the lake.  A good spot to see paddle-boarding lifestyle in action Race the Lake of the Sky in South Lake Tahoe, coming up ion the end of June.

lakeshore 5What makes paddle-boarding a catchy lifestyle is that it fits all ages that live in outdoorsy areas and it’s family friendliness. On the other hand it is a competitive sport for advanced athletes.  It’s a satisfying sport because you can get from one destination to another while enjoying the sun, water and the view. That is a win-win situation when nature, fun and fitness are combined. Follow my blog if you’re interested to hear more about fun product, interesting people and events. Looking forward for the summer!


Reno Startup Row – Community Spirit that Leads to Success

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The energy and the excitement in Reno Collective’s Entrepreneurship Press Conference was at peak. .  The conversation was about the startup community and collaboration. Everybody was talking about adding new jobs, boosting the local economy and the quality of life in downtown Reno.  There is a special family spirit on First Street that is being supportive by the Governor, EDAWN and Reno’s business community.

“We have all the ingredients here. We have the people. We have the energy. We have the university. We have local government and state government that going to support all this. I think that all of that coming together will make northern NV, Reno a very special place, where people would want to come work, live and play.”  Governor Sandoval

The opportunity is there – Reno Startup Row has the people, location, talent and collaboration to build a startup ecosystem. Now entrepreneurship in downtown Reno is officially recognized. The key ingredient to startup hub on First Street is an existence of a collaborative work place for entrepreneurs – The Reno Collective. Thanks to the energy of Colin Loretz – the founder Reno Collective, the collective team and the location next to Truckee River, startup community has a place to share ideas and enjoy the quality of workspace.

Mike Kazmierski from EDAWN is super supportive of the Startup Row and local entrepreneurship to change the business reputation of Reno. He talked about keeping companies in Reno for better economy, not just by dragging companies form other places, but helping local companies grow. Those Startups will yield jobs in the future. We also have the university and future talent. With those key ingredients, all we  need is funding. Joe Salesky from UsTyme , who assisted in funding of multiple companies in Silicon Valley also believes that the collective in Reno has a great opportunity for success. He commits to bring capital for startup development and incorporate UNR’s talent into the startup community:

“We just joined the advisory board at UNR in the Computer Science department. We are working with the department to evolve the curriculum to make both great engineers and great business people that can help build the economy of Reno.” Joe Salesky said.

It was interesting to see how the founders of local startups dedicated to collaboration in the same area of Reno. Nate Pearson the co-founder of Trainer Road talked about the benefits of working at the collective. Sharing ideas with some experts and designers creates a competitive spirit and pushes harder working. Due to the company growth they had to move out of the collective, but just two blocks away to be be part of the ecosystem.

Eric Jennings from Pinoccio is proud to operate in Reno. He encouraged Colin to move the space of Reno Collective to the current location and was the first to join the co-working space. He told that Pinoccio raised venture from out of town and that some of their employees are from out of Reno because it is a virtual company, but they plan hire 10 to 20 local employees.

Jim Elste form Inqiri, a startup company that focuses on improving business decisions making process is also proud to be part of Reno. Inqiri was founded in Reno and intend to stay in Reno. Jim explains what it means to be part of a startup community: “When you work with entrepreneurs, you work with people in the startup, you are working with smart, creative innovators. People that are passionate about what they’re doing, who are committed to what they’re doing in hard work. They are making great sacrifices to pursue their dreams.”

DSC00354 - Version 3Reno Startup Row has a good start, but there is still a lot of work to be done, said Colin Loretz. Reno Collective is located in a building that everybody can see. Banners with the collective logo will be hanged on First and Arlington streets. That way people from SF, Portland and other cities will know that there are startups in the area. The event ended by all companies and the Governor signing one of the Reno Collective banners. Reno has potential to be a nationally recognized entrepreneurial ecosystem. Follow my blog and discover what’s happening in Reno’s innovative world…

The Robot Age is Soon to Come – Wearable Technology

Wearable technology is becoming the new trend. If you don’t wear a tech piece of jewelry or accessory yet, I can assure that technology will be added to your wearable collection.  Technology trends are changing every few year and change the society. First the internet, then social media, smart phones and tablets, and now smart wearable technology is taking the stage. It is all about making our lives easier, since we all attached to our smart phones, a wearable device is a combination of both.

The new gadgets are popular for the early adopters and are bought in lotteries. The hottest technology wearables in the market are the smart watches. All tech leaders show off with few styles and they are many options in the market. Google Glass is another main actor on that stage, an Android version in a light frame that follows voice commands. While wearing those we can do anything and still be on the Internet, read social media, take pictures and videos, check the weather and use other Google Glass Apps. Those tech toys are not priced cheaply, Google Glass cost $1,500 and available to a number of participants in the Early Explorer Program, while smart watches run from one hundred to one thousand USD.

smartwatch The emerging trend draws events, conventions and even fashion shows. Last January at the International CES convention in Las Vegas smart technological accessories played a huge role. Smart watches came in many shapes and colors with different features. There are smart watches that monitor heart rate, kinds watches with GPS systems and few other styles described by Brian Chen in the NY Times article.

While wearable technology is only a part of International CES, a new Wearable Technology Expo is taking a place in London this March. All the big technology sharks and their CEO’s are attending this conference. Not only tech companies are carried away with the new trend, but also the fashion world presents stylish technological accessories. Iphone connected Jewelry and security alarm devices hidden in bracelets and necklace pendants.

I can write another blog about wearable tech jewelry, but for now you can read more about it in this article about tech fashion by Adario Strange at Mashable. I am curious to see the next phase of technology. Where are we going next from wearable tech devices? Is there a wearable tech piece that you think I must have? Please leave a comment if you do.

One Picture Worth Thousand Words – Quick Web-Merchandising Lesson

Quality product images are crucial for online product sales on your website or on a hosting eCommerce site. Product image is the first impression viewed by the consumer. Here is a brief lesson about image editing and products description for internal website usage and external eCommerce sites.

First step is getting the website running. Great web design and functionality should serve as a strong base and for a store frame. Now it is time to put product images in that frame. I am going to use a product page example that I created for a jewelry design firm. Product pages should be easy to operate and include fields for product title, price, and product description. Product categorization and links to related products should be also easy to operate.

Here are few easy steps on how to create product image and description:

1 – Lets Start with Photography – Of course you need a good camera with a macro lense, lightning and setup for macro photography. I also use anti-reflective dark colored background. In jewelry photography, I place the piece in the center and adjust the focus. Placing the camera on a tripod helps image clarity.

2 – Photoshop – Photo Editing – After uploading the images to photoshop, you can apply few easy steps of photo editing. Some cameras can upload the images automatically, while connected to the computer. The first step is to crop all the pictures at the same size to fit image size programing. Then I always enhance focusing and color shades as needed. The final step is saving the edited images and uploading them step by step by product category.

3 – Placement in Categories – Choose the category of the product first. Then fill up the title, product description, price and upload the image. It is better to set up an option where a product can be moved or copied to another category.

4 – Product Description – Product description should pop up in SEO results. It should also emphasize the uniqueness and value of the product. In my example the jewelry was made from authentic ancient coins. I researched and provided the story for each piece based on history with correlation to the coin jewelry related content.

5 – Special Offers and Sold Items – Additional marks like Sold, Special Offer and On Sale needed in product niche web-sales.

Here is how the finished product looks:

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All images and product description should be saved and organized on your computer. That way you can easily use that content for sales on external eCommerce sites. Lastly, make sure that the checkout process is simple and quick and that the credit card processing system is safe. That was an easy web merchandising lesson. For similar product promotional tips please follow my website. If you have tips to share with me please leave a comment.