Posts tagged with "shopping"

F-wheel A5 Electric Bike illustrated by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

F-wheel A5 Electric Bike

By: Heather Skovlund x Vaughn Lowery

The F-wheel A5 electric bike has all the perks to an e-bike that you could dream of having while headed to your destination. It sports 14-inch wheels, an ergonomically designed frame, seating for adults and kids, and is easy to maneuver and store tight spaces with its folding capabilities. While you’re likely to see tons of these types of e-bikes zipping around just about any city in China, it’s a fairly extraordinary e-bike in the US. 

Curb Appeal

Affiliates of 360 Magazine had the opportunity to test the capability of the F-wheel A5 e-bike. The A5 is sleek and holds a trendy appearance with its 14-inch wheels and minimalist aluminum alloy frame. The A5 is designed for dense urban living with its durability, upgraded seat, and back seat perfect for transporting cargo (with bungee cords) or even a second person/child. The F-wheel is available in three colors: black, red, and white. This sleek e-bike is available in F-wheel A5 Standard as well as F-wheel A5 Deluxe. To customize the look of your new ride, look no further than Gabe Majalca, mastermind of Good Vibe Gliders for an enhanced flare.

Performance

With the amazing durability of the F-wheel A5, you will be able to sightsee in style and go shopping on a whim. The powerful 350W 48V motor will get you to your destination with ease with a max speed of 25KM/H. The F-wheel runs on a 7.5AH battery that is portable and removable, which is fantastic for charging. The added suspensions work nicely for a smoother ride with a noticeable difference in the seat post suspension. The acceleration is powerful, it has been reviewed at around 500W continuous and up to 750W peak for speeds. There are three different riding modes with the A5: Pure Electric Mode, Boost Mode, and Manpower Mode. The F-wheel A5 Deluxe is equipped with a LG lithium battery with a capacity of up to 21AH, with a BMS battery management system to help battery life up to 180KM.

Technology

As previously mentioned, the A5 has three different riding modes. The first, Pure Electric Mode, allows you to ride with no cycling of the pedals. The second, Boost Mode, allows you to pedal with an assist from the power source. Lastly, Manpower Mode, enables you to ride like a human-powered bicycle – no need to power on. There is a power display and real-time speed display in addition to the different modes offered: eco, medium and high. The A5 comes with two keys as well as two fobs to easily start the e-bike up. There is also an extra removable battery. The front and rear brakes work well as well as the front lights and taillights. There is a light on the back of the bike that lights up “EBIKE” which adds a subtle touch of flare to the bike. This e-bike is low maintenance without a derailleur or gears. The 14-inch tires are in a mag wheel – there are no spokes that need to be tuned or that will break. The F-wheel A5 weighs 22.5KG and easily folds up for easier transportation such as when you’re heading into an elevator, riding the Amtrack, climbing stairs or simply placing the e-bike in your apartment. Just simply fold the handlebars down, fold the frame in the front, fold the pedals down, remove the seat and you’re set. There are also sensors on the A5 to notify you if someone or something is too close the bike along with a lock on the battery.

Competition

Competition is very limited with the sleek improvements of the F-wheel A5 electric bike (formally DYU Smart Electric Bike D3). Priced at $700 and worth every cent. The closest competitor is the EB7 Elite Commuter from Swagtron. The next competitor would be the Flido D25 Folding Electric Commuter Bike. The electric bike trend has been on the rise due to communities embracing the go “green” activity. A review left on DYU’s website from Clayton Kent states that the A5 is the “perfect commuter bike enduring at least 70 NYC blocks a day” as well as “it has saved me a lot of money not having to use the train”. With the new improvements to the design and overall functionality to the F-wheel A5 electric bike, it is sure to be the front runner for delivery workers, professionals, and kids at heart.

Photo by Armon Hayes
Photo credit: Armon Hayes
Photo Credit: Armon Hayes
Photo Credit: Armon Hayes
Photo Credit: Armon Hayes
Photo Credit: Armon Hayes
Smartphone illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Smartphone Subscriptions

Smartphone Subscriptions Have More Than Doubled In 5 Years – 11% CAGR from 2016-2020

Smartphones have become abundant in today’s society, giving us the ability to control many aspects of our lives with just our fingertips.  Today’s smartphones act as a portal to our everyday needs and desires; from banking to shopping, from work to leisure, from hobbies to passions, our smartphone allows us to connect with the world more than ever before. According to data presented by BuyShares, smartphone subscriptions in 2020 has more doubled since 2015 to 6.1B units globally, growing at a CAGR of 10.54% in the 5-year period from 2016-2020.

Smartphone Subscriptions Have Doubled From 2015 to 2020 – 6.1B in 2020

The title of the very first smartphone belongs to the Simon Personal Communicator (SPC) which was produced and launched by IBM in 1994. A few of the SPC’s main features still remain as staples of modern-day smartphones, but the SPC would be unrecognizable as a smartphone among today’s generation of devices.

The iPhone’s launch in 2007 is what many consider the first version of the smartphone as we know it today. It was the first phone to offer access to the internet in its entirety and not a scaled-down version of it. For the first time ever, you could browse the internet just like you would on your desktop computer or laptop.

Smartphones became mainstream soon after the iPhone’s launch and are now ubiquitous in today’s society.  Swedish telecommunications company, Ericsson, estimates there to be 6.1B smartphone subscriptions in the world in 2020, over 101% more than 2015’s smartphone subscriptions. In the 5-year period from 2016-2020, smartphone subscriptions grew at a CAGR of 10.54%.

In the year that the first iPhone was released, it is estimated that 122M units of smartphones were sold to end-users. In 2018 that figure ballooned to a record 1.56B smartphones sold. 2019 posted similar numbers to 2018 but experienced a 10.5% YoY decrease in the pandemic ravaged year of 2020. The number of smartphones sold to end-users is projected to bounce back and increase by 11.4% YoY in 2021.

China Has the Most Smartphone Users with Almost 1 Billion

China has an estimated 912M smartphone user in 2020, the most in the world. China’s smartphone penetration rate in 2020 stood at 63.4% which is the 8th highest in the world. Of the top 20 countries with the most smartphone users, the USA had the highest penetration rate of 81.6%. 15 other countries from the top 20 list, posted smartphone penetration rates of above 50%.

As of 2020, Newszoo estimates that there are 3.6B smartphone users worldwide. The same estimates project smartphone users to rise by almost 20% by 2023 to 4.3B. The smartphone penetration rate globally in 2020, stood at 46.45% compared to just 33.5% in 2016.

You can read more about the story with more statistics and information here.

Online shopping illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Digital Transformation: ByondXR

Digital Transformation: ByondXR Develops virtual commerce platform used by World-leading Retailers

Web-based Virtual eCommerce: Transforming the Future of Retail

The online shopping landscape is continuously changing, with companies finding new solutions to bring unique experiences to their customers. When the coronavirus pandemic shook the world, brands had to adapt to the virtual landscape, as in-store shopping became nearly impossible quickly. With the fear and apprehension that the pandemic created, naturally, people lost the motivation to shop in-person as much as they used to.

Companies that rely on physical shopping lost their customers and floundered, while companies that already had a significant digital presence increased their business. As businesses struggled to stay afloat, ByondXR, a company specializing in building online virtual storefronts and showrooms, was positioned to assist them in building their digital presence and offering new experiences for customers despite the pandemic.

Industry veterans Noam Levavi and Eran Galil founded ByondXR in 2016, intending to help businesses acclimate themselves to the growing virtual commerce market. Having as much familiarity and expertise with online retail merchandising as they did, after COVID-19 quarantining forced people to isolate themselves and remain in their homes, companies like Lancôme, Target, and P&G turned to ByondXR for their technical know-how.

Their innovative technology caters to wholesale and retail businesses who seek to improve their digital marketing presence. With their team of experts, they truly revolutionize the virtual commerce market by creating the most stunning visual web experiences that significantly improve conversion rates, engagement, and reduced return rates.

The virtual showrooms allow customers to browse through a store as if they were moving through a physical space. Customers can pan around, viewing colorful and appealing displays of items. By simply clicking on an item or display, an information box pops up where the customer can view more info about the product, interact with the product in 3D, or place the product in their physical space using ByondXR AR capabilities. To close the loop, users can click to purchase the products directly.

Using the full 3D store simulation that ByondXR creates for top fashion retailers, the Virtual Merchandising teams invite VM, store managers, and customers to take immersive virtual tours of their digital storefront. Visitors can view and interact with new clothing and merchandise hanging on racks and displayed on tables or mannequins by visualizing the store, its fixtures, and garments.

This kind of experiential retail provides customers with a far more interactive and engaging experience than simply scrolling mindlessly through pages and pages of products on Amazon or any other retail website. Customers can view items and read product descriptions on a company website as much as they like, but online shopping can rarely be as effective as shopping in a real, physical store. These virtual storefronts give customers the feeling of in-person shopping without leaving their homes and risk getting sick.

The broad range of clients that ByondXR has worked with have found that customers are looking for new shopping experiences, different from the ones that they are used to, especially when over-use of traditional digital shopping venues has rendered them mundane and unengaging. Virtual storefronts like those they have built for Lancôme and P&G are only the beginning of ByondXR’s technological revolution.

Take, for example, 3D visualizers that they have created for home decor companies like CaesarStone. In these online stores, customers can view a realistic 3D room like a kitchen or a child’s bedroom. With a click of a button, they can place down a crib or a wardrobe in this 360 environment, viewing the item in a digital space as if it were actually in their home and use AR to visualize the product in their own home. They can change the decorations and furniture’s colors and designs and pan around, viewing the items with the depth and authenticity that they would get from a physical store.

One of the most important parts of buying a piece of furniture is visualizing what it might look like in a customer’s own home, and with technology like this, customers won’t be left scratching their heads in the middle of a store. No more wondering what a product might look like when delivered to the customers’ houses with ByondXR storefronts, and they get what they see.

The public interest in digital shopping has only grown since its inception, and the global pandemic has only sped up the growth of virtual commerce. The boom in digital shopping has led to such revolutionary techniques as ByondXR’s virtual stores and showrooms seem to have ushered in the future of shopping, where people can browse items and walk-through stores without ever leaving their homes.

As the pandemic continues, both in the US and abroad, the apprehension that people feel about shopping in person has only increased. People don’t want to risk getting the virus and then spreading it to their friends and family, and so they have turned to online shopping in droves to fill their needs. Although the most important aspect of retail business is to provide customers with quality products, the aesthetics and the art of the way these products are displayed play a large role in what brands customers decide to shop with.

With this kind of technology becoming more and more popular with companies and with the customers that they serve, the question arises: Will shopping ever return to the way it was before?

The pandemic has certainly altered the world forever, but many have wondered if customers will return to physical stores once they can safely and healthily do so. With specialized technical advancements in the virtual commerce market like those that ByondXR provides their clients with, customers may decide that they don’t have to visit stores in person to get what they need.

In fact, home decor technology of the kind they built for Caesar Stone is often found more useful to customers than shopping for furniture, tiles, or decorations in person. Why go to a physical store if customers can get the same experience by shopping online from the comfort of their homes while losing none of the in-person stores’ appeals?

There is also another angle to it: while utilizing VR, retail brands can improve brand messaging, boost online influence, and create unique touching points with customers, something that regular eComment lacks.

No matter what the future holds for the virtual commerce market, ByondXR and their CEO Noam Levavi have positioned themselves at the forefront of digital shopping innovation, and they are ready to meet the next challenge head-on.

Kayaking illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

What’s Trending in Tennessee

What’s New, Trending and Blooming this Spring in Tennessee

  • Memphis – Memphis Zoo’s all-new Kangazoo Experience lets you get face-to-face with kangaroos roaming free in the walk-through exhibit. Visitor favorites also include giraffe-feeding, the panda exhibit and Sting Ray Cove.
  • Jackson – Discover what makes Jackson a unique place for music lovers of all backgrounds whether you’re looking for new eclectic sounds, blues and gospel, country music or more with live performances of Jackson’s Hidden Tracks.
  • Nashville – Enjoy premiere shopping, world-class dining, live music and views of downtown at Fifth + Broadway. This 300,000 square foot multi-level mecca is a must-see and home to the National Museum of African American Musicand Assembly Food Hall featuring two dozen restaurants on multiple levels.
  • Columbia – The Mulehouse is a 55,000 square feet new music and event venue located a few blocks from the downtown square, established by country radio personality and broadcaster, Blair Garner.
  • Manchester – A brand new concert series features live, in-person performances in a socially-distanced setting at the Bonnaroo Farm. Concerts on the Farm includes performances by Billy Strings, Jon Pardy, Jameson Rodgers, The Avett Brothers and more.
  • Chattanooga – Grab your thinking caps, maps and don’t forget your mask. Take adventure to the next level. Learn more about Chattanooga’s top attractions and neighborhoods during the Spring Break Safari Scavenger Hunt.
  • Knoxville – Three levels of magical crystal barrooms wait to be discovered in downtown Knoxville. Bernadette’sbarrooms include the Knox County Quartz House, the Amethyst Lounge, and a stunning rooftop of Crystal Gardens.
  • Gatlinburg – Anakeesta will be in full bloom with the launch of Blooms and Tunes featuring colorful nature-themed art installations, live music and a new spring-themed menu at four restaurants in the park.
  • Townsend – The Smoky Mountain Bigfoot Festival Noon-10 p.m. May 22 includes live music, vendors, food trucks, bigfoot competitions, oral histories, 1-mile fun run and more at the Townsend Visitor’s Center.
  • Johnson City – Grab a scavenger hunt clue card online or from a downtown business to search for 15 bronze animal sculptures as part of Wildabout Walkabout Scavenger Hunt from the public library and King Commons Park to Main and Market Streets.

New Restaurants, Breweries and Distilleries

  • Memphis – Renowned chefs Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman are at it again, this time with their Little Bettie pizza joint inside Wiseacre’s newly opened downtown taproom.
  • Clarksville – The Thirsty Goat is a newer gathering place outside of the city that features a beer garden, artisan coffee shop and oven-fired pizzas.
  • Murfreesboro – Biscuit-based meals made baked fresh daily are at the forefront of Maple Street Biscuit Co. Jams and jellies are also made in-store. Featured on Food Network, The Squawking Goat dish is an all-natural fried chicken breast, fried goat cheese medallion and house-made pepper jelly atop a flaky biscuit.
  • Columbia – Wolf and Scout Coffee Car is located in the Columbia Arts Building serving varieties of coffees and their signature drink, the Wolfhunter.
  • Carthage – Cajun wings, honey BBQ wings, onion rings, fries and delicious sides are on tap at Something 2 Wing About.
  • Farragut – 35 North, located in the heart of Farragut, features the area’s best food trucks, local brews, wine and spirits and features two patios, an outdoor fireplace and a place for gathering.
  • LaFollette – Twin Flame features amazing hot dogs, burgers, wings, catfish, specialty drinks and much more with carry-out and dining room seating available.
  • Wartburg – The MoCo Brewing Project is Morgan County’s latest brewery and coffee shop with signature beers named and influenced by local landmarks. The owners brew beer, coffee and offer flavored coffee and hot chocolate.
  • Sevierville – Tennessee Shine Co.uses family recipes and small-batch distilling, features a tasting bar and Moonshine Tour.
  • Johnson City – Watauga Brewing Company is a three story brewery, restaurant and rooftop bar. Restaurant On 2 combines upscale New American cuisine with Appalachian and southern roots. The chef uses local, seasonal foods in her menu. 

New Attractions and Exhibits

  • Memphis –Visitors can enjoy movie nights and world-renowned musicians in an all-new outdoor setting at The Grove at GPAC.
  • Memphis – Graceland celebrates the 50 anniversary King of Rock ‘n’ Roll meeting then President Richard Nixon with a special pop-up exhibit and artifacts with Dear Mr. President: Elvis and Mr. Nixon.
  • Nashville – Once Upon a Spring at Gaylord Opryland includes a live story time show, art activities, cookie decorating, scavenger hunt, boat rides and other fun programming.
  • Knoxville – Zoo Knoxville’s The ARC (Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Campus), open spring 2021, will showcase the zoo’s pioneering conservation work with these species and feature revolutionary STEM education resources.
  • Johnson City – Paradise Acresis a family farm park with an 18-hole mini-golf course, outdoor laser tag, barn-side drive-in theater and U-Pick produce.

New Hotels & Places to Stay

  • Memphis – Walk the line between southern hospitality, offbeat and elevated cuisine to get a genuine taste of Midtown’s unconventional personality, storied art district and Overton Square at The Memphian, set to open April 2021.
  • Memphis – Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis is within walking distance of the city’s famed entertainment district, nestled in a vibrant neighborhood known for lauded music venues, historic landmarks, southern comfort and Memphis-style barbecue.
  • Nashville – W Hotel Nashville is set to take the stage in the heart of the Gulch. Opening spring 2021 with 346 rooms, the new hotel will welcome visitors with curated local tunes, garden-to-glass cocktails and welcoming communal spaces.
  • Pigeon Forge – Pigeon Forge RV Resort along the Little Pigeon River includes 149 RV sites, camping, riverside fishing, illuminated river walk. On-property offerings include on-site concierge services, a pool, and hot tub, playground, picnic pavilion, a dog park, golf cart rentals, a retail store, conference room, gym, and laundry facilities.

New Stores

  • Columbia – Columbia features several new stores including Cope (in the Columbia Arts Building with a variety of trendy plants), family-owned jewelry store Tillis Jewelry on the downtown square and Southern Clutter Boutique with a variety of clothing, accessories, home goods and crafts.
  • Farragut – Euphoric Cheese features cut-to-order cheeses from all around the world, a wide variety of charcuterie items, specialty groceries and a selection of local brews. Items such as chocolate-covered figs, blue cheese stuffed olives, creamed honey and rosemary crackers will make your grazing board memorable.
  • Kingston – That Local Cheeseboard Co.features handcrafted charcuterie boards & boxes, grazing tables, customizable boxes, corporate catering, and gifts and items for special occasions.

Hot/Trending Places for Spring

  • Hornbeak – Vacation while you dine at Blue Bank Fishhouse & Grill at Blue Bank Resort with delicious weekend specials, local craft beer, live music, fire pits, butterfly garden & front row seating to a beautiful sunset on Reelfoot Lake.
  • Alamo – Drive through the 5.5 miles of safari roads in your own car, interact and feed animals at Tennessee Safari Park. After the journey, experience the walk-through zoo, enjoy refreshments at the concessions, the playground area, and the petting zoo.
  • Clarksville – Downtown at Sundown Concerts at Downtown Commons includes free live music the first and third Friday nights May through October. The large urban outdoor park allows space to socially distance with your chairs or blanket.
  • Linden – Experience serenity on the water. Commodore River Adventures offers an uncrowded, individual or small-group, artisan kayaking experience.
  • Nashville – Celebrate spring, warmer weather and longer days with more than 150,000 blooming bulbs and fun seasonal activities during Cheekwood in Bloom.
  • Nashville – Board the General Jackson Showboat, one of Gaylord Opryland’s most popular attractions, for cruises featuring first-class live entertainment, delicious meals and gorgeous views of Nashville.
  • LaFollette – Chapman Hill Winery is a quaint winery with an elegant tasting room nestled in the hills of East Tennessee on the edge of Norris Lake. Bring a lawn chair or blanket for the Vineyard Vibrations live music series.
  • Farragut – Enjoy a stroll through town, a heritage trail, cemetery and educational sites to learn history of the area, pioneer settlements and more through artifacts, photos and stories during the Farragut History Walk.
  • Harriman – Lakeshore Park offers recreation fun for the family and is home to the Gupton Wetlands area, where at least 114 species of birds can be found. Bring bikes, kayaks, fishing poles and enjoy scenery and trails.
  • Lancing – Lilly Hopyard Brewery is tucked away in the woods near the Obed Wild and Scenic River. Warm up around the campfire, watch the game, play corn hole, listen to live music and enjoy the Sauced Frog eatery.
  • Winchester – Stroll with family and friends during Food Truck Fridays at the downtown Farmers Market Pavilion on the Boulevard. Downtown merchants will stay open late on the first Friday of every month.
  • Johnson City – At the 40-acre Tannery Knobs Mountain Bike Park, riders can experience the thrill of off-road riding from the gnarly, rocky downhill of the Black Diamond to smooth dirt paths on the green trails.
  • Pigeon Forge – Explore larger-than-life plant sculptures adorned in half-a-million colorful flower blooms, dance under an Umbrella Sky and indulge in garden-fresh flavors from chefs during Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival.

Spring Festivals & Events

  • Gatlinburg (March 18-20) – Explore the new Gatlinburg St. Patrick’s Day Celebration complete with traditional Irish music, food, fireworks, and more. The city will be decorated with Shamrock green and feature fireworks show at 10 p.m. Friday at the Space Needle.
  • Bell Buckle (March 20) – The historic town adapts Daffodil Days to include a tree seedling give away, spring bulbs vendors on the square, spring items in stores, and a book signing by beloved former Tennessee Poet Laureate Maggi Vaugn.
  • Chattanooga (March 20-21) – Come see the High Falls flow green during Shamrock City at Rock City featuring Irish food, specialty beer from Chattanooga Brewing Co., bagpipers, pop-up Irish dance performers, and virtual scavenger hunt.
  • Linden (March 26-27) – The Blooming Arts Festival mixes fine arts, local craftsmanship, performances and fantastic local eats. Masks and social distancing recommended. Sanitization stations will be up on Main Street.
  • Pigeon Forge (March 26-28) – Cowboy cooks circle the wagons for the one-of-a-kind outdoor Pigeon Forge Chuck Wagon Cookoff that features chuck wagons–the original food trucks. Attendees can sample the offerings at lunch.
  • Murfreesboro (March 29-April 2) – Looking for a fun and safe way to kick off spring? Stop by the Discovery Center for Mess Fest. Get creative and messy with free outdoor activities such as making oobleck, elephant toothpaste and more.
  • Spring Hill (April 2) – Grammy Award Winner Casting Crowns performs a socially distancing family-friendly drive-in concert 7 p.m. at RippavillaTickets benefit the Well Outreach Food Pantry.
  • Crossville (April 2-June 24) – Cumberland County Playhouse kicks off its 2021 spring season with productions like Clue on Stage, The Savannah Sipping Society, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now and Duck Hunter Shoots Angel.
  • Savannah (April 3) – The 9th Annual Generals Breakfast kicks off at 9 a.m. at Cherry Mansion with an outdoor breakfast, storytelling program and a Q&A by the homeowners. Tickets are $15. Masks and social distancing are encouraged.
  • Murfreesboro (April 23) – Travis Tritt with special guest Frank Foster takes the stage at 7 p.m. at Hop Springs Beer Park. There’s live music every weekend at the family & dog-friendly park with food and a huge selection of craft beers on tap.
  • Harriman (May 1) – The May Day Craft and Antique Fair will have vendors that display handmade crafts, vintage items and antiques, food vendors, live entertainment and classic car show.
  • Granville (May 1) – The Cornbread & Moonshine Festival features whiskey tastings, cornbread tasting, food, music, and craftsmen. Admission is $5. The new Whiskey Decanter Museum also opens with over 3,000 whiskey decanters.
  • Cookeville (May 1) – Cookeville Storyfest 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the big tent in Dogwood Park includes headliners Andy Offutt Irwin and Minton Sparks, and an amateur storytelling competition.
  • Tellico Plains (May 1) – The Tellico Trout Festival 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. downtown gathers fishermen, river sports enthusiasts and families for fun, education, food, entertainment and outfitter services.
  • Gatlinburg (May 1-3) – Guests can begin a creative journey in crafts, woodworking, basket weaving, jewelry making and more during Hands on Gatlinburg in the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community. Register in advance before workshops sell out.
  • Pigeon Forge (May 5-8) – Textile art and techniques to stitch quilts are on display at Pigeon Forge’s A Mountain Quiltfest. Guests can register for instructional classes. The free quilt exhibit and vendor hall are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the LeConte Center.
  • Sweetwater (May 7-8) – Head to Historic Downtown Sweetwater for the Blooms, Bluegrass and BBQ Festival with live music, barbecue competition, vendors, picker’s corner, kids’ zone and fun activities.
  • Smithville (May 8) – Center Hill Lake Fest 4-10 p.m. at The Burlap Room Beer Garden and Dispensary features plenty of space to socially-distance while enjoying food from local food trucks, craft beer and local vendors. Please wear a mask in vendor and restroom lines. Tickets for the kid and pet-friendly event start at $20.
  • Rugby (May 8) – Raise a cup to Queen Victoria during the Queen’s Tea at Historic Rugby. The festive tea will include sandwiches, scones and dessert. Tickets are $22.
  • Wartburg (May 15) – The Tennessee Mountain Laurel Festival is filled with music, food, exhibits, creative arts, crafts, a car show and 24 designated scenic trails 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. around courthouse square.
  • Harriman (May 22-23, May 29-31) – Join a weekend of fun with costume contests, pirate Olympics, treasure hunts, get a picture with a mermaid or scallywag or shop the merchant village for unique treasures at the 5th Annual Tennessee Pirate Fest.
  • Bell Buckle (May 29) – Load up the car and go on an adventure in Historic Bell Buckle geocaching for prizes 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. during the Bell Buckle Car Cache and Pig Bash. Registration information can be found here.
  • Donelson (May-October) – Stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables, shop from local vendors, listen to live music and stroll through the historic grounds of Two Rivers Mansion Fridays 4-7 p.m. during the outdoor Hip Donelson Farmers Market.

For a complete list of what’s happening in Tennessee, visit the calendar on the website.  

PUMA x Black Fives Apparel

PUMA x BLACK FIVES FOUNDATION

PUMA ANNOUNCES MULTI-YEAR PARTNERSHIP WITH THE BLACK FIVES FOUNDATION IN SUPPORT OF BLACK HISTORY EDUCATION REFORM

Global sports company PUMA is celebrating Black History Month by highlighting the work of Black leaders, partners and community organizations that continue to inspire and shape the future for generations to come. 

Throughout the month, PUMA will stand alongside athletes, ambassadors and partners by amplifying their voices and actions across various platforms in support of universal equality, justice and acceptance for all.  

To kick off the month, PUMA announced a multi-year partnership with the Black Fives Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, whose mission since 2002 is to research, preserve, showcase, teach and honor the pre-NBA history of African Americans in basketball. The partnership will raise awareness about this vital history and its pioneering players, teams and contributors through initiatives that make a difference, as well as feature special apparel and footwear collections with popular PUMA styles including vintage graphics and logos maintained by the Foundation’s trademarked slogan, “Make History Now.”

“I’m proud and honored to partner with PUMA toward making a meaningful, long-lasting difference in expanding Black history education to include the pioneering African American teams, players, and contributors who helped pave the way for today’s game,” said  Founder and Executive Director of the Black Fives Foundation Claude Johnson. 

PUMA, together with the Black Fives Foundation, will help support the Foundation’s preservation and education efforts through creative activations that include an engaging, multi-use online museum to display its archive of historical artifacts and content from the Black Fives Era. The Black Fives Foundation’s Virtual Vault, presented by PUMA, will be an online portal for visitors to see, learn, and be inspired by the pre-NBA history of African Americans in basketball through nearly 1,000 artifacts in the Foundation’s historical archive. Items include vintage equipment, ticket stubs, game gear, images, scorecards and more. The Virtual Vault is set to launch later this year. 

Also this month, PUMA will be giving back to the Harlem community with partner AfroBrutality, hosting conversations with current and former athletes around activism in sport through their #REFORM platform and more.

The first PUMA x Black Fives collection will include popular PUMA styles including vintage graphics and logos maintained by the Foundation’s trademarked slogan “Make History Now.” Five unique silhouettes will be featured in the collection including a hoodie, short sleeve and long sleeve tee, pants and shorts all in a black and cream color palette.

Retailing for $45 – $90 the PUMA x Black Fives Foundation clothing collection will be available on PUMA.com and at the PUMA NYC Flagship Store on Friday, February 12th. PUMA and Black Fives will also be releasing a forthcoming footwear collection this spring.

The partnership, which supports Black History education reform and the Foundation’s preservation and education efforts through creative activations, including an engaging, multi-use online museum to display its archives of historical artifacts and content from the Black Fives Era, will also include the release of footwear later this year.

For more information, please visit PUMA’s website and the partner page

About PUMA

PUMA is one of the world’s leading Sports Brands, designing, developing, selling and marketing footwear, apparel and accessories. Formorethan70 years, PUMA has relentlessly pushed sport and culture forward by creating fast products for the world’s fastest athletes. PUMA offers performance and sport-inspired lifestyle products in categories such as Football, Running and Training, Basketball, Golf, and Motorsports. It collaborates with renowned designers and brands to bring sport influences into street culture and fashion. The PUMA Group owns the brands PUMA, Cobra Golf and stichd. The company distributes its products in more than 120 countries, employsmore than16,000people worldwide, and is headquartered in Herzogenaurach/Germany. To learn more visit their website.  

About The Black Fives Foundation 

The Greenwich, CT-based Black Fives Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity whose mission is to research, preserve, showcase, teach, and honor the pre-NBA history of African Americans in basketball, a period known as the Black Fives Era that lasted from the early 1900s to 1950 when the NBA signed its first Black players. The organization advocates expanding Black history education to amplify and include this important history, utilizing nearly 1,000 related artifacts in its historical archive as well as a portfolio of related intellectual property and other difference-making initiatives. For more information, please visit their website

Valentine Image by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

15 Valentine’s Day Marketing Ideas for Your Boutique

By Joseph Heller

Love is in the air, gals… Valentine’s Day is almost here! If you’re new to owning an online boutique and this is the first Valentine’s Day you’ll be celebrating as a small business owner, the approach of February 14th might have you mainly thinking about what you’ll get for your significant other and (maybe even more so) what he or she will get for you. Or maybe you typically spend Valentine’s Day with your best single gal pals, eating chocolate and exchanging gifts.

But Valentine’s Day isn’t all about love, romance, and cheesy cards. No matter how big or small your eCommerce business is, it can be a day that drives sales like no other – especially if you sell clothing, jewelry, or other gifts. In fact, it rivals only Christmas in consumer spending. If you play your cards right, the days surrounding Valentine’s Day could make up one of your best sales weeks of all time.

Of course, competing with major retailers isn’t easy, least of all on Valentine’s Day. Stores all over the country are spending thousands of dollars on Valentine’s marketing, trying to get people to buy their gifts from them. Sure, you could have an incredible selection of Valentine’s gifts and accessories, available for great prices – but if nobody knows about your shop, it won’t do you any good in the end.

If you’re going to drive both new and existing customers to your shop for their Valentine’s shopping, you’ve got to get creative about your Valentine’s Day marketing. Read on to learn 15 affordable Valentine’s Day marketing ideas for your boutique – and why you really should care to do something special for this holiday in the first place.

Valentine’s Day and eCommerce

The numbers are clear – Americans spend a whole lot of dough on Valentine’s Day. The average American celebrating Valentine’s Day spent $196.31 on Valentine’s Day in 2020, adding up to a total of $27.4 billion spent on the holiday in 2020. Trends show that number only heading upwards – 2020 spending was up 32% from 2019.

Of course, that’s just the big picture – and not all of that money is being spent in boutiques like yours. Here are a few other stats you should be aware of that paint the picture of consumer spending on Valentine’s Day, based on 2020 numbers:

  • 32% buy Valentine’s Day gifts from discount stores.
  • Men spend nearly three times as much as women on Valentine’s Day.
  • $5.8B was spent on Valentine’s Day jewelry
  • $4.3B was spent on a Valentine’s Day night out
  • $2.4B was spent on Valentine’s Day chocolate
  • $2.3B was spent on flowers
  • $2B was spent on Valentine’s Day gift cards
  • $1.3B was spent on Valentine’s Day greeting cards
  • 45% of adults didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day
  • 15% of Americans buy themselves a present on Valentine’s Day
  • Americans spend an average of $12.21 on Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets

With all of that shopping and spending going on during the Valentine’s Day season, you’ll want to make sure your business ends up with even a small sliver of that massive pie. Running holiday-themed campaigns and upping your marketing efforts leading up to Valentine’s Day will help you keep your boutique fresh in people’s minds and increase the chances that they go straight to you once it’s time to shop for their Valentine’s Day gifts.

15 Valentine’s Day Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Don’t have a huge marketing budget? No problem – with time, effort, and the right direction, you can still get your boutique’s awesome Valentine’s Day gifts and products in front of the right people. Here are 15 Valentine’s Day marketing ideas for small businesses that you can implement for little or no money.

  1. Send a themed email marketing campaign

Instead of generic email newsletters or sale messages, send a themed Valentine’s Day email that’s all about love, friendship, and gift-giving. Drive your audience to your website with gift suggestions and fun Valentine’s-themed wordplay. (You know… “love is in the air,” “we will always love you,” “gifts with heart,” etc!) For more tips on how to use email marketing to grow your boutique, click here.

  1. Host a contest

Embrace the holiday and host a fun couples contest or giveaway on your boutique’s social media page. Don’t be afraid to get creative! Have participants recreate a photo, do a challenge, coordinate an outfit together using a piece from your shop – whatever sounds like a good time. Then, have your audience vote for their favorite entrant on Valentine’s Day. (No need to exclude single people from this one – you could welcome entries from couples, BFFs, family members, etc.)

  1. Run “couples” deals

How do you make a BOGO deal more festive? Call it a couples deal, or a two for one deal! Choose a selection of Valentine’s Day items that you’ll put on sale, whether it’s chocolates, earrings, or pink scrunchies. Encourage them to gift the extra item to their significant other, give one to their BFF for Galentine’s Day, or just keep it for themselves as a token of your love for them!

  1. Partner with another small business

Community over competition, right ladies? Partner with a local business and share the love. It could be another online boutique or a local business that doesn’t directly compete with yours but has a similar clientele, like a florist or a nail salon. Offer a combined Valentine’s Day gift package of your products/services and theirs. This is an especially great idea if you have a strong local presence (or if you’re interested in making it stronger!)

  1. Celebrate Galentine’s Day

Don’t sleep on Galentine’s Day! Coined by Leslie Knope from the TV show Parks and Recreation, Galentine’s Day is a day reserved for celebrating female friendships. It takes place the day before Valentine’s Day, February 13th. To celebrate, bundle a few of your most popular items offer curated gift packages that’d be perfect to gift to a best friend. You could also offer a discount when they multiple of the same item to gift to their friends.

  1. Have a V-Day themed photoshoot

Create some fun Valentine’s Day photos to post on your social media accounts leading up to the big day. You could take photos of couples wearing your clothing, flat lays of all of the red and pink items you carry, or outfit inspo photos against a red or a pink backdrop.

  1. Create a Valentine’s Day gift guide

You and I both know how hard it can be to shop for people – especially your significant other. Make the whole V-day shopping experience a little less stressful by putting together a list of gift ideas and sharing it on your company blog.

No need to have every single item come from just your shop – in fact, it might be more helpful and comprehensive if you scour other local or small boutiques as well and feature their products in your guide. (It’s a great way to open the door to new networking relationships, too!) If you’re feeling up to it, you could create multiple gift guides with different people in mind – for her, for him, for mom, for Galentine’s Day, for your pet, etc.

  1. Send a card

Everyone loves getting mail! Send your past and present customers a real-life Valentine via snail mail. No need to be salesy – the point of this is to show your customers how much you appreciate them and that you’re even thinking about them on the day dedicated to love. Include a coupon to be used in-store or a unique promo code to thank them for showing you and your store love throughout the years.

  1. Share the love

Turn your social media into even more of a community. Invite your audience to share their love stories with you, whether through DMs or by using a certain hashtag in their posts. You can make this as sappy or spicy as you want to – feel free to mix things up a bit by also asking people to send you their worst or funniest dating stories as well! Once you’ve compiled submissions, feature your favorites in your stories. It’ll keep the rest of your audience engaged and help participants feel even more involved in your brand.

  1. Show the love locally

Valentine’s Day is all about sharing the love. What better way to do that than by giving back to the people who need it most? Celebrate Valentine’s Day by hosting a service project, donating products from your store to a local organization, or pledging to donate a certain percentage of your profits in the weeks surrounding Valentine’s Day.

Make sure to advertise this throughout your social channels and your website so your customers know how much good their purchases are doing. Not only will you be able to make a real difference in your community, but you’ll also be able to involve your customers in your charity work.

  1. Highlight date night outfits

People don’t just spend money on gifts during the Valentine’s Day season. They also spend money on themselves, buying clothing, lingerie, date night jewelry, and more. Put together a few fabulous Valentine’s Day outfits using products from your boutique and share a few outfit inspo photos on social media. Be sure to group those products together on your website so your customers can easily purchase everything they need to recreate the outfit.

  1. Don’t alienate single people

For people who aren’t currently in a relationship, Valentine’s Day feels a whole lot more like Singles Awareness Day. Why not go out of your way to show them a little love, too? Don’t leave single people out of all the Valentine’s Day fun – consider running some sort of promo just for them. Run a sale on self-care items that make treat yo’ self gifts, like bath bombs, jade rollers, and (of course) chocolate. You could do this in conjunction with your regular Valentine’s Day promotions or the week before.

  1. Be clear about shipping deadlines

Some people plan ahead of every holiday and finish their gift-shopping weeks in advance – but most people tend to be last-minute Valentine’s Day shoppers. Of course, placing a last-minute order from your online boutique on February 13th probably isn’t going to work out for them. Add a banner to your site reminding shoppers of the Valentine’s Day delivery deadline. Be clear and realistic about shipping cutoffs to receive items by Valentine’s Day. Encourage people to buy early, especially with COVID-related shipping delays making package deliveries even more unreliable than usual.

  1. Make a Valentine’s Day video

When it comes to commanding your audience’s attention, video is one of the very most effective marketing tools out there. Rather than just snapping a few photos of your new Valentine’s Day products, create a video showcasing your favorite Valentine’s Day outfits or gift ideas. You could create a short-form vertical video using IG reels or TikTok, or share a longer informative video on YouTube, Facebook, or IGTV.

  1. Host a Giveaway

Spread the love with an exciting giveaway. Partner with other small businesses in your community or your niche to give something away. It could be a romantic couple’s getaway with flowers, a hotel stay, and a new outfit, a date-night-in package with a dress, a romantic candle, chocolates, and a voucher for fancy takeout, or an epic Valentine’s Day shopping spree. Just make sure it’s somewhat Valentine’s Day related, whether with what you’re giving away, how you enter, or even just with the images and language you use to introduce it.

While implementing these Valentine’s Day marketing ideas might take some serious thought and strategizing, with a little effort they can pay off in a big way.

Now that you have a few great ideas on how you can encourage your customers to shop with you this Valentine’s Day, make sure you’ll have enough Valentine’s Day gifts and outfit ideas in stock ahead of time. Click here for 15 wholesale boutique items you’ll want to stock up on for Valentine’s Day.

Computer illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

8 Ways to Shop Online Smart and Safe

Introduction

The past couple of decades has seen brick-and-mortar become overshadowed by their online counterparts. And while some shops have been able to avoid this—the popularity of Microcenter among tech enthusiasts has kept it alive—many stores have either closed down or have shifted their focus onto online storefronts.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, either! But learning the ins-and-outs of online shopping can take a while, and newer online shoppers are often tricked or scammed into spending more than they actually need to. Today, let’s go over a few tips and tricks for online shoppers that will work in 2021 and beyond.

8 Tips for Online Shoppers

1. Use a VPN for Regional Pricing

Not all currencies are equal in value. Therefore, products are priced differently from country to country. This is especially true for software such as video games and creativity programs, which regulate prices depending on where the software is being sold.

Unfortunately for some countries, these changes in price means spending more on a product thousands or millions of others spent less money on. There is one trick, however, that works a majority of the time: VPNs.

Virtual Private Networks allow you to change your server location, essentially tricking websites into thinking you’re located in a country of your choice. In other words, a VPN download allows you to get the best pricing available.

Be careful where you do this, however. Certain software storefronts like Steam ban accounts that are involved in doing this. And yes, you will most likely be detected.

2. Set Alerts For In-Demand Items

Certain products—products like new graphics cards or processors, for example—sell out quickly, and the recent COVID pandemic has hurt shipping times enough to ensure that many won’t be able to get their hands on certain products until the middle or end of this year.

To avoid playing the waiting game, set up alerts for products you want on multiple storefronts. Sites like Amazon, Newegg, Best Buy, and other online merchants allow you to receive emails or texts whenever a product you want becomes available.

3. Download Honey for Potential Savings

Online storefronts can’t and don’t tell you everything about a product, especially when it comes to pricing. If Amazon were to display the price history of its own products, that would hurt sales. Therefore, that data is off-limits to consumers. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t programs dedicated to doing that.

Honey, a shopping-dedicated app, displays the pricing history of products for most major online storefronts. Honey will tell you if you’re receiving the best price or if the product is at its “historical low”.

Along with a product’s price history, Honey will also automatically enter potential savings coupons, though these codes are iffy at best.

4. Wait for the Nearest Holiday

Sometimes you want a product then and now. However, certain products and equipment are best bought during certain holidays. For example, TV purchases are best done during Black Friday or major sporting events such as the Superbowl.

Take a look at what you’re hoping to purchase and when you think it may go on sale. If there’s a holiday near, it’s best to wait and see if it goes on sale. But there is one downside to this: the product you want may sell out on said holiday (such as a Black Friday deal). 

It’s certainly risky waiting for a sales holiday, but hey, if you want a deal, you have to take risks! And waiting for the holidays before making a purchase is a low-risk tactic.

5. Invest in Smart Rewards Programs

If you find yourself shopping on a certain website, think about joining their smart rewards program. A good example of such a program would be Best Buy’s membership program, which rewards you the more purchases you make, offering you discounts and coupons.

Other online storefronts may offer optional subscriptions—Amazon Prime, for instance—that reward subscribers with free access to services and offer early deals. The point is, if you use a website frequently, make sure you’re being rewarded for it.

6. Sign Up for Promotional Deals

Keeping up with all the deals websites release to the public on a daily basis is difficult, if not outright impossible. Fortunately, most shopping sites let users sign up for promotional deals and offers that they would receive either through email or text.

Some of these sites may even allow users to filter the type of promotional deals they receive. If not, however, that’s ok! You may be able to find deals you never even thought about looking for!

7. Look Out for Cashback Offers

Companies love offering cashback offers on their products. But why would a store like losing money? Well, they don’t! 

Despite some products being sold with cashback offers, many buyers never cash out due to the frustrating process of receiving said cashback. Usually, fulfilling a cashback offer requires the buyer to sign and mail a form to the company—a process many don’t want to put themselves through because it’s so dated and time-consuming

But if you happen to come across an item you want and it’s being sold with a cashback offer, then why not use it? Even if you never use it, it’s nice to have the option.

8. Be on the Lookout for Coupon Codes

Earlier, I mentioned Honey and one of its features that applies discount codes at checkout. I also mentioned that Honey’s discount codes are, at best, finicky, and at worst, useless. 

If you desire a more personal touch to discount codes, then check out the multitude of sites that are dedicated to logging coupons and discount codes for various sites. 

That said, not all of the codes found on these sites will work, but many of them are user-entered, meaning there’s a decent chance at least one of them works.

Conclusion

Online shopping is the same thing as regular shopping, except you can shop from the safety of your couch instead of going out. And just like in-person shopping, there are ways to find the best deals. With these tips, your online shopping experience will see a major improvement. 

How to Stay Awake During a Long Layover So You Don’t Miss Your Flight

The comfort on board planes has significantly improved compared to a couple of decades ago, especially during long-haul flights. Today, you can watch video content on streaming services on your phone or other device. Most airlines even offer access to wifi these days, That means you can play free no deposit bingo, read the latest news, or even respond to business emails to save some time.

While the actual flight might be more enjoyable than in the past, a problem occurs when you have a long layover. Nobody likes to wait for hours until their next plane arrives and they take off to their final destination. However, sometimes it is the only option for the intrepid traveler. Here is what you can do to pass the time quickly and ensure you don’t miss the next flight!

Do You Have Enough Time to Explore the City?

Here is the first thing to ask yourself – how many hours will the layover last? You might have ten hours between the flights, but you need to be at the airport for an hour or two before the next flight. That is something to consider when calculating if you have enough time to leave the airport.

If you have several hours to spare, there is no reason why you shouldn’t explore the city. It might be a unique opportunity because who knows when you will find yourself in that location again. 

The experts advise designing your city exploration plan in advance. You probably won’t have time for everything, so focus on sight or two that you want to see the most, with perhaps a meal away from the typical airport fare. Additionally, make sure that you return to the airport by the specified time. Make sure to leave some wiggle room in case something goes wrong, such as your taxi getting in a traffic jam while taking you back to the airport. It’s better to be at the lounge an hour or two earlier than to risk missing your flight. Remember – this is only a layover. It isn’t worth missing your ride to your final destination!

Your Gadgets Are Your Best Friend

It’s vital that your mobile phone is fully charged and capable of enduring active use while you are waiting for the next flight. Your cellphone will allow you to check-in with your friends and loved ones and talk to them. You will also need it for other activities we suggest later in the article. Anyone living in the modern age understands the essential nature of a cellphone while traveling. If you are traveling to a foreign country, you might want to consider being prepared with a SIM card for your destination(s). Otherwise, you might be swarmed with hidden fees.

Apart from a mobile phone, you might be carrying a laptop, tablet, or another device. All these can be useful to pass the time, so make sure you have sufficient battery. The alternative is to find a place to charge at the airport, which can be a restaurant or coffee shop. Additionally, you can be prepared by bringing your own portable charger. These are an essential gadget for any traveler – some suitcases even come with them built in these days!

Here is what you can do with these devices:

  • Respond to business emails and finish work-related tasks – you have time to spare, so why wouldn’t you use it intelligently and complete those work-related things you’d like to avoid while on vacation? Whether it’s responding to emails or writing a draft of a meeting, all it takes is finding a quiet place where you can focus.
  • Play games – mobile phones and tablets feature games that can keep you interested for hours. If there is a game you love playing at the moment, you will have several hours to enjoy it, which is a true blessing.
  • Watch TV shows and movies – the odds are the airport has high-speed internet, so how about watching a few episodes of your favourite show?
  • Listen to music – you will need headphones because you don’t want to disturb the passengers, but listening to your favourite tunes is another option. Furthermore, you can also listen to podcasts and other content. 

Make a Game Out of People Watching

Some people find it a bit strange, but others believe this is a creative way of passing the time. The idea is to position yourself in a place where people often pass by, and the airport is the perfect location for that. Your task is to watch a person and see what you can guess about them. Some find coming up with elaborate backstories for different travelers quite amusing.

Perhaps you can guess where they came from and then see what their luggage says. Make sure that you do the entire watching discreetly because it should never be one’s intent to make another traveler uncomfortable.

Freshen Up for Your Next Flight

Most airports have large toilets where you can invest some time to freshen yourself up to feel better. You probably have carry-on luggage that includes your skincare and other cosmetic products. Even a couple of wet wipes, a mouthwash and a swipe of deodorant might do the trick. 

If you want to take things to the next level, discover if the airport offers showers or spa services. Many airports where layovers are common include these facilities as they want the layover passengers to feel comfortable. You can get your batteries charged and energized by having a hot shower or getting yourself a massage to relax after a tiresome flight. Why approach the next step of your journey feeling overly foggy, when you can approach it pampered and prepared?

Are You Feeling Hungry?

The next thing to consider is whether you could use a nice meal. Most airports offer multiple restaurants and fast food facilities, but the time of day (or night) will effect which of them are open. If it’s the middle of the night, the odds are that only a late-night snack bar will be available, which is better than nothing. Treat yourself to a coffee, and healthy snacks such as a granola bar or fruit to keep you feeling energized.

However, if you find yourself at the airport in the afternoon, you can probably pick between multiple options. Since you are not in a rush, take some time to think and go with the restaurant that seems most tempting. It may even be an excellent opportunity try the local cuisine.

Read a Book

Did you start reading a book on your first flight and didn’t have time to finish it? If you can’t wait to see what happens next, how about reading it now? If it is an interesting read, it will help keep you wide awake and engaged in your surroundings. That’s the entire point – finding an activity you find attractive ensures you don’t fall asleep.

Books are a convenient way of passing the time but don’t forget to pick them carefully. If you need to start a new book and you find it boring, you might become sleepy. That’s why choosing the right title is imperative, so go with those books you know you will like. Many airports offer bookstores where you can browse numerous titles if you are in the market for something new.

Conclusion

It’s not pleasant when you have to wait for hours for the next flight. However, we staying awake can be easier if you engage in entertaining activities. Apart from ensuring that you don’t fall asleep, time will pass more quickly until you finally hear that boarding call to your final destination.

You want to plan your layover before heading on a trip. Make sure all devices like smartphones and laptops are charged and don’t hesitate to bring books and headphones to listen to music. It’s all about designing a layover plan that suits your preferences, as that one increases the odds of staying awake for as long as necessary.

Image Credit Courtesy Louis Vuitton_Brad Dickson

Louis Vuitton in Miami’s Design District

Louis Vuitton’s Spring-Summer 2021 Men’s Collection debuts in North America as part of a multi-faceted installation in Miami’s Design District on December 4th. The Temporary Residency showcases the collection within the lively universe of The Adventures of Zoooom with Friends, a fantastical crew of characters conceptualized by Men’s Artistic Director Virgil Abloh, on a raucous international voyage representing the fundamental belief in inclusivity at the core of the House’s approach to Menswear.

First introduced at the 2020 Digital Fashion Week in Paris, Zoooom with Friends took the establishment by storm with their joyfully animated escapades throughout the city. Soon reborn in Shanghai and Tokyo as gigantic balloons, Zoooom with Friends has now embarked on a global adventure, celebrating the House’s spirit of travel. Miami is their first-ever stop in North America. Guests at Jungle Plaza will navigate an engaging outdoor environment featuring the Zoooomies’ larger-than-life balloon figures positioned amongst their bespoke shipping containers, alongside delightfully irreverent sculptures.

The Louis Vuitton Men’s Temporary Residency at Miami Design District will also feature a custom Augmented Reality experience. Quick Response codes displayed on the containers will activate via SnapChat, allowing guests to interact with the Zoooomies’ animated incarnations, while generating their own unique and shareable content.

Making its first-ever appearance in North American at Louis Vuitton Men’s Temporary Residency at Miami Design District, the Spring-Summer 2021 Men’s Collection is founded in four methods of upcycling: new looks made from recycled material, looks repeated from the Fall-Winter 2020 collection, looks freely created by the studio during the lockdown using recycled material, and new looks created from existing ideas.

The Temporary Residency will offer clients the opportunity to pre-order the designs in advance of the launch in Louis Vuitton stores worldwide. In addition to the Spring-Summer 2021 Men’s Collection preview, guests will discover a full suite of menswear moments from Men’s Artistic Director Virgil Abloh, including the second LV2054 Capsule Collection—a performance-inspired technical line-—making its international debut. This season, LV2054 clarifies its message and extends its reach in a multi-climactic collection derived from methods used in professional skiwear.

Louis Vuitton Photo by Brad Dickson
Louis Vuitton Photo by Brad Dickson
Image Credit Courtesy Louis Vuitton BFA.Com

Queen’s Greatest Hits

Queen’s cornerstone “Greatest Hits” album is, once again, in the Top 10 of Billboard’s 200.

Released in 1981, the album has been on the charts for 412 weeks, finally landing at No. 8, up from its previous spot at No. 36. It previously peaked at No. 11 in 1992, the year following front man Freddie Mercury’s untimely death.

The now nine-time platinum album is also No. 1 on Billboard’s Vinyl Albums Chart with the second-largest sales week of 2020 for any vinyl release.

With monster hits from the iconic rock band like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You,” “We Are The Champions,” “Fat Bottomed Girls,” “Another One Bites the Dust” and so many more, it’s no wonder the album has stood the test of time.

Queen recently teamed up with both Target and Walmart to release brand new vinyl exclusives. Both are two-disc LPs, 180 gram.

Those opting for the Target exclusive will be treated to ruby blend marble vinyl while those who purchase from Walmart will receive red and white vinyl. The biggest fans of Queen might even be found purchasing both.

The band also recently released a live album with American Idol alum Adam Lambert at the helm. The album is titled “Queen + Adam Lambert Live Around The World,” and it landed at No. 1 on the UK’s official albums chart.

It was the first time a Queen album topped a chart since 1995’s “Made in Heaven.”

Queen is no stranger to the top ten, as this is their ninth album to land there. It will join the soundtrack for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Greatest Hits I, II & III: The Platinum Collection,” “Classic Queen,” “The Game,” “Jazz.” “News of the World,” “A Day at the Races” and “A Night at the Opera.”

Queen’s “Greatest Hits” is still the best-selling album of all-time in the UK.