Category Archives: Business

Some Florida Retailers ‘Outed’ for Raising Prices As Irma Hits


*Shame on you! That’s what I say to retailers like gas stations, airlines and others who see the hurricane as an opportunity to get greedy and take advantage of people attempting to prepare by raising prices. While Hurricane Harvey brought about “angels” such as Mattress Mack” in Houston; Irma seems to be doing just the opposite.

Complaints of price gouging in the Florida have gotten so bad that Attorney General Pam Bondi activated a hotline for people to report businesses suspected of taking advantage of people preparing for the storm. As of Tuesday afternoon, the hotline had received 143 calls. Continue reading

‘Mattress Mack’ Opens His Furniture Stores to Shelter Hundreds of Grateful Harvey Victims (Watch)

*As calls-to-action go, ‘Hurricane Harvey’ is giving people in our country an opportunity to step up. To put money where mouth is. To demonstrate what we’re truly made of and how we take care of each other when sh*t hits the fan.

Yes, it is at times like this that the world can see who is just talk, and who takes action.

Obviously many people not directly affected by this natural disaster are unable to give money, or even time; but it is so very heartwarming to witness those who do have the resources, a platform, having the compassion to use them in such a humanitarian way.

Over the past few days we have seen the compassion of many; including comedian Kevin Hart — who not only reached into his own pocket to donate funds to those impacted by Harvey, but called upon friends and colleagues in the entertainment industry to do the same.

He went even further and asked each of them to tag someone.

To me this shows real heart. It starts the ball rolling in a each one teach one kind of way. We’ve seen actions taken by numerous celebrities since then. Not to say they would not have without Hart’s challenge; they probably would have anyway, but let’s face it, in our society people are more prone to lend a hand if they see that someone else has. Even in devastating times.

So when I came across a video revealing other Harvey Heroes, and heard of  Jim McIngvale, a gentle man and Houston retailer who owns a number of furniture stores that he converted into shelters for those displaced by Harvey, I wanted to share it with you.

People know him as “Mattress Mack,” and this disaster is not the first time he has come to the rescue. He is a well-known figure in the city who has a history of donating to charitable causes…without being asked. Continue reading

WOW Air Offers Flights From US to Europe For Only $69 (Act Fast!)

*If going to Europe is one of the items on your Bucket List, right about now you might want to start doing your Happy Dance. WOW Airlines wants to help you get there. The airline announced on Monday that they would be placing tickets online from a number of US states to a number of European countries for the extremely low price of $69. The unbelievably priced tickets go on sale Monday for travel between September and November of this year.

The sale includes flights from Boston, Washington D.C., Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami to Paris, Brussels, Stockholm, Dublin, Berlin, London, Copenhagen, and Edinburgh.

But you’d better act fast because there will only be about 1,800 tickets available! Continue reading

Free Entertainment Industry Workshops at Indie Conference in Long Beach (Aug. 31)

*(Long Beach, Ca) – In addition to the 180-plus screenings taking place at the 4th Annual Long Beach Indie International Film, Media & Music Festival happening Wed., Aug. 30 – Sun., Sept. 3, the five-day event also features a wealth of free information sessions for businesses and music industry professionals, a college career fair, and the Step to the Mic youth singing competition.

The Long Beach Indie Entertainment and Music Industry Conference runs Thurs., Aug. 31 – Sat., Sept. 2 at the Hilton Long Beach Hotel, 701 W Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90831, and features three tracks:

Track 1: International Media and Entertainment Business programmed by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Media & Entertainment Industries group; Track 2: Musicians and Performers workshops and panels produced by Media & Repertoire; and Track 3: College and Career Fair hosted in collaboration with the BLU Educational Foundation and Believe Foundation.

The Step to the Mic competition begins at 6 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 2.

See Long Beach Indie Entertainment and Music Industry Conference schedule below:

Track 1: International Media and Entertainment Business (Thurs. 8/21)

9 a.m. Export, Licensing and Trade Report From the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Global Media and Entertainment Team (Andrea DaSilva, Media & Entertainment Industries, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC)

9:30 a.m. A U.S. Business Guide for Commercial Services and Export Assistance Centers (U.S. Department of Commerce, California Export Assistance Center/s)

10 a.m. New Resources for Domestic and International Media & Entertainment Industry (Jocelyn Celaya, The Entertainment Small Business Alliance, San Diego)

10:30 a.m. Industry Trends, New York Media Festival and The Digital Entertainment World (Tinzar Sherman, CEO, Digital Media Wire)

11 a.m. Exploring Film Co-Production Opportunities in China (Melanie Ansley, China Hollywood Society)

Continue reading

Workshop: Want to Learn How to ‘Make Money With Your Honey’? This Couple Shows You How

Danielle and Howard Taylor
*Howard and Danielle Taylor are living the life of their dreams. As self-proclaimed “serial entrepreneurs,” they have not only developed successful businesses — yes, that’s intentionally plural — they have also traveled to 19 countries, seen three wonders of the world, and invested in real estate.
Whatever this couple is doing is working well, and they would like to share the secrets of their success with you and your boo in a workshop that takes place at the Crowne Plaza Los Angeles-Commerce Casino on Saturday, August 26, 2017.
The content rich masterclass will enable you to:
  • Discover ridiculously easy ways to start a business even if you have no money, no business experience and no clue  as to what kind of business you want to start. We will uncover more than 15 ways for you to start make money immediately and stop living paycheck to paycheck.

Continue reading

Take a Look! O, The Oprah Magazine ‘Share the Adventure’ Cruise Was Awesome! (Photos)

A VIEW FROM THE TOP. Sailing from Seattle on Share the Adventure Cruise, ms Eurodam. Photo courtesy HAL.

*For those of us who didn’t get the memo, from the looks of things Oprah and guests who did had an O-mazing time on the ‘Share the Adventure’ cruise that brought together some of the world’s foremost visionaries for an entire week as they set sail from Seattle to Alaska. 

It was a week chock full of talks and activities aboard “ms Eurodam” and along with partners at the Holland America Line, O, The Oprah Magazine, is now sharing the adventure with the rest of us in an array of exclusive photos and video.

Orlando Ashford, president, Holland America Line welcome guests to ms Eurodam for Share the Adventure Cruise. Photo courtesy HAL.

 Throughout the week guests took part in morning meditation with yoga instructor Sara Ivanhoe and explored eating well with Impatient Foodie founder Elettra Wiedemann. 

Morning Yoga! Photo courtesy HAL.
Elettra Wiedemann, author of the new Impatient Foodie cookbook and blog leads a session of Let’s Eat! during Share the Adventure Cruise. Photo courtesy HAL.

O, The Oprah Magazine editor in chief Lucy Kaylin and editor at large Gayle King shared a peek behind the scenes of the award-winning magazine, explaining how they bring the pages to life.

Doesn’t Oprah’s BFF and O, The Oprah Magazine editor-at-large, Gayle King, look great? Photo courtesy HAL.

Kaylin and books editor Leigh Haber each led conversations with Pulitzer Prize-winner and New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Strout for the first-ever O’s Reading Room.

Author Elizabeth Strout signs copies of her book for excited guests. Photo courtesy HAL.

After viewing scenic Glacier Bay, Oprah Winfrey took to Eurodam’s Mainstage to host A Conversation with Oprah.  Speaking at two full-house engagements, Winfrey shared her journey to success, her self-proclaimed ‘Year of Adventure’ and the desire for this cruise to be the start of something meaningful for those on board.

Photo courtesy HAL.

“We are in the business of trying to expand the way people see themselves and their lives, and that’s what travel does,” explained Winfrey.

“I want it to be more than just a trip.  I want it to be the start of something big that started with this adventure of a lifetime that fuels and feeds in a way that is grand and deep and wide,” she added

Gayle King (left) Editor at Large, O, The Oprah Magazine, chats with SuperSoul 100 and fitness evangelist Angela Davis and answers questions from fans. Photo courtesy HAL.
India.Arie performed. Here she engages with the crowd. Photo courtesy HAL.
Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford (left) and O, The Oprah Magazine Editor at Large Gayle King (right), lead teams at the Game Night competition. Photo courtesy HAL.

“The first cruise in our partnership with O, The Oprah Magazine was tremendous; the energy and inspirational atmosphere on Eurodam was felt by all and truly something special,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line.

“The incredible caliber of talent and performances on the Share the Adventure Cruise exceeded expectations, and we leave this week with a lifetime of memories and lessons on how to live your best life.”

International fitness evangelist Angela Davis motivates guests aboard ms Eurodam. Photo courtesy HAL.

The July 15 cruise was the first of several special cruises with Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine. Four additional Adventure of Your Life cruises with SuperSoul 100 Members (to be announced) will set sail as follows:

• November 29, 2017 – 11-Day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on ms Koningsdam.
• March 3, 2018 – 7-Day Tropical Caribbean roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on ms Nieuw Amsterdam.
• August 11, 2018 – 7-Day Alaska roundtrip from Seattle on ms Eurodam.
• October 28, 2018 – 7-Day Eastern Caribbean roundtrip Fort Lauderdale on ms Nieuw Amsterdam.

In addition, more than 300 Holland America Line cruises sailing from North America from August 2017 through 2018 will offer a variety of engaging activities developed with the magazine’s editors and designed to nourish body and soul.

Will Uber and Lyft Make Taxi’s Obsolete? According to Recent Stats…Maybe


Ride-share. Who’d a thunk it five years ago?  Well, outside of the brilliant minded folks who were working on it behind the scenes, that is.

Who would have imagined one day we, the general public, would not only be able to push a button on our phone screen; jump into the car of a complete stranger and end up at our destination’ but we’d be able to — barring any criminal history — be the drivers behind many of those cars?

The industry has totally changed the way we travel AND the economy — the way we make money.

But that’s an article for another day!

As for travel, its hard to ignore the fact that many folks are switching from taxi to Uber — the largest ride-hailing company in the world, or Lyft, a close second; where they not only notice a decrease in travel costs, but a difference in how a rider is treated (not to mention cleaner cars that don’t smell like stale cigarettes!).

But does this mean the taxi industry is becoming obsolete? Continue reading

News You Can Use: Should you lease or buy your next car? (4 Things to Consider)

*A friend of mine recently bought a new car. I was surprised because I knew she had bought a new car only about two years ago, and she doesn’t drive a lot so the mileage is still low. She said that she went to a dealership and asked for a lease because she was “upside down.” I had never heard the term before, but learned it means that you still owe money on a car. Because her old car, the one she had bought two years ago, was still in great shape, she got the lease.

Thinking about this I realize many of us may have this same concern. I purchased a car nearly a year and a half ago, and I love it. But I drive a lot, and don’t want to be concerned with mileage limitations — something a lease forces you to consider.

I also don’t mind having the same car for more than 5 years; whereas most leased cars contract for 3 years. Then you have the option to renew or lease a different car.

If I want to make any changes whatsoever to the car I purchased, I can. Darken my windows, add a spoiler, anything — I can. But if I were to turn around and lease, they want me to return the same car I leased (minus normal wear and tear).

Decisions. Decisions.

Below are four questions anyone thinking about leasing versus buying their next ride should consider first.

Question #1: How much can you comfortably afford to pay each month for your car? Continue reading