Heavy Metal Mouths?: Study Finds Carcinogens In 32 Commonly Sold Lipsticks

Great information. I will be doing a double take before dolling up.


Did I Hear You Correctly?

Active listening pays off.

Diary of a Mad Saleswoman

NPH Hear

My formative years were spent in two states: New York and New Jersey, both of which are known for their straight talk, mind your business, but keep it business attitudes, so admittedly, the fact that I was STARING at two people while they were deep in conversation is an absolute “no ma’am”!  Yes, I was staring as they conversed.  I, who have judged staring as a southern trait–believe me, here in the south it’s seen as showing interest not being nosy–picked up the dirty little habit for 15 whole minutes (give or take 3 seconds).

What’s interesting about me staring?  Not so much the part about me being a Northerner and finding it rude but the fact that I didn’t understand a word that was being said.  The two people were speaking another language…sign language.  Their hands moved as swiftly as hummingbirds and the conversation was obviously fluid.

I wasn’t…

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Advantages of Co-Branding by P V Reymond with my 2 cents added.

I am pushing the idea of co-branding to my bosses.  This is one such article that touts the benefits of this type of relationship.  We need additional revenue streams.  As a marketer & brand ambassador I network constantly and honestly I have great information that is beneficial to our partners, why not make money while sharing?  A few months ago we volunteered our social media savvy for a non-profit; I did double duty for three weeks.  My shoulder still hurts from copying & pasting links and sending out mass emails (one at a time).

I learned a valuable lesson from this: many of the organizations that we are working with are less knowlegable about social media than we are thus presenting a unique opportunity for us.

Our primary business is in home care.  But for the month of January we were a social media marketing company.  Our goals was to create local buzz, spike the organizations likes on Facebook & secure a speaking engagment.  We did all three!

So why not build off of that basic concept to build relationships, increase referrals/sales & leave a lasting impact on the community we serve.  (While making money of course, I didn’t need to say that part)

So now to P. V. Reymond’s article.  (he gives permission on his website to use this as long as we give him credit and provide a link to his website…this is wonderful for bloggers like me that struggle with daily post)

We have heard a lot of online entrepreneurs mentioning the term “co-branding.” Most of them have high praises when it comes to co-branding. So, what is the fuss about? What is the exact meaning of co-branding when it comes to online marketing? Co-branding is a form of marketing in which you leverage your referral partner’s client base.

In my opinion (PV Reymond’s opinion) I think that co-branding is the most underrated and an overlooked online marketing strategy. Co-branding is a marketing strategy wherein it can be an extremely effective way to generate online business. The best form of co-branding is when it adds value and enhances your partner’s website by offering valuable tools and added functionality.

If you plan on doing co-branding you must remember that you should choose a partner that is closely related to the product or service that you are offering. Think of it as like this, a prospect clicks on a link on your website, then after doing so he is directed to another website with a totally different brand or company, believe me when I say that this will confuse prospects.

If your partner’s products or services are so far-off from what you offer yourself then prospects will be of course be confused why they have been directed to an entirely different web page with unrelated content. When it comes to co-branding you need to choose partnerships that have something in common with the product or service that you’re selling.

Co-branding can be very cost effective, particularly for small online businesses. However, if you choose the wrong associate, or too many partners, it might be more harmful than advantageous.

Co-branding online can be done by offering your service, the information that you have, as well as your products under a different company’s identity, while preserving your own brand in less leading format. The later is made for your own advantage and is commonly the main reason for the entire product or service offering.

Co-branding Advantage #1: Less expense to market a new product

If you decide to go with co-branding then I am telling you right now that it results to less expenditure. We all have an idea as to how much it will cost to market a new product right? And of course we all know that if you are alone and you market a new product then the expense will be outrageously high.

However, with co- branding you need not worry about that because it results in very less expenses because of the already existing brand image of the other business in the market.

Co-branding Advantage #2: Boost the company’s brand image while increasing profits

When you start with co-branding you are able to reach out to more and new prospects with your new products and services. Introducing new products or services creates a buzz and stirs curiosity amongst your target market and this result to an increase in brand value and at the same time it boosts profits.

Co-branding Advantage #3: New markets

Co-branding enables you to reach people or areas that were out of your reach before. When you were operating the business by yourself you have limited access, but when you start with co-branding, you are able to tap into customers which you were not able to reach before. This results in bringing new customers to your online business.

Co-branding Advantage #4: The risks involved would be less

If ever you just started your online business then the risks of introducing a new product to the market is higher. It will take some time before you are able to tap into your market, usage and implementation of various strategies is needed. So, it is better for new online businesses to tie up with an established company which have a brand value in the market and this result in reaching the target market easily. Co-branding Advantage #5: Improvement of products with the use of modern technology

With co-branding, you get to share with the other company’s technology which will assist you to produce better products. This will yield in giving quality products that can be offered at a fair price with advanced features which will of course attract new and existing customers.

Co-branding Advantage #6: Introduction of your products or service to the other side

The best example for this is the promotion of Intel. Years ago Intel came up with the slogan “Intel Inside,” this made consumers realize what was inside their IBM and Compaq computers. Because of this around 300 computer manufacturers started co-branding with Intel.

Co-branding Advantage #7: Benefits from the other company’s customer base

Co-branding can bring in the benefits to a company from its partner’s loyal customers. Back in 1984, Nike got together with Michael Jordan the world-renowned NBA player with the basis that all Jordan fans would feel affectionate and loyal towards Nike and choose it over its competitors. Why? Because, well their idol is with Nike, so they feel the need that they should also be loyal to Nike.  Written by: PV Reymond  http://internethomebasedbusiness.startup-internetbusiness.com/co-branding-advantages/

Seeking Connections (Seek & Ye Shall Find)

Three months ago I met with Mr. Willard Smith to discuss how my organization M & L Care could help his organization Vetshouse Inc. in winning a Facebook contest sponsored by Home Depot to win a $25,000 grant.  I had no idea what I was getting into, it was just another assignment on my to do list as marketing director at the home care agency I worked for.  My boss suggested that I to meet me and the plan of action was to offer my social media savvy in exchange for referrals of veterans who may be able to use our service.

Mr. Smith a gracious host and a full of great information.  After we exchanged pleasantries, exchanged business cards and gave each other a brief description of what we did professionally I was comfortable enough to let my guard down and just speak my mind.

Vetshouse Inc. works with homeless veterans.  They provide a myriad of services to assist veterans with job skills, finding work, keeping work and integrating back into society successfully.  It’s honorable work.  I feel for anyone that is homeless.  It’s common to see men with long beards holding a cardboard sign that says “Homeless Veteran, Please Help, God Bless You.”  I typically give these men whatever $1 dollar bills I have in my wallet and drive on.  I always wonder if you’re a veteran how are you homeless?  Don’t you get a check, some kind of pension?  The journalist in me wants to stop and ask questions, but then I’m fearful of meeting someone that may be mentally unstable so I drive on.

Listening to Mr. Smith talk with such passion and hearing so many success stories I became intrigued beyond my normal nosey curiosity.  I admitted to him that I didn’t know anything beyond dates regarding WWI, WWII or the Vietnam War.  I felt stupid and ashamed.  I told him that there seemed to be a disconnect with my generation and the previous one’s.  I was born in the seventies and the United States didn’t go back to war until the conflicts in the middle East that we’re still trying to extricate from.

70% of my job is to get clients for M & L Care.  We are a non-medical home care agency.  We provide companion care, run errands and assist with daily living activities for anyone in need.  Right now the majority of our clients are veterans or the spouses of veterans.  Long-term care is expensive.  The cost for our veteran clients has been offset by the “Aid & Attendance” benefit offered by the VA.  (I’ll discuss that in detail later—OK one plug) it’s a little known TAX FREE benefit that is available to Veterans, their spouses & their widows.

Now back to this disconnect.  I wasn’t raised in a military family and I didn’t grow up in Hampton Roads so my interaction with service members was limited to an older uncle that had retired long ago, but I knew he fought in some war and was very proud. I suppose the onus really wasn’t on me to learn these things a child, I only know what I was taught.  But now that I’m grown well.. It’s never too late to learn.  It’s never too late to do better.

So I’ve been seeking out individuals to hear their stories.  I’ve been doing this in my own informal haphazard way.  I’m an activist and an agitator by nature.  I have to temper my action with my within the confines of my job (most of the time).  So I keep my brochures with me wherever I go & if I see someone that appears to be over the age of 60 in military gear I speak.  If they give me slightest inclination that I can hold a conversation with them I do.  That was the case yesterday I was hanging out with my husband at the local flea market.  We did a full circle around the property I didn’t see anything to purchase ( I collect stamps & coins) but I thought that most of the vendors were veterans.  They had on their jackets and hats with insignia, so I started asking “are you a veteran?” Booth after booth every one I talked to was.  Some were more talkative than others but I made a connection with each one.  The 1st veteran I met told me how he volunteers at a local agency helping other veterans weekly.  The 2nd veteran told me he works with veterans daily and is eager to partner with organizations that offer services for vets like mine..BUT…but he explained that we are here for the Veterans and they need to be our priority.  To which of course I nodded in agreement, but..he expounded on that and I’m glad.  He asked had I ever saw a country succumbed; to which my response was no.  I assumed it was a war movie, honestly I still don’t know if it is a film or not..but he gave me the graphic details.  He apologized before speaking..then he said when a country succumbs the relationship between husband & wife no longer exist because wives, daughters & mother’s must make themselves sexually available to the victors of war to survive.  This picture is a reality in other parts of the world, he told me to thank a veteran and honor the service of veterans because the only reason that horrific picture isn’t a reality in the United States is because of the service of Vets!  That story changed my perspective.  I won’t look at any veteran the same.  At first I thought I was connecting with people through the services that my job offered, but speaking with that veteran gave me a patriotic connection one that will last.  I’ll be going about my work differently now.  I’ve made a connection.  That was yesterday…..

Today while thumbing through the Virginia Pilot in the Books section there is a book review of “Island of Destiny” a book by military historian John Prados discusses the key to winning WWII which in his opinion was beyond the midway point which was actually at the Solomon Islands.  Without reading the book I gained more knowledge than I ever got out of one of my history books.

Norfolk, VA Growing Cooler Daily

I’ve been struggling with writing my first blog post.  I stressed over writing about personal issues, things make my life less mundane but I was worried about my tendency to over share.  Then I wanted to write about work, but I worried about my passive aggressive sarcasm not being fully appreciated.  I’m on this spiritual journey and my faith and relationship with God is growing, but I don’t want my sometimes undisciplined walk to cause someone else to stumble.

So, while thumbing through the pages of the March Issue of Entrepreneur Magazine http://www.entrepreneur.com/magazine/index.html I came across an article spot lighting Drew Ungvarsky.  If you’re like me, you’re wondering who is that.  Drew is a local entrepreneur.  He’s the owner of Grow a digital advertising and production company based in Norfolk, VA! http://www.norfolk.gov/

Well that is just too close to home, Virginia Beach, VA for me not to get excited.   http://www.vbgov.com/Pages/home.aspx  I enjoy reading positive things about people & businesses in my community.  It makes me proud and keeps me hopeful.  Being featured in              Entrepreneur Magazine is impressive.  With a circulation is 600,000. Total readership exceeds 2.4 million per issue.  In their own words they are “the premier source for everything small business”

My  entrepreneur experience is microscopic compared to the people featured between these pages.  I read with the intent to learn.  I especially enjoy those  features that spark my curiosity to the point that I want to explore a topic beyond what I’m reading.  The write-up on Drew Ungvarsky did just that.

Googling you will find they eye-popping website for his business, Grow. http://www.thisisgrow.com/  and several nice write ups are featured in our own Virginian-Pilot. http://hamptonroads.com/2012/09/one-restaurant-aims-change-face-city.  The Entrepreneur article discusses the community building efforts of Drew Ungvarsky.  He’s done some pretty cool things for the city including creating a temporary park “The Plot” on a vacant 2-acre lot that was formally an eyesore. “The Plot” features 3 shipping containers turned on their sides.   Funny I walked by “The Plot” almost daily last year marvelling at it’s creative beauty never realizing it had such a story behind its creation.  The Plot even has Wi-Fi connectivity.  How many city parks can boast that?  Kudos Norfolk!

If you live in Hampton Roads or will be traveling here go to the corner Granby & Main Street to enjoy “The Plot” first hand.  For everyone else here is a photo presentation  http://www.downtownnorfolk.org/documents/PLOT_Photo_Presentation.pdf

I got a burst of renewed creative energy from this one article.  It motivated me into action; I finished my first blog post!

My Father’s Legacy

Scan18_0018Before I even knew that God existed he had decided to gift me with an extraordinary life as the youngest daughter of James S. Hursey.      Being a Hursey living in small town Bridgeton, New Jersey came with it’s own set of unique challenges, high expectations and sweet privileges.   By the time I cam along in the 70’s the Hursey’s were already established as a family of public servants, educators, philanthropist and business owners.

     Daddy being the oldest son and the most vocal by my recollection was making his mark in local politics, propelling himself under the scrutiny of the public eye.  Everybody knows Jim Hursey, so when he died three weeks ago as I worked to plan his funeral, struggled to take care of my mother, prayed for peace among family members, and  not die myself of  heartbreak in the process…I was lost for words when I attempted to articulate to a reporter from he Bridgeton Evening News on what would be my father’s legacy.

  • Twelve years on Bridgeton City Council, several spent as president.
  • X number of years a member of the housing authority.
  • Another stint as Commissioner of Fire & Police.
  • 40 years a special education teacher.
  • The “go to” guy for a grave in Cedar Hill Memorial Park.
  • Local landlord, insurance salesman, former track coach.

I wanted to arrogantly instruct the reporter to “google” my dad and pull from news archives, compiling a succinct story of his life; to add human interest speak my two aunt’s Carol Laster & Christine Miles.  Then call me back after for a quote, fax me a copy for my approval before printing.  I envisioned a front page article worthy of royalty.  I heard daddy’s voice in my head; as I often do (before & after death) saying “don’t try that BS Jenjer!”

So encumbered by time constraints, confusion,and very much against my better judgement I humbled myself and gave the task to my eldest and only sister Joni Hursey Wingate.  [PAUSE- long sigh]. 

Since daddy’s hospitilization I had been yeilding my emotions, opinions, and overall feelings to accomodate Joni..what more damage could be done?  Daddy’s gone. 

Joni called the reporter and gave him an interview resulting in what appeared in Thursday’s paper.  http://www.nj.com/bridgeton/index.ssf?/base/news-6/1250223913159250.xml&coll=10

The article embarrassed and disappointed me.  That’s not what I meant I lamented quietly to myself, wondering what I had done.  My mother immediately let me know her displeasure too.  She ranted the remainder of the day about what she decided to term “Joni’s article.”  Although she didn’t use the term narcissistic she eluded to my sister having those behavior traits as I often rolled my eyes out of her sight of course thinking isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black. 

As I sat with tears streaming down my face, feeling betrayed yet again..I was comforted by daddy’s voice “that’s the way it be’s sometimes baby.”

As I went about the remainder of my day I wondered what would I have said differently.  The thoughts that came to my mind were the practical things that daddy taught me, the financial wisdom he instilled in me, and how he just indulged me—from cradle to grave. 

But would those things be appropriate or relevant for publication…yet still I ponder…what to share, what to keep. 

“Spare the rod, spoil the child” was one of the things that I remember my mother telling my father often as I grew up.  I could tell you stories that would raise the hair on your neck….one in particular comes to mind.  Daddy never spanked me, he didn’t like for mommy to spank me, and he would become absolutely livid if anyone else chastised me ( and he knew about it—-I knew this).  One Sunday I was misbehaving in church and one of the elders spoke to me and gently popped my leg.  Well I was just appalled, and I wasted no time telling her that MY DADDY does not like for people to hit me, and she was going to be in trouble, then I promptly snuck out off and used the phone to call my daddy; well ten minutes later he was at that church laying that lady out and taking his baby home.  Thinking back on it all I can do is shake my head.

Daddy use to host poker games at the house on Friday nights.  But before a glass of scotch could be poured, a card deck opened, a note of jazz played…the guest had to attentively listen to me recite something I learned from school that week, then fein excitement as I performed a ballet or tap routine.  They would cheer me on and applaud.  I often wonder if daddy knew at the time how much those weekly shows bolstered my confidence.

Or how about the time mommy and I took the Amtrak train to Virginia.  I had never been on train ride and mommy thought it would be a good experience and fun.  Well it wasn’t.  Reservations do not guarantee you a seat, we stood the entire time, I was miserable.  We stopped mid-way and called daddy..I was crying and complaining..that’s all it took, by the time the train arrived in Virginia; my daddy was there to take me home.  He beat the train!  

Aside from those sweet over the top indulgences; daddy was also a wonderful role model, a great teacher, a good listener and a confidant.

He didn’t just spoil me—there are very practical lessons too!

  • Working hard, keep your nose clean (stay out of trouble) and put your little money up ( save & invest wisely.)
  • Daddy taught me to drive a stick shift, jump a tire, &  change my oil and a tire.
  • Daddy taught me how to propagate plants, re-pot them, and test the soil.
  • Daddy loved working with his hands—together with my husband we built the flower bed that beautifully adorns my front yard, my house is full of shelves he built.   

Throughout my adult life daddy continued to be my strongest supporter and staunchest critic. 

I am reminded of the time I went to daddy crying hysterically over a boy–he looked at me with such disgust and proceed to curse me out. [Be INDEPENDENT…you don’t need a man!]  Admonishing me to never ever cry over a man unless he dies—then it’s OK to cry.  So in the upcoming weeks and months as I process my grief I’m sure I will cry….

You can not walk into my parents house without witnessing the walls of pictures of daddy–yes I said walls.  Daddy loved taking pictures.  The last picture I took of him was at his request in the hospital…while he struggled to breath–he had me snapping pictures.  While I’m sure he was contemplating his impending death he was gently teaching me acceptance while comforting me–he was putting on his “game face” even though we both knew that “things were shaky”. 

Finally, I have a $3 t-shirt that boast  “I love my hubby”  I made the mistake of wearing that in front on daddy–“where’s the shirt that says I love my daddy?” he asked.  The following day I had to get a shirt made with our picture on it that said “I love my daddy.” he has one with my picture “daddy’s girl.” that he proudly wore.  That was the unique bond and relationship that my father and I shared.  It felt especially good when people would inquire—they assumed the shirt was to memorialize him…no it another way for me to honor him in life. 

I am going to be OK, daddy taught me –that no matter what happens–the sun is still going to rise tomorrow.  These lessons—the way I will continue to live my life—ME, I am his legacy.