Category Archives: News

“Perfect” Beauty

make-upDo you dream about looking perfect 24/7? That is the goal of ArcSoft’s Perfect365 app which just made its debut appearance at New York Fashion Week FW16. Working with designers Laurel Dewitt, Leanne Marshall and Dorin Negaru, the Perfect365 featured four new makeup looks at this year’s Fashion Week. Described by Wikipedia as “[one of the four] most prominent fashion weeks of the world,” makeup looks inspired by these designers were developed for the experiential enjoyment of beauty enthusiasts there. In addition, last week, in recognition of ‘Valentine’s Day Week,’ Perfect365 offered coffee to over 1,000 people outside Fashion Week venues in New York, to say ‘thank you’ to its loyal customers.

This app currently has over 80 million global users and gives style lovers “unprecedented control over their smartphone selfies.” It features over 200 Hotstyle one-tap makeovers, 20+ customizable make-up and tweaking tools, Style it! clothing and accessory tips and step-by-step guides on how to do make-up related things.

As to the success of the app, designer Leanne Marshall explained the phenomenon quite simply: “Nothing beats the power of the feel-good factor. With Leanne Marshall and Perfect365, fashion and beauty collide in the most exciting way. I love that the app allows you to find your look for every day.”

Perfect365 was also found to be offering free coffee at Moynihan Station, at the shows and backstage at 550 Washington Street, Pier 59 and 10ak, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Lady Gaga, Vanessa Hudgens, Khloe Kardashian, Alicia Keys, Milla Jovovich, Cyndi Lauper, Kelly Rowland and Nicki Minaj.

New York: Gainful Employment

employmentGetting a job in New York might just be becoming a little easier. According to 2015 reports, there has been a significant increase in private sector jobs in the state of New York; the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics said that it actually broke records. Indeed, even though the job count increase was a mere 0.2 percent (resulting in an addition of 13,200 jobs), this was a record high for the state. It puts 7,880,000 people in jobs there. And, further this was indicative of an “upward trend.”

Of the regions in the state of New York, New York City encountered the highest growth (an addition of 2.3 percent), followed closely by Orange-Rockland-Westchester (at 2.1 percent). However, year-on-year three metro areas lost private sector jobs (Binghamton Dutchess-Putnam and Ithaca).

To elucidate this phenomenon, according to Greg David, in an article in Crain’s:

“New York City added 100,500 jobs in 2015 (using the annual average of nonfarm employment), the second consecutive year the city has generated six-figure employment gains, after 120,700 jobs were added in 2014. This is important because it is the first time that has happened since reliable statistics began being collected. Halfway through the new mayor’s term, it is time to call the expansion that began in 2010 the ‘Bloomberg-de Blasio Boom.’”

Some of these job expansions have come due to the escalating tourism industry. In 2015, a staggering 13,000 new jobs were created in New York City in response to the tourism boom.

New York’s Celebrity Assistants

assistantIn 1996, New York Celebrity Assistants (NYCA) was established. Since then the organization has come a long away and the assistants who are part of it get a lot of “assistance” themselves in dealing with their celebrities.

Working for a celebrity – while sounding quite glamorous – can often be extremely challenging with demanding clients and high expectations. Thus, grouping together for support and help is rather a good idea.

The assistant of course, is in addition to the agents, managers, publicists and cosmetic unit! There is so much to do and that is where the assistants come in. Their role is to plan meetings, book flights, organize parties and other such things.

With the aid of the NYCA, assistants find their jobs easier. One of the founders, Bonnie Low-Kramen explained: “It’s a win-win situation to help your colleagues with resources.” It makes the job easier, more efficient and better for the client.

It’s a lot of networking. If one assistant needs to get in with a particular florist, another assistant might be able to do them a favor. And then that assistant can call in the favor at a later date. Low-Kramen even has a book about it called Be The Ultimate Assistant, but at the end of the day it is the NYCA to which she turns, calling it her “powerful secret weapon.”

At the end of the day, if one is going to work for celebrities in New York, why not get some assistance, while assisting?

New York Business Women Rise to the Top

womenNew York City is today home to four of the 50 fastest-growing female-owned companies. According to the Women Presidents’ Organization and American Express Global Corporate Payments, these firms boasted $10m+ in revenue last year. The firms are: Leslie Firtell’s Tower Legal Solutions, Rebecca Cenni’s Atrium Staffing, Elizabeth Eltin’s TransPerfect and Moira Moser’s M Moser Associates.

They all have different tips for developing, maintaining and growing a business. For example, Firtell – who managed to survive the crash – found new clients, persuaded them to pay up earlier and thus managed her cash flow issues. Cenni pointed out the importance of knowing your client so well that they will turn to you for all different types of work since one of the fastest growing parts of the economy is freelance/project work.

According to Elting, it is crucial that as a business person, one is able to move with the times and respond to change quickly, and with ease. Once a client sees you can do that they will trust you with all sorts of projects.

What might be of note is that today, many women who have risen to the top are actually helping others do the same. Historically this was not the case at all. It was believed that it was so hard for women to get to the top, helping others might just be detrimental to their success. Now they are recommending them, recruiting them and going in together to make deals. This is something that men have always done. An example of this was when Maggie Wilderotter found the best deal-makers to ensure the acquisition would transpire which resulted in the doubling of the size of Frontier Communications.

NY Business Plan Competition

energy-sustainabilityUMA Bioseed, an energy and sustainability from Cornell University was awarded top honor at the New York Business Plan Competition. The company that was developed by students from Cornell received $100,000 funding and in-kind services at this competition, the sixth of its kind.

The competition took place at SUNY Polytechnic Institute and attracted students from 37 higher educational institutes in the New York state, including: the University of Albany, Skidmore College, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Albany Law School, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

The nanotechnology and advanced technology award was received by ACV Metrology.

New York Tippers

tipsThere may be a move away from tippers and towards raising the minimum hourly wage for tipped employees such as wait staff, hairdressers etc. in New York. A state panel has suggested it be raised to $7.50 an hour (from its current $5). Others are criticizing the move saying it’s not enough since if there wage is not at least $8.75 per hour, bosses legally need to make up the difference but if they don’t, the state of New York is currently unable to enforce it and thus these workers are not being paid fairly. Thus a minimum wage needs to be set for all.

In light of this, some eatery owners are considering eliminating tipping. Instead, menu prices will be raised by 22 percent. One such restaurant owner is Tom Colicchio who has wanted to do this for some time but now, given the recommendations of the Wage Board to raise the hourly wage tipped workers can be paid, the potential increase restaurant expenses would justify this.

Others believe that the entire industry should move over to the European model whereby a service charge is just included in the clients’ bill and thus pay for workers is higher. A few restaurants do this already in America but now more are considering the option. However, there is some kind of a crowd mentality happening with restaurateurs right now as no one wants to act alone. Only if a whole bunch of them enact this, will Colicchio consider following suit.

Top Quality Business Dining in New York

by Hideyuki KAMON
by Hideyuki KAMON

For businessmen and women dining in New York City, there are some fabulous eateries set up to cater to these needs. Here we review five of them: Barbuto (at 775 Washington Street, Manhattan), Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare (200 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn), Kyo Ya (7th Street, Manhattan), Hearth (403 E. 12th Street, Manhattan), and L’Artusi (228 W. 10th Street, Manhattan).

At Barbuto customers seeking to impress clients can benefit from either the dining room or chef’s table (located in the kitchen). The latter is a true food experience, with guests being privy to their 3-4 course meal being prepared in front of them. Top quality Italian cuisine, expect seasonal modifications.

At the Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, the entire restaurant is a chef’s counter. It seats 18, and is connected to the Brooklyn Fare market. Meals, according to our friends at Infatuation, are just shy of TWENTY courses, including multiple amuse-bouches, four entrees, and two desserts. Of course, at $255 a person (excluding beverages), you need to have a fat wallet or fat expense account to pick up the tab at this Michelin three-star restaurant.

Kyo Ya provides customers with a true, authentic Japanese experience. Specializing in kaiseke meals (which are meals that are served during traditional tea ceremonies), there is also a somewhat pricey tasting menu but customers can also select from the à la carte menu. In the middle of the restaurant there is an “amazing share table” which really provides, quite the overall experience! Although discussing business might not happen as one is left fascinated by their environment!

Finally Hearth offers top quality farm-to-table cuisine. Its private dining room hosts up to 28 people and offers 3, 4, or 5 course menu options. For a more intimate experience, there is a small chef’s table. Chef Marco Canora’s claim to fame is his gourmet “bone broth” (which apparently has many healing elements), and is now sold out of a window next to the restaurant.

Jack Lefkowitz, Rabbi Berman and Others Who Make a Difference

Dealing with an illness, particularly one that is life threatening, is harrowing for anyone. It is particularly scary for people who don’t have a social network where they live and don’t know where to turn. In the New York area, there are a number of organizations that are working to alleviate such fears and to offer resources to those in need.

The New York City Free Clinic is one location worth knowing about for those who are sick. They provide free and comprehensive care and they have an extensive relationship with hospitals, clinics and non-profits throughout New York City. They have ties with the New York University School of Medicine, the Institute for Family Health, Bellevue Hospital Center, New York University Langone Medical Center and more.

Jack Lefkowitz
Jack Lefkowitz

Another organization that everyone in New York should be aware of is Refuah Resources, directed by Rabbi Shuky Berman and co-chaired by Jack Lefkowitz. Their team of medical referral coordinators helps patients to work through the medical system in New York and to guide people to identify the preferred doctor for each of their situations. Working tirelessly, Rabbi Berman, Jack Lefkowitz and so many others help to alleviate the burden of dealing with serious illness by providing guidance and direction.

Finally, for those battling cancer, Team Continuum is there to help. This nonprofit helps cancer patients and their families to minimize the disruptions and hardships that are inherent with the disease. They help families to pay household expenses, they offer friendship and moral support and they help to fund health care facilities to enhance the delivery of care to patients.

These are just a few of the many health care programs around New York that assist those in need. Organizations such as the NYCFC, Refuah Resources with Rabbi Berman and Jack Lefkowitz, and Team Continuum make a difference in the lives of those in New York every day.

Affordable New York Housing

affordable-new-york-housingNew York’s State Attorney General’s Office is implementing a policy change to help keep the city’s housing affordable. Owners of buildings that rent out properties to people of differing incomes will be able to sell apartments at market rate on the condition that they maintain low-income rentals or create new apartments for those on restricted incomes.

According to state officials, before the change is implemented, the city will make sure that property owners will make at least a fifth of their units “permanently affordable.” This will include properties that have been subsidized by tax breaks and bond financing.

Up until now, proprietors were not allowed to sell their property until the affordability restrictions were lifted. Sometimes this took tens of years. And at that point, owners converted the whole property to market-rate units or condominiums. With this new ruling, it is anticipated that many thousands of low-income apartments will be preserved in New York City.

Both landlords and tenants in New York City are equally pleased with the move.

Soda Companies Join Forces

coke-pepsi-snappleIn a new effort to battle the bulge in America, the three leading soda companies – Coca Cola, PepsiCo and Snapple/Dr. Pepper – are joining forces. The commitment was made a couple of weeks ago in New York at the Clinton Global Initiative. It was welcomed wholeheartedly by President Bill Clinton who noted that sugared-soft drinks account for approximately 6 percent of the average consumer’s daily calorie intake.

The goal of these three companies is to reduce the caloric consumption of sugary drinks of Americans by 20 percent in the next 11 years. They aim to do this by expanding the market of low- and no-calorie drinks as well as smaller-volume drinks. Marketing and promotional materials will be focused on education about America’s obesity problem and how sugary drinks contribute to this.

Vis-à-vis the economics of this, sugary drinks companies shouldn’t really lose out too much. Figures put out by Beverage Digest showed that between 2000 and 2013, there was a plummet of 12 percent in the consumption of calories from sugary drinks. So it’s not new. The way soda companies responded to this (and to continue to profit) was by increasing sales of water based, low-calorie or no-calorie drinks.

If this is the way the market is going, it will not have a negative impact on US business and will rather simply enhance health in the region, by attacking obesity.