Pinterest – putting the PIN in social media and pretty pictures.

I recently started a Pinterest account:

http://www.pinterest.com/violetaitodorov/

It’s such a cool concept… almost like a more efficient version of StumbleUpon and Tumblr. I love the layout that lets you group “pins” into a different “boards”. There is so much vocabulary around social media, and here I am … a young 21 year old … learning a new language again. How many times can the Internet change formats and words?

With the rise of SnapChat, Instagram, and Pinterest… I think it’s clear that our society is becoming more and more focused on quick information relayed through pictures. The same goes for Tindr and Twitter (which limits your characters per tweet). It’s no longer about getting your message across, now it’s about being a pretty picture with short, punchy text. I still like reading long copy, and maybe someday that will come back; but for now, filtered pictures dominate our consumption of media.

What’s better than the original? Actually, a lot of things!

What's better than the original? Actually, a lot of things!

1. Seedless Watermelon is better than original watermelon.
2. Lychee Juice is better than Lychee Fruit on its own.
3. Frozen Grapes are better than room-temperature grapes.
4. Dried Mango Slices are better than Ripe Mango.
5. Strawberries sprinkled with a little bit of sugar to balance the acidity.

P.S. I’m a fruit lover… can you tell?

And full disclaimer, this is just my personal taste and preference. Feel free to tell me your eating habits and preferences! There’s no reason why you have to like the original more than variations of it… even if a crunchy red apple is the best taste in the world.

To-To-Tofu.

To-To-Tofu.

Over the years, tofu has gotten a bad reputation of being only for vegetarians, tasting bland, and being unpleasantly chewy. There are too many loud voices against tofu, and not enough proponents willing to clear the bad reputation. I believe the product itself is not the problem; tofu just needs a new marketing strategy. You can do pretty much anything to tofu: grill it, poach it, scramble it, stir-fry it, simmer it in a curry, or make it into burgers. When prepared properly, tofu can be a wonderful addition to any dish. Plus, it has high protein content that adds health benefits to all. The bad reputation comes from unawareness and apprehension to explore tofu as an ingredient in meals; thus, we need to start a conversation in order to re-brand tofu. Help end the pre-determined discrimination against tofu by giving it another proper taste before completely writing it off.

What makes you happy?

What makes you happy?

I am a coffee shop enthusiast who collects loyalty cards like lucky pennies. Coffee shops are my third home. I love everything about them: the smell of black coffee, the sound of foaming milk, and the short bursts of wind that brush against my skin when the door opens. Just thinking about the wooden tables and skinny soy lattes can bring all my senses to life. I’m one of that person who owns four ‘Coffee Shops of London’ books, knows the barista’s name and often goes ‘exploring’ for new hidden gems. It may not be a prestigious hobby, but finding a new coffee shop with Wi-Fi brings me instant joy. I’ve written countless essays, had numerous important conversations, and discovered new music in coffee shops – and every trip manages to make me happy. A simple “black coffee for here” can always brighten a gloomy Saturday afternoon.

I also love to look around the population of each coffee shop: old friends with foreign accents that are catching-up, awkward first dates, students in-between lectures trying to stay awake after a night out, a business man with the daily newspaper and his iPad, an old woman with a Sudoku puzzle, and the struggling artist with a notebook filled with short stories and drawings of his half-empty cappuccino. For all you know, the person sitting near to you could be the next J.K. Rowling. Nevertheless you still avert your gaze after making accident eye contact. Coffee shops are the hubs or intellects, stressers, and artists alike. There’s no better place to people watch…

White Text on a Black Background.

White Text on a Black Background.

David Ogilvy HATES white text on a black background. I’m being serious… He states this fact at least 5 times in his book Ogilvy on Advertising. Statistics show that inverse text reduces readership. But I’m not trying to sell you anything, so hopefully this won’t upset the advertising gods out there. Please prove the legendary Ad Man wrong and read this quote because its content is well-written. 

It’s fun to break the rules sometimes, no?

If you could witness any one event from history, which would it be, and why?

If I could witness one event, it would be the most creative lunch in history. In the summer of 1994, the key Pixar creatives (including John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Pete Docter) had lunch in the Hidden City Café and brainstormed ideas for new films. That one lunch sparked the stories that would eventually become the following films: A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo and WALL-EThose four films would eventually earn over one billion dollars of revenue, and it all started with a friendly conversation over French fries. I would choose this specific event because it has an element of myth and an element of inspiration. The story has become a part of the animation legend and a cornerstone moment in Pixar’s history.  True, it might not be as epic as Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream“ speech or the Battle of Waterloo, but it has importance to me personally. And I think there’s a lot to learn about life, storytelling, and business from that one legendary lunch.

And the story was even featured in the teaser trailer for Andrew Stanton‘s WALL-E as a form of marketing. Check it out!

The advertising Job Hunt Continues.

2. Sell us one of the following: • A colander • A used match • A queue (300 words maximum)

Throwing a surprise birthday party for your girlfriend? Did you make a mess and need to get rid of your mum for a couple hours? Need to make grandma feel helpful?

No worries. Send them to buy some TQ branded item. TQ can guarantee that the designated person will wait in The Queue to purchase simple products. For the FIRST time ever, we sell time. You can gain a short break by purchasing a queue for loved ones. Or enemies. The choice is yours.

Queue begins here. 

I’m a Professional Now. Take my Card.

I'm a Professional Now. Take my Card.

Yesterday, I went to pick up my self-designed business cards. They match my resume! Click on the picture to see my super and a-bit-ridiculously-long CV.

One New Year’s Resolution already checked off! Only 13 more to go. To see the full list scroll down to previous posts in my blog. Oh… and Happy Sunday to you dear reader!

45 Pounds of Hair Loss.

Today, I got a haircut. Seems simple enough. I Googled salons in London and found what I believed was the cheapest…. And yes, the cheapest was 45 Pounds for a cut and style. Granted I am in central London and I didn’t look for any available Groupons and deals, but I’d still like to share my overall experience.

Some background information is necessary first. Before today, I have never spent more than 20 Dollars on a haircut. That’s about 12 Pounds. And when I get my haircut at my grandmother’s hairdresser in Bulgaria, it costs 8 Levs… which is just over 3 Pounds. Thus, I’ve always avoided paying a lot of money for a haircut. I respect the profession and the hairstylists; I’ve just never been in the loop of stylist number 1, head stylist, top consultant, Brazilian blowouts, and highlight colouring. But this London Hair Salon experience was so much more than a haircut… it was luxury and marketing at it’s finest.

The Salon was very chic with white, brown, and light blue as it’s modern colour palette in Covent Garden. I walked in and quickly recited my name and appointment time, as if to prove that I belonged. A Nice Lady asked to take my coat, scarf and purse. The Londoner in me immediately thought about whether or not it was safe to hand over my bag. I hesitated for a moment and passed over my accessories… standing bare in the entryway. Then, the Nice Lady asked, “Can I make you something to drink? Tea? Coffee?” My though: “Am I allowed to do that?” My response: “Uh, no thank you.”

Next I was escorted to a chair where my stylist introduced herself and together, we discussed what ‘look’ I was going for. When we reached an agreement, I was escorted downstairs for shampoo and washing. Apparently, it was crucial that my hair be washed in the salon with their products… never mind that I had washed it one hour before to avoid extra costs. I sat down as the chair reclined and I placed my head into the sink. Next thing I know: the seat has transformed into a massage chair, my stylist is kneading my scalp and asking again if I want coffee. This time, my hesitation results in a “umm…yes, black simple coffee please.” The stylist turns to the Nice Lady and says “A black Americano for my lady please.” I was now “her lady.”

By the time we where done downstairs and I was escorted upstairs with my freshly washed hair, the Americano was waiting for me at our station. In the classiest manner I could pull off, I took out my gum and took a sip. The stylist then started cutting my hair; the moment had finally arrived! In the time it took her to add some layers and a little fringe to my brown mop, she politely asked me 9 times – and yes I counted – if she was pulling my scalp too much. Every time, I repeated, “no no” and smiled. I was probably doing something wrong because I kept adjusting my head to try and make it easier for her…

And there I sat. Getting a simple haircut. And I felt awkward, clumsy, and out of place rather than stylish and pampered. Every time my white coffee cup clanked on the plate, I got self-conscious. Everyone in the shop was trying his or her absolute hardest to make me feel comfortable, but the “girl who got a 3-pound Bulgarian haircut” was feeling something else. I felt spoiled. I felt like a haircut shouldn’t cost this much. I felt like I was out of touch with reality as a university student. True, that is a strong reaction to have against a haircut.

This might just be me, but if anyone else feels like this, know that you’re not alone. Getting my nails done, having my hair professionally cut, getting relaxing spa massages and trying on shoes for over 50 dollars makes me feel awkward and elitist. I can definitely afford it, but it doesn’t make me feel good. And isn’t that the point of these places? They want to pamper you and make you cappuccinos while you read Vogue. I’m not here to say that there’s anything wrong with it, but simply that it might not be for everyone. Just because something costs more, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more enjoyable for everyone.