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December 2008

Vintage Blue

Liza Goncalves, a native Bostonian who now lives in Philly (check her out, Ryan!) recently introduced me to her new eco-friendly, vintage-inspired clothing line called Vintage Blue.
The line not only uses eco-friendly products but also chemical free printing and sustainable methods in all business practices including print material, hang tags and promotional products. What's more, they donate 5% of each online sale to kiva.org, an organization that supports entrepreneurs in developing countries.

Fashion and feel good in one!

Vintage Blue's first collection is based on an exclusive license to The All American Girls Professional Baseball League featured in the movie A League of Their Own
and consists of organic tees and totes printed with graphics inspired from the 40s and 50s.

To learn more, check out their blog, head on down to Bodega (that funky convenience-store-with-secret-retail-shop-in-back), or shop online. And hurry! 20% off all tees and totes if you shop before January 1st!


OnLatte Art and Promotion

This is kind of fun, if frivolous: Onlatte

Cambridge-based OnLatte Inc. has developed a machine for decorating the frothy foam atop espresso drinks.

Founders Josh Grob and Oleksiy Pikalo have repurposed a 1980s-era Kodak inkjet assembly and affixed it to a flat-panel scanner, thereby automating the creation of the fancy hearts, flowers, and other images formerly left in the hands of a crafty barista.

And thus, a new ad medium was born.

The creators ask us to imagine a world where “You go into a Starbucks. They want to promote the latest movie they’re a part of. They can print that on your latte.”

Or even: “You can have your own art — your own image that you want on top of your latte. That can be stored on your customer card so when you swipe your card it appears on your drink.”

The former seems to be the more likely scenario, as marketers looking to get the buzz effect from such a stunt could leverage it at various events or in specific neighborhoods. The second scenario would be a tougher sell; would consumers be willing to pay for this perk? Hard to imagine in this economy, when a lot of folks are curbing their latte drinking altogether.

Learn more at the OnLatte blog, or see it in action here:

RunMyErrand Holiday Drive

Leah over at RUNmyERRAND has alerted me to a great Holiday Drive they are currently running: RMEHoliday

RME has made it easier than ever to give to those in need this holiday season - even if you're stuck inside on a snowy Sunday like today. Here's how:

RME has collected a specific list of items needed for each of three local charities:

  • CASPAR - an emergency shelter for homeless men and women in Cambridge
  • McLaughlin House - a transitional housing program for homeless women and their children in Charlestown
  • Harvest on Vine - a food pantry supporting the needy of Charlestown  

Items are listed on the RME site, where people can sponsor a bag of groceries or donate children's toys and warm winter clothes. The Sender simply posts the donation, and the Runner will actually do all the leg work from there.  A portion of each Runner fee will also be matched by RUNmyERRAND and donated as a monetary gift to each charity.  

You can read more about it on Leah's blog.

Now log in and get sending...it couldn't be easier!

MobiWatch Emergency Alert

Read about this in a recent issue of Mass High Tech:

Waltham-based MobiWatch has created an emergency device that doubles as a key-chain, so it's readily available in times of need.

Like Onstar (available in many vehicles) and LifeAlert (available in the home), the device connects people with an emergency response center within moments - even when you are outside of the car or home.  Carriers simply push a button to activate a Bluetooth connection with their cell phone, which then connects to the emergency call center.  An operator can pinpoint a caller’s location using GPS, and contact the police, ambulance or family members.

The concept is cool, but I share some of the thoughts expressed on the Mobile Marketing Blog - in particular, whether this offers enough perceived value to justify the expected $6-$10 monthly service fee. If your cell phone must be nearby in order for it to work, why not just dial 911 directly? True, the dedicated response center can store custom instructions in the event of an emergency, but the ability to triangulate your location using GPS and cell towers is something 911 can do as well.

The service is expected to launch in early 2009.

Santacon Boston

Yesterday was the 7th anniversary (I think) of Santacon - the annual pub crawl through Boston (and other cities around the world - read the Wikipedia entry) by people dressed like Santa (and assorted other holiday figures).

Here's a photo of the crew that gathered at Warren Tavern, the first stop on the tour, where participants dropped off donations for Toys for Tots before going on their merry way.


Bunker Hill TV Pilot - Update

I have had a TON of blog traffic this week to my post about the new TNT television pilot, Bunker Hill. So here's an update:

I did hear that TV crews will be filming in Charlestown beginning today, and throughout the weekend (I hope this weirdo weather we are having - rainy, windy and 60 - doesn't cause a problem!). I also heard that the crew approached Zume's Coffee House on Main St, as well as Doherty's Flowers next door and a home on Pleasant Street as possible locations.

The Boston Herald reports that Donnie Wahlberg was filming at the Union Oyster House on Monday, and there are plans to film some local cabbies in Charlestown this Friday. The Herald also indicated that the show's plot line is very similar to the infamous Charles Stuart case that happened in Boston twenty years ago, when "the manager of then-prestigious Kakas Furs shot and killed his pregnant wife, Carol, and blamed the crime on a black robber. Later, Stuart killed himself by jumping off the Tobin Bridge."

Beantown Bloggery has a blurb about the show as well, and I will, of course, do my best to keep my eyes and ears open - and camera ready! Stay tuned for updates.