As we begin to move forward in the New Year, searching for ways to help us achieve our goals or resolutions, we find an impressive array of products and services offered by savvy startups and small businesses.
Will some of these products and services help us to succeed?
Consignment Clothing & Accessories
Walk-in closets have become a misnomer because many of us cannot walk or move around in them due to clutter.
Why not sell some of your clothes and accessories through consignment?
The Real Real
The Real Real brings luxury consignment to a new level of ease with a free consignment kit and prepaid FedEx shipping. If you have not worn something in more than six months, it may be time to move it along and recoup some of the purchase price that you paid.
Secondhand buying and selling have become big business for name brands or barely used items with bonuses or sign-up gifts offered by some, for example Twice and Tradsey.
For fashion-focused men and women, consignment is the way to recoup some of your investment in items that you have not worn in the past year.
Candy leftovers are everywhere. This onslaught of candy begins on Halloween and continues through New Year’s Day.
What can you do with all of that leftover candy?
Jodi Levine’s new book entitled: Candy Aisle Craftshas some great ideas for crafts to do during the long winter months ahead. For example, you can reuse peppermint candies to make various objects or lollipops. If you want to preserve some artifacts and items picked up on vacation, you can make vacation memories jars that your children can enjoy throughout the year.
New Year’s Fitness
Fitness Trackers were all the rage as holiday gifts this year. They will be worn diligently in January but it is yet to be seen whether they will fall by the wayside throughout the year.
The Consumer Electronics Show this month in Las Vegas has several fitness trackers on display.
Having owned a Polar Heart Monitor at one time, I was interested to hear that they now have a wristband device without the need to wear a belt.
A friend of mine has become obsessed with her new Fitbit, measuring her walking, calories and sleep.
Fitness trackers hold you accountable when no one else will do so.
Americans love their pets with pet industry spending at an estimated $58.51 in 2014.
Despite recent growth in pet-friendly rental units, it is not easy to find pet-friendly housing. Furthermore, if you do find it, the rents are often higher with non-refundable pet fees required. Ultimately, the pet experience is simply too costly for many people.
So how can you get your cat fix?
Meow Parlour opened in New York City in December 2014 with seven cats (soon to be 12) roaming around the shop while customers enjoy their caffeine and cat fix.
This international trend is sweeping the globe with the first cat café in London, Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, and in Vienna, Café Neko.
You can play with the cats while you enjoy a cup of coffee just as if you were at a friend’s house. You may even have the opportunity to adopt a cat.
To date, there are no dog cafés but more outdoor patios allow dogs to sit near their owners while dining Al Fresco. When I do this with my dogs, I am amazed at the social interaction that takes place and the wonderful stories that we tell about our pets.
Just imagine the entertaining stories being told about feline frenzy at the new Cat Cafés!
Although many of us are taking selfies these days, we still have an array of holiday and vacation photos to share.
Teens have flocked to the “snap” of sending annotated photos that disappear in a few seconds. This idea may not appeal to everyone but it certainly has found its customer base.
This year, Snapchat has been valued at $10 billion. Last year, Snapchat turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook.
Users send more than 700 million disappearing snaps a day and more than 500 million stories are viewed every day.
Currently, Snapchat is developing a way for advertisers to share disappearing stories.
Ads will “snap” in and out, influencing our purchases, before you know it.
The “New Napa”, led by the next generation of wine producers in Napa Valley, CA, caters to the tastes and budget of Millennials.
In particular, names such as Taken, Available or Complicated, produced by Taken Wines, double as status updates and are a perfect pairing for the social media generation. One “Like” can escalate to 5000 “Likes” very quickly.
This shift to more value-driven wines, that catch the attention of the younger generations as well as cost-conscious customers, is a smart move that could be essential to the Valley’s future success.
Startups and small businesses offering customers fresh ideas to improve their lives are increasing their value and succeeding.
At this time of year, many of us become more practical by focusing on self-improvement and decreasing our discretionary spending on wining, dining and entertainment.
Businesses that capitalize on seasonal shifts in customer attitudes, habits and spending by filling in gaps in the market should be a hit with customers.