Ah, Blizzard Juno. The first storm of 2015. You stopped by and were generous with your self-control. Just enough snow and wind and closures to really feel like winter without rendering us immobile. I’m not tired of your residue yet. Your decorated landscape shows a knack for season-appropriate design. And the padding absorbs so many sounds yet amplifies the ones that seem most important: tiny winter birds, little claws on dry trees, wind chimes, breath of course and I am nearly convinced that if you listen closely, the passing of shadow by the hour.

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My Pseudo Writing Sabbatical, or, Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

Image courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo

It’s been one year since I’ve stopped by my own stomping ground to gain ground on my blogging. Perhaps you didn’t notice the cupboard was bare. A good hostess still leaves snacks out, but* I’ve been the good kind of busy. The working hard, securing new clients, co-launcing new businesses, completing trainings, honing new skills, documenting adventures, making new friends kind of busy. Do I get a hallway pass?

There will be two camps.

Ode to Camp Unforgiving: I appreciate the hard line drawn. If I were a better man, I’d have drawn it myself. I’ll reiterate that I don’t live right. Why bother with the if’s, but’s and whoops’s. It would have been simple to set aside a few minutes each morning and send word from me to you. Recording my lessons these last 365 days in business and life might have made for a reliable if not interesting read. Aren’t you like me? Don’t you sometimes find it difficult to write unless you make it a habit? If not daily, then regular at least? And what if you’re not so sure there’s value to share when the timer goes off?  Hapless musings to satisfy a self-imposed deadline. Yuck for all involved. Then again. Practice makes closer to perfect. The more you write, I’ve heard it said, the faster the good ideas flow. I’m down with that. I’m working on it. Be patient with me. No, don’t. I’ll get my act together and make you proud.

Ode to Camp Forgiving: That’s what I’m talking about. A little lightness. Fewer restrictions, fresh air, sunshine and time spent away from the screen is equally important as communicating the two-dimensional way. Magic has been happening whether I’m touting it or not. I haven’t had the time to write**, because I’ve been so busy doing all the things I promise to do for prospective and current clients and collaborators. Besides, since writing is ingrained in me, I can bust it out anytime.*** You knew I’d get back in the saddle someday. No hard feelings. We have plenty of time to catch up.

What’s left to do except share a peace offering and deflect the awkward attention I’ve drawn to myself by wearing the hat of Most Noble Content Curator. Look, these guys are doing well:

You Are Not So Smart

Brain Pickings


Creative Rehab

The Grommet


Bonus track: ProBlogger analyzes posting frequencies with a round-up of bloggers and why their style–frequent or not–works for them and their audience.

There. Are we even?

Procrastinators and writing wizards, share your comments below, on Facebook or on Instagram and name the super blog I forgot to mention.

*excuse ** hogwash ***be very, very careful

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Impulse and Wisdom


Paired with wisdom, impulse is your secret weapon.

Image courtesy of WikiMedia Commons. “Wisdom” mural by Robert Lewis Reid. This image is available for use and in the public domain (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wisdom-Reid-Highsmith.jpeg)


How do you pair impulse and wisdom in business? Your comments are king below. 

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The Devil Wears Snow: Interview With Founder of Ephemeral Scent

One year ago, I found CB I Hate Perfume during a Brooklyn stroll. I’ve long had snow on the brain not knowing I could hit it with a stone. Partly bred in Brooklyn, this siren was delighted to discover the mastermind of an award-winningfamous fragrance in her backyard. Now doubly delighted at the chance to meet Christopher Brosius in December–the month to discuss scent, semblance, sanity and a four letter ‘s’ word.

Image courtesy of WikiMedia Commons. “Schneekristalle” Source: German Wikipedia, original upload 23. Okt 2004 by MatthiasKabel (selfmade) (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Schneekristalle.jpg)

“Perfume is too often an ethereal corset trapping everyone in the same, unnatural shape…An opaque shell concealing everything–revealing nothing…An arrogant slap in the face from across the room…People who smell like everyone else disgust me.” ~ CB


December–the month to discuss scent, semblance, sanity and a four letter ‘s’ word.
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Me: The sense of smell? How? Why?

CB: Those especially fascinated by the psychology of smell: read Rachel Herz.

Me: How does smell effect us?

CB: While we’re constantly using our sense of smell, we very seldom–if at all–notice the impact smell has on our lives. I know of an individual who lost his ability to smell and suffered emotional trauma and depression. I know of an adult who was born without the ability to smell and through a surgical operation acquired the sense of smell. He couldn’t leave his house–the smell of everything, everywhere, was overwhelming. He hadn’t had the chance to assign qualifiers like “good” or “bad” to scents, so everything he smelled seemed overpowering and repulsive, including food.

“…we very seldom–if at all–notice the impact smell has on our lives.”
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“I know of an individual who lost his ability to smell and suffered emotional trauma and depression.”

Me: Demeter.

CB: Mmm.

Me: You’re moving.

CB: We intend to bring more art through our new space. We’ve got ideas.

Mihail Simonidi (1870 – 1933) – Winter perfume. Image courtesy of WikiMedia Commons. This work is in the public domain (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Copyright_tags#United_States)

Me: New flowers in the house.

CB: Some florals are nearly impossible to replicate due to their depth. Take tuberose, for example. I’m very pleased with this line. Granted, they’re not inexpensive due to the high cost of materials needed to produce these fragrances. Nor are they for the faint of heart due to how they differ from their commonly conjured synthetic counterparts.

Me: Winter 1972. A signature snow scent.

CB: Each fragrance conjures up different emotional reactions that may be tied to an individual’s memory. “My Birthday Cake” once brought to mind chocolate cake with pink frosted flowers and a hint of candle wax for someone who came through my store. Nothing to do with the plain, simple, unfrosted angel food cake that was my birthday cake. It’s great when someone hones into a scent and owns it.

“Each fragrance conjures up different emotional reactions that may be tied to an individual’s memory.”
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Me: Your fragrance titles lead with a notion. A simple suggestion can lead far and away from your original intention.

CB: Yes, and that’s wonderful.

Image courtesy of WikiMedia Commons.

Me: Do you have a protégée?

CB: I work with many talented people, but I can’t teach anyone what is in my head nor the way I work. When I attempt to convey what I want, my hands may wind up above my head while I’m saying “No, this way!”

Me: The devil wears snow?

CB: Yes, sometimes.

Image courtesy of WikiMedia Commons.

Love CB I Hate Perfume? Here’s your chance to show your support.

This interview is not a direct transcript and has been edited for brevity and creativity. 

Snow kings and queens: share your comments.


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It’s Business Time: 2013 Holiday Gift Guide and Contest

We’re fortunate to encounter individuals, organizations and companies doing work which we consider righteous. Our unofficial 2012 holiday gift guide launched the concept for this year’s compilation with prizes to boot. Based on our research of companies and brands we deem interesting, innovative and inspirational, we’ve asked for product submissions for our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide and Contest. The result is a chance for entrants to win featured products in this post. We hope it’s as fun and informative for you as it is for us!

November highlighted Curandera NYC (curing urban ailments), EiR NYC (named for a Norse goddess), Kharma Khare (recycled tires-cum-yoga mats) and Outlaw Yoga (helping at-risk populations). December features additional products made by companies who have agreed to share their wares with contest winners. Jingle all the way.

Image courtesy of Cole + Parker.

Cole + Parker designs swanky socks that help entrepreneurs in the developing world launch businesses through Kiva. Thrilled to reference Business Socks at every opportunity. Week to win: December 2.

Image courtesy of Mala for Vets.

Mala For Vets, founded by Chris Eder–retired US Air Force MSgt with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)–donates portions of proceeds to non-profit organizations and customizes malas such as this one to benefit Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans. This prayer bead necklace is made with obsidian–a supportive and protective stone–forming a shield against negativity. Ganesha, the Hindu elephant deity, is known as the “remover of obstacles.” What could be more positive? Week to win: December 9.

Image courtesy of Frankincense and Rose.

Frankincense and Rose blends locally sourced ingredients resulting in products intended to naturally nurture. Week to win: December 16.

Image courtesy of The Social Media Monthly

The Social Media Monthly keeps us socials on top of our game. The first and only print and digital magazine devoted exclusively to exploring social media’s impact on business, society and culture. Your year-long subscription awaits. Week to win: December 23.

Image courtesy of Kimberlyoh Designs.

Make your mark and have your initial hand-stamped on this wrist bracelet by Kimberlyoh Designs, thus launching yourself into the New Year fully in touch with your identity. This heart-of-gold artist felt compelled to reconnect to her passion, and so launched her line on ever-loving Etsy. Here’s to following our creative Calling. Week to win: December 29.

Here’s how to participate:

Folks are invited to visit our Facebook page and leave a comment as to why winning the featured product of the week would make your day OR folks may enter their comment in the comment section of this post. Winners are chosen by Urban Siren, LLC based on their compelling creativity. Prize are announced each Monday on Facebook and the weekly winner is announced each Friday on or before 5:00 p.m. EST through January 3, 2014.

Rules and Disclaimers:
  • Void where prohibited
  • This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Urban Siren, LLC is utilizing Facebook as a platform to share the contest and invite entrants to share their thoughts on each product of the week for a chance to win
  • No product purchase necessary for entry
  • Entrants must be 18 years or older
  • The contest is only open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia (excluding Puerto Rico and all other territories); prizes may only be shipped to destinations which meet this geographical criteria
  • One comment submission per entrant per prize
  • Urban Siren, LLC reserves the right to change prizes should a featured prize become unavailable
  • Entrants agree that Urban Siren, LLC may use their name in announcing the winner should the entrant win unless otherwise specified by the entrant
  • Entrants may receive a message from an Urban Siren, LLC representative requesting shipping information should their entry be chosen as the winning comment. Address, email and phone number will not be shared publicically with Urban Siren, LLC’s readership though a shipping address may be shared with a representative from the company that produces or represents the featured product for prize shipping purposes
  • Urban Siren, LLC will not use a winner’s address for any purpose other than to send a winner’s prize or share with the company that produces or represents the featured product for prize shipping purposes. Urban Siren, LLC does not accept responsibility for how the winner’s address may or may not be used by aforementioned companies
  • Urban Siren, LLC is not responsible for any prizes that do not reach their shipping destination
  • Urban Siren, LLC is in no way liable for the safety or use of products offered through this contest or on our website
  • Urban Siren, LLC waives liability for any damage or injury to persons and/or things as a result of the acceptance of the prize offered
  • Prizes are not redeemable for cash and must be accepted as is

    Image courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

    Tip: visit Federal Trade Commission’s website to learn how to protect yourself from fraudulent contests and/or unwanted solicitations

    Pst: sign up for our newsletter here to ensure you’re kept abreast of what’s happenin’ at Urban Siren, LLC

    Let the commenting begin!





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Burst My Bubble: 3 Uplifting Tips


This gallery contains 5 photos.

My bubble got burst by several colleagues in one day, the old fashioned way. Snail mail. A postal pile-up. Bang, Bang, Bang. An entrepreneurial story goes something like this: work; work harder; burn out; take break; back to work; work … Continue reading

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Clutch: Series of Soaring Toward Success (Or Not)

clutch1: (kluch) A tense, critical situation: came through in the clutch.

Our series “Clutch” tells of hard work paying off (or not) and methods used to reach goals.

Want in?

Send your stories our way.* If vices are part of your strategy, say so. Whether that means “connecting” with others on social media by checking your feed 50 times per day, endless cups of coffee (doesn’t work up in this piece), or a helpful method to the madness you’re willing to share. Use the nifty black box slidey “Contact Us” thingy on our blog to reach us and submit your story. We’ll be in touch.

Compilation launches 2014.

*We reserve the right to edit submitted stories and content. Our editorial choices are our own. BYOC**.

**Brew Your Own Coffee


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I’m not built for coffee. No matter the artsy bird sketch. It makes me feel like I need to go the hospital. #stilldrinkingit #leftoverincoffeepot #teahound #help


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Twitter on Twitter


There is hardly anything more fun than Googling “Twitter on Twitter.”

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The Art of Asking: Building Newsletter Lists

One brain-breaking bootstrap endeavor, particularly for small businesses, is authentically building newsletter lists. It’s a speedy world, yet the need to grow doesn’t trump etiquette. Few like receiving a newsletter they didn’t agree to. Read: backfire.

It’s a speedy world, yet the need to grow doesn’t trump etiquette.
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Pickle: a campaign to launch alas short on folks at the receiving end. Deadline looming, we went the “old-fashioned” route: informing colleagues about the newsletter, inviting them to opt-in or opt-out, one personalized email at a time. Arduous? Yes. Worth it? Tenfold. The campaign was a hit. A few said “Nah” while others appreciated the approach, wishing us success while taking a vested interest in our campaign. One colleague responded, “Thanks for the most wonderful opt-in email I ever received.” The “Nah’s” welcomed the power to say No. Regardless of in or out, the back-and-forth dialogue paved an exchange for what’s in our respective hoppers these days. An impromptu catch up.


Newsletters provide a great digest of our work, though they won’t trump the tailored “Hello.” Often as possible, ditch robotics. Send a note, make a call or meet for coffee. Ain’t nothin’ like the personal touch.

Often as possible, ditch robotics. Send a note, make a call or meet for coffee.
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–Offer to mention your recipient’s work if this aligns with your company culture. Sharing is caring.
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–Specify newsletter topics along with preparation schedule. Fishing for content reduces with an inbox full of fodder.
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–Share direct contact information. Better than a bubble.
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–Request feedback. Criticism and comments could build your best campaigns.
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Tips to add? Let us know in our comments section.

Here’s a template best peppered with a personal touch. Reference the 5k or the article that made you laugh.

Dear Name,

I’m launching my newsletter featuring interesting insights into the industry we share, and would very much like to add you to my recipient list. I believe you’ll find our campaigns valuable which is why I’m personally inviting your closer look. Of course, you may unsubscribe at any time. Though in lieu of leaving our list, we’d mutually benefit from your insight. How can we best serve you? With respect to your time, our newsletter is prepared on [specify day] and arrives [specify sending schedule]. Keep us posted on your projects; we are happy to spread the word about companies doing good work.
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