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13 Reasons We Won't Miss 2016

Culture

It's pretty undisputed that 2016 was a rough year. Not only was it a leap year, which is notoriously wrought with bad vibes, but it was also the year of the monkey, which for the Chinese means it’s a tricky time to say the least. Bottom line is 2016 was a year that tested our very humanity. We experienced a litany of emotions, and a lot of deeply upsetting and unsettling news headlines. Through it all we told ourselves it couldn't get worse, and it always seemed to.


As we turn the corner into 2017, we looked back at the 13 reasons we are ready to bid adieu to this year, and step boldly into the next.

The Bad News

1. Brexit Sets The Tone

The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, and caused an unexpected ripple effect in the global economy. Experts say that Brexit has already caused volatility in global stock markets and affected the value of the dollar, which on one hand makes it stronger, but on the other means product prices also go up, causing a negative effect for US trade and manufacturing. Brexit really set the tone for a year of unprecedented global happenings, which are still unfolding now.

2. Angelina and Brad Call It Quits

Courtesy of International Business Times

We were in shock when we found out Hollywood’s most beautiful, philanthropic-minded, child-rearing couple called it quits. The effervescent “cool but hot girl” and the handsome chill husband seemed the perfect pair, even for the most dubious believers of happy endings. We admit that the multitude of Jennifer Aniston memes were funny, but they couldn’t make the shock go away, and we were all left wondering who will be our everlasting Hollywood love story after all?

3. Election Disaster

Nothing has felt exactly the same since November 11. After prepping to welcome the first female president with premature election parties around the country, millions were left with gaping mouths as Presidential underdog Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in a stunning election upset. And upset we were. For those looking for silver linings, there has been an impressive rise in grassroots efforts which will benefit important causes concerned citizens are committed to keeping around regardless of who sits in the White House.

4. The Swell of Terrorism

From the horrific events in Nice and Brussels to the tragedy which unfolded at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub, our hearts were shattered over and over this year as we watched a swell in violence like we’ve not seen before. We encourage everyone to donate to causes that help support our friends in Syria, as well as any victims from this past year’s detestable levels of violence.

5. Samsung and Apple’s “7” Editions

Although the new iPhone didn’t spontaneously combust like more than 100 Samsung Galaxy Notes 7 did, we weren’t fans of Apple's “upgraded” design and lack of a headphone jack. And the headphones themselves? We lost them before we even bought them.

6. Wells Fargo Sells Our Souls

Who knew bankers had the ability and the gaul to open more than 1.5 million deposit accounts on behalf of customers who never authorized them? Bankers went as far as to create fake PIN numbers and open fake emails to make the accounts seem legit. The bank formerly known as Wachovia dealt with the massive scandal by firing over 5,000 employees, and dropping credit card quotas for bankers.

7. Zika Virus Panic

Although Zika is technically no longer a a global health emergency, thousands of outbreaks and birth defects were attributed to this mosquito-born disease which has affected people in almost every country in the Western hemisphere and almost contributed to canceling the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

8. Saying Goodbye To Legends

We lost so many icons this year, including David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Gene Wilder, Bill Cunningham, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Harper Lee, Florence Henderson, Alan Thicke, Prince, George Michael and Mohammed Ali. Just another reason 2016 was incredibly hard on all of us.

9. Pokemon Go Interrupts Human Life

Let’s just say it, mixing reality with virtual reality isn’t a great mix with every day life. To wit, Pokemon Go made things get weird. The craze left in its wake plenty distracted straphangers and even contributed to accidents and violent interactions across the country. Maybe real life scenarios aren’t the best locations for testing out VR.

10. Nasty Gal Bubble Pops

Despite raising over $65 million since it launched a decade ago, Nasty Gal claimed bankruptcy in November, much to the chagrin of many a funky clothes lover and #Girlboss fan. According to experts, expect more 2006-era start-ups to encounter difficult times ahead, as many burned through their funding without a solid revenue growth plan for reinvention.

11. Magazines Go The Way of The Dodo Bird

elite.style

It’s been nothing but bad news for the publishing industry the past few years, and 2016 was no exception. This year we lost Self, More, Complex, Mental Floss, Bloomberg Pursuits and Fitness. Further adding to our concern that magazines will be extinct in our life time, this fall Conde Nast condensed its staff, combining its creative and copy teams across the company.

12. Hacking
When it comes to hacking, this year was one for the books. Among the hacking incidents (which affected executives, celebrities, corporations, and civilians alike) across the country, were some doozies. One included the bitcoin theft of more than $65 million in cybercurrency, and another came just this past month when Russian hackers broke into more than 300,000 cash registers in hotels, stores and restaurants. Obama’s order for an investigation into Russian election-related hacking, only made us panic further.

13. Self Driving Cars

Until recently Uber passengers could choose a self-driving option, but authorities have put the kabach on the whole thing until more testing is completed. We’re not sure if this is good news or bad news, but we certainly are worried about potential ramifications of a fleet of driverless cars driving around.

Silver Linings

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1. Leonardo Wins
The actor was finally awarded for his immense talent with an Oscar for his role in The Revenant. Not only did Leo get the recognition he deserved in 2016, but it was also the year he released Before The Flood, which offers some profound truths about climate change and proves Leonardo is one of the Hollywood guys who gets it.
 
2. The Olympics
We got teary eyed when watching the opening ceremony and of course, the inclusion of the event’s first refuge group. With a whopping 121 medals (61 of which were won by women), the US showed some serious sports skills, and made us long for high school field day. With 46 golds, 37 silvers, and 38 bronzes, Team USA topped the metal count in every category, a feat that last happened in 1948.
 
3. Drone Deliveries Are A Thing
7-11 and Amazon have debuted drone delivery services, and we couldn’t be more excited about it. Just when we thought it would never get better than Prime…
 
4. Hamilton Takes Over
Kudos to director, Lin-Manuel Miranda, for making history cool again. After setting a new record for most money earned in a week on Broadway ($3.3 million to be exact) and winning 11 well-deserved Tony Awards, it’s refreshing to know our fellow man voluntarily patronized the theater to learn more about our forefathers. Even though Alexander Hamilton is the man behind the Electoral College, which we do admit we old against him at the moment, we can’t wait until a time we can actually afford to see his story on stage.
 
5. Harriet Tubman Gets The 20
It’s not that we don’t like Andrew Jackson, but we are truly excited with the news that the abolitionist and humanitarian, Harriet Tubman will be the first African American woman on US currency. (Although, bummer alert: we may not actually see the new bills until a decade from now).
 
6. A New Level of Diversity
Gorgeous women like Nura Afia and Halima Aden proved that a headscarf can be an alluring accessory, while James Charles turned traditional gender roles on its head by signing on as CoverGirl’s first “cover boy” ambassador. What do they all have in common? They’re changing minds all over the world about what it means to be beautiful.
 
7. Flower Blooms In Space
In January, a zinnia grew on the International Space Station via NASA’s high tech veggie facility. This is the first time a flower has actually bloomed outside our atmosphere (well the first we know about anyway), and we are excited about the implications for sustainable space travel.
 
8. Television Upgrades
From Stranger Things to Black Mirror to West World, 2016 was a good year for time-wasting, make-you-think television.
 
9. Septuagenarian Gives Birth
This May a seriously fertile 70 year old woman from India gave birth to a healthy baby boy. All of you single women can take a deep breath. You’ve still got time!
 
10. Avocados Get An Emoji
Millennials breathed a collective side of relief when they finally had an emoji to accompany their “I know the guac isn’t free” messages. We were also happy to see a block of cheese, diversified female professions (we see you Emoji judge and firefighter) and of course, the eye roll we have all been waiting for.
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Business

How I Turned my Fine Art Drawings into a Temporary Tattoo Empire

I have always been in love with all things art- I was obsessed with drawing and painting before I was even walking. In high school, I started a career selling art through various gallery art shows and on Etsy. I then went on to study fine arts at the University of Southern California, with an emphasis in painting, but took classes in ceramics, printmaking, cinema and architecture to get a really well-rounded education on all sorts of art.

During my senior year of college, my career path went through a huge transition; I started my own temporary tattoo brand, INKED by Dani, which is a brand of temporary tattoos based on my hand-drawn fine art designs.


The idea for the brand came one night after a themed party at college. My friends, knowing how much I loved drawing, asked me to cover them in hand-drawn doodles using eyeliner. The feedback from that night was overwhelming, everyone my friends saw that night was obsessed with the designs. In that moment, a lightbulb went off in my head... I could do some completely unique here and create chic temporary tattoos with an art-driven aesthetic, unlike anything else on the market. Other temporary tattoo brands were targeted to kids or lacked a sleek and millennial-driven look. It was a perfect pivot; I could utilize my fine arts training and tattoos as a new art medium to create a completely innovative brand.

Using the money I made from selling my artwork throughout high school and college, I funded the launch of INKED by Dani. I had always loved the look of dainty tattoos, but knew I could never commit to the real thing, and I knew my parents would kill me if I got a tattoo (I also knew that so many girls must have that same conflict). Starting INKED by Dani was a no-brainer.

I started off with a collection of about only 10 designs and sold them at sorority houses around USC. Our unique concept for on-trend and fashion-forward tattoos was spreading through word of mouth, and we quickly started growing an Instagram following. I was hustling all day from my room, cold calling retailers, sending blind samples and tons of emails, and trying to open up as many opportunities as I could.

Now, we're sold at over 10,000 retail locations (retailers include Target, Walmart, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 and Hot Topic), and we've transformed temporary tattoos into a whole new form of wearable art.

My 4 best tips for starting your own business are:

  1. Just go with your gut! You'll never know what works until you try it. Go day by day and do everything in your power to work toward your goals. Be bold, but be sure to be thoughtful in your actions.
  2. Research your competitors and other successful brands in your category to determine how you can make your product stand out. Figure out where there is a need or hole in the market that your new offering or approach can fill.
  3. Don't spread yourself too thin. Delegate where possible, and stay focused each day on doing the best and most you can. Don't get too caught up in your end goal or the big picture to a point where it overwhelms or freezes you. You're already making a bold move to start something new, so try to prioritize what's important! I started off in the beginning hand packing every single tattoo pack that we sold and shipped. If I wanted to scale to align with the level of demand we were receiving, I needed to make the pivot to mass produce and relinquish the control of doing every step myself. I am a total perfectionist, so that was definitely hard! From that point on, overseeing production has been a huge part of my daily schedule, but by doing so I've been able to free up more time to focus on design, merchandising, and sales, allowing me to really focus on growing the business.
  4. Prioritize great product packaging and branding. It's so important to invest time in customer experience- how customers view and interact with your product. The packaging is just as important as the actual product inside! When we were starting off, we had high demand, and I definitely jumped the gun a bit on packaging so we could deliver product to the retailers when they wanted it. Since then, we've completely revamped the packaging into something upscale and unique that reflects what the brand is all about. Our product packaging is always called out as being one of our retailers' and customers' favorite part of our product!