Posts tagged with "Expensive"

A new kind of ‘Goop’: Marie Kondo’s new website sells highly curated items that ‘spark joy’

November 21, 2019

Just as actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s website, Goop, sells curated—and expensive—items in a “shop of clean beauty, fashion, and home”  (think: Luxe Brass Fire Extinguisher for $250), now decluttering expert Marie Kondo is producing a lifestyle platform that offers pricey products that will “spark joy” (think: cement live edge bowl for $145).

In her best-selling book and popular Netflix series, both entitled, Tidying Up With Marie Kondothe Japanese organizing consultant advises clients to clean up their homes (and, by extension, their lives) by decluttering and getting rid of excess junk so that they can be happier and healthier overall.

But isn’t buying new stuff at an online store just a way to clutter up again? It seems counter-intuitive.

“The shop came about because I always like to share how I tidy every day, and in the process of doing that, I always ask myself, ‘Well, why do we tidy in the first place?’ The answer is to live a life that sparks joy,” Kondo told Fortune Magazine in a recent interview.

Kondo explained that she received a lot of queries and feedback from fans about the products she uses  on an everyday basis, and this is meant to be reflected in the catalog of items.

“When something sparks joy, you should feel a little thrill, as if the cells in your body are slowly rising,” is just one of the Kondo quotes serving as taglines for the collection.

The collection will launch with approximately 150 items, ranging in price from $10 to $300, applying to various situations that one might encounter around the home and organized by activity—dinner parties, bathing routines, aromatherapy, and purification rituals. Kondo helps illustrate the concept of a purification ritual with a tuning fork ($50)—among her favorite products included in the collection—which she uses to purify the air in her home

Among Kondo’s other favorite items are incense and a donabe (a $150 Japanese clay pot described by Bon Appetit  magazine as a “one-pot wonder”), which she uses on a daily basis. As Kondo explains, it’s one of the oldest types of cooking vessels in Japan; and in the wintertime, it’s Japanese tradition to have a “donabe party,” at which hosts have their friends and family over, make a big pot with vegetables and tofu, and share it over conversation.

Each item was chosen for its ability to enhance the owner’s daily rituals and inspire a joyful lifestyle. They come from brands deemed to specialize in simple, elegant design across categories, including kitchenware, decor, bath essentials, and aromatherapy. And of course, there are be tidying products, including trays, shelves, and baskets.

“They are ‘tidy chic’ because even your dustpan should spark joy,” notes a spokesperson for the brand.

Arguably, it may seem counterintuitive that the next step for KonMari is encouraging followers to go out and buy more stuff, especially given the fervor to start spring cleaning in midwinter earlier this year.

“That’s something we carefully considered, of course,” Kondo replies. “For me, the emphasis is not on trying to throw out as much as possible but to choose what sparks joy for you. The ultimate goal with my method is for people to really hone their sensitivity to what sparks joy for them so they can make a considered, cautious purchase.”

In regards to how this should work, Kondo advises that you first finish tidying. Once you’ve done that, you might then consider looking at the shop. “It’s not my intention at all to encourage you to buy something that is redundant to you,” Kondo explains.

The collection will went live online on Monday, November 18, via KonMari.com, with new products expected to be added monthly.

Kondo offers a closing piece of advice: “I know it’s an odd thing for a founder to say—they’re lovely products—but don’t overbuy! Tidy first, and then consider the products.”

Research contact: @FortuneMagazine

Shine on: A diamond made from the ashes of the dearly departed sparks joy at a proposal

August 23, 2019

When a girl gets engaged, there’s nothing she wants more than to celebrate with family and friends. But what if one of those dearest to her already has passed on?

The departed—either human or pet—can still help “spark joy” during this special time; thanks to Eterneva, a company based in Austin, Texas,  that creates lab-grown diamonds out of the carbon from remains.

One Diamond Girl (as singers Seals & Crofts would say) from Viera, Florida, learned all about the joys of wearing an Eternava engagement ring, when she was presented with one during a surprise proposal by her now-fiancé, Paul Vasso.

As The New York Times reported on August 22, Shayla Mansfield gets a lot of compliments on her diamond engagement ring. She always has the same response when she does. “Thank you, it’s actually my mother’s ashes,” says Mansfield, 29.

The bride-to-be’s mother, Shirley Mansfield, died on December 29, 2017, at age 58, from acute myeloid leukemia, the Times says; but Shayla’s longtime boyfriend was not about to leave her out of the pre-wedding revelry.

Shortly after Shayla’s much-loved mom died, Vasso saw a Facebook post that a friend shared about turning the ashes of loved ones into a diamond. After getting permission (and a portion of Shirley’s ashes) from the rest of Shayla’s family—and swearing them to secrecy—Vasso asked Eterneva to make the center stone for Shayla’s engagement ring.

Adelle Archer, 28, a founder of Eterneva, which is still a startup after two years in business, told The New York Times that the company has helped other couples transform the ashes of loved ones. “People say diamonds are forever and they’re the symbol of love and permanence,” she said. “How much more meaningful could it get than to have somebody that you hold dear, that can’t be there on your wedding day, to get to be part of that commitment that you make?”

And Eterneva is not the only firm that is capitalizing on the hereafter. LifeGem, which is based in Des Plaines, Illinois, began its ashes-to-diamonds operation in 2002. Dean VandenBiesen, 56, a company founder, said he is proud he is able to provide a personal way to pay homage to a loved one. “It brings a measure of comfort, which I think is kind of a big deal in a very difficult time,” he said.

LifeGem’s showroom allows people a chance to learn more about the process. It involves using extreme heat in a vacuum induction furnace to convert the carbon material to graphite. The graphite is then placed into a diamond press that mimics the forces deep within the earth and allows diamond crystals to form.

Only a relatively small amount of ashes are required to grow a diamond. Ms. Archer of Eterneva says a typical cremation will yield eight to 10 cups and that a half-cup can generate “at least a couple of grams of carbon,” more than enough to yield multiple diamonds. Eterneva sends back any unused ashes to customers or will store a loved one’s remains on site for an indefinite time in case the need to create a replacement diamond ever arises.

According to the Times report, because the diamonds are grown one at a time, and come in a variety of colors, they can be pricey. For $2,490, Eterneva’s clients will get a 0.1- to 0.19-carat accent diamond. It’s $20,199 for a black diamond 1.0 to 1.24 carats; this is the most expensive and difficult to produce of all the colors, according to Ms. Archer. LifeGem’s top-tier diamonds are $24,999 for a 1.5-carat red or green variety.

Research contact: @nytimes

Juice cleanses: Less about health and more about image

May 16, 2018

It’s nearly bikini season in North America—and 58% of U.S. women are convinced that the best way to look like “a tall drink of water” at the beach would be to try a juice cleanse, based on findings of a recent poll by Civic Science.

However, interestingly enough, women also comprise 63% of those who already have done a juice cleanse—but say they will never repeat the experience.

Could juice cleanse expectations and the actual experience be two very different things? That could be a possibility, especially given the fact that only 3% of U.S .adults do juice cleanses regularly. Clearly, this activity appeals to a very specific crowd.

So who are these regular juice cleansers, how are they different from those who haven’t done one, but are interested—and what could be getting in the way of more U.S. adults jumping on the juice cleanse bandwagon?

Given the inflated price tag attached to most cleanses, the Civic Science researchers started with a look at income. Of those who juice regularly, 49% make more than $100,000 a year, confirming the notion that juice cleanses are far from cheap. However, that still leaves 35% who regularly cleanse and make under $50,000 a year.

Next, the pollsters also asked whether “juicers” generally were more interested than others in eating a healthful diet. Not exactly. In fact, fully 34% of those who have never participated in a cleanse (and have no desire to do so) actually think they already are healthy eaters.

And, in an unexpected twist, 44% of regular juice cleansers say they do not eat healthfully because they don’t have time, or it’s too much work.For this group, the ease of reaching into the fridge and grabbing the next bottle of juice is something they can commit to.

But, could toting that bottle of juice during the day be more about carrying the juice to create a certain (high-income level) image, than about drinking the juice to experience health benefits? While Civic Science isn’t judgmental, the data could indicate that this is the case.

What’s more, the pollsters found that there are also some interesting distinctions between juice cleansers and non-juice cleansers when it comes to visiting the doctor. They discovered that 53% who have not yet tried a cleanse, but plan to, see their doctors once or twice annually.

Just out of curiosity, Civic Science compared the juice cleanse question to a question regarding experience with elective cosmetic or weight-loss surgery.

Their instincts were correct: 39% of regular juice cleansers have had elective surgery for aesthetic or weight-loss purposes, while 35% of those interested in juice cleanses have not had a cosmetic or weight loss surgery, but would like to one day.

This aspiration aspect, combined with the fact that Millennials comprise 56% of regular juice cleansers, pointed the researchers toward the conclusion that the juice cleanse might be more about image than health, after all.

While price is one factor that can inhibit interested individuals from trying out a juice cleanse, for those who are committed, the benefits may be less about adopting a healthy lifestyle and more about looking the part.

Research contact: laurnie@civicscience.com