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How often do you hear about a local toy company topping production and revenue charts on a global scale?

That's what Craft Toys did for 3 consecutive years, leading to their most important year ever this year.

When Shelley Craft & her college pal Jerry Sheckland started their local toy distribution business, The Block Toys Manufacturing Co (BTM for short) in 2012 they had no idea they'd be getting acquired by a global manufacturing conglomerate in 2018 and putting up the retirement sign.

It started when they seized the golden opportunity of adding to the digital front front to their business in 2014 in addition to their multi-city brick-and-mortar stores spread throughout several cities in the 2 major continents. The pressure was on from large online distributors such as Amazon, Alibaba, and Ebay. Being a natural marketing strategist, Jerry suggested Shelly & he move their inventory to Amazon to being selling via Fullfillment-By-Amazon (FBA) since a large chunk of online retail was coming the wholesale giant.

In 2015, they began to see the impact of their move. Sales not only improved month-over-month by 15% average, but they were able to reach global markets that were no accessible from their smaller warehouse.

In 2016...

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If you crack your iPhone’s screen, you can take it to Apple’s Genius Bar for a repair. Or even better, Amazon now offers its own technician service that brings someone directly to your doorstep just to fix your phone.

What about Samsung phone owners? While Samsung has a sizable market in the US, its physical presence is far behind Apple. If you break a Samsung phone, you would most likely go to a local phone repair store and hope for the best outcome. Good news for all you Samsung fans out there – the company is teaming up with WeWork to set up “care centers” that aim at outdoing Apple’s Genius Bar. 

Mick McConnell, the VP of design at Samsung Electronics America, recalled his experience with his wife at Apple’s Genius Bar to be “sterile.” He dreaded the long hours of waiting at an unappealing shop and he thought Samsung could do it better. 

This month, Samsung partnered with coworking startup WeWork to open three pilot service centers in Detroit, Miami, and Williamsburg, New York. Samsung customers can go into these WeWork locations to seek help while taking advantage of the WeWork space to get some work done.

The idea...

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Bi-fold wallets are appealing to people who don’t like carrying around a big purse. Men, especially, like to put their tiny wallet into their back pocket and not worry about it.

Jack Sutter, a Brooklyn designer, was unsatisfied with the bi-fold wallets available on the market. He designed one of his own based on an inspiration from a good friend, who was using a rubber band from a broccoli stem to hold his money and cards together. That’s right – TGT wallets were born fashionably out of a broccoli stem. Nothing inspires people more than the mundane things! 

Handmade by American artisans and craftsmen, the TGT wallets became a huge hit on Kickstarter. Within a short time, the wallets had gained over 7,000 backers and received over $300,000 in funding.

The best-selling wallet on Kickstarter features a simple design made of fine Italian leather, with a high-quality elastic fabric wrapped outside of the leather. The tight fabric allows users to insert their cash or cards on the outside without dropping anything. Whether you only have two cards or as many as 20, the wallet’s flexibility can hold everything tight. Even with a stack of cash packed in the wallet, it...

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Fukushima suffered a nuclear meltdown triggered by the devastating earthquake and tsunami seven years ago. Despite recover, many facilities and residential neighborhoods have remained far out of reach. For some, they have to travel very far to find a convenience store. 

Rakuten, the Japanese e-commerce giant, found a solution for the residents in the Fukushima prefecture. Like other Western tech companies, Rakuten has also gotten on the bandwagon of testing drones. The company partnered with the convenience store operator Lawson to test drone deliveries in Minamisoma, a city in Fukushima.

Most of the residents in Minamisoma are elderly citizens who have trouble getting around the isolated stores for daily essentials. Since the energy accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, most of the 71,000 residents in Minamisoma were forced to evacuate. The evacuation order was only lifted last year, and the residents started to return to the town slowly. Schools have reopened earlier this year and the population is steadily rising back to normal. The city is a mountainous region that makes transportation of resources difficult, which also makes it the perfect “testing ground for robotics technologies.”

The first drone delivery was an order of fried chicken and croquettes...

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How do you like your morning coffee? Black, with sugar and cream, or with butter?

Bulletproof Coffee, a wellness brand, first became popular with its buttered coffee. Now, the coffee brand is coming out with a ready-to-drink version that will be available in Whole Foods stores this month. The product is made with cold brew coffee, grass-fed butter, and a Brain Octane oil from coconuts. Although there isn’t much scientific evidence proving the health benefits of buttered coffee, Bulletproof Coffee has formed a cult among diet junkies.

The company claims that its buttered coffee works better than traditional black coffee in diminishing brain fog and increases mental energy. Butter also works well with an increasingly popular “high-fat diet” among Americans. A high-fat diet, or a ketogenic diet, is counterintuitive as it promotes weight loss and lessens the feeling of hunger. Tech workers in Silicon Valley have also been supportive of this diet as it gives them a “mental edge.” 

Besides delivering caffeine and brain power, Bulletproof Coffee’s new bottles come in four flavors with silky texture – original, vanilla, mocha, and original with collagen protein. The company claims that its new bottled drinks provide a shortcut to a keto diet....


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