Aug 31, 2013

No-Brand Branding

I think any marketing / business books will say branding is very very very important. It applies to all, not only business. But let me not preach on that as I'm kind of anti-brand. I mean I have nothing against branding, it's just there is something how it is done, which I don't know how to articulate, that kind of leaves a bad aftertaste.

I've been thinking about branding "seriously" for quite some time already, ever since I committed to "work" on runroo. I was hoping of making "runroo" a brand that stands for the running community, it's about the people out there running, doing the impossible, getting on what they want / like without a care about how others sees it. But I think I miserably failed at it when some would comment to me that it's "runroose" (rose is my name), or everyone would point me as "runroo." Sometimes, I would find myself explaining that "no, runroo is not about me. it's about you!" But I would just be greeted with confused look. So I gave up! And, so when someone told me I'm runroo, I would just accept it as it. For me, it was a failed branding job! I was hoping that when (very few) people would think about runroo, they would think about their friend, their neighbor, the other athletes or weekend runners who inspires them... and not me the annoying chismosa poser runner.

What makes it fail? That's another long debate with myself.

So the kind of branding I kind of admire to is "threadless." I mean others may see the brand differently. But for me, I see threadless as "not threadless" itself. But I see it as my artists' friends (I'm the only one claiming to be friend of the.). I mean, I don't buy threadless because its threadless. I buy it because I see the artists' passion and part of their selves put to it. I mean the artists who are putting their design there are not "designing" for threadless (I'd like to believe this is the case.) but for what they believe in or what's in their "hearts." Unlike probably in other labels where artists are asked to design for the "label's personality," what the label believed in. I'm not underestimating those artists who work for certain labels. And, I'm not against how labels do it. It's "branding" after all.

So when I buy a design in threadless, it's like a like to the "artist's" work and passion, not threadless. Unlike, when you buy a binch shirt because Anne Cortez wore it.

Anyhoo, there probably is no difference at all. I'm just making it complicated.

So I'm currently having that far-away look as to how to do it. We've been meaning to do tech shirts and stuff for runroo, (also pls watch out for which probably i should stop talking about or else it will be associated again with me. feelers lang!). But I'm stumped as to how to go about it. One is that I'm not really into the idea of adding yet to the habit of consumerism, which is, of course, another issue I need to settle with myself. I probably cannot sell if I don't like to sell. Funny, these look more like a personal issue than a branding problem. But yeah, I guess, how do you make it worthwhile?

(The reason why the shirts below: one shirt has a runroo, and other has none. This design is by Mark Deustch of Happy Garaje.)
We got a few ideas. The next question will be is that it's definitely going to take a lot of time from us, who are already quite short on time. But as they say "limitation is an advantage."

Now back to branding, I noticed that it's probably a Pinoy thing that we want to be associated with a kind of brand. Or, I guess it's human nature. The way how I wanted the branding to be, it's probably going to be a struggle.

We had one time approached a reliable "supplier" but we kind of back out because they wanted to print their brand on the shirt. On a thought, having their brand on the shirt is actually a good marketing strategy, because they have a more popular brand. It's in a way a free marketing. But somehow, it just not stand with how we wanted to shape "it.'

So, yeah, I finally am able to put these random thoughts down. Talking like a pro... mo girl! =) 

Aug 29, 2013

F OOTD: the wet (market) look

I love shopping, and getting dirty! I mean dirty in a sexy kind of way! :) And so wet market is the perfect shopping place for me! I go there at least twice a week for my dose of retail therapy!

Forgive my husband for ruining this perfect moment! But that's me in my most glam wet market spree attire!

This one a better shot.
It's marang season!

Outfit: shirt not from Beach shorts from roxy or billabong, the logo's gone after hundred timea of washing. Flipflops from ipanema (spelling?). Fruits, vegetables, meat, fish from the lovely manongs and manangs that look like me! :) that's why i so belong! Next time, i will wear a shirt to inspire the manangs and manongs about art and fashion!

MU: no make-up, only natural perfume from the wet market!

Aug 28, 2013

F OOTD: couple shirts

Long time ago, few asked me why mark and i wear the same shirts. 

There was no romantic reason behind. It's because:
* Mark is lazy. So he just picked 2 of the same design everytime threadless was having sale back back then. Note that we're now on :)
* I want to annoy Mark so I'd wear the design he'd wear. 
* To strengthen our relationship!!! 

Outfit: male and female shirts by I need to ask the designer the story of the design.
Male and female boobs. Man boobs not from

MU: MOR lip macaron, a pasalublong way from down south australia from a friend! Colgate for our teeth!

So get now couple shirts from! If you don't have a partner, well, at least you have a couple shirt! :) 

Aug 27, 2013

OOTD: Everyday Look

My fashion is stuck in college. Just change the color of the shirt, and it's my everday uniform.

Outfit: shirt by !!! Bag by an online seller friend who swears it's an original longchamp on a fake price! Red laptop sleeves just to add color to this OOTD post. Hair accessory from my daughter's collection. Jeans, my one and only, from giordiano coz their 30 fits me! :)

MU: some revlon lipstick that looks like a pencil! :)

Aug 26, 2013

A reader at home?

I don't want to make a big deal out of it because it might get jinx. But I'm feeling such a proud mother to see Meg in a frequent random acts of "reading."

It's not unusual that Meg would sometimes ask for the headlamp to
read some fairytale books to make her self fall asleep. But it's a bit different when she picks up every night the "whimpy kid diary" book which was bought by Migi years ago.

Then she tags it along with her when we go out.

Then sometimes she arrives in a different car pool from her kuya because she got left behind. She was left behind because she sneaked into their library.

We had to get her another library card as she lost it.

And, I just learned via eavesdropping in their conversation that she's the president of their Aesop's club. It's like a book club in their school.

Aug 24, 2013

Ootd: boyfriend shirt

I don't have a boyfriend. But then i can wear a boyfriend shirt, and pretend to have one! And, hey, I look more manly than any other boyfriend out there.

Outfit: can u read the words? Congrats, you're not color blind! And most of all, it matches the pillow.

MUA: did not arrive

Aug 23, 2013

OOTD: Smootee Teaser

Haters gonna hate... 
But before that, i need haters!!!

Outfit: pregnancy shirt worn inside out and nothing more. Less is fab-ly!
MU artist: God

Check! :)

Aug 22, 2013

Aug 13, 2013

Wealthy People Don't Flaunt Their Stuff...

With the bash on Napoles daughter for flaunting her stuff on social media, a lot of people are commenting that real rich people don't flaunt their expensive stuff.

But why?!?

* because real wealth is their brains, and what made them up, which is hard to visually flaunt.
* because wealthy people aim for things / goals that they cannot mostly achieve, like "world peace"
* because expensive stuff is nothing new, and nothing out of ordinary for them
* because they know that they owe whatever they have to a lot of people, and flaunting them is not the best way to be thankful about it.

Speaking like a real rich diva!!!

Our mansion, I could not afford!

Aug 11, 2013

Book wither

Lately, I feel I badly need to read a book again. After writing in and out about running, I felt I needed to see a different view. (I did recently finished a book, sneaker wars, but it's a bit related to running so it does not count.)

There's no problem in books. The problem is there are too many books.

But my bigger problem is that I felt I had read all kinds of books. And I feel that all other books i want to read are more or less will have the same thoughts.

Like I read "founders at work," "coders at work," and now I see there's "vc at work," which I fancy to read but it seems duh. 

I fancy reading Churchill(sp?) but I had read Fidel Castro, and i feel like there's no other stupider , in a wicked way, political personality than him.

I also think of reading entrepreneurship / marketing kind of books but gawd, I think I read too many of that genre, I want to puke just thinking of yet another seth godin book.

Mark told me that I should be reading a book. Well, I don't have a kindle, that kindle that glows in the dark. Lame excuse, ikr! :)

Anyhoo, at the start of long weekend, I tried to pick some books. But no one stood out thus I cannot decide!

I read a few books about Steve Job's that somehow I already knew the story of Pixar.

Richard Branson book. I never read one branson book but mark had probably read all his books, and narrated them all to me.

There's a "eat, sleep, ride" book. I see them all in real life in different forms, I certainly need some time away from them.

Then a mashed of start-ups and marketing books!

Can you reeally blame me I just don't feel like pouring myself to a book?!?

Aug 9, 2013

Migi's Birthday Presents

On our way to the doctor's clinic for a consultation, Migi had been repeatedly suggesting that we should buy his birthday gift after the doctor's visit. His birthday will be this Saturday. I acted busy so as to pretend that I did not hear him. But Migi did not stop. To silence him, I told him that he should tell his papa instead about his plan.

I was avoiding his request as I did not like the idea of buying cars or robots or games, which probably would be as good as trash after a week.

But he just won't stop. So I asked him what birthday gift does he want. He said "monopoly."

That made me happy; I felt buying an entire shelf of board games! #chos For once, it was not the usual cars or robots he would typically ask for a gift. But i felt bad at the same time that I kind of underestimated him.

It was a long line to the doctor, so we whille away our time by getting him something to eat. It was already 3pm. He opted for hotdog sandwich at Flame It. 

When finally we got into the doctor's room, it was a quick one. He advised us to go to a "hearing testing" lab. (We went to Dr. Dennis Amparado, an EENT.)

At that point, I started to feel worried. I was really hoping that Migi was wrong all the time when he complained that one of his ears cannot hear. And, that the doctor would confirmed what I was thinking. But it was not the case. Migi had probably not made up when he said it started when he was 5 years old. 

It was already 5:15. I quickly contacted the hearing lab, and inquired if they're still open.

Luckily, they're still open up to 6pm. Luckier, they're just one block away. 

But not so lucky, the hearing test result showed indeed Migi's right ear is not working perfectly.

Devastated I was. I was trying hard to stop myself from crying at the laboratory. By default, I felt and feel so guilty. Maybe i'm really such one lousy mother! 

Why why why?!? Will he be outcasted? Will he be made fun of? Will the girl no
Longer like to have him as a boyfriend? 

Since it's holiday today, it will still be this monday when I could get answers to all my why's and what will be. 

And, tomorrow's Migi's 9th birthday!

At the lab, after heAring about the result, while I was mopping, Migi was just his usual self even after he knew about the problem in his right ear. He read the literatures about hearing loss posted in the lab without a trace of worry or sadness in him. 

Then after, being Migi, he then gave me a detailed instruction as to where and how should we get his gift as if nothing happened.

It got me thinking that why would I feel him to be outcasted when he does not feel one. Why would I worry that he would be treated a lesser person when he does not see himself as such.

I'm praying that the final diagnosis will be that his hearing problem is still treatable. 

But come what may, there is no such thing as lesser or unfortunate person just because he/she is "defective." Unless, one allows it to.

Happy birthday, my 1st baby! :) You do have crazy ideas of gifts!

I promise I will write your excuse letter for your absent from the class this Monday as you said so.

Aug 7, 2013

Living without Feedback

On my way home from a quick run, I stumbled upon an elderly woman carrying a sack-full of jackfruits on her back, and some plants. I tried offering her a help but she refused it. Then, she went talking about jackfruit & coconut concoctions and other herbal stuff, conversation topic I can not resist. So I walked with her, talking about her lady boss, to plants, and back.

Then, in between our conversation, she asked me if I'm married. Then out-of-the-blue:

Manang: Manapat imong bana, 'day?
Me: Di man, mdm.
Manang: Swerte ka kay bootan imong bana.
Me: Wa man seguro'y bana nga manapat, mdm.
Manang: Naa oy. Na priso gali ko kay nisukol ko sa akong bana. Iyaha kong gibunalan sa ulo. Ako syang gi dunggab.
Then, we went on talking how she got out of the jail, until her husband died and so on and so forth.
(For non-Cebuano, the elderly woman told me she's physically abused wife, and that I was lucky because my husband is gay.)

When we parted, while waiting for Mark to pick me up because of heavy downpour and strong winds, I was thinking what was the worst abuse I got from Mark.

Physically, none. But mentally and emotionally, maybe. Living with mark can be such mentally and emotionally crasher. Mark does not send out verbal abuse. Mark does not send out any verbal feedback at all. And, if he ever send out one, it's always a feedback that would ask you to feedback yourself.

Being human, it's our nature to seek some approval. But with Mark, it's like posting a facebook status and you asked him to like it, but he would reply, "you have a computer, fb account and internet connection, why not do it your self?"

Or, you rant about something. His reply would always be "your whining does not change any thing. Why not go and do something about it?"

And, my usual "I am depressed. I hate life." His would be, then "Push back. Fight back."

Or, I want to do this, what to do. His would "Go get yourself a book. You are smart enough to read. The internet is free."

He FRUSTRATED ME!!! Talking to him / asking help from him is like hitting a dead end, or hitting my head on a wall. It's useless, and it does not make me feel any better.

I do not know if I was doing good or what.

But as they say what does not kill you will make you stronger.

I guess I reached the point that feedback no longer matters. When someone is telling you good, it means you need to do better. It's better I don't hear feedback. Because as Haruki would say "award means you're finished." (But then as society dictates, you need to be thankful of compliments and awards. Not that I have any awards though.)

Imagine eating without any sensory feedback that you are already full or you're eating bitter or too sweet? And, imagine to living a life without any feedback that we are already full or you're going the wrong and right way.

I guess it just comes to the point that every thing is right. A wrong or right is still correct, unless you go do it and prove it otherwise.

And, but you don't know what is full life. Or, does it still matter?