Yoga Travel Review – Sivananda Ashram – Bahamas

The Sivananda Ashram yoga travel retreat lies on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. A short boat ride from Nassau, the ashram truly sits in the heart of a tropical paradise. Surrounded by an authentically preserved tropical forest, the blue waters of the Atlantic, and white sand beaches, the Sivananda Ashram is aesthetically breathtaking.

Like most tropical locales, there will be mosquitoes so pack your spray. Yoga Travel tip: to ward off skeeters, eat garlic and don’t wear deodorant or perfume. Unfortunately, the same tricks that repel mosquitoes also work on humans. You decide.

Right next door to the ashram is Club Med’s Paradise Island resort. A true behemoth, Club Med boasts everything from casinos to water slides and can be quite distracting in contrast to the ideals of simple ashram life. And when the techno from the booze-cruise hits your ears when you’re trying to hold a headstand, this is certainly true. Despite the distractions, Sivananda Ashram strives hard to uphold ashram expectations, which may or may not be to everyone’s tastes.

Accommodations are simple. Just how we would expect them to be if we’re on an ashram yoga travel retreat. Reminder: its a yoga travel retreat, not a resort. Even the most expensive rooms do not have TV or internet. This atmosphere is setup with the intention of encouraging simplicity while urging you to go inside to find happiness.

The daily schedule is structured. Morning starts at 6:00am with a meditation. Asana (posture practice) is given twice per day at 8:00am and 4:00pm. The final meditation is at 8:00pm. Both meditation and asana practices are mandatory for guests. I understand the motivation behind strictness. It’s an ashram after all, however I’m not sure I agree with this approach. Bodies get tired and your heart may not be into practice at a particular time. In my opinion, no one should have to feel bad about listening to themselves with loving compassion and deciding to take a break.

Meals are given twice per day and the food is 100% vegetarian. Almost all reviews herald the quality of the food being great. Most reviews also say that there’s not enough food offered. An on-site boutique offers snacks to supplement your diet. If you have a big American appetite like me, I’d be seeing you there.

As you may already be picking up, the central theme at the Sivananda Ashram could be perceived as strictness. Depending on your religious openness, you may be turned off of the morning chants to Hindu gods. However, many yogis deep into their practice might already be accustomed to this. For me, this is fine. I don’t consider myself to be Hindu, but I understand the importance of devotion and dedication of practice.

Many people that have been to Sivananda have reported that they pick up a yogier-than-thou vibe at the ashram. You may have run into this before. Someone with a big case of yoga-snob. This is something that I completely don’t agree with. Every level of yogi, and every human being for that matter, should be honored with the same respect. After all, by yogic philosophy, we all carry the same light within us.

In summary, for some, the Sivananda Ashram is an ideal yoga travel retreat; a place for devout yogis to immerse into their practices. The rigid schedules and steadfast ideals perfectly embody the concept of an ashram. For those with more of a yoga travel ‘vacation’ in mind, this may not be the best choice.

Creating Various Fashion Styles With an Ideal Purse

It is undoubted that a fantastic purse can help to set a woman apart from the others in the crowd in a great way. Usually, the most suitable purse for us is not necessarily the most fabulous one, but the one that agrees with our own styles and personality. With an ideal purse, we can be inspired to create various fashion styles, exploring as many possibilities in the purse as possible. Thus, it is vital to select the right purse.

Considering the relationship between the purse and your body figure, you should pay attention to the shape and size of a purse to see whether it can flatter your body figure well or not. Generally speaking, a wide purse with a long strap can be an ideal choice for women who have big breasts and hope to draw attention away from the chest. For petite women, small sized round purse can be great. On the other hand, the way you carry the purse can also affect how your body shape look like. For example, if you want to look taller, then you should choose a bag that hangs lower than your waist.

The color is also a key factor that you should think about when choosing a right purse. If you are good at color matching, you must have paid great attention to the choice of accessories’ colors, which play an important role in creating a wonderful fashion style. When you pair the same clothes with purses in different colors, as a result, you can get all kinds of interesting and exciting styles.

You can get a lot of fun by exploring the many possibilities of the purse in creating various great fashion styles. However, not every purse can display the potential to match all kinds of ensemble, but only the one that suits you most can provide such a potential.

Homeowners Guide to Home Insurance Discounts, Reduced Rates and Savings

In today’s economy, many homeowners are juggling higher bills on less earnings — facing tightened family budgets in the wake of rising costs, credit limits or even job loss. Yet there’s no need to struggle with the cost of home insurance. Despite industry increases, homeowners may be able to reduce their insurance rates by as much as 30 percent.

Nevertheless, many homeowners aren’t using insurance discounts to lower rates — even those who apply discounts may qualify for more savings than they’re getting. And lowered rates are still possible, even in today’s economy.

Consider the findings reported by independent insurance agent association, Trusted Choice, in a 2009 national survey:

“53 million household respondents ‘admitted they are probably not taking advantage of all homeowners insurance discounts or said that they simply didn’t know’ about policyholder discounts they likely qualify for.”

The survey also found that the largest percentage of respondents, about 26%, estimated they save 6-10% on their insurance premiums by using discounts. In fact, many insurance consumers could be saving significantly more-as much as 30%, according to independent insurance agencies, which often shop on behalf of consumers and help them find discounts and compare rates.

Homeowners are usually aware of the more common discounts — such as a multiple policy discount to insure both home and auto under one carrier. But there are other discounts and savings they miss.

How savvy are you as a homeowner and insurance consumer?

Find out using this quick list to explore or measure your potential for insurance discounts. It’s also the knowledge you and your insurance agent need to reduce rates for savings:

  • Dual duty — Don’t overlook the most common discount available: multiple policy discounts. When the same company insures your home and car, you can probably reduce your overall insurance costs by 10 to 15 percent.
  • New home, new homeowner? The same criteria used to qualify your home for a specific mortgage is often the same that qualifies your policy for discounts.
  • Living in a gated community? Then you may be eligible for discounts. Be sure to ask about auto insurance discounts if your car is equally ‘protected’ to boot.
  • Rooftop savings — Some insurance companies offer hail resistant roof discounts for Class 4 roofs — naturally these credits may vary with locale. Moreover, be sure to ask your insurer about potential discounts before putting a new roof on your house — you’ll probably want to capture savings if available and a flat roof without roof warranty may disqualify you from your current coverage altogether.
  • Be a new policyholder — You may find additional savings extended to new customers based on new rating models that offer a ‘sign up’ discount. If your insurer extends this discount, your insurance agent might be able to capture it by applying for a new policy with the same company.
  • Your track record counts — make sure you explore discounts for home insurance customers who have a claim-free track record… when was the last time you filed a home insurance claim? A 10-year history usually qualifies you for this discount; if you’ve never filed a claim, you may save as much as 20 percent.
  • Risk reductions — Ask your agent to identify risk reduction discounts addressing a range of interior and exterior factors: fire and smoke alarms, electrical wiring, fireplace / chimney safety, heating apparatus, burglar alarms, curb and gutter system and landscaping elements. Proximity to a fire hydrant and your community’s fire department also applies.
  • Preventive maintenance and home security – Make sure your insurance agent is aware of any alarm systems or preventive measures you take to secure property and to keep your home safe. Though discount criteria varies, you may be able to get a savings of 10 to 15 percent for a combined system that may include two or more measures: deadbolt locks, lockable garages and storage buildings, fire alarms, fire sprinklers, fire extinguishers, a burglar alarm or home security system.
  • Good breeding gone bad — Like it or not, some pets have a reputation. You may adore your family pet but if Fido is a dog breed considered bite-happy or dangerous, your insurance rating may be affected or your coverage in jeopardy. Choose your pet wisely — be aware of the little issues that can turn your insurance into a big issue.
  • Score card — Expect your credit score to impact your home insurances rates. If married, you may be able to reduce your rate by listing the top scorer as the first named on the insurer’s application. Plus, if you’ve had a less-than credit score and recently improved your numbers, let your insurance agent know. You may be able to get a policy adjustment: a lower insurance rate is still possible without the need to write a new policy.
  • Raise the limit — consider the difference a deductible makes. You can probably lower your rate by raising your deductible — $2,500 is the standard deductible and you can expect a lower rate if you raise it to $5,000.
  • Agent vs. agent and the extended marketplace — Is your insurance agent an independent who can tap a broad product range? Or an agent affiliated with a name-brand company? Know the difference. Independent agents can shop around — explore options across the marketplace. Brand agents don’t usually have the same agility — they’re usually confined to the company practice or limited to brand products. Loyalty counts. Still, if you’re committed to one company brand you may be just as limited as the insurance agent who is equally missing rate reductions, discounts and savings offered by the brand’s competition.
  • ‘Home pride’ and stewardship are vital — Even many insurance agents don’t understand the role that stewardship plays in harnessing the broadest range of discounts possible. Why? The better care you take of your home, the more attractive you’ll look to insurance carriers. And the best way to harness discounts is to identify as many discounts as possible — it stands to reason that more companies mean more potential for discounts.

So, you’ll want to make sure your home qualifies for coverage from every company that offers coverage in your locale since increased competition generally decreases rates and opens your access to discounts.

In a nutshell, homeowners applying the discounts above will soon realize the many ways they can save on their home insurance — even when times are tough.

Get started on discounts for savings….

  • Shop around to compare insurance company providers and rates — what companies provide home insurance in your community?
  • Get guidance on the details — an independent insurance agent isn’t tied to one brand, so these agents can help you see the whole marketplace and get the apples-to-apples lens you need to compare products, coverage and rates.
  • Identify discounts — make sure you identify the common discounts most homeowners hit, along with other discounts that frequently miss.
  • Do the ‘homework’ — the work at home that demonstrates stewardship makes you eligible to select from the broadest insurance product range possible.
  • Optimize selection, and then maximize discounts to benefit from reduced raters and savings.

Worksite Health Promotion: A Global Perspective

When Dr. Robert Karch first developed what is now the American University’s Master’s of Science Program in Health Promotion Management in the late 1970s, the curriculum was built almost exclusively on how worksite health promotion and community initiatives were practiced in the US. But some very progressive initiatives were taking place outside our borders, while other countries were struggling with issues someone else had already solved.

A Global Health Promotion Network

In 1996, with the help of about 30 people from 18 countries, the International Institute for Health Promotion (IIHP) was formed. It has grown to about 80 institutions with a network of hundreds of people around the world. Their goal is to foster information sharing and collaboration among international academics, industry, governments, foundations, and other professional thought leaders in health promotion.

When asked which countries took the lead, Dr. Karch says, “Canada was extremely progressive in the mid-’70s through the early-’80s. Some of their early work was way ahead of the US and served as a model for other countries. But they approached it more from a public health perspective and less as a worksite health promotion initiative.”

Countries like Japan and Brazil have required annual physicals as part of their employee health programs for many years. As a result, they gathered valuable information about the health status of their workforce and developed strong workplace wellness programs. While other countries — such as Germany, the UK, France, and Singapore — also have strong programs, most are primarily driven by the private sector.

An increasingly globalized economy explains the growing international interest in wellness. The US is clearly the leader when it comes to worksite health promotion. Though credit goes to the private sector, the government may become more involved in the near future. Subsidiaries of many US-based corporations now operate in other countries, and management wants to implement initiatives they’ve seen in America. As these companies move people to other countries, employee wellness concepts go with them. Academics visit the US to attend conferences and take ideas back to organizations in their countries.

Undeniable ROI

The international community is becoming increasingly aware that healthy workers represent a real return on investment. Government officials and corporate decision makers hear about successful workplace wellness programs through the international activities of organizations like the IIHP. They read about the growing body of evidence through the Internet and the broader distribution of professional employee health periodicals. Average citizens hear about these benefits on TV and radio and want such services for themselves and their families.

As US companies establish overseas operations, host governments respond to demands for enhanced services. Even emerging countries may offer programs and service opportunities; American companies need to learn where to look and how to ask.

This exposure to employee wellness concepts hasn’t been a one-way street, as other countries had lessons to teach American companies. In the early days of the automobile industry, corporate wellness programs were primarily an executive perk. Unions began demanding similar services. Japan has provided their manufacturers with corporate health promotion services for years. When a large Japanese auto maker set up a plant in Lexington KY, it built a community wellness center, not just for management and their employees, but for the families and community. This model and similar experiences led other progressive companies to follow suit.

Features of Top-Notch Programs

Because they have deeper pockets to fund more comprehensive programs, international companies with the best worksite wellness practices are often larger corporations.

They seem to share certain common features:

  • Clear commitment starting at the very top
  • Adherence to internationally recognized quality management principles
  • Progressive Internet digital and video communication systems
  • Technologies that convert wellness messages into other languages
  • Quality professional staff placed in major international locations
  • Incentives built into management practices to meet corporate wellness goals
  • A strategic plan to deliver culturally appropriate programs in foreign settings.

According to Dr. Karch, one characteristic of overseas corporations sets them apart from the US. Many international professionals Dr. Karch meets are highly trained physicians who refuse to be satisfied with old wellness programming models. “While it’s easy to get set in our ways and resist change, these decision makers want only the very best and latest models. They spend time in the States and see the best practices. When they go back home, they take what they’ve learned here and make it fresher… better. They create new wellness campaigns, develop innovative policies, and build healthier environments from scratch. Overseas companies constantly push the envelope.”

Challenges Ahead

Dr. Karch admits there are still challenges. “Just as no company can be competitive without a strong, healthy workforce, neither can a country. The worker is the economic engine that drives any country. Chronic disease states are universal. Every country faces this problem. Part of the solution is lifestyle. What better place to deliver healthy messages to the greatest numbers than in the workplace?”

For many years, companies in countries with a more socialized medical delivery system failed to recognize the benefits employee health promotion brought to their bottom line. From an insurance perspective, they had little to gain. The increasing use of tax breaks and tax incentives are getting employers’ attention. Growing emphasis on productivity, presenteeism, and workplace safety are motivating corporations to provide environments that promote a healthy workforce.

Corporations operating overseas should seek out employee health resources available in their host countries. This is especially true for smaller companies with limited internal resources. And it’s not just a question of providing employee health services for American workers. There is also the challenge of designing programs compatible with the culture and traditions of their foreign workers. The IIHP has established Regional Centers to bring the collective resources of their membership to regions worldwide including Europe, China, and South America. Others are being developed.

Flooring – Different Methods of Installing a Bamboo Floor

What is the best way to install a bamboo floor? You could install the floor as direct stick, floating, plank on ply, using an AcouBond system, or using joists/battens to name a few. Each method of installing a premium bamboo floor has both its positives and negatives but when weighed up you are able to determine the more suitable method of installation.

DIRECT STICK

Our preferred and the most commonly accepted method of installing a bamboo floor in WA is direct stick. This is where our boards are glued directly to the sub floor resulting in a very quiet floor to walk on. Glue is trowelled onto the floor and the boards are laid directly on top. It is a strong and permanent method of installation. We use a rubbery drying adhesive called Sikabond T55. Using alternative glue for this method of installation which is not elastic bonding will usually result in stress put on the boards causing cupping and the widening of gaps in between boards. A direct stick bamboo floor is strong and stable, stopping the boards from moving too easily and can be walked on the same day it is installed. However this floor will be difficult, but not impossible to remove if needed, and does require a reasonably level sub floor.

FLOATING FLOOR

Installing a bamboo floor as a floating floor involves using a thin high density oam underlay. The boards are not glued or fixed to the sub floor rather they are glued along the tongue and groove on all sides. The floor literally floats. This type of installation is commonly used for cheaper laminates in Perth having an inferior quality image. Floating a bamboo floor is the most common method for DIY customers as it is a cheaper and easier method of installing a bamboo floor than direct stick. It is regarded as softer to walk on, but is regarded as structurally inferior and noisy to walk on. A floating bamboo floor is easily damaged by excess water spills and can’t be lived on for a day or two until the pva glue dries.

PLANK ON PLY

Plank on ply is commonly used for fixing timber floors and is regarded by the industry as superior. In terms of timber flooring, this is usually correct. Plank on ply uses 12mm sheets of plywood that are glued and nailed onto the sub floor and the bamboo floor boards are glued and secret nailed onto the ply. The ply helps even out floor undulations and gives an easy surface for the installer to pin the timber down. It also helps protect the floor against moisture from the concrete slab. In terms of premium bamboo flooring we gain little to no benefit from installing over plywood. The reason for this is premium bamboo flooring is not required to be pinned because it is dimensionally straight and square, it is also more moisture resistant. The glue and installation technology that we have available today enables us to even out small floor undulations. Ply can be useful in building up floor heights.

ACOUBOND

Acoubond type of installation was developed in Europe by Sika International to overcome the problem of impact noise transfer from upper floors to lower living areas, such as high rise apartments. Australian building legislation now stipulates that solid floors in multi level dwellings must be installed with sound absorption systems. The bamboo boards are laid over a 5mm foam mat, which has slots cut out for the application of triangular beads of Sika T53. According to Gabriel’s Environmental Design Pty Ltd this has a reduction in impact noise by 16dB compared to a reduction of 7dB for direct stick. A bamboo floor installed with the Acoubond system is a little noisier to walk on and is not as strong as direct stick, but it does improve walking comfort and compensates for surface irregularities.

JOISTS/BATTENS

Installing on joists or battens is a traditional type of installation using timber or ply battens fixed to bearers or concrete. The bamboo floor boards are fixed using glue and nails to the Battens. This type of installation was commonly used for timber floors but is not so popular with bamboo floors, yet it is a safe, stable and an easy way to bring bamboo boards up to existing floor types by using appropriately sized battens. Joists (battens) are usually 12mm thick and 40mm wide and made from plywood or a stable hardwood like Jarrah. This floor is commonly thought to be more absorbent of foot fall and therefore more comfortable to walk on. It does however produce the sound of a traditional timber floor which is quite noisy.

While each method of installation has obvious benefits, overall we do prefer installing our premium bamboo floors as direct stick, specifically with Sika bond T55. It is by far the more suited method of installation for our product and ensures for a secure and quiet floor to walk on. It is a very convenient method of installation as you won’t need to move out of home and can walk on your beautiful bamboo floor straight away.

How to Start a Fashion Label

Don’t ask “What am I doing” while you’re doing it, simply ask that before your doing it.

Quantity or Quality?

Quality

Do you want to be a high and Fashion Label, offering Fancy Party dresses and worked on Party-Wear? This means selling the items in a smaller quantity and for a higher price, it also means that you have to have more money to invest in actually making the clothes, because of the “naturally” higher production cost. You have to make sure to choose a Manufacturer that you’ll know can make these items in high quality so that there is no unpleasant seems that starts to rip or that the colors fade. In this case it’s unwise to be too eager to “bargain” too much on the Manufacturing price since it’s important to maintain high quality and have more expensive fabrics, greed in finding cheap fabrics making a dress out of them will results in complaints about the quality later on. Remember, being a new brand will still “in most cases” mean that you can sell your items at a higher rate because of the small set of cloths your offering and for the tailored feel.

Once again, if the price is high you have to have high quality, so missing out on that will be devastating and one bad collection can make you loose the few valuable boutiques that signed up for your clothes.

Quality in fabrics is in this case also crucial and having, for example a dress in to much “poly” would not agree with the price, choose pure silk, pure satin and don’t compromise when getting that “luxurious” feel and style. The name and the label makes a great deal in this case as well, you can’t have a brand name saying: crazy girl’s and then offer a fancy prom dress “fit for a queen”, make certain that the customers that buy the dress also get the label that states the high end brand your actually selling, like your name, that is a great one for clothes, just see Armani, or Donna Karen.

Quantity

If you go for a cheap set of wear with fun details and in a more basic fabric any Manufacturer will be willing and able, finding a Manufacturer shouldn’t be a big problem unless you have specific demands that are harder to meet. Make sure that they can start off in a medium quantity and grow with you, sometimes a Manufacturer that specialize in “cheaper” clothes have a Minimum, often around 100-300 pcs per design to reach that really great price. I have found some that can be willing to work on a smaller order if the “Total Amount” is 300 pieces, witch means that it’s possible to split it up, arranging to make on top in 50 pieces and the other one on 50 and so on..

Make sure you have places to sell the items since you have to be ready to compete with bigger companies such as H&M and GANT and various chain stores, of course depending on where you are based. If the prices you’re aiming at are really low, maybe you can consider contacting Wholesalers. The profit your making will be lower per item but it doesn’t mean that you will make less money, selling heaps will probably be your goal. There is always a “middle” so painting up, high end and really “low budget” clothing doesn’t make any justice to the Industry but making a comment about it makes you decide on what scale and in witch proportions you will and maybe want to work in.

Learn your Fabrics

To be a great designer it’s a necessity to get familiar with the fabrics you want to work in, whether it’s high end clothes with a lot of different silks and georgettes, or with beading and embroidery techniques. For a more basic line find fun materials like velour and different weight of cotton. There are all sorts of weaves and prints, block or Silk prints and for ECO-get familiar with natural fibers and limitations in colors and dying. All this can be summed in a book or just by surfing the net. When making a collection, it’s important that next to every dress, pair of pants or just skirts you have a small cutting of fabric. This is will make a good reference for the Manufacturer that this is the fabric you would like, but also if there is a special wash you need or rough look to it. Attach written fabric quality beside it as well. To know your fabrics will be the base for making great collections, you will now how it falls, if it would look to heavy when lined or if it’s to thin. This confidence that you portray being a designer will make the Manufacturer feel confident when working with you and the results will come easier and the risk for misunderstandings lowered. The Manufacturer can also easier count on the price per pieces and start looking for materials straight away.

Decide the Size of Collection

A tricky part is deciding how big the collection is going to be. Since I’ve started the magic number has been 12, something that exceeds. A good size to begin with is about 10 garments, easier to focus on a few tops offered in different colors and sizes and then something to match, that will set a great foundation for both photo-shoots, catalogue so that you can show what your brand is about.

This is not strict and you don’t have to feel a need to produce more then around 5-10 different pieces but many small designers work with that number 12 witch can be good to have in mind. Once more, this is depending on how many of each designs you intend to do and what quantity the Manufacturer can handle, still keeping a reasonable price. It’s up to you, but having that in mind and to give it some thought before entering into a conversation with a Manufacturer you have to know. Also thinking ahead, how is the collection being released, Summer/Spring, how many collections/year? That is individual but you have to be ready to quickly offer a second Collection to your customers and grow from there. The worst thing that could happen is to stop in production at a beginning state, to just put one collection out and then suddenly be delayed or not simply producing. This will scare potential clients since your being portrayed as a “loose cannon”, someone that simply won’t follow up and be easy to work with. Confidence and safety in always deliver on time and show Stores that your here to stay is a must.

Just because the first collection didn’t sell, it doesn’t mean that you have to stop, no rather the opposite, fight for it and keep on getting more stuff out, stopping will just scare anyone away, that will just send out a signal that your a “loose cannon” that might have something to offer or not. Be confident even if the success doesn’t happen over night. How many fairy tails have we heard in our lives and how many comes true?

Well, if you start off by setting your goals low it will mean that a fairy tail easier comes true just by selling one item (perhaps to your mum), it doesn’t matter, small goals will keep you more motivated and happier here and now. But saying that, getting stuck in some “la la land” accepting small things like big things will at a longer perspective stop you from growing; someday you want to be bowing on that catwalk? Being in that interview or earning the big dollars, seeing and picturing that is all good, “carrot on a stick” and progress will naturally happen.

So maybe you want to do 12 items? How many of each then? If the Manufacturer offers a great deal if you produce 100 pieces of each it might be worth grabbing, but then again, uniqueness, and where are you going to sell the items? Giving a tip I would recommend you to ONLY produce a Sample Collection first. It’s a great way of testing how well you and the Manufacturer work together and also how your designs look in reality. It might actually come as a shock the first time, seeing a shirt that you been drawing on in 3 D, it could result in a good reaction but could also be a negative one, such as “it looks boring”, the print was plain and so on. Then having the samples ready you can roll up your sleeves and start searching for an Agent, and that seemed to be at least my biggest challenge.

What’s unique with your Design and the brand you’re putting up?

Ask yourself what kind of customers you want to attract and also checking out the competition.
“An example: You have a great idea for a Young Kids Collection”. What you need to think about it’s always been there and done that when it comes to most fashion, it’s like a big circle repeating itself but that doesn’t make your stuff less interesting it’s just that you have to focus on bringing something with a “ump” when you start. A signature “green line” that marks the jackets collars or a cool LOGO that goes on all chests, maybe even a garment that has something extra.

To get back to the example of the Kids Cloths, ask yourself is anyone feeling a need for more Kids Clothes or can you offer them something unique? Maybe Kids Cloths that are simply for rough plays, maybe extra easy to wash and have rougher materials.

Designing and producing Kids Clothes means that you have to start producing in a small quantity first, it’s hard gambling with amounts over 50 pieces per design. This means that your clothes are going to be more expensive since there’s a small quantity order, if you don’t have an Agent that will sell a Sample Order of yours and then take orders, anyways; the fact is that you still are fresh and the cost is going to be a little bit higher.

How do you go about selling a product similar to others for a higher price? The answer is to offer Design, you can either stand out by putting a print in a “handmade” look on the chest or just go for that designed seem or cut. It’s about building a reason for you brand, a reason and need to buy it, but before deciding that you have to be in terms with your style, represent it, believe in it and with that later on help selling it..

What are you really offering, important creating your Image?

This is linked to “Learning Your Style” and goes hand in hand with developing the brand in mind, get goals for it and treat your visions and creations like your baby, a baby that you want to see growing and finally get successful with.

Is your product unique enough or different enough? The answer is; it doesn’t have to be. It could be a great basic Cotton Basic Line, t-shirts and comfy pants; the important thing isn’t the uniqueness of the Designs but the uniqueness of the availability of it. Maybe you’re based in a small town where nothing really is on offer, just because there is a lack on a certain item it doesn’t mean that it has to be filled, it might just not be on demand. Don’t put up a “Fancy Dress” Store in such a place when it might in that case be smarter to move, follow your dream elsewhere or just adjust to the public with a twist. Just because you’re selling a pant doesn’t mean that it has to be boring, with your logo, print or cute button you can achieve uniqueness without being “over-crazy”.

A lot of designer desires to be different in such a big scale that being basic sometimes stands out. Huge shoulder pads, pearls everywhere and hair dues that would make any man run, maybe you’re just a creative person that loves the small touches. It’s enough too, don’t be scared that you are to plain or to “ordinary”, there will be a need for those clothes as well, all you have to do is adjust how you want to be promoted, having a website for example is a great thing to let other people find out about your brand, but with a basic Collection it might be harder, adjust both colors and pictures and print so that it matches the look of the clothes, and most important start building an Image! The image of your brand is going to be the answer to the question: why would people buy your brand? Simply because of the image, whether it’s ECO-Wear with a natural wibe, picture a suntanned young woman, not wearing any make-up leaning against a palm tree wearing a Natural-fiber shirt and a pair of leather sandals. Well there you go, that’s the image.

Get to know your Computer

If you are starting off with little means the computer you have will help you in promoting your brand, and having a Website or a Fashion Blog is a great way of trying out your clothes and see what people think even attract potential customers. Having a camera handy is also a plus; this is great for communicating with your chosen Manufacturer. Another tips is when receiving samples for the first time, taking a photo and then attach comments on the pictures is a great way to communicate and make your ideas simply for the Vendor making them, use the basic program paint and don’t forget to resize to photo before attaching them in the email, this is if you don’t want anything time-consuming and just simply want to mark the faults with rings and pieces of text.

Ask to get the samples in your size! This means that you can try them out and then make comments accordingly, no first sample is perfect. Programs can be added as you go depending how you like to work, but being “buddy” with your computer is the best thing. Use it like the only office you’ll need and this will not just save you time and ease work process, it will save you the office space. So, get updated with the program you might need, you can also always ask the Manufacturer how they like to work, some work receiving the pictures or sketches attached in Excel Sheets and some just basic Emails. Labels must be done in a program with special measurements and effects, could also just send a sample and they’ll probably work from that.

Size-Charts and Payment set-ups must be discussed and planned, most things is from the Manufacturer and will be given to you when you start working together, also make sure that if you start cooperating that you have the Pantone Color Chart so you both can choose color and maybe even having a double set of cuttings, a good Manufacturer thinks of those things. Being a computer Wiz is not always a birth right so there is great ways to go about setting up a Website and promoting your brand, even selling it through an online-store. Checking Fashion Blogs and getting Contacts in the business is great before setting off.

Learn how to Employ yourself and work as the Best One!

Say that you’re now sitting by the drawing board and have both the idea and the desire to create a Collection of your own; you need to hire one right? Someone who is the best you’ll know, that’s you. Yes it might seem weird thinking that way but it’s a great way to treat your business, with respect and dedication. It’s otherwise hard to be on time, work with the collection instead of following the day’s soap operas on TV and really getting some work done. I always get the most done when working under pressure. If you don’t have pressure yet, try yourself out first. Book a simply Coffee date with a friend, say a Saturday at 3 o clock, it’s for example now Tuesday, that leaves you 4 days to finish drawing the corrections that you want to have made for the Manufacturer. Make sure you’ll work to get it done, all this might be “playing around in a big box of sand” but its great just being clear that you can handle it before diving in. Please just take a few seconds and imagine the brand throughout the seasons and years so that your whole dream isn’t based on just a few drawings, it has to be more long-lasting then that and it’s also important to feel that your ideas don’t suddenly stop, why make one collection when the second one is a dry rerun? This is a great way of knowing the limits of your creativity. Try to see what makes you more inspired as well, music, a walk, flipping through the pages of a new issue of Vogue or just a quick walk in a Shopping Mall. Everything that makes you more certain of “you” as your own employee will increase your own confidence when it comes to handling deadlines and working dedicated even if not on a fixed payroll. Simply get to know yourself and imagine setting up an office at what you would need to really work well, laptop, printer, pantone pencils, drawing board, Mannequin, sewing machine and so on.

Set up a Financial Plan, Budget.

Just as a example, if you want to go to India to physically meet the Manufacturers and get a knowledge in the country’s specialties like the various local skills and quality. You’ll sure need to calculate on not just the actual goods but also flights, accommodation, food, other expenses such as transport, guides and even smaller things like maybe buying a sample shirt, something that you could use for either get inspiration or just great to show the Manufacturer to get the idea of that certain wash you want and so on. So a rough budget for what you want to do physically would be a great idea.

So, if you now have an idea let’s just start making some changes right now? Taking the step is always hard, a bit scary but I have some great tips to get your” toes wet before your whole body”.

Presume that you have a job, why don’t you just cut down the hours? Half days and the rest of the day start sketching on your collection. This means that your not in an ‘non financial spot yet and will go about it pretty safe and smooth. If you don’t have enough money to get started you can have that unpleasant talk to the bank, set up a loan (there is heaps of scholarships to be added if dedicated) or just plan ahead. Nothing is worth rushing into, just take a step at the time and make changes that doesn’t mean make it or break it, take care of your finances and play it safe. If you have the attitude of ‘no or never’ then waiting will probably be to painful and will only cause panic that everyone else is making it and your just sitting there, watching your life pass you by. So, well just jump in there and learn as you go. Mistakes are bound to be made either way or what better lesson then been there and actually have done that.

Contacts, Contacts and then Contacts

Well, I guess we all heard that before, but getting a “stable” of good useful contacts are more time consuming and much harder than it seems. If you’re “thinking” of putting up a Brand, start sourcing and talking today. This will ease things up for you, blog around, ask around and get to know some names. Locally, such as Fashion Stores near you, friends you might have in the business and don’t seclude anyone. A musician could be great knowing if your planning to have a small release party for your brand, a Photographer could help out photographing the clothes or a Tailor that are willing to make some physical samples for you.

The best or should I say the most important contact will of course be the Manufacturer, don’t forget that it could be wise to use several, send out your collection sketches and ask at least 3 Manufacturers to do samples for you, and then it’s easy to choose witch one that meets your idea and price the best. One could be good for a high-end party line; the other could be great using for a Basic one. Everyone has a preference and it would speed the production process up, using 2-3 Manufacturers working on your different lines. Well, if your are unsure just experiment getting some samples from a few and then later on just use one, since having several could also mean pretty intense work emailing and explaining your exact ideas to them all at the same time. Some people use an Agent that handles all the business between you and the Manufacturer, I personally don’t recommend using an Agent simply because it increases the production price but also risk of misunderstandings having a middle man, the charge 7-10% on the whole order and then you have to work emailing them both, it’s just as easy to find the Manufacturer yourself and then make the deal through them. Then again, there are always people that are really happy with having an Agent and it would ease things up at a certain extent like approving the order before shipment. After choosing your Manufacturer you will need someone who can get your clothes out on the market, it could be a Distribution Manager, or a clothing Agent. These Agents are gold to have and hard to find since its not popular being new and it often equals missed deadlines and unorganized as a beginner. They have to really believe in you and the ability for the brand to grow, and then build it up from scratch, so finding one will be a bit though. It’s like a moment 22, you have to have a sample-collection to show before they can decide if they want to represent you and they all dream about someone with a few years in the business. The Agents have different deals, the best is if they work commission based witch will make it better for you economically when starting up, it would be though paying all expenses up front. The Agent often have a stable with a few other designers and they all are represented on the Agents website, if your one of them it will mean free advertising and promotion through them, they book the Fashion Shows for you and will handle all the press contacts, so that end of it will be optimal. Some new designers are choosing to ‘do it’ themselves and will act as an Agent by there own witch is possible to.

So whether you prefer staying by the drawing table or heading out to the stores it’s all about spreading the word, a new dreamer is on the stage and a new brand is being showed…

Commercial Construction Staking

Construction staking for commercial projects is a crucial step in the building process that can directly influence whether a project finishes on time, on budget, and free from errors.  It is in the best interests of the construction company or developer to utilize the skills of a qualified registered land surveyor to perform the staking.  A good surveyor will interpret the plans and layout the project to best fit the site as the designer, engineer, or architect intended.  By having someone with the skills and knowledge of a professional registered land surveyor, the builder can be certain of the accuracy and reliability of the results.

Commercial construction staking is needed for a variety of different projects, including subdivisions, streets, utilities, and more complex, multi-story building sites. Construction staking is, at its most basic, the laying out of survey points on the ground to act as a guide for constructing site improvements.  In many ways, construction staking can be seen as the opposite of the as-built survey.  The as-built assesses a building or project after completion to ensure that is was built according to the plans.  Construction staking is performed at the beginning of the project to make sure that the project is built according to plan. Good construction staking will lead to a good as-built survey.

Construction staking, especially in a commercial application, calls upon all the skills that a land surveyor possesses.  They are required to complete a boundary and topographic survey to ensure that the property matched the site plan and engineering design.  They must also perform field staking for mass grading, building offsets for construction, utilities (sanitary sewers, water mains and storm sewers), as well as any parking lots, streets, curbs, or gutters.  These are all done before the surveyor even begins to address the proposed buildings on the property.

Once a surveyor moves on to staking the proposed structures, he provides the location and grade stakes for building foundations, walls, and column lines. This is a crucial step in the process.  If the buildings foundations are not staked properly, it can be a very costly mistake for the construction crew that could have the potential to ruin the job altogether.  A knowledgeable land surveyor is a builder’s best tool to avoid foundation problems further on in the process. A good surveyor will establish a coordinate network with horizontal and vertical controls from the beginning of the property and use it to calculate and determine the exact corners and levels of proposed structures.

While construction staking is seen by many to be a simple step at the beginning of a project, it can have very dire ramifications for the rest of the project if not completed correctly.  In commercial projects, the importance of a well-performed construction staking is magnified, given the larger structures and vast amounts of money the construction staking affects.  It is money and time well spent to make sure that a qualified individual with the proper surveying knowledge and experience is conducting your construction staking survey.

Costume Jewelry Series: Summer Fashion Guide for Women

The summer season is a great time for having fun. People enjoy the warm weather and longer days. There are many barbeques, balls, parties and weddings to attend during the summer. In fact, it gives everyone a wonderful chance to dress up. It is also a perfect time to have fun with the latest trends. Here are a few important summer fashion trends for women. Looking trendy in the summer is all about keeping fresh. Remember, a red glossy face could not be the perfect look. Make sure that you always make sure you are comfortable and cool by wearing natural fabrics and light-colored clothes. T-shirts can be a perfect option. It goes right with just about anything.

Find the t-shirt that can complement your figure or body shape. Furthermore, invest in diverse colors and a variety of dissimilar clothing. Slightly thicker material will generally be more gratifying as it inclines to glide over bumps and lumps rather than sticking. If you are planning to enjoy the evening on a beach then wear tunic tops with neutral trousers. Purchase tunics in bright patterns and colors. It looks more cool and stylish. This is the most significant summer fashion tip for women. More importantly, when the heat is more carry a wide hat with you. Wide brimmed cap can aids in maintaining the youthful complexion as well as incredibly elegant look.

Furthermore, accessorize the summer clothing’s with bold and big accessories. Big clutches, chunky beads, and colorful bangles look dazzling and striking with summer garments. You can also consider a camisole as they are the most adaptable and flexible parts of summer outfits. You can wear it either with a smart trouser or jeans. Do not get scared of showing legs. It is a main summer fashion tip for women to remember. If you are not comfortable wearing shorts then try knee-length dresses or summer skirts.

Margaret River Hotels And Resorts

If you are looking for Margaret River hotels and resorts, then it is important that you keep your needs and budget in mind. This stunning region offers a massive variety of accommodation options ranging from backpackers and bed and breakfast inns to cheap motels and five star resorts. In order to enjoy your perfect holiday, finding the right accommodation can be the difference between a fun filled experience and a disaster. So, make sure that you do a bit of research and planning before making the decision to choose a hotel or resort.

If you are traveling with children, you should search for Margaret River hotels and resorts that offer fun activities for children such as pool, playground and children’s club so that the parents can relax. You also need to check out the location of your accommodation to ensure it is close to shopping or beaches etc, since walking around with kids can make you tired and add up to the costs of transportation.

Nowadays, you can find Margaret River hotels and resorts offering complimentary inclusions. Though it makes sense to choose an all-inclusive accommodation offering everything at your doorsteps, you should avoid staying inside all the time as there is excellent shopping and dining in the town center. Go out and discover what makes this region so special!

Here is an overview of what you can choose from:

The Margaret River Hotel
Margaret River Resort
Margarets Beach Resort (500 meters from the beach)
Australis
Grange on Farelley

Before booking a hotel or resort, make sure you have searched, checked, and read its reviews to find out what the travelers who have stayed there think about it. Nowadays, it is easy to find information on online. But make sure that you are using the right source to get the required information. The internet has also made it easy to find some excellent packages and deals.

If you are visiting the South West during the high season that includes long weekends, public holidays, school vacations and special events, then it would be wiser or it would makes perfect sense to book your accommodation as early as possible because the region is very popular during that time. If, on the other hand, you are traveling during the low season, May to October it is possible to wait until the last minute before making your booking, but you are taking a risk. In any event enjoy your time in the South West of Western Australia.

Homeowners Insurance Company: How To Choose One

It is almost inevitable that when purchasing a new home the homeowner will be required to also purchase a home insurance policy. Many mortgage companies who are granting the mortgage loan will require that proof of the Homeowners insurance policy be shown before the closing on the house. This ensures that their investment into that home is safe in case of damage or destruction.

There are an overwhelming number of Homeowners insurance companies to choose from, making it difficult to determine what is right for you and your home. Many mortgage companies will suggest a Homeowners insurance company that they work in conjunction with, but this does not mean you have to use that insurance company to cover your home insurance needs.

Before jumping in and accepting the first quote that comes along, it is best to call around to a few different insurance companies and see which coverage plan is right for you, since different companies will offer different plans and different discounts.

The first thing you should ask about when determining which insurance company to use is whether they offer special discounts. Depending on the company you may find discounts ranging from fire resistant, security system discounts to senior citizen or dual insurance discounts.

A dual insurance discount usually means that you will receive a discount from the company if you have more than one type of insurance through them, so check with your current car insurance company to see if they offer special rates to loyal customers.

Keep in mind that in a similar fashion as creditors looking at your previous credit history, insurance agents will be looking at your credit history as well as your past insurance history. For those who may have a high car insurance crash history or for those who have a bad credit history, this could mean higher premiums in the long run.

Insurance companies are taking a gamble on you and although they assume that they may have to help replace something in your home along the way, if you are already a “high risk” client, this means you will have to pay for those risks because it is more likely their services will be needed sooner than later.

Most basic Homeowners insurance policies will cover the house for a total replacement cost as well as the possessions of the home for a total replacement cost. Because of this, insurance agents will be asking in depth questions about the home you are about to purchase such as square footage, the age of appliances, the air conditioning and heating units, the age of the plumbing and electrical system, and even the style of flooring, countertops and cabinets.

Although you might want to try and save money by stretching the truth about the age of the plumbing system or the style of the countertops, remember that you will only receive the replacement costs for what you have told the insurance company, so it is important to be as accurate and truthful as possible.

Many insurance companies will include in a quote special needs perils such as flooding, hurricane or earthquake insurance. Nevertheless, if you know you live in a high risk area for any of these particular perils it is best to ask if those are covered under the basic policy. You don’t want to get started on an insurance policy and realize that you are not fully covered.

The same can be said for special possessions like computer equipment and jewelry or furs. Often times a separate policy or a clause in the policy is needed to insure any special possessions for their full replacement cost, so be sure to ask the insurance company about these items.

All in all it is most important to find a Homeowners insurance company that is reliable, has a reputable name and has been in business for a long time. This may mean asking friends or family members who are current homeowners who they use for their home insurance, or even searching ratings for the best Homeowners insurance companies.

Remember that they will have a large portion of your financial investment and the possessions inside in their hands, so it is important that you feel confident in the policy and company you select.