Out Of My Mind On A Wednesday Mornin’

Out Of My Mind On A Wednesday Mornin’

2020 Election is "right around the corner." Who you voting for?

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I know, I know, I know! Where did the time go? Between now and my last blog, what has happened that we missed or have wanted to miss? Not much.

But hey, that isn’t why I haven’t blogged since the dinosaurs were roaming 65 million years ago, I have been traveling. In fact, just got back from Vegas and attended a fab wedding (my assistant Lindsay and her now husband Paul) and then drove to the Grand Canyon for a couple days and then drove to Lake Powell, Utah for a few more days. What is amazing is that I must have been to Vegas more than 100 times but never to the Grand Canyon. For some reason I think you too have never been which may explain that the average age of visitors had to be early 70’s. Canes, walkers and wheelchairs were all there and my guess is everyone really wants to see the GC in their lifetime and eventually, we all get there. I have to say, the scenery is awesome and breathtaking.

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Lake Powell is located in Utah but for all intent purposes, Page, AZ and is mostly Indian reservation land. Lake Powell features many “fingers” throughout the lake that make it very cool with plenty of natural sand beaches for houseboats to hang out.

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Perhaps one of the coolest tours was that of Upper Antelope Canyon, located on the Navajo Indian Reserve and only accessible by a licensed Navajo tour guide. The canyon with the sun coming through is magical and certainly worth a visit.

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My favorite pastime is traveling. You get to experience so many different geographical settings, diverse people and of course, local food and wine (and most recently, bourbon). I learned that Utah is not the best place for alcoholics. The place we stayed at told us each drink cannot exceed 1.5 oz. and is measured and controlled by the government. So if you want a double, you have to order two drinks, and have two people at the table. And just to think that alcohol is legal.

Now let’s talk some business. Oh, you want to see a picture of Lindsay in her wedding dress first? Why not, it is not often you are a bride in Vegas and can wear a wedding dress on the Strip, in restaurants and bars and even the pool. What I find is so amazing is that there are so many brides walking around Vegas, tourists don’t even look anymore. Then again, no one looks at anyone because their eyes are glued to their smartphones.

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Cosmoprof North America is coming up in July and at one time was the barometer of the pro beauty business (many of us remember when it was called the BBSI before the PBA sold the show to Cosmoprof and the show was actually held twice a year). Now the show is less about pro beauty and more about retail incubators and packaging companies. Can anyone tell me of importance who will be exhibiting and attending? TNG is not even taking a stand this year as we join CND, OPI and so many other companies. No doubt about it, Cosmoprof is an open book of the state of the business.

Tariffs yes, tariffs no? Right now, Trump is putting small and medium businesses at risk including American farmers. With Amazon the biggest online retailer and in control of most pricing, pass through of increases will be difficult at best. That means businesses like TNG will eat much of the tariff increases and eventually pass on some of the costs to consumers or stop selling some products altogether. As many CEO’s can attest, survival of the fittest is at its peak right now.

Steven Tamares, CEO of Bed Bath & Beyond, finally fired. I mention this only because activist shareholders are more and more involved in public companies and demanding their way or the highway. Tamares needed to go years ago and nearly killed Bed Bath’s business. The question now is can they be saved which is the same question being asked about Pier I, Office Depot, Staples and so many others. And one CEO I would not want to be right now is Chris Brinkman, head of Sally Beauty Company.

With summer finally arriving next month, I’m loving the new EMMA Beauty Summer Collection featuring the best neon colors that can’t be beat. After a terrible spring, we really need a fabulous summer and what better way than painting your nails with colors including Slice of Heaven and Sour Apple Passion. Batch 0719 is just as electrifying!

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Alas, looks like hip replacement surgery is in my near future. If Nick Saban can do it so can I. I guess putting on more than 15,000 miles running, more than 10,000 miles bicycling, more than 5,000 yoga classes and countless other exercises like aerobics did its trick. But in the end, I would do it all over again.

Happy Wednesday!

Out Of My Mind On A Monday Mornin’

How many times a week do you wash your hair?

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Sometimes it feels like you spend half your life filling things up especially if you have a large family that neglects such duties. With just the two of us there is always stuff to be filled: Bottled water in the fridge; mouthwash; Ziploc bags; coffee pods; paper towels; toilet paper; tissue paper; gas tank; pepper mill; and salt shaker.

Then there are things to need to replaced like light bulbs (LED one of the great inventions) and batteries.

And finally once a week, all that adds up to a lot of garbage. I’m still amazed how much garbage we accumulate. And with Amazon deliveries, one recycle container isn’t enough.

$500 Million was the tab MSU settled on to pay the Nasser victims. Not only was it the largest in history for a university to pay, there are so many untold costs we will never know of. Good news is that MSU and the victims can move forward towards the healing process. And undergrad enrollment hit yet another new high.

There are some 30 million small businesses in the USA. Of those, how many do you think are part of the MLM (multi-level marketing) scheme? A huge percentage. Too bad since more than 99% of those who buy in lose money. Can someone please tell me why anyone wants to be part of MLM? My only guess: The ability to buy direct at a discount.

Is Tesla boring? Absolutely! Right underneath Tesla’s massive plant in Freemont, CA, the Boring Company is building underground tunnels to help alleviate traffic. Add Space X to the mix and you can say Tesla has all travel options covered top to bottom.

Leave it to Amazon to pull off yet another coup that no one thought possible (except for me of course). Amazon’s Pro Beauty business is soaring and their strategy paid off big time: Let their third-party resellers discount the goods and then go direct to the brands to cut them off if they sold to Amazon direct. Bingo. Already the likes of Oribe, Colorproof, Pureology, Davines and Olaplex have gone direct with Amazon. Today’s $100 question: For every dollar Amazon sells of salon products, who is losing a dollar in sales? You got that answer spot on.

What’s good for Amazon is certainly not good for professional beauty companies. Coty, Revlon & Sally Beauty Holdings all reported disappointing results and hit fresh new lows (or came very close).

Yet another reason for the bad news: The likes of Madison Reed and esalon.com are expanding their availability to bricks and mortar stores. Personalized at-home hair color is growing and guess who the losers are? You got that answer spot on too! It appears the one salon concept that is Amazon and retail-proof is the growing blow-out bars led by Drybar and its infamous CEO, John Heffner. And nail salons that feature gel nail polish, especially EMMA V.S.G.P. that is getting rave reviews for its high gloss, longevity and easy removal.

We just returned from Greece where the people, culture and history are second to none in the world. You know what else is second to none in Greece? VAT (value added tax) is 24% and is payable on everything including food, drugs, hotels, etc. Greeks also pay a 20% flat tax and because the country is in a crisis, they have to prepay their tax each year. Even worse: Average Greek income is $10,000 per year. That means the average Greek citizen pays $2000 in income tax leaving $8000 and if they spend it in one year, they will pay $1920 in VAT. Net amount is $6080. YIKES!

Can you believe this weekend is Memorial Day? We still haven’t had Spring let alone summer coming up. Add to the fact Independence Day is on a Wednesday.

Happy holidays to you!

Out Of My Mind On A Monday Mornin’

What is your greatest addiction in life?

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Tell me today is not the last day of July.

When did it become OK for drivers not to use turn signals especially at intersections? As more and more drivers text while driving, don’t use turn signals and apparently more on drugs than ever before, self-driving cars can’t come fast enough.

Speaking of which, finally the first Tesla 3 models rolled off the assembly line. For $35,000, this is a true game-changer. Look for gas combustion engines to be gone by 2025 or sooner. Tesla has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to uproot an industry, let’s see if Elon Musk can make it happen.

Facebook now reaches more than 2 billion people. There are only 7 billion people in the whole world. Take away kids under 5 (HA!) and adults overs 75 and you probably have 5-5.5 billion eligible users. WOW, who would have believed.

Who would believe Jeff Bezo’s was worth more than $90 BILLION last week?

Most people don’t drink tea. I never did understand Starbuck’s acquisition of Teavana. Tea is tea if you know what I mean. That blunder along with their recent 7% price increase makes one wonder what is going on at Starbuck’s.

YIKES, can you guess the #5 highest dollar category for private-label products at drug stores? Cough and cold products are #1. This category did over $500 billion last year and is quickly growing. Got the answer? Adult incontinence.

Cosmoprof Las Vegas was bigger than ever as they took advantage of the new space at Mandalay Bay. Number of buyers was about the same and all I can say is that our products were loved by all. From EMMA to our new Shower Blasts and diffusers, buyers loved it all. My biggest question is why is the show going to be the last week of July in 2018? It has never been this late and terrible for launching new products especially those geared toward holiday.

Do the top 10 fiction author’s account for 80% of the book business? Daniel Silva is #1 this week with yet another story featuring Gabriel. Grisham is #2 and you can always count on Patterson in the top 10. I will say one of life’s greatest luxuries is summer reading. I am finally reading Narnia, the fantasy book by C.W. Lewis back in the 1950’s. I swear, this book spawned all the Harry Potter’s, Twilights, Hunger Games and everything in-between.

The FDA wants to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes so they become non-additive and move smokers to e-cigs. If the FDA could have controlled nicotine levels all this time why is it just proposing this now?

Speaking of addictions, MGM Grand Detroit just reported record earnings. And how is it the lotto’s get to $100M, $200M and even $300M so fast? I think I’m addicted to pretzels, is that possible?

OMG, I just looked at the calendar and it really is the last day of July. There is not a cloud in the sky, 84 and sunny, and all the reason why we continue to live in Michigan.

Happy Monday!