Monday, March 26, 2012

Senior Co-Op Update

by Audrey Ong


Things seemed to pick up in terms of requests, though it was quiet at times. I basically spent my week requesting items for the Marketing department since they needed most of their samples back for an upcoming event. I continued handling requests and tracking press credits in the PR department as well as organizing our back closets with the other interns. We were allowed to take a few items from old seasons, which was a nice treat. Overall, this week was a normal routine but things are definitely going to get busy soon!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

' NikkieTutorials ' and Spring Makeup

by Samantha Berkowitz

Dreaming of a colorful pop on your eyes for this upcoming spring? Well then be sure to check this video out! NikkieTutorials is a beauty channel on Youtube, one of the trillion beauty channels you are sure to find. However, instead of typical “smokey eye” or “everyday makeup look” tutorials, Nikkie shows viewers real interesting tips and advice to achieve unique makeup looks. This particular video intrigued me because who would have thought that you can create your own mascara colors, and in colors such as blue, yellow and even orange? Though this isn’t a look most people would wear from day to day, it’s fun to watch and even try for a night out. Videos such as this one truly encourage me to explore my makeup, and strive to be outside the box.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Senior Co-Op Update

by Audrey Ong

Things have slowed down a bit this week. Requests still do come in, but not as crazily as before. This is definitely the calm before the storm, since things around the office are about to get busier. There will be a couple of events in April, though they are currently confidential.

My main focus this week was preparing travel plans for the PR director, who’s going on a business trip this weekend. I helped organize the itinerary – included directions, phone numbers, addresses, alternate dining options, and made reservations. It was a nice change from the normal routine and definitely kept me occupied through this slow week.

We’re still training the new intern, and it’s nice not being the “new” one anymore. She’s been mostly shadowing me and the other intern, but she is slowly getting her own responsibilities.

On a side note, I finally purchased my own dayglow necklace in surf green that I’ve been coveting over in the office. This was one of the necklaces that were featured on the Today show (in my last post).

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cupcake Crawl -- Notable NYC Cupcake Bakeries

By Elaina Price

I have found from personal experience that people tend to be partial to one bakery’s cupcakes over another, and I have yet to make a conclusion about where my allegiance will ultimately lie. That is why I have made it my mission to sample the most popular cupcakes from each of the most popular cupcake bakeries in NYC. This way, I can find my favorite and provide you with a foolproof guide to NYC’s best cupcakes. Let the battle begin! (These are in Alphabetical order and don’t correlate to their ranking).

Babycakes
248 Broome Street
Between Orchard & Ludlow

Babycakes is not like most other cupcake bakeries in NYC, they sell cupcakes that are either gluten free or are vegan. I could definitely tell that the spelt cupcake I had was vegan, and not in a good way. While the carrot cake spelt cupcake I sampled looked adorable (with a little purple flower piped onto the icing), it definitely wasn’t the best cupcake I have ever had. Neither the icing nor the cake were very sweet, which made the cupcake blander than I was expecting. The cake was also quite dense and dry, which made it harder to eat. The flavor of the carrot cake however had a nice, subtle cinnamon flavor that I enjoyed. I think perhaps their gluten free or their other spelt cupcake flavors are better, but I don’t suggest getting the carrot cake flavor. I hope to eventually make it back there to try another flavor just to make sure that I perhaps didn’t get a bad batch. I am hoping this is the case, because I really want to like this place!

Final Thoughts: Great concept, and the cupcakes are great for people with dietary restrictions that still want a tasty treat now and then.

Baked By Melissa
109 East 42nd Street (Between Park and Lexington Avenues)
7 East 14th Street (Between 5th Avenue and Broadway)
529 Broadway (and Spring Street)
526 7th Avenue (Between 38th and 39th Streets)

Baked by Melissa may just have the cutest cupcakes on earth! They are bite size and artfully decorated, which makes them almost too good to eat (emphasize almost). Of their seemingly endless number of flavors, I selected two because the price is fairly high on these little guys. I tried red velvet and the cookies and cream, which were both pretty decent, however it was their cuteness that ultimately won me over. I would definitely pick up some of these as a gift or as a little treat hear or there because they are truly bite sized.

Final Thoughts: Adorable cupcakes, that are truly a tasty mini work of art. Definitely buy a few at a time so you get to try as many flavors as possible!

Billy’s
184 Ninth Avenue (Between 21st and 22nd Streets)
75 Franklin Street
268 Elizabeth Street

Billy’s Bakery is one of the few cupcake places I tried that doesn’t just serve cupcakes. They have a variety of other deserts that I would love to try, but with the purpose of the cupcake guide I had to stick to my original mission. Overall I would say that the cupcake was decent, but not spectacular. I like most of their other customers, got the chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting. I like the chocolately flavor of both the icing and the cake, but unfortunately the cake was a little dry for my taste. I think perhaps it was the time I day I went and got the cupcake, because most reviews say the cake is very moist. I am hoping in this instance that I just went at the wrong time of day.

Final Thoughts: I will definitely go back to Billy’s again to find out once and for all if the cupcakes are or are not dry. They look so good that I might just eat them anyway.

Butter Lane Cupcakes
123 East 7th Street (Between 1st and Avenue A)

Butter Lane holds a place near and dear to my heart because it is located in the neighborhood of Manhattan in which I reside. It is a really cute, bright little shop that has some of the best cupcakes in the city. First off they have some really interesting icing flavors including sea salt chocolate and popcorn. I tried a banana cake with sea salt frosting and a banana cake with maple pecan frosting. Both were super moist, and had just the right balance of frosting to cake. You just got a hint of the banana flavor from the cake, and I wish I had tasted more, but overall I really enjoyed it.
Final Thoughts: Butter Lane has great fluffy, moist cupcakes that come in interesting flavors that will definitely not disappoint. Make sure to check it out!
Buttercup Bakeshop
973 2nd avenue (Between 51st and 52nd Streets)

Buttercup Bakery is a cute and inviting bakery that sells a variety of baked goods, in addition to their noteworthy cupcakes. I tried the red velvet cupcake, which is one of their top selling flavors. The cake was nice and fluffy, but the icing is what really put it over the top. Instead of the typical buttercream frosting, the red velvet cupcakes are topped with delicious cream cheese frosting. The frosting had a great flavor, and the texture was a perfect complement to the fluffy cake. I will definitely be coming here again just for the red velvet!

Final Thoughts: This bakery is in a great location for us LIM College students, and has one of the best red velvet cupcakes in the city. Make sure to check it out if this is one of your go to flavors.

Crumbs
43 West 42nd Street (Between 5th and 6th Avenues)
420 Lexington Avenue (Between 52nd and 53rd Streets)
1379 3rd Avenue (Between 78th and 79th Streets) (and many more!)

Crumbs, which is regarded as one of the largest cupcake bakery chains in NYC has multiple locations all over the city. I have been to several of their locations, but I frequent the one on Lexington between 44th and 45th the most because they have places to sit down and enjoy your cupcake if you aren’t in a rush. Crumbs cupcakes have many things going for them; they have a great variety, the are quite large, and they are made fresh each morning. The cupcakes at crumbs are very sweet though, sometimes too much so, so if your sweet tooth only goes so far, I would look for another bakery. I have had so many of the flavors here, but my favorite is definitely the half-baked (I mean who doesn’t like cookie dough?). Since the cupcakes here are so big though, I often take half of it to go, which actually makes them a great deal because you are getting two for the price of one.

Final Thoughts: Crumbs is a great cupcake bakery for those who like very sweet cupcakes, and like lots of interesting toppings and flavors. They are really big though, so it would be best to save half for later!

Magnolia Bakery
401 Bleeker Street (and West 11th Street)
1000 Third Avenue (Between 59th and 60th Streets)
200 Columbus Avenue (and West 69th Street)
Grand Central Terminal (Lower level dinning concourse)
1240 Avenue of the Americas (and West 49th Street)

It is clear to me that Magnolia Bakery has a cult-like following. I have seen tourists and New Yorkers alike standing in long lines snaking around the block. Right off the bat, Magnolia’s sets the stage for a great cupcake eating experience. Their d├ęcor is slightly shabby chic and retro which only ads to the cupcakes more homemade feel. They continuously provide fresh cupcakes throughout the day by baking several new batches throughout the day. Trust me; you will not get a stale cupcake, even at the end of the day. I tried both their s ’mores and chocolate truffle flavors, and both were good. I did however feel that the cake was more dense than fluffy, but it comes down to personal preference. The frosting is where Magnolia shines however, because it is not overly sweet and ads the extra much-needed flavor to the cupcake.

Final Thoughts: Magnolia Bakery is for those who love a homemade cupcake taste, and who aren’t afraid to battle the long lines and crowds. You definitely have to try it at least once to see for yourself what all the hype is about.

Sprinkles
780 Lexington Avenue (Between 60th and 61st Streets)

Sprinkles was and is still, a west coast sensation that made its way to the big apple, and for that I am thankful. Sprinkles is a chic cupcake bakery that manages to produce stylish cupcakes that still taste great. This makes them a go to parties or other important events. I sampled both the salted caramel and the chocolate marshmallow, at the suggestion of one of the employees. Overall they were good, but I wasn’t blown away. The salted caramel was a little too salty, but the sweetness of the caramel icing underneath made it manageable. The cake itself was a little denser than I like, but overall it was a decent cupcake. The chocolate marshmallow was fairly bland, and unfortunately neither the chocolate flavor nor the marshmallow filling left much of a lasting impression.

Final Thoughts: When it comes to sprinkles I would definitely purchase their cupcakes for their appearance, especially if I was throwing a fancy party. On taste alone though, I would go somewhere else.

Sugar Sweet Sunshine
126 Rivington Street (Between Essex and Norfolk Streets)

Sugar Sweet Sunshine is a great little cupcake bakery that turns on the charm. From the bright yellow and orange walls, to the colorful sprinkles on each cupcake, Sugar Sweet Sunshine wants you to feel happier. They have all of your typical flavors such as vanilla and chocolate, but I went with the more interesting flavor of strawberry and cream cheese. I don’t know what it is about that combination, but it was absolutely perfect. The flavor of the cake was subtle, but not overpowering, and the icing was creamy with just a hint of cream cheese flavor. The cupcakes here are super moist and fluffy, and their flavors are subtle, but still noticeable. The cupcakes here are also some of the most affordable I found in the city, costing only $1.75 for an average sized cupcake.

Final Thoughts: Everything about Sugar Sweet Sunshine is bright, colorful, and delicious, just as their name suggests. They have the most affordable cupcakes that I know of in the city, which makes them even sweeter.

Two Little Red Hens
1652 2nd Ave (Between 85th and 86th Streets)

While Two Little Red Hens is not the bakery most people think of when they hear the word cupcake, but it definitely should be. In fact, I have to say that Two Little Red Hens may just sell the tastiest cupcakes in Manhattan, and as most of you know that is quite a feat. I sampled both the Brooklyn Blackout and the Key Lime Pie, and I only need one word to describe them…delicious! The Key Lime Pie was chilled and tasted just like a key lime pie should, sweet and tangy at the same time. It provided a truly refreshing experience. The Brooklyn Blackout is for those of you who can’t get enough chocolate. The chocolate flavor could be found everywhere, and its richness could not be ignored. Both of the cupcakes that I sampled were very fluffy and moist, which are two characteristics that I find to be completely necessary in a cupcake.

Final Thoughts: By far the best cupcake bakery in Manhattan (at least in my opinion). Don’t be too chicken to stop here, I guarantee that you will not be disappointed.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Senior Co-Op Update


by Audrey Ong

This week, my supervisor was out of the office for a few days. My daily activities remained about the same, but I did feel as if I had somewhat more responsibility than usual. I guess you can say I had a bit more freedom - not that I’m complaining about how I feel the rest of the time. Everyone is warm and friendly, and it definitely is a nice working environment. 


 
Other than that, I’m feeling more settled at my internship. I’m getting used to certain procedures and knowing who to contact for specific situations. The other public relations intern and I have moved all of the winter samples from the closet and replaced them with our summer ones. It’s nice finally being familiar with all of the seasons’ samples – it makes checking in and pulling magazines’ requests a lot easier!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Joy of Retail

by Alexis Michaelides

In my previous post, I said that the worlds of sports and fashion are not mutually exclusive. That is because both realms are part of retailing.

Last month I attended the National Retail Federation’s 101st Annual Convention & Expo, otherwise known as Retail’s BIG Show. The National Retail Federation (NRF) is the world’s largest retail trade association, and the BIG show is its biggest event.

Over its four days, the event attracts some of the most prominent names in retail (both corporations and executives) and is a great opportunity for networking and education, whether you’re a college student or an industry veteran.

One of the most interesting facts that I learned that week was that one of four jobs in America is directly affected by retail. According to the NRF, anyone whose job involves a consumer product relies on retail for their livelihood—everyone from designers to factory workers to truck drivers who deliver goods to the salespeople who offer the products to consumers. Overall, retail supports nearly 42 million jobs in the United States, and the retail sector is the single-largest contributor to our nation’s economy. Not surprisingly, retail is a significant indicator of the health of the economy as measured in crucial areas such as job growth and consumer spending.

To many of us, working retail has never seemed glamorous. Most, if not all of us, have worked long, tiring hours on a sales floor thanks to Work Project 1. In four years at LIM College, I can’t say that I’ve heard many classmates say that their post-graduation plans included working retail.

But although we may not say so, given that we are all fashion merchandising, visual merchandising, marketing, and management majors, nearly all of us will be employed by the retail industry whether we’re working in apparel, sporting goods, automobiles, or food.

Careers in retail are not truly limiting; in fact, career opportunities in retail are as diverse as the industry itself. Here are parts of the retail industry that are not always on everyone’s radar, and what the NRF has to say about them:


Marketing/Advertising: Be creative and strategic in developing plans for ads, social-networking, and everything related that world.

Store Operations: Oversee operations and profits in a single company across a district or region

Loss Prevention: Use your eye for detail to safeguard company assets

Store Management: Use your people skills and business savvy

Finance: Be at the center of any company’s decision-making and plans as well as its operations.
Develop the maximum of transferable skills that will be useful in any industry.

Human Resources: Recruit, hire, and train

IT and eCommerce: Support business as ever-changing technology pushes it forward

Sales and Sales-Related: Communicate product offerings and interact with the consumer
Distribution, Logistics, Supply Chain Management: Manage movement of product worldwide

Merchandise Buying/Planning: Develop and/or source product, plan sales, and drive profitability

Entrepreneurship: Call the shots. Single, independent, and privately-owned retail businesses account for 95% of the retail industry.

The word retail may make the selling-floor come to mind, but the industry goes far beyond that to offer many other well-paying and enjoyable jobs.

For additional perspectives on retail careers, check out: Go Retail!

If you’d like to get more involved in retail as a student, as I have, join LIM College’s Student Association of the National Retail Federation. Contact Professor Marla Greene at mgreene@limcollege.edu for more information.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Senior Co-Op Update

by Audrey Ong


This semester, I have been interning in the Public Relations department at Ann Taylor for my Senior Co-Op. Working full time, I hope to have a lot of hands-on projects and responsibilities as well as to develop greater insight into the public relations field more generally.

For the first couple of weeks, I was handed basic “normal intern” tasks, such as organizing the showroom, filing papers into folders and binders, and sample trafficking. Knowing my position in the workplace, such duties were expected, but I was eager to handle bigger projects.

Gradually, I was given such tasks. I learned how to track press (print/online/broadcast) credits through a program called Cision in addition to Ann Taylor’s particular way of creating a Press Report. At first, I was working on archiving past months’ press credits and reports. But I impressed my supervisors with how efficiently and quickly I could complete them,  and was given the opportunity to handle the responsibility for creating them for the current months. 


Recently, Ann Taylor announced Kate Hudson as the new face of the company. It was exciting getting to see such a big announcement ripple through the media and hear such strong feedback.

 

Another exciting event that occurred this month was our Summer 2012 Press Preview Presentation. Working alongside only one other PR intern, we assisted the department in the whole set up – shopping for candles/frames, dressing mannequins, steaming clothes, etc. The day of the event, I handled checking in editors/bloggers as well as escorting top editors from the lobby to the showroom. I enjoyed being so involved with the event and watching it happen from set up to break down. My supervisors also allowed me to take some photos for a post for my personal blog, Audrey Allure, and they were all quite happy to see such positive feedback from my followers.