How OXO is Protecting Their Brand

OXO Spinner 5It’s just not easy doing business these days. Even when you constantly try and do the right thing, play by the rules, do everything you can to make the world a better place and treat your customers and employees like you would like to be treated, someone comes along and attacks everything you have worked so hard for.

OXO, a wonderful, ethical company that is known for it’s ingenious products and ideas sent me an email today about a competitor that is accusing them of stealing a product idea and proceeded to put up a billboard stating these charges 2 blocks from the OXO corporate office. The CEO of Quirky – Ben Kaufman then staged a picket line outside of OXO to draw attention to their charges.

I guess they didn’t realize that OXO doesn’t only have smart designs, they are also really smart about marketing and intellectual property. They have been very supportive of the blogger community and came to us with the facts on this matter – all very well researched and stated.

It turns out that Quirky never went to OXO to voice their concerns and allegations even though the companies are within blocks of each other in NYC. When the President of OXO Alex Lee met with Quirky CEO in 2012 about product design and innovation Lee asked Kaufman “what steps Quirky took to protect the intellectual property (IP) of this broad community when inventors submit their idea in an open and public forum”. Kaufman responded “Nothing. Speed to market is our best protection.”

Almost every day I find another person or company that is using my trademarked term Lifestylist®. I spent a lot of time and money almost 15 years ago to trademark the term because I believed in it and wanted to protect it in the right way – legally. I’ve trademarked other terms and uses since then and it amazes me how many people never search the US Patent and Trademark records to see if a term they want to use is trademarked before they tie it to their brand.

So I am going to do for OXO what I hope other people will do for me. I’m going to share the OXO story, and I’m going to buy their products and support their brand. How we spend our hard earned dollars is the easiest way to let a company know what you think about their business practices and products. Up until now I have never heard of Quirky, but in the future I won’t be spending a dime on any of their products just on principle.

OXO did a beautiful job of addressing this issue in social media and it is well worth reading. And leave it to them to change this into a positive – they are offering to give a “Patent Process Primer” to anyone interested so you can learn the correct way to protect your own intellectual property.

It’s really easy for anyone to write anything these days whether it’s right or wrong, and the responsibility of the blogging and social media community to bring to light injustices such as this. I really appreciate OXO sharing this important lesson with all of us and showing us how to protect our own intellectual property.

The Fear of Cooking

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I’m always amazed how many people are afraid to cook. They think they don’t have the skills or the knowledge to put together a meal so they depend on eating out, take out and convenience foods.

Last week we were invited to visit the spectacular new Thermador Culinary Experience in California. Not only are there beautiful kitchens displayed with the cool new products that Thermador offers, it also has working kitchens where Chef Kyle will help you experience first hand what a difference these appliances can make in creating your own culinary creations.

Being a Lifestylist® is all about Life Celebrating Style, and we love being in the kitchen and sharing that time with friends and family. When we got ready to prepare our lunch in the Culinary Center they asked us to pair up with someone. Holly said that she would love to cook with me, but she didn’t know how to cook.

Holly and I looked at the recipe for Pecan Pie and we jumped right in. We quickly realized how much easier it is to cook with the right appliances and tools, and working together our pies were in the oven in no time! By the time lunch was over, Holly no longer was afraid of cooking and she couldn’t wait to share her new culinary skills with her daughter and family.

Cooking should be a labor of love, and it can be lots of fun to spend time in the kitchen. Try taking a cooking class with friends and I think you might be surprised how much you might begin to enjoy spending time in the kitchen.

Healthy Recipes From Scratch

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This is going to be a busy week! I leave tomorrow to do some new model homes for SE Homes of Texas in Louisiana, so while I’m enjoying all of that Cajun cuisine I wanted to cook up some healthy meals my Lifestylist® family could enjoy.

Ro-tel® (tomatoes and diced green chilies)is a staple in my pantry. It is low calorie, low fat, and full of spicy goodness and is an important part of my vegetarian chili and my vegetable soup.

I make this in my slow cooker – it’s a perfect weekend dish because you can prep all of the vegetables and let it cook up on it’s own. Use vegetables that your family prefers or ones that are fresh at the farmers market – my version changes with the seasons.

You can find the recipe on my Lifestylist® Recipe page – enjoy!

Kitchen Trends for 2013

Thermador Oct 11 29t’s looking like this Lifestylist® is going to be spending a lot more time in the kitchen this year, and we couldn’t be more excited! Our test kitchen is coming along really well, and we have a lot of kitchens we are designing for clients which is always lots of fun.

January is going to be a month spent on the road. Besides working with all of our clients we have been invited to the beautiful Thermador flagship design center to see what’s new as well as work on new appliances for the future.

The International Builders Show will be taking place in Las Vegas, and it is always a great source of trends in home design.

We’ll have lots to talk about and share, and we are also anxious to know what you think about the new trend to brighter, whiter kitchens. Susan Serra, one of the premiere kitchen designers just did an article for Cultivate on Kitchen Predictions for 2013 that has lots of great information so we wanted to share. What do you think will be the top kitchen trend in 2013?

Great Plates

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I love it when my kids call me for advice – especially when it has to do with looking for a source or product they need for their homes.

My daughter decided to start out the New Year with some different plates -the ones that she had were chipped and a bunch of them had gotten broken.

I am a frugal Lifestylist®, and as luck would have it I found some great plates at The Dollar Tree that are an amazing deal! They had dinner plates, bowls, and mugs all for $1.00 each. I love that they are a simple white with a raised beading around the edge, and at that price they are almost less than paper plates! It’s a good thing she’s in Florida because I think I bought up every one in Dallas.

White is a great choice for your table – it doesn’t fight with whatever color your food is, and you can easily add color to your table top with napkins, placemats, and flowers.

Here’s To a Healthy 2013!

Fiesta Salad 33With just a few more hours until 2013, we wanted to get an early start on some healthy recipes for the New Year.

We love using as many local foods as possible in our cooking, but winter limits what we can find.

Our New Beginnings Fiesta Salad uses Rotel – a great spicy tomato and chili mix that is low on calories but adds lots of flavor. When we make this in the summer we’ll use fresh tomatoes, peas, and chilis but this is the perfect way to pay homage to the southern tradition of having black eye peas on New Years for luck.

You can find the recipe on our Lifestylist® recipe page. Happy New Year!

Chef Joanne Bondy To Be Featured at James Beard Dinner

Chef Joanne Bondy, Executive Chef at The Old Hickory Steakhouse at the Gaylord Texan has been asked to host a special evening at The James Beard House for the third time. This Lifestylist® was honored to be able to help prep the last dinner in the James Beard kitchen, and then stay behind the scenes to capture the experience on film.

Chef Bondy treated member of the Gaylord Food and Wine Society along with other guests to a preview of what will be served at the October event recently, and this is definitely going to be a meal to remember. Palmaz wines will be featured and served with the dinner.

For information on how you can attend this very special event, contact the Gaylord Texan team at: 817-778-2210

What is a Lifestylist® ?

 

 

 

One of the questions I always get asked is exactly what is a Lifestylist®, and what is unique about the Lifestylist® Lifestyle. The second most asked question is what makes me a Trailer Diva!

The Lifestylist philosophy is about “Life Celebrating Style”. Our clients life and style is what dictates how a Lifestylist® works with you. My favorite example is I had a client in Phoenix, Arizona that was a major Phoenix Suns fan, and their team colors are orange and purple. The client wanted their entire home done in these colors. What they wanted is what they got, complete with a child’s room with a hardwood floor striped like a basketball court. They wanted to stylishly celebrate their interests and love of their home team and we did!

I just spoke to a friend who’s dog just dug up their entire garden and her daughter slammed the door on the neighbor’s hand – all in about 30 minutes time. Her needs and lifestyle are completely different from my son – no kids, no dogs, and lives in front of his computer. What my style is wouldn’t work well for either of them which is why I need to understand the client and what their “hot buttons” are. It’s takes extra time and sleuthing to achieve this – many times the client has trouble putting into words exactly what they are looking for but they know it when they see it. I take the responsibility very seriously – a person’s environment can truly change their lives in a positive or negative way. If someone is happy in their home their quality of life improves.

Next to being a mother, becoming a Lifestylist® is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. I’m looking forward to expanding the concept and what it offers in the years to come. – we will be launching a new food line this Spring!

Here’s to a Tasty 2012

Happy New Year from the Lifestylist® family! We are really excited about 2012 and the opportunities that will come with it.

A lot of being a Lifestylist® is about being a trend tracker and doing research. Today I read something that was written by someone else titled “Social Media Lifestylist Guidelines for 2012” – boy does that sound dull! The first thing that comes to mind is a big dusty manual full of rules and regulations, and that is exactly what social media (and being a Lifestylist®) is not about.

The tag line I have always used for my Lifestylist® brand is “It’s All About You”. I didn’t want the brand to be about me telling people what to do – I wanted to listen to people’s wants, needs, and dreams, and help them achieve those even when they didn’t know that’s what they were really searching for. I don’t want to dictate, I want to educate. I’ve learned that listening is so much more important than anything I will ever have to say, because sometimes if you let people express their thoughts they will find their answers.

Social media is such an exciting new frontier because it gives everyone the chance to tell their story to the universe. It’s become a great equalizer because almost anyone  on any budget can get access to a computer and a free site and share their thoughts.

There’s a down side to this though as well -there’s not as much editing as we’ve seen in the past. We have to learn that even though someone may have written it, there is the possibility it might not be true. Before we share or depend on information we find we have to be sure and check the facts. As the guardian of the Lifestylist® trademark for almost 10 years now I’ve seen how many people want to tie into my brand but aren’t willing to go through the legal process to acquire a brand of their own.

So what are the real Lifestylist’s guidelines for 2012? Never call them guidelines, live your life to the fullest, listen to those around you and you can never laugh too much or have too much great food and wine!

Here’s to a boisterous 2012!