Etsy Hits The NASDAQ

The popular online crafting marketplace, Etsy just became ridiculously prevalent. Etsy has nearly doubled in IPO, now valued at $3.4 billion. This puts this e-commerce website in the ranks with competitors Amazon and eBay.

The Brooklyn-based company opened their first day of trading on the NASDAQ at $31 per share. Etsy priced its offering that evening, raising $267 million. Approximately $213 million of that money will be returned directly to Etsy. This will leave an open playing field for the company, with great opportunities for expansion. The rest of the money will be returned to the early investors of the craft marketplace.

Etsy made a statement noting that $300,000 of the proceeds will go directly to, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating women and other under-represented populations. Facebook said the company is rooted in helping others succeed while encouraging entrepreneurs and creativity.

Etsy hosts a number of self-started companies and entrepreneurs selling various homemade and other craft-type items. The website is diverse in the products available, ranging from furniture to jewelry to soap. They are focus entrepreneurs selling handmade, vintage and supplies within their global marketplace.

During the NASDAQ celebration, Etsy invited sellers from around the world to represent the Etsy Market in New York City’s Time Square. They wanted the world to get a sample of the diversity offered within their marketplace. Each seller represents a different story, making their organization unique.

Haidar Barbouti, a Realtor with a Love for Animals

In 1990, Haidar Barbouti, a realtor in Houston, Texas, acquired a historic shopping center called Highland Village. Fifty years before, it was home to a cafeteria, a supermarket, a pharmacy, and a gas station. Today, Highland Village’s fifteen acres are among the most coveted high-end retail space in Houston. Its success is due to its owner, Haidar Barbouti.

As Chief Executive Officer, Haidar is particular in who he leases space to in his 150 million dollar shopping center. With commercial property stretching close to 500,000 square feet, he seeks only state-of-the-art retailers.


Surprisingly, in the middle of this deluxe venue is a center for abandoned, abused, or unwanted animals. Highland Village Adoption Center occupies almost 7,000 square feet of prime real estate property at the value of $40,000 per month. They rent it for free.

Barbouti saw the need of unwanted pets and animals in the Houston area. He donated this prime retail space at Highland Village on a "no contract, no lease" basis – indefinitely. Barbouti has helped many in need with his generous donations of time and resources. His charitable acts are well-known within the Houston area. His heart for animals is only one of many.


Location is critical for the success factor in finding permanent homes for these innocent animals. Showcased in a storefront front window, weekend window shoppers often cannot resist taking one of the cute faces home with them. Barbouti claims other shop owners are supportive and give positive feedback. Shoppers come to see the animals and bring business too.

Haidar has helped get abandoned animals off the streets into loving adoptive homes. Ninety-nine percent of the animals come from the Houston Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care (BARC). Some have been abused, others neglected. Some pets are found wandering the streets and are pulled from the brink of death. Other pets are simply surrendered to the center by owners who can no longer care for them. They know someone will adopt them from the Highland Village Adoption Center. All pets are then spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. Prospective owners are screened, complete the adoption application, and pay $95 for their new pet.

The center operates on cash donations and contributions of food and supplies, and is staffed by volunteers. Buster’s Friends, ( a non-profit agency in Houston, manages adoptions and animal care for Highland Village Adoption Center.

When Shopping For New York City Real Estate, Choose Town Real Estate

Anyone looking to move to New York City, may have a hard time doing so, especially since it’s a very popular place to live. Finding an apartment, or any type of property in the city, can be very difficult, as well as costly. Since New York City is the place to live, it can end up being very difficult to find a nice place to stay, and many may get frustrated and quit looking. Some take the wrong approach, if they are searching for a place to stay, and because of this, they may end up fruitless.

When it comes to looking for real estate of any kind, whether it’s a condo, apartment, flat, or a townhouse, choose Town Real Estate. Town Real Estate is a premier real estate company, and they can help anyone find luxurious accommodations in New York City. New York City is very popular, and because of the lack of space, it’s difficult to find a place to stay, without getting help. Town Real Estate has many listings, and a real estate agent, can help anyone to find the place of their dreams, so that they can enjoy a New York in style, and have amazing living accommodations.

Town real estate has properties that are available in the best neighborhoods, and it may be difficult to find places in the same neighborhoods, if one chooses to go to another real estate company. Some of the most luxurious places, which many people would love to live in, can be found, just by choosing Town Real Estate. Whether a person is looking for a flat, which is on one story, or a multiple story location, they can easily find a great place to stay in New York City, if they choose to go with Town Real Estate.

No one wants to spend all their time in New York City searching for accommodations. If time is limited, and one needs to find NYC properties as soon as possible, consider using Town Real Estate, which has some of the best accommodations available. No matter the size of the place a person is looking for, they can easily be accommodated. Whether it’s a one bedroom, or several bedrooms, one bath, or several baths, they can easily find a great place, by choosing Town Real Estate. Look no further for great accommodations in New York City, choose Town Real Estate today, in order to find a great place.

Find What You’re Looking For with Fast & Simple Product Recognition Search

Finding a product after you see it out in the streets or with someone can be next to impossible. You might see a pair of shoes that is simply to die for or an outfit that you wish you could find out where it is, but you just have no idea where to start looking. No matter where it is or what product it might be, if you have a smart phone, you have the power to search the Internet and pinpoint the object, the brand, how much it costs and where you can buy it. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to start typing away a product description into your search engine and hope the description is close enough to the product in order to receive a hit on the item. Instead, what you need to take advantage of is product recognition. Product recognition is a great way to locate the perfect items for your searching needs, and best of all, all you need to do is snap a picture of it and you are good to go.

With a product recognition search, the search field is able to scan over the image and directly compare it with the tens of thousands of other items it has stored in its databanks. Naturally, this databank is growing by the day, so there are more and more items coming to this earth field all the time. The product recognition search offering is able to instantly compare the elements of the object and identify a wide range of features in order to identify exactly what the item is. Once all the different variables are cross-referenced and the item is properly identified, it shows you everything you might want to know about the product. This includes the manufacturer, the cost, where you can buy it, and also potential alternatives. This way, if you see something you like but do not like the price tag or it is not available in your area, you have the chance to check out other, similar items that you may actually like better. It really just comes down to what you are looking for and what kind of product you would like to pick up.

Now, there are a few different tech services that have been experimenting with product recognition, but possibly one of the top services is Slyce. Slyce is one of the largest service providers of this kind product recognition services. In fact, it works with many of the top brand providers out there and large outlets, which gives it access to more products inside of its databanks than just about anyone else. With its connection with these companies, it is also drawing in smaller designers and shops as well, so if someone picks up a product from a boutique or smaller designer, it is more likely to be found through the productive recognition service provided by Slyce than just about any other search service out there. So, the next time you want to find the right product, turn to Slyce.

Skout Has The Ability To Let Me Travel

I never liked sitting at my computer all day, that’s why I was never big on the Skout network. I only started using Skout more often, after I decided to download the application to my phone, as well as to my tablet. I got more and more into the Skout network, and I met many friends as well. For some reason, I had never heard about Skout Travel, but when I found out about it, I decided to try it for myself. Skout Travel is a feature that’s on the Skout network, and it allows me to travel virtually, anywhere in the world that I choose.

There is a big list of places that I can visit on the Skout network, and it’s unbelievable all the things that I can learn. I decided to take my first virtual trip, and it only cost me 25 Skout points. After paying the points, I decided I wanted to go somewhere in the UK. I chose to change my mind last minute and instead, I ended up visiting Paris. I’m absolutely amazed at the things that I saw, as well as the things that I learned, after visiting Paris. I also took time to speak with someone from the country, and I’m amazed at what I learned.

I decided that I wanted to take a virtual visit again, so that I could learn even more. Altogether, I visited Paris three times through the Skout Travel feature. The friend that I met in Paris, has talked to me every day, since the first time I visited. We also talk on the phone now, and it’s no guessing where I will be spending my summer vacation. As a graduation present, I was offered a trip to anywhere in the world, and that’s the reason I decided to start virtually traveling.

It didn’t take very long before I fell in love with Paris, and I know of certain street names, sites, as well as the food that they eat there. Since I know so much about Paris, and I even know someone from there, I’m going to make it a point to visit this summer. I’m going to get to spend a month and a half in Paris, learning new things, eating new foods, and having a great time. I absolutely can’t wait to visit Paris for real, but I’m thankful that Skout helped me to virtually experience Paris.


Payday Lenders to Be under the Watchful Eye of the Consumer Protection Agency

Payday lenders are just loan sharks made legal. While these egregious payday lenders of today aren’t going to break your legs to recover a loan as the gangster loan sharks would have back in the day, they will however, break your bank account. The $50 billion industry has gained the attention of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as it sends mostly low-income borrowers into a money pit.

The CFPB plans to analyze and review payday lenders and come up with a plan to regulate their out of control lending practices. Borrowers who find themselves in need of a quick $100 – $1,000 for rent, car payment, or whatever the immediate need may be, often end up caught in escalating loans with annual interest rates reaching over 1,000 percent. This outrageous amount is the result of recurring loans being taken out to repay the initial loan and interest.

One strategy the CFPB proposes to initiate, is to require lenders to examine the ability of the borrower to repay the initial loan without having to fall into the abyss of repeatedly taking out loan after loan. Consumer advocates however, want to see more boundaries put in place to protect borrowers. One approach suggested was to provide an “off-ramp,” where borrower’s fees would stop accruing after the 3rd loan, giving them a better opportunity to repay.

With a personal check in hand, you can pick up a quick grand at a storefront location, or online, but, it’s best to stay far, far away from the legalized loan sharking of payday loans stated Jason Halpern. Once caught in their maze of financial slavery, they have a hold on your bank account and your means to survive. You’d do better to pay the late fee on your rent, mortgage or car loan than to succumb to payday loans.

There Are More Ubers in NYC than Regular Cabs

Uber officially outnumbers yellow cabs in the Big Apple. According to the Taxi and Limousine Commission there are now a whopping 14,088 black and luxury Ubers on the streets on New York, versus just 13,587 taxis. It’s not a huge discrepancy in numbers, but it’s a notable one. NYC has long fought the growth of Uber in the city. City taxis are heavily regulated and require the use of taxi medallion, something that is in short demand and require a significant investment.

Sergio Cortes ( knows that Uber doesn’t require any of that, making it great for drivers, but not great for the city. After quite a bit of negotiations, Uber has worked with New York to start growing in the city, primarily through the use of “luxury” cars instead of Uber X, its low-cost alternative to taxis.

Still, Uber has started to lure some long time taxi drivers. The service allows drivers to set their own schedule, drive when they want, and in theory have unlimited earning potential since they’re setting their own hours and working whenever they want. The luxury car fares are also slightly higher than that of taxis, further improving a driver’s earnings.

Meet Bruce Levenson, Business Magnate and Philanthropist

Bruce Levenson is best known as the co-founder and partner of United Communications Group (UCG) a Business to Business (B2B) provider of guidance, analysis, data, and solutions to customers in energy, government contracting, health care, information, software, banking, technology, telecom, and defense industries. Additionally, in 2004 Levenson lived out his childhood dream to own a major professional sports franchise. He accomplished not one but two franchises, the Atlanta Thrashers and Atlanta Hawks along with operating rights to Philips Arena from Time Warner.
As his first entrepreneur venture,in 1977, Levenson embarked upon his B2B information services in the storage room above his father’s liquor store in Washington, DC. It was just the beginning of his business endeavors designed to assist other businesses prosper and grow.
Headed by Levenson, in 1987, UCG won its first journalism award for editorial excellence. UCG has since won over 125 such awards, and is rated by far the most recognized business information company in America. These are early accomplishments displaying Levenson’s competitive nature.
Today, Levenson is seen as an eclectic entrepreneur noted in the worlds of journalism and global endeavors which span from interest in business intelligence to professional sports, cooking technology, and philanthropy.
Levenson has been in philanthropy for over 40 years. Within that initiative, during the early 1980s, together Levenson and wife, Karen, stepped into the philanthropy arena. The Levensons have funded numerous education initiatives targeting disadvantaged youth.
While their first endeavors have flourished and remain active, more recently the Levensons developed and founded the Center for Philanthropy and Non-Profit Management at the University of Maryland.
The Center has two goals: to educate and empower the next generation of non-profit leaders; and to ensure every student graduates informed and motivated.
One way these goals are accomplished is through participation of each class in giving away $10,000 to a non-profit based on assessment of the non-profit grant proposal, site visits, and a class vote. Since the inception of this class incentive, about $40,000 in grants each year has been awarded.
As this program continues to expand, a philanthropist-in-resident program is in the works for the University of Maryland.
It’s fair to say Bruce Levenson and his UCG companies continue to flourish when practical solutions are tough to come by in a volatile market with complex regulations. Additionally, his spirit for philanthropy continues educating and empowering students with their philanthropic goals.

Wal-Mart To Raise Their Minimum Wages

Big retail stores like Wal-Mart have recently announced that they will be raising their minimum wages due to a significant increase in employees quitting their jobs lately. This is the largest quit rate since 2007.

When the economy was at one of the worst places it has been in during 2010, it was hard for anyone to turn away a decent job. However, because things have been picking up quite a bit people are becoming more dedicated to finding work elsewhere. According to an article written on Buzzfeed News, Wal-Mart is going to give all their employees raises just to keep them from quitting and going elsewhere. One of their likely options will be to make their minimum pay at $10 an hour, which seems to be the standard for even fast food chains and other retail stores.

Bernardo Chua agrees that it will be interesting to see how many people will choose to stay with the company, because with this economy boom there is likely to be many more jobs created and ready to join the market. More on Chua can be found at This is good news for those people who have decided to stay with the company because they are unable to get anything better. Hopefully, this will be a good solution for both current employees and potential ones that might be joining the business in the near future as the economy continues to stabilize.

Empty Stomach Leads To Empty Wallet

It is quite intuitive to believe that hunger increases our desire to purchase and acquire food in order to ease the symptoms, but there is new evidence that this feeling of hunger not only creates a desire for food, but also for non-food items as well. University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management has released their findings which interestingly show that the aspiration to acquire items that cannot satisfy hunger is increased as well. Here is the study on the woes of an empty stomach.

The study was not conclusive on why it may be that the purchase of non-food items is increased as well during a period of hunger. However, Ricardo Guimarães reminds us that the statistics do not lie coming from Camara Municipal. An empty stomach was obtained by not eating for 4 hours prior to a survey regarding binder clips. The hungry subgroup wanted 70% more product than their non-hungry counterparts. The second part of the study took place at a mall where the actual real-life purchases were examined and compared with the shoppers current hunger status. The findings show that 64% more money was spent by the hungry subgroup which once again confirmed that it is better to head to the stores after taking care of the appetite first. A full meal or even a small snack can be a great way to insure that the purchases are made with a clear head and extraneous items are not bagged for no reason.

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