210 – Charlie Cole of Tumi – A Cautionary Tale

Charlie Cole

The world’s leading brand of luxury travel, business and lifestyle accessories…

Charlie ColeCharlie Cole, Global Chief eCommerce Officer at Samsonite, Chief Digital Officer at Tumi and active advisor, joins Pavan Bahl, Marc Raco, Charles Beckwith and Cathy Schepis (hosts of American Fashion Podcast) in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

Avoiding a drug for brands, Agile-1, and communication platforms

Charlie ColeCole discusses how it is so easy to mark down products in physical retail stores and see results, but it is a sizeable task, how in ecommerce it is easy and a drug for brands, combining methodologies, using third party CRM, Agile-1, the advantage of using an earlier stage company that could be nimble and grow with Tumi, the value for a global point of view, utilizing different communication platforms, taking business away from promotional a business, employing an exclusive product strategy, the value of collaborations, and the when chat windows can provide ROI.

Avoiding the loss of tactical information, keeping in touch, and individual algorithms

Charlie ColeThe difference of thought leadership with how amazing brand is, or a blue-sky approach, or high level — tactical information gets lost at conferences. Cole prefers to offer actionable content, talk about failures, and is secret sauce tactics? It matters to get great things done, clarifying the roles of everybody involved. Samsonite brands achieved $4billion in revenue in full portfolio, but even with the greatest website you’re not going to break a 10% conversation so the job is not transactional. The goal is keeping in touch to provide product we need, when we need it. Every person has their own algorithm at Tumi. Need to cipher small variations in each person’s algorithm for CRM. Good data set, good CRM, and people will tell you what the most important thing to talk to them about. Sharing insights across the full portfolio, how make the most effective use of portfolio scale

Near term vs. long term, finding Wanderlust, and Seattle style

Charlie ColeTechnological possibilities with luggage, how tech is interfacing with travel, the “near term” material story, and “long term” with recycling and sustainability. Hartman vs. Tumi, and balancing depiction of brands by region. Off the grid questions cover the first international travel that made an impact on Cole, getting Wanderlust, building of character with international travel, the perfect song when you come home to feel home, stylish things to do in Seattle, Seward Park, and making an excuse to think about your journey.

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209 – Sarah Tenney of Blue Export Group – Getting Smart with Shells

Sarah Tenney

Smart fabric made from macadamia nut shells in Hawaii…

Sarah Tenney Sarah Tenney, President of Blue Export Group in Hawaii (a company providing services and source materials for those aiming to expand their Smart Fabric products to overseas buyers from Honolulu Hawaii), joins hosts Marc Raco, Pavan Bahl and Rob Sanchez on location at the WEAR Conference in San Francisco. Powered by Sennheiser.

Reinvigorating emerging tech, carbon from macadamia nuts, and conductive and thermal qualities of the shells

Sarah Tenney Tenney discusses why she is at the WEAR Conference, how the US is behind in smart fabric development, the efforts to reinvigorate emerging tech, and wanting to manufacturer their own fabrics. She covers advancements in uniforms, how the company started prototyping fabrics looking into creating conductive fabrics to create a lighting system in medical scrubs, how she is inspired to see fabulous ideas from carbon made of macadamia shells, how the shells offer conductive and thermal qualities, and how there is a value from raw material through supply chain.

Walter filtration, Hawaiian isolation, and prototypes

Macadamia nut shells and producing carbon, how one way fabric is made is extrusion so one can embed things like macadamia nut shells into it. Also, coatings. And fasteners or thread that have conductive qualities can help with water filtration, even nano-level coatings. How this idea started, finding a real-deal advisor and the right partners, how the infrastructure is there in Hawaii, but the opportunity for working with people there is not. Plus, partnering with the university system and creating the first smart fabric innovations course. The goal of getting macadamia nuts and turning them into a yarn, then the rest comes from that. Issues in Hawaii of isolation, building something that can sustain, and a tough environment for equipment and machinery. How the resulting strategy is to get things into prototypes, dealing with waste and sustainability constraints on islands, developing products that fit within the island ecosystem, how conductive fabrics and threads are a big thing, and turning to WEAR Conference because it shows what’s top of mind.

Environmental considerations, Pono, and hamburger trauma

Considering the environmental impact of removing the macadamia nut shells, a chance for growers to get residual income from shells now, and how Hawaii has success taking care of the environment as a part of its culture. Off the Grid Questions cover special spots in Hawaii, a ridge above Hanauma Bay, hula, a trauma of the best, small, unfinished hamburger ever, the concept of Pono (doing something right), and loving getting East and West coasts together in a way that doesn’t happen often on the islands.

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208 – Michelle Farrington of Analog Devices – The Holy Grail of Frictionless Experience

Energy harvesting and wireless power transfer for wearable technology…

Michelle Farrington, Director of Energy Harvesting Platform Development at Analog Devices (a company that enables our customers to interpret the world around us by intelligently bridging the physical and digital with unmatched technologies that sense, measure and connect) joins hosts Marc Raco, Pavan Bahl and Rob Sanchez on location at the WEAR Conference in San Francisco. Powered by Sennheiser.

A better user experience, locations for energy harvesters, and designing for endurance

Farrington discusses low power electronics and using low waste body heat or energy and transferring that into usable power, and how power transfer can allow clothing to enable consumers to have better user experience. The holy grail of a frictionless experience, body energy waste, kinetic motion, breathing, moving limbs, locations to put harvesters, from shoes to textile-based harvesters such as sewn into clothing or the clothing itself, designed for washing and endurance.

Use cases, data and transmission, and testing

Use cases and implications, implementing rechargeable systems, etc.. Transferring power and data, using coils and antennas, RF wireless power transfer, and inspirations from nature. Studying body motion, developing new uses for soft products, smart textiles, a nascent technology, and where on the body energy would be used, learning where people want functions and then coordinating location of energy harvesting in that location. Testing assumptions with military uniforms, considering the release of energy and radiation and testing for those.

Looking ahead, a complete canvas, and a design language

The future of wearables, the future of energy harvesting and power transfer, and textile based harvesters using the complete canvas of the body to be used for energy generation. And Off the Grid Questions cover the personal side of Farrington, including swimming, selling things on the side of the road, trial and error, and an important building block. Plus, the importance of getting a design language.

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207 – Pete Santora of SOFTWEAR Automation – Robots and Bananas

Autonomous sewn good worklines for home hoods, footwear and apparel…

Pete Santora, Chief Commercial Officer for SOFTWEAR Automation (an Atlanta-based machine vision and robotics startup), joins Pavan Bahl, Marc Raco and guest host Veronika Harbick (CEO, Co-founder & 3D Knitting Programmer for Thursday Finest) in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Harbick also offers an announcement about her company. (Santora’s profile)

Genesis with DARPA, robots vs. jobs, Made in USA, and finding your wife in Whole Foods

Santora reveals the genesis of the company, being started by DARPA, and in accordance with the Berry Amendment, requiring the Department of Defense to give procurement preference to domestically produced, manufactured, or home-grown products. Giving attention to the fact that manufacturers are aging out of seamstresses, the growing need for automation in sewing, and the new the ability to scale the creation of goods, anywhere in the world, not just where you can find labor. How apparel manufacturing is manufacturing, fielding questions about loss of jobs, automation vs. robots, and fighting a cloud of fear about robots. How the majority of labor will not be replaced for decades, robots are just tools, and a real timeline of change and adaptation of new set of tools. The requirement to be in the US for SOFTWEAR, and how that stance is working, and bringing manufacturing here, the challenges of change because of generational people and legacy thinking, and how they can be slow to adapt. The tipping point of sustainability is at hand, and personal concerns vs. corporate concerns. Plus, snack time inspires a story of Santora meeting his wife in Whole Foods, his time as a professional soccer player, consuming bananas to play sports — and a droid makes an appearance in the studio.

How the SEWBOTS work, what a brand is, and deconstructing the automation chain

Being a ten-year-old startup with 8 years of R and D, focusing on how to survive as a company, using technology to build a company that works no matter the economic climate, and Alli Baba’s gigantic technology fund as an indication that something major taking place. How the SEWBOT technology works, the way it was conceived coming fro professor, the role of Georgia Tech in wearables with the first wearable tech shirt and much of the IP around wearable tech. Accomplishing proof of concept for machine vision, how goods go through entire process fully, allowing on demand and local production. Determining what a brand is these days, what the pieces are. The need to make in America while keeping quality, implanting sustainability and remaining competitive, and losing the guilt of not buying Made in America. Plus, the Sourcing Summit, having the job discovering how the company could fail, and deconstructing the automation chain to make sure brands can make goods the way they want to while keeping it sustainable.

Soccer, droids, and why kids should run toward robotics

Personal questions with Off the Grid cover remote control airplane assembly, and not getting it to work. Being crushed, joining a robotics club, soccer teams and the profound unbalance of Italy not making the soccer playoffs, women’s soccer vs. men’s soccer, why the U.S. doesn’t have a style, soccer tennis, a robotic film costar, and automation integrating with the lives of kids. Also, running towards robotics, and a desire to meet crazy people.

Thursday Finest

Plus, a special announcement from Veronika Harbick about a new chapter for Thursday Finest.

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