Skip to content

If you came here looking for “Esther Steinfeld wedding website”…

March 14, 2011

… this is not it. This is:

I do not, and never will, apologize for the fact that the entire site is in Flash. If you’re viewing on an iPhone… don’t. Get thee to a computer.


January 5, 2011

Having your impending nuptials mentioned in the Bellaire Buzz means you’re famous, yes? I thought so.

Breaking up with Hotmail

December 2, 2010

You may recall that over a year ago, I wrote about my faltering relationship with Hotmail. Jack Shafer over at my second online home (Slate) has a pretty funny piece on breaking up with the Old Faithful of email today. Go ‘head.

What I didn’t know about Becca Cason Thrash

November 30, 2010

I’m at PR Day, PRSA Houston’s annual day-long conference. This year’s keynote was Becca Cason Thrash, one of Houston’s best-known philanthropists, socialites, and gala throwers. Or at least, that’s what I thought she was, until I heard her speak this morning. In the midst of a successful PR career, she founded Paper City magazine “out of desperation” as many of Houston’s publications were shuttering. And were you aware that Paper City began with literally zero editorial content? What looked like editorial content was actually ad space, arranged to look editorial. I’m completely insired by her right now. Is there such thing as a Becca Cason Thrash groupie? I might just be one. Her career – like her wardrobe – is totally amazing.

Want to make money doing what you love?

November 18, 2010
Abby Larson, CEO of Style Me Pretty

Abby Larson, CEO of Style Me Pretty

So, I’m getting married, and during my first week on the job, I bought MANY, MANY magazines. Many. And blew through a significant amount of cash in doing so. I realized I was going to blow my entire wedding budget just coming up with wedding ideas, so I turned to the internets for inspiration.

Fact: there are hundreds and hundreds and thousands of wedding-focused blogs.

There are lots of okay wedding blogs. But one does seem to stand above the rest. It’s beautiful, ethereal, and I’ve sort of become a loyal reader. is its name, and if you love design and weddings and prettiness, this is must-read. What sets it apart from others is that it has a certain aspirational, ethereal quality that carries through the whole website to create one cohesive voice from which it doesn’t often deviate. It lists all vendors, so as you’re inspired by beautiful images, you can contact the party responsible for your own wedding. It also connects you to hundreds of reputable vendors, who happen to be their advertisers.

I reached out to StyleMePretty founder Abby Larson to interview her for The Businessmakers Show, thinking it would be a fun interview with someone whose website I liked. What I discovered upon speaking with her is that she is an incredibly savvy entrepreneur, who full-time employs an entire team of people to manage and design Style Me Pretty. It is actually a very successful business that pays Larson’s mortgage, though you’d never know it, based on the site itself, and that’s just how Larson wants it. Her team takes careful steps to ensure that as their site grows, it remains an intimate, cozy haven for brides and bridal enthusiasts.

Not many people have been able to monetize their blogs in this way, and anyone who’s thinking of ways to do it must listen to this interview. It’s inspiring. Plus, Miss Larson is lovely and talented, and she’s funny to boot.

Listen here: Businessmakers Overtime Show episode 66 with Style Me Pretty founder Abby Larson.


Insanely gorgeous home tour @ Apartment Therapy

November 2, 2010

I’m not crazy about pink, but this is just a knock out little apartment. I’m a huge fan of Apartment Therapy, and browse their site often for inspiration for The Finishing Touch and for my own home. I came across Darian’s Darling Glam Den, and I’m sort of in love. It’s very Julia Allison, but even more over the top. Julia’s walls boast wearable art (ie, her party dresses and such), but this gem of a space actually has full-on Barbie-inspired mannequins throughout. If you’re going to decorate with pink, you might as well go all out. I’m sure my fiance would love this look.

A preview:


We don’t know anything about politics. Happy voting!

November 2, 2010

According to a new Harris poll, we’re not familiar enough with any of our top government officials to have opinions about them. Data indicates that Hilary Clinton is the most highly thought of, while we don’t know squat about Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, or Robert Gates. We also have no idea what’s in the health care reform bill. And it’s voting day, so this must be scary information for politicians who think we care who they are or what they have to say.

The poll suggests that “many people can hold strong views about Washington without actually following what is going on there.”

It takes more than a clever sign, a negative ad, and good PR to be memorable. Regardless, I hope you voted, even if you had no idea who you were voting for or why. 🙂

PR Director one of the best jobs in America?

November 1, 2010

According to Money &, it is. 84th best, to be exact. 13% job growth, and gets all A’s and B’s for personal satisfaction, job security, flexibility, and benefits to society. Not far behind is the role of Director of Communications. Check out the full list of the Best Jobs in America to see if your job made the cut. Not surprisingly, the list is heavily weighted towards creative, service, and technology positions.

Writing more, in more places

October 19, 2010

I’ll be writing occasionally for the PRSA blog, so visit there every so often, if you’re inclined.

Here’s the first post: High Fructose Corn Syrup’s PR Problem

And feel free to weigh in.

Pinkwashing: Stop Using Our Diseases to Sell Your Products

October 6, 2010

Could be, as the daughter of a woman who lost her life to breast cancer, I’m slightly more sensitive to matters of the boob than you are, but I feel moved to say something after the onslaught of pink emails I’ve received in the last few days. You probably know someone who’s had or died from breast cancer, and quite frankly, I find the “pinkwashing” offensive, as a marketer and a human.

I received a well-done (graphically-speaking) email from a brand I really enjoy and respect. I own several pairs of shoes and a bag or two from this designer and always open the emails they send me. I’m a good customer for them, one they probably don’t want to lose.

Yesterday’s email from them troubled me, and here’s why:

I’m sure they mean well, and maybe they really are going to give a percentage of proceeds to an organization that funds breast cancer research. But how much? When? What percentage of my purchase is being donated? By not disclosing this information, we’re led to believe that they’ve chosen the two pink products on their site to tout as breast cancer awareness products simply because they’re pink and because they’re easy to “Add to Cart” after you’ve already determined that you’re going to give them your credit card information to buy other, pricier items. And let’s say this business does donate a penny from each umbrella sold. Does this really count as a legitimate donation? How will we know the donation was made? We, the public, have no clue.

When you click “Shop Now,” you’re taken to the “New Arrivals” page. No further mention of breast cancer, donations, proceeds, or anything of the sort. In fact, you can’t even find these breast cancer research-supporting products on the landing page. I thought perhaps there’d be further mention of this social action campaign on the website, but no dice. Just as I suspected, another company jumping on the Breast Cancer Awareness Month bandwagon.

Bottom line: Please don’t use people’s diseases to sell your products. It’s tacky. Unless you’re legitimately making a contribution and being open and honest about how much you’re giving, where exactly it’s going, and when, you’re taking advantage of your customers’ goodwill. Don’t be that brand.