The latest news at Dragonfly Bamboo. World Bamboo Day, New partners, more sulky fun and Bamboo Jewelry are just some of the topics in this issue.
Well it has been 8 weeks since I started working on The Bamboo Emporium. Within that time a lot has happened. We now have 18 partners from all around the world and we've added over 1000 Bamboo products. We have also made many new connections and the project has been well received by everyone.
We expect to be officially opening at the beginning of the new year, Jan 2016. Meanwhile we will be adding more partners and gearing up for our Kickstarter launch also.
Below is a list of some of our partners and some links to their products.
While fumbling around with my application to Chivas' "The Venture", a contest for Social Enterprises, I was looking at some articles and this one really said exactly what I wanted to hear, or I should say, exactly what I think is necessary to be successful in today's world. The moral of the story is to keep moving forward even when your not sure where forward is or how your going to do it. This is my favorite quote from the article, "Actually doing something was almost more important than what we were getting on with. Going on a pathway, even though we weren’t quite sure where we were going, is a very powerful thing to have." Applications are due by Dec 11 2015 and results are in July 2016. Wish us luck!
Moving Brands’ James Bull on how to build a sustainable business and perfect a brand
The founder of a leading creative agency unveils the secrets behind his company’s success.
When Jim Bull and his co-founders started Moving Brands upon graduating from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, they were armed with nothing more than the desire to run their own creative business. “We managed to cobble enough money for one month’s rent, borrowed a computer and took a student loan out to buy a few laptops. We had four weeks to make enough money to pay next month’s rent.” Their initial projects included producing an ice hockey TV show and designing a website for a local cable company. Even though they had to learn on the fly, the company quickly became adept in each field and impressed clients. “We’ve been good at not limiting ourselves,” says Bull. “We just believed that we could do it.” That mindset has transformed Moving Brands into a leader in the creative field. Today their clients include Netflix, Apple, Google and Flipboard. Bull talked to the Venture about their journey, including what it takes to create a thriving business and the importance for enterprises to tell their story.
What inspired you to take that risk to start your own company right out of school?
Our program was geared toward getting us to feel good about ourselves and to try to change things in the world. We graduated with that attitude, although it was a very naïve, wet-behind-the-ears way of looking at things. There was something about the act of doing that was very compelling to me and the other founders. Actually doing something was almost more important than what we were getting on with. Going on a pathway, even though we weren’t quite sure where we were going, is a very powerful thing to have.
What was the secret behind building your business and making it a sustainable enterprise?
First, you’ve got to be committed. In terms of being sustainable, it’s about building room in a business. As soon as your business stops changing, it is basically dead. The only real constant in a business is its ability to change. Over the years we’ve changed the makeup of the team, we’ve added consultants, added project managers. We started taking on people and paying them what we saw back then as large salaries, before we even started taking salaries ourselves as founders. There’s a lot of push and give to make it work.
How has flexibility and being able to adapt helped Moving Brands grow?
We always created room for people. Our CEO Mat Heinl is a great example of that. He came in as an entry-level designer and has been in our business 11 years now. During our initial CEO search we interviewed a lot of people and looked within our own industry. We tried for about two years to get the right person to push our business forward, but everyone we met felt like they’d make us like the rest of the creative industry and we wanted to feel more outside of that. We looked inside the business and Mat was the ideal candidate. Him becoming CEO creates an interesting dynamic in the business. That means that someone who’s coming in as a junior designer now, in 10 years time could also be a leader of our business. I don’t think most businesses are set up that way.
The other thing is about the offer. It’s really important to keep looking at what you’re providing to clients and listening to what they need and what they want. You can’t stick to something on a creative principle versus something that’s really needed by the market, so being adaptive to your own product, adaptive to the needs of the people who are going to buy your product, is important.
Why is branding one of the most important keys to a successful business?
Branding at its root is the story, the articulation of what you are as a business. Take a hard look at the story of the business, not just the product that you’re making. It’s good to step back and ask yourself, what’s the positive effect on the world that my story has?
Do social enterprises have unique advantages in telling their story?
They’re coming from a place that’s a lot more impassioned and I think that’s ultimately what other brands are trying to add—that story or passion moment, that part of the brand that people connect with. The problem is how you differentiate yourself. There’s a challenge in the mind of a consumer that they’re not going to be willing to engage with all social enterprises’, or partake in the journey with all of them, so what makes your social enterprise special? It comes down to the personality of the brands and what they’re striving to do. It’s part of the modern psyche right now: If I’m going to make some money, let’s also make sure it’s doing good in the world. But it has to feel honest.
Jim Bull is Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder of Moving Brands, an independent, global creative company. Jim can be found on Twitter: @jamesmbull and on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jimbullmb/en
No endorsement or connection is meant between those featured in this article and Chivas.
Original Link - https://www.theventure.com/us/en/profiles/moving-brands-james-bull-on-how-to-build-a-sustainable-business-and-perfect-a-brand
Reblogged from openpermaculture.com
Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world. The physical and chemical properties of its roots and stems means that it is able to transform nutrients into growth-enabling energy sources incredibly effectively. Some species have been known to grow over 30 inches in a single 24-hour period! Such rapid varieties are not particularly useful to the average permaculture gardener, but other species of bamboo may well have a place on the permaculture plot, as they offer a variety of functions.
There are two basic varieties of bamboo: running and clumping. Running bamboo spreads its roots out underground, pushing up new growth at what can be significant distances from the original stem. Some species are such good travelers that they can ‘escape’ your garden and pop up on neighboring plots. That’s why it is recommended that you use the clumping varieties (although you could use running varieties in pots, if you wished, to contain them). The clumping species don’t spread, instead the root growth remains around the main stem and new shoots (called ‘culms’) are sent up adjacent to it, forming something like a tussock. Clumping bamboo is much easier to control, allowing the permaculture gardener to make the best use of it and avoid it impacting upon other species of plant or creating unwanted microclimates.
Bamboo is an attractive plant for bird species. Planting a section of bamboo on your site can serve to bring in more bird species, with all the positive effects they bring, such as controlling populations of pest insects.
There are two main properties that the bamboo provides that attract birds. Firstly, the shoots and leaves provide birds with good nesting material, while the plants themselves are an excellent source of cover, protecting the birds from predators and the elements. This influx of birds will also have the effect of filling your site with birdsong – another positive function of bamboo.
Although parts of bamboo stems are hollow, they are still very strong. As such, bamboo is used extensively in the manufacture of furniture and flooring, but its ‘construction’ potential also has uses on the permaculture plot. Bamboo clusters will need thinning out intermittently to prevent them becoming too dense (as, for instance, causing problems with the flow of wind) and the harvested stems can be used to make trellises for climbing plants to attach themselves to, and fences.
While cut stems can be used to make fences and screens, a growing cluster of bamboo plants can also be used to give protection and privacy. A species such as Oldham’s bamboo grows to around 10 feet in height, so planted on the border of your plot can give privacy from neighbors, as well as offering windbreak potential (although, as mentioned, you will need to ensure the planting doesn’t become too dense and create eddies of air).
The density of a bamboo cluster can have beneficial effects, though. For instance, if you have a problem with deer getting into your plot and eating your crops, a screen of bamboo can close off the entry point. The dense clustering of the plants, particularly the clumping varieties, means the deer cannot penetrate the screen they create. If you want to create a dense screen for this purpose, ensure that you use a lower-growing variety to avoid problems with wind diversion.
The roots of bamboo plants are rhizomatic. This means that they form clumps of nodules, from each of which root hairs extend. This makes them very efficient at storing and processing nutrients from the soil. It also means, because of the way that bamboo plants grow closely together, that the roots systems of individual plants interlink with those of their neighbors. This creates a very stable growing medium that has the benefit of maintaining the soil structure. Lots of root hairs mean that lots of pore spaces are created for microorganisms to move through, moisture to percolate into and aeration to occur. It also helps prevent erosion of the soil. This is a primary reason why bamboo is useful for planting on slopes. Not only does it help bind the soil together, preventing erosion by wind and rainwater runoff, it also helps slow the movement of water and nutrients through the soil, meaning they remain available for the bamboo and other species for longer.
The other way that bamboo is beneficial to the soil is that the leaf litter they create is excellent natural mulch. All bamboos shed leaves, and because the plant is so good at processing nutrients, the fallen leaves are nutrient-rich, meaning that as they rot down, the soil ‘absorbs’ these nutrients, making them available for other plants as well as the still-growing bamboo. If the leaf litter becomes to problematic (in the fall, perhaps, when leaf drop is at its highest), you can rake the leaves and add them to the compost pile, so that the garden still gets the benefit of the nutrients within them.
It’s not just in the garden that the benefits of bamboo are available to the permaculture gardener; bamboo is a great addition to the kitchen as well. The young shoots of bamboo have firm flesh that is a good source of vegetable protein and is rich in essential nutrients such as magnesium and calcium. It is a feature of many Asian cuisines, and lends itself to steaming, sautéing and as an addition to soups.
Not all the benefits of planting bamboo on your permaculture plot are materially defined. One must not forget the pleasure that this plant can provide simply by its presence. The sound of wind moving through the stems of bamboo plants has a calming, meditative effect – which is why bamboo is used in many traditional Asian cultures to craft musical instruments and wind chimes. The movement of the tall stems in the breeze is also very pleasurable to observe, and a space adjacent to bamboo can be a good place of reflection for the permaculturist.
After many months of contemplating concepts and ideas about how I envision this company to be, it has begun to evolve into something we all need for a healthy, sustainable future. Because Let’s FACE IT, our planet has been here a lot longer than we have and the truth is, it's not the planet we are destroying, it's ourselves! (The planet can recycle all of us if it wanted to.) So if we want clean water, and fresh air for the generations to come, you and I better start doing something intelligent! Bamboo is very intelligent and we will be too when we start utilizing it at its full potential. Together with organizations around the world we are setting out to create The Bamboo Emporium. A place were artisans, and layman alike, can have a place to share their products with the world, at the same time, have a source of income.
Today marks the first day we are "unofficially" open for business!