The latest in Bitmoji Mania: Style Your Snapchat Crew

In a day and age where social status and appearances (seem) to be everything, we are always looking for new ways to reinvent our online personas. Enter, the Bitmoji free app, which allows users to design a personalized avatar. You can even perfect your character down to the finest of details, including: hairstyle, lip shape, laugh lines and of course outfits (curated by Bergdorf Goodman, Forever 21 and Steve Madden just to name a few).

Yesterday, Snapchat announced they have updated their main iOS and Android app to allow people to create widgets of their best friends’ Bitmoji. With Snapchat’s Bitmoji widget, you can select a few friends and see their avatars right from the ‘Today’ screen on iOS and the home screen on Android phones. These shortcuts immediately open a text chat with those friends. It appears that Snapchat is trying to get back into the instant messaging arena which is owned predominantly by Facebook and Instagram.

While I think this is a new novel idea will work to generate some buzz for Snapchat until a bigger and better idea is unveiled. I am not confident this is a big enough draw to entice social users away from instant messaging on Facebook or Instagram Stories. What do you think? Will this new Bitmoji feature encourage both you and your friends to communicate more on Snapchat?



Next Up on Netflix: #GIRLBOSS

Unless you are completely out of touch with pop culture, you may have heard of Sophia Amoruso, a former hitchhiking, dumpster-diving, community college dropout with a lot of time on her hands who went on to launch Nasty Gal.

Nasty Gal grew to sell over $100 million in clothing and accessories both new and vintage, occupying a 65,000-square-foot office space in LA, employing over 350 people, and having over 2.3 million followers on Instagram alone. Nasty Gal has faced its own hurdles in a constantly changing and volatile retail environment, with having to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Nov. 9 to secure financial relief while it restructures.

Next Up for #GIRLBOSS? A 13 episode series from Netflix chronicling Sophia’s start as a rebellious and dysfunctional 22-year-old who, after starting a vintage clothing eBay shop, strikes it big and builds a brand. Check out a sneak peek at what #GIRLBOSS has to offer viewers:

Despite Nasty Gal‘s recent trials and tribulations, one cannot help but wonder if the brand has retained its cache that created a millennial and entrepreneurial movement just a short time ago. People loved interacting and shopping  with a brand that had created a raw, unique yet attainable formula for success (myself included). Now, being a troubled business venture, one can’t help but wonder if the same readers of the 2014 New York Times Best Seller will tune in on April 21, 2017 when the series premieres on Netflix.

Looking back on happier times for #GIRLBOSS and Sophia’s revolutionary success, here are some of my key learning’s from the manifesto:

  1. It’s cool to be weird.
  2. You get what you focus on.
  3. You don’t get what you don’t ask for.
  4. Have ambition, and always set (and re-evaluate) goals.
  5. Be confident in yourself and your abilities.

… and finally, my personal favourite:

  1. Focus on the future, not the past.

My Digital Valentine

With Valentine’s Day comes endless comparisons and storytelling of how we all spend the holiday with our loved ones. While sitting with some of my baby boomer and gen X friends discussing the topic, I was shocked to hear that many of their partners had memento boxes filled with things like concert tickets (Blondie), hotel soaps (not stolen, I am told) and movie tickets (Titanic anyone?). I couldn’t help but feel a bit guilty, I am the ultimate minimalist. I throw away or donate everything! I do not find any sentimental value in crumpled up receipts or napkins with lipstick stains.

What I do truly cherish, is a hashtag I developed for my partner and I in the early stages of our relationship. Shortly after I started dating my fiancee, Ram, we shared our first heartfelt ‘I love you’, and the hashtag #AmandaLovesRam was born. Since this happened in February 2014, it has just stuck. Wherever we go, whatever we do, whatever we post, #AmandaLovesRam is tagged. Our friends and family actually follow the hashtag and look forward to our postings. The hashtag has followed us to London, Paris, New York City, Chicago, Hawaii, San Francisco and Napa Valley. Even through all our travels, at its core the hashtag is about our love and commitment to each other. That’s what makes it special.

In today’s digital age, are memory boxes as valuable as they once were? I can’t help but smile and be proud of what #AmandaLovesRam has become today. I love looking back on our adventures and cherished moments together. In a social sphere where hashtags like #Kardashians and #QOTD are king, I think it’s really great that we have our own slice of the pie. #AmandaLovesRam currently has 99 tags on Instagram, I invite you all to check out all of our adventures. I would also love to hear about how each of you document some of your most cherished moments with friends and loved ones, so please do share!