Tuesday, 30 December 2014

International Business: African Economies and Fashion

The overall African economy has been growing at an average rate of 5% a year for the past 10 years. That does not mean, however, that all economies are created equal. Guinea, for example, is regarded as the worst country for business in the world due to its political corruption, ebola outbreak, and trade deficit. On the other hand, Botswana is considered the best country for a good return on investment when risk factors are considered. Many countries in Africa including Tanzania, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Ethopia, and Nigeria are considered by the IMF to be some of the world's fastest growing economies. Currently, Algeria is trying to improve relations with the United Kingdom and other European countries to increase its international business and improve international relations. As part of a concerted effort in Africa to improve telecommunications, there are plans to continue building underwater and terrestrial fiber-optic cables along the coast of Africa, thus making international business communications easier.

When it comes to the textile and apparel industries, noteworthy countries include Kenya, Ethiopa, and Tanzania. Kenya is known for having relatively inexpensive labor while still having a quality product while Ethiopa is somewhat cheaper due to cheaper electric costs but does not have the same quality or consistency that Kenya offers. Tanzania is just beginning to gain a foothold in the African textile and apparel sectors, but has the backing of the government to continue improvements in the industry. South Africa's textile and apparel market is somewhat more established than other countries, but that is to be expected due to its stronger economy and economic development. Part of the interest in the African textile and apparel market is due to rising labor prices in countries such as China and India as well as health concerns and workers' rights issues in countries such as Bangladesh.One looming concern as to the future of textile and apparel markets in Africa is the renewal of AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) with the U.S. Unless renewed, it will expire in September 2015. AGOA has allowed for duty-free trade in African countries with fair trade, workers' rights, and honest business practices. Each country is reviewed on its own to determine whether or not it meets U.S. standards.

For those interested in textile and apparel business relations in Africa, it may be wise to attend one of Africa's largest industry trade shows: Source Africa 2015. Source Africa will be held in Cape Town, South Africa.

Monday, 29 December 2014

People In Fashion: Julie Sygiel

Julie Sygiel may not be a household name- yet- but she is certainly on her way to making her designs a common household item. Who is she? Or more importantly, what does she design?

Julie Sygiel is the founder and CEO of "Dear Kate", a company that designs, manufactures, and produces underwear that can hold varying amounts of liquid (depending on type of underwear) without leaking through. Although they are designed for menstruating women, they may also be useful for those with bladder incontinence problems. Julie Sygiel used her background as a chemical engineering major to design and develop underwear that will wick away moisture from the layer next to the skin, but at the same time prevent moisture from leaking through the outer layer- while keeping the skin dry. The fabric lining in the underwear is currently patent pending. Products include everything from thong underwear through yoga pants that allow one to "go commando" even while on her period. Dear Kate and its products have been featured in many popular magazines and news sites.

Want to know more? Please check out the video below (by fusion), and check out Dear Kate's website for more information.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Professionalism: What Are Infographic Resumes?

     Infographic Resumes are resumes that use informational graphs (infographs) to explain work history, education, skills, areas of interest, references, and other relevant information. Rather than explain everything through text, a balance of texts, graphs, and pictures are used. This style of resume is particularly useful for those in artistic or design fields as it can allow one to show off graphic design skills. (For examples of infographic resumes, I recommend using Pinterest.)

      Recruiters typically spend only a few seconds looking at each resume. An infographic resume can not only help set your resume apart from standard text resumes, but also make the information in the resume easier to skim through. There is no visual standard or preferred format for infographic resume; they are catered to the individual person and sometimes even position being applied for. While some may use the infographic resume as their standard resume, other job applicants may simply add it to their portfolio or use a "blended" resume style that incorporates one or two graphs into a traditional text resume.

No matter how you choose to create your infographic resume, it still needs to be well-organized; create interest in the applicant (i.e. you); and have nearly all the same information that a traditional resume would have in terms of experience, education, and skills. Additionally, using graphs may allow for more space to add in additional strengths, reference quotes, and other things that may not typically fit on a one-page text resume format.

For those that may not be comfortable designing their own infographic resume or may not have access to programs such as adobe illustrator, there are many online tools and tutorials available. There are tutorials showing how to create timelines using a spreadsheet (such as Google Spreadsheet or Microsoft Excel). If you have AI (Adobe Illustrator), this links to a great tutorial I found on youtube for making timelines using AI. If that's too technical for you, Vizualize.me is a website completely devoted to helping you create graphs for your own infographic resume. For those that aren't interested in creating their own or simply don't have time, there is an almost endless number of graphic design professionals available. (Simply search for an infographic resume designer on a search engine such as Google, and there should be plenty to choose from or check out options on fiverr.) In any case, please consider using the latest trend in resumes-infographic resumes. One of my favorite infographics (by Tina Chen) can be found here.

Here is a video that discusses the positive and negatives sides to using an infographic resume, and some general guidelines to consider when creating one:

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Ms. Hugueley is back!

Life happens to all of us. Over the past three years, I have spent much of my time adapting to changes in my personal life. This includes meeting and falling in love with my husband; adjusting to my parent's divorce and re-marriages; and dealing with the deaths of loved ones. Life will always be filled with ups and downs. What makes the difference is how you choose to deal with it. Will you try to stay positive and march forward towards your goals and dreams or will you choose to become negative and live in fear? Or will you simply choose a middle road or a different path altogether?

What has always helped me when going through periods of hurt and suffering is remembering to never give up. I visualize myself standing up, brushing off the dirt, and continuing on towards my "finish line" (whatever that may be). I visualize my struggles as weights I must carry. As I stand up from a crawling position, the weights get lighter and my body is able to make it. Why? Because of determination and persistence to accomplish a goal no matter how long it takes. Never give up.

One of the many changes spawned by the recent events in my life is the realization that I have three major career interests: fashion, writing, and health & medicine. Therefore, I have decided to begin writing for this blog again. I will be reviewing each and every comment left. If any are hateful or offensive, they will be removed.

I am all for posting opinions, but here are the general blog rules:
1) Show love and respect for all others posting on here, including me (the blog owner). In other words, treat others how you would want someone you love to be treated (whether that someone is yourself, your child, your parent, or your significant other).
2) Comments that appear to attack another individual or another culture rather than contribute to a conversation will be removed. However, it is okay to explain why you disagree with another person.
3) Spam will also be removed.
4)Comments should relate to the subject of the post. If you have other questions, I will be developing a page on which you may leave a comment and I will do my best to answer your question in a timely manner.

While this may appear subjective, I will do my best to treat every comment with respect and fairness. If you are upset that your comment has been removed, please let me know why and I will consider what you have said.

Ms. Hugueley.