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Be Aware,

Six Tips To Avoid Failure On Valentines Day

A chubby flying baby and a countless number of romantic comedies have created an endless amount of expectation around the singular date of 14th of February – also known as Valentine’s Day. We all want V-Day to be an extra special day for our S.O but there are a lot of missteps that can make it anything but.


Here are a few ways you can avoid failure on Valentine’s Day and catapult your love to new heights.


Learn the Right Size or Do Not Buy!



Lingerie, a little black dress or leggings. Garments make a great gift but only if you buy the right size! Do you know how frustratingly, inconvenient it is running back to the store just return an item and then searching the aisles for the right size? Don’t gift a chore to your love. Play detective and investigate the right size before you order or head to the store to buy.

Whip Up Something Nice in the Kitchen



Forget making a reservation or ordering carry out; instead, whip up something that is home cooked (even if you need to use a recipe book). A memorable Valentine’s Day is made to feel personable and food is a great way to leave an impression on the heart and soul.

Don’t Bring Home A New Pet!



Who can say no to a cute and cuddly animal? Your S.O, that’s who! Dogs. Cats. Rodents – just steer clear. Bringing home a new pet may conjure those warm feelings in your mate for a few hours but and what happens when those initial emotions fade. You’ve given them the chore of having to keep another lifeform alive, indefinitely! Avoid giving a pet as a gift unless you’re 1000% certain it’s on the wishlist. 

Don’t Try To Downplay the Specialness of the Day



Valentine’s Day is a holiday dedicated to love and that’s worth celebrating. Even if you a little cynical about the day, don’t downplay its importance to your partner or love ones. Go the extra mile just as you would for your important relationship milestones such as anniversaries, and birthdays.

It’s Ok to Be Cliche



Don’t let the millions of gift-guides fool you. A lux box of chocolates and flowers are thoughtful gifts, unless your significant other is allergic, of course. Plus, chocolate it is a natural aphrodisiac. So, this sweet treat might snag you a trip to your favorite erotic places.

Turn the Evening into An Adventure



Bring some spice to Valentine’s Day and create some surprises for your mate. Try a bit of roleplaying, giving a sensual massage, spread a path of roses leading to the bed, or light a couple of romantic candles. You’ve got 12 hours between sunset on February 14 and sunrise on February 15. Get creative!


Be Aware,

#Resist: 11 Tips to Prepare for Your First Protest

It’s getting real out here!

It feels like every day that Trump is President, our unassailable human rights become more at risk. And while millions of strong, amazing and fearless women and men have taken up the mantel of defending the tenants of our democracy they simply can’t be expected to hold the front lines alone.

Sooner than later, we’re all – and by “all,” I mean those who believe in equal protection under the law for everyone, civil rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, immigrant rights and that we have a responsibility to be a refuge for those most at risk – are going to have hit the streets in peaceful protest to make sure our collective voices are heard.

So far, I’ve attended two protests – the Millions Women’s March and a Black Lives Matter rally – and decided to pull together a list of what I’ve learned to help other novice activists get prepared to join upcoming demonstrations around the country.

I’ll be updating this list with more tips as I attend more protests and engage with more organizers, so check back regularly. And, if you have key protest preparation tips of your own – drop them onto my Facebook page and I’ll share.

Remember, we’re in this together.     

#Resist: 11 Tips to Prepare for Your First Protest:
Be Safe:


Whenever possible travel to and from protests, rallies, and marches in groups. If you’re linking up with your friends at the event, plan to meet in a well-lit public place a few blocks away from the event and then walk over together. If you do decide to attend a protest alone, make sure you tell your plans to someone you trust. You can also use an app like Companion to let them track when you arrive at the demonstration and when you depart for home.   

Stay Connected:

It’s easy to get lost in the crowd at a march or rally. Discuss where you and your friends will meet if you get separated from each other. Also, set up a group chat on What’s App – or another free messaging service – so you can communicate with everyone quickly and easily. Lastly, make sure everyone you are traveling with has your emergency contacts (significant others, parents and/or siblings) saved in their phones and vice versa.  

Be Social:


Sharing pictures and videos of you and other passionate attendees on social media is a great way to motive other people you know to become more engaged. So feel free to Tweet, Instagram, Snap, Facebook Live and more. Just be sure not to reveal any details that could jeopardize your safety. For instance, never post on social media where your meeting your group of friends before or after a rally or share when you or your friends are heading home.

Stay Charged:


Taking and sharing a lot of photos will drain your phone’s battery fairly quickly. And, having hundreds – or hundreds of thousands – of phones pulling signal from cellular towers at the same time will also cause your cell to die faster than normal. Invest in a portable battery pack that will keep your phone powered throughout the event so you can stay connected. Just remember to charge it before you head to the protest.

I’m digging this lightweight, affordable one from ZILU.      

Back It Up:

Switch your phone to automatic uploads for your videos and photos during the time that you are attending the demonstration. Luckily the protests I’ve attended have been without incident. But, if you lose your phone or it is seized (lawfully or unlawfully), you’ll have an automatic backup of everything you captured.  

  • How to Turn On/Off Automatic Uploads for iCloud
  • How to Turn On/Off Automatic Uploads for Dropbox
  • How to Turn On/Off Automatic Uploads for Google Drive
Stay Warm:


Mother nature may not have gotten the memo in some parts of the country, but it is officially winter. That means huge drops in temperature between early morning and night. Obviously, you can huddle with your fellow protesters for warmth, but I’d recommend dressing in layers to stay toasty.

Also, large crowds move slowly. During the Millions Women’s March, it took about 4 hours to walk less than two miles in the New York City crowd. You’ll be exposed to the elements for long periods, so bundle up with a sweater, scarf, vest, hat gloves, leggings, pants, and jacket.

You might also want to buy a vest or jacket with lots of pockets. Backpacks and purses are prohibited during some demonstrations and you’ll need an easy way to carry everything you’d normally have in a bag.

Check out these cool options from Scottevest: Women | Men.    

Be Comfortable:


Being an active protester means spending a lot of time on your feet. As I learned the hard way, slipping on an old pair of sneakers may not provide the correct support for knees or feet. You may want to dust off your hiking boots – if the soles aren’t worn out- or invest in a new pair.

These waterproof and shock absorbent options from Timberland should help keep you comfortable while moving with the flow: Women | Men.   

Bring Snacks:

Luckily one of my husband’s friends thought to bring snacks for our group for our most recent march. I’d recommend bringing at least 1 liter of water per person for a four-hour protest. You’ll find yourself thirsty from the constant walking and chanting. Also, you should eat a full meal before the event and bring energy bars, trail mix, and dried fruit to help keep you fueled.    

Know Your Rights:


The time find out your rights as a protest participant is not after you have an issue. Familiarize yourself with the rights of protesters before you attend your first march or rally. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a great resource for learning what you legally need to know before you exercise your constitutional right to protest.

They also sell an affordable “Know Your Rights” 30-pack of pocket-size cards. You can keep one in your wallet and hand out the rest to your fellow demonstrators and friends protesting with you.

Have Fun:

Even though you’re protesting serious issues, don’t forget that you are standing with hundreds – if not thousands – of people who’ve come out for the same reasons you did. Talk to them, have a laugh, share your snacks and make some new friends. Things may be pretty scary, but coming together reminds us how much more alike we are than we are different. Take comfort in that and enjoy your time with your fellow demonstrators.  

Take Care of Your Mental Health:


Protesting can take a lot out of you. You’re on your feet for long periods, your voice gets hoarse from chanting and you’re probably cold, tired and hungry by the end. At the end of the demonstration, take some time to unwind and decompress. Grab a glass of wine with a friend, watch an episode of your favorite show and/or read a book. Do anything you love that helps you relax and get centered.

Enjoy the small post-protest moments, so that you’re in a good mental space for the next one. And, yes. There will be a next one.

Be Aware,

75 Things That Should Be Banned Instead of Immigrants and Refugees

On Friday President Trump signed an executive order banning visitors, immigrants, and refugees from seven Muslim countries from entering the United States.

The preposterously titled ‘Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States’ Act, signed on Holocaust Remembrance Day, proved that the xenophobia, Islamophobia, racism and misogyny that Trump’s campaigned on is here to stay.  

So, since we’re the kind of country that bans things willy nilly now, here’s a list of 75 things that should be banned instead of immigrants and refugees.

Cause we all need a good laugh as we gear up for the long fight ahead.  

1. Donald Trump’s tailor

2. Kitten heels

3. People who don’t like being called racist but voted for Donald Trump – See Damon Young

4. Racists, misogynists, and homophobes who voted for Donald Trump

5. The term “alternative facts”

6. Kellyann Conway – for lots of reasons but most recently for saying the phrase “alternative facts” with a straight face

7. 99% of the Donald Trump cabinet

8. Climate change deniers – I’m rocking a crop top and sandals in the dead of winter. Come on people.

9. Sugar-free cake – why would you serve this?

10. Styrofoam cake – I didn’t even know this was a thing until Donald Trump’s inauguration

11. 100-calorie snack packs – you know why

12. Canceling TV series without wrapping up the storylines – Yes, I still want to know how ‘the Pirates of Dark Water‘ would have ended back in 1991

13. The people who wrote Sex in the City 2, The Hangover 2 and 3 and Oceans 12 and 13

14. Healthy fried chicken – Stop, just stop.

15. Sugarless cornbread – yes, I know this is a strong stance, but I’m standing firm on this one

16. Sugar substitutes – yeah, we eat it, but none of us are fooled

17. Bad weaves – wear a wig

18. Bad wigs – do your hair

19. Bad hair – there’s no such thing, but the phrase “bad hair” should be banned.

20. People who equate being against police brutality with being anti-police. Trust me, all community loving, non-power abusing officers are invited to the barbecue. Just rsvp first, so we know how much food to buy.

21. Cops who abuse their authority

22. Union rules that protect employees who break the law – You know what I’m talking about



23. Slut-shaming women – and, also, the phrase “slut.”

24. Airplane seats smaller than the size of an average human being

25. Airlines that charge for juice

26. Airlines that don’t carry-child friendly snacks and toys to pacify crying babies – sure, it’s not your responsibility, but be the bigger person here.

27. Airlines that charge for carry-on bags

28. Spirit Airlines – see Awesomely Luvvie

29. Governments selling local water rights to corporations

30. The Dakota Access Pipeline – Cause Flint, MI

31. The government leaders in Flint – just banning them from the country would be too kind

32. Using the word “irregardless” – and on that point –

33. Betsy DeVos – Let’s all agree that a baseline qualification for the secretary of education job is knowing how to write a sentence

34. People who make a bad cup of tea – it’s a tea bag and water. How did you mess that up?

35. The phrase “vegan leather” – it’s called “pleather” people

36. Botox lips that look like footballs

37. Wine snobs – Damn it, if you like sweet wine, drink it

38. Not showering before a flight – or getting on the subway or any close quarters where your funk can attack innocent bystanders

39. Prioritizing the feelings of rapists over survivors

40. Wearing flip flops in the winter – unless it’s freakishly warm due to climate change

41. Wearing Uggs in the summer – unless it’s freakishly cold due to climate change

42. Going to ‘the club’ to talk

43. Going to Vegas to relax

44. Bringing babies to R rated movies – part of the reason I’m here is because they’re not supposed to be

45. Bagels not made in NYC

46. Pizza not made in NYC or Chicago

47. Chicken wings not made by Black or Asian people – Exemption to this ban will be approved for all cultures that keep more than 10 spices in their pantry at all times

48. Mid- season finales followed by a two-month-long hiatus

49. Allowing the next season of Game of Thrones TV show and book to get pushed back

50. Wearing sunglasses indoors

51. Not covering your mouth when you sneeze – especially when you are tall and standing over short people like me. Eww


52. Trying to boycott Beyoncé

53. Slacktivism

54. People who just discovered “1984” – #Really #How

55. Calling all millennials lazy

56. Wearing jeggings to work – those are not pants

57. The Alt-Right – cause a rose by any other name

58. Bringing your own TV audience to applaud your speech

59. Titling an email subject “quick question” when you know damn well your email is neither quick nor a question

60. Denying John McCain is a war hero

61. Trying to get on the subway when people are getting off – there are rules people

62. $20 cocktails

63. Paying for VIP status – if you were important you wouldn’t have to pay to get in

64. Using the word “artisanal” as an adjective for everything – Brooklyn, this means you

65. Telling boys they shouldn’t cry

66. Telling girls they need to smile

67. Paying white women 20% less than white men

68. Paying African American women 40% less than white men

69. Paying Hispanic women 45% less than white men

70. Paying all other minority groups less than white men

71. Pretending racism doesn’t exist

72. Claiming to be a nation of Christian values – Because Jesus would welcome refugees

73. Pretending Serena Williams isn’t the GOAT – #SorryNotSorry

74. 2016 Rory Gilmore – She was like the Ryan Lochte of Stars Hollow


75. The Electoral College – cause we’re here now

Be Aware,

4 Times Social Media Reminded The Trumps They’re Not The Obamas

Donald Trump has spent years calling into question the legitimacy of former President Barack Obama, but he and his family can’t seem to stop “borrowing” creative inspiration from the Obama camp. Maybe Michelle and Barack used all the “cool” reserves while in the White House and there’s just nothing left for the Trumps.

Anywho, whenever they seemed to poach the Obamas style the Internet has been at the ready to call foul. Here are four of the best times that social media reminded the Trumps they’re not the Obamas.    

1. Any Crowd Photo Will Do:

Isn’t Twitter Kinda You Thing? Image:

Donald Trump is so known for voicing his thoughts, concerns, and tirades against Barack Obama on Twitter that everyone was perplexed when he actually used an image of the former President’s 2009 inauguration as his new @POTUS account cover photo. Many on social media were quick to point out the glaring oversight and suggest more appropriate images that he could use instead. 



Who plagiarizes a cake? Image:

President Trump’s inauguration cake was a stunning display of confectionary might. There was only one problem. It was a near identical copy of the cake commissioned for President Obama’s 2009 inauguration celebration. Pastry chef Duff Goldman called out the copy of his handiwork on Twitter but took the candy-coated creative thievery in stride. Goldman tweeted: Remembering a fantastic cake I made is awesome and the chef that re-created it for Trump did a fantastic job. Group hug, y’all. 

That might have been the end of the cakegate, but it turns out the impostor dessert was also fake – as in filled with styrofoam. Talk about a bad designer knock-off. Is there anything worst than fake cake? Twitter weighed in.  

3. #BringBackMySpeech, Seriously: 

Ok, that time Melania Trump plagiarized Michelle Obama was objectively much worse than stealing a cake design. After it was discovered that Mrs. Trump had generously lifted parts of her 2016 RNC speech from Mrs. Obama, her husband’s team went through various stages of denial, media blaming and internal finger pointing. In the end, Melania’s speech writer took the blame for the speech heist, but not before the Internet had some fun.

4. The People Won’t Follow:

You Can’t Make Us Follow. Image:

So, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey took full blame for this Trump transition follower fail, but it’s a clear reminder that Obama’s supporters are not here for Trump. Thousands of Twitter users called foul after finding they were automatically following Trump on @POTUS even after they had unfollowed the account when it transferred from Obama or we’re never following it at all. Even with the apology from Dorsey, people were quick voice their discontent with the situation.  

Be Aware, Tech,

So Digital Flashing is A Thing but Here’s How to Avoid It

Just in case you think nothing can still shock you, I wanted to let you that there are still trolls out here with tons of time on their hands, free Wi-Fi and a sick sense of humor.

I learned this the hard way – see what I did there – when a stranger “digitally flashed” me recently as I was riding the subway in New York City.

There I was minding my own business and playing CandyCrush – I wish I could say I was reading a great book, but train time is totally my CandyCrush time – when a penis pic popped up on my iPhone screen.


Someone on the train or on the platform tried to airdrop me the lewd image. I immediately declined the airdrop request and begun to look around the train car for the possible culprit. I scrunched my face and gave a stern look to everyone holding an iPhone, but quickly realized that there would be no way to identify the culprit from the dozen or so people on their phones.

Feeling defeated and slightly violated, I opened the Control Center on iPhone and switched my airdrop settings from “everyone” to “off.”


Later, I told a few friends about my experience and two of them told me they knew people who had been digitally flashed as well. I also did some research online and found some stories of other women who’d been cyber-violated on their train commutes as well.

Sadly, I don’t think this will be the last time you’ll be hearing of this. iPhones don’t keep a log of airdropped images, meaning there is no way to trace where a photo originated. So, digital flashers know there is little to no chance of them being caught.

Honestly, it was really crazy to learn that someone could send me a picture without revealing who they were. I can’t even old-school, snail-mail a letter without a return address, so this feels like a gaping hole that was bound to be exploited.

Apple, why not include the phone number of the person who is airdropping you images? The idea that they could be identified would probably deter many digital flashers. It seems like a no-brainer.

Until that happens, you can avoid being digitally flashed by making sure you turn you iPhone – or mac – airdrop settings to “contacts only” or “off.” Here is a step-by-step link to walk you through the process.

It only takes a moment to do and can mean the difference between a pleasant or unpleasant commute.

Be Aware, Fashion,

NYFW, TeacherBae and The Audacity of Being A Real Woman In America

“Do you ever worry that you’re perpetuating stereotypes by covering fashion and beauty events?”

This was the question my husband posed to me as I recounted to him my highs and lows from attending this season’s New York Fashion Week (NYFW). It was a good question and one that I’ve asked myself several times before. My blog is called, Not Just A Girl In A Dress but I have wondered if some readers miss the nuance that my site is about more than just pretty clothes and famous people.


Me and Fitness Expert and Blogger Wasidah Francois at the NYFW Tech Style Event.

I write about all the things I am passionate about which often includes the latest lipstick and leg-lengthening heel as well as cutting-edge tech and up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Basically, if I think the person, brand or product, will motivate my readers to find their own version of success – I write about it.

Trying on a 3D Printed Raincoat the the Caravan Studios HEISEL in 3D installation

Trying on a 3D Printed Raincoat the the Caravan Studios HEISEL in 3D installation

So most weeks, I would have been quick to respond to the question with a resounding “no.” I normally would state that by covering events like Fashion Week, I’m able to spotlight diverse women and men breaking down stereotypes in the industry. Most weeks, I would highlight that fashion is more than custom colors and sleek silhouettes, it’s about creativity and empowerment.

Anniesa Hasibuan - Runway - September 2016 - New York Fashion Week: The Shows

Anniesa Hasibuan – Runway – September 2016 – New York Fashion Week: The Shows

But this Fashion Week was different. On the plus side, it proved to be one of the most diverse Fashion Weeks in recent history. Everywhere you turned multicultural models were proudly slaying the runways.


Leanne Marshall – Runway – September 2016 – New York Fashion Week: The Shows

Designer Christian Siriano even raised the bar of fashion inclusively when he had five stunning plus-size models strut their stuff in his show.

Models from Christian Siriano Show

Models from Christian Siriano Show

But it all felt like false wins and reverse progress the more I heard about Patrice Brown – AKA #TeacherBae.

teacher-bae-3Brown – a teacher’s aide in Atlanta – was dragged, dogged and disparaged all over social media (and in the news) because some felt that the pics she posted to Instagram of her work outfits were unprofessional. The main complaint was that she simply dressed “too sexy” for her bombshell body, which when you flip it on its head, essentially means no one would care if someone less curvy wore it.


Through good genes and what I understand is a regular regime of exercise, Brown has been blessed with a body that some women pray (and pay hard earn money) for, so she wears clothes that make her feel comfortable and confident. That people would criticize and try to belittle her for it is absolutely shameful.


True every outfit is not appropriate for every situation, but this outrage is rooted in the fact that she – with her curvy body and Black skin – had the audacity not to camouflage her shape and to smile proudly in her pics.


I Bet No One Dares To Complain about Media Boss Oprah in Her Form-fitting Holiday Dress

How can we expect the fashion and beauty industry to be more inclusive of real and diverse women when we digitally attack women in the real world for daring to love how they are naturally built?

Tim Gunn Called DC Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson Glam in this Dress

Tim Gunn Called DC Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson Glam in this Dress and She Is:).

Design educator and Project Runway co-host, Tim Gunn recently tore into the fashion industry a Washington Post op-ed story. In it, he writes that designers refuse to make clothes for average-sized American women because “she won’t look the way that I want her to look.”

Huh. Why does that sound so familiar?

Oh yeah, because that is the same not so subtle message that was flung at real woman Patrice Brown when all she did was try to shine.

So, yes. This week I am more aware of my duty to not perpetuate stereotypes and my responsibility to empower those who are just trying to live in their joy.

Apparently, from the catwalk to the sidewalk, there is a lot more work to be done .

Be Aware, TV,

Why Does The Big Bang Theory Think Violating Consent Is So Funny?

The Big Bang Theory is one of the smartest and funniest shows on television. It has taught so much about string theory, particle physics and astrophysics that I feel like I could BS my way through a first round interview at NASA – or at least space camp.   The show makes being smart cool.

So it baffles me how thoughtless the show gets on the topics of consent and rape. Over The Big Bang Theory’s nine seasons, the idea of undermining, limiting or violating a person’s right to consent has been a recurring joke– making me cringe every time.  I’m hoping they can do better in season 10.

Here’s what I mean:

  • In the very first season (s1, e8), Penny spikes Sheldon’s drink as an “experiment” to see how he’d react.  Spoiler alert: not well.
  • In the following season (s2, e1), Howard secretly doses Sheldon’s milk with valium because he wouldn’t go to sleep.
  • Howard also admits to secretly drugging his mother with sleeping pills in the very next season (s3, e21).  Raj: “She won’t notice [the sleeping pills are] missing?” Howard: “She doesn’t know she takes them.”
  • The show dedicates an entire episode (s2, e7) to Howard and Raj using government satellite equipment to pinpoint and virtually stalk a house full of models and then gain entry into their home under false pretense to harass them.
  • In a later season (s6,e11), Amy actually jokes that in college she “passed out at a frat party and woke up with more clothes on.” The implication?  Were Amy more attractive, she’d have been raped.
  • And in the most recent season (s9, e5), Stuart admits to setting up a camera in his store to watch women while they’re breastfeeding their babies.

Here’s the thing, Big Bang Theory is a really smart show and one that has proven skilled at handling difficult topics – bullying, childhood abandonment, and loss of a parent – in a responsible manner.  And we need to be able to laugh at things that make us uncomfortable.  That’s part of how comedy works.

But using laughter to tackle difficult topics doesn’t mean we should be reckless or dismissive of them.

According to the Center for Disease Control 1 in 20 women and men surveyed reported experiencing sexual violence in their lifetime and 1 in 5 women and 1 out of 76 men reported experiencing rape. According to the Department of Justice, 80 percent victims knew their attacker. Startlingly, those numbers can climb even higher on college campuses.

In a June 2016 story on college campus sexual assaults, The Washington Post cited a 1990’s study which indicated “between 25 and 35 percent of men lack knowledge about what constitutes rape.” That same story went on to highlight that “some young men think that, if they’re as intoxicated as a female partner, whatever happens can be blamed on the alcohol. And others think young women secretly want to be pushed into a sexual encounter.”

The Big Bang Theory isn’t responsible for this misinformation, but it can and should take an active role combating it.   Since the show brought it up, it’s on them to lead the conversation with compassion and sensitivity.

If they get stuck, they could talk to Mayim Bialik, who plays Amy – she’ll remember when Blossom tackled this issue in its final season.

For a show that does so much to humanize its characters and celebrate intelligence, it would be great if The Big Bang Theory could be a bit smarter when it comes to issues of consent.

Compared to quantum physics, this should be a no-brainer.

Be Aware,

9 Hackers Charged in PR Related $100M Insider Trading Scheme

People Looking At ComputerIf you’ve ever wondered what a press release is worth; you now have you answer – $100 million dollars.  Nine hackers and traders were arrested Tuesday in a five year public relations-related insider trading scheme that spanned from New York to the Ukraine, involved at least 32 people and netted millions in ill-gotten funds and property.

According to the NY Times, the hackers broke into the servers of companies like PR Newswire and Business Wire. Public Relations professionals use wire-services like these to distribute company information to news organizations around the world.

The hackers stole copies of press releases before they were distributed to the public and then sent the releases to shady traders who bought and sold stocks based on the advantageous information listed. The brazen international ring stole more than 150,000 releases over five years. Federal prosecutors did not fault the newswire companies in the case and reported they were all cooperating with authorities.

Moving forward, I bet there will be a lot less second-guessing of the value of well written press releases.

à bientôt

Charell Star | A Girl In A Dress

Be Aware, Tech,

Three Cool Startups You Need to Know

According to the Small Business Administration, 50% of businesses fail within the first five year. It takes a lot of vision, drive, passion and sacrifice to beat those odds, but entrepreneurs do it everyday. Here are three really cool startups that are on the verge of celebrating their first five years of success or have recently blown out their anniversary candles.

Get Around Founders1Getaround

Getaround was founded in 2010 in San Francisco, California by Sam Zeid, Jessica Scorpio, and Elliot Kroo. The concept and idea of Getaround is a peer-to-peer car rental system. It matches those people who use their car sparingly with those who don’t want to make the investment in owning one.  Owners earn some extra income by lending their car to others for a fee. Car owners are able to set their own terms and availability and all users of their service are covered by insurance. They even offer a nifty system that allows confirmed renters to access the car with their smartphone, eliminating the need for a face-to-face key hand-off. Getaround is now over 20,000 members strong.

justin Infographic WorldInfographic World

This company is exactly what the name proclaims. They create dynamic and eye-catching infographics for the business world to use. Justin Beegel started up the company back in the year 2009 at the young age of 23 years old. He literally started from scratch, with no funds, savings, or partners to help him out. He originally began the company as a side job to earn some extra money. It soon turned into something bigger, as more people tried and loved his work leading to more clients. Five years later and his company is sky-rocketing, and has worked with about 20% of the Fortune 500 companies.

Kellee Khalil LoverlyLoverly

Loverly was founded in 2010 in New York by Kellee Khalil. If you’re a soon to be bride and preparing for a wedding, Loverly will become your new best friend. Instead of having to search all over town for the perfect florist, dress shop, baker, and venue, you can use Loverly to conduct the searches for you. It’s a search engine designed exclusively for weddings. The site even provides bridal tips from experts.

Starting a business is only the beginning of the journey. Keeping it growing and relevant through the years is the what all founders want at the end of the day. These entrepreneurs accomplished a pretty impressive milestone that should inspire you to keep your eye on the ball and celebrate your own milestones along the way.

à bientôt