Andrea Montero

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On December 13, 2015, Andrea Montero commented on Goods Doing Good: Sustainable Luxury at Maiyet :

Hi Selin, agree with Sheila on being unaware of this brand prior to your post so thank you for shedding light into it. Reading about their business and operating model reminds me of Gone Rural and a couple of questions come to mind. Given that artisan pieces are so intricate and their value stems from long standing, labor intensive practices I wonder how the scalability of these businesses works out in the long run. If demand catches up to them, how can they ensure that they will be able to source enough artisans within a village or region to mass produce? Also, you mention that Maiyet provides the artisans with operational infrastructure and so I wonder what the right balance is of providing machinery to make artisans’ work easier and more manageable but still allowing them to integrate their long standing techniques and practices in making the product (as we know this is what allows them to charge a hefty price for their goods)? On another point, I am glad that their social reach seeks to create awareness and transparency into the production process of luxury goods. By positioning themselves as an honest company with a social mission and an undeniably high quality product, they are well positioned to gain popularity amongst luxury consumers and maybe even push the industry to follow their business model of socially responsible fashion.

On December 13, 2015, Andrea Montero commented on Speedo: Inspiring Everyone to Dive In :


What an interesting read; I hadn’t thought about this brand in a while so it was very informative to see where it is headed to stay competitive. I wondered why I don’t think of Speedo as my go-to swim suit brand and I realized that it is because my association of the brand is one of competitive swimming versus one of recreational swimming. It was thus interesting to see that the company is looking to expand to attract non-competitive consumers like myself and it made me wonder whether that is even a good move at all. Speedo as you noted has an edge amongst other athletic brands due to its focus on innovation and technology. By trying to appeal to a broader market I wonder if these features will extract the value that they do amongst competitive swimmers. I would think that the non-competitive consumer would be more focused on design and price point and so I wonder if the brand’s technologically advanced offerings would be as appealing to lead non-competitive buyers to start thinking of Speedo as their brand. I do think however that launching their digital platform is a great idea to connect younger swimmers to the brand early on. It is harder though for this feature to help them penetrate a market where non-competitive consumers already have a preferred brand.

On December 13, 2015, Andrea Montero commented on Manicube – The $15, 15 minute, in-office manicure/lifesaver :


This is an interesting idea! I can relate to the issue as I would try to get a manicure during my lunch break at work, being too busy to do it any other time. I was wondering how the issue of waiting for your nails to dry gets mitigated at the office. It almost seems you would need to have the same down time to ensure the mani didn’t get ruined which can create a productivity problem at work. Also, I wonder if offices allowing this kind of service for women wouldn’t spark a conversation to have other services instituted that are more closely linked to work and performance, such as massages to help with stress. I would also think that giving space in an office to a mani service might not trump the need to create spaces for more pressing issues such as private rooms for women to breast pump when lactating. Coming from the corporate world I have seen the struggle that companies face in trying to establish services or practices that cater to women’s needs in an effort to retain female talent. However, I wonder if women would gain more if companies sponsored other services that allowed them to better manage being mother while working, or for that matter, services available to all employees to improve their health (i.e. sit down massages, meditation rooms, etc). I do think though that for less corporate offices, this perk might attract young talent and provide the convenience of grooming that you mentioned.