Interview with Randy Hembrador, Website Designer

Interview with Randy Hembrador, Website Designer

randy-hembrador-interviewI look forward to TGIF interviews, since it’s about talking with people who I find inspirational. Coding websites and graphic design are two things that I find incredibly challenging—which is why I outsourced these to people who find it enjoyable. Today, I hope you all enjoy this special interview with our website designer Randy Hembrador, who has the honor of being the first male interviewee for the Wonderland Organics blog!

Wonderland Organics: How did you get started with website design?

Randy: In undergrad, I was a fine art student and the web was something I was actually trying to avoid learning since coding looked so intimidating. A couple of years out of undergrad, I was in the corporate workforce in a decisively non-creativity oriented role, and actually ended up having to do some web related things for work. At that point, I found out that, although a lot of stuff didn’t really make sense at first, it was really rewarding to see things come together and I’ve been hooked on learning more/trying to see how much I could master ever since. randy-hembrador-logo

Wonderland Organics: That’s how we felt too about coding! It’s great that you managed to pick it up. How do you define what designs are aesthetically pleasing?

Randy: I think that designs that really indicate thoughtfulness on the part of the designer are the most pleasing. I’m personally more of just an enthusiast than a design professional, though I think everyday life is full of designs where you can tell that designers/design teams really put a lot of thought into “what does this thing do” or “what is the nature of the content and/or materials we are working with.”

I’m personally a really big fan of logo designs where the designers try to redesign things as little as possible, and just bring whatever already exists to a certain point of refinement. I particularly like logo redesigns like SanDisk, the NFL and Phillips which look more or less the same on first glance, but close inspection really shows how much thought goes into every detail, and how careful the designers are not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

In terms of web design, I really like how much responsive design has progressed over the last couple of years. Designing for the web is challenging since a website has to look consistent, though not necessarily the same, on a slew of devices and in browsers that can be sized and resized at will. I think it something a lot of designers (as well as the technology itself) had struggled with in the past, but the last couple of years have shown some really awesome solutions to the challenge.

Wonderland Organics: We love your answer to this. There’s been a slew of redesigns lately, and it’s made us think about how much work has been put into it. Do you create websites for different industries, or do you focus on just one particular industry?

Randy: I personally enjoy getting to work on any type of project, and if it’s something I don’t know about, I like the opportunity to get to learn about stuff that someone else is passionate about.

Wonderland Organics: Especially now that you’ve started working with us for our new website! Tell us a little bit about your work flow.

Randy: I’m personally still revising my methodology for taking on new projects. As it’s currently not really my primary occupation, I’m most interested in finding ways to make things faster/allow me to see results more quickly so I can jump right into things when I switch gears from my day job. As of now, I like to start off projects by talking to the requester and seeing what they want to accomplish, having a dialog of possible tech solutions and how to customize them, and mocking up what the user experience would be. This latter portion is my favorite part of the process/I consider it the playtime portion of my process.

Wonderland Organics: That’s absolutely fantastic! We love that you can chase your dreams, while also holding down your current job. What’s your favorite part of the Wonderland Organics blog?

Randy: I really like the positivity here 🙂 I think it’s great how much the philosophy behind the company is all about being passionate about what goes into the products, as well as being forthright and generous with the information it digs up (not to mention the positive focus on real folks through these interviews).

Thanks so much to Randy for talking to us today! Since he’s revamping our Wonderland Organics website, we’re sure that you’ll love our redesign (coming soon) as much as we do. Be sure to check out his site here and check out his fabulous work.

Tips for Summer Hair Care

Tips for Summer Hair Care

summer-haircare-tipsSummer Hair Care Tips

Summer invokes grand thoughts like those of sun-kissed glow and flowing beach waves. Unfortunately, those locks roasting in the sun are incredibly damaging to your hair. Why, you ask? Elements like the sun, wind, and chlorine in the summer can lead to dull and brittle hair.

For the best summer hair, it’s great to adjust your hair routine and take extra precautions. Keeping your hair healthy helps ensure your gorgeous locks this summer. As an added bonus, healthy hair is an indicator of your overall healthy!

Tip #1: Protect Your Hair Before Swimming

I love swimming, but the chlorine found in swimming pools strips hair of its natural protective oils and vital nutrients (you’ve guessed it, this leads to brittle hair). Hence, it’s great to take provisions before you you start swimming. A leave-in-conditioner that helps the hair absorb less harmful chemicals is helpful. From my swimming days, I would never swim without my trusty swim cap!

If you forgot the conditioner, you can try to wet your hair down prior to swimming so that less chlorine water will soak your hair. After you leave poolside, always wash out the chlorine from your hair as soon as possible. The same steps apply for swimming in the ocean as the salt sucks out the water in your hair.

Tip #2: Protect Hair Against Sun & Wind Exposure

While being in the sun is great, I often get sunburned, or feel tenderness on my scalp. Hair can’t undergo intensive sunlight or harsh wind without losing its protective coating. So, bring and wear a hat with UV protection (bucket hats, long floppy hats, whatever you prefer!) whenever you plan to be outside for an extended period of time. summer-loving

Tip #3: Watch Out for At-Home Styling

Who hates humidity? Occasionally, I’ll be tempted to increase straightening or blow drying my hair in the summer to combat humidity. However, excessive heat will leave hair drier and frizzier than before. When it comes to straightening/blow drying, it is extremely important to watch the frequency and heat settings. If you can, let your hair air dry. You can also try tying it back into a loose bun or clipping back sections for a casual look that doesn’t need heat or styling aids.

Tip #4: Fight Against Humidity & Frizz

Humidity is definitely troublesome– you can combat this by using a daily hair smoothing serum. The best smoothing serums for your hair will use light and protective oils like argan oil. Several serum recipes are made with essential oils that do not contain toxic chemicals.

By avoiding summer hair products with harmful chemicals, you can avoid drying or damaging your hair this summer. I like to do this when I get out of the shower, as an extra step to keep my hair shiny and moisturized.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!

Interview with Linda Qian, Corporate Social Responsibility Communications Manager at Intel

Interview with Linda Qian, Corporate Social Responsibility Communications Manager at Intel

linda-qian-interviewWith so much emphasis the last few years on accountability, recycling, and greener ingredients for products and ingredients, it’s great to see how companies have restructured their operations to nail these down. That said, I love interviewing inspiring people who make a difference in their professional lives and in the environment. Today, meet Linda Qian, who is a CSR Communications Manager.

Wonderland Organics: Hi Linda, tell us a little about what you do for Intel.

Linda: I manage Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) communications at Intel – I help make sure people know that the way we make our products and run our business is as good as the products themselves. I help set and manage corporate strategy on issues like transparency and reporting, supply chain responsibility, human rights, and environmental sustainability.

Wonderland Organics: This sounds incredibly worthwhile. What’s important about CSR?

Linda: At its most basic level, CSR, also known as sustainability, is about doing the right things the right way. We’re often taught (at least I was) that corporations are big, faceless companies that don’t care about people or the planet. That’s just not true; companies are made up of people who care.

Wonderland Organics: This is an excellent point. The ability to do good things for our environment and society, while still able to make a living shouldn’t be at odds. How did you get involved with sustainability, and why is it important?

Linda: While I was getting my undergraduate degree at U.C. Berkeley, I took a course on CSR, and it just clicked. I knew I wanted the opportunity to do something big and have an impact, and in my day job, I definitely feel like I am making a difference. Actually, one of my key messages when communicating with Intel employees internally is that we can all make a difference, no matter what your title or job role is. linda-qian-interview2

Wonderland Organics: We love this! Making an incredible impact at work is quite rewarding. What is something that we all can do for our environment?

Linda: Before you buy something, take the time to be a conscious consumer. You don’t need to be a sustainability expert to make informed decisions. There are a wealth of resources out there (like the Good Guide app) which can help you make better decisions. What you buy matters.

Wonderland Organics: Thanks for this! As an alpha tester of Wonderland Organics, what is your favorite product?

Linda: I travel a few times every month, so I love the travel size facial oils – I use them before I go to bed, when I wake up, and even after I get off the plane, to rehydrate. Plus, I like knowing that they’re made with pure, high quality ingredients, and that I’m supporting a local woman-owned business.

Wonderland Organics: We love that the facial oils have been so helpful! (Note: Linda has been using our facial oils since August of 2013). What’s your favorite part of the Wonderland Organics blog?

Linda: It’s awesome that I don’t have to spend a ton of money or time on the ideas and DIYs in the Wonderland Organics blog. And I love seeing real people featured – it’s nice to know we all have the same goals, struggles, and beauty habits. 🙂

Thanks to Linda for taking the time to talk to us! What is something that you’ve been inspired to do to help the environment and the people around us? Let us know in the comments below!
2014 Current Skincare Trends

2014 Current Skincare Trends

skincare-trends-2014To keep our body’s largest organ maintained and healthy, there has been many discussions about what’s best for our skin. Do we use traditional ones like saponified castile soap, or trends such as antioxidants? What’s popular so far this year?

BB/CC Creams

Made popular from Korea, we had the BB cream (and now CC cream). While it’s great to see these kinds of all-in-one solutions, the ingredients behind them had me shaking my head. According to a report from the EWG, using a BB/CC cream still has fewer ingredients, as compared to using multi-step products. Nonetheless, if you aren’t too concerned with a large amount of chemicals, since companies often hide up to 1,000 different types under the word “fragrance”, then the BB or CC cream may be for you.

Topical Antioxidants

According to Skin Inc. Magazine, ingredients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and other antioxidants help with those pesky free radicals. Vitamin C serums have been popular, specifically with l-ascorbic acid and ester C. The reason for its popularity is that it is said to help produce collagen. However, these serums oxidize rather quickly (as a result of the vitamin C), so make sure to buy serums that are packaged in airless pumps. As you may know, vitamin E is effective in slowing down the oxidation process in oil-based products (like Wonderland Organics’ facial serums!) When both vitamins are applied topically, they have been shown to help with sun damage. Of course, wearing a large hat and applying sunscreen are important to prevent any sun damage.

Internal Antioxidants

What can you do internally for more antioxidants? Green tea has been shown to possess a large amount of antioxidants, so feel free to sip on hot green tea (caffeinated or decaf). The best part about green tea is that there are no calories, and it tastes delicious. There’s different types, such as matcha, sencha, and jasmine green tea. You may use either tea leaves or disposable teabags. If you opt for the latter, you can also wait until the bag is cool, and close your eyes for a refreshing eye depuffer. Also, blueberries and pomegranates also have a large amount of antioxidants, which I love to include in my fruit salads. As for vitamin C, many people reach for a tablet when they start to feel sick. However, consuming an orange may be better, as it’s healthy and a decent source of vitamin C.

Anti-Aging

Anti-aging, of course has been a consistent trend: many skincare companies have clamored to add this phrase to their product labels. Personally, I’ve started on anti-aging products since I was 20, hoping to keep my skin as young as possible. However, the term “anti-aging” is considered puffery, since nothing seriously stops you from aging. Plastic surgery is one viable option, though I wouldn’t recommend it. For slightly less invasive procedures, people opt for Botox injections.

Whitening

In Taiwan, as well as in many parts of Asia, whitening facial creams and lotions have been a great source of interest for women. This is mainly because being pale is considered a gold standard of beauty. In department stores and drugstores like Watsons, ladies clamor over the whitening-option products.

Have you tried any of these trends? Let me know in the comments below!

References:

“How Safe Are the Ingredients in BB and CC Creams?” Environmental Working Group. Environmental Working Group, 3 Oct. 2013. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.ewg.org/research/bb-and-cc-creams/how-safe-are-ingredients-bb-and-cc-creams>.

Imber, Gerald, MD. “Skin Inc. Magazine.” Antioxidants, Free Radicals and Skin Care. KCM Publishing, 15 Oct. 2013. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.skininc.com/skinscience/ingredients/Antioxidants-Free-Radicals-and-Skin-Care-227888041.html?page=1>.

Interview with Jenny Cheng, a Mini-Luxury Line

Interview with Jenny Cheng, a Mini-Luxury Line

jenny-cheng-1I love TGI Fridays! My Friday posts have featured inspiring women, either entrepreneurs or doing amazing jobs that are helping the world, a bit at a time.

Today, I’m thrilled to bring to you an interview with Jenny Cheng, whose clothing brand premieres this month!

Wonderland Organics: Jenny, thanks for talking to us today! What inspired you to start your own clothing line?

Jenny: What inspired me to start the Jenny Cheng brand is my desire to create Mini Luxury products for all the amazing ladies in my life whom I love and admire. Imagine this woman who wakes up with a smile every day. She is driven, competitive, but also genuinely compassionate for her friends and the world. She leads a super busy lifestyle, but always makes time to care for other people. These ladies have always inspired me and I wanted to create beautiful things for them – to make their lives easier, richer, and even more beautiful. jenny-cheng-4

Wonderland Organics: That sounds like the women we strive to be! What’s the story behind Jenny Cheng?

Jenny: The story behind Jenny Cheng is quite simple. We want to develop the best product in each fashion category for the modern woman who has an extremely busy lifestyle, a sophisticated taste for understated luxury, and who knows how to enjoy life and all its little surprises.

Wonderland Organics: Simplicity in a busy world is key, that’s for sure. What’s it like in the fashion industry? What brought you to this point?

Jenny: The fashion industry is certainly not as glamorous as most would imagine, but can be as beautiful, fun, and exciting as you make it to be. It is actually one of the most old-fashioned and traditional industries out there: how a piece of garment is designed, manufactured, marketed and retailed has not changed much since a long time ago. However, at our studio, we wanted to build upon it and create something different – something beautiful that will grow as our customers grow, and something that defines Mini Luxury for Our Generation.

After college, I worked in investment banking for two years in San Francisco. I loved my experience in banking, but my desire to pursue my long-term dream of creating something beautiful and on my own was even stronger. I moved to New York, and entered the fashion industry by working at a large fashion brand while taking classes at Parsons on the weekends to learn more about the technicalities of how a garment is created. I started working on building the Jenny Cheng brand since late 2013 (although most of my friends would say I started hatching the idea since my college days), and have since traveled to different countries to source fabrics, met many great entrepreneurs along the way, and went through cycles of product development and testing. Now we are getting ready for the launch this month, and we are super excited!

Wonderland Organics: We’re excited for you! Why don’t you give our readers a sneak peek behind a typical day of work? jenny-cheng-3

Jenny: Every morning, I start my day off with some fresh coffee and an avocado toast topped off with some olive oil and freshly ground peppers. Work then begins by formulating a to-do list for the day, and replying to some emails that require immediate attention. Some work project examples at this pre-launch stage include: working with local printers to design packaging for our dresses, setting up our inventory system, contacting fabric stores in New York to see if they have imported any new fabrics.

In the afternoon, I try to catch up with a friend over lunch and/or meet up with a business contact to talk about the different projects we are working on over coffee. Before dinner, I would put in a quick half hour work out. Post dinner, a few more hours of work is spent dealing with productions in Asia due to the time difference. Usually I would try to leave one hour before bedtime to do things non-work related (but that doesn’t always happen), and then it’s bedtime before midnight.

Wonderland Organics: The life of an entrepreneur is constantly busy! When does your brand launch? And where can we find your products?

Jenny: Jenny Cheng will launch mid-June (in less than a month woohoo!). You can find our products on http://www.jenny-cheng.com. We will be launching a few new products a week along with our weekly editorial – THE PAPER.

P.S. Join THE BETA now, and we will send you a secret code right before launch for some special surprises! jenny-cheng-2

Here are a few Instagram sneak peeks of our dresses. I’m the first to receive prototypes (perks of being the founder!); I model them and take some fun pictures with them when I am visiting different places or just sitting at a local coffee shop – follow our Instagram for more sneak peeks!

Wonderland Organics: We’ve been loving the shots on your Instagram! (And we’re definitely looking forward to the surprises in store). Do you have any advice for would-be entrepreneurs?

Jenny: My advice would be – nothing is impossible! We always dream about doing this one thing, and before we actually embark on the journey, it always seems so unattainable. But once you take the first step, you will realize that you’re on your dream path before you even know it. And when you look back after a little while, you will notice that you’ve connected more dots than you realized. Also, always be genuine and have a kind heart. There are many other important things in this world than the successes or failures of our start-ups. It’s certainly hard enough when we are bombarded with our own long to-do list, but it’s always important to never forget how you can make other people’s days brighter and more beautiful. I’ve learned along the way that amazing things happen to truly kind and genuine people!

Wonderland Organics: We love this! Inspiration and passion are definitely what drives us as entrepreneurs. What’s your favorite part of the Wonderland Organics blog?

Jenny: Intellectual, visually beautiful, and super fun – and most importantly, it’s built and curated by Alice Lin, who is super passionate about developing skincare products that are truly natural, organic, and great for your skin. The blog is not just about skincare, but the healthy lifestyle that surrounds great skincare. I always admire people who are pursuing their passion and creating amazing products. I am definitely following you, and I am also super excited for your product launch!

Thanks so much to Jenny for taking time out of her day! Come check out Jenny Cheng once it’s launched.

Readers, we hope that you love these interviews as much as we do! Have any inspiring people in your life? Feel free to reach out and tell us here at Wonderland Organics.