Put ‘Em Up

blox (2)

What do we long for? Is it written in stone? Is it unattainable? It was once there. We obsess over its nature, it’s power and prowess. Can we return? Why sure, why not. However, what is it that stops us? Try something different? Go another route? I am tired of being tired and overrun by stopping. It’s time to pick up the gloves and pound out smashing. Use vigour. Use life. Use everything in your soul to carry you toward the light.

Tonight, we exercise!

That is so cheesy but true. A poem, or more like a manifesto for the one single thing that drives me to be a better person. Inside and out. Answer the questions in the poem above for your own good. What is it you’re struggling with and why? Can you overcome and how? Together, we can find the answers, one step at a time!

Exercise.

Yes.

No.

Yes.

Laziness.

Doing that.

Doing that too.

It matters. Shout it from the rooftop. Be dedicated. Be proud. Take that extra step, in your own time, to show them what you’re worth. Your excitement is often abated, and they most likely won’t bat an eye. But if you keep showing them, one day they will recognize. Your truth. Your ability. Your strength. Repeat it with me. Your truth. Your ability. Your strength.

I’m too obsessive.

I don’t know what I want.

I do, but I’m working toward it?

Damnit, this is difficult for me.

I can just go to sleep, but wake up mended.

Not defeated. You are healed in the morning.

You can do it, walk with me, hold my hand if you need to.

I will go where you need me to be.

I’m writing something important here.

So listen and be clear.

Top three things that make you tick:

What are they?

 

 

 

Self-Portrait 2020

Purpose

A Story About Tripping Over Bread

As things have taken a doubtful turn, I race to the corner of the intersection, moving my head to the back to check for traffic turning right. I am mighty in this sweater I proclaim, not wearing it on my run, but in my head as I write about running. I cross over a slippery yellow grid and see three bright orange pylons. There is a construction site to my right, and a small mall with a Bell store and I always seem to think a Cobs, but there isn’t. This is the fastest I’ve gone in it must be over a year, I thought. I felt impressed with my speed but knew I still had a long way to go. Will there be a huge difference once my shoes stop blinking purple? The lights were slowly changing to green, then orange, then nothing. I could see the lavender bear making its way over the crest of Gladwin Rd, heading toward Mission, where the Vedder river was, and Chilliwack. My heart was in the that town for some reason. The bread? The bread would be over on Monday, so better start relying on something else for pleasure, I thought. I was already home, wiping the rain off my make-uped brow and scanning the kitchen for my pint of water. The bear’s cries could be heard, and thunder rang in the deep blue sky. RipnDip, I thought, taking my hoodie off. The scars on my back were getting better. It just took a little temper, and ignorance for it to heal itself back to smooth, normal skin. Vanity or was it purpose? What answer do you recommend?

Being Creative in a Productive State 

Hi everyone!

First, some definitions relating to this post –

Being = Choosing / Creative = Motivated / Productive = Happy / State = Requirement

Doing = Accepting / More = Drive / Less = Realization

Emotionality = The observable behavioral and physiological component of emotion. It is a measure of a person’s emotional reactivity to a stimulus. Most of these responses can be observed by other people, while some emotional responses can only be observed by the person experiencing them. (Wikipedia)

My aim with this post is to decipher emotionality, its key drivers and relationship to day-to-day environment and circumstance, including but not limited to, home and work life.

So, let’s start!

Key Drivers

    • My location
    • Wake up time
    • Grooming time
    • Good coffee
    • Food

We moved to Abbotsford. I woke up at 6:30 AM preparing for my day. I go about the motions of getting ready – shower, makeup, hair, coffee – and in the process, I am lost. My mind is buzzing, yet it is shut off. I recognize for a brief second, but I haven’t found the reason. You could say I am slightly aware that I have not found my happy place. Too early in the morning, I suggest. Shrugging imaginary shoulders, I am okay with this, because I am just getting ready to go to work. This whole process takes time, it could probably arrive sooner (happiness) if I was paying more attention. Oh, and I should probably mention that my overnight oats make a significant difference. In making me happy. Funny, they don’t always taste so good!

Relationship to Environment

    • My car
    • My commute
    • Routines, like socializing
    • Wellness activities, like yoga
    • What’s for dinner
    • Time for bed

I’m in my car, driving my new 8 minute commute. I feel rushed, but it’s okay, it’s not really bothering me. And so, this is my experience from weekday to weekday. The urgency in the situation is that I must recollect reasons why things are going well in my life. New job, great boss, opportunities for team work, collaboration. Fun, yet challenging projects. A ton of writing, well editing really. Weekly touchpoints. My Pinterest strategy. Our marketing video. Learning, growing, the usual stuff. But then, the things that aren’t going so well surface. I haven’t established a workout schedule, I left my yoga mat at the other place, I am stressed over what we’re going to have for dinner and about sleeping early – because that’s my new thing, sleeping at 9:45 PM. I used to be a runner. I just keep thinking about the scale!

So, my day is a choice of two states – happiness or sadness. As simple as it sounds, this is a product of my environment and circumstance and something that I have to track to ensure that I’m making choices that move me closer toward happiness. Smiling, breathing, accepting. Working, writing, being. These are just a few good things.

Relationship to Circumstance

    • Busyness
    • Priorities
    • Deadlines
    • Time for evaluation
    • Energy level
    • Motivation level

At work, I am beginning to see that in an endless sea of assignments (which I am able to complete), the intention of the work becomes lost stacked upon other projects, priorities and deadlines. We should always go back, perhaps a week or so later, and evaluate the work once again. Scrap that. We need to re-evaluate more often, like every other day. What was it for? Did you enjoy working on it? If not, what element made it obtrusive? Was the project completed on time? Will it be put to greater use? Will it lead to larger successes in the near or distant future? I shake my head in disapproval as I re-read this. That’s not the point, Chona. The point is, you have to do, then do again, then do more and finally rest.

Home and Work Life

    • Choosing states
    • Selecting work
    • Writing
    • Conceptualizing
    • Analyzing
    • Generating ideas
    • Generating answers

In one example of choosing states, I’ve selected an image. Next, in pursuit of my happiest state, I decide to post it onto social media. The main two reasons being – I realize others will read my post and view my image and this makes me feel satisfied; and two, I am able to practice writing, designing and conceptualizing ideas and this makes me feel pleased.

The image will be broken down and some sort of analysis will occur. In this post, I have chosen a graphic image with text and the idea that I developed in my mind was pertaining to a milkshake. So, let’s call it The Milkshake. Magic. Something that obviously begets certain levels of pleasure, and contributes toward overall happiness, perhaps even eradicating sadness on the spot. A milkshake does that, as I’m well assured you are aware.

So, have a read and let me know what you think! I know we will all want a milkshake on a daily basis after this. Wink!

The Milkshake

Do we start with the milkshake or whittle it down to the ingredients? In my opinion, productivity starts with desire (I want a milkshake), then the identification of key components (organic strawberries and maple syrup), a timeline (this will take 3 minutes), a deadline (well, it’s 7:45 am so that gives me 2 extra minutes to get to work) and result/outcome (this tastes great, could use some spinach).

A Doing More with Less stance claims that we don’t necessarily need to examine details (should I add spinach), but instead take a bird’s eye view (look at these 30 options), using creativity to discover (strawberry banana, strawberry raspberry or strawberry pineapple), contribute (let’s add maple syrup) and further existing strategies (let’s add flax and hemp seed) that may or may not need review (is this milkshake healthy).

This is where creative direction or management comes in. I will listen or be the one to direct, but know that these roles are significant.

Also, I will always argue that creativity contributes toward success on a larger scale. We may not be marketing for the milkshake company, but the nutritiously delicious and beautiful milkshake we drank at the beginning of our day or in middle of this post contributes toward performance and our overall well being. Expectations.

If an image (content + creative) has power, does it come from the creator or within? What does that say?

This post ends with a 3. That’s my mood, not a 4, not a 5, but a 3. And I do appreciate that it’s Valentine’s Day. Perhaps the issue is just that I move too fast, so I’m actually way ahead of time. Yes, that’s what it is. Exactly. Sip, sip!

Thanks guys!

Recent Works – Direct Mail Proposal

Hey everyone!

Back into the swing of things.

This project may seem simple to you, but it challenges the idea of giving and receiving. In our digital space, we give constantly. And is the return of our efforts (ROE) measured through digital collaboration (DC) enough? Think: total impact of IQ + EQ + PQ or a new notion ascertaining digital quotient (DQ) / digital equilibrium (DE) / digital aspect ROI (DAROI). *I will explore these ideas in a future post.

When my mother received letters from her suitors (a common practice in her time), she did not write back. She kept each letter as if to say, I realize you are all interested, however I will hold in my heart, the one who is right. Is this action right? Is it just? We observe a similar practice in Japanese culture. The ritual is gift-giving (action), rather than the gift itself. Huffpost.com describes it in three steps – the reveal, the denial and the recognition. Or, revelation of intelligence + denying impact of emotionality + recognition of our role and place in digital space.

Using this interpretation, I could say that this project was aimed to reveal part of my identity/intelligence (I now question its visual and linguistic legitimacy in my current digital explorations), to reflect my denial of attaching emotion to the act of giving and receiving, and finally to sustain 2-way recognition/communication (between seller and buyer in this case) of the journey (action) itself – “For the Japanese, gratitude is a battle of endurance.”

We need to evaluate the tone and style of our expressions (gratitude being relevant today) as we delve further and further into a state of digital collaboration. We are impacted and at what point are we actually bringing more clarity to situations and circumstance? This is sort of the concept of ‘niceties’ and because I aim to maintain a certain level of accuracy in my work, details are important, but should my actions impose more or less scrutiny in regards to how my audience receives my message? This ties everything back to: total impact of IQ + EQ + PQ or a new notion ascertaining digital quotient (DQ) / digital equilibrium (DE) / digital aspect ROI (DAROI).

As you make your way through the below, try to remove feelings of assumption or judgement. Art is for everyone. Despite my specific approach, there’s a core selection from each demographic (Baby Boomer to Gen Z) that relates to my work in its simplest form, in other words – the visual and the language. For this project, I give it back to them!

Abstract – slash / roboto / elephant

This project started out with a photoshoot. I was dressed as Wenda (Where’s Waldo’s girlfriend) and my friend Allegra and I captured a series of images in and around Horseshoe Bay, British Columbia, Canada. There was lunch at Troll’s (fish and chips of course) and a brief introduction/chat with family business owner Ab Troll. Then, tea at another local establishment Flour Bakery and the final shot – me peering over … The Giant Hedge.

I developed the concept around a youthful, graffiti-inspired (old BLOX style) rendering of sweetness or the sweet spot/’magic’ that we often search for in our interactions with brands and art projects in general. My old style was always striking, vibrant and street culture inspired. Think – Keith Haring meets baby Andy Warhol.

The first portion centres around strategy, the next on my Social Seller & Social Buyer personas and finally, the Wenda portion (introducing myself within a specific context) finalizes the presentation. I printed the images on glossy card stock and hand-cut each one with a paper cutter. The final presentation resembled 7-inch vinyl singles and are displayed most effectively in a stack, layed out as placards on a table or mounted onto a wall with colourful binder clips (yellow, purple or stainless steel would work).

Along with my visual presentation, I designed a series of stickers that were printed on matte sticker paper and cut by hand. I then assembled the stickers, one by one, into individual, resealable plastic bags. Two of the images are BLOX identity concepts. The one with the primary color wheel represents right-brained or creative BLOX and the other with the black and white bunny mascot (and letter B branded roboto typeface mouth) represents left-brained or technical BLOX. The remainder stickers were simple and fun applications of imagery used in the presentation. To top the set off, I made a collaborative-style logo (powered by) for the agency I was presenting to.

As a fun treat and tribute to the jam jar (featured in several of the images), I filled a couple of clear canisters with bright fruit candy (I once had a banana necklace) to match the colour theme and concept of sweetness. I also included a book containing 85 pages of work samples and creative/technical resources – collateral, white papers and articles. The book was bound using the specifications below:

8.5″ x 11″
Double Sided, Colour
Colour Laser, 98 Bright, 32-lb.
Binding – Wireless Binding – Black
Standard front cover
Pastel Yellow, 90-lb. Index
Standard back cover
Pastel Yellow, 90-lb. Index

*See more supporting documentation on my Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn account.

The final products were wrapped in colourful confetti  paper and fastened with two Jelly Marketing stickers. Everything was arranged bento-style in an unobtrusive Staples box with a package of fun pastel highlighters and a final ‘hello’ letter placed on top.

I am eternally dedicated to my work and process. This project was a homage to my academic background as a printmaker and street identity as a writer. When I was practicing regularly, the art forms themselves took shape. There was no plan, just creation. I would compare it to writing and reading classical music. I can’t really compare it to anything else. But my efforts today are different. They are positioned around understanding and fully utilizing the creative + technical aspects of my brain. So, now there is a need to plan and there is a need to create, but by having a specific outcome in mind.

At the end of it all, this has generated the foundation of A Brand Strategy. You will hear more about this in the coming year.

A few quick work goals for 2020 –

  • Find a job that I’m happy about
  • Develop Digital Presence business model
  • Develop A Brand Strategy

Next up: who’s down for white, black and corporate-friendly? Is it time to revisit my Digital Presence business model? Yes/No?

The question remains – To mail or not to mail? To give or not to give? To receive or not to receive? What matters most? Having or expecting? Waiting or forgetting? Are you a yes-man or a no-sayer? Check back guys!

Relentless Beauty – Directing Art in Life

Hi everyone!

This post is being published a couple of weeks late. It sides like a dialogue or script between my negative and positive conscience. It also questions the personality of reality and the role of work impacting everyday life. Have a read and let me know what you think!

1

I am you.

We are masterpieces at work.

A masterpiece is considered to be a work of outstanding artistry, skill, or workmanship. I am building something great in my brain, that might take 5-10 years to materialize, but for today…it is a matter of steps.

  1. TED Talk
  2. Meet some important CEOs (Microsoft, Facebook etc.)
  3. Have an annual income>$100,000.00

Step 1 – The Wait

This past year has been a period of unparalleled accomplishment and perseverance.

  1. Being able to write well – technically (analyses) and creatively (rationale)
  2. Upping my graphic design capabilities (still supporting MART)
  3. Identifying the BLOX brand (logos for example)

Step 2 – Past Reconciliation

Bell Bird / I walked away from my desk knowing it was over. And every time I returned, I resumed my role, but thought to myself quietly and strategically: 1 – you don’t allow me to be artistic or creative in a way that would generate an income; 2 – despite all my hard work and dedication, you haven’t allowed me to move forward or upward; and 3 – down to the date I left, you gave me the belief that I could achieve something bigger, better and huge.

Step 3 – Hiding

When I say there’s a solution, here’s why. My partner is the most realistic human being that has ever existed! He tells me; I should listen. Now, I’m trying to understand, again (in this moment of gratitude), WHY I have the NEED to reveal a few big secrets, but I won’t. I think it’s going to take a long while, you guys might as well grab some food.

Step 4 – Revelation

Chona: I am not realistic.

Daisy: I am the least realistic human being that has ever existed!

Chona Fe: I am so utterly unrealistic that I presume the world in a digital fashion and to me, it all makes sense.

Seventeen: And my unrealisticness bears unbreakable confidence and this leads me to believe that people already understand it, that other people exist in a digital fashion as well and that it is all working.

Steps, I said. Steps.

Step 5 – Fighting Back

Blox Bunny / Back at my desk, I am thinking again: when I left my former job, there was something inside of me that longed to escape. I was previously trapped in the mind of a realistic person! This does not satisfy me! I want it back! I belong in there. So, I started writing this blog and finally, I have a platform to voice my concerns, however all I want to do is write and that leads to my battle with time.

2

Young at heart.

Old in thought.

Step 6 – In the Past

It feels like more things have been given to me and I have spent a whole lot of time trying to decipher those things regularly. The pursuit seems futile. Is it? I experience true happiness when I am free to create, to express myself as I will. Just being is so strong.

Step 7 – Entrance

Chona begins to write feverishly on a notepad: the questions become – how does the audience receive these creations? But that is not a real question. The real question is, does it matter how they receive it? Wrong again. Once I release a creation into someone’s hands, or brain for that matter, is that it? Is that all that matters?

No, no, no!

Step 8 – The Return

We need to feel a reason to proceed with creating.

Step 9 – The End

I will get there, promise. And when all else fails, I did it for love and the beauty surrounding it.

3

A very dear friend of mine, Yenukwa Kombian, is the co-owner and facilitator of King of Hearts (a collective of men helping men). He shared a few quotes with me when I was feeling down and they really helped –

About struggling as an artist/entrepreneur

…being an artist/entrepreneur, grinding it out and never being recognized for your hard work. It talks a lot about giving up, letting go and even going into a dark hole that you feel stuck in. The line ‘Lose My Air’ is directly correlated with anxiety, and depression. Feeling overwhelmed and stuck in life. I think it’s so easy nowadays to compare ourselves to everyone around us, and that can be crippling. The one thing I have learned through all of this, is that everyone is on their own path, their own chapter of life and it’s extremely unfair to compare yourself to everyone around you. – Brandon Linkewich

About hustling aligning

Destroy the idea that you have to be constantly working or grinding in order to be successful. Embrace the concept that rest, recovery, and reflection are essential parts of the progress toward a successful and ultimately happy life.

About feeling behind in life

You’re not behind in life. There’s no schedule or timetable that we all must follow. It’s all made up. Wherever you are right now is exactly where you need to be. Seven billion people can’t do everything in exactly the same scheduled order. We are all different with a variety of needs and goals. Some get married early, some get married late, while others don’t get married at all. What is early? What is late? Compared with whom? Compared with what? Some want children, others don’t. Some want a career; others enjoy taking care of a house and children. Your life is not on anyone else’s schedule. Don’t beat yourself up for where you are right now. It’s YOUR timeline, not anyone else’s, and nothing is off schedule. – Emily Maroutian

And so, it should be said…

Has anything changed since last year? Are you more ahead of the game? Do I understand being HERE and NOW? Is there something standing in my way? Is it constructed or real? What is real anyway?

Revealing my true identity…

Instead of defining it as creating, writing, being artistic, it must be redefined as working. This mantra says it best – At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best, every day. That’s it. That’s all that matters!

I think somewhere on this blog I talk about losing my identity, then regaining it. It just isn’t as easy as that. As an artist, you can create a wonderful masterpiece and use it to build yourself up. But when you are done, you have to start all over again and this is a problem. It’s a similar thing building a social media presence. You can really use what’s out there to help support your vision or you can get lost in the confusion of trying to fit in (or out) with a trillion other ‘things’, plus being an open book for everyone one to read. The role of work is to harness these conditions. To take the experience and quantify or qualify it. To have a goal and to accomplish it, then to move on to the next task. Bell provided me with this motion, it just lacked the artistic/creative portion. This past year I have learned how to objectify my work and I am ready to apply these skills.

4

Please bring your trays to a tray return station. We’ll take care of the sorting, recycling and trash. To lower our environmental impact, nearly 90% of waste in the IKEA stores is sent for recycling or used for energy production. And we’re working hard to get to 100%.

IKEA’s founder Ingvar Kamprad thought along these lines, “To do business with a clear conscience is an attitude that pays. We have to find more time for ourselves and to regain respect for the environment in which we live.”

I agree and what if the sign instead read –

Please bring your brains to a brain return station. We’ll take care of the sorting, recycling and trash. To lower our environmental impact, nearly 90% of waste in the BLOX stores is sent for recycling or used for energy production. And we’re working hard to get to 100%.

The idea that the brain requires an actual vacation – with pay – connotes the modern (we’ve been modern for much too long) notion of a retreat. The IKEA restaurant works just great.

Conclusion – Digital Detox Works

Leave your devices at the door and have a seat with us in our cafe, er…restaurant. You really have to plow deep to comprehend your body visiting versus your mind walking in. That is how I think. Typically the thoughts are in motion, in my head and do not leave it. Case in point, there’s power in environment, yet I am denied, time and time again.

Hyper Conclusion – The Drive of Your Mind

It is incessant. Must be more positive. Must be HERE and NOW. Must trust, believe, have faith and most importantly, love.

It causes turbulence. Must convert to renewable energy. Big breakfasts. Netflix. Naps. Running.

1 day left until Halloween!

Yay!

Lost in Translation

Hey all,

Here’s a creative poem for your ears. Listen, don’t interpret. Let’s all take a break.

Do you think my life is perfect?

It’s not, it’s hard.

For all the time and energy I put into everything, and to have barely anything come back to me, that’s frightening.

It leaves me in a state of incredulity.

What did I do wrong?

Which turn didn’t work?

Can I move forward?

Everyone struggles with something, but we barely talk about it, because we’re supposed to be resilient, we’re supposed to be invincible to change.

How many more quotes do I need to read?

To feel strong?

To feel right?

To feel better?

What’s the difference these days?

And at the end of my scrutiny, I tell myself over and over again, it doesn’t matter.

Then what’s the point of it?

As long as you have family, she said. As long as you have friends, they rant.

But I’m tired.

That’s it?

That’s everything.

Is it possible that my brain might explode?

do you think my life is perfecy

Boom!

Dreams splayed everywhere.

Still. Contribute. BE.

Cheers guys!

 

 

 

9 – Coming Down

I’m so tired, Daisy thought. You’re always tired, retorted Cherry. She was just sitting there, twiddling her thumbs, looking at her green shoes. She turned her head right, was there something there? She suddenly felt uncomfortable. Someone was watching them. They didn’t know who.

It’s time to pack, dear. The routine was the same every June. Alice from Wonderland would arrive to take Daisy home. Daisy couldn’t do it without help. It was a sad time for her. She was remembering the death of her mom, those last few cigarettes she had outside with her dad, in the snow. She was really angry Being because of Ben. He ruined her life, led her astray. She was an addict when she was with him.

Forget thinking about it, darling. Alice stroked Cherry’s hair, handing her a cheese and ham biscuit. This is ridiculous. I’m practically choking on this bread, it’s getting lodged in my throat! I can’t take it anymore! By then, their tears were flowing, ruining everything including a pink dress and a gigantic muumuu.

All of the pupils present today were busy writing down their answers. Not me. I’m just going to sit it. Read his brain. Oh shit, he’s looking. The girls looked away, frantically grabbing their miniature Navajo backpacks, matching, gifts from the Philippines and their Auntie Stella.

Daisy? Can you contribute something to this discussion we’re having? Her teacher was frustrated, but tried his best to be kind and patient. Daisy twitched her mouth. No, I don’t think I can. They could feel every single eye in the room blink. Then, 999,999 heads turned to look at her. What were they expecting? She wasn’t going to put on a show. And especially not in this muumuu. Do you have anything to say, young miss? Neither had enough bitcoins to argue. Clearing her throat, Miss Daisy stood up. Cherry budged in front, knocking her sister to the floor. I bought these with my own cash! Dreams, actually. It was Toys clearly. Can any one of you in the room debate that? We highly think naught. And with haste, they flipped their skirts and left the room.

Flying through the wind, Cherry grabbed her big sister’s hand. They were going to be just fine.

Katie

She loved the red glitter on her eyes. It was so thick and opaque. Looking into the mirror, she had to tippy-toe onto her Dr. Martens to see the details. It gave her a buzz – the satisfaction of seeing colour on her face. Kate patted down her hair, trying to ignore the grays.

There was a lot now. They came in from nowhere. Probably due to stress. Her mom-in-law. Lack of inspiration or something like that. Katie inhaled a deep breath while admiring herself. One more time, she thought. And then, she turned to exit the restroom.

Her dress was red too. Strolling through the children’s department, Katie saw something green. It was fabulous! Hyper-fantastic and surreal. She had to run towards it. A supreme, three-piece, pastel green, polyester suit. It was a suit of dreams.

Flared pants, minuscule vest, oddly-sized plastic buttons, and a blazer. The blazer. The lapels and the boning. That feeling she got when fresh clothes actually existed was drugs. Not street drugs, but visceral happiness-coated candy love.

Lime green market baskets. Apple-scented Jolly Ranchers. That sort of thing. Why in the world would you even need drugs, if you could find clothes like these? She didn’t know. It blew her mind. As she took the leisure suit to the till to pay, she was anxious, but she still smiled.

She opened her Celine wallet, removing the VISA card – personal purchase – she thought. I’m gonna make this work! Smiling and not evaluating an inch of the sales associate’s grin, Katie took the handles of her JC Penney bag and walked out. Into the world.

***The stores that have given me a sense of fashionable purpose growing up were JC Penney, Fairweather, Smart Set, Dalmys, Le Château, Mariposa, Jacobs, Westbeach, Au Coton, Aritzia, Nike, Winners, Eaton’s and Hudson’s Bay. Most have come and gone. Based on this subset, the champions have focused on a specified niche market, continual dedication through brand evolution and reduced pricing.

CONCLUSION

Time changes everything. How do we keep up (trend)? Stay relevant (worth)? Do you remember your favorite stores and brands? Are they still around? Have they become more or less ubiquitous over time? Why are the champions still in ‘power’ and how do you think they got there?