Dear Team Laborfair, Investors, Supporters, Friends.
This week, I was notified that I am nominated as one of the 12 finalists for the 2008 SVN Innovator's Award. Founded in 1987 by Josh Mailman and Wayne Silby, Social Venture Network (SVN) is a nonprofit network committed to building a just and sustainable world through business. SVN members are part of an expanding global network of pioneering entrepreneurs who are helping to transform the way the world does business.
Last year's ten Innovation Award winners included, among others, Tom Szaky, CEO and Co-Founder of TerraCycle, and Priya Haji, CEO and Co-Founder of World of Good so I'm simply thrilled to be considered in such excellent and well-respected company.
A link to the press release for about the 2008 Innovation Awards can be found here:
Laborfair is an amazing collaboration of individuals: our committed, mission-driven, for-profit investors, our resilient, highly capable and intelligent core team and experienced advisors, and the whole amazing collective of entrepreneurial service providers and motivated site users who meet on our platform and assist in each other's lives daily.
Without every one of you, this nomination would not have been possible. Thank you, and most importantly, thank you Jose Arocha and Team Laborfair.
I'll keep you posted on the outcome, let's hope we win!
Today, Marketwatch returned a powerful stat on inflation:
"Over the past year, consumer prices were up 5.6%, the biggest on-year increase since January 1991. The CPI has surged at a 10.6% annualized rate in the past three months, the second-worst spike in inflation in the past 26 years."
Will the Federal Reserve raise interest rates to put inflation in a headlock? There seems to be a standout hope in the Fed's carpeted halls that the economy will continue to slump which might take care of things (read moderate the situation) without the need for manual intervention. Seems odd that a fumbling economy could be a well anticipated event. Thank god for my yoga studio's 10 class for $10 special--I need the time on the mat to keep my mind calm and body flexible for the life in the 21st century . Did I mention, I love the silly tagline for A Ha yoga, "it's good to feel good." Well, no s*&^%, that's why I'm here.
I'm an average middle class American woman, single, without children, living in one of America's most expensive cities. I'm having a hard time finding affordable, high quality, hormone and antibiotic-free nutrition. Burritos daily are one solution but it's not a long term fix--black beans, pinto beans, mild or spicy, guac or no guac...you get the picture. Keeping food prices down and buying locally seem like logical answers. IF prices fall on cheezdoodles (sp?) and on lemon cream filled tasty-creme pies from Seven Eleven, have we really made headway? After my $73 trip to Whole Foods today to get some organic apples and cherries and other foodstuffs, I'm just focused on how much feeding oneself well costs...
With all this uncertainty, it's a grand distraction to have all Michael Phelps' to authenticate true nationalist pride in the US of A. What is this fish-man going to do with all his Gold Medals anyway? He could get creative and use them as tapas plates at a dinner party--that would be decadent. I don't mean to be cute about his accomplishments, the man just simply amazes me. I
Every day, I just love what we do at Laborfair. When I read that the purchasing power of the typical worker has now fallen back to 1998 levels, despite a 29% increase in productivity over that period, I just get all happy in side that through our collective efforts, we're helping great people be hired and paid a living wage to make lives easier through their efforts.
We're keeping it real between folks and helping them employ each other to get stuff done.
Holy heck, I just saw a pretty scary table comparing a working mother with a stay at home mom's weekly work load. They both clock in at NORTH of 90 hours. Now, that's my life as a startup entrepreneur right now but this means almost every adult woman is in this boat...Phew! Nasty! Save O Save.
Working Moms Stay at Home Moms Housekeeper 7.2 hours 22.1 hours Cook 6.5 13.6 Day Care Center Teacher 7.2 15.7 Laundry Operator 4.2 6.7 Coordination 4.6 4.2 Facilities Manager 3.5 5.8 Driver 2.8 4.2 Psychologist 3.5 3.9 Computer Operator 7.2 9.1 Janitor 3.1 6.3
Total weekly hours: 49.8 for working moms and a whopping 91.6 for stay at home moms. Please note that working mothers report working an average of 44 hours a week at their jobs (Salary.com).
Now, let's be serious, this is servitude. This is painful. This is walking across a hot desert in full Victorian-Era garb with a heavy load...?
How's that for justification for Laborfair.com?...as if we needed justification to hire a cool, trusted, quality person to help us with any or all of the above. Got me thinking now about outsourcing...Can we outsource being a best friend, a wife, and a sexual partner? Hmmmm, ok, never mind....While I never had a modicum of time to watch any kind of tv, including episodes of the uber-popular "Sex and the City." I'm sure watching Samantha, Carrie, or any of the other urban goddesses on that show perform just one week of this type of effort would have been comical. Manolo Blahniks and Janitoring, that's an odd couple if I ever heard of one.
Bows, Japanese style, are in order. Nothing but pure reverence for you working moms, stay at home moms, you're truly amazing. Now, it's time to stop being amazing and start being kind to yourselves. Like I always say, "do it yourself is overrated" when there's such great "do it for me" available.
It's always interesting to listen to what other people have to say about using Laborfair. Martha Russell puts it all together in a short clip.
Check it out:
She's a transplant to the Bay Area, running a research center at Stanford University, and obviously a very busy woman. She's finding everyone she needs at Laborfair! She found a great housekeeper to clean and serve at a party, a babysitter to take a fun evening out with her daughter as a new grandmother, and an electrician to install new electrical fixtures.
Happy Fourth of July! At Laborfair, we help great people hire great people directly for all kinds of household help, no middleman, just the awesome power of the meritocracy. You get what you give and we have reviews to prove it! We've spent two years building the beginnings of an amazing trusted, reliable marketplace where a member of the DIY ("Do It Yourself") contingent can join the ranks of the DIFM ("the do it for me") guilt-free!
Need a great housecleaner to help out after your big holiday bash, get a crazy idea to paint your deck red white and blue? Get it done on Laborfair.com
Unlike other online referral networks for household service that charge monthly subscriptions and sign up fees, Laborfair has never charged the user. In the past, we charged the provider a small fee to connect with job requests from site users.
As a mission driven company, we embrace living wage employment and local economies. We're motivated by helping local service providers gain quality, gainful work. Unfortunately, we can't snap our fingers and make sure every job request turns into a job so... we're taking down all barriers to communication by making job leads FREE for the provider as well as the consumer. We'll make our living charging for premium services like mobile job lead alerts, background checks, and other advertising features.
Remember, we're a community of like-minded people, a network of people hiring people. Collectively, we believe in transparency, accountability, and the power of an open marketplace to deliver high quality service, fair prices and fair wages.
We're all making it happen. Thanks for your support!
Last weekend a friend took me to this fantastic salsa club in San Francisco and got me all excited to start dancing again. I'm from NYC, salsa is an institution there. For 2 years, my Friday night consisted of heading uptown to the Bronx in a yellow cab only to return at 6 am in a gypsy cab on Saturday morning with incredibly sore feet, a sweat-soaked dress, and a smile from ear to ear. In those days, I took learning salsa, merengue, cumbia, and tango, very seriously. I had to be good, at least respectable with my steps, It's embarrassing when men line up to dance with you and then run to avoid you in the expanse of 15 minutes! I was making progress on my own with my clear rotation of partners, however, I was beginning to run out of venues. I needed a private teacher to help me cut patterns on the floor just as well as any Latina chica.
I looked in magazines, newspapers, dance studios, bulletin boards and finally hired a cool woman who had studied classically in Cuba. Her lessons helped me go from wallflower to center stage in a few months--all for a price I could afford as a graduate student.
Have you ever wanted to just learn something fabulous from someone who truly knows how to teach? Sure you have. There's a linguist, a guitarist, a yogini in all of us just waiting to come out.
So, after this embarrassing evening in San Francisco Salsa land forgetting everything I ever learned in the "hood", I searched online to add the Lo to my first initial "J". I was super excited to learn of a new website that helps people find local teachers and classes to learn just about anything. This Seattle-based website helps people learn all kinds of new things by connecting teachers to students, check it outRumor has it they're coming to San Francisco.
Here's what they have to say about their motivation..."We started Teachstreet because weâre curious about the world. We like to learn new things and so do our friends. We want to get away from our computers and out into the real world. We want to build community, make ourselves a bit smarter and empower the great local teachers living in our hometowns."
This is a very similar concept to Laborfair.com so you can see why I love this site. Thank you Teachstreet team for making this possible..anyone for Mandarin?
I've had quite an interesting few weeks. I took some time off to go to Southeast Asia for a wedding at an invitation from one of our investors (not going to say no there...).San Francisco through Tokyo to Bali and back. It's impossible to go direct, hell I couldn't afford it anyway, so I rounded out approximately 4.5 days 35,000 feet in the air all said and done. That's a lot of self-reflection time. I read a great deal and gave myself a mental break from Laborfair. I am a firm believer in balance, although I get there infrequently. Work, play, rest, work, play, rest. Yeah, right, well it's aspirational.
While on the airplane, I got my hands on Newsweek's recent Luxury Issue, outlining profiles of products, services and anecdotes from the lifestyles of the super rich. Want to be completely blown away? Read this article Paying for a Chance To Suffer in Silence . I kid you not. I've been busy, caught up in my own world, but seriously, are people out of their minds--deprivation is the new idea of a holiday? Sounds a bit wasteful and masochistic to me. Why would you want to pay $500 a night to sleep in an absolutely freezing hotel on a bed made of snow and ice? Isn't there a better use of your time than making yourself miserable just because you can?
Want an international adventure vacation minus all creature comforts? How about a do-gooder vacation where you help others, get a tan, and change your perception of the world and your fellow man in the process...this seems like a cool alternative to 800 calories a day and no sleep allowed boot camp... International Volunteer Community Service. Work for Habitat for Humanity in Soweto or help farmers in Central America install wind or solar powered irrigation pumps in their fields, eat local food while your sweet tourist blood is dinner for local mosquitoes, and sweat every modern day toxin out of your system. That's a vacation! Heck,it's deprivation you can feel good about. It costs a lot less too--it's even tax deductible.
In all fairness, I'm all about a nice hotel with high thread count sheets, fruity drinks and a massage on the beach once in a grand while, but I draw the line at paying for deprivation. There's a lot of that to go around, just read the news. We're in this together, all of us.
Ok, I'm done, this has absolutely nothing to do with Laborfair.com and finding housecleaners, childcare workers, local plumbers or electricians, but it is emblematic of this age of extremes. This just threw me.
Uh oh, we have Larry King in the house! Our product manager and all around Web 2.0 aficionado, Jose Arocha, is now a podcast producer--this man's talents are endless! At Laborfair when we're not helping people find great plumbers, electricians, housecleaners and babysitters, we're pushing out our own Laborfair Show! Yep, we're currently looking for audio/visual interns to help us create our own show that will outline people's stories, humorous, not so humorous, the real world experience of people hiring people! Here's Jose's first interview of a Los Angeles housecleaner, Angela McGee, Angela's Laborfair.com Profile , who has literally changed her life by finding 7 quality clients like you on Laborfair.com.
At Laborfair, we're a business with a soul. We are delivering life changing employment opportunities for the temporary workforce and helping middle class people find affordable, reliable household service help.
Thanks Jose and Angela. Know any talented interns with production skills?
A NEW Laborfair.com feature...fabulous, decadent, useful and just for you! Drumroll please...You can now search and find the perfect housecleaner, gardener, exorcist (just kidding) on Laborfair and speak to them immediately. Introducing...ContactNow. ContactNow makes contacting the person of your dreams immediately through your phone or email possible. In a jam? Found the petsitter who is a social worker for underprivileged youth, works for Habitat for Humanity for a vacation, and can tell you the ins and outs of Jewish mystical tradition? For goodness sake, she has to be your petsitter, she walks your dog and teaches good manners to the little rebel all for $15 an hour!...Use Contact Now and get her to work for you! Have the most perfect person to help you with housecleaning, cleaning up the garage, gardening or grooming that mess of a backyard, fixing an outlet, an air conditioning system or painting a room? With ContactNow you pay only $5 and get the contact info immediately.
At Laborfair.com, we're all about making the perfect match for household services. Imagine an online classifieds for household services that works as a matching platform. Yep, that's us. Can you tell I'm psyched about this? Well of course I am. Passionate for connecting you in real time with the handyman, housecleaner, gardener of your DREAMS. Check it out in your contact form at Laborfair.com and Enjoy connecting where people hire people!
Each service provider profile now offers this extra convenience in case you want to have an answer NOW. It's the age of action where thinking is doing... We're proactive creatures by nature so this works.
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