I <3 Runner Camaraderie

After my Zappos.com softball game (we won!), I headed out for a five-mile run. It was fairly late, around 10:30pm. When I turned a corner I saw a guy about a quarter-mile down the road, across the street running in my direction. It’s cool when I see fellow runners out at the same time I run. As we passed from opposite sides of the street, we both raised our hand at the same, waving in both greeting and recognition. There’s something cool with having a connection with someone through running without knowing that person’s name, face or anything else besides the fact that they’re probably as passionate about running as I am.

The Coin Count

Uno Pennyo.

Running Total: 87 cents

COLOR ME ZAPPOS

What’s black, khaki, orange and blue? According to our style spies,
the bounty of beautiful colors in full bloom around the Zappos corridors today.

Breaking the Habit- Love at First Sight

I’ve never personally been one of those butterflies-in-the-stomach, cuddle-loving, super mushy romantic types. I’ve had great loves, to be sure, but some aspects of love have always been beyond my comprehension. For example- having never experienced it first hand, I’ve always viewed such concepts as “love at first sight” with a somewhat skeptical eye.

Not to mention, I’m a creature of habit. It’s not that I’m afraid to try new things, I’m just stubborn in my tastes and don’t often venture outside of my box. Basic observation of the world around me, and the people therein, has lead me to the belief that when it comes to fashion, I’m a far cry from the minority in that respect. I know the brands I like, and tend to loyally stand by their side through thick and thin.

Although I don’t think these are inherently bad traits, they’re not exactly things to brag about. I’ve been working on the self improvement section of my brain. I’m trying to open myself up to new and exciting possibilities on all fronts, and working at Zappos has certainly helped in that regard (see Core Values 2, Embrace and Drive Change, 4, Be Adventurous, Creative and Open-Minded, and 5, Pursue Growth and Learning). Since Zappos.com carries so many brands (1,175 and growing!), we will occasionally have brand representatives come in to familiarize us with their products- supplying information about any new merchandise, new styles, new avenues into which they may be venturing.

Yesterday, I met our Camper representative. Admittedly, I didn’t know too much about the brand going into the meeting, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

How do I explain what I saw, what I experienced? I’m still trying to process it, to be honest. They say a picture is worth a thousand words…

I never thought I’d say it, but it was love at first sight. I fell hard and I fell fast. It was my first time experiencing the sentiment, and I wasn’t sure how to respond… and with Camper the hits just kept on coming.

It was unnerving at first, but it didn’t take long for me to give in to the wanton, uncontrollable, fantastic, wonderful, all-consuming enthusiasm that filled my heart. And it took even less time for my favorites page to grow exponentially.

What I’ve come to realize is that although loyalty and caution are certainly valuable sentiments, it is worthwhile on occasion to break out of routine and try new things. Have you looked through our brands list lately? You may be surprised by how quickly the love bug can come up and bite you!

HOW TO WEAR IT - WOMEN

A denim dress is simple, basic, and in this case of Moschino wonder, ultra-feminine.

The What: Moschino denim dress

The How-To: 1) Marc by Marc Jacobs sunglasses 2) Alexander McQueen scarf 3) Marc by
Marc Jacobs watch 4) leopard print, open-toed flats 5) Furla white shoulderbag

The When: Perfect for people watching in the park on a nice weekend day.

The Why: As if you need an excuse to exude a modern Breakfast at Tiffany’s style!

Ever dance with a Dev'r in the pale moon light?

Yesterday was book fair day at Zappos, wherein half of our cafeteria was transformed into a small book shop. It really brought some of us developers back to the days of elementary school where such events were not uncommon. Perhaps this feeling was strongest of all for Shane, who discovered a gem of a book entitled High School Musical : All About Dancing.

Part story book and part instructional dance manual, nobody had seen anything quite like it before. It’s true that one can get away with a great many things by saying “It’s for my daughter”, but I happen to know for a fact that Shane is a man who loves to dance! As soon as the recess bell sounded, Shane grabbed Becky and the two started cutting a rug- with director of development Brent calling out dance moves from the book. I was pretty surprised, but the three of them managed to pull off a pretty good show for not having had any rehearsals!

Incidentally, 10% of Shane’s book purchase (and all of the other books sold that day) will be donated to the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation. Thanks to Suchi for the great action shot!

My iPod Died

I went on my long run tonight, since I was insanely lazy yesterday. Hey! At least I’m in the mood for a long run at 9pm! I threw on my reflective gear and hydration pack and hit the road. It was literally a mile into my run and my iPod died. “Are you serious?!??!?!”, I asked my iPod – of course it didn’t answer. I spent the next 13 miles thinking about how this run is gonna suck butt because I don’t have my tunes. At the end of my run I realized it wasn’t really that bad after all! I mean, I got in a ton of thinking about stuff like my work, family stuff, future plans, The Smurfs, PBR and Tang) ‘s crazy comebacks, what I would look like in a really tight fluorescent wrestling costume, bunny slippers and of course, Twitter (check me out on twitter: http://twitter.com/SuperPeake or check out zappos on twitter: http://twitter.zappos.com/start ).

I guess the biggest advantage of my iPod dying though was for the people I passed – No one had to hear me sing…HA! Look at ME improving fellow man’s standard of living. I feel great about myself!

The Coin Count

A penny and a dime to my delight!

Running Total: 86 cents

Merchandising Trip to Shoe Factory

In the spirit of Zappos Core Value #5 , Pursue Growth and Learning, Jeanne and I took a group of Assistant Buyers, Merchandising Assistants and members of our Product Information team from Casual Lifestyle on a one-day, turn-around round trip to Southern California to tour the Magdesians shoe factory. One of only a few left in California, the Magdesian family was gracious enough to open their doors to us.

They have an incredible laser cutting machine that eliminates the need for costly dies and is also 30% more efficient in terms of raw materials. For those of you who don’t know, a die is, in essence, a metal “cookie cutter” traditionally used to cut the upper pattern from a sheet of leather or other material. As each size and width combination required a separate die, this is one of the highest costs to a manufacturer in production. By using this new technology, Magdesians can keep the costs, and in turn, the retail prices of their U.S. made shoes significantly more affordable.

Thank you VERY much, Magdesians! It was a great trip and very educational for all!

Blog this way, vlog this way

I suppose some introductions are in order. My name is Nikki W., and I’m the latest (greatest? Time will tell!) blogger on the Zappos block. In addition to blogs, we’ve got some really exciting balls rolling in the way of video content- known around the interweb as ZapposTV – that I’m super thrilled to be a part of as well. Feel free to check out the new channel . We’ve got a bunch of great stuff on the way, so stay tuned!

To correspond to John H.‘s Zpartans blog, we created the following silly short for your viewing pleasure.

Random randomness: I love the show Cheaters (it’s a guilty pleasure- don’t you judge me!). Some of my favorite brands are Roxy , Privo , Puma , Earth , MBT , and Betsey Johnson . I think life is what you make it, and for me it’s an ever evolving, expanding, and always thrilling adventure.

That’s it for now- I’ll see you around the blog-o-sphere!