Meeting the man that launched a thousand jewels…@Holler_soul @Nikki_LissoniUK #watches #jewellery #valentinesday #gifts

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If you’ve heard of the brand Holler Watches you’ll know that Mike Tysons face dominates some of the its clever marketing campaigns, with his distinct facial tattoos you know expect that this brand of stylish, hip hop inspired watches will pack a punch too.

When invited to meet the founder and owner Darren McCormick we half expected to be meeting Tyson times two, and were slightly intimidated by the thought. However, we couldn’t be more wrong. Who we ended up sitting opposite at the table was a very unassuming, softly spoken, clever man with a slightly northern twang, how refreshing!

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Darren is a man who is passionate about music, loves fashion and heads up a very impressive business that helped launch the hugely popular Pandora jewellery brand in the UK.  He has since been watching the rise and rise of its popularity whilst quietly working on new concepts and ideas and 2014 is now the time for him to be getting back on the promotion wagon with the two next ventures which he believes will be the next big things. First we have the aforementioned Holler Watches. A cool, young brand, impactful and stylish, to be worn as a statement piece with stars galore backing it up for endorsements. Its even opened up an opportunity for bright, young, beautiful things to become a ‘Holler Girl’ (in Belgium! – but maybe here soon too!)

Quite different is Nikki Lissoni, a softer, more elegant brand, something that has a much more subtle and worn by the likes of Nicole Scherzinger and the Made in Chelsea lot. Both aiming to be hugely successful in their own right, its clear that Darren McCormick knows how to find a diamond in the rough idea and make it a money spinner.

I love the idea of Holler tell me more! 

Well it’s a unique lifestyle brand which brings together a compilation of northern soul inspired designs and something very unique for the UK marketplace. Holler isn’t just about watches, its about caps, t-shirts, and sunglasses – we like to think of it as being one of those slices of American pie, bringing the bling from across the pond and one day becoming just as popular as those developed by leading music artists in the US.Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 09.04.43

The idea behind Hollar is that you buy into it as a whole, which is a great concept and it is quite easy to see by its unique designs and funky colouring why it could very easily become the next big trend in watches and fashion, so watch this space.

Nikki Lissoni sounds more up my street…

Well if Holler was born out of his passion for music and fashion, then Nikki Lissoni could be set to follow in the footsteps of Pandora and become the next female fad. The European fashion capitals saw this gorgeous collection of medallion based jewellery, which combines a mystical backstory with contemporary design and took to it like a duck to water, hailing it as ‘revamped retro’ and perhaps the next big trend to follow on from Pandora. 
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Bottom line is that both these brands are set to make big business in 2014 both in the UK and abroad, so if you’re looking to give something very special to a loved one this Valentines day, then get ahead of the trends and say it with a piece of jewellery.

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You can find out more information on both the Holler and Nikki Lissoni brands here.

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Music Monday – The iBean gets Peter Gabriel and co listening in! #music #tech #digital

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So a few weeks ago we talked about the quirky answer to an iPod, the iBean – which is the worlds first “cybatonic” digital music player made all the way over in South America. Well, those clever people at Cybatonics who created this cheeky invention seem to have already made brilliant progress, so we thought we’d update you all. 

This very exciting consumer electronics design company have now agreed to work with Real World Records, Peter Gabriel’s legendary world music record label, on an exclusive, preloaded content deal with the iBean & iTagua.Screen Shot 2013-08-18 at 23.57.49

Real World Records is home to some of the most forward-thinking, boundary-shaking music from around the world, and grew alongside international world music, arts and dance festival, WOMAD. It is now in final discussions with Cybotanics to provide exclusive content in ‘lossless’ CD quality form on the much talked about iBean® & iTagua®  with is made from Amazonian beans and nuts from Colombia.  The first deal will centre on the unique digital audio products, preloaded with a number of Real World’s global artists from WOMAD.

The London-based start-up’s iBean and iTagua products are currently available to ‘pre-order’ without preloaded content on the crowd sourced funding website, Kickstarter and upon successful completion of this with enough pledges from the general public, they will go into commercial production and have an agreement ready to sign to launch an exclusive preloaded device with the label’s content.

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Each 4GB music player is a meticulously crafted and engineered digital  audio device that delivers ‘lossless’, CD quality exclusive Real World music at a much higher bit rate than conventional music players all housed in a naturally beautiful and truly original form. Lossless compression reduces a file’s size with no loss of quality.  APE is a form of lossless compression.  Each unique product will retail for under £50.00

Here’s a few burning questions you all might have…

Why is the sound quality so much better than an iPod?

iBean® and iTagua®  use a new form of music compression in lossless CD quality form (APE-Monkey’s audio). The devices also play normal MP3 files.http://www.monkeysaudio.com/  Unlike traditional methods such as MP3, OGG, or LGT that permanently discard quality to save space, Monkey’s Audio represents bit-for-bit copies of music. That means it always sounds perfect – exactly the same as a CD. Even though the sound is perfect, it still saves a lot of space (think of it as a beefed-up Winzip™ for your music).  The other great thing is that you can always decompress your Monkey’s Audio files back to the exact, original files.  That way, you’ll never have to recopy your CD collection to switch formats, and you’ll always be able to perfectly recreate the original music CD.

What is the Tagua nut that iTagua is made from?

The Nut- Tagua (Vegetable Ivory)

The Nut- PHYTELEPHAS  Family: Arecaceae  (Phytelephas Aequatorialis Macrocarpa)  The Tagua is actually a kind of palm nut, it has become referred to as ‘Vegetable Ivory’ because of its internal colour and working properties which are almost identical to elephant ivory, from which its latin name derives.

What is the bean that the iBean is made from?

The Bean – ENTADA GIGAS Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae Mimosoldea)  Known as ‘Sea Beans’ these gigantic seeds come from pods which grow up to four feet  in length. They measure about 5cm across and have a beautiful surface that can be polished. The beans are as hard as polycarbonate and have even baffled NASA scientists. Cybotanics has discovered a unique way of machining them to incorporate their digital hearts.

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