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With Spectacles, Snap is doing something I haven't seen since the 1970s

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Snap Spectacles

I don't know much of anything about Snapchat because I'm frankly just too old to get it.

But I have a 13-year-old daughter, and she and her friends get Snapchat and then some. They use it constantly — it's by far their most beloved app.

Are they going to be instant customers for the newly renamed Snap Inc.'s Spectacles and new wearable video recorder that Business Insider's Biz Carson has been reporting on over the past few days?

At $129 a pop, it's not a super-major outlay for a parent, or even a teen with some money saved up. These things could be big this holiday season, assuming they're even available.

There is something oddly brilliant about Spectacles, and succeed or fail, I think they prove that CEO Evan Spiegel is able to leverage his youth — he's only 26 — to dial into some interesting business opportunities.

They don't look to me a like a built-to-last kind of thing. Actually, they very much remind me of a bunch of el-cheapo fads from my own pre-digital youth in the 1970s. You may have heard of some this goofy stuff, like pet rocks and mood rings.

Spectacles look large and kind of silly — Spiegel has called them a "toy" — and they come in basic black as well as two offbeat colors, the always popular teal and coral. They can only record up to 10 seconds of video, so they're clearly only useful as a Snapchat accessory. You play around with them for a few months and then move on. Fad finished.

Snapchat Spectacles colors

OK, maybe they stick around and are improved. But how much fun could that be? Spiegel has to be too cool to have missed the negative reception that Google Glass received.

One thing I've noticed about digitally sophisticated kids who aren't yet of driving age is that they cycle through their enthusiasms quite a bit faster than previous generations. This appears new because they're all using the mobile internet, but it also feels very '70s to me. That was a decade when all kinds of trends came and went rapidly, in music, culture, fashion, and even politics.

I tried this theory out on my 13-year-old, and she agreed that they were possibly a neat gimmick — they reminded her of some other recent fads, like hoverboards, something I hadn't thought about.

But something that Spiegel probably has.

SEE ALSO: Everything we know about Snapchat's new camera glasses

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How to Snapchat from over 20,000 feet — as told by the Everest climbers that just did it

A simple nighttime habit that can prevent bad morning breath

The only trend guys need to pay attention to this fall is incredibly easy to pull off

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plaid

There's a lot of noise out there for what men should wear this fall. But if you ignore all the other trends, at least remember this one: plaid.

Yes, that's right. Plaid. Humble plaid. You may already own something in plaid, as the pattern is already quite common in men's clothing.

But this time, plaid is taking over. It's not just button-up flannel anymore, but blazers, suits, outerwear, and even pants emblazoned with the checked pattern.

It was everywhere on the runway earlier this year, and now that we're finally seeing some of those collections in stores, we're seeing them on the streets, too.

But don't just take our word for it — Bloomberg and GQ have noticed the same trend.

So how do you wear plaid? That's the easy part! You probably already are wearing it. But if you're looking for more tips on how to get in on this trend that's about to explode, look for blazers or even suits with the pattern. A plaid jacket over a solid shirt is a great accent to complete a look.

Get as crazy a pattern as your conscience will allow you, but don't get too crazy – or who knows when you'll actually be able to wear it.

A word of caution: keep in mind that patterned items are inherently a little less formal than plain ones, so don't show up to a black-tie event dressed in a plaid tuxedo. Also, this look can be very easily overdone, so try to stick to only one item or set in plaid.

Mr. Porter

From left to right: A.P.C. Plaid Wool Cardigan ($575), ETRO Velvet And Calf Hair-Trimmed Plaid Wool-Blend Coat ($2,330)Gant Rugger Brooklyn Checked Cotton-Twill Shirt ($145)

SEE ALSO: The fabulous life of legendary fashion billionaire Ralph Lauren

DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's lifestyle page on Facebook!

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Starbucks is hoping this new fall drink will be their next Pumpkin Spice Latte

10 chefs reveal their favorite foods to eat for a hangover

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kimchi ramen

A heavy, preferably carb-filled meal is a must after a fun night partying with friends. And in a city like New York, there's certainly no shortage of places to find a satisfying meal when you're nursing a hangover. 

ChefsFeed is an app that generates dining recommendations from a trustworthy source: the chefs themselves. Star chefs can use the app to recommend their favorite dishes from other restaurants. You can find recommendations for any kind of food you might be in the mood for, whether that's an extensive omakase meal or just a classic cheeseburger. 

We turned to ChefsFeed's guide to hangover meals to find out where top chefs get their comfort food fix in New York City.

SEE ALSO: This dining club treats toddlers to fancy meals at Michelin-starred restaurants — here's what it's like to eat with them

Chef Bryce Shuman, Betony

Pepperoni thin-crust pizza at Luzzo's — 211 1st Avenue, East Village

"This thin crust is awesome. Just get it. The pepperoni is great venture from the traditional Napoletana that I am also crazy about."



Chef Harold Dieterle, formerly of Perilla and Kin Shop

Soup dumplings at Grand Sichuan — various locations in New York City

"Biting into one of these whole dumplings makes for an amazing explosion in your mouth. Warm, comforting, sweet and salty. Make sure you go to the 7th Ave. location."



Chef Alain Allegretti, Beautique

Pho Ga at Thai Son — 89 Baxter Street, Chinatown

"The chicken broth is cooked perfectly, with the noodles and raw veggies getting steamed ever so slightly when they hit the hot broth. It reminds me of home with my mom. This is the perfect hangover food."



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This professional bridesmaid says losing her job as a copywriter was one of the best things to happen to her career

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jen glantz

Two years ago, Jen Glantz was a 26-year-old working as a copywriter for a tech startup in New York City.

A Florida native who graduated with a double major in journalism and English, Glantz spent her days writing video scripts for big companies like Disney, Target, Geico, and Comcast.

"I really loved the people I worked with and the work I was doing, but it was never enough for me," Glantz, now 28, told Business Insider. "I had this entrepreneurial bug inside of me that was always saying 'create your own opportunity.' Every night I'd come home and work on a project of my own — whether it was writing a book, working on my blog, or trying to start my own business."

It wasn't totally surprising that when Glantz's roommate called her "the professional bridesmaid" in the summer of 2014 — somewhere around her sixth stint as a bridesmaid — she had a light-bulb moment. She went to Craigslist, posted an ad, and went to bed. She woke up to over 250 emails, and by the end of the week thousands of messages had flooded her inbox.

Her ad read something like this:

When all my friends started getting engaged, I decided to make new friends, but then they got engaged too, and for what felt like the hundredth time, I was asked to be a bridesmaid. This year, I've been a bridesmaid four times. That's four chiffon dresses, four bachelorette parties filled with tequila shots and guys in thong underwear twerking way too close to my face. So let me be there for you this time if you don't have any other girlfriends except your third cousin, twice removed, who is often found sticking her tongue down an empty bottle of red wine.

Jen Glantz

Glantz said she saw a gap in the $300 billion wedding industry but had no idea what to expect after posting the ad.

"When I was behind the scenes at my friends' weddings, there was no one there for the bride. Sure, there was often a wedding planner, but she was focused on making sure the room was set up and the vendors arrived on time. If the bride had bridesmaids, they were often busy getting ready and posing for photos, leaving the bride to feel overwhelmed and stressed out over last-minute tasks and heavy emotions," Glantz said. "I decided to fill this gap. I figured I'd post the ad to see what happens, but I never thought I'd get that kind of response."

The overwhelming interest to her Craigslist ad confirmed her suspicions, and she ran with the idea. That same week, she and her brother cofounded Bridesmaid for Hire, a company that offers "undercover bridesmaid" and personal-assistant-type services to brides and their wedding parties.

"Essentially I'm there as the bride's personal assistant and on-call therapist. I help her manage and execute her personal to-do list of tasks, which can often be over 100 tasks long."

JEN GLANTZ

Glantz's services aren't for "sad brides without friends." There are a few reasons people hire her. Some brides have bridesmaids but are looking for a professional to step in and help with tasks and make sure their wedding party has everything they need. Others are women who don't have many close people in their lives and "want a bridesmaid by their side to make this adventure special for them."

She's not a rent-a-friend for the day, she said, though she does become friends with most brides she works with. "I'm just a professional who can help make the wedding experience more pleasant for everyone," she said.

Glantz booked her first client, a Minnesota bride named Ashley, in July 2014, a few weeks after her ad went up. "She hired me after her maid of honor 'stepped down,'" Glantz said. "This person was not there for Ashley and couldn't provide her with the support a bride deserves."

They spoke on the phone weekly, and when Ashley's big day came in September, Glantz was by her side. In the six months following Ashley's wedding, Glantz booked another five weddings as a hired bridesmaid.

At the time, her packages ranged from $300 to $2,000, and the average bride or bridesmaid paid her $1,000 per gig, but that wasn't enough to give up her day job just yet.

Jen Glantz

"I would wake up every morning at 6 and work on my side gig until 9, and then go to my full-time job and come home around 6 or 7 and work again until midnight," Glantz said. "I loved working two jobs. I loved spending half my day being my own boss and spending the other half in an environment working for someone else and learning how to be a boss from them.

"It was exhausting and I hardly saw my friends, and I spent 75% of my weekends doing work ... but I enjoyed it because I felt like I was working on building something for myself. I was creating an opportunity for myself that perhaps nobody in this world would ever give me."

Glantz imagined that she would eventually quit her full-time job and go off on her own but didn't know when. Before she ever got the chance to make that decision she was laid off.

"In October 2015 I was let go, and it was a complete shock," she said. "There had been whispers that my company was going to be laying people off but I didn't think I'd be on that list. I was very loyal to my job and the work that I did. Even though I was managing my own business on the side, I worked extra hard to make sure it never interfered with my responsibilities at my full-time job."

She told Business Insider that she would never forget the morning it happened.

"I stood outside of the building on my way out and said to myself, 'I will never ever work for anybody else.' I was a bit heartbroken. I called my mom and she told me that I was hanging off a cliff and I needed this push. I probably never would have left that job, and perhaps I wouldn't be where I am today with my own career and business if I didn't get laid off."

Glantz now had more time to focus on her business.

Jen Glantz

"At first I felt lost," she said. "I started having to structure every hour so that I knew what I had to do next and when I had to get it done by. If not, I'd find myself working on a task and procrastinating on that for hours.

"I was solely responsible for working my butt off to make my business successful and for earning enough money every month to pay my bills and health insurance — it was terrifying.

"You inherit a lot of pressure you didn't have before when you were getting a steady paycheck," Glantz added. "My life, at first, became the constant obsession of looking at my finances and counting every dollar I was bringing in every month."

Leaving a traditional office environment was tough too: "I miss working closely with other people. Starting your own business and working from your couch can be super lonely. When I first started working from home, I went entire days without seeing anyone. I loved interacting with my coworkers, grabbing lunch with them, or just chatting about what's up in the world."

But working for herself also has its perks. She doesn't miss having to ask off from work when she wants to go visit family in Florida or take a vacation — or having to ask permission to go outside for a 30-minute break. "I love that I can structure my days the way I want to," she said. "If I want to wake up at 6 and work till 3 so that I can take the rest of the afternoon off, I can do that without having to explain myself to anyone."

Glantz said her best advice for anyone trying to make it as an entrepreneur is to start right now:

"Don't wait for the perfect time to write a business plan or test your idea. There will never be a perfect time and you will never have every single thing you need to start your own business. Start with what you have now and start with who you are now — because truly, it's enough."

Jen Glantz

Teaching people how to start their own business became a passion, too, and Glantz now offers virtual workshops for people around the world to learn the ins and outs of starting a side gig while working full-time.

"You have to do and want and try things that give you nervous jitters, that make your heart race out of control," she added. "Because if not, what's the point? If you want to try a new career, take a class on that industry, have coffee with someone who does that job right now, get to know what it is you want to do and then find a way to break into that career path. Either way, just do it. It's always worth a try, and as my mom told me when I said I was moving to New York City, you can always go back if you don't like it."

In the year since she was laid off, Glantz released a second book, "Always a Bridesmaid (For Hire)," and worked with over 40 brides and maids-of-honor.

She says most wedding guests don't know she's a hired bridesmaid. But if and when guests do ask Glantz how she knows the bride, her response is simply, "We're friends." "Rarely do they question me beyond that," she previously told Business Insider.

Today her services— which range from speechwriting to being an "undercover bridesmaid" — start at $150 and can exceed $2,000. She'd like to expand and have teams in cities around the world. To date, she's had more than 10,000 women apply to work with her. She hopes to start franchising her business soon.

While she wouldn't comment on the specifics of her earnings, Glantz says her income comes from a combination of Bridesmaid for Hire, freelance writing, virtual classes, and consulting.

"At first, starting your own business feels terrifying and will give you an unnecessary amount of daily acid reflux," Glantz said. "But the more you get the hang of managing your time and figuring out how to jump on your goals, the more you can take a deep breath knowing that you own your career now and you own your life. It's the most empowering feeling a person can have."

SEE ALSO: A startup founder explains what it was like to leave her job at Goldman Sachs to launch her own business

Join the conversation about this story »

There's a scientific reason we're addicted to checking our phones

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Whether you're working in your office, walking down the street, or eating in a restaurant, there's usually one common factor: people are looking at their phones. Internal medicine physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston dropped by Business Insider to talk about the science behind why we are constantly compelled to check our mobile devices. 

Ruston directed "Screenagers," a documentary about the excessive use of mobile devices among children and teenagers.

Follow BI Video: On Twitter

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Go inside the '70s-inspired bar in Manhattan's East Village where 'Entourage' star Adrian Grenier is music director

Scientists say lifting weights this many times a week may be beneficial for your brain health

The 25 coolest new businesses in New York City

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coolest new businesses in nyc

New York City is known around the world for its diversity in food, culture, shopping, and recreation. But what truly makes it a standout city are the small businesses that bring its innovative and entrepreneurial spirit to life.

We've scoured the city to spotlight some of the coolest small businesses founded within the last three years.

From a pencil collector's paradise to a hip coworking community space to a chromotherapy spa, here are 25 of New York's coolest new businesses:

DON'T MISS: The 50 coolest new businesses in America

App of Joe

Select locations around Manhattan

What it is: An app for scoring $1 coffee around the city.

Why it's cool: Frequent visits to your local coffee shop for a $2 or $3 coffee can add up — especially if you're ditching the commercial chains for indie spots. The folks behind App of Joe, an iOS and Android app that launched in June, offer a membership-free solution: You can order tea and drip coffee for a flat fee of $1 and "fancy drinks" like a latte, macchiato, or cappuccino for $2 from indie coffee shops — currently about 20 — around Manhattan.



Archestratus

160 Huron St., Greenpoint, Brooklyn

What it is: A combination cafe and bookstore that only sells books about food.

Why it's cool: Inspired by her Sicilian grandparents, Paige Lipari, a former rare-books seller, wanted to open a shop that combined her love of books and food. In fall 2013, she opened Archestratus.

The book selection at Archestratus — named after an ancient Sicilian poet — includes cookbooks as well as fiction and nonfiction books inspired by food. Its cafe offers Sicilian-inspired pastries and dishes like rice balls. Archestratus also holds a number of workshops, cooking classes, and other weekly events.



Common

Williamsburg and Crown Heights, Brooklyn

What it is: A co-living community with full amenities.

Why it's cool: Common opened its first shared living space — dorm-style living for working adults — in Crown Heights last fall and has since opened two more locations in Brooklyn as well as one in San Francisco. In the past year, the company has received over 5,000 applicants looking for a room in one of its community-minded residencies.

Rent commonly runs upward of $1,500, though that includes all fees and utilities. The houses also come fully furnished and fit anywhere from 19 to 50 people.

But it's not just about finding a living space — Common encourages its members to build a strong community and get to know their roommates. Each household has member-led events like potlucks, wellness events, and book clubs.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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What the author of 'Eat Fat, Get Thin' eats — and avoids — every day

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toast avocado tomato sandwichDr. Mark Hyman, director of the Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine, thinks we never should have told people to stop eating fat.

In a recent interview with The New York Times, Hyman talks about switching from a low-fat, carb-heavy diet — which he says wasn't giving him the results he wanted — to one that incorporates healthy fats from things like fish and nuts.

He recently wrote the book "Eat Fat: Get Thin," which focuses on incorporating high-fat, plant-based foods into your diet.

Here's a look at some of the high-fat staples Hyman includes in his eating regimen, along with some of the foods he avoids, and what the research says about them:

SEE ALSO: 15 products you probably thought were healthier than they actually are

DON'T MISS: Here's the real reason your friend's 'gluten-free' diet is probably making them feel better

Keep as your cornerstone: Veggies, veggies, and more veggies

Hyman describes his current diet as "a cross between paleo and vegan diets." He doesn't eat much — if any — meat or dairy, and he avoids foods that are high in sugar or refined carbs. Or, in the words of famous journalist and food writer Michael Pollan"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

Indeed, Hyman says, "About 70 to 80% of your diet should be plant foods," like vegetables, whole grains, beans, and fruits.

"It should basically include whole, fresh food that's unprocessed and high in fiber and phytonutrients," says Hyman, the latter of which are plant-derived compounds associated with positive health effects.



Add to your bag: Nuts and seeds

Hyman says he carries packets of almond and cashew butter and nut bars like Kind when he travels to help him avoid making "bad choices" that can result from last-minute cravings.

"I basically have fat and protein as my snacks, and I have enough food in my bag to last an entire day," he said.

Since they're high in protein, nuts can help stabilize blood-sugar levels — which, if they plummet, can make healthy people feel hangry and is especially dangerous for people with diabetes. Nuts are also a good source of fiber, a key nutrient that helps aid digestion and keeps us feeling full.



Swap for butter and margarine: Olive oil

Most of the fat in olive oil comes from a special type of "healthy" or monounsaturated fat. Along with another form of unsaturated fat, polyunsaturated, this type of fat has been linked with several health benefits, from helping to reduce the risk of heart disease to keeping blood-sugar levels steady. Several studies have also found that fats like the type found in olive oil may actually help lower total cholesterol levels.

Still, like any oil, olive oil is rich in calories, so researchers suggest using it in place of other fats, like butter and margarine, rather than simply adding it to your daily diet.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

How to wear a flannel shirt without looking like a lumberjack

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The Autumnal Equinox is past, and with it comes a parade of flannel. 

Thanks to its comfort, ease, and warmth, the brushed cotton fabric will be as popular as ever this fall and winter — and not just among those who chop down wood for a living.

In case you haven't jumped on the flannel bandwagon yet, here are a few tips to get you started.

Stay away from super heavy fabrics.

Mr Porter

Erase thick flannels from your mind and your closet. While brands like Pendleton and Woolrich make fantastic flannels, their shirts have a bulky feel that might make you look like you own a blue ox. 

For ease of layering and a less chunky look, choose flannels that are advertised as light or mid-weight. This one lets you wear the trend minus the heft. 

Flannel does not always mean plaid.

flannel

Plaids and flannels appear together a lot, but not always. In fact, a solid-colored or mélange flannel is an even classier look that bypasses the whole "woodsy" aesthetic. Non-plaid flannels are also easier to match and work into your wardrobe. This Beams Plus shirt is a perfect example.

Plaid does not always mean checkered red and black.

Flannel

An explosion of different types, colors, and patterns of plaid means there's a lot more choice this year for your plaid. There's no excuse to stick to the ones you're used to.

This colorful J.Crew shirt is a good example.

Layer, layer, layer.

APC

In fall, layering is really the name of the game. Flannels — especially lighter ones — are ideal layering pieces, whether under a fleece, a puffer vest, a denim jacket, or a wool coat. They go with just about everything and can serve as the first, second, or even third layering piece, depending on the weather.

SEE ALSO: The fabulous life of legendary fashion billionaire Ralph Lauren

DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's lifestyle page on Facebook!

Join the conversation about this story »

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The 12 most popular IKEA products of all time

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ikea room

Owning IKEA furniture is practically a rite of passage for millennials leaving their college dorms behind and couples sharing the first apartment.

The company releases some 2,500 new products annually, but since the Swedish ready-to-assemble furniture company was founded in 1943, some favorite products have emerged and stood the test of time. The Poäng armchair just celebrated its 40th birthday, while a Billy bookcase is sold every 10 seconds somewhere in the world.

We asked IKEA to point us towards the company's most popular products of all time. These are not necessarily the best-selling overall — it’s hard to calculate that since not all products are sold internationally and some have a limited release — but rather the top-selling products in an array of individual categories, like armchairs or bed frames. 

Take a look.

SEE ALSO: The company behind one of the world's best vacuums just came out with a $400 hair dryer

12. Ribba frames make your photos and art pop.

Price: $1.99 — $19.99

Simplicity is a top design principle at IKEA, and the Ribba frame series proves it.

Ribba frames come in a variety of sizes and in black, white, and steely gray.

Find it here.



11. The Färgrik mug is the quintessential coffee cup.

Price: $0.99

The white stoneware Färgrik mug goes with any kitchen color scheme — plain and simple.

Plus, you won't break the bank replacing it if one crashes on the floor.

Find it here.



10. The Klippan loveseat fits small budgets and smaller apartments.

Price: $399

Stretching just over 70 inches, the Klippan sofa squeezes into most shoebox apartments. It's available in white, gray, and caramel.

If you make a tough stain, you can buy a replacement cover for as little as $29.

Find it here.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

11 grooming hacks every guy should know

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grooming

There are certain things every guy should know about how to take care of his appearance.

From how often you should get your hair cut to how to get the perfect shave, these tips will make any guy's life a whole lot easier.

There's bound to be at least one thing you didn't know.

SEE ALSO: 9 classic men's style rules that you still have to follow

DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's lifestyle page on Facebook!

1. Always tell a new barber how long it's been since your last haircut.

Barbers know how long it takes for hair to grow, so if you tell them how long it has been since your hair was last cut, they can imagine what your hair looked like way back when. From there, you can either tell them that you want it to look the same, or describe how you want it to be different from last time.

Read more.



2. Tailor your haircut to your face shape.

If you have a rounder face, get a haircut that's tighter on the sides. If you have a longer face, ask for longer hair on the sides and around your temples.

Read more.



3. Go about a month in between haircuts.

If you have shorter hair, you should go sooner, but if your hair is longer, it's probably fine to wait a month and a half to two months.

Read more.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

West Elm is betting that hotels are the future of furniture shopping

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west elm hotel

Brooklyn-based furniture retailer West Elm is getting into the hotel business. 

The company announced Monday that it will open a chain of boutique hotels starting in 2018. The first locations will be in Charlotte, North Carolina; Indianapolis, Indiana; Detroit, Michigan; Savannah, Georgia; and Minneapolis, Minnesota. The properties will be operated by hospitality management company DDK.

west elm hotelEach hotel will have between 100 and 250 rooms, and rates range from $175 for a standard room to $400 for a suite.

The goal is for each location to reflect some aspect of the destination's culture, whether that's with locally made art or bringing neighborhood restaurants on as vendors. 

"There is a growing desire among modern travelers to immerse themselves in the place they are visiting. They want a boutique experience, and expect great, reliable service that caters to their needs," DDK cofounder David Bowd said in a press release. "Our general managers will serve as innkeepers, and WestElm Hotels will focus on making real community connections for visitors and residents alike."

West Elm is betting that hotels — not stores — are the future of furniture shopping. West Elm CEO Jim Brett told the Wall Street Journal that many retailers have committed suicide by opening too many stores, and he doesn't want West Elm to fall into that camp.

“Where many retail brands have put the nail in their coffins is by opening too many stores,” he told the Journal.

So he's opening hotels instead, and envisions West Elm one day having at least as many hotels as it has stores, according to the Journal.

The West Elm hotel rooms will be furnished with the retailer's tables, chairs, beds, linens, and more, which the company hopes guests will want purchase during their stay.

But there won't be price tags everywhere — the items will be available for purchase through an app that guests can download at checkin.

"We don't want you to feel like you're sleeping in a showroom," West Elm hospitality head Peter Fowler told the Wall Street Journal.

West Elm isn't the first retail company to turn to the hospitality industry to grow their business. In 2015, Restoration Hardware announced that it planned to open a boutique hotel in New York City, as did high-end gym brand Equinox.

SEE ALSO: More than 2 dozen trendy hotels are banding together to take on Expedia and Priceline

Join the conversation about this story »

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This is the best way to eat tacos — but you have to go to a parking lot in LA

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Taco Truck

I love tacos, but I'm also a horrible taco snob. I only like mine served off a truck in a parking lot in Los Angeles. I want them to be small, tasty, and very, very cheap. 

(Although I admit that I agree with Anthony Bourdain that we shouldn't just assume that all Mexican cuisine should be bargain-oriented; some more respect from our wallets is probably overdue.)

I spent the better part of a decade eating off taco trucks in LA, and in 2007, I found MY truck: Tacos La Estrella, always parked at a gas station on Colorado Boulevard in LA's Eagle Rock neighborhood, northeast of Downtown.

Then I moved back to New York. "You will never have good tacos again," people warned me, ominously. Yes, when I lived in NYC a decade earlier, it was a Mexican-food wasteland. But surely, with the whole food-truck revolution, that had changed?

Nope. Every purported "taco" truck I tried was a massive fail. Tacos too big. Tacos too busy (Lettuce? Shredded cheese? Sloshings of guacamole?). Tacos uncheap. A great taco is less than $2 (sorry, Bourdain, but you're gonna have to give me this one). Period. It's usually significantly less.

Every purveyor I tried — and I got away from the trucks after a while — botched the job. New York taco-makers seemed to think that a simple little piece of street food, made from unwanted cuts of meat and rendered delicious through ingenuity and an obsession with freshness, had to be improved. More meat. Fancier preparations. Ungodly sauces.

There was even an unfortunate enchilada taco that I heard about. Enchiladas and tacos are different things, people.

Great tacos are an art form, every bit as exacting in the details as great sushi, but at a much, much lower price. They are street art. And this art was long ago perfected in Southern California. It should be copied, not modified.

Thankfully, after a year and half of suffering, I got back to LA for the Los Angeles auto show last year. I went straight to the parking lot, fingers crossed that my beloved truck would be there.

It was:

SEE ALSO: The 20 best US cities to live in if you love to try new food

It was a gorgeous, sunny day in Eagle Rock.



I headed for the gas station where I used to get my cars smog-checked.



OK, I wasn't getting this car smogged. It was a $400,000 McLaren 675LT supercar that I borrowed for a few days. But what's that in the background?

Here's the review of the car.



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