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The Hustle

We get tired of wearing the same PJs, too — Brazil’s Embraer has ended Cessna’s 15-year run as the most-flown private jet in the US. Don’t feel too bad for Cessna though: its Citation Excel model alone still comprises one-third of the world’s business jets. Still, as a show of solidarity for a fellow US business, we’ll continue to own zero Embraers.

In today’s email:

  • Bohemian Grove: The summer camp for elite men has a problem.
  • Core weeks: How Smucker seeded a new return-to-office strategy.
  • Making a Buck: A clothing label bets big on its “superior T-shirt.”
  • Around the Web: The anti-Monopoly, incredible ecology photos, rev up a classic ’90s game, and more.

👇 Listen: The key to easing return-to-office pains? Creativity and consistency.

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The big idea
Collage of men: one tattooed man wearing a hat in a kayak and two casually dressed men holding beers.

At the elite’s summer camp, the workers allegedly get bunk

For the last 150 years, your invitation to Bohemian Grove has been lost in the mail.

But your absence hasn’t slowed the party at the ultra-exclusive summer camp for powerful American men, per Air Mail:

  • The elite Northern California retreat contains 140 distinct smaller camps, each staffed by 10-50 “valets.”
  • The draw: it’s secretive (no cell phones allowed), relaxing (no business allowed), and leans hard into its “frat party for adults” vibe (seriously, no women).
  • To that end, very much not verboten: booze. This is a luxurious $175k-of-wine-at-lunch, get-blackout-drunk kind of bacchanalia.

The clientele is happy; the workers… not so much

The Bohemian Club, which operates the Grove, has ~2.6k members with a combined net worth deep into the billions.

  • Prominent guests have included Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger, Mark Twain, Jack London, Charles Schwab, and Clarence Thomas.

But attendees’ deep pockets aren’t reflected in the paychecks of the workers who keep the revelry going all summer, according to a lawsuit from three former valets.

The plaintiffs’ allegations include:

  • Being forced to work 16+ hours per day without breaks or full pay — overtime pay was forbidden and time sheets couldn’t exceed 40 hours per week.
  • Payments made under the table, so the club could avoid payroll taxes and workers’ compensation.

Less legally troubling but still rude: One valet nearly quit, but was lured into a six-week season with the promise of a big bonus. The final bonus? $500.

Next up…

… Either a court date or a settlement. (A 2016 class-action suit involving former Grove employees settled for $7m; this current case could become a class-action suit as well.)

  • Expect fireworks either way — Have you ever encountered a rich, powerful man who doesn’t double down when accused of being in the wrong?

The club has already issued a statement brushing off the case as nothing more than a nuisance.

BTW: Bohemian Grove members can offer harmless fun — like the three major musical-theater productions they put on at camp each summer.

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eyeball wearing a hat

Sam Bankman-Fried wants out of jail ahead of his Oct. 3 trial, claiming the jail’s lack of Adderall, vegan meals, charging ports, and Google Docs access violates his right to prepare a defense. The former crypto exchange boss faces seven counts of fraud and conspiracy.


Yikes: Chipotle Mexican Grill will pay Washington DC ~$322k to resolve 800+ alleged violations of the city’s child labor laws logged since 2020.

3M will pay $5.5B+ to settle 300k+ lawsuits alleging it sold defective earplugs to the military. That’s ~$5B less than analysts had predicted; 3M shares rose ~5.8% Monday morning.

Hair growth: D2C hair care company Madison Reed added Walmart to its list of retail partners, which includes Target and Ulta Beauty.

Chinese rideshare company Didi is selling its smart EV assets to EV startup Xpeng for $744m. A new brand, “Mona,” will launch in 2024.

Worse for where? A Gallup survey shows a record-low 28% of remote workers feel connected to their company’s mission, though they reported higher levels of engagement at work, and on-site workers aren’t exactly feeling the missions either (33%).

Nordstrom shuttered its 312k-square-foot San Francisco store after 35 years in business; mall operator Westfield followed suit by giving up control of the downtown mall that housed it.

Dr. Seuss Enterprises signed with Amazon-owned podcast studio Wondery to develop audio series featuring Seuss characters and stories. First up: a Cat in the Hat-led “fantastical variety show.”

Inkredible: To promote climate-friendly travel, Austria is offering a year of free public transportation to anyone who gets a tattoo that includes “KlimaTicket,” the name of the country’s transit pass.

Britain’s air traffic control agency experienced a technical issue that affected its ability to process flight plans, leading to hundreds of cancellations.

iRobot released its latest Roomba models, which can vacuum, sweep, and mop whatever corner of the living room it gets stuck in. If it can get there, its charging dock automatically empties its dustbin.

Add LinkedIn to your calendar: Your mindful musings are missing from this world. Systematize social posts with these free planning sheets.


What does it really mean to be a startup founder? And how can you choose the best co-founder for your team? We have the answers.

Core competency
A woman holding a laptop with clocks in the background.

Could core weeks be the answer to the return-to-office dilemma?

It’s no secret that we’ve been stuck in workplace limbo since the pandemic.

And, as the years tick by, the chasm between what executives and employees want continues to widen.

But some companies have gotten creative: Per The Wall Street Journal, the J.M. Smucker Co. has introduced a new return-to-office plan that’s actually working, known as “core” weeks.

A what now?

Smucker’s headquarters is based in Orrville, Ohio, but its new RTO policy asks employees to be on site only 25% of the time (about six days/month), during 22 core weeks each year.

  • Employees are allowed to live anywhere in the US, as long as they can make it into the office for core weeks.
  • Smucker publishes its core week schedule a year in advance to allow employees to plan ahead.
  • Most core weeks are offered every other week, except for July and December, which only have one per month to allow for vacations.
  • Meetings requiring deep focus are reserved for core weeks.

During core weeks, the Orrville HQ is now ~70%-80% full, beating the national office occupancy average.

Policy perks

Core weeks aren’t just a PR stunt. Smucker has reaped other benefits from its new setup:

  • The company has more flexibility when recruiting and can tap talent pools outside of Ohio.
  • Employees log more hours during those weeks, with back-to-back meetings and post-work dinners.
  • Core weeks allow for increased socializing and spontaneous conversations.

The future-of-work struggle…

… is likely not over. From Meta to Zoom, companies are cracking down on remote work and implementing new policies daily.

But regardless of where employees clock in from, businesses should be wary of making too many policy changes — something that can sow distrust among employees.

So maybe, like Smucker’s Uncrustables, all the good stuff really is at the core.

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Free Resource

Catch the INBOUND livestream Sept. 6-8!

If you don’t have a ticket, please don’t go scheduling some back-alley dap with a scalper.

Instead, watch Reese Witherspoon, Derek Jeter, Sam Parr, Andrew Huberman, and other industry icons live on the HubSpot YouTube channel — from the unrivaled safety and comfort of your favorite chair.

We’re broadcasting 20+ of INBOUND 2023’s top speakers. Don’t miss out on free sessions with founders on the cutting edge of business and tech.

Live from INBOUND 🟠 →
To a Tee
Three white T-shirts aligned in a horizontal row on a pink background.

This company is really into T-shirts

Everybody’s got a favorite T-shirt, but fashion brand Buck Mason has iterated on its humble design 50x in pursuit of “a superior T-shirt,” per The New York Times.

The company, founded in 2013, now sells pants, button-ups, and other apparel, but its T-shirts account for ~30% of overall sales. The shirts aren’t exactly cheap, starting at $45, and featuring flattering details like curved seams and angular sleeves.

In December…

… Buck Mason purchased a Pennsylvania sewing factory and cloth mill previously owned by Stitch Fix, which halted production in October 2022 and laid off 56 employees — some of whom have since been hired by Buck Mason.

The operation produces ~10k shirts/month with plans to ultimately quadruple production.

It’s certainly cheaper…

… to outsource labor to other countries — but with a commitment to domestic production, Buck Mason can:

  • Entice customers who prefer American-made clothing.
  • Have more oversight and, thus, better quality control.

The latter seems essential for crafting the perfect T-shirt — though they do start at $45 each.

Is there a market for that?

Many Americans are shifting away from fast fashion, toward longer-lasting products with less environmental impacts. A 2021 report found fast-fashion retailers could face a 10%-30% decline in revenue over the next decade.

And while companies like Shein draw ire for cheaply churning out a boatload of options, companies do find success with less.

Case in point: Sustainable underwear brand Parade, recently acquired by underwear company Ariela & Associates International, was valued at $200m in 2022.

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🪧 On this day: In 1970, 20k+ Mexican Americans marched through East LA in the Chicano Moratorium, a protest against the Vietnam War. Journalist Ruben Salazar was killed when police threw a tear gas canister into a bar and struck him in the head.

💸 That’s interesting: In the 1930s, a board game called Toward Soviet America positioned itself as the anti-Monopoly.

📸 Wow: Check out the winners of this year’s BMC Ecology and Evolution photo contest.

🎮 Cure boredom: Play ‘90s racing game “Wipeout” in your browser.

🐿️ Aww: And now, an odd storage choice.

Corporate America jargon

Putting a hard stop on using this jargon before we get too low on bandwidth. (Link)

Today’s email was brought to you by Juliet Bennett Rylah and Sara Friedman.
Editing by: Ben “Fit to a ($5) tee” Berkley.

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