Martha Stewart will advise Canopy Growth on a CBD line, but first…
The fur trade is experiencing its biggest boom since the French and Indian War
Largely thanks to the popularity of luxury winter coats with fur collars, the price of coyote pelts has risen as much as 40% in the past 4 years.
Now, with companies like Canada Goose poised to expand globally, the controversial North American fur trade is on track to return to a fur-lined glory it hasn’t seen in centuries.
From French trappers to swimsuit models
The fur trade was North America’s original global business. Enterprising French and British fur trappers — the startup founders of yestercentury — came to the New World for beaver pelts they could export to Europe’s high-fashion haberdashers (y’know, hatmakers).
For centuries, European powers waged bloody wars over the furry North American fashion statements. Davy Crockett’s signature look eventually fell out of fashion, and the market lay dormant for years…
Then, Kate Upton came along.
Furry, flirty, and thriving
In 2013, supermodel Kate Upton wore a Canada Goose jacket (complete with the coyote-trimmed hood) on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
What happened next was PETA’s worst nightmare: Overnight, every A-list celebrity and trust-fund college kid had a dead coyote wrapped around his or her neck. Within 4 years, the 7-decade-old Canada Goose was growing so fast that it decided to IPO to expand its global business.
“Coyote furs are hot,” John Hughes, a veteran fur buyer, toldCNBC. “And it’s all due to the trim trade.”
A strangely fur-miliar business model
For the first time in centuries, fur pelts are a hot global commodity again. Hughes, who deals fur from Montana, processes about 10k coyotes annually and usually pays fur trappers between $75 and $120 per pelt.
Furriers then sell the purchased pelts to companies like Canada Goose, which, in turn, sell finished jackets across the globe for upwards of $1k.
When Canada Goose opened its first store in China last year, Chinese fashionistas lined up out the door for North America’s precious pelts — just like the French bourgeoisie had done 400 years before.
@MA: Have you ever wondered what the French colonial empire and Kate Upton have in common… ? Neither have I.
But sometimes we don’t know what’s good for us…
Whoever pelt it dealt it, right?
Uber and Lyft will grant top drivers stock in their highly anticipated IPOs
In the lead-up to two of the hottest tech IPOs on the market, Uber and Lyft will give their more loyal drivers a chance to cash in.
The Wall Street Journalreports that in the event of an IPO, both companies will offer cash bonuses to drivers — or the option to use that cash toward company stock at its IPO price before it begins trading.
This is an unprecedented win for rideshare workers who have long clamored for a piece of the multibillion-dollar pie built on the backs of their Priuses.
How will it work?
Both programs will work on a sliding scale based on a driver’s length of service or number of rides. For example:
Lyft will give riders with 10k rides $1k in cash, or the equivalent number of shares. Drivers with 20k rides will earn $10k (though WSJ points out that a driver would need to average 15.4 rides a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year, for 5 years to reach 20k rides).
Get ready for March Madness
Lyft plans to begin its roadshow (AKA, the Tour de Potential Investors) the week of March 18, while Uber is expected to go public later this year.
Despite the hype, it’s uncertain whether these stocks will experience a “first day pop” upon trading, or long-term success.
Either way, it will be a long-awaited look under the hood of the ride-sharing giants, both of which have posted quarterly losses in the hundreds of millions in the pursuit of hyper-growth.
Walmart’s decision to get rid of greeters is a blow to disabled employees
Earlier this week, Walmart announced it will be saying goodbye to its signature “people greeters” — those lovely, affable folks in blue vests who are perennially stationed at the entrance of stores.
Greeters will be phased into a new role — “customer host” — that will require physical tasks (like lifting 25-lb. packages, climbing ladders, and standing for long periods of time) in addition to welcoming duties…
Thing is, some current greeters can’t do these things
A sizeable portion of Walmart greeters are disabled — and thus “unqualified” to perform the duties of the customer host role.
For years, Walmart has championed its inclusive hiring policies, and its perfect score of 100 on the Disability Equality Index, a rating system measuring the inclusion practices.
But many Walmart greeters, like Adam Catlin, who has cerebral palsy and is legally blind, have been left in a state of uncertainty amid the recent news.
There’s likely going to be a swift response here
According to USA Today, the job change has prompted no less than 3 complaints to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A federal lawsuit has also been filed under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Walmart, for its part, has already offered associates with physical disabilities a “60-day transition period” and has promised to try to find a “customized solution” for each disabled employee.
Martha will advise the fast-growing Canadian cannabis company, Canopy Growth, on a CBD line, starting with, as Martha put it, “sensible products for people’s beloved pets.”
It was just a matter of time…
Martha and Snoop began working together in 2008 when the rapper appeared on her talk show, Martha. Snoop returned the next year to bake holiday brownies (of course) and they shared the stage again in 2015 for the Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber.
Martha and Snoop’s onstage chemistry was undeniable, and the two have been professionally inseparable ever since: In 2016, they debuted a cooking show on VH1, “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party.”
And, though she doesn’t partake in the devil’s lettuce herself, she has sung the praises of CBD-infused ointment in the past, and expressed interest in entering the cannabis market in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last summer.
This could help Canopy reach a whole new market
Snoop already partners with Canopy on his own designer weed, but Martha will bring valuable expertise to help Canopy further destigmatize cannabis products and gain access to valuable mainstream markets.
Not to mention showing these young whippersnappers a thing or two about building a lifestyle brand: In a statement, Marth says she plans to share with Canopy her knowledge gained from “years of experience in the subject of living.”