Startup Stash - Tiny Chairs and A Forgotten Word🪑

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Let's embrace the unwritten pages of a brand new year. 🎉✨
Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy New Year filled with grace, opportunity, and the promise of beautiful tomorrows.
Cheers to the possibilities that lie ahead! 🌟

A Cute Hobby With Pricey Taste

People are spending thousands of dollars of their hard earned money on swanky interiors to build a home they can’t live in. That is because the dwelling is so small it is better suited for a resident the size of a mouse.

There’s a new cohort of dollhouse devotees on the block! 

And they’re shaking up how grown-ups indulge in the classic children’s hobby. They’re buying tiny versions of trendy furniture from stores like IKEA or West Elm and decorating these mini dollhouses as a pastime.

Of course a lot of this enthusiasm into itty-bitty decor comes from the pandemic days, when everyone was homebound and reeled in by social media and reality shows such as “Best in Miniature," which made its debut on CBS last year.

One enthusiast who works in communications spent $5,000 on the frame of his wee, 12-inch high house, which is in the style of a New York City brownstone (image below). Another from Chicago says she spent about $10,000 on her house. Her most prized miniature purchases to date include — a framed poster of the Rolling Stones, measuring about an inch in height and width, and a tiny copy of her husband’s favorite book, Moby-Dick.

The craze is so widespread that people are now setting up lucrative businesses of selling dollhouse items, apothecary chests and nonworking electric guitars worth hundreds of dollars.

Etsy features nearly a half-million listings for dollhouses and accessories. Searches there for dollhouse kits are up 29% from a year ago, and up 22% for miniature furniture, according to the company’s data. Then there are dollhouse groups on Facebook and IS selling or dropshipping pricey mini-art through online auctions. Some dollhouse newbies are also shaking up tradition by embracing artisans who use 3-D printers, design software and laser cutters.

But this hobby ain’t new. 

Dollhouses date to the Renaissance era when upper-class European women sought to show off their wealth by commissioning so-called cabinet houses complete with tiny versions of their possessions, according to Darren T. Scala, a curator of miniature exhibitions in Yonkers, N.Y. Some of the largest, most intricate collections are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and housed in museums around the globe.

No Off Days By Choice

Nearly half of U.S. workers — 46% —who get paid time off don’t take all the time off their employer offers. A similar share (48%) say they typically take all the time off they are offered.

Among those who don’t take all their paid time off, the most common reasons cited are not feeling the need to take more time off, worrying they might fall behind at work, and feeling badly about their co-workers taking on additional work.

Source: Pew Research

NFTs: A Word We Thought We Were Done With

NFTs have weathered challenges ranging from skepticism and fraudulent activities to a noticeable decline in demand during the crypto winter. At times, it appears as though some projects in this space are sustained solely by optimism and aspirations. Nevertheless, despite the downturn, the sector has persevered, and the recent upswing in the crypto market has reignited interest in NFTs among investors, community members, and onlookers.

Over the last 30 days, the number of NFT buyers has surpassed sellers by approximately 120,000, and sales volumes have surged by 72.7%, reaching approximately $1.66 billion, as reported by NFT aggregator CryptoSlam.

Within the industry, there is a prevailing belief that there is substantial value inherent in the concept and the diverse use cases it offers. Much like the allure of purchasing diamonds, investing in NFTs is associated with a perceived sense of value that enhances one's image or social standing. The current trends suggest a renewed vigor in the NFT market, capturing the attention and participation of enthusiasts once again.

Shorts ⏳

👀 VC Thoughts - VCs are entering 2024 with 'healthy paranoia'. 

💵 Better Pays - The minimum wage increased in 22 US states yesterday to better account for rising costs of living.

🐈‍⬛ Meows - A Vietnam restaurant that killed 300 cats per month to serve 'cat soup' has been shut down. 

👶 Toddlers' Ambitions - So your kid wants to be an influencer. Is that bad?  

🍽️ Value of Eating Out - People dined out less in 2023. But it wasn't about the price.

🗨️ Start the Year With a Talk - A guide to difficult conversations for people who hate confrontations.

Stash Recommends: Tools to Explore
Blocs: A downloadable website builder used to create promo websites, landing pages and portfolios.

ApifonGrow your audience and engage with your customers using this automated mobile marketing platform.

Milanote: An easy-to-use note-taking tool to organize your ideas and projects into visual boards.
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