The Rainbow Wingtip by semifold
Unique Distinction: Many Rainbow Wingtip sales came from strangers stopping me in public to ask where I got them.
Favorite Customer Story: Purchased for a wedding, worn with a white suit.
Favorite Quote From a Manufacturer: “The design of the shoes is really unique. I think the designer must be imaginative!”
The Rainbow Wingtip, like the Charlie Baker, changes one characteristic of a familiar favorite drastically, and leaves all else untouched. The silhouette is that of a classic wingtip, with the color palate adding the dynamic element. A symbol of pride for some, a humorous expression for others, The Rainbow Wingtip is a tool for the user’s self-expression. Much like The Charlie Baker, the Wingtip offers many possible interpretations of meaning, many ways to “wear” the shoe.
The Rainbow Wingtip presented the first insurmountable sourcing challenge. Though there are many experienced manufacturers of men’s dress shoes and many more willing to give it a try, none of them seemed able to color match dyed patent leather with provided Pantone codes. Sample after sample returned looking faded, dull, or just off-putting. Patent leather manufacturers were inaccessible, requiring large and expensive sample runs. Eventually, a … Read More »
Street Food Problem Identification – Sparklers
Favorite part: Collaborating with our Indian teammates and getting to hear and see our customers thousands of miles away in photos and video interviews.
Hardest part: Getting a true answer for how much users would pay for the service during surveys.
Biggest revelation: Realizing street food vendors are employing their children, as young as 5, to wash dishes behind their stall: a significant barrier to adoption of our service.
During the Creative Design for Affordability class at Cornell, I teamed up with three Cornell-based students, and five Mumbai-based students (at the Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research) to enter a proposal for the Acara Challenge. Our task was to design an entrepreneurial and sustainable product or service to address food security in India. Our team developed a dish and utensil washing service for street food vendors that used municipal water access and Tata’s Swach filters to provide clean water for a small fee. Our proposed business employs local women as part-time dishwashers, rickshaw drivers for dish transport, and provides a sanitation certification program for participating vendors.
I really enjoyed the opportunity to work within the … Read More »
Sustainability Research Facility at Cornell
Favorite Part: Seeing the project team’s technology in action, seeing our mini-prototypes take shape, and figuring out how to share that excitement with the entire Cornell community.
Hardest Part: Getting a 108 student-strong organization to project a consistent brand message to all stakeholders. Everyone excels at speaking about the details, but the bigger picture is trickier to articulate.
Cornell University Sustainable Design: Sustainable Research Facility is a student run organization that is designing and building a “Living Laboratory” on Cornell University’s Ithaca, New York campus. The aim of this project is to build a permanent landmark structure with a 6000 ft2 footprint over 2-3 floors, singularly poised to further the field of Computational Sustainability in regard to the built environment. As business team lead, I oversaw all corporate communications, kickstarted a lifetime cost model for the building, and organized cross-campus promotion efforts.
What it Means to Me
Working on the SRF was an eye-opening experience in working on cross-functional teams. The massive 108 student workforce drew from every college at Cornell and strived to utilize each student’s unique strengths. As a result, I led a business team … Read More »