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This creator turned donuts into dollars

Google for Creators recently launched The Conversation, a new YouTube series spotlighting the experiences of women of color creators. This month, we’re featuring designer, photo stylist and donut aficionado Samantha Ushiro, the talent behind the successful online brand Aww Sam. Learn more about Sam below and check out the full interview.

Samantha Ushiro’s love for donuts, confetti, bright colors and vintage fashion led to an unexpected — and successful — career move. Today, her Aww Sam brand has nearly 300,000 followers across her web properties, including her Pinterest profile, which receives 2.4 million monthly views. She’s also partnered with brands like Refinery29, Bustle, HGTV and Brit + Co.

Sam made a leap of faith to get where she is today. She was studying industrial design at the Parsons School of Design in New York. For her final project, she created a photo book of handmade, colorful donuts decorated in her whimsical style. A blogger since high school, Sam decided to post some of the photos online. “People were asking me, ‘What’s the recipe? How do I make these?’” Sam recalls. “That’s how it all started.”

Sam began posting her work on Instagram. Brands took notice of Sam’s upbeat, retro style, and paid gigs started rolling in. “I realized, OK, I could make a career doing this,” Sam says. She left her job in 3D modeling to dive into online content creation full time.

In 2015, Sam launched Aww Sam, a creative lifestyle blog “with a focus on making every day fun.” She expanded her content to include party planning, crafting, vintage fashion and home décor. Her audience ate it all up.

Sam now toggles between New York City and her home in Austin, Texas, which she shares with her husband, Kyle, and new baby Kiki. Here, Sam shares a few ingredients from her recipe for success.

Screen capture of Sam Ushiro’s “Category: Donuts” webpage features a photo of Sam in a pink dress and hat emerging from a giant box of donuts, along with other donut photographs.

Sam Ushiro’s love for decorated, handmade donuts launched the Aww Sam brand.

Commit to your passion

In the beginning, Sam was juggling college, a job and her social media content. Like so many aspiring creators, Sam had to choose where to focus her time and energy. “Some people wait until their social media work surpasses their salary, then they make the leap full time,” Sam shares. “It was hard for me to do both at once.” She decided to take a chance and become a full-time content creator. “I figured, if this fails, I can go back to my industrial design career.” Sam never had to revert to plan B, as Aww Sam became even more successful than she imagined.

Start with what you have

Sam didn’t start out with fancy equipment or a studio. Working out of her one-bedroom apartment in New York, she taped paper to the walls to create a photography backdrop. “I used Photoshop to extend the colored backgrounds,” Sam shares. She had a flip phone (no smartphone), so she improvised with the tools available. “I used a digital camera,” Sam explains. “I would email the photos to myself, and then I’d go on my iPod touch and post them on Instagram.”

Sam, Kyle, and baby Kiki pose against a shimmery, wintry white backdrop. Sam wears a baby blue princess dress and hair bow, Kyle is in a white suit with a blue scarf and black top hat and baby Kiki wears a yellow dress with a blue pom-pom headband.

Sam’s husband, Kyle, and baby Kiki are part of the Aww Sam experience.

Find inspiration in unexpected places

Sam’s design aesthetic is uniquely her own. But she’s drawn inspiration from outside of the Aww Sam orbit, too. “I look at other creative things, like films, graphic novels and surrealist art,” Sam says. “You can gather inspiration from stuff that’s not directly related to your work.”

Sam’s pink Jell-O crown cake has red and orange fruit chunks and white balls of cream. It sits atop a yellow cake stand.

Sam’s Jell-O crown cake is inspired by vintage recipes, when Jell-O was a kitchen staple.

Use your platform for social advocacy

Sam has built her brand on spreading joy. But she also uses her platform to educate her audience. Her Instagram Stories cover the Black Lives Matter movement and other important issues, including the rise in violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. In one post, Sam shared her experience growing up as a Japanese American, and how her grandparents were relocated and confined in U.S. internment camps during World War II. The post enlightened her audience, “some of whom didn’t know Japanese internment camps existed,” Sam says.

Photo of Sam as a young child. She sits on top of a green bouncy ride outside, wearing a blue dress, white tights and her hair styled with bangs in a bob cut.

Sam shared her experience growing up as a Japanese American with her followers.

Sam hopes her content serves as a bright spot in her followers’ social media feeds. She encourages other creators to start posting and see where their journey takes them. “I think all creative work is valid,” Sam says. “Even if you don't think you've done a good job, you still made this thing. You made something out of nothing. And that in itself is still valid.”

Want to hear more? Check out the full video interviewwith Sam on The Conversation.

Lessons from helping 10 million during the pandemic

2022 marks the third year of the pain of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though we’ve yet to see the long-term impact it will have on how we live, work, study and grow, I’ve never seen a time where technology has been as helpful to as many people as it has been over these last three years.

The same technology that has kept so many going will be key to the economic recovery, but we must also make sure no one is left behind.

In 2015, when I first started this role at Google, the EU released a report highlighting a digital skills gap that threatened to leave a million jobs unfilled. Seeing a unique challenge and opportunity for Google to help, we launched Grow With Google, which aims to help accelerate economic recovery through our technology, tools and training. Through Grow with Google, we’ve trained 88 million people around the world in the skills they need to build their career, launch or grow their own business.

With the onset of the pandemic, we sought to build on these efforts. The acceleration of technology was keeping businesses afloat and helping communities connect — but it also risked leaving some people behind.

So in June 2020 we set ourselves a new target, pledging to help 10 million people and businesses in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) find jobs, digitize and grow by the end of 2021. This important milestone has now been reached, and surpassed.

We approached this challenge by:

Providing businesses with the tools they need to thrive

Research has found 80% of small businesses increased their use of digital tools during the pandemic. So we’ve launched more than 200 new features since March 2020.

For example, with Business Profiles, we made it easier for businesses to manage their presence directly on Google Search and the Google Maps app and connect with customers online. These tools have helped businesses and people adjust and thrive during the pandemic. In fact, boutique French retailer Indira de Paris now attributes 70% of their sales to digital, thanks to these features.

We have also launched new features on Search and Google Maps enabling restaurants to inform customers they now do delivery — or for local stores to say they offer curbside pick-up. People can now find this information on Search and Maps for more than six million restaurants and retailers in Europe. To help retailers to connect with more customers, we made it free for retailers to list their products on the Shopping tab throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. To help retailers stand out online, in over 10 EMEA markets, we launched tailored recommendations for every business with our new tool, Local Opportunity Finder.

Supporting people and businesses to learn new digital skills

To make the most of the digital opportunities available to them, people and businesses need the right skills. Across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as part of our Grow with Google efforts, we focused on providing digital skills training.

We have worked alongside partners to launch initiatives aimed at supporting local businesses and communities to make the digital transition. With the German Retail Association (HDE) we launched the ZukunftHandel initiative, which has provided over 70,000 retailers with coaching and other support.

Long before the coronavirus, it was clear the jobs of the future would require anew set of digital skills. McKinsey now estimates that more than 25% of people may need to transition new jobs because of the pandemic. In response, we launched new Google Career Certificates to help people reskill for roles in high-growth areas such as IT support, project management, data analytics or UX design. People like Jelena in the UK have also benefited from the 100,000 scholarships we are providing in partnership with local governmental and non-governmental organizations. Jelena participated in a Project Management course from the Google Career Certificate program and is now a digital project coordinator for various charitable initiatives.

A picture of Jelena Stephenson in the UK who completed the Project Management course from the Google Career Certificate programme

A picture of Jelena Stephenson in the UK who completed the Project Management course from the Google Career Certificate programme

From our experience we feel there are five key lessons to share as we all continue the journey to economic growth and recovery in 2022.

1. The digital transition will continue at pace in 2022.

The future will be about businesses having the right skills and using the full range of digital tools to take advantage of the opportunities technology presents. Research has found that small businesses in Europe with a sophisticated use of digital tools were able to build a “digital safety net” during the pandemic, resulting in 80% better sales and 60% better revenue. For example, German fashion company das schöne leben ran their first in-house Search campaign during the pandemic and has tripled their direct online orders with customers of all ages throughout Germany.

2. Obtaining new skills will support the transition and expand the digital opportunity to more

Research by Google and McKinsey from 2020 shows that more than 90 million people in EMEA may need to learn new skills for future jobs, and that some people will need to change careers entirely. The past two years have only accelerated those changes further. Our work has provided us with numerous examples of businesses and individuals making the most of this opportunity. Noemi in Italy learned new skills so she could help local small businesses to digitize and grow, while Alba in Madrid used her Career Certificate to secure a job in IT support. Our Grow with Google and Career Certificate programs will continue to provide people with these skills.

3. For lasting impact, we must ensure that this opportunity is open to all

The pandemic has reinforced growing inequalities both between economies and within them. We know certain groups are more impacted than others: those without a college degree, ethinic minorities and women. To address this, we need new ways of thinking. We know that digital skills and tools, with the right support, can unlock everyone’s potential. In our efforts, we have seen countless examples of this — from Ibrahim in Italy, to the many women-owned businesses using Google tools across Europe. We will continue to work hard to reach everyone and will continue to work with a diverse group of organizations like MExoxo in Greece, which supports women, refugees and LGBTQ+ women in entrepreneurship.

4. Current challenges call for greater collaboration between organizations, communities and governments.

Partnerships have been the cornerstone of our work in supporting communities and governments. In France, working in partnership with Pole Emploi in some regions has helped job seekers identify gaps in digital skills and ways to access them. In 2022, expanding the digital opportunity and driving digitization should see this work continue. This will require continued collaboration on policy efforts, such as those led by the European Commission, as well as careful consideration of the regulations that will support a digital-led recovery.

5. The green economy will be the bedrock of the present and future.

The pandemic has demonstrated our collective ability to tackle major challenges — but coronavirus is not the only crisis we are facing. As we look to recover from the pandemic, the same focus must be given to fighting the climate crisis. Entrepreneurs are already working with governments and organizations to develop the technologies capable of addressing this challenge. Through theGoogle for Startups Accelerator: Sustainable Development Goals Project 2030 and anchoring over €2 billion of green infrastructure investments in Europe by 2025, we are backing those who are striving to find these solutions. We also want to help businesses and individuals make the right choices, working with SolarPower Europe’s #SolarWorks program to raise awareness of the diverse range of careers available in solar as well as promoting sustainable choices through the products we provide. In the U.K. we have worked with Planet Mark to offer training to help small businesses their journey towards sustainability.

The pandemic has presented enormous challenges to communities and economies across the world. While difficult work is still required to respond to and recover from the public health crisis, our work in helping 10 million people and businesses in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to find jobs, digitize and grow has underlined to me that there are also enormous opportunities. The future we need to build is an inclusive, sustainable and digitally accelerated one — and we are here to play our part.

How Google puts you in control of your location data

You may have seen news about lawsuits brought against Google concerning how we handle location data. These suits mischaracterize and inaccurately describe the settings and controls we provide users over location data.

Today, a court in Arizona made a significant legal ruling against the Arizona Attorney General. The AG is somehow claiming this as a big victory but in reality, a judge rejected his central argument. Unfortunately, just before today’s decision, four other state attorneys general rushed to file similar lawsuits making similarly inaccurate and outdated claims.

We wanted to take this opportunity to set the record straight about the location settings we offer, and how you are in control of your location data.

All smartphones use location data — it’s integral to how they work. It’s collected and used by network operators, device makers, apps, websites and operating systems. For our part, location makes Google products work better for you — it’s what helps you navigate around a traffic jam, helps you find your phone when you’ve misplaced it, and lets you find a pizza shop in your neighborhood instead of suggesting one in a different state.

We recognize that you have a lot of decisions to make around the use of location data by various apps and services. That’s why we’ve worked hard over the past few years to build more control and transparency directly into our products to make location easy to understand and simple to manage:

  • Easy-to-use settings: We offer settings like Location History, which creates a timeline of where you have been, saved to your Google Account. You can delete this data or pause saving it at any time. Web & App Activity saves activity like the things you do on Google sites and apps, including associated info like location. Again, you can delete this data or pause saving it at any time.
  • Auto-delete by default: Two years ago, we updated our data retention practices — in addition to turning Location History and Web & App Activity off, you can choose to automatically auto-delete them after a set period of time (3 months, 18 months or 36 months). (For new users, the default is to auto-delete them after 18 months).
  • Transparency: You can instantly see your settings and manage them right from your favorite Google products — for example, on every search results page, we indicate the location information that was used to deliver results, and enable you to change your settings directly. And if you have Location History enabled, we send monthly and annual emails to remind you about places you’ve visited, along with easy access to your settings.
  • Maps Incognito mode: With Google Maps Incognito mode, the places you search for or navigate to in Google Maps won’t be saved to your Google Account.
  • Advertisers and apps: Location data helps you get relevant offers such as local pizza restaurants but we never sell your location data to advertisers — or to anyone. And from Android 10 onwards, you can choose to share your device’s location with third party apps only while they’re in use — or not at all.

As we design our products, we focus on three important principles: keeping your information safe, treating it responsibly, and putting you in control. We aim to strike a balance between offering granular customization for users who want to pick and choose between options, while keeping our controls simple and easy to understand. We will continue to focus on providing simple, easy-to-understand privacy settings to our users, and will not be distracted from this work by meritless lawsuits that mischaracterize our efforts.

 
 
 

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Best Relocation services in India@ packers and movers gurgaon

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Strategies For Handling Belongings To Shift

 

It is just a relatively risk-free choice that will given that civilisation is present right now there will almost always be products to go. Regardless the way little you can reduce in size technological innovation associated with…

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Purpose of Skilled Packers in addition to Movers inside Office in addition to Industrial Separation

Posted by Sanjeev Saxena on March 8, 2014 at 1:55am 0 Comments

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Posted by Sanjeev Saxena on March 6, 2014 at 6:11am 0 Comments

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Moving Home? Get Professional Help to Make it Easy

Posted by Sanjeev Saxena on March 6, 2014 at 6:11am 0 Comments

Moving home? Have you lots of belongings to be packed and shifted? Yes then the process of home shifting can be very daunting and stressful event of your life. There are lots of issues apart from tedious tasks such as packing, loading, transporting, unloading, unpacking and rearranging of items. So what can be done best for making home shifting easy and simple? In my point of view you should get professional help so that you can simplify the process and make it easy and simple. If you truly…

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