Tag Archives: angelica mari

I’m so proud of my wife :-)

Of course I would say that anyway. Everyone would; but Angelica has been up to something special recently and it’s going to launch tomorrow.

Despite her regular work on our IT Decisions company in Brazil, where she is working for several clients including a couple of different US-based publishers and additional work – like commenting this week on entrepreneurs in Brazil for the Commonwealth Secretariat – she is about to launch a new venture.

It’s called Gift Brazil and before even launching she has collected together 3,600 fans on Facebook – all of them are people who just love the idea even though they still can’t buy anything.

Gift Brazil is a collective of artisans in Brazil all using this channel to sell their products. Angelica has her own products on there, but she is also offering the platform to other artisans. It really is connecting very remote rural artisans with the globally connected world… connecting the new and old.

I think this venture is tremendously important. It’s not just about making a few quid from selling gifts, there is so much more to this and this is why I’m so proud of what she is already achieving with the venture.

  • So many “gifts” from Brazil are T-shirts featuring toucans (often not even printed in Brazil) or a new pair of Havaianas flip-flops. This collection of gifts is handmade by rural artisans and curated personally by Angelica and her team – so the buyer knows that they are going to get something genuine and unique.
  • This creates jobs in remote rural communities where traditionally these artists have only ever been able to sell to passing tourists – now Gift Brazil lets them sell to the world – using English (and at no charge to the artist at all).
  • This preserves cultural traditions that have existed in these rural communities for generations. If people can make a living from their art then they will not be forced to abandon it in favour of regular jobs – as many have been forced to do.
  • This promotes digital inclusion as artisans who can use tools like email are already helping out those who can’t and Angelica has some specific plans already in place to fund training sessions – helping people in remote locations get more from the Internet.

I think this is a great idea. Angelica’s idea will create rural jobs in Brazil and create opportunities to sell globally where none existed before – and it gives better products to the buyers with an interest in Brazil. Everyone wins!

I’m really proud that she put this entire project together – with help from her mate Flavia. It already features hundreds of individual items from dozens of artisans and will launch tomorrow (Dec 3rd) at the National Handicrafts Expo in Belo Horizonte – a trade fair with an expected attendance in the region of 165,000 people!

So please take a look at Gift Brazil. Go and Like them on Facebook and please consider buying something from the site. It’s not just about lining the pocket of a big retailer – this cash is heading directly to help out rural Brazil by creating opportunities for these people to trade with the world.

Angelica can be found on LinkedIn here if you are a journalist or blogger and interested in writing about what she is doing with Gift Brazil.

And do take a look at her Instagram too – it’s packed full of the items they are selling and looks fantastic!

O que é a Gift Brazil?

I’m now a company director in Brazil

I’ve been running IT Decisions with Angelica since I arrived in Brazil. We have been building a really good audience considering we started from scratch and we have spent nothing on marketing or advertising…

All we started doing was writing in English about what IT decision makers are doing here in Brazil. Not what the IT companies are doing or selling, but what the real company bosses with big budgets are up to.

A few months down the line, we are regularly seeing over 10,000 views a day on the site… over quarter of a million views a month on the stuff we are writing about Brazil in a foreign language. Just incredible – we are very pleased as you can imagine.

One of the attractions of the site is that we don’t carry advertising or vendor content. So it’s squarely focused on what buyers are up to and because there are no ads, we don’t have to keep any advertisers happy or skew the content in a particular direction.

That also means there is no income yet. That is about to change with the research network just launching. So we formed a limited company to handle the accounts of the research company. It’s a much more involved process than back in the UK, but despite the complexities of getting it all off the ground, I think that it will be easier to run the company on a day to day basis and I will be paying less corporation tax than I would be in the UK.

Many people complain about the bureacracy involved in starting companies in Brazil, but once over the initial hurdle of paperwork that all needs to be signed, the tax and accounting rules all seem much more straightforward to me. For instance, getting taxed on revenue (rather than profit) seems a negative step, but if the tax rate is reasonable and the process of accounting becomes much simpler then it seems like a good thing to me.

I’m now officially a director of a Brazilian company. Now I’m focused on creating the first million reais!
Angie signing company formation papers

Help the Biblecodes get to the Feis

Remember the old Fleadh festival in London? Well, these days it’s the Feis – the biggest festival featuring Irish and international acts with a Celtic flavour.

Promoter Vince Power has put together a line-up that includes Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, The Cranberries, Christy Moore, Hothouse Flowers, and The Undertones… the line-up looks great.

And there is space for another act, but it’s being decided on by social media. The Supajam system features a load of acts who want to be on stage with Van and Bob, but I’d like to ask you – my friends – to go and offer some support to The Biblecode Sundays.

All you need to do is to add a comment of support, or vote on the songs they have uploaded – just a click or quick comment is enough to help them get the gig.

If you came to the last tweetup I hosted in London, or came to my last birthday party, or came to Angelica Mari’s book launch, then you will have seen how good these guys are. Do them a favour and add a comment so they can get up on the big stage with Van the Man…

Ealing Tweetup Feb 2011 with Biblecode Sundays

My wedding, on the BBC…

BBC Technology Editor, Rory Cellan-Jones, is launching his new series on Radio 4 today. Titled ‘The Secret History of Social Networking’ it is a three-part documentary exploring the origins of social networking, going back to the 1970s.

The programme starts with my wedding to Angelica, and there is a trailer film on the BBC website today promoting the radio show and featuring several minutes of film from our wedding day!

Click here to watch the film

BBC Radio 4: The Secret History of Social Networking

BBC Technology editor, Rory Cellan-Jones, is launching a new radio series on BBC radio 4 on January 26th titled ‘The Secret History of Social Networking.’ It’s a view on how far social networks have come, where they came from, and where they might head to in future.

What is particularly interesting for me is that my wedding in Ealing on December 3rd last year features right at the start of the series, as an example of just how far things have come… I used Facebook to invite guests to the wedding and communicate the agenda for the day.
Angelica-and-Mark-wedding_DSC4104

Facebook was useful because almost all my family and friends are on there. It’s true, there are some Facebook refuseniks and I had to update them by text message, and some partners of friends are not always on my friend list, but on the whole I managed to update everyone using a Facebook event.
Facebook wedding invitation

It was an amazing day and I’m fortunate enough to have arranged a repeat of the day out in São Paulo soon. The BBC radio crew filmed a large section of my wedding in London for use in website trailers for the radio programme, so I’m going to edit together footage from their video and arrange my Brazilian wedding inside an old city centre cinema. We can watch some of the London footage and repeat the ceremony in front of a cinema audience before getting an old London Routemaster bus to transport us across the city to a restaurant for a bit of a post-second-wedding-party…

I’m looking forward to hearing Rory’s programme, though we had consumed a fair amount of Champagne by the time he started recording questions so if any of it sounds slurred then please forgive me – he should have recorded the speech parts early in the morning!
Mark and Angelica-5017

Bem vindo a brasil

I’ve just moved to São Paulo in Brazil.

December 2010 was quite an amazing month for me. I got married on the 3rd to Angelica, and she had just launched her new book on the 1st and 2nd with two big parties, immediately followed by our wedding. I sold my house in Muswell Hill. I moved out of my rented place in Ealing and lived for a while in the Kings Arms pub near Ealing Broadway. I arranged to ship all my belongings over to Brazil. I closed down several of my work contracts, just keeping those that are quite easy to work on remotely. And after enjoying Christmas with my family, I moved to Brazil to be with Angelica, who had gone ahead of me to find a house.

Now I have a house in the Sumaré district of town – a nice area featuring plenty of cafes and bars near to where I live, as well as having Italian, Chinese, Brazilian, and Mexican food all available within a minute of walking out of the front door.

The house is quite large for just the two of us, but we are both writing and so we are using what would usually be two bedrooms as two offices. I have the entire basement of the house as my office and once my drum kit arrives at the end of this month I should have my workspace here with a couch, drums, books, stereo, as well as a desk to work on.

Since I arrived on the 29th, I have spent a bit of time exploring the beaches of São Paulo, madly rushed around shops getting furniture for an empty house, and chased around town to get all the papers I required for my visa application. The police checked my permanent residency application today and it all looks OK – so in a couple of weeks I should have my ID card and be a resident of Brazil.

And so here starts a new adventure for 2011…

 

Reboot: The Book Launch on Dec 2nd @ Waxy’s

There is a great blog post here by Rod Trent of 1e that outlines the book launch planned for Angelica’s book on December 2nd in London. It’s going to be a great party and a great way to launch the new book. You can see Angelica’s video invitation here. If you are still not sure about coming then think about this:

  • The first 50 people to arrive get a free copy of the book
  • Everyone gets a free EP of music from the BibleCode Sundays
  • The BibleCode Sundays are playing live
  • We are taking over the Church bar in Waxy O’Connor’s right in the middle in London -and the bar is free thanks to 1e.
  • The food is also free thanks to JD Marketing (they do the marketing for Betfair, who feature in the book).
  • There is a £100 Amazon voucher for whoever uploads the best social content from the evening, tweet, photo, video, blog…
  • 1e are giving away goodie bags full of pens, squeezy polar bears, mints, and various other things, though the bag itself might be the most useful item to carry all the other freebies!

As if you needed any more reasons to party, me and Angelica are getting married the next morning. Yes, launching a book on Thursday and getting married on Friday… and Angelica leaves the country to move to Brazil on Sunday, so this might be your last chance to say goodbye. She will remain as an associate editor of Computer Weekly, but she is entering the realms of virtual working. So you won’t see her often back in London – or me for that matter!

Click here to go and register for the event on LinkedIn…

James Gardner, CTO of the DWP with Reboot