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Case Study: Kiehl’s Unorthodox Marketing

If you’ve been wondering if the world really needs another blogger + another photographer + another coach + another bakery + another yoga instructor + another designer + another skin care line + another jewelry brand + another (insert what you do here), the answer is, well, yes. You bet!


But you can’t expect to make money + have an avalanche of raving fans coming in stampede to buy your stuff + save the world, if you’re like everyone else.


Of course it’s easier said than done, that’s why today I’m taking you inside a brand that’s been WOWing it’s clientele for shifting the cosmetics industry paradigm since 1851. I’m talking about Kiehl’s, my favorite skin/hair/body care line. Have you tried their lip balm? You must!


In contrast to its perceived market competitors, Kiehl’s is distinguished for its unorthodox marketing approach + old-school apothecary concept + neighborhood charm. And when I heard they don’t even pay for advertising, I knew I had to pay them a visit.


I hope that this case study will inspire you to inject more spunk into your witch cauldron, so no matter how saturated your niche is, you can leave the same old same ol’s miles behind.


Click play to watch!



let’s recap

What are some of the strategies that differentiate Kiehl’s from the herd? Here are some of my favorites:

  • They don’t believe in “one size fits all”, so Kiehl’s lab-coated staff offers free personalized skin consultation to everyone who walks in.
  • For decades, Kiehl’s has relied solely on non-traditional advertising through word of mouth of happy clients + their extremely generous free sampling program.
  • Kiehl’s might be an internationally-renowned brand, but they make you feel like you’re family through their local community boards, like the baby wall or doggie wall (awwwww).


your turn

Tell me ONE thing that makes your brand different from the competition. In other words, what makes you unique + stand out from the rest? Drop it like it’s hot, in the comments below.


If you loved today’s Friday Video Time episode, it would mean so much if you could help me spread the world. Every time you use the cute social media buttons below, you allow this tiny Panamanian artist to keep living the dream + continue putting out great content like this week after week, for which I will be forever + ever grateful.


big thanks

To Gretel Troetsch, for letting me camp at Kiehl’s Panama @kiehlspanama for an entire morning + making me feel at home.


To Uber Shop @ubershopper, for my floral backless maxi. I’m in love + hubby is too (wink).



Mayi Carles


PS: Speaking of popping amongst thousands of sellers, my biz sidekick April Bowles-Olin has a class coming up in November called Make Your Creative Business Uniquely Irresistible. If you’re ready to be your ideal customers excitedly + confidently choose, no matter how many other options they may have, this course is a must. Click here to RSVP for this FREE live workshop!



World Domination Starts Here!




I was that kid who watched one too many episodes of Pinky and The Brain. Do you know the type of damage that does to you? The type where you rationalize, “If a little white rat can do it, so can I. So can we.”


Permanently on my to-do list:

  1. Wait for tonight.
  2. Try to take over the world.


They say it’s irreversible.


Today’s episode of Friday Video Time offers a starting blueprint to plot WORLD DOMINATION. In case you’re interested in empire building + saving the Universe from evil + that sorta’ thing. Hint: It doesn’t require a laser death ray masterplan.


Click play to watch!



let’s recap

World domination starts at home. Stop waiting for an unicorn to fix all your problems. Invest in your most precious asset, your family! Here’s a good place to begin:

  1. Create a family mission statement.
  2. Share your family history.
  3. Hold weekly family meetings.
  4. Eat together as a family.


your turn

I want you to set aside time. Tonight. This weekend. Jam the Netflix with a hammer if you need to so you can (1) create your family mission statements OR (2) tell a tale about your great great grandfather OR (3) hold a family board meeting OR (4) have a lovely dinner. Your pick.


I believe that happy families will change the world. I really do.


Share this post with your crazy fam. Start a conversation. Try it + tell me how it’s going!


If you’re totally, like, fan-crushing on this episode, be sure to use the cute social media buttons below to spread the love. You da best!



Mayi Carles



Happy 100th Birthday Panama Canal (Challenge to ALL Artists Inside)

Panama Canal


Today’s special. Why else would I wear my giant party bow? You think I’d waste it on an ordinary occasion? Not a chance!


Today’s muy importante. Why else would I make a Friday Video Time episode in the middle of ku-raaaa-zy pants cookbook deadline?


Today the Panama Canal celebrates 100 years. ONE HUNDRED YEARS is a big deal you guys!


And this got me sentimental. And this got me teary eyed. And this got me thinking about art-making + world domination + legacy + party horns. I even made a one-women toast with a Watermelon Smoothie, too embarrasing to share. But I did manage to record a challenge for all citizens of the world – Panamanian or not. Hit play to get it!



your turn

What seed will you plant today that you want your kids, your grandkids + your great great grand kids to see way beyond your time, way beyond mine?


May all that your create with love live to be 100 years + beyond!



Mayi Carles

How To Be Original

Being Original Poster


Raise your hand if you’ve ever been copied.


Raise your hand if your work has ever been plagiarized without remorse.


Raise your hand if you thought it was rude + disrespectful, not only to you but to the entire human species.


Raise your hand if you considered dropping your “copy cat” a nuclear bomb. It’s okay, it’s safe here.


It’s true, the internet is making it easier than ever for people (ahem lazy people) to steal. The story of the student who registers for a course + compulsively takes notes + three months later (flick magic wand), launches “their version”, is happening more and more often. It’s a jungle out there.


Simultaneously, there’s a big coalition happening. When brands take a sharp left turn at the normal stop sign, they trip the whole system. Weird is impossible to imitate.


There are one too many Gucci rip offs, but there’s only ONE Gucci. Rembrandt had “painter assistants”, but no one remembers their name because there’s only ONE Rembrandt.


Today I want to talk about being original. Standing out, so no one, no matter how hard they try, can pass off as YOU!


Click play to watch a very especial episode with a very special cameo appearance!



let’s recap

Wanna be original? Here’s a place to start:

  • Recognize the areas of your life in which you are living disconnected from your true self.
  • Proclaim who you want to be.
  • Work it! Develop + express your individuality.
  • Accept that YOU might not look like the YOU you thought about in your head.
  • Practice your authentic muscle.


your turn

As homework I want you to make a list of all the things that make you “unidentifiable”. Original. Authentic. Drop them in the comments below!





Click here to download today’s art print… for FREE!


Click over here if you would like your art print shipped to your house + beautifully framed!


If you’re totally, like, fan-crushing on this episode of Friday Video Time, be sure to use the cute social media buttons below to spread the love. Good karma cookie points for you!



Mayi Carles


Disclaimer: Despite my continuos brainwashing efforts, my little sister Laura (we are 11 years apart), actually, doesn’t want to copy me. What is wrong with her? Seriously.



Cycle of an Idea

Cycle of an Idea


I realized the other day that ideas have a life-cycle, like plants + muffins. Somehow, I always thought ideas were timeless, life fairy tales + McDonalds french fries.


As I was franticly going through every item on my grocery list to double check I wasn’t missing any of the ingredients to make this granola recipe, I became aware that ideas have stages, from aha moment to launch + everything in-between.


Sometimes, ideas live inside a forgotten moleskin journal. Other times, they are planted in fertile soil by dreamers.


Ideas get stuck quite frequently too, in decision paralysis + overwhelm + rejection. Some, never make it to the sun. Others, beat the odds.


Today, I set out to attempt to doodle the cycle of an idea. Here goes. 


  • LIGHTBULB MOMENT: “Look who’s finally decided to show up? Miss Epiphany Fairy! Where were you? I showered. I called. I text messaged you. Gimme a sec to get my notepad, I wanna write everything down!” This is the initial spark.
  • DREAM PHASE: The magical place where you suddenly can’t stop thinking about your idea. Once lightning strikes it becomes an addiction. You’re in Disneyland. You’re seduced by the rush. You can’t shut up about it. You daydream about all the possibilities. You tell your mom, “Mom, I’m gonna be a millionaire!!!”. Wait you’ve never called your mom to tell her you’re gonna be a millionaire? Right. Me neither.
  • IMPLEMENTATION MODE: The big commitment. “I’m serious you guys!” proclamations. The day you sit down + take a deep breath + look at your idea + tease it apart + open your calendar + map out a plan to make it happen. The plan sucks, most likely. Will probably get rewritten 107397344 times, but who’s counting? The ball is rolling. I love rolling. Rolling feel freaking amazing. And you know what happens when you feel great? Exactly! You do great sh*t. Starting is sublimely revolutionary.
  • THE DIP: The rough patch. The low point. The moment when things stop being exciting + fun, and they start being, how can I put it lightly?, a pain in the ass.  The place where you find yourself asking, “Is it really worth the hassle?”. According to the bestselling author Seth Godin, what really sets superstars apart from everyone else is the ability to escape dead ends quickly while staying focused + motivated when it really counts. This is the tipping point of all ideas, either you quit or you conquer.
  • WORLD DOMINATION: Alright, it might not feel like “WORLD DOMINATION” yet Pinky, but if you’ve made it this far you’ve already done something remarkable. You are part of the 1% who didn’t drop off when it hurt. You won because you didn’t give up too soon. The challenge now is to surface new milestones. Maybe it means bundling up a blog series into an e-book. Perhaps it’s turning an digital guide into a hard cover coffee table book. Or it might mean developing your very own app. Whatever it is, you’ll figure it out champ.


Last week, I bumped into a friend, as I was gently pressing all the avocados at the supermarket to see which one was worthy of becoming guacamole. Anyhoo, we started talking.


“I made homemade almond milk, just like you showed me”, she exclaimed. “One cup of soaked almonds + three cups of cold filtered water in the blender…”, she continued.


“My cookbook. It’s happening. Life is Messy Kitchen. This year.” I blurt out.


That was a moment.


Last time we spoke we said we were gonna do something + here we were. We declared. We manifested. We did. BAM!


When our ideas become our obsession, a way of life, who we are + what we do, everything clicks. It’s intoxicating!


Our extraordinary capacity for imagination, to dream better, has given rise to the most far-fetched ideas that have taken us from caves to the moon.


The other day I saw a headline, “I’m just here tinkling the ivories: Eccentric British pianist plays piano to blind elephants at the top of Thai mountain.” I’m serious Don’t you EVER let anyone tell you your ideas is too crazy, that it can’t be done. This guy hauled a piano up a mountain to play music for blind elephants for God’s sake! Sometimes crazy is the only way epic is born.


Blaze on supernovas. Blaze on!


your turn

In what stage of the idea cycle are you in? And what is your favorite team in the World Cup? The second question is very important + you will be graded. Tell me in the comments.


need help?

If you need help taking your ideas from ground zero to the red carpet, take a peak at 5K Sales in 365 Days, a quirky + practical guide to creating best-sellers in pajamas. This is my personal behind the scenes + my plans + my classified strategies + my reasons + my marketing + my research techniques + my customer service + my odd decision making + my sequences + my thought process + my e-mails + my pitches + my challenges + my solutions + all the messiness in-between. All packaged into 15 never-shared before lessons, totaling 142 pages of classified for-your-eyes-only info.


On August 1, 5K Sales in 365 Days goes off the market. Puff! Gone. Like magic. Grab it before it retires for good!



Mayi Carles

Come on in! Yes you, in your paint stained pajamas if you wish. This is your space to dream up + spill open your splendidly messy life in progress. You're bound to leave here feeling happier + super empowered + most certainly loved.

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