by William Needham Finley IV™

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William Needham Finley IV @WNFIV - page 3

William Needham Finley IV @WNFIV has 154 articles published.

I Went On Another Podcast to Talk About Surviving Fyre Festival

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It’s been almost a month since Fyre Festival. While the experience was quite traumatizing, I believe the best way to get through this is to keep talking about it constantly. That’s exactly why I went on the Free Lunch podcast at Clean Design to tell my story. This was my second appearance on their show. On the first episode I taught the gang all about ITB, my growing media empire, and how I was about to go on the trip of a lifetime to Fyre Festival.


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Little did I know that I would have to survive and escape the island while becoming a “minor celebrity” (according to Bloomberg). Clean Design asked me to come back on their podcast after seeing what a disaster the trip was.

I set the record straight on a few issues. We covered the “planning” notebook, which media outlets are super lame, how my attorney Stacy Miller plans to handle this, and more.

The episode is available on iTunes and SoundCloud.


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Help The Raleigh Wine Shop and Inter-faith Food Shuttle Fight Hunger

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“Farmers + Makers Market” on Sunday, May 21

Drinking wine and perusing goods and wares on a Sunday afternoon in the name of charity is a classic ITB pastime. This Sunday from noon until 4:00 pm you can do just that at the “Farmers + Makers Market” that’s being put on by The Raleigh Wine Shop and Inter-faith Food Shuttle. The two have teamed up to support local farmers and craftspeople while raising money to fight hunger in North Carolina.


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This special event takes place on the final day of The Raleigh Wine Shop’s 6th Anniversary Celebration. Over a dozen local growers and purveyors will be selling their goods and wares in the paved open space next to the wine shop that’s located on Glenwood South. Farmers, juicers, artisans, pasta makers, dog treat bakers, ice cream makers, and more will be featuring their finest offerings. It’ll basically be like a real life Etsy. A list of farmers and vendors and more details can be found here.


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The Raleigh Wine Shop will sell glasses of their meticulously sourced wine while Tarboro Brewing Company will sell pints of their locally made beer. A portion of the proceeds from the market and drink sales will go directly to Inter-faith Food Shuttle. It should be a great event in support of a great cause. We’ll give it a preliminary 5/5 beltline rating.


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About The Raleigh Wine Shop
The award winning wine shop, located on Glenwood South, welcomes wine novices and connoisseurs alike with a bright, inviting atmosphere, friendly and unintimidating service, and varied price points on quality wines crafted with integrity from around the world. To learn more visit www.theraleighwineshop.com or call (919) 803.5473.

About Inter-faith Food Shuttle
The Food Shuttle recovers and distributes 6 million pounds of food per year, teaches culinary job skills, shopping and cooking healthy on a budget, and how to grow food. To learn more visit www.foodshuttle.org or call (919) 250-0043.

Raleighite Snubs Cam Newton and Panthers at Kings of Leon Concert

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Welcome to this edition of ITBMZ, your best source for mildly entertaining celebrity news that tangentially relates to Raleigh. NFL stars Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly, Greg Olsen, and a few other Carolina Panthers players were in Raleigh on Wednesday evening. The group dined at Bida Manda before attending the Kings of Leon concert at Walnut Creek with literally everyone else in Raleigh. We aren’t sure what Cam Newton ordered, but he seems like a stir-fry cashew ginger chicken kind of guy.

#camnewton @cameron1newton @gregolsen88 @td58

A post shared by 😘A Shade Of Indigo☺ Im A Girl🙄 (@br0ken_willow_ace_b00g1e) on

As part of the Carolina Panthers outreach program to win over Raleigh residents, the players took pictures with fans before heading to the concert.


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As you can see, Cam had a bit of a rough start at the beginning of the show. “He was singing along way too quickly on some of the songs. Midway through the first quarter of the set he seemed to settle in and find his rhythm,” noted a Senior ITB Sports writer #sources. Expect a full recap on ESPN later today where they’ll break down Cam’s performance and discuss topics like “Why isn’t Cam practicing instead of going to concerts?”


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While many expressed their excitement at seeing NFL superstars in Raleigh, some were not as interested. When reached for comment about being in the pit next to the Panthers players, a local socialite replied, “They were apparently right by us but I don’t hang with people from Charlotte.” When pressed further he stated, “If I wanted to watch football I’d go to a Broughton game.”

As the Panthers players left the concert they were overheard saying, “You know what? Raleigh really IS better than Charlotte.”


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Lord of the Fyres: Tales from a Surfyrevor

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I survived the first, and most likely the last, Fyre Festival. The now infamous festival was supposed to be an event in the Bahamas unlike anything else. Entrepreneur Billy McFarland and Rapper/Actor Ja Rule (The Fast and The Furious) co-founded the festival late last year. They began promoting it in December with the help of famous influencers.

Along with this video, a website promoted a $1 million treasure hunt, luxury accommodations on a private island once owned by Pablo Escobar, exquisite cuisine, exclusive experiences like swimming with island pigs, and a music festival with soon to be announced big-name acts. This was clearly the trip of a lifetime. Three friends and I bought tickets during the first week they were on sale. We upgraded to VIP and one friend and I also bought an “Artist Pass” which included your food, drinks, backstage passes, 4 nights on the island, and “exclusive” experiences.

This was my chance to finally become BFFs with all the influencers and celebrities that would be there. I’d played the scenario out a million times in my head leading up to the trip. Emily Ratajkowski, Hailey Baldwin, The Rock, and I would be hanging out backstage. One of my friends would draw attention to me by saying, “Aren’t you the guy who posts about Rise biscuits, Capital Creations anxiety pizza, and REDACTED frozen custard all the time?”


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The celebs would notice the commotion and then follow me on Instagram after getting major FOMO (Mom, that means “fear of missing out”). The Rock would say, “Bro! I loved that story about how I’d be playing football for NC State next year. Will you be in Fast and Fur9ious? We need someone that drives a Tahoe.”

“Thanks, The Rock. I’d love to, if I can fit it in my schedule,” I’d reply, playing it cool.

Emily Ratajkowksi would interrupt, “How can I try this Humdinger Juice? It looks AH-mazing.”

“It totes is, Em. Just go to their website and use the code ITB for special deals,” I’d tell her.


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“Are you the guy that created the hottest buy/sell Facebook group for moms in Raleigh?”

“It’s not just for moms, Hailey Baldwin. micITBit is for everyone. It’s a closed group but I could probably approve you,” I’d say, negging her slightly.

We’d spend the rest of the weekend swimming with the pigs and Instagramming until we got carpal tunnel. “My ITBFF Justin Miller has a pig named Theodore. Don’t worry, you’ll meet him when you move to Raleigh,” I’d say, while telling them about inside the beltline. I’d influence them into buying luxury condos at The Wade. We’d all live there together and launch a reality show on Facebook Live produced by Walk West, since TV networks will be dead in 5 years. It was going to be perfect. And then, we got to the island.

As you can see, all of my dreams were crushed when Fyre Festival turned out to be a mashup of Lord of the Flies meets Outbreak meets Locked Up Abroad. They didn’t even have LaCroix. My media empire instincts kicked in and I started documenting the event like I was the Samuel Pepys of Fyre Festival. My coverage was used in pretty much every story about the event and my Tweets were included in the $100M class action lawsuit.

You’re probably thinking, “This is great for you. You gained thousands of followers and a ton of exposure!” To be clear, I didn’t want 15 minutes of global fame. I didn’t want over 50 million impressions on Twitter. I didn’t want to spend weeks doing interviews with the LA Times, People, CNN, the Washington Post, TMZ Live, Time, BBC, NPR, Inside Edition, and dozens of other outlets. Sure, all of those things were great for my #brand, but all I wanted from Fyre Festival was a relaxing vacation and new famous friends.


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To show you what we went through, I’ve provided an in-depth account of exactly what happened. If you enjoy watching train wrecks, you’re going to love this.

Thursday, April 27th

12:000 pm – My friends and I had lunch outside of Boynton Beach. It would be our last meal not served in a styrofoam container for the next 24 hours. We left for the Miami airport and arrived with plenty of time for our 4:35 pm flight to Great Exuma. We boarded the plane and sat on the runway for about half an hour. Someone tried to open their window and this happened, which we should have taken as a sign.

Still, we continued on. We arrived on the island, boarded shuttle buses and rode for about 15 minutes. That’s when we saw this.

7:51 PM – We realized organization isn’t their strong suit.

At this point, co-founder Billy McFarland tells people with a Lodge to “go find a tent”. That went well.

Here’s the first tent that we claimed.

We returned to where we had been dropped off and asked where our tent was, again.

8:26 pm – Night had fallen. We had no luggage, but managed to find another tent.

“A disaster relief tent is where the heart is.” – Martha Stewart #fyre #fyrefest #fyrefestival

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8:56 pm – Two of us without luggage split up to hunt for our belongings while our other friends stayed back to guard the tent.

The “white glove concierge luggage service” required you to use your phone flashlight and dig through hundreds of bags to find your own. Maybe this was the treasure hunt they had advertised. I started to help unload a pickup truck full of luggage and just happened to grab my bag. A true Fyre Festival miracle. I dropped my luggage off at our temporary tent and then went to cover what was going on.

I took some food back to our tent, which we were then kicked out of. We walked over to the main area where we had been dropped off and saw that people were getting on buses to leave. My friend went inside the main house and somehow convinced them to put us on a flight out that night.

We rode to the airport with about 100 others who were desperate to get off the island.

Friday, April 28th

12:15 am – We were told the plane was on the way and that our flight would be at 1:30 am.

3:47 am – We had been sitting on the plane for over two hours while the crew tried to resolve an issue with the manifest not matching up to the headcount of people on the plane.

4:34 am – The crew asks us to get off the plane so they can check us in one by one.

7:08 am – Locked up abroad. I later learned that locking the doors was standard protocol. Still odd that they use a chain and padlock though.

7:15 am – A girl loudly asks everyone in the airport “who is William Needham?”. (See the video below.) They were on to me. I remained silent. She continued, “No really. He’s in this room right now. Who is William Finley? He’s fucking hilarious.” Realizing that they weren’t going to sacrifice me to the island, I raised my hand. One girl asked, “Are you always this funny?” I just replied, “I try.”

If you recall, I had tweeted at my lawyer Stacy Miller as we boarded the plane (the first time) to leave the island at 1:47 am. He called me at about 7:30 am.

Stacy: Hey man are you ok? What is going on?

Me: I dunno, I haven’t slept in over 24 hours. I don’t really know how to make sentences.

Stacy: Are you still in the Bahamas?!

Me: I mean, I’m locked in an airport and they say a plane is coming soon, but yeah.

Stacy: Ok, well call me as soon as you land.

If you’re exhausted after reading all of that just imagine living through it. I don’t ever want to go back to Fyre Festival. I don’t ever want to go outside the beltline again. Final verdict: Fyre Festival gets 0 out of 5 beltlines.

Note: Fyre Festival organizers have allowed us to “apply” for a refund. During the application process they asked if we wanted to forgo our refund in exchange for double the number of VIP tickets to next year’s event. We all politely declined.

We still have not heard anything back after filling the forms out last week.

Players’ Retreat Redevelopment Withdrawn

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We’re told the plans for the Hillsborough Street development surrounding the Players’ Retreat have been withdrawn. When we broke this story on the Development Beat back in March it caused quite a reaction from readers and residents of the surrounding neighborhoods.

Here’s a quick recap in case you missed it: an unfiled rezoning case requiring City Council approval would allow for the development of offices, apartments, retail, and town homes on the lots surrounding the PR.

The current plan for the site includes the following:
-A 7 story and 3 story, 70,000 square-foot, 60-unit condo building with ground floor retail on the site where BB&T is currently located.
-A 140,000 square-foot office building with ground floor retail on the site of the David’s Dumpling & Noodle Bar building.
-A 5 story, 75-unit apartment complex on the site of a parking lot and duplex across Oberlin from the PR
-14 3-story town homes, built on the parking lot and duplex site
-A three-level 500-space underground parking garage that will be accessible through the traffic circle
-Sam and Bill’s Hair Salon will be preserved
-A pocket park, contingent on the acquisition of additional land abutting the future apartment site

Local architect Michael Stevenson said the project is a “Planned Development,” meaning its approval would be based on the design.

The plans were presented at recent meetings of the Hillsborough CAC and Wade CAC. Attendees expressed concerns over a variety of issues, including traffic, fitting in greenspace, needing clarity on the number of stories and height, the aesthetics, character and scale compared to the surrounding neighborhoods, the impact of adding 500 cars and offices to rush hour traffic, parking, and more.

The project has been withdrawn. No word on if future plans will be submitted at this time. We’ll keep you posted.

The Raleigh Equity Analyst Behind the Top Documentary on iTunes

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The current number one documentary on iTunes is the product of a financial analyst located right in our own backyard. About a month ago, Burke Koonce, an equity research analyst in Raleigh, reached out to tell me about “Betting on Zero”, a new financial docu-thriller, and the screening he had planned for the Rialto this Tuesday night. I was intrigued, so I watched the trailer.

As you can see, the film follows billionaire Bill Ackman as he goes up against Herbalife, a multi-level marketing company, by taking a $1 billion short position on their stock and asserting that the company is actually a pyramid scheme. “Betting on Zero” premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and has been reviewed by the New York Times and the LA Times. I assume that Koonce, one of the film’s executive producers, reached out because he wanted coverage from a source that people could ITBelieve in. We recently met to talk more about the film and his involvement.

Koonce comes across a lot of interesting material as an equity research analyst that writes about stocks and financial matters for clients. “Sometimes the material I’m researching gets pretty interesting, even bizarre. So one of my clients suggested that we start a film production company specializing in Wall Street stories. And we did. We thought making a documentary about Ackman vs. Herbalife could be really interesting,” said Koonce.

So he and his partner teamed up with some film professionals who, like them, were drawn to the drama of the story. The filmmakers were given free rein creatively and Koonce and his partner promised not to be involved in Herbalife stock in any way.

“My client put up essentially all the funding. I handled the day-to-day responsibilities of running a production company and wrote weekly research reports to help keep the film team up to date. Fast forward to 2016 and we had actually made a documentary that was pretty good. It premiered at Tribeca last April, and we picked up a distributor last fall. The film opened in theaters in New York and LA in March, and we have another big deal to announce soon,” said Koonce.

The documentary currently sits atop the iTunes charts and is getting great reviews. John Oliver covered Herbalife and other MLMs on an entire episode of Last Week Tonight. He even created his own pyramid scheme to tell people about pyramid schemes.

Since that was such a great idea, I’m going to steal it. I want you to find 3 people to come to the screening on Tuesday at The Rialto. Make sure each of those people find 3 other people to bring to the movie, and so on. You can buy tickets here.

Koonce had more to share, including Herbalife supporters attempting to suppress the film, plans for other finance based films, and more. We’ll get to all of that in a few weeks once you’ve had a chance to watch the film. I watched it over the weekend so I could do a review and rating before the Rialto showing.

Betting on Zero

“This is the best managed pyramid scheme in the history of the world,” states Bill Ackman, CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management. It’s a bold claim, and one of many that he makes about Herbalife during the film, which was written and directed by Ted Braun. Ackman is confident in his beliefs and provides a lot of evidence to back them up, despite being doubted by critics. The facts seem to get lost on the general public as Ackman and billionaire Carl Icahn, who supported Herbalife after learning of Ackman’s short position, battle it out on cable news networks and in the media. The film also takes a closer look at many of the Herbalife distributors who lost significant amounts of money after being involved with the company. It’s a very interesting story that I knew little about before watching the film.

ITB Film Critic Rating: 5 out of 5 beltlines

If you can’t make the Tuesday showing, you can watch the documentary on iTunes and on Amazon. I encourage everyone to check it out and keep it at the top of the charts.

Cary Ordinance Requires Beige Colored Easter Eggs

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What started as a typical Easter egg hunt soon became a lesson on local ordinances in Cary this weekend. Residents new to Cary were surprised to learn of a strict ordinance in place which requires all Easter eggs to be painted beige.

Janice Adams, who recently moved to Cary from a suburb of New Jersey, took her two children to the Prestonwood Easter egg hunt expecting to see a colorful display. What she saw was underwhelming. “They just had a bunch of tan and beige eggs everywhere. I was like, what the hell is going on, it’s Easter, where’s the colorful eggs?”

She received the following response after reaching out to the Town Council. “We view Easter eggs as a sign of Easter and like all signs in Cary, they must fit within our guidelines. While we are aware that God offers a Master Plan, He has yet to submit it to the Town of Cary for approval. Until that time, the eggs will remain beige colored and will only contain licorice Jelly Beans, Yellow Peeps, and beige Necco Wafers,” said Jane Morrison, who sits on the Cary Town Council.

Cary approved Easter Eggs

Raleigh residents were bewildered after being informed of the ordinance. Mary Anna Harrington, Director of Easter Programming at the Carolina Country Club, commented, “Beige eggs? We only use pastel colored and gold plated eggs. We had to stop using solid gold eggs because they were too heavy for the children to carry, especially when they’re putting 20 or 30 in their baskets. We don’t want anyone tearing a rotator cuff and putting their future tennis or golf career in jeopardy. We also monogram the eggs after the hunt to ensure siblings don’t get their eggs mixed up. Every single egg contains a combination of at least $100 in cash, Godiva chocolate, and keys to a miniature luxury sedan, Tahoe, or Escalade.”

CCC Easter Eggs

Even North Ridge Country Club found the beige egg ordinance to be archaic. “Our Easter egg budget obviously isn’t as high as some other country clubs in town. While our eggs are plastic and filled with loose change and more economical candy, we can at least afford the multi-colored ones. We’re also able to hide more eggs since we have two golf courses. Yeah land is cheaper out here and DON’T quote me admitting to that, but two is still better than one, ya know? I mean, it’s not like we care what other clubs are doing though,” said North Ridge Assistant Director of Holiday Gatherings, Steve Booker.

North Ridge Easter Eggs

The Town of Cary remained firm in their decision after hearing of the other egg policies. “When I joined the Town Council after moving here in 2006, I swore to uphold the values of our ordinances. We take our Master Sign Plan very seriously. If we stray from these rules all hell could break loose. Before you know it we’ll have shopping centers that don’t look identical to each other,” said Morrison.

I Know Who Stole the Lake Boone Chicken

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One of our most precious treasures is missing. The Lake Boone Chicken, a beacon of hope and all that is right inside the beltline, was stolen over the weekend. From its home at the Hight family’s driveway, the Lake Boone Chicken has spent the last 10 years dressed in various costumes for the enjoyment of passing SUVs and luxury sedans. People love this chicken. It even has its own Facebook page. One day the chicken was minding its own business, dressed in a Masters green jacket. The next day it was gone.

Many people alerted me to the crime over the weekend, but I didn’t want to draw attention to the story. I’ve seen enough episodes of Law & Order to know that during ransom situations you’re supposed to keep your mouth shut. I did call my lawyer Stacy Miller to see if we could put a bounty out on whoever did this. I didn’t want capital punishment, I wanted something worse. I wanted the thief to be banished from inside the beltline forever.


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First, I had to figure out who was behind this. Who had the most to gain from a crime like this? After some digging, I now know exactly who stole the Lake Boone Chicken and why. But first, let’s look at the timeline of events:

April 7th – the chicken was enjoying the Masters.

April 8th – the chicken was first reported missing.

April 9th – the area officially became a crime scene.

April 10th – search and rescue teams roamed the streets.

At this point, I knew I had to help with the investigation. I wasn’t going to the police with a case like this. I went straight to the top by tweeting at the FBI, the NSA, and the CIA for help.

I waited patiently, then followed up with them.

They still didn’t respond.

April 11th – a new chicken arrived.

That still wasn’t good enough. I wanted answers.

None of our intelligence agencies ever replied to me. Think that over before paying your taxes this year, folks.

Inside the Biggest Conspiracy Ever

Fortunately, I’ve figured out who orchestrated the heist. Running a media empire means I have sources everywhere, even within the media. One such media source attended a secret meeting of local news outlets last week. They were there to solve a problem. They were there to save their networks, and their jobs. Here’s what went down.

Shadowy News Boss: We all know why we’re here. ITB Insider™ is killing us. Their Development Beat is the most reliable source of news in Raleigh. We know for a fact that his March traffic was record-breaking.

ABC11: Well all that traffic is probably because he broke the Cameron Village robbery news, the PR redevelopment story, and the news that Stacy Miller was running for City Council. His coverage of the fire was incredible and he beat us all to the story. His Facebook Live video has over 26,000 views!

TBJ: Did you see the poll he did for that? 92% of the people said he had the best coverage. And I bet the other 8% were just his asshole friends refusing to inflate his ego. It was a great poll though. We love doing polls. By a show of hands who thinks his poll was good?

Shadowy News Boss: Put your damn hands down. And yes, we know his traffic was up because he was breaking all of these stories. But how does he do it?

Inside Source: Maybe it’s because he’s actually from Raleigh and knows what his audience wants to read? And he doesn’t write clickbait stories and tweet them out 67 times a day with slightly different headlines. And he did go to Broughton.

Shadowy News Boss: Well however he’s doing it we have to stop him. Any ideas?

ABC11: We could run some more clickbait about potential suspects from the fire. I mean, technically everyone in Raleigh is a potential suspect. Oh wait, what if we started another fire ourselves and then we could be the first ones to cover it?!

Shadowy News Boss: No, too risky. And you guys would probably just double-cross us. What if we stole the Lake Boone Chicken?

WNCN: Hi, I’m young and desperately trying to fill the void left by the departure of Penn Holderness. I just moved here from Pittsburgh. What is the Lake Boone Chicken?

Shadowy News Boss: It’s a chicken statue at a house on Lake Boone Trail. People love it. We could steal it, everyone would freak out, then we could break the story. We’ll do it during the weekend when Finley’s incapacitated in a Rise Biscuit and Capital Creations food coma.

TBJ: Love it! We could do a slideshow of pictures from the crime scene and talk about how many companies are leaving the area because of it.

Shadowy News Boss: Sure TBJ, do whatever you want. But we can’t all write the same exact story. So, what angle is everyone else going to take with this?

ABC11: We try to make things as grim as possible, so we’ll go with “Missing chicken, possibly slain and mutilated, or sold into the chicken trafficking trade. A closer look, tonight at 11:00.”

Shadowy News Boss: Great, never change guys. How about you, N&O?

N&O: We’ll just have our web editor sift through all the articles that you guys do and then cut and paste and embed some tweets. We don’t have the resources to cover this. We’re too busy getting Big Daddy Dan Kane to take shots at the UNC scandal while we also promote UNC basketball. By the way, did you guys see that Luke Maye hit a game winning shot and then made it to his early class the next morning? We’ll put so many Kroger pop up ads and video ads on the story that you won’t even be able to read it on your phone. We get more pageviews that way.

Shadowy News Boss: Perfect. Finley doesn’t stand a chance.

Everyone left the room, except for the Shadowy News Boss who began making a phone call. My inside source lingered in the hallway to eavesdrop. She heard the man say, “Yeah, those morons took the bait. They’ll all be wasting their time covering this ridiculous story. Warm up the Sky 5 chopper, I’ve gotta get back for my 6:00 pm broadcast. We all know I’m the only reason people watch our station.”

And that, my friends, is how the Lake Boone Chicken was stolen. It was a classic conspiracy by all the other news outlets in town to create a panic, manufacture a story, and beat us to breaking it. We’ll give them 4 out of 5 beltlines for creativity. Now that I’ve blown the lid off this plot, it’s time to return the chicken.

Leaked Pepsi Ads Even Worse Than the First

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We have just uncovered plans for additional ads from Pepsi that were to feature Kendall Jenner. You’ve probably seen the backlash from Pepsi and Jenner’s latest collaboration. If you haven’t seen the ad, well, here it is.

Pepsi has already pulled the ad due to the response, which has mainly been “Are you….wait….is this…..uhh…what did I just watch…”

Apparently, Pepsi was to feature Jenner in a series of ads focused on social and political change. We have uncovered the scripts for the remaining ads, which seem to have been written by a mix of suburban millennials and tone deaf ad executives trying too hard to appeal to a young audience.

Ad: Kimpossible Is Nothing

Set in the dystopian future (so like, 3 months from now), the North Koreans are planning another nuclear missile launch. On the streets of a big city (NYC/LA), Kendall Jenner is busy posting selfies to Instagram while holding a Pepsi. She looks up and sees Seal Team 6 driving by in an Uber, not like a Prius though, a really badass Uber. They’re on the way to the airport to go stop Kim Jong-un. Kendall is faced with a moral dilemma; continue building her #brand or fight for our country and effect political change.

She hops in and splits the fare because she’s an independent woman and isn’t going to let no man pay for her Uber. The camera cuts to them landing in South Korea. Kendall is now dressed in camo and is looking very hot as they exit the military cargo plane. They pass through the DMZ, which Kendall keeps calling the “DMV”. Inside North Korea they enter Kim Jong-un’s palace, where he’s already waiting for them.

Kendall approaches Kim Jong-un with a Pepsi and a secret weapon. Face to face with the North Korean leader she realizes he shares the same name as her sister. She smiles, looks back at Seal Team 6 and winks, then hands him the Pepsi. “This world is only big enough for one Kim, bitch,” she says. Before letting go, she slips a Mentos into the can, and duct tapes it to his hand. She backs away slowly, but confidently, as the Pepsi explodes, leaving Kim Jong-un covered in soda and very sticky. He is not happy. He launches nukes aimed at the U.S. but they don’t even make it past liftoff because the North Koreans have inferior rocket technology. Pepsi saves the day again. 

Ad: I Dream of Kendall

Kendall is busy posting selfies to Instagram while holding a Pepsi. She notices civil rights leaders marching in the streets. Curious, she puts down her phone, but not her Pepsi, and joins them in the march. They come upon police with firehoses and Kendall wonders why they aren’t putting out any fires. She hands them a Pepsi and then the Civil Rights Act is signed by JFK while a young Bill Clinton plays the saxophone as the outro music. Pepsi brings everyone together.

Ad: Hip to Be Square

Kendall is visiting Tiananmen Square because we’re trying to branch out into the Chinese markets. She’s taking pictures on Instagram while holding a Pepsi. She sees some tanks and wonders why they’re in the street. She thinks “LOL, tanks don’t drive on streets. That’s silly.” She approaches the tank with a Pepsi. The driver of the tank gets out, and it’s a young Jackie Chan. He realizes he doesn’t want to be a tank driver, so he and Kendall hop on a plane and he moves to America to start a film career. Pepsi lets you achieve your dreams.

Ad: Are you there God? It’s me, Kendall, and a Pepsi.

Kendall is busy taking pictures of herself on Instagram while drinking a Pepsi. She notices God, floating above her, attempting to breathe life into Adam. Confused, and wanting to stand up for women, she walks over to God and hands him a Pepsi. God grants free will to mankind and everything turns out ok for the rest of history. Pepsi, there from the beginning.

Pepsi has pulled all remaining ads and declined to comment. We’ll keep you posted if we find any more leaked ideas.

Mom Notes: This section is used to explain who Kendall Jenner is to my Mom, since she’s reading this. Kendall Jenner is part of the Kardashian family. They are famous because one of their daughters, Kim, became friends with Paris Hilton and then made an adult movie with a D-list rapper named Ray J. (Do not get him confused with Jay-Z) That led to a series of reality television shows featuring the entire family, which resulted in them making a fortune.

2017 Masters Tournament By the Numbers

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80 FreshUse this link or enter the code “ITB” to save 30% on your first order.


Hello, friends. The greatest week in golf is upon us. A tradition unlike (I can’t finish that phrase because Augusta trademarked it) all of the other traditions that exist. The Masters is hands down the most ITB golf tournament ever. Before we get into the swing of things (I’m going to trademark that), let’s take a look at the 2017 Masters Tournament by the numbers using this infographic so that I don’t actually have to do any work.

Normally, I ignore 99% of the PR pitches I get from people asking me to cover things on ITB Insider™. Every. single. day. I get multiple e-mails asking if I’m interested in promoting a book, interviewing some random person, or covering a new product from a company I’ve never heard of.

Last week I finally received a pitch worth sharing with my readers. I think there may be a few errors though, because they don’t list the Carolina Country Club as one of the best golf courses in America. Probably just a typo. There’s some interesting stuff in here, in particular the fact that Jordan Spieth clearly has an underdeveloped palate and can’t pick out a dinner menu to save his life. I’ll keep you posted on how Broughton’s Webb Simpson does once the tournament gets started.



Source: WalletHub

Workout, Eat Tacos, and Drink Beer to Support Raleigh Firefighters

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Little City Brewing and Provisions Company and Heat fitness studio are hosting a fundraiser this Sunday, April 2nd to benefit the Raleigh Professional Firefighters Association.

As you may recall from our reporting a few weeks ago, a massive fire destroyed an apartment building under construction and severely damaged the Quorum Center and Link Apartment building. Over 100 firefighters worked throughout the night and totally dominated the five-alarm fire. To show their gratitude, businesses located a few blocks from the fire are putting on a fundraiser that includes a workout, tacos, and beer. All proceeds from all aspects of the event go directly to the cause.

The schedule:

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Heat fitness studio workout – 400 Glenwood Avenue

A free (donations are encouraged) group high-intensity interval training class. Class registration is required and space is limited. Reserve a spot by contacting Jake Giamoni at jake@heatstudios.com

Heat is also offering any Raleigh firefighters two weeks of free unlimited classes. Contact jake@heatstudios.com to set up the complimentary membership.

12:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Taco bar and beers at Little City Brewing – 400 W North St.

All are encouraged to head over to Little City Brewing to enjoy a pint of beer and a taco bar from Little City’s sister restaurant Virgil’s Original Taqueria and Chef Ryan Moore. The cost is $20 per person, with 100 percent of profits being donated. Firefighters, police, and first responders eat for free.

With a suggested donation of $5-$10 Head Brewer Burt Halbert will lead guided tours of their brewing process.

Mercedes-Benz of Durham as a company, along with individual employees of the store, have also contributed funds toward the event that are going directly to the cause.

The donation will be made to the Raleigh Professional Fire Fighters Association, a nonprofit association of career firefighters who are employed by, or retired from, the City of Raleigh Fire Department.

Former Broughton Quarterback Stacy Miller to Run for City Council

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I could not be more honored to announce that Raleigh attorney and former Broughton quarterback Stacy Miller will run for City Council in 2017. Stacy running for City Council is great news for a number of reasons. We have the chance to add another Broughton graduate to the council, and he’s got some great ideas for Raleigh. Plus, he let me announce this decision, which further legitimizes ITB Insider™ as a media empire and source for real news.

Stacy Miller for Raleigh City Council

Friends: I'm excited to announce that I'm running for Raleigh City Council At-Large. Check out stacymillernc.com for more info.

Posted by Stacy Miller for Raleigh City Council At-Large on Monday, March 20, 2017

 

Public service isn’t new to Stacy. He served on the City Council from 1996-1997 and his passion for public service actually dates back to his time at Broughton.

“I’m going to go throw the game winning touchdown, but I just want to say that our police and firefighters deserve to be paid more. Go Caps!”

It’s been great having Bonner Gaylord represent Broughton on the City Council, but we need to tip the scales a little more in our favor. That’s why I’ve spent the last few years encouraging Stacy to run. I know I had a lot to do with getting Bonner elected whenever the last election was, so I recently met with Stacy to talk campaign strategy.

“First, congrats on letting me announce your candidacy for City Council. To win a campaign you’ve got to have an iconic campaign poster, like the one that I made for Bonner.”

“Well, that sure is…. iconic,” Stacy replied.

“I’ve got a few themes for yours. First, you as Superman. Your name starts with an “S”. It just works,” I said.

“Ok…but then who’s Batman?”

“I can’t tell you, but his name starts with “B”, he works for a company that rhymes with Wayne, and he likes technology,” I replied.

“So it’s Bonner.”

“You didn’t hear that from me. I’ve also got this one that shows you’ll be a leader that cares about our police and firefighters, children, and Dix Park.”

Stacy looked confused for a moment, then finally spoke, “Am I riding a dinosaur?”

“That would be the LaCroixasaurus that we’re going to genetically engineer at Dix Park. Kids love them, which is clearly evident from all the thumbs ups you’re getting.”

Stacy was still taking it all in, “Is that Red Rocks?”

“It sure is. If Dix Park is going to be world-class then we need to move Red Rocks amphitheater from Colorado to Raleigh.”

“And what’s that one random bike doing in the background?” he asked.

“That’s the bike share program.”

“But there’s only one bike.”

“That’s why it’s called bike “share”. We can’t buy bikes for everyone, how would we pay for the downtown canal?”

“Look, these all sound like great ideas, but I’d like to be a little more practical. Let’s hold off on this poster for now,” he said.

“Good point, we don’t want to overwhelm the voters. I already came up with your campaign slogan: ‘It’s not about party lines, it’s about beltlines.’”

Stacy laughed, “While I understand you’re focused on ITB, I care about all of Raleigh. I do agree that it’s not about party lines though. There’s no Democratic or Republican way to fill a pothole. It’s really about what’s best for the city and the people who live here.”

“Good point, I’m just ecstatic that we may have another Broughton Capital on the council pretty soon. I’ll keep working on some photoshops,” I said, ready to take on another grueling campaign season.

I’ll let Stacy and his campaign team fill in the details about his platform. Follow along on Twitter and Facebook to learn more.

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

 

Raleigh Fire Recap

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Fires have always been a hot topic inside the beltline. If you’ve lived here long enough, you know what I mean. Thursday night was unlike anything Raleigh residents have seen, unless you’re pushing 100 years old. The Metropolitan, a new apartment complex across the street from the Quorum Center near Glenwood and Hillsborough, caught fire just before 10:00 pm. This wasn’t your typical “Wake County closing school because they heard it might snow a tenth of an inch” dumpster fire. This was a legitimate “it’s the end of days, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are coming” level fire.

Most importantly, Raleigh’s firefighters, police officers, and emergency workers did an incredible job of keeping the fire contained and everyone safe. 100 firefighters contained the fire after three hours. If you live in a building that was evacuated, call 919-996-2999 for information on when you can get back in to your building.

I’ll recap the entire night in a moment, but first let’s look at how Raleigh is coming together to help those in need.

Raleigh Rallies Around Fire

Plenty of Raleigh residents and businesses immediately offered support to those impacted by the fire. Within hours after the fire began, the Holiday Inn, or “Clarion” for those of you who recently moved here, offered rooms to those who had been displaced by the fire. By Friday morning, the Red Cross, First Baptist Church, and many others were setting up shelters.

Below are ways that you can help. We’ll update this as we get more information.

The Raleigh Police Dept. says the Quorum Center is hard hit due to extensive water damage from the sprinkler system running all night. Residents from both the Quorum Center and Link Apartments will probably not be able to get back into the building for a few days.

A relief center has been set up at 301 W Jones St – United Methodist Church Annex Building, where they are feeding firefighters and responders if you want to deliver food. Residents in need can contact Sergeant Dave Eckert (919-524-4527) who is coordinating overall efforts.

SportsChannel8 – is donating, and encouraging others to donate, to The 200 Club of Wake County, which “provides immediate financial help for the spouse and children of police officers, sheriff deputies, firemen, EMS squad members and North Carolina State Highway Patrol serving in Wake County who lose their life in the line of duty.”

Isaac Hunter’s Tavern – hosting a BBQ dinner Friday night at 6:00 pm. All proceeds go towards RFD and to support those affected by the fire.

VCA Triangle Tower Animal Hospital – offering to board pets. Call 919-231-8030.

Crank Arm Brewery – holding a clothing drive at its W. Davie Street location from open to close on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

518 West, or “Google Fiber” for those of you who JUST moved here, offered food, internet, charging, and a place to stay warm

Rise Cameron Village and North Raleigh – offering meals to any firefighter, police officer, EMT, or first responder

The Gramercy – letting people use their Clubroom, located at 650 West North St.

The Hibernian – donating a portion of today’s proceeds

ITB Insider™ Covers Downtown Fire Better Than Anyone Else

Around 10:08 pm on Thursday night, Brian Oschwald, a contributing ITB reporter who lives at the West condo, called to tell me the building across the street was on fire. I went to investigate, thinking it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. I drove down West Morgan Street and immediately saw a tower of flames as I passed Moonlight Pizza. Turning left onto Glenwood, then right onto Hillsborough, I took this video.


It truly was like something you would see in a movie. I parked on West Street, in between Hillsborough and Edenton, and began a Facebook Live from the gravel parking lot before moving to the bridge on Hillsborough Street over the train tracks. My phone battery died, but only after I provided everyone with the best news coverage ever. I’m working on putting together a shorter video.

 

Fire

Posted by William Needham Finley IV on Thursday, March 16, 2017

To put this in context, here’s a clearer picture of where the fire started.

Here’s exclusive footage from the West rooftop, from ITB contributor Brian Oschwald.

 

Posted by Brian James Patrick Oschwald on Thursday, March 16, 2017

This was taken from right outside of Clouds Brewing, less than a few hundred feet from the site of the fire.

On Friday morning I kicked off another delirious Facebook Live from the West condo, in which I rambled on for about an hour.

 

Update from the scene of the fire. Didn’t expect to ramble for almost an hour. Just trying to bring you coverage you can ITBelieve in.

Posted by William Needham Finley IV on Friday, March 17, 2017

Additional coverage:

View from the roof of the West condo. Photo: Brian Oschwald

 

Another view from the West rooftop. Photo: Brian Oschwald
View from the HT parking lot in Cameron Village

 

Whole Foods Car Crash Causes Panic at Ridgewood

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A panic ensued after a car crashed into a Whole Foods grocery store on Wednesday morning. Residents inside the beltline experienced a roller coaster of emotions upon hearing the news, assuming that the only Whole Foods that existed was the one located at Ridgewood Shopping Center. According to WRAL, the crash happened early in the morning at a Whole Foods in North Raleigh.

Nevertheless, Ridgewood shoppers were still rattled.

“Oh my gah, y’all, I was having flashbacks to when the Volvo drove up the steps at Hayes Barton and that time a car ran into Quail Ridge Books when it was at Ridgewood. I just thought ‘Not again. Not Whole Foods’. We’ve been through enough,” said Anna Elizabeth Summers, loading reusable grocery bags full of non-GMO kale into her Yukon.

That time a car crashed into Quail Ridge

“Thank God this wasn’t our Whole Foods. Remember that time Oprah’s Stedman was sitting in the dining area? What if this had been him? What if we lost Oprah’s Stedman?!?!” cried her friend, Mary Ellen Anderson.

 Thank God we did not lose Oprah’s Stedman.

The driver of the car was a woman, which led some to question if the incident had anything to do with the fact that it was International Women’s Day.

“Well, in case you were unaware, it is International Women’s Day, so I stand with her right to drive her luxury sedan into a Whole Foods, or whatever stationary structure she chooses. Sometimes you’ve got to break through a Whole Foods wall to break a glass ceiling,” said Gloria Harris, between sips of her Fair Trade Moroccan mint tea.

“I just hope they use recycled LEED-certified lumber from grass fed free range trees when they make the repairs. Anything else would be a slap in the face to the environment.”

A Whole Food representative confirmed that they would be using environmentally conscious materials, but that since a woman had been driving the repairs would only be about 70% of the normal cost.

Shopping at Ridgewood returned to normal by the afternoon, but the incident served as a reminder to not take Whole Foods for granted. Anna Elizabeth may have said it best,  “This could happen anywhere, y’all. Be sure to hold your Kombucha a little tighter tonight.”


ShopITB.com

If you or someone you know is suffering from crashing your car into large stationary structures or buildings, call Stacy Miller at Miller Law Group.

I Went on the Free Lunch Podcast

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Today, I am proud to present my guest appearance on the Free Lunch podcast. Let me be clear, while I’m always on the look out for sponsors to work with, my media empire is doing just fine. I don’t need to go on podcasts in exchange for a chicken salad sandwich. I’ve wanted to start my own podcast for a while now and just haven’t had the time. I took the advice of the great Steve Jobs, who once said, “If you’re too busy running a media empire to start your own podcast, just keep being a guest on other podcasts.” I did that by going on Richard Averitte’s “People I Follow” podcast, and most recently by appearing on Clean Design’s Free Lunch podcast.



I first met the people at Clean Design, a branding and advertising agency in Raleigh, back in January when they invited me to an exclusive look at Vidrio. Once they saw how great I was at being a food critic they asked me to come on their podcast and talk more about running my media empire as a full-time job. I obviously agreed because there’s nothing I love talking about more than ITB and myself.

I met with Mike Manganillo, Steve Kelly, and Kari Scharf, who host the podcast. As we started recording I realized that none of the hosts were from Raleigh. I took it upon myself to teach them as much as I could about ITB. I don’t want to compare myself to Mother Teresa, but it sort of felt like that at times. We talked about a variety of ITB topics, including Felson’s, the Village Subway, mansion fires, Broughton, how I need interns, and much more. There’s a great rapid fire “ITB or OTB” game at the very end of the podcast. Here’s the episode description in iTunes:

We also had a serious discussion about how brands are working with influencers to get their message out through blogs, social media, and other channels. Mike shared the current ranges for working with different types of influencers.

Bloggers can get between $175 and $5,000 for one blog post

Instagram influencers can get between $75 and $3,000 per post

Video Influencers can get between $500 and $5,000 per video

Of course I used the opportunity to leverage leverage and plug my lawyer Stacy Miller and Miller Law Group, and sponsors and partners 80Fresh, Walk West, PBX®, and Rufty-Peedin. I also gave Bonner and Mayor McFarlane a shout out.

Apologies and Corrections
At one point, Mike asked me to name some notable Broughton graduates. Since there are so many, I didn’t know where to start, and just began with Pistol Pete, Shav, and Webb Simpson, at which point Mike got me sidetracked talking about the time I got a cease and desist letter from The Masters. I was just about to mention World Champion and two-time Olympic high jumper and good friend Jesse Williams before we got off topic.

Apologies to our Development Beat sponsor, Rufty-Peedin for saying they were a “commercial home builder”. I meant to say they were a “commercial design builder”. I was pretty exhausted and probably mixed the name up with Rufty Homes, the luxury custom home builder, owned by the same Rufty.

And just to keep Mike’s numbers correct, my following is currently 5,207 on Twitter, 3,327 on Instagram, and 2,167 followers on the ITB Insider Facebook page. I don’t want to come off as too arrogant about these stats, so let me say that I’m truly #ITBlessed to have all of you following along in this journey we call a media empire lifestyle influencer startup company. Thank you.

The episode is available on iTunes here, and also on SoundCloud.

Side note: as we ate lunch, I showed them the trailer for my upcoming trip to Fyre Festival to remind them of how big of an influencer I am. Fyre Festival. It’s going to be lit.

Five Points Couple Struggles with Barbour Choices Amidst Record-Breaking Weather

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Five Points resident Vance Craig VI, a 31-year-old Senior Vice Super Duper Executive Broker at a boutique commercial real estate firm, has not been pleased with the current weather. “Do I wear my Classic Barbour jacket, or my quilted Barbour Vest? It’s March, so my body thinks it should be wearing the Classic jacket, but it’s 80 damn degrees out. I’d look like an idiot sitting outside at Nickelpoint drinking a Scotch Wee Heavy wearing a full on jacket when the weather feels like it’s June.”


His wife Mary Cameron Knoll Craig, who runs an Instagram account featuring images of the best Wine and Design paintings in Raleigh, seemed more prepared to deal with the current climate, but still voiced concerns. “I mean, obvi my Barbour vest goes perfect over my chambray button-down but it still pisses me off that I can’t get the full wear of my quilted Barbour jacket this winter. Sometimes I’ll get ready, we’ll go to Churchill’s, and the temperature drops 30 degrees by the time we’ve taken 15 Jell-O shots. The walk from the front door of Churchill’s to the Uber that’s 10 feet away can be unbearable. How do you even dress for that?”

The hassle of being at the mercy of the changing weather is hard enough for the couple, but has proved to be an even bigger problem for another member of their family.

“We’ve had to increase the Xanax prescription for our dog, Mabel, because she has no idea what season it is. One day her Barbour coat is on, the next day it’s off. Her anxiety is through the roof.”

Mabel, net worth of $3.2 million, has no idea what season it is.

“The ice in her LaCroix filled dog bowl melts before she can even take it out and chase it all around the kitchen. Sure it’s less of a mess for the housekeeper to clean up, but that’s Mabel’s favorite part of the day. The ice in dog bowls is melting, y’all. And that’s sad,” lamented Mary Cameron.

Refusing to let the weather control their lives, the couple will spend the next two months island-hopping between the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas.

“We’re going to where we know the weather will be constant and we won’t have to wake up every day faced with these decisions. If I could sue the weather I totally would, and I’d get Stacy Miller at Miller Law Group to handle it,” said Craig VI, unaware that one cannot sue the atmosphere.

“I can see why they call it “climate change” now that I have to change my entire wardrobe multiple times on a daily basis. This is a fashion nightmare,” added Mary Cameron.

Special thanks to Dale Moody at Cornerstone Properties for selling this lovely couple their home in Five Points.

If you’re struggling with what to wear during these difficult times, download the new app from Glenwood South Tailors that we covered earlier this year.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Raleigh Tailor Goes Mobile With New App

in ITBNN/Sponsored by

Glenwood South Tailors + Alterations Releases Game Changing App

A native of Raleigh, Brian Burnett also happens to be the best dressed man in Raleigh. He should be, since it’s his profession. For almost two years, Brian has operated Glenwood South Tailors and Alterations, Raleigh’s premier mobile tailoring and alterations venture. They’re located in Glenwood South, right around the corner from Broughton, which makes them the most ITB tailor in town. They also just released a new app that makes it even easier to use their services.

Since I’m a media empire startup that covers technology, local businesses, and Raleigh, I sat down with Brian for an exclusive interview. I learned about how he and his team of fashion experts have brought back the element of concierge service and communication to the tailoring world. We also talked about the new mobile app, which is available in the AppStore.

WNFIV: First, let me say that you really are the best dressed guy I’ve met in Raleigh. And that’s coming from someone who still wears New Balance 991s with khaki pants.

Brian: Yeah, I’ve been wanting to talk to you about that…

WNFIV: We’ll get to my style later. I’m going to need an overhaul for Fyre Festival in a few months anyway. Let’s talk about the app. Why does a tailor need one?

Brian: Well, we pride ourselves on our professional communication, in-person and digitally. We already offer mobile alterations and tailoring, where we come to your home or office, fit you, and return your items. And we also offer iStyling™…

WNFIV: Sorry to interrupt, but what is iStyling™?

Brian: iStyling™ is how we offer tailoring consultation and virtual alterations through FaceTime, texting, Instagram, you name it. With so many forms of communication available today, it’s a perfect solution for customers who can’t get to us. Just let us know your question and we’ll advise you.

WNFIV: So since I’m partially colorblind I could FaceTime you and you’d tell me what to wear so I don’t look like an idiot?

Brian: Exactly. Someone could ask what to wear to a business school or job interview. In your case, you could ask “Which pastel polo goes best with this Barbour jacket?”. So as you can see, we’re mobile in every way, which our executive clients value. Creating an app puts us in your pocket and makes that communication even easier.

WNFIV: So would you say you’re the Netflix and Uber of tailoring?

Brian: I’d say we’re the Raleigh of tailoring, and this app lets our clients reach us faster and easier than ever.

WNFIV: A lot of people build pointless apps just so they can tell people “I’m building an app.” when they’re at networking events. What does your app actually do?

Brian: Our clients can use the app to easily schedule appointments for all of our services, including both in-store and mobile tailoring and alterations, and iStyling™.

WNFIV: Have you thought about letting your clients add profiles on the app to show off how great they look in their tailored clothes? Then clients could match with each other based on how good they look. You could swipe right if you liked them and if you’re a match there’d be a catchy slogan like, “You two are a good fit!” you know, because it’s a play on words.

Brian: Yeah, we’re probably not going to do that, but let me walk you through our app. You can see all the services we provide on the main screen. At the bottom you can tap to schedule an appointment.

Brian: Then choose the type of appointment you want to schedule.

Brian: Select the time and date.

Brian: Enter your information.

Brian: The appointment is now scheduled and you can add it to your calendar right from your phone. You’ll also get a follow up e-mail.

WNFIV: This is amazing. I had to stop going to Crabtree for tailoring after the fake mall shooting, so I’m really glad someone took the initiative to make an app like this.

Brian: Thanks, we worked really hard on it.

WNFIV: So when I do a breaking news story on this I need a good title. I’m thinking “Raleigh Takes Its Clothes Off For New App” or “Raleigh Undresses for New App”.

Brian: How about just “Raleigh Tailor Goes Mobile With New App”?

WNFIV: That sounds good.

With this new app, Glenwood South Tailors and Alterations is definitely the most cutting edge outfit inside the beltline. Yeah, I went there. So go see Brian, tell him I sent you and he’ll give you 15% off your first item (slacks or suit jacket, no outerwear or fur) once you’ve downloaded the app.

We’ve partnered with Glenwood South Tailors and Alterations to bring you this story. We’ll follow up with Brian in the coming months as part of our People of ITB series where we take a closer look at the most interesting people in Raleigh. 

Inside PBX®: Getting Fit for Fyre Festival

in ITBNN/Sponsored by

Today’s post is part of a new health and wellness series on ITB Insider™. Finley’s Fitness will look at all Raleigh has to offer for getting in shape and staying healthy.

Finley’s Fitness: Getting Fit for Fyre Festival at PBX®

“That was the best workout class I have ever taken,” my Mom said, calling me after taking her first class at PBX® (Pilates Barre Extreme) last December.

“Seriously? So you think it’s ok to put them in my Christmas gift guide?” I asked.

“Definitely,” she said. “I’ve taken every class possible at the Y. I’ve done Flywheel, yoga, barre classes, you name it. That was the best workout I’ve ever done. You’ve got to take a class.”

I wasn’t taking a class. At the time, I only cared about making sure PBX® was an ITB approved workout that I could endorse in my gift guide. Since I’m not the workout type, I did what any ITBer would do and made my Mom take the class for me. Her stamp of approval was all I was looking for.

Then I bought a ticket to Fyre Festival and everything changed.

I’ll explain more later, but going on a weekend-long music festival with celebs and models on a private island once owned by Pablo Escobar means I need to be in the best shape of my life. I’m talking peak physical condition, like the kind of shape The Rock will be in when he plays for NC State next year.

Based on my Instagram, it’s safe to assume my diet of pizza, chicken biscuits, French toast, and Goodberry’s hasn’t exactly translated to peak physical condition. It was time to make a change. It was time to take a PBX® class. Since I’m an award-winning media empire, I figured I’d get some great #content by documenting my experience and sharing it with you all.

The Class
As I’ve said before, PBX® is a fitness studio for everyone. If pilates, cardio, and strength training had a baby, it would be PBX®. They offer a variety of classes, including the new Saturday morning Weekend Warrior class geared towards people like me, who spend most of the week recovering from weekend late nights and 30,000 calorie Sunday brunches.

I signed up online for the PBX® Core Jump class. Side note: I don’t know if this is normal for fitness places, but I was impressed with how easy it was to find and sign up for classes online. And they even have an app. With an emphasis on stretching and strengthening, the class was going to improve my core strength and flexibility, which is crucial for all the limbo and beach volleyball I’ll be playing with models at Fyre Festival.

I arrived early for class, put on my grip socks, which allow for maximum gripping or something, and started to investigate the studio. I was the only one there, and secretly hoped no one else would show up. Legendary Broughton baseball icon Ethan Burton was my instructor, so I started asking him questions about the equipment.

“So how does all this work?” I asked, standing next to the machine.

“You lay down on your back, and put your head between the two shoulder rests,” he explained.

As I surveyed the equipment, I noticed the straps near where my head would be. I interrupted, “Ethan, this looks like something from Fifty Shades Darker…”

“This is an Allegro reformer, it’s actually very comfortable. It’s one of the best ways to exercise because you get a whole body workout that’s easy on the joints, but with the same results of high impact exercise.”

“Be gentle,” I whispered, trusting he wouldn’t hurt me.

The rest of the class arrived and we all picked out the machines we’d be on for the next 50 minutes. Everyone laid down and we began with a warm-up leg press that was really easy. Fyre Festival, here I come. We then changed the resistance on the reformer and started the jumping part of the workout. This. Was. Awesome.

I guess it was the lying down part that makes you feel weightless, but as the carriage moved back and forth it felt more like jumping on a trampoline than exercise. Looking back, this is where I got a little carried away. I was actually having fun and forgot to breathe. That’s when the burn started.

I toned down my jumping in hopes that the burning would stop and that I could survive the rest of the workout. I decided to take a self-imposed water break while everyone else continued the workout. As soon as my feet hit the ground I realized my legs were as stable as a Churchill’s Jell-O shot. Fortunately, my water bottle was nearby and only required a few steps to retrieve it. I prayed that I wouldn’t fall down in front of the eight other people in the class.

We then started doing a core workout in a plank position, which is apparently like a pushup and not the 2011 meme where you lie face down on random surfaces. Then we grabbed an arc and put it on top of the reformer for some crunch type of exercise that worked on something called “oblique muscles”. I managed to get through it, but could feel my body starting to question why it was doing things it had never done before. It was then that I just started staring at myself in the mirror, wondering if there was some sort of shortcut to the Greek God physique I desperately needed for Fyre Festival. Suddenly the class was over.

The Result
I would guess that I made it through roughly 40 minutes of the 50 minute class before zoning out and questioning my life choices. In my defense, I only ate cereal for lunch that day. It’s recommended that you actually eat food like a normal human being before going to these classes, so I’ll take the blame there. I was definitely sore the next morning, which is to be expected when you don’t workout ever. Overall, I really enjoyed the class and I took away a lot of lessons. For starters, I need to eat food like an adult and breathe properly. Also, my Mom is better at working out than I am.

Check out the Weekend Warrior series and the other classes that PBX® has to offer.

We’ve partnered with PBX® to bring you a look at their offerings as part of the Finley’s Fitness series. Stay tuned for more.

How ITB Insider™ Won A Major Award

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Being a startup is all about winning awards. And after being in existence for over six months I have yet to win any. That all changed last night when Raleigh’s hottest startup, ITB Insider™, took home a major award at the 2017 Downtown Raleigh Alliance annual meeting. Commonly known as the “DRA”, the Downtown Raleigh Alliance “supports downtown’s revitalization by contributing to its economic success”. They do a lot of great things for the city, which you can read about here because I’m too overwhelmed with joy to explain them to you right now.

One of their biggest events is the annual meeting, where they talk about Raleigh, give out awards, and probably do other stuff that I’m unaware of because I’ve never actually been to one. My standard protocol is to avoid the crowds by staying home and tweeting about the event. By using the hashtag they’ve selected for the evening, my tweets will show up on the big screens at the event for all in attendance to see. In the past I had just used Twitter to provide commentary on the evening, but this year I knew I needed more. It was time to take control of the event and give myself an award.

After realizing the event was being held last night, I checked with a source and began my work. 

With the keys to the castle in hand, I proceeded to captivate the audience.

I leveraged synergies and mentioned my wonderful lawyer Stacy Miller and Miller Law Group, who I knew were in attendance.

I knew my plan was working because I received a text from another person at the event who thought I was there. 

And then, it happened. I won my first award as a startup media empire. The Downtown Best Media Empire Award was given out to me, by me, so that I could get the respect and adulation that I think I deserve.

I assume there was a 10 minute standing ovation and that people were crying tears of joy. “Finally, he did it! He’s worked so hard,” said someone really important, probably. “All those Tweets and Instagrams, all those impressions and pageviews he’s gotten over the last six months, this is so deserved,” said another CEO, I assume. “His investigative work on the Trolley Pub almost ruining the Raleigh Christmas parade, and that piece on The Alley closing, no wonder he won this,” added another attendee.

I obviously had a ton of people to thank.

It truly was an amazing experience and a great night for all. Congratulations to the other award winners as well. I look forward to going to Johnson-Lambe to get them to make an actual award for me that I’ll proudly display at our startup media empire headquarters. Here’s to more success in 2017.

The Rock Is Totally Playing Football For NC State Next Year

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In a surprising turn of events, The Rock has decided to give up his acting, producing, and wrestling career in order to return to college, and play football. The news came as The Rock sent a congratulatory tweet to his friend and former college roommate, Kevin Patrick, for being named the new defensive line coach at NC State. NC State’s Twitter account followed up by inviting The Rock to come cheer for Coach Patrick and the Wolfpack from the sidelines. Once again, NC State blew an opportunity to recruit a high profile prospect like The Rock. Fortunately, The Rock replied that he wanted no part of the sidelines, and that if he were to attend, he’d suit up and play.

Therefore, Dwayne The Rock Johnson is now a member of the NC State football team. If something happens on Twitter, I believe it to be fact until I’m proven otherwise.

This could turn out really well for NC State football. I can already see The Rock playing defensive end, grabbing the quarterback, delivering the Rock Bottom, then running from sideline to sideline before dropping The People’s Elbow, followed by a signature celebration where he removes his helmet to show off The People’s Eyebrow. Of course he’ll get flagged for removing his helmet on the field. He’ll pause, look at the flag, glare at the ref, walk to midfield, pull out a microphone and say:

“Finally…The Rock has come back to college football for the millions AND MILLIONS of fans at NC State. As The People’s Champion it’s been far too long since I’ve been out on this field. So Mr. Ref, please, tell me what exactly this flag is for.”

The referee will start to reply, but before getting a word out The Rock will cut him off.

“IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT THIS FLAG IS FOR! Listen up, jabroni, take this flag, shine it up real nice, and stick it straight up your candy ass. The Rock is the most electrifying man in sports entertainment and doesn’t get flagged. So know your role and shut your mouth before I lay the smackdown, if ya smeeelllllllllllllllaalalaa what The Rock……is cookin’!!!”

This would happen at least once a game, at which point the other team would just forfeit out of fear. NC State could easily win the national title next year with the addition of The Rock to an already impressive defensive line.

If for some reason he doesn’t actually suit up, he’ll hopefully at least do the entrance music for the team. Plus, this will be a great script for a movie. Superstar former football player finds a loophole in the eligibility rules and goes to play for his college roommate, who happens to be the defensive line coach at a struggling program. There will be plenty of old school vs. new school jokes. Maybe The Rock uncovers some sort of scandal while playing a game against UNC or FSU and it turns into a buddy cop comedy, with multiple sequels. If they can make EIGHT Fast and the Furious movies, we can make this happen.

I’m pretty excited about this news, not because I care about NC State football, but because it’s great for my media empire. I tried to interview The Rock on Twitter, but he has yet to reply.

NC State officials could not be reached for comment, as they were too busy trying to contain an unrelated dumpster fire.

ABC11’s Mark Armstrong broke the news of my news late last night, which makes this even more official.

This section is for my Mom and her Garden Club friends who don’t know who The Rock is. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson played college football for the University of Miami, where he won a national championship in 1991. He then followed in his grandfather and father’s footsteps and became a professional wrestler. Remember, this was the show on Monday night that you didn’t want me to watch when I was 12 years old. In the late 1990s, he gained popularity in the WWF (now WWE) as “The Rock” where he won a ton of totally real championships. Many of his peers describe him as the biggest star in the history of professional wrestling. He successfully crossed over into acting in the early 2000s and has become one of the biggest stars on the planet.

How Raleigh Races Should Be Run

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Runologie Wins ITB Gold By Not Closing Raleigh Streets

On the nicest Sunday afternoon in February that I can ever remember, five runners raised money for charities and didn’t negatively impact anyone in Raleigh. The first ever “Run For Good” consisted of five runners on three treadmills placed on the sidewalk outside of Runologie and State of Beer on Hillsborough Street. No roads were closed. No businesses lost money as a result of streets being shut down. No one was standing on the corner ringing a cow bell at 7:00 am. No one had to drive all over town just to get to Rise Biscuits and Donuts or brunch. No drunken concert “performance” by the lead singer of Smash Mouth. No fake studies that claim the race had an $8.13 million economic impact were conducted. It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. So amazing that I made a film about it that I’ll probably send to Sundance.

Two individuals and a relay team ran for four hours on those treadmills to raise money for three different organizations. Jason Tischer, Umstead 100 defending champ, raised funds for Team Tassy, an organization that pays for job creation and job training programs to eliminate poverty in Haiti. Omer Abdulrahman, a refugee from Sudan, raised money for the ACLU of North Carolina. The relay team of Brent Francese, Alex Warren, and Gavin Coombs (Uwharrie 20 Miler defending champ) raised funds for Common Cause NC, a group working to end gerrymandering. Runologie donated 15% of sales that day to the non-profits. Over $4,000 was raised at the event, which was sponsored by Runologie and State of Beer, with donations from Lysaght & Associates, John Montgomery Violins, and many more.

This is how all races in Raleigh should be done. Have five people run while everyone else drinks beer and raises money for good causes. I’ve always said we need to run road races on the beltline. It’s roughly the distance of a marathon and it wouldn’t impact any ITB roads. But this is an even better solution. Why stop at 3 treadmills? I don’t care if every sidewalk in downtown Raleigh is lined with thousands of treadmills, as long as it means the streets are never shut down and I never miss another brunch. And it’s not just for running, the possibilities are endless. Dogs of ITB treadmill runs, babies of ITB treadmill first steps parties. This is a billion dollar idea.

I hereby, quid pro quo, move to only run Raleigh races in this manner from now until the end of time. I second that motion and will now send it along via Twitter to the City Council so that they can make it into a law. I’m pretty sure that’s how laws work now, but I still need to check with my lawyer, Stacy Miller.

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