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Alona Elkayam
I am an award-winning multi-platform brand builder, designer, and branding/ trend commentator, writer, and speaker. I grew up digital and have built some of the most recognized brands of the decade from Yahoo to Marriott and, ahem, Botox using my unique BrandSlam methodology. I am a leader and passionate learner on all things trend, design, culture, brand, content. I write a style/culture column for the Huffington Post and have spoken at conferences like SXSW, Internet Week, Digital Content Summit at the British Museum, and as a commentator on TV for shows like The Strategy Room on Fox.

After years of building large global brands, in Nov 2015 I just launched my very own lifestyle brand–Far From Timid–the first to market on demand retail brand selling products for home and fashion designed from trademarked patterns I created. Made in USA + Canada. We also have a seed fund that we grant to artists who are doing things Far From Timid in their community. I launched this business in the incubator space.

Prior to launching this startup, I was the Managing Creative Director of Marriott International–managing a team of over 30 writers, editors, designers and producers who developed cross platform narratives across platforms for 18 brands that include Renaissance, JW Marriott, and Ritz Carlton.

My design and brand awards include a Webby, Clio and an Emmy Nomination and her work has been on shown at the Museum of Modern Art.

In 2003, I founded my first startup, 321 Takeoff, a NYC-based digital brand agency that creates integrated brand strategies leveraging digital and social platforms for global brands. There, I rebranded malnutrition for Doctors Without Borders, launched New York’s first gay resort, THE OUT, and created global brands for companies like Reed Elsevier and HotJobsYahoo.

Prior to this I held creative positions at Saatchi and Saatchi, Ogilvy, Grey Interactive, and leadership creative roles at SBIRazorfish, Yahoo and Grey Healthcare Group managing P+L's.

I am a devoted student of kung fu, an ING NYC Marathon finisher, and an accomplished painter. I received my BA from American University and continuing education at School of Visual Arts and at NYU. I am fluent in Hebrew and French.

Oh, also, I am a small forward so you might find me in a good game of pickup.

Entries by Alona Elkayam

Drive People Crazy: Create An Unforgettable Personal Brand For Your Start-Up or Career Part 1

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2016 | 4:41 PM

If only the world saw us the way our closest allies unequivocally do.

"You are so smart and beautiful," says Momma as she squeezes the sides of my chin with one hand.

"How do you know so clearly what you want in your life?" once asked...

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Paisley: A Pattern Made For A Prince

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2016 | 3:16 PM


Prince loved patterns. We know that because he named his recording studio, Paisley Park, after one of the oldest patterns in history. His costumes were elaborate with patterns of all eras. From polka dots to galaxy and more traditional-the paisley.

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If The Content Is Dope, That's All That Matters

(0) Comments | Posted February 8, 2016 | 7:01 PM

It was July 2015, about six months before the Federal Trade Commission released their guidelines on native advertising, when I received this email below from a publisher I love-a publisher that I let into my world and gave them my digital virginity, my email address. I was very...

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Get the F*ck Out of Town: A Story for Tired Entrepreneurs.

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2016 | 4:51 PM

To my fellow entrepreneurs for your strong conviction into the unknown, I honor you.

Everyone's gone to happy hour, my friend.
Dried peanut butter on your face, no one's around.
You mumble, wondering, what the f*ck you're doing in life
Hey buddy, wake up! Get the...

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New York and Ibiza Had a Beautiful Sexy Baby: They Called It Tel Aviv

(5) Comments | Posted May 12, 2015 | 4:31 PM

I say Israel, you say shrapnel. I say Israel you say, unrest. But wait. You've got it all wrong. You see New York and Ibiza had this torrid love affair and had a baby. They called her Tel Aviv. She inherited her parents' best features-the 24/7 nightlife and culture of...

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These Boots Are Made For Gawkin'

(0) Comments | Posted October 18, 2014 | 5:19 PM

Boots are so badass. They really are. Boots are powerful. Like mustaches. I like the whole boot ritual. Opening the box, sliding those babies on my feet (which I wish were a tad smaller). I test drive every possible bottom- first the mini, then the skinny. Then, I look in...

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Refuge in America

(2) Comments | Posted July 5, 2014 | 7:20 AM

I remember his brown leather woven shoes -- throwbacks from the '40s -- that he wore in the summer. They made an airy, swooshy sound with every 200-pound six-foot stride. His pant hem always landed perfectly atop his shoes. He collected watches, timepieces, stamps, and rare coins. He renovated Packards....

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Celebrity Food of the Year and a Super Bowl Recipe

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2014 | 4:25 PM

With televised awards show for America's many obsessions like music, television, and film, I thought I'd create a glitzy awards show for the other thing we love to obsess about: FOOD. This years honor goes to the Brussels Sprout. I think Sarah Jessica Parker would agree with my choice...

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D.C.: Definitely Cool

(3) Comments | Posted December 11, 2013 | 6:21 AM

I fled to New York after I graduated from The American University in the mid '90s because I was an artist and a designer with a plan to have a life's work. There was nothing except politics and polite culture happening in D.C.

But now. Wow. The D.C. that...

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8 Days of Thanksgivvukah in Picture Quotes: Day #4

(0) Comments | Posted December 2, 2013 | 6:14 AM

This is Day 4 in my 8 Days of Thankgivvukah -- what I am grateful and ungrateful for in picture quotes.

Day 4: The French Manicure


Amidst the "in" or "out" fashion debate amongst fashion editors everywhere about the...

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8 Days of Thanksgivvukah in Picture Quotes: Day #3

(0) Comments | Posted November 30, 2013 | 9:44 AM

I am on Day 3 of my 8 days of Thanksgivvukah in picture quote format where I post one thing I am grateful or ungrateful for.

Day 3: Ungrateful for Hashtag Crimes


Friends don't let friends commit hashtag crimes. Hashtagging is...

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8 Days of Thanksgivvukah in Picture Quotes: Day #2

(0) Comments | Posted November 29, 2013 | 8:53 AM

Day 2 of posting one thing I am grateful or ungrateful for during the 8 days of Thanksgivvukah-in picture quote format.

Day #2 Trendabl: Grateful

Hailed as the Instagram for fashion, Trendabl lets you buy Thanksgivvukah presents from multiple fashion retailers...

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8 Days of Thanksgivvukah in Picture Quotes

(0) Comments | Posted November 28, 2013 | 3:50 PM

For the next eight days I will post one thing I am grateful or ungrateful for on each day in honor of Thanksgivvukah. I let my big hair down and compiled this list in picture quote format. Let me know what you think.

#1 Hesta Prynn's Thanksgivvukah Playlist

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"LogoGate": The Identical Logo Fiasco

(0) Comments | Posted November 27, 2013 | 11:28 AM

Two companies in industries that overlap, Mutual Mobile and SquareSpace, have identical logos. This is worse than Emma Stone's 2012 Oscar dress that Nicole Kidman wore five years earlier. The SquareSpace/Mutual Mobile "LogoGate" would be less soul-crushing to a designer like me if they were in industries that...

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Work Trends: Go On A Workation + Watch Your Business Explode

(0) Comments | Posted September 27, 2013 | 4:17 PM

Drinking Pernod with locals, rolling in lavender fields getting whorls stuck in my hair, and lazy vineyard-hopping afternoons were just some of the activities I did not partake on a recent trip to France. I went to the Marseille-Provence region for 14 days and sort of locked myself in a...

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Ten Ways to Find Your Digital Voice

(0) Comments | Posted July 18, 2013 | 10:37 AM

digital image

Let's see:
My closest girlfriend called me in the hospital after her epidural.
My super gets excited when I have something in my apartment that needs fixing.
I don't have any impending lawsuits.
Family reunions revolve around me and...

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Internet Week's AppNation: Top 5 Criteria Agencies Use to Select SDK's

(0) Comments | Posted May 28, 2013 | 11:24 AM

With SDK's (Software Development Kits) we don't have to build client apps from scratch. This makes it affordable for my Fortune 500 and smaller clients to take the maiden voyage in the world of app development.

I was honored to be a on a panel this week for Internet Weeks...

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Icon of The Day: Saul Bass

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 11:21 AM

It was the late '90s. I had a design degree, fire in my belly, and it was my time to revolutionize design and do as Saul Bass and Milton Glaser had done. I wanted to be like them, think like them, and reflect our time the...

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Best/Worst Brands: Breaking Good, Afros and Crowdfunding

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2013 | 6:04 PM

Whenever I see a really big afro in bustling NYC, I get the feeling it's winking at me, saying, "Remember me? Bowm, chicka, bowm bowm." When an afro sighting is followed up by a throwback cigarette or e-cigarette advertisement on a bus shelter I don't smile, I disassociate for a...

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Best/Worst Brands: 'Fashion Week, Come One Come All?' Maybe Next Year.

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2013 | 11:51 AM

Want to see the best in interior design? Go to ICFF in New York. Go ahead, buy a ticket online with little risk and head down to the Javitz Center. How about art? One click and you are going to Basel. Life is so much better in Miami, truly. Music/Film/Interactive?...

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