“The contemporary consumer demands more — more originality, more sincerity, more not-in-the-mainstreamness, a greater goal than just making money.”
Rob Walker (author of Buying In)
I’m a freelance communications consultant presently located in Auckland, New Zealand. My focus on the business and marketing side of the fashion and luxury industries can be traced back to my family history of retailers, who ran a multi-generational department store (J.B. Branch & Co.) in the rural midwest of the United States, founded in 1877 and closed in 1986. My parents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles staffed the family store, and I worked there myself for about five years, so retailing is “in my blood”, so to speak.
In December of 2010, I participated in an interview with the Fashionably Marketing website where I describe my history, and why I write this blog, in a little more detail: Interview With Fashion Luxury Blogger Nathan Branch
I studied literature and psychology at Eastern Michigan University and John Brown University, have held jobs in the retail, medical tech and food service (both front and back of the house) industries, and presently work with my partner on the creation and maintenance of numerous virtual companies while also continuing to write both creatively and professionally.
I threw myself into electronic music for several years, self-producing two electro-rock CD’s — “sugar” and “electro” — under the name aalacho in 2002 and 2004, to varying critical reception. College radio warmly welcomed and played the h*ll out of both, landing me on Top 10 lists around the country (thanks to the very dedicated promotional team at Space 380).
My debut CD charted as high as #12 in the respected music industry magazine, CMJ, and was nominated for Best Techno/Ambient album in the Just Plain Folks Music Awards. A remix of the track “Satellite” appeared on the international Global Underground release, Deep Dish: Toronto in 2003. The following CD, “electro”, made Hot Pick college-radio lists alongside commercial-label bands like Faithless, Orbital and Quantic, and was one of three finalists for the Alex Award for ‘Best CD Packaging, Alternative Design’ in 2004 (special thanks to Bluish).
My more recent focus on photography is pure self-explanatory joy, and after relocating to New Zealand from the United States in October of 2010, cooking was added to my “Things I Must Explore” list. New Zealand is famous for its food exports, and I’ve never had such ready and easy access to the best of what the global agricultural market produces. I’m thoroughly appreciating the opportunity to take advantage of the bounty.