We were on a podcast! by Justine Simonson

Hey there! Just a quick update from the edit room here at HTMIIB HQ! 

You can check us out on the Start Up Geometry podcast talking about our backgrounds in documentary and television production, how we decided to launch this crazy project, and so much more.

We hope you'll take a minute to listen. Feel free to send us your burning questions at hello@howtomakeitin.co 


Wir Sind Berliner... sort of. by Justine Simonson

Hello there beautiful people! It's been a while since we posted an update, so we're here to fill you in on what's been going on.

Since landing in Berlin in April, things have basically been nonstop awesome. 

Hallo Berlin!

We hit the ground running, knocking out our first three stories at the end of April and have continued in production through May and June. 

DriveNow, a great car-sharing program here in Berlin as well as other cities in Europe, has been a life saving tool in our production. There's basically a car waiting for you whenever you need one. Even if it means jamming everything into a Mini Cabrio after a long day of filming in Charlottenburg.

Does this gear make our trunk look small? 

The good thing about that night was that it gave us the chance to see the Brandenburg Gate in all her brilliant, solitary, glory. Behold!

Ich bin ein Berliner... for a few months.

What were we doing in Charlottenburg you might ask? Filming these guys.

These guys make us look good!

Tarik & Rami, the go-getter dudes behind the sleek men's salon Barber's, invited us in to spend the day in their hip hop playing, stylish, chilled out salon. (Complete with American Crew hair care products.)

Shave and a hair cut.

Next we had the pleasure of filming a woman whose work is literally love and light: Lisa Lang.

The colorful founder of ElektroCouture let us into her dazzling studio at FabLab where we got a peek at her most recent projects. 

We can't spill all the beans but what we can tell you is that she's about to premier something awesome at Berlin Fashion Week. 

Our next story switches gears entirely. In fact you probably wouldn't any of your couture even close to it... but it speaks straight to our American hearts.

Big Stuff... Take one!

That would be Anna Lai and Tobi Buerger of Big Stuff Smoked BBQ. That's right, a Tennessee smoker is at home in the middle of Kreuzberg where its Italian and German owners stuff it with some of Germany's finest quality meats every night and dish out some of the best BBQ east of the Mississippi every day. 

All in a day's work...

We're going to great lengths to bring you this one. It's a labor of love... we're getting paid in pulled pork sandwiches. 

Open for biz!

We're off to film episode eight. Here's a sneak peek of the device in question. Can't wait to tell you more. 

And then there was that time... by Justine Simonson

That Medienboard featured us! 

NEW YORK MEETS BERLIN! Justine Simonson ist eine von vier StipendiatInnen des neuen Medienboard-geförderten MEDIA...

Posted by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg on Sunday, May 24, 2015

Spring time in berlin by Justine Simonson

It's officially springtime in Berlin. Not only has every flower decided they will open up for business....

The sun is also starting to show its face, meaning there are fleeting moments when you're actually warm enough to head outside without a jacket.


Even the swans like it.

It's also the time when creative juices start flowing again. We've met so many makers and doers we've barely had time to come up for air. In the last month we've rubbed elbows and shared beers with a solar-powered-transportation developer, a renegade gardener, a guerilla carpenter - and that's just scratching the surface. 

A few weeks back, we had the honor of attending re:publica and Media Convention - a gigantic gathering of digital and media professionals from all over the world. And wow, was it inspiring!

Reed Hastings, the founder of Netflix, made an appearance, sharing his round about rise to success. This guy has done everything from teaching high school math to serving in the peace corps to, yes, disrupting the broadcast media industry as we know it.

Reed Hastings on stage at re:publica 2015

Reed Hastings on stage at re:publica 2015

After his speech, we had a the absolute pleasure of meeting Mugethi Gitau. She was in town from Nairobi to take part in the Global Innovation Gathering, a meeting for a network of makers, creators and all kinds of entrepreneurs from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Mugethi was kind enough to school us on the thriving startup culture in Kenya... entrepreneurs in the capital city there are hacking away at all kinds of social solutions - from health initiatives for mothers and children, to supporting local farm economies with technology, and revolutionizing education with tablets in classrooms. It was enough to get us excited for a season of How To Make It In: Nairobi!


We also had the pleasure of seeing one of our favorite entrepreneurs take the stage on the topic of Fashion Tech.

Lisa Lang is the maven of bespoke wearable light. Her gorgeous designs and out of the box thinking have made her one of the most talked about and celebrated entrepreneurs in not just Berlin but the burgeoning field of wearables.

So as we take a moment to breathe in the pollen laden air of Berlin and reflect back on the past month's excitement, we thought we would share some of these highlights with you.

That and the Ritter Sport we found that's as big as Marcus's head. 

So. Much. Chocolate.

So. Much. Chocolate.

That's all for now. Head on over to our fancy Subscribe page for updates on new content sent right to your inbox!


Getting down zu der Sache... by Justine Simonson

Yup! We're in Berlin. There will be many more titles and words like that so brace yourself. It's gonna be an uneben ride! 

We're settling in and meeting up with the makers, movers and shakers that keep Berlin growing and going. So much creativity in this peaceful city. We're overwhelmed and can't make a wrong turn. Every road leads to something interesting.

Our first stop was an old favorite, Markthalle Neun

This foodie haunt is perfect for a leisurely Saturday afternoon, which we desperately needed after our transatlantic journey.

mmm.... kaffe!

mmm.... kaffe!

This cavernous hall is filled with individual fish mongers, cheese purveyors, vegan delight creators, baristas and good old fashioned butchers. Anything you might want to snack on at a communal table or take home for tonight's dinner, you can find it here.

We thought we'd share a few of our favorite sights, you know, just to whet your appetite for what's coming in the weeks and months ahead.

Tschüß! See you soon.

Why Small businesses? by Justine Simonson

Ah the mom and pop shop. It’s an institution near and dear to Co Lab’s heart. As native New Yorkers, we know a thing or two about ‘em, what makes a great one, what they can do for a neighborhood, and why they deserve a cheerleader.

A small family business kept a roof over our producer Justine's head and even put through college. Her father was he 4th generation to own and operate Simonson Funeral Home in Queens, right on the corner of Hillside Ave. and Lefferts Blvd. Although her father retired, her Uncle John Sommese is still at the helm, proudly serving the community more than 180 years after the first William Simonson opened shop.

Our Director of Photography, Marcus, is a first generation German-American who grew up in "Germantown" (AKA Yorkville) on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The neighborhood was decidedly a German enclave in years gone by. Schaller & Webber butchers and Heidleberg restaurant are still around today, thanks to the foresight of the owners who bought their buildings. But the neighborhood now hosts more national chains than mom & pop operations. 

We all know the words… if you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere. But it's harder and harder every day for small businesses to stay afloat in New York City. Commercial rents have gone up, and up and up. If that weren't enough pressure to keep the lights on and the doors open, as many as 30% of New York’s small business owners have been extorted for cash by their landlords.

So we here at Co Lab think the small businesses that are making it are nothing less than tiny miracles. And want to celebrate them. As two people who travel A LOT for work and leisure, we appreciate the local operations that make cities unique. Why travel to a new place only to visit the same chain stores you can find in any mall back home? 

We invite you to take an adventure with us as we bring you some of the best and brightest this small world has to offer. We're kicking things off in Berlin, Germany. But don't worry, we've still got love for New York City and can't wait to film season two in the Big Apple.

The countdown is on! by Justine Simonson

We're gearing up for Berlin! Things are starting to come together.

We've met a handful of small business owners who are so inspiring and inspired, we can't wait to share them all with you.

For now, find us on Facebook, How To Make It In, and like us for updates right in your newsfeed. We're on Twitter too @HowToMakeItIn and we're even on Tumblr if that's your thing! 

Keep in touch... we promise we will too.