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PAR Technology Corporation Announces 2020 Second Quarter Results

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PAR Technology Corporation Announces 2020 Second Quarter Results

NEW HARTFORD, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–PAR Technology Corporation (NYSE:PAR) (“PAR Technology” or the “Company”) today announced its financial results for its second quarter ended June 30, 2020.

Summary of Fiscal 2020 Second Quarter

  • Revenues were reported at $45.7 million for the second quarter of 2020, an increase of 3.4%, compared to $44.2 million for the same period in 2019.

  • GAAP net loss for the second quarter of 2020 was $9.0 million, or $0.49 loss per share, an increase from the GAAP net loss of $1.1 million, or $0.07 loss per share reported for the same period in 2019.

  • Non-GAAP net loss for the second quarter of 2020 was $4.2 million, or $0.24 loss per share, compared to non-GAAP net loss of $2.3 million, or $0.14 loss per share, for the same period in 2019.

Summary of Year-to-Date Financial Results

  • Revenues were reported at $100.4 million for the six months ended June 30, 2020, an increase of 12.9%, compared to $88.9 million for the same period in 2019.

  • GAAP net loss for the six months ended June 30, 2020 was $19.9 million, or $1.10 loss per share, an increase from the GAAP net loss of $3.8 million, or $0.24 loss per share reported for the same period in 2019.

  • Non-GAAP net loss for the six months ended June 30, 2020 was $9.3 million, or $0.51 loss per share, compared to non-GAAP net loss of $3.8 million, or $0.23 loss per share, for the same period in 2019.

Included in the tables at the end of this press release is a reconciliation and description of non-GAAP financial measures to corresponding GAAP financial measures.

PAR Technology CEO, Savneet Singh commented, “In my short time at PAR, this is without question the most proud I’ve been of our results, team and industry. While the restaurant industry continues to learn to live with COVID-19, we believe our Q2 results are evidence of the long-term secular demand for our software offerings. Despite the pandemic, we remain on track to continue to grow our software assets and deliver strong results in 2020. We are encouraged that in the late June/July timeframe we saw a significant number of our COVID impacted restaurant customers come back online and a number of new customer wins.”

Mr. Singh continued, “While these remain challenging and unprecedented times, we are at the beginning of one of the most transformative periods in restaurant history. The need for more restaurants to develop new remote/contactless ways to service customers with digital transformation strategies has never been greater, and PAR is in a strong position to help our customers remain resilient, productive, and innovative during these times. Our Q2 results demonstrate the progress that we’ve made and our ability to likely pull years of demand forward.”

Highlights of Brink – Second Quarter 2020:

— Brink ARR at end of Q2 ’20 totaled $21.4 million (net of COVID associated churn) – an increase of $5.1 million and more than 30% from end of Q2 ’19

— New store activations in Q2 totaled 465 sites

— Brink bookings in Q2 ‘20 totaled 814 sites

— Brink Open Orders (backlog) totaled 1,524 sites at end of Q2 ’20

— Active Brink sites as of June 30th now total 10,280 restaurants

Highlights Restaurant Magic – Second Quarter 2020:

–Restaurant Magic ARR at end of Q2 ’20 totaled $7.4 million (net of COVID associated churn)

–New store activations in Q2 ’20 totaled 180 sites

–Restaurant Magic bookings in Q2 ’20 totaled 207 sites

–Active Restaurant Magic sites as of June 30th now total 5,064

Conference Call.

There will be a conference call at 9:00 a.m. (Eastern) on August 7, 2020, during which the Company’s management will discuss the financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2020. To participate in the call, please call 844-419-5412, approximately 10 minutes in advance. No passcode is required to participate in the live call or to listen to the replay version. Investors will have the opportunity to listen to the conference call/event over the internet by visiting the Company’s website at www.partech.com/investors. Alternatively, listeners may access an archived version of the presentation after 7:30 p.m. on August 7, 2020 through August 14, 2020 by dialing 855-859-2056 and using conference ID 9025358.

About PAR Technology Corporation.

PAR Technology Corporation through its wholly owned subsidiary ParTech, Inc., is a customer success-driven, global restaurant and retail technology company with over 100,000 restaurants in more than 110 countries using its point of sale hardware and software. ParTech’s Brink POS® integration ecosystem enables quick service, fast casual, table service, and cloud restaurants to improve their operational efficiency by combining its cloud-based POS software with the world’s leading restaurant technology platforms. PAR Technology’s Government segment is a leader in providing computer-based system design, engineering and technical services to the Department of Defense and various federal agencies PAR Technology’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PAR. For more information, visit www.partech.com or connect with PAR Technology on Facebook or Twitter.

Forward-Looking Statements.

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are not historical in nature, but rather are predictive of our future operations, financial condition, business strategies and prospects. Forward-looking statements are generally identified by words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “belief,” “continue,” “could,” “expect,” “estimate,” “intend,” “may,” “opportunity,” “plan,” “should,” “will,” “would,” “will likely result,” and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, which could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by forward-looking statements contained in this press release, including forward-looking statements relating to our expectations regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, operations, financial condition, and financial results. Factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by forward-looking statements contained in this press release are described in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as updated by our most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

PAR TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(Unaudited, in thousands, except share and per share amounts)

Assets

June 30, 2020

December 31, 2019

Current assets:

Cash and cash equivalents

$

58,775

$

28,036

Accounts receivable – net

38,236

41,774

Inventories – net

25,992

19,326

Other current assets

4,167

4,427

Total current assets

127,170

93,563

Property, plant and equipment – net

13,503

14,351

Goodwill

41,214

41,386

Intangible assets – net

34,305

32,948

Lease right-of-use assets

2,445

3,017

Other assets

4,249

4,347

Total Assets

$

222,886

$

189,612

Liabilities and Shareholders’ Equity

Current liabilities:

Current portion of long-term debt

$

647

$

630

Accounts payable

15,699

16,385

Accrued salaries and benefits

7,538

7,769

Accrued expenses

2,523

3,176

Lease liabilities – current portion

1,295

2,060

Customer deposits and deferred service revenue

9,625

12,084

Total current liabilities

37,327

42,104

Lease liabilities – net of current portion

1,235

1,021

Deferred service revenue – non current

3,937

3,916

Long-term debt

103,849

62,414

Other long-term liabilities

7,928

7,310

Total liabilities

154,276

116,765

Commitments and contingencies

Shareholders’ Equity:

Preferred stock, $.02 par value, 1,000,000 shares authorized

Common stock, $.02 par value, 58,000,000 shares authorized; 19,295,313 and 18,360,205 shares issued, 18,245,225 and 16,629,177 outstanding at June 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, respectively

386

367

Additional paid in capital

107,540

94,372

Accumulated deficit

(30,030

)

(10,144

)

Accumulated other comprehensive loss

(5,009

)

(5,368

)

Treasury stock, at cost, 1,050,088 shares and 1,731,028 shares at June 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, respectively

(4,277

)

(6,380

)

Total shareholders’ equity

68,610

72,847

Total Liabilities and Shareholders’ Equity

$

222,886

$

189,612

See notes to unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements included in the Company’s quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2020 (the “Quarterly Report”).

The condensed consolidated balance sheet at December 31, 2019 has been derived from the Company’s audited consolidated financial statements at that date and does not include all of the information and footnotes required by U.S. GAAP for complete financial statements. For further information, please refer to the Company’s audited consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

PAR TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

(Unaudited, in thousands, except share and per share amounts)

Three Months Ended June 30,

Six Months Ended June 30,

2020

2019

2020

2019

Net revenues:

Product

$

12,333

$

14,728

$

30,967

$

30,245

Service

15,300

13,534

34,075

27,577

Contract

18,058

15,985

35,381

31,107

45,691

44,247

100,423

88,929

Costs of sales:

Product

9,982

11,412

24,887

22,653

Service

9,912

10,118

22,558

20,385

Contract

16,718

14,386

32,852

28,036

36,612

35,916

80,297

71,074

Gross margin

9,079

8,331

20,126

17,855

Operating expenses:

Selling, general and administrative

10,049

9,059

21,476

17,623

Research and development

4,538

2,725

9,403

5,786

Amortization of identifiable intangible assets

210

420

14,797

11,784

31,299

23,409

Operating loss

(5,718

)

(3,453

)

(11,173

)

(5,554

)

Other expense, net

(139

)

(374

)

(764

)

(804

)

Interest expense, net

(2,111

)

(1,244

)

(4,083

)

(1,390

)

Loss on extinguishment of debt

(8,123

)

Loss before benefit from (provision for) income taxes

(7,968

)

(5,071

)

(24,143

)

(7,748

)

(Provision for) benefit from income taxes

(1,008

)

3,962

4,257

3,910

Net loss

$

(8,976

)

$

(1,109

)

$

(19,886

)

$

(3,838

)

Basic Earnings per Share:

Net loss

$

(0.49

)

$

(0.07

)

$

(1.10

)

$

(0.24

)

Diluted Earnings per Share:

Net loss

$

(0.49

)

$

(0.07

)

$

(1.10

)

$

(0.24

)

Weighted average shares outstanding:

Basic

18,244

16,290

18,092

16,085

Diluted

18,244

16,290

18,092

16,085

See notes to unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements included in the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.

PAR TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES

RECONCILIATION OF GAAP TO NON-GAAP FINANCIAL RESULTS

(Unaudited, in thousands, except per share and per share data)

For the three months ended

For the three months ended

June 30, 2020

June 30, 2019

Reported

basis

(GAAP)

Adjustments

Comparable

basis (Non-

GAAP)

Reported

basis

(GAAP)

Adjustments

Comparable

basis (Non-

GAAP)

Net revenues

$

45,691

$

$

45,691

$

44,247

$

$

44,247

Costs of sales

36,612

930

35,682

35,916

1,611

34,305

Gross margin

9,079

930

10,009

8,331

1,611

9,942

Operating Expenses:

Selling, general and administrative

10,049

1,410

8,639

9,059

702

8,357

Research and development

4,538

58

4,480

2,725

2,725

Acquisition amortization

210

210

Total operating expenses

14,797

1,678

13,119

11,784

702

11,082

Operating (loss) income

(5,718

)

2,608

(3,110

)

(3,453

)

2,313

(1,140

)

Other (expense) income, net

(139

)

(139

)

(374

)

(374

)

Interest (expense) income, net

(2,111

)

1,205

(906

)

(1,244

)

573

(671

)

Loss on extinguishment

(Loss) income before benefit from (provision for) income taxes

(7,968

)

3,813

(4,155

)

(5,071

)

2,886

(2,185

)

Benefit from (provision for) income taxes

(1,008

)

978

(30

)

3,962

4,065

(103

)

Net loss

$

(8,976

)

$

(4,185

)

$

(1,109

)

$

(2,288

)

Loss per diluted share

$

(0.49

)

$

(0.23

)

$

(0.07

)

$

(0.14

)

About Non-GAAP Financial Measures

The Company reports its financial results in accordance with GAAP. However, non-GAAP adjusted financial measures, as set forth in the reconciliation table above, are provided because management uses these non-GAAP financial measures in evaluating the results of the Company’s continuing operations and believes this information provides investors supplemental insight into underlying business trends and operating results. These non-GAAP financial measures are not based on any comprehensive set of accounting rules or principles and should not be considered a substitute for, or superior to, financial measures calculated in accordance with GAAP. In addition, these non-GAAP financial measures should be read in conjunction with the Company’s financial statements prepared in accordance with GAAP.

The Company’s results of operations are impacted by certain non-recurring charges, including stock-based based compensation, acquisition and divestiture related expenditures, expense related to the Company’s continued efforts to determine and resolve with the China and/or Singapore authorities the consequences of conduct in our China and Singapore offices (the subject of the Company’s Audit Committee internal investigation in 2016, the “China/Singapore matter”), and other non-recurring charges that may not be indicative of the Company’s financial performance. Management believes that adjusting its costs of sales, operating expenses, operating loss, net loss and diluted loss per share to remove non-recurring charges, provides a useful perspective with respect to the Company’s operating results and provides supplemental information to both management and investors by removing items that are difficult to predict and are often unanticipated.

While the Company believes the adjustments provide a useful comparison, the reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to corresponding GAAP measures should be carefully evaluated.

During the second quarter of 2020, the Company recognized amortization expense of acquired developed technology within costs of sales of $815,000. Additionally, $115,000 of severance expenses were recognized in costs of sales. Within selling, general and administrative costs, the Company recorded approximately $1,103,000 of stock-based compensation charges and $121,000 of expenses related to the China/Singapore matter and $186,000 of severance expenses. The company recognized $58,000 of severance expenses in research and development expenses. The Company recognized amortization expense of acquired intangible assets of approximately $210,000. The Company recognized approximately $1,205,000 non-cash accretion of interest expense and amortization of issuance costs related to the Company’s 4.5% Convertible Senior Notes due 2024 (the “2024 Notes”) and the 2.875% Convertible Senior Notes due 2026 (the “2026 Notes”). The provision for income tax is reduced by $978,000 to reflect the deferred tax benefit impact of the 2026 Notes issuance. The above adjustments are not tax-effected for income tax effect due to the full valuation allowance on all of our net deferred tax assets.

During the second quarter of 2019, the Company recorded $1,369,000 of expenses related to the sale of the SureCheck product group within the Restaurant/Retail reporting segment, this represents $581,000 included in costs of sales related to a reserve for inventory and $788,000 in costs of sales related to impairment of intangible assets for the SureCheck product group. The Company recognized amortization expense of acquired developed technology within costs of sales of $242,000. The Company recorded $100,000 of expenses related to the China/Singapore internal investigation and the SEC document subpoena. Additionally, $602,000 of stock-based compensation charges were recorded during the second quarter of 2019. Further, the Company recognized $573,000 accretion of non-cash interest related to the 2024 Notes. The benefit from income tax was reduced by a $4,065,000 tax adjustment relating to the sale of the 2024 Notes.

PAR TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES

RECONCILIATION OF GAAP TO NON-GAAP FINANCIAL RESULTS

(Unaudited, in thousands, except per share and per share data)

For the six months ended

For the six months ended

June 30, 2020

June 30, 2019

Reported

basis

(GAAP)

Adjustments

Comparable

basis (Non-

GAAP)

Reported

basis

(GAAP)

Adjustments

Comparable

basis (Non-

GAAP)

Net revenues

$

100,423

$

$

100,423

$

88,929

$

$

88,929

Costs of sales

80,297

1,770

78,527

71,074

1,995

69,079

Gross margin

20,126

1,770

21,896

17,855

1,995

19,850

Operating Expenses:

Selling, general and administrative

21,476

2,504

18,972

17,623

1,457

16,166

Research and development

9,403

58

9,345

5,786

108

5,678

Acquisition amortization

420

420

Total operating expenses

31,299

2,982

28,317

23,409

1,565

21,844

Operating (loss) income

(11,173

)

4,752

(6,421

)

(5,554

)

3,560

(1,994

)

Other (expense) income, net

(764

)

(764

)

(804

)

(804

)

Interest (expense) income, net

(4,083

)

2,163

(1,920

)

(1,390

)

573

(817

)

Loss on extinguishment

(8,123

)

8,123

(Loss) income before benefit from (provision for) income taxes

(24,143

)

15,038

(9,105

)

(7,748

)

4,133

(3,615

)

Benefit from (provision for) income taxes

4,257

4,408

(151

)

3,910

4,065

155

Net loss

$

(19,886

)

$

(9,256

)

$

(3,838

)

$

(3,460

)

Loss per diluted share

$

(1.10

)

$

(0.51

)

$

(0.24

)

$

(0.22

)

During the first six months of June 30, 2020, the Company recognized amortization expense of acquired developed technology within costs of sales of $1,655,000. Additionally, $115,000 of severance expenses were recognized in costs of sales. Within selling, general and administrative costs, the Company recorded approximately $2,192,000 of stock-based compensation charges, $126,000 of expenses related to the China/Singapore matter and $186,000 of severance expenses. The Company recognized amortization expense of acquired intangible assets of approximately $420,000. The Company recognized approximately $2,163,000 accretion of non-cash interest expense and amortization of issuance costs related to the Company’s 2024 Notes and the 2026 Notes. Further, approximately $8,123,000 was recognized on the loss on extinguishment related to the repurchase of approximately $66.3 million of the 2024 Notes. The benefit from income tax is reduced by $4,408,000, to reflect the deferred tax benefit impact of the 2026 Notes issuance. The above adjustments are not tax-effected for income tax effect due to the full valuation allowance on all of our net deferred tax assets.

During the first six months of 2019, the Company recorded $1,369,000 of expenses related to the sale of the SureCheck product group within the Restaurant/Retail reporting segment; this represents $581,000 included in costs of sales related to a reserve for inventory and $788,000 in costs of sales related to impairment of intangible assets for the SureCheck product group. Further, the Company recognized amortization expense of acquired developed technology within costs of sales of $483,000 and severance expenses of $143,000.

Within selling, general and administrative costs, the Company recorded $290,000 of expenses related to the China/Singapore internal investigation and the SEC document subpoena, $850,000 of stock-based compensation and $317,000 of severance expenses. The Company recognized $108,000 of severance expenses in research and development expenses. The Company also recognized $573,000 accretion of non-cash interest related to the 2024 Notes. The benefit from income tax is reduced by $4,065,000, to reflect the deferred tax benefit impact of the 2024 Notes issuance.

Fashion

Fashion Briefing: Fashion’s emerging founder-investors are mega-influencers – Glossy

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Fashion Briefing: Fashion’s emerging founder-investors are mega-influencers – Glossy

Fashion’s OG Instagrammers are building empires and, at the same time, growing their influence beyond the industry.

After being schooled for years on the workings of the fashion industry, mega-influencers including Danielle Bernstein (2.7 million Instagram followers) and Rocky Barnes (2.5 million Instagram followers) are graduating to careers less reliant on brands. To take it to the next level, they’re leveraging their prowess and communities, driving deals with effective business partners, and evolving their focus, based on the industry’s direction and their own passions. The emerging results, for both Bernstein and Barnes, are personally-backed brands and investment portfolios set to expand based on early successes.

“The plan is to grow, in a big way,” said Bernstein. “I’m a serial entrepreneur, so I’ll always want to introduce new businesses and categories to my brand. And I’m angel investing and joining the board of advisors for so many companies. That’s the future of the creator economy: harnessing and creating community around your existing followers and then figuring out how to monetize that.”

In 2019, upon inking a licensing deal with New York-based clothing company Onia, Bernstein launched the Shop We Wore What e-commerce site, populated with her expanding We Wore What fashion collection. The collection has been at the center of much recent controversy, due to allegedly including copycat designs. According to Bernstein, she turns to vintage pieces, editorials and travel for inspiration. Bernstein’s also become an investor and advisor for hair supplement company Wellbel and CBD brand Highline Wellness. In May, she became active on Patreon, offering exclusive video content to paying members of her community.

In addition, Bernstein heads up We Gave What, a charitable arm of her company. In 2019, she launched tech company Moe Assist with a project management tool for influencers, though its social accounts have been inactive for two-plus months. When asked for comment, a spokesperson said Moe Assist is in a new fundraising stage and “should have news to share shortly.”

Barnes, meanwhile, partnered with Reunited Clothing to come out with her apparel company, The Bright Side, in December. And she recently became a first-time investor-advisor, for 6-month-old SMS shopping platform Qatch. She announced the partnership in an Instagram post on Monday.

“I feel like a grown-up,” she told me, before confirming that she’s interested in investing in more companies. “Diversifying my business has been a really big [focus] for me. I interact with so many different brands and companies on a daily basis. Using my market knowledge in ways that can help other people is fulfilling and exciting for me. And I especially love when I can be involved with a company from the beginning.”

Building on their content creator role in fashion is a natural progression, both said. And it plays into many industry shifts: On its way out is fashion’s DTC era, largely fueled by Harvard Business School and Wharton graduates using a plug-and-play, marketing-heavy business model to launch brands. More consumers are prioritizing quality, differentiated products, making industry experience and style expertise greater virtues among insiders. At the same time, consumers are increasingly taking shopping cues from relatable, platform-native celebrities, moving on from authoritative editors and more closed-off celebrities.

The school of collaborations
The collaborator-to-founder shift isn’t the newest thing. Other longtime influencers that have made the pivot include Arielle Charnas, with Something Navy; Aimee Song, with Song of Style; Rumi Neely, with Are You Am I; the list goes on. Most often, the names behind these brands don’t have formal design and business training — for her part, Bernstein said she “went to FIT for two years, but didn’t study design and production.” But, for years, they’ve worked hand-in-hand with companies to bring their visions to life. And along the way, they’ve come to know what resonates best with their vast communities, from marketing to merchandising to product.

“My most successful collaborations have led to the largest share of my business,” said Bernstein.

Bernstein’s partnership with Onia came out of her swimwear collaboration with its Onia brand, in May 2019. On the collab’s launch day, it drove $2 million in sales, and an included style was the brand’s best-selling swimsuit of the summer. Also in 2019, Bernstein collaborated with Joe’s Jeans on multiple denim collections. The launch day of the first, in March 2019, marked Joe Jeans’ best sales day to date, said Jennifer Hawkins, the brand’s svp of marketing and innovation on a Glossy Podcast in October.

Both served as learning opportunities for Bernstein, who said — as with all of her collaborations — she took full advantage: “It was never just [uploading] a post, and then I went away,” she said. “I always wanted to know how the performance was, in terms of sales, and asked questions: ‘Can you share the analytics?’ ‘What did you see on your end?’ ‘What worked and what didn’t work?’”

She added, “They provided a ton of data, in terms of what I could sell and what the market was missing.”

Likewise, she said, she always followed and shared with partner brands the Instagram Insights and Google Analytics numbers around her corresponding posts. Doing so gave all parties a 360-degree view of a collaboration’s success.

“I’ve learned what works for brands so they get the largest return on their investment,” she said.

For example, she’s learned to lean on her audience’s tastes, versus rely on her own, by allowing them to offer feedback throughout the design process through Instagram. That’s included the selection of fabrics and colors and the fit sessions with models. She only spotlights her favorite styles and what she wears in her own social posts, as a play for authenticity.

According to Bernstein, the collaborations with brands allowing her to play an advisor role — by guiding them on influencer partnerships, marketing and messaging — are always more successful. And they often turn into longer-term investment or advising partnerships.

Bernstein chose to work with Onia on the We Wore What collection based on its prioritization of quality and fit, and ability to keep to affordable retail prices. Currently, prices on the We Wore What site range from $20, for a scrunchie, to $228, for a vegan leather jumpsuit.

Barnes was also ready to go out on her own after finding the right partners. Her Reunited Clothing partnership came after working with the company to create her Express product collaboration, in early 2019. On its first-quarter 2019 earnings call, interim CEO Matthew C. Moullering said the company had seen “a strong start to [the] collection both in-stores and online and [believed] it [was] helping to introduce the brand to a new audience.”

“Having your own brand is terrifying,” Barnes said. “But I like that I’m in control and not so dependent on doing the day-to-day posts promoting other companies.”

But, she added, “One of the huge benefits of working with all these different brands on all these different projects is that we’re constantly getting introduced to new people and seeing who we like working with.”

Barnes’ internal team consists of her husband, who’s the “business brains” of the company, she said, and an assistant.

Like Bernstein, Barnes stressed the need for outside support in the production process: “I love such quirky, crazy things, but I also understand what is realistic for a buyer and a normal girl buying clothes,” she said. “The experience of taking ideas and making them work for a bigger group of people was my learning curve going into a business. It’s important to have a good, diverse team around you who can make your idea something that’s marketable.”

For its part, We Wore What has seen “200x growth in the last year,” as it’s expanded to new categories, Bernstein said. Its ready-to-wear, swimwear, resort wear, and activewear are now sold in “dozens and dozens of retailers around the world,” many of which offer style exclusives; they include Revolve, Bloomingdale’s and Intermix.

“Launching my own brand was putting the proof in the pudding for the power of influencers, when it comes to selling product,” she said.

As with her Joe’s and Onia collaborations, Bernstein sees a rush-to-buy with We Wore What product drops. “The first 10 minutes is when we see the biggest portion of our sales for the entire collection,” she said.

To build buzz, Shop We Wore What’s Instagram account (213,000 followers) features in its Stories the line sheets of the soon-to-launch styles, allowing customers to thoughtfully plan their buy. Doing so has led to lower return rates, Bernstein said. The company’s marketing mix also includes text messages and emails, VIP discounts and user-generated content.

Bernstein has a staff of four people, which include a chief operating officer and a brand coordinator. She said she prioritizes establishing partners with skills and expertise she doesn’t have, so she can learn from them along the way. Ideally, she’d have learned about tech packs, fittings and production logistics in school, but she’s training as she goes.

Moving forward, Bernstein said she plans to extend the size range of We What What styles, which are currently available in sizes XS-XXL, and launch collections with collaborators to sell exclusively on her brand’s DTC site. In addition, she aims to eventually open “experimental” physical retail, starting with pop-ups.

As for her investment-advisor portfolio, she’s currently in talks with companies centered on the concepts of “being able to sell your closet and even rent your closet.”

As for Barnes’ Bright Side, she said it will hit “a bunch of new retailers this year.”

Moving beyond fashion
Up next for Shop We Wore What is a new product category that will hit before the holiday season. Considering her passion for home furnishings and decor — based on her @homeworewhat Instagram account (7,500 followers) and recent press coverage of her new SoHo loft — it’s a safe bet that a home-related category is in the cards.

Likewise, Barnes hinted at a future Bright Side home collection, following her recent, two-year home remodel, which she’s getting set to debut on social media.

Lifestyle brands are the clear goal.

“I would love to be a combination of Rachel Zoe and Martha Stewart, just having my hands in everything and creating this really beautiful lifestyle where you can entertain and be fashionable,” Barnes said. “That’s kind of the dream.”

She added, “Fashion is where my heart has always been, but I’m growing as a person and there’s so much more in my life right now: my family, my home — and I’m getting older, so beauty [and skin care] makes sense now. Sharing all of that with everyone seems so natural; it would be weird if I only did fashion.”

As for future investments, though Quatch fits perfectly into Barnes’ world, with its fashion-tech focus, she said she’s open to investing in any company where she sees opportunity.

What’s more, she has no plans to retire from social media, though she has yet to tackle TikTok.

“People’s need for content has only increased, so I’m posting and creating content more than ever,” Barnes said. “But I’ve learned to become more of a hard-ass with brands. The companies that are willing to work with me and [facilitate] the most like authentic relationship possible are the ones I move forward with.” Reunited can attest.

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South African bowler Tabraiz Shamsi: Amateur magician; professional tweaker-trickster

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Harry Potter fans would know this as the Room of Requirement; muggle cricketers dub it backend operations. Tabraiz Shamsi is an amateur magician. He is also a professional worrier of why some googlies don’t turn as much as he’d want, in cricket.

For the Proteas chinaman bowler, the room of requirement from where he could pull out any game data, used to be the dependable ‘P Dawgg’, former South Africa analyst Prasanna Agoram combining his ken and nous and fast processing laptop. Prasanna enviably would be privy to the trial (and error) runs of Magician Shamsi’s classical Tourniquet coin-drops with the cricket ball. Which was the unglamorous, quirk-in-progress of his left-arm leg spin.

At the stroke of 1 a.m, oftener than not, Shamsi would come looking for what he called ‘shit balls’, in what Prasanna reckoned were otherwise impressive, less-than-run-a-ball bowling spells. This was that one specific delivery that went for a six to sully Shamsi’s 4-0-22-3 T20 match figures. It was the bugs, not the features, that the 29-year-old would cussedly fixate on.

“I’d never point out that he’s missing his length or the back foot was collapsing, at 12.30 in the night. Because Shamo, you see, would then take me to the nets at 1 a.m! He’s capable of calling the manager and telling him at that hour that I have to practice NOW. You had to be careful about what you told him at 1 a.m,” Prasanna laughs, underlining ungrudging admiration for the Proteas spinner’s dedication.

A series of self-recriminations in staccato would follow the ‘Bhai, can you please put on the shit-ball that went for a six.’ “He’d curse himself watching replays: ‘no good, not international class, garbage ball.’ If you try telling him it is ‘well-played’ from Jos Butler and not exactly a poor ball, he’d be hard on himself and say, ‘This is nonsense from Shamo’,” Prasanna recalls of his exacting standards.

For, the South African World No 1 spinner – who lends mystery to the Saffer bowling attack if not entirely upstaging their thunderbolt battery of pacers – knows that all sleights of hand, can come with uncontrollable twists of fate. Both in magic, and cricket.

A young boy of 15 at Paarl who tried to bowl quick like Wasim Akram and Chaminda Vaas, had wound up as a left arm leg spin all-sorts, after years of compulsive fine-tuning. And taken failures and omissions into his run-up’s five-strides.

***
Born in Johannesburg, Shamsi wanted to be a super quick in the land of bolting pacers. His progress though didn’t follow the regular route of being identified early for First teams at schools and playing age-groups. Also, he was told he wasn’t quick enough.

Speaking to the podcast ‘Pavilion conversations with C.S’ recently, Shamsi recalls his earliest break at age 15, bowling alone in the school nets, with the cricket coach’s office nearby. The coach would stop by and ask him what he was upto. “I said, ‘Sir, the U15 trials are coming up. I want to make the Paarl team wanna progress’. He told me – you are not gonna make it. But even there I thought he realised the type of character I am. That was just his way to push me even harder. He said ‘Don’t waste your time practicing coz you won’t get selected. And i was even more driven,” he told the host Mr. Chiwanza.

Shamsi would end up with most wickets that tournament, make the B team (“Still not A”), followed by U17 and U19s for the local side. “I didn’t get selected for SA U19s or invited to camps. My past was little different. In fact I got my opportunity at semi-pro cricket because one player got selected for U19s and went to the World Cup. A spot opened up because of him. I just knew that was my chance I had to make it work. And fortunately I performed. When he came back from the World Cup, he couldn’t get into the team,” Shamsi recalled.

It was around 2015-6 after he had zeroed in on Chinaman as his chosen bag of assorted tricks in franchise, provincial cricket, that he first sought out Prasanna, while closely following senior leggie and his ‘bruv’ Imran Tahir. Prasanna promised to compile a list of outstanding T20 spinners of that year for comparison, when Shamsi asked him: ‘Why just T20? I want to play all formats.’

Prasanna promised to revert after two days on Friday, and on Monday, he had a message from the hotel lobby at 10.30 am that Shamsi was waiting. “Normally, cricketers will turn up at 11.30, if the analyst time is 10.30. This guy made me abandon my breakfast and was ready with a list of questions. I’d prepared a presentation earlier on bowlers like Warne, Ajmal and Herath and how they bowled on unhelpful tracks, what lengths to bowl at what stage, and offered to email it to him. He tells me: “No. I’ll write it down in my own words. I don’t want shortcuts.”

Shamsi would sit and plan for every batsman – his notes diary in tow, even on matchdays when he wasn’t in Playing XI. And once he would spill the beans on why brainwaves struck him at 1 a.m – his preferred time to brainstorm with the analyst. “He once told me he eats my brain at that hour, so that he gets dreams of how to get a Kohli or Sharma out, so he can wake up next day he can execute the training plans.”

Once he came angsty about his googlies not spinning as much as Kuldeep Yadav or Brad Hogg. “When he said it’s not spinning, I told him Shamo’ you didn’t bowl any googly. That’s it. He hit the nets and bowled 1000 googlies non-stop and then said, he’s now hitting the groove.”

But nothing had prepared Prasanna for Shamsi’s mic-drop in the pink ball Test against Australia where the Chinaman was fancied as it’s tougher to spot the wrist in the Adelaidian twilight. Shamsi was instructed to block for 20 balls and support Faf as Proteas were hanging on at 210-9. Shamsi would announce he would score a 50 – against Pat Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc. Finally he was unbeaten on 18. “He came back and blustered ‘If someone had suported me, I’d have hit that 50’.”

***

This constant state of ‘upbeat’ – talking up his own abilities to score a 50 coming at No 11 against Cummins & Starc – might well be the sort of swag and sizzle that the staid South African teams need at ICC tournaments. For a large part of the last 30 years, the Proteas have entered tournaments with burdensome tags of ‘talented’ and ‘favourites’ and come up short. The tasteless mocking glee of choke-jokes has run its course, and being light-weights might well prove liberating.

For all their botched run chases in 50 overs, South Africa can stake claim to the historic highest run-rally to 438. And the innings-interval remark of Jacques Kallis, the most expensive bowler in Australia’s 434, who had quipped “Guys, I think we’ve done a good job. They’re 15 runs short.”

Shamsi likes his boisterous one-liners too. And his showboating and noisy over-the-top pantomime aggression.

After starring in a T20 win against Ireland earlier, he would tell South African journalist Telford Vice, “In my young age, I started as a seamer but was told I’m not quick enough to be a fast bowler so became a spinner. Grew up watching Andre Nel, Dayle Steyn, Allan Donald, that’s where aggression comes from.”

He knows it’s a double-edged sword and a bowler can be packed off, but it can disrupt batters too. “Whatever it takes to win. I’m in charge of making our presence felt on the ground and ensure the team never backs down from opponents,” he added.

Shamsi recently responded to Darren Sammy’s tweet on who would win the T20 World: “Come on skipper, you know the answer to this already…. South Africa of course.” Scroll down the thread, and some mocker mangles his grammar: “are you comedy me”. A good laugh was had by all. Pressure punctured.

“He’ll say things like ‘I’ll single-handedly win this,” Prasanna says, “Whether it happens or not, it gives confidence to people close to you – your team.”

***

Shamsi’s made it to the top of rankings, taking 49 wickets from 42 T20Is, at a strike-rate of 14.8 and averaging 6.6. There’s been a bucketful of wickets in franchise cricket and The Hundred. He’s 31 and has bidden his time to make it to the national team, and another 4 years into the Playing XI. The Wicket then, is an ocassion to celebrate, he reckons.

“I’m a human being and not a robot and want to make long-lasting happy memories that will live with me forever long after my career is done and that is the reason behind my celebrations,” he wrote in a social media post once. “My celebrations mean no disrespect to the opponents. They help me enjoy myself, switch on and off during the game to release some pressure, and put some smiles on people’s faces too.”

There’s the “Shoe” that got going in the West Indies, where within seconds of a wicket, he’d shrug his ankle open from the left shoe and pretend to speak on a landline receiver. Then there’s the bus driver-celebration with Carlos Braithwaite and something about a birdie’s chirp. A flying kiss to the wife and a mock punch to a fielder like a streets hip hopper. Though the untold back-stories raise anticipation of what he’ll whip up next.

Prasanna says there can be new hairdos before every game, sometimes “thrice a week”, and that magic tricks and celebrations are practiced as diligently as the googlies and top-spinners. “Not only will he say, ‘Tomorrow I’ll get Ben Stokes out.’ He’ll also ask you to watch the celebration.”

Amongst his most famous on-field triumph-trumpetings after snaring a batter is pulling a wand out of a hankey – a magician’s staple. But never in cricket, where magic’s glossary is slathered on the slow bowlers and their guiles.

T20 commentators love his name, lending it a South American football match caller’s vroom: “Shaaa-mzzziii”. But it’s the celebrations that can befuddle the most trained of raconteurs. When Shamsi got Wihan Lubbe in the Mzansi Super League, the commentator would build up to the expected celebration. “Is the shoe coming off? No. Look at that…it’s magic,” he would chortle. Cricket was momentarily put to the side, before he resumed confused: “That was a legspinner…… Beg your pardon… Offspinner… That did the trick..” Shamsi’s delivery had jagged away from the leftie and the post-celebration left the commentator’s mind in knots.

Appearing on the Dan Nicholl Show in SA, Shamsi had pulled one of those ‘I can guess the card pulled out of the deck after being shuffled’ tricks. It was ace of spades.

Magic had been his fallback option till age 16, he’d say. “So if cricket doesn’t work out… I ll practice magic for 10 years… But naa… It’s gonna work out.. I’ll bamboozle you all,” he would say, charming the audience.

At the start of the magic gig, Shamsi had handed a sealed envelope to the host. “Sealed with Proteas saliva” Nicholl had joked with whispered reverence. The distracting envelope had briefly become the centrepiece, and Shamsi would explain later:
“You satisfied you made me stop shuffling when u wanted me to? Funny thing is…You thought you were in charge of the trick… Telling me when to stop. Even though it’s your show, I’m running this party… I was controlling you and I actually made you stop at a specific point. …And to prove that I had written down something in this envelope before starting the trick..” It read Ace of Spades.

Shamsi’s assortment of Chinaman, is a bit like that: planned spontaneity. Allan Donald in a video while introducing him to RCB few seasons ago, said: “Left arm, tweaks it this way, tweaks it that way, then tweaks it the other way.” Offering attacking options in the middle overs, with his ability to turn ball both ways, and variations of top spinner, the side spinner and googly, makes him effective against both lefties and righties. The constant explosion of activity – before, right after when appealing (he once did a spot of bhangra jumps, then sat down altogether while pleading a decision) and when celebrating, is in fact the sealed envelope distraction.

Yet, bad days are not unfamiliar to Shamsi, and his role can be flexible like the magician’s wand, like in the West Indies, to keep things quiet, contain against the big power hitters. “There’s two ways to skin a cat… Not really fussed about not getting wickets in WI. That was a different role,” he told the media later.

Sometimes the magic is in not believing the flimflam and sleight. Like rankings. “I don’t lose sleep over being No 1. Obviously it’s a nice feeling to be on top. But I’ve said it before and I truly mean it. I don’t even think I’m the best bowler in our team. We have some great bowlers in the unit. Rankings don’t mean anything if a batsman gets hold of you. I don’t even know how those rankings work honestly.”

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Five great Twenty20 World Cup upsets

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Five great Twenty20 World Cup upsets | SuperSport – Africa’s source of sports video, fixtures, results and news






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