We’re excited to announce that tPC has finalized a partnership with Power Properties to bring a new coworking and meeting space to the Courthouse Square building in downtown Tacoma.
January was a blur and now we’re into the shortest month of the year. Spring is just around the corner. (right?) But first we want to get in some powder days, a nice Valentine’s Day dinner and celebrate the opening of the new SR-99 Tunnel. Here’s a digest of what’s going on at the space:
What we’re doing
Untitled Coffee Co Pop-Up
Untitled Coffee Co. is coming to tPC February 5th - 8th to do a pop-up coffee shop! “Untitled Coffee Co. is a third-wave coffee bar. What is third-wave? Simply put, we serve only the highest grade coffee beans that are sourced by our team of different coffee roasters to ensure the quality of your cup! From our flavored syrups, to our Oat Milk, we try our best to keep everything vegan-friendly. We have partnered with several coffee roasters thus far and will be collaborating with more as we progress!”
SR-99 Tunnel Fun Run 8K
We have a team of members and friends running all 8 kilometers (that’s 4.97 miles for you redcoats) of the new tunnel. Join us February 2nd or just meet us at the finish line for some Gu shots. https://tunneltoviaductrun.com/
Beam Suntory Happy Hour
For everyone who was able to attend the Beam Suntory Happy Hour, thank you for making the event so much fun! For everyone who missed it, you have three more opportunities to get in on the fun!! The next Beam Suntory HH will be on March 7th. Hope to see you all there!
Upcoming (next month) - we’ll be hosting the 3rd annual tPC March Madness bracket. We hope to get around to making a giant wall copy to track progress. More details to come.
What we’re working on
Willow’s most recent novel, The Bird King, is being published soon! The book is available for pre-order now & a lot of it was editted from tPC!
A little about the book: “A fantastical journey set at the height of the Spanish Inquisition from the award-winning author of Alif the Unseen and writer of the Ms. Marvel series, G. Willow Wilson’s The Bird King is a jubilant story of love versus power, religion versus faith, and freedom versus safety.” Be sure to check it out!
Virtua Rasa by Jeff Olhoeft
“Virtua Rasa is a virtual table-top for role-playing games and for table-top games in general. Games can be played exclusively on a virtual table-top, or you can add webcams to include augmented reality in your game. We’re a couple of programmers and gamers who wanted a way to use AR with VTTs, so that we could keep playing games with friends around the country, and still use our collections of gaming accessories (painted miniatures, terrain, maps, …), so we built Virtua Rasa!
This website is the result of that effort, and it’s time to show it to other people and see how much better it can get!
Smarthouse did some consulting & marketing for American Murder Song. “Their songs are all based on real murderers throughout American history; they even have a Donner Party board game.” Check it out here!
2019 Adventure Calendar by Christine
Check out this calendar featuring 12 photos taken by Christine Yoo! Some product details:
12 unbound pages ft. moments from chasing wonder in 2018
After the month ends, flip the page, snip along the dotted line & send as a postcard. Reduce, reuse, recycle––aw yeah.
5.4" x 7.5"
Printed on heavy matte card stock
All photos shot by Christine Yoo
25% of the proceeds go to El Pozo de Vida, an amazing org that fights human trafficking in Mexico.
Member Spotlight: Brian McRae
And if you missed it, check out our January Member Spotlight Brian McRae of Product School.
What we’re drinking
Key Lime Lacroix - more polarizing than coconut. Tastes like a jolly rancher sans corn syrup.
Rogers Pilsner (Georgetown) - Crosby® grown Sterling hops give this refreshing pilsner a spicy and earthy hop aroma.
9 Swans (Elm Coffee Roasters) - Colombia Iquira. This Caturra and Castillo coffee was grown in Northen Huila in the late summer. It has an intense cherry character with plenty of sweetness. We roast it such that it works well with or without milk, and is quite soluble for easy extraction.
What we’re listening to
Before we get going, Brian, can you tell us about Product School & what they do?
Absolutely! Product School is a private product management educator based in San Francisco with 14 campuses globally including both Seattle and Bellevue. We were founded in 2014 by our CEO Carlos Gonzalez de Villaumbrosia who was formerly a product manager. We initially made our presence in Seattle in December 2017 and we’ve been at the Pioneer Collective since February 2018 which is around the time I came on board.
Our focus is hands-on, practical instruction in Software Product Management with each class resulting in a certificate. Our part-time programs are designed for aspiring product managers looking to transition to a product management role as well as current product managers who desire formal training. In addition to Product Management we offer courses in Data Analytics, Coding, Digital Marketing and later this year—UX Design as well as Product Leadership for those more experienced product managers.
Another focus of ours is to foster product management communities both online and in person. One way we do this is by having weekly events at our Seattle location (every Wednesday at 6:30PM) and once or twice a month in Bellevue. We’ve had and continue to have local product management experts present fascinating product management-related topics that elevate understanding of this growing field.
What is it that you do day-to-day role for PS?
I am the regional campus director and I oversee courses and events at both the Seattle and Bellevue locations. Most of my day is spent speaking with prospective students. When I am not engaging with students I am planning and leading our campus events that we have here at the Pioneer Collective every Wednesday and pursuing local opportunities to broaden our exposure.
You have some pretty experienced instructors working for some big name companies (Microsoft, Amazon, etc), what else sets Product School apart from other similar courses?
Most of our students are aspiring product managers who have made the decision to change their career. One of the things that separates us from other learning opportunities is that all of our students get prepared for their post-course job search. We provide training on interviewing for a PM role as well as resume reviews. Our instructors are also mentors for our students well after the course has ended to provide those students ongoing support. Anything from being a job reference to leveraging key connections that would be beneficial for the student to know to being available to provide product management advice.
We are honest and upfront with our students in terms of giving them a realistic understanding of the difficulties of making this transition happen. We don’t hide from the fact that getting a product management job is challenging and competitive and it takes much more than a certificate to land a job. But if they use our resources, continue to find opportunities to increase their exposure to product management (including pro bono work and other volunteer opportunities) and leverage their networks they will be successful.
How can a PS student/graduate expect their certification to affect their life & career?
Our certificates merely indicate that our students have had formal training in product management which by the way MANY experienced product managers never had. The certificate alone is not the life/career changer. It’s the momentum that you can generate by starting with a certificate program and utilizing Product School resources. Then find ways to further your passion for product management and build on your experience.
Following up on that note, what is your favorite student success story?
I have a few! But my absolute favorite is when one of our students who took the product management course in Seattle last year. She put a lot of time and energy in her final project. So much that her instructor was extremely impressed and he ended up hiring her on the spot. She now works on his team which is the product management team for the mobile app at Best Buy.
If an individual is interested in product management class or one of PS’s other courses, what is the best way for them to find out more?
They can always connect with me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be happy to provide further details on how our courses work. I also invite anyone interested to check out our online resources such as the Product School website at www.productschool.com, connect with our Slack and Facebook communities and spend some time on our YouTube channel that has over 700 videos of former guest speakers from around the country as well as London. And, don’t forget about our weekly events in Seattle.
What is your favorite part of having your Seattle Campus in Pioneer Square? Do you have any recommendations?
I love the fact that it’s a dichotomy of old and new. We’re in a neighborhood that is rich with Seattle history but at the same time we are in one of the most modern, progressive and technologically savvy communities in the world. One of my favorite sections of Pioneer Square is definitely Occidental Square. When the weather’s nice it’s a great spot for lunch or to have a coffee break and sit and people watch with my latte from Zeitgeist.
HAPPY NEW YEAR - here’s what’s on tap at tPC!
Meet Christine Yoo
The tPC team is excited to introduce Christine Yoo, our new resident photographer! Christine is a lifestyle photographer who will be taking photos around the space of our members & events. Please be sure to make her feel welcomed & check out her work at her website. Definitely keep her in mind for your photography needs!
tPC is Looking for a Community Lead!
The Pioneer Collective is looking to add another Community Lead to our team. If you are unfamiliar, our CL Program is a work trade where an individual receives a free Community Access membership (+ some other awesome perks) in exchange for working a couple shifts a week. If you or someone you know is interested, please reach out at email@example.com. For more information, visit our site.
Mobile Flu Shot Clinic
The Mobile Flu Shot Clinic will be at tPC in early January so keep your eye out for more information after the Holidays. *Most insurance companies cover the entire cost of a flu shot!
Don’t forget about the Viaduct Closure (as if you could)
Starting Jan. 11th the viaduct will officially be closed as they prepare for the new tunnel. For up to 6 weeks things could get a little dicey in terms of commuting so consider the following:
Shift your travel time to avoid the busiest times on the roadway
Bike or walk to work
Start or join a carpool, vanpool or vanshare
Use transit, particularly light rail and King County Water Taxi
Be prepared for your new route when the closure ends and the new tunnel opens.
For more information, check out the website here.
Speaking of the Viaduct…
Don’t forget to register for the Tunnel to Viaduct 8k! tPC has a team & many of us have already registered. Tip: the sooner you register, the cheaper it is! The race is February 2nd & there are events all weekend including an art show!
What we’re doing
Beam Suntory Happy Hour - Jan 10th @ 4pm
Beam Suntory, the maker of Maker’s Mark, Suntory Whisky Toki, Sipsmith, and El Tesoro will be hosting a Free Happy Hour at tPC on Thursday, January 10th @ 4 pm. Be sure to be there as their bar tender mixes us up some tasty cocktails!
Getaround Ice Cream HH - Jan 22nd @ 4pm
Getaround will be at tPC on Tuesday, January 22nd @ 4 pm to tell us a little more about their car sharing service (think AirBnB but for cars)! They are providing Molly Moon’s Ice Cream (yummm) & drinks for anyone who wants to stop by!
Have you heard of Foundation?? - ongoing
tPC will be partnering with Foundation to host different events in the space every month. Kathleen will be hosting a regular improv class at tPC the 2nd Tuesday of every month so be sure to check that out! We will also be hosting a game night. Our kickoff game night, in partnership with BEAM Experiences, is LEGO Battle Bots happening on January 25th so be sure to mark your calendar & talk to Jamie about how to get free tickets!
What we’re watching
Drug$ - Chris’ best childhood friend, Jonathan Marshall Thompson, directed this feature length documentary about price gouging and greed in the pharmaceutical industry and the patients affected by it. It will make you angry, sad, and question our healthcare system more than you probably already do. Available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Big World - a heartwarming mini documentary that Audrey’s brother Dave and our seven year old nephew Thorne shot over Spring Break last year. They paddled down a remote river in Nepal on a SUP with nothing but a camera, a map and and some gear.
What we’re reading
Chris - “I just finished The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. I’m not a huge fantasy reader normally, so I was unaware of the uncertainty surrounding the third book in the trilogy when I started the series. Now I must come to terms with the fact that I may die unsatisfied. Also - huge thanks to our neighbors at Arundel Books for turning me on to these books. They are great. Please visit while you’re in the neighborhood.”
Audrey - “I’m rereading The Life and Death of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs”
What we’re listening to
We don’t know yet, but here’s a list of our top songs from 2018 according to Spotify.
A few months ago, a meme was passed around among independent coworking operators showing many of the large chain spaces using the exact same marketing tag line in their efforts to differentiate. We chuckled derisively as we scrolled through nearly identical splash pages with one company after another explaining how they were “more than just a coworking space.”
Every business owner loves to poke fun at larger competitors, but for many coworking space operators, this article probably touched a nerve of self consciousness too. The coworking landscape has changed dramatically and there is no longer even consensus regarding the definition of coworking, so how do we as operators accurately articulate the value we provide?
It’s easy to see how these larger shared space operators ended up using such similar tactics to define their value proposition. Not only do they feel pressure to position themselves to their customers, but also to the investors that fund (subsidize?) their operations. Putting aside the question of whether coworking companies can ever achieve the minimum 10x return demands of VC firms, these investors are demanding reassurance that their money isn’t going to one of dozens of WeWork imitators. Claiming differentiation is a lot easier than actually achieving it though, and it appears that some companies have adopted the strategy of repeating the mantra until it comes true.
Independent operators, on the other hand, don’t face pressure to appease investors, and our spaces are naturally differentiated from the WeWorks of the world by virtue of being independent. More often than not, indie spaces are born from passion projects and the atmosphere, community, and vibe is unique because the space itself and the people behind it are. That being said, we still often find ourselves needing to justify our existence to the world.
Even as awareness of coworking has grown, most of us have explained what we do to someone at a party, only to receive a response like “So you re-lease office space at a higher price than you pay?” or “Why wouldn’t the landlord just do that themselves?”
So when we feel the pressure to explain that we’re “more than just a coworking space”, what we really mean in many cases is that we’re more than just arbitragers of commercial real estate.
No one would assume that running a great hotel is as simple as putting comfortable beds and nice shampoo in some rooms. Most people wouldn’t claim that a great bar experience is created simply through providing good spirits and expensive furniture. Yet, maybe because of the still fledgling state of the coworking industry, there is a common misconception that what we do can be reduced to leasing space, adding desks, and counting the profits.
In reality, successful coworking spaces have complex and arduous operational components, require ongoing community building and nurturing, and intentional efforts toward improving member experience and the physical and psychological work environment through design and iteration. In short, striving to be a great coworking space is an admirable goal in itself, and one that if done right, can have a lasting impact on the community within (members, staff, customers) and outside of the physical confines of the space (its neighborhood, the local economy, etc).
So what can we provide?
Independent coworking spaces have the opportunity to foster creativity, encourage human connection, and create economic growth. As society and the economy have evolved, transactions and social interactions have moved into the virtual world, and opportunities for daily human contact have all but vanished for many people. As companies have become distributed and work has gone remote, meaningful companionship with coworkers has been lost.
As the pace and complexity of life has accelerated, so to has the desire to achieve time efficiencies. A day running errands is replaced by a few keystrokes. We recapture hours, but in turn we lose even the most basic moments of socialization. We skim Google for methods of grilling salmon and miss the chance to talk to the fish monger at the supermarket. We share neighborhood gossip on Nextdoor but we don’t attend the block party because of an overloaded schedule. We order coffee and lunch on apps, skip the line and miss the point of sale chatter. A trade-off for convenience is often increased isolation.
Crossfit experienced a surge in popularity, not just because of the efficacy of its workouts, but because of the camaraderie the format created between gym members. In a world with fewer opportunities for face-to-face connections, coworking spaces can do the same for the modern workplace, acting as one of the final outposts for diverse thinkers, creators, and doers to come together under one roof.
And through the power of shared economies, the individual members and small teams that make up the primary coworking user base can pool their resources and gain access to the beautiful, flexible, thoughtfully designed workspaces and amenities that were previously reserved for enterprise level budgets.
While other coworking companies wrestle with what they are and what they aren’t, we’ll continue to focus on providing top notch workspace that allows our members to grow and thrive. We believe we can add value by bringing together a community of people from disparate backgrounds, united by a desire to create impact. Whether discussing a project at work, politics, or hobbies, the coworking space serves as the platform for interaction with new people and exposure to new ideas. Our members expand their skillsets by surrounding themselves with people who are experts in areas they are not. We’ll continue to improve the physical spaces in which this all takes place while remaining focused on the people and organizations within. In other words, we’re just a coworking space, and we think that’s a great thing to be.
Before we jump into what you’re working on, give me a brief history of who you both are and where you came from. What were the big milestones that created the path to this moment in time?
M: My name's Mayte (or “M”), and I'm the owner of Compass Marketing, Compass Real Estate Marketing, and lotlerco. I'm also the co-founder and lead marketing strategist of Web Pros of Real Estate and Sprkl (marketing automation software). I truly believe I have always been an entrepreneur at heart. From the moment that my family migrated to the U.S. from Cuba when I was five years old, I've witnessed my parents work unbelievably hard, open their own business, work harder, fail miserably, try again, and finally, live a life most people dream about. This is why I named my business "Compass" - in honor of my family and the guiding light that their love, hope, and courage have always provided me. To date, my biggest milestone is also my biggest failure—selling out to a corporation, however, I have it to thank for the opportunity to live out my dreams today and help other business owners live out theirs.
F: My name is Forrest Hosten. I’m a young entrepreneur from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I started my first business at the age of 12—buying cases of Monster energy drinks, bringing them to school, and selling them to students. When I turned 18, I passed the Florida Real Estate Exam and immediately started with Coldwell Banker. When I was 19, I started Tribus Holdings, a private holdings company that bought e-commerce websites as well as brands with the goal to grow them as a long-term company assets. I eventually sold the company assets at a 40% gain 22 months later. In 2017, Tribus Holdings acquired several small hosting companies. I took their combined the client bases and founded Narthax Hosting Solutions. This year I also started Pros of Real Estate to help luxury agents with web development and marketing. I’m also a mentor for middle and high school students through two organizations, Greatness Beyond Measurement (GBM) in Sarasota and Greater Movement in Seattle. My goal with that is to help students believe in themselves, their ideas and trust themselves enough to take chances and launch their ideas.
How did the two of you meet and what led you to work together? Would you say your skill sets and work styles are similar and additive or different and complementary?
M: The way Forrest and I met is your quintessential Millennial story! We met on an app, realized we had a lot of goals in common, and decided to team up to take over the world.
F: M nailed that. Yeah, we met on SHAPR a networking app. We had coffee at Slate one day, and we realized how much alike we are and we were already working on similar projects. It was a no brainer, for me at least. M is the perfect compliment to my skills because I am not a marketer.
What are the marketing concepts most small businesses and entrepreneurs fail to grasp?
M: Two things: one, the true cost of customer acquisition and, two, the importance of having a cohesive but diverse omnichannel presence.
F: How to sell—100%.
M, you’ve been running Compass Marketing and LotlerCo for a while now, but your aspirations are growing. I know you have plans to expand into additional investing and service areas. Can you give us an idea of the master plan as it stands now, and how the pieces fit together?
M: My master plan is to have an ecosystem of products and services that enable businesses to thrive on not just a local but global scale with powerful but affordable marketing services, process automation, sales AI, and microloans.
You both have the energy and assertiveness—not to mention the work ethic—to be successful entrepreneurs. How do you evaluate opportunities, weigh risk and make confident decisions when faced with imperfect information?
M: Honestly, if there is no data to back up my decision, I trust my gut. I always try to make informed decisions but even then, sometimes those don't work out, and when they don't, I just keep working on them until they do.
F: I go with my gut—if I make a bad decision I can always go back and change it later in 99% of cases.
Why do you think so many entrepreneurs and investors struggle with ambiguity in a world that offers very little certainty, at least when it comes to economic decisions? Is it a psychological hurdle, a lack of experience or something else?
M: I think, for the most part, ambiguity is fear in disguise. It's scary to put time, blood, sweat, tears, and money into something only to have it not work out. Les Brown has a quote that I always think about:
Don't let the fear of ambiguity discourage you. If it doesn't work out, keep working on it until it does. Don't stop yourself from doing something just because it hasn't been done before or you don't know if it will work, or because someone doesn't believe in you. Fuck it and fuck them. Have the courage to live the life you want to live.
F: I don’t think those people are true entrepreneurs if they struggle with ambiguity. If they’re inexact or unsure about what they’re explaining or doing, I think there’s a pretty high chance they’ll fail to execute. But my definition of entrepreneurship may be different than yours. Our minds are our biggest enemies sometimes and we overthink decisions (at least I do).
What do you see as your biggest potential challenge at the moment? What keeps you up at night?
M: Work-life balance.
Where will the company be in 12 weeks, 12 months and 12 years?
M: Right now my plan of attack is to scale, scale, scale until we have a dominant market share.
F: Twelve weeks, hopefully 50K in ARR. Twelve months, 250K in ARR. Twelve years, hopefully acquired by another company way before that mark or made a subsidiary of (our) private equity firm.
The Fun Stuff
Best kept secret in Seattle is…?
M: If I tell you, it's not a secret.
F: I haven’t been here long enough to find one!!
The world will be less ____ in 2028 than today.
____ will have the biggest impact on the economy over the next decade.
M: Automation and voice search
F: Artificial intelligence and augmented reality
Two people I admire are ____.
M: my mother and father
F: my mom and dad
____ is a company that gets it right.
M: Compass Marketing
F: Tribus Capital Partners!
If I had a surprise week off work, you would find me ____.
M: in Miami
F: in Portland
____ is highly overrated.
_____ gives me hope for the future.
M: My little sister
F: My past
Enjoy our monthly digest as we wrap up October push onward into November.
iRepair Seattle Has a New Home
Longtime tPC mainstay, iRepair Seattle is moving on up to nicer digs. Those digs happen to be in a private office workshop on the second floor of our space. You can now find Ryan inside the Pioneer Collective in suite 200B. Take the elevators or stairs in the main Westland Building lobby to the second floor and follow the signs.
What we’re drinking:
COFFEE - Nine Swans (Guatemala) by Elm Coffee Roasters Elm’s seasonal Nine Swans blend is currently Lazaro Constanza, a “sweet and lush coffee is grown in Agua Dulce, Guatemala, at nearly 1900 meters. Lazaro grows this Typica varietal coffee and processes in meticulously. It is washed several times in its 36-48 hour fermentation. It makes a sweet and lovely espresso, with or without milk.
TEA - Paris by Harney and Sons - Company founder Mike Harney “has enjoyed many a pot of tea in the famous Parisian tea shops. In homage to the city, he created what's become one of Harney & Sons' most popular and beloved blends worldwide. Paris is a fruity black tea with vanilla and caramel flavors, and a hint of lemony Bergamot. The aroma is delightful!'“
WINE - Tribute Red by Browne Family Vineyards. Browne describes this wine as “exploding aromatics of red roses, anis, cigar box and cream soda with flavors of black cherry and pomegranate. This full bodied wine is silky and vicious with lingering flavors of crème brule and toasted oak. This wine will pair with hearty meals of beef stew, Cioppino and meatloaf.”
BEER - Grapefruit IPA from Metier Brewing This beer, brewed in Woodinville, Washington, is “(their) traditional IPA recipe plus a light essence of grapefruit for a fresh, citrus forward IPA perfect for summer.” (Or fall)
SPARKLE - LaCroix Cola “I don’t know if I like this.” - Kathleen
What we’re doing:
Halloween Latte Bar
Seattle Coffee Gear, the supplier of our espresso machine (the Rocket R58), is joining us Wednesday to make lattes and cappuccinos for members and guests! On Oct. 31st, a barista from SCG will be in house to serve up espresso drinks with your Wednesday Morning Waffles. It looks to be a very happy Halloween!
Don’t forget to mail your ballots or drop them at a drop-box by Tuesday, November 6th.
Kathleen’s Improv Workshop
Our very own Kathleen Nacozy, comedian & improv teacher, is holding 3 drop-in workshops in our space:
Oct. 29th 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Nov. 5th 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Nov 12th 6:00pm - 7:30pm
If you want to try improv or already love it, please stop by!
Also check out:
WTF Just Happened Today by Matt Kiser
tPC member, Matt Kiser, runs a daily guide to today’s news and political climate called WTF Just Happened Today. It breaks the news down into smaller, more easily digestible bullets so you can keep track of it all & stay sane. Go check out his website & subscribe to his daily updates here!
Volunteer Opportunity: NW Cherry St. Food Bank
Member, M Lopez, helps out out the NW Cherry St. Food Bank every week & they could use some extra help! On Wednesday, Nov. 14th from 3 pm - 4:30 pm, come lend a hand. If you have questions, let her know!
Elena Maque’s Jazz!
Elena Maque is a talented jazz musician and wife to member, Simon Kvasnyuk. Elena was born in St. Petersburg & graduated from Mussorgsky College of Music. After moving to the US, she combined her knowledge of classical music, jazz and funk styles which resulted in Elena's unique and individual sound. As a composer she believes that every song has a story, an experience, or a feeling that left its footprint in the artist's soul. Her music is sincere and personal. Check out her music & live shows!
Counter Culture Cuppings
Counter Culture does public tastings every Friday at 10 am at their space which is at 313 1st Ave S (so close to us!). If you are wanting to try new tasty coffee or learn more about the roasting process, check it out!
What we did:
Skill Share: “Wills” & Wine
Last week, Kathleen so graciously hosted a “Wills” & Wine Skill Share where we went over some basic end-of-life documents and got all of the questions we had been dying to ask answered. We also enjoyed several of Trader Joes’ classiest wines, cheeses, & olives! If you missed this one, there is a possibility there will be a round two in the Spring, so keep your eye out.
Also, if you have some knowledge on an interesting hobby or useful skill, contact Jamie@thepioneercollective.com about hosting a Skill Share! They are a really fun and informal way to share and learn new things.
On the spookier side
And some Brahms….
This month at tPC features great vendors, cool tunes and a diverse array of activities.
What we’re drinking
Elm’s seasonal Nine Swans blend is currently “a single farmer caturra varietal lot from Huehuetenango Guatemala, El Olvido. We love Guatemalan coffees, particularly from Huehuetenango, as single-origin espresso coffees for their rich sweetness, coating body, and orange and tangerine acidity.”
For the second month in a row we’re featuring a keg from upstart Metier Brewing in Woodinville, WA. The Red Ale “is brewed with Willamette and East Kent Golding hops. Light and balanced maltiness with notes of caramel and roasted nuts.”
As always we have a fridge full of rotating LaCroix flavors, from the crowd darling Pamplemousse to the polarizing Coconut. We’re always on the lookout for rare finds like Key Lime. Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org
What we’re listening to
What we’re doing
10/11 FieldTrip To Convivial Cafe
You may remember that we announced the opening of Convivial Cafe in last month’s newsletter. Well now we’re going! tPC is going on a fieldtrip across the lake to Mercer Island to visit Joel’s new bakery/cafe, so mark your calendars for October 11th.
10/16 Members Lunch Catered by Cafe Zum Zum
Lunch is on us! On Tuesday, October 16th, tPC will be providing lunch just to say thank you for being awesome! Stop by for some tasty Pakistani/Indian food.
10/18 - Skill Share: Wills & Wine
Start your health care directive & estate documents with very local lawyer & front desk enthusiast, Kathleen Nacozy! Kathleen will be getting us started on the oh-so-fun end of life documents that everyone needs all while enjoying a glass of wine! The skill share is on Oct. 18th @ 5:30 pm in the Main Conference Room. Attendance is limited to 10.
We sat down with the guys from Offbeat, a video production company based out of the Pioneer Collective, to hear a little bit about how they got started in the industry. Thomas Ackles & Danny Chastain come together to create content for everyone from small startups to big companies like Nestle & Dreyer's. To see some of their work, check out their site here.
Q: How did you get interested in film? What’s your background and what led you to your current career?
T: Growing up my brothers and I were nerds and would make short films, music videos, and news broadcasts around the house with friends--much to my mother’s chagrin)--since then I have always loved the process of making something creative. I spent the years leading up to Offbeat as a videographer in a few different cities but decided to join forces with Danny because of his incredible talent and our ability to work together as a team.
D: Growing up I was all about playing sports. However, when I got to college I started to become more interested in the arts and the beauty that they bring to everyday life. I began to sing in the choir and take broadcasting classes and that's when I truly started to dig in to storytelling. Having projects and assignments that were engaging and made me turn on a creative mind really helped me fall in love with photo and video. Since those assignments in college, I've always had a camera over my shoulder wherever I go.
Q: You’ve both been making films most of your lives. What was each of your first films about?
T: One day my older brother convinced me to be the main actor in his music video for "Rainbow Connection" by Kenny Loggins... Needless to say, it may be the most embarrassing video of my life. To this day he claims he will be showing that video at my wedding.
D: The first memorable film that I made was a spoof of the show, “The Osbournes”. Our version was called “The Fatbournes” and my friends and I just stuffed our shirts with pillows and took everything out of the pantry at home and sat around this table with a bunch of food and big bellies talking like Ozzy Osbourne does.
Q: How did you both meet and what made you decide to start a company together?
T&D: We met in college at Gonzaga University. We originally became good friends through music and clubs we were in; then, being in the same major, we worked on projects together and liked each other’s work. We would watch videos of our favorite production companies and also videos from other companies and thought, 'we could do that!'. It was about Junior or Senior year that we decided we wanted to start a company together and after a few years in the field learning separately, we’re finally making it happen!
Q: What are some of the difficulties of being a small production company?
T&D: With the advent of the cell phone camera and affordability of DSLR style cameras, it’s been harder convincing clients that it’s worth their money to hire professionals to produce high quality video content. Everyone knows of a friend with a nice phone or some equipment, but there is value in hiring professionals who can work full time to create the best product.
Q: Offbeat’s aim is to help people get their story out, whether that’s for a restaurant, a student, or a hospital. Why is that important to you?
T&D: Everyone has a story - cliche I know, but it's true. And we are storytellers by nature. We are passionate about people and want to help them to tell their unique stories. Everyone you meet, whether a CEO, janitor, small business owner, or student -- they all have their own story in its own wonderful rite. That being said, with the internet functioning the way its functioning today, there is so much saturation in our lives when it comes to content. We want to tell stories that impact at least one person. If one person is impacted by our work then we've done our job.
Q: What’s the difference between working with, say, students at Gonzaga, and working with big companies like Nestle or Dreyer’s?
T: Honestly, it has been a learning process from the beginning, and I hope that never changes. We always are trying to improve. But I would say the scale of some of our productions and the amount of time and effort that goes into planning things has been a fun but challenging change in our recent projects.
D: To us, only the creative strategy changes with each client. We try to keep the same dedicated approach no matter who the client is. Since we are a small business, we cater to our clients as much as possible and to really make them feel like they're working with friends.
Q: There are a lot of production companies out there. What makes Offbeat different?
T: We are a company where creativity inspires passion. Our goal is to make people feel when they watch our work. That can be happiness, wonder, anger, or even inspiration to act, our goal is for people to feel connected to the human story through the medium of video.
D: Like we said, everyone has a story and everyone knows that to be true. What makes us different is our ability to pick out the story and tell it in an engaging and fitting way. We have a great ability to match the mood of the client and deliver something that they are going to be happy with.
Q: I have to ask… What’s your favorite movie, commercial, or video?
T: So many options! However, I know Danny and I both love the movie La La Land.
D: Thomas is right, La La Land is the best. My favorite commercials were from the 'Real Man of Genius' campaign Budweiser ran many years back -- they still make me laugh every time I watch them.