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 email@example.com
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.
We caught up with Brad, Amie, Ryan and Rachel of Smarthouse Creative for the first video edition of our recurring Members Spotlight blog feature. Smarthouse is an agency specializing in strategy, publicity, and marketing for independent artists.
Check out some of the cool projects produced by Smarthouse's current clients:
As many of you probably already know, coffee makes the world go 'round. And we definitely know that here at the Pioneer Collective which is why we have teamed up with our good friends at Seattle Coffee Gear to bring delicious espresso right to our members.
Approximately 150 million Americans drink coffee daily. And although, we love the famous Seattle coffee scene, sometimes there is just not enough time in the day or money in our wallets to stop and wait in line for that afternoon pick-me-up latte--which is where Seattle Coffee Gear comes in.
Seattle Coffee Gear was started by a man named Victor on a mission to have an excellent cup of coffee all from the convenience of his own home. He took that mission and expanded it into a business with like minded people who are passionate about providing a quality product. The Seattle Coffee Gear team is friendly, knowledgeable, and passionate. They even have an in-house repair center on the off chance that your machine has an issue.
One of my personal favorite aspects of Seattle Coffee Gear is their commitment to supporting Coffee Kids, a non-profit working towards enriching the lives of coffee-farming communities in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Coffee Kids focuses on teaching young farmers entrepreneurial skills, providing them with seed capital, and mentoring them in order that they may have the tools they need to face the challenges of small production coffee farming. Coffee Kids has helped over 200,000 families since their start in 1988. Learn more about the work that Coffee Kids is doing here.
The Pioneer Collective is currently housing Seattle Coffee Gears' Rocket Espresso R58 Espresso Machine & Eureka Atom Espresso Grinder so our members have constant access to a flow of caffeinated goodness.
This model of espresso machine was hand made in Milan, Italy and comes equipped with a double boiler, electronic temperature controls, and adjustable feet so you can make it fit just right on your counter! Learn a little bit more about the Rocket Espresso R58 here.
We've also found that the Eureka Atom Grinder works great for our space since it is ultra quiet thanks to a metal case dedicated to quieting the motor. It is perfect for being able to make a cappuccino to enjoy in the morning without waking up a sleeping partner or disturbing the neighbors.
So whether you are looking for a place to enjoy a great cup of coffee and to get some work done or an at home brewing system for all of your caffeine needs, we here at the Pioneer Collective & Seattle Coffee Gear have you covered. To learn more about the machines and gear Seattle Coffee Gear carries, check out their Youtube channel! They have a ton of great content teaching you the ins and outs of at home brewing.
Stay Safe. Stay Caffeinated.
Photo Credit: Timothy Aguero Photography
With over 1,000 people moving to Seattle each week, our city is growing fast! And like two inches of skin showing at the bottom of a middle schooler’s jeans, traffic is one of the signs that we’ve outgrown some of our systems.
Thankfully transit, ride shares, parking services -- and their user-friend apps -- are make getting around a whole lot easier. Environmentally friendlier options like car and bike shares are popping up everywhere. And lucky for us, Pioneer Square is right in the middle of it, making our neighborhood a commuters paradise!
By (Your Own) Car:
Street parking in Pioneer Square is metered, limited to 2hrs, and hard to come by during the work week. Our favorite place to park is the Century Field North Lot on Occidental, which is around $15 on non-event days. Or you can use this handy Downtown Parking map to find out which lots have space, and to see the lowest rates.
Members have been talking up Parking Whiz, a new app that gets you a reserved spot at a discounted rate -- sometimes even in secure hotel parking lots with valet service.
For the Pioneer Square Art Walk on first Thursdays, the Pioneer Square Alliance offers free parking in certain lots, as long as you get your parking stub validated in one of the excellent local galleries.
Coming to the Square on the weekends? If it’s not a game day, you’re in luck! It’s mostly free street parking after 6pm on Saturdays and un-metered parking on Sundays.
With all the car share options available in Pioneer Square, your ride is mere minutes away. When you rack up a good rider rating, Uber will offer you flat rates between one route -- like work-and-home. Another big favorite, Lyft, doesn’t offer flat rates, but does have a rideshare option that can cut your costs in half.
Reach Now cars are easy to grab in the downtown core. Just sign-up on the app, check to see where your nearest car is, tap to gain entry and go! Done driving? Park at any legal street parking spot. No need to feed the meter -- Reach Now cars get a free pass! You can even take them to the airport and leave them at Wally Park, with a free airport shuttle.
Our bike room, showers, day lockers, and towel service make biking to work a breeze. Use Google Maps and click the bike icon to get a route that maximizes dedicated bike lanes through downtown.
Don’t have a bike or need to run errands faster than on foot once you’re downtown? Try one of the great bike rental services. Spin, Ofo, and Lime Bikes all offer on-demand rentals. You can try a ride for free, and most rent for $1-2 per hour. The app shows you where the bikes are located, and you can drop them off wherever your end your ride. Lime bike even has some electric options -- handy for those Seattle hills!
Commuting by bus or train to Pioneer Square is a breeze! Several buses stop a few blocks away at 5th and Jackson -- where you can also find the LINK Light Rail station. The closest LINK station to tPC is the International District/Chinatown station, not the Pioneer Square station.
Live on Capitol Hill? The Seattle Street Car is your go-to choice -- getting you from the hill to the square in just 18 minutes! Maybe you’ll even hop the Poetry on Busses street car, and be greeted with poems about the life-giving nature of water, collected at Pioneer Square’s very own 4Culture.
Not familiar with public transit? The Trip Planner from King CountyMetro makes planning your route a breeze. And apps like One Bus Away makes good use of GPS data to let you know your bus arrival in real time.
Live in West Seattle or one of the islands? Travel by ferry is one of the area’s most iconic ways to commute. Or you can hop on the West Seattle Water Taxi, which combines with a shuttle on the West Seattle side to get you where you need to go.
With all these options, it’s no wonder that only 10% of tPC members surveyed drive to work! Way to grow, Seattle!
TPC member G. Willow Wilson is the author of books with and without pictures. From her memoir of life in Egypt, Butterfly Mosque, to her award winning graphic novels like Cairo and Air, Willow is known for introducing readers to stories and experiences that don’t often make the American spotlight. Right now she’s shaking-up the comic book scene with Ms. Marvel -- a series featuring a 16-year-old Muslim shapeshifter and superhero, Kamal Khan.
Elm Nine Swans
One of the things we love about our partnership with our neighbor Elm Coffee is that buying wholesale from Elm allows us to shop locally -- twice! Of course it lets us support a Pioneer Square neighbor. But Elm also ensures they understand their coffee from bean to cup. They travel and research extensively to make sure they know how their (our!) coffee is grown, harvested, and dried -- choosing environmentally friendly options from independent "local" growers every step of the way.
TPC's house coffee is Elm's 9 Swans - a rotating varietal that changes with each harvest, but always hovers in the darkest-of-blondes category. Right now, 9 Swans is Mireya Trujillo. Mireya, her husband Jairo, and her cousin Yamison are all Colombian producers. Mireya’s coffee has deep grape/raisin, orange, and caramel flavors. Round and sweet, it is excellent both straight and with milk.
Georgetown Bodizafa IPA
Georgetown brings quality and attention to detail to every beer they brew. Whether it's their standards like Manny's Pale and Roger's Pilsner, or their unique, boundary pushing seasonals, I'm always pleased by anything that comes out of their brewery. One of my favorite parts of the month is picking up our new keg and trying the new rotating beers in the tasting room. This month we have one of their most popular beers on tap at tPC, the Bodizafa IPA
Here's a description directly from the source:
FOR BEER LOVERS
This IPA gets its light silky texture from rolled oats. The flavor and aroma both express mandarin and citrus all around. Over five pounds of hops per barrel makes this IPA truly Bodhilicious. Gold medal winner in the American Style IPA category at the Great American Beer Festival in 2016!
FOR BEER GEEKS
- Malts - 2 Row Pale, Munich
- Hops - Chinook, Citra, Mosaic, Columbus
- Yeast - English Ale
- OG - 1.059
- TG - 1.008
- ABV - 6.9%
- IBU - 80
- Best By - 90 days from packaging
- Other - Oats