Brand Strategist / Creative Designer / Founder of Ways We Thrive
I am the Founder and Creative Director of Ways We Thrive, a branding and design studio created with a human lens and informed by the principles of nature. We build sustainable brands to grow the small businesses that are bold enough to be human—guided by empathy and innovation of the creative spirit.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I never had a ‘true calling’ or thought that I was going to be a specific role or occupation. There was just this feeling, this audacity to learn from and collaborate with any and all communities of creatives, and wildly passionate humans determined to affect change. I would find myself constantly marvelling at human ingenuity, creative potential, and the patterns across cultures that bring us together. There were steps forward and steps backward—taking me down a winding and lush road, traversing through 40 different countries while filling up my resume with titles like film director, television producer, photographer, street artist, gallery curator, community builder, event coordinator, designer and creative facilitator. All happening in serendipity before the age of thirty. The experiences on this road have always been (and still are) led by an overwhelming desire to find creative expression that somehow affects positive change, while inspiring a profound sense of global empathy and human connection.
FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?
Because we are contributing in a time and place where our environments are oversaturated with messages and products, it usually comes back to a lack of intentional value in the work or simply valuing popularity over purpose. Adding even more to the excess noise around us.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
We are focusing on creating the community around Ways We Thrive, and connecting with collaborators and clients who want to be part of the vision. We are also in the planning and development stages of an online publication and theme magazine focused on the five principles of nature that inspired the Ways We Thrive branding process.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
Simplicity is always key. Less is always more. My style is very minimal and editorial, while infusing organic and artistic elements like collage and calligraphy. The dream is to bring the aesthetics and design principles of the natural world into our digital spaces.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
I wish I spent more time painting. It was my very first love and intro into the visual arts as a teenager. Creating art was really a result of an intense curiosity, and the act of painting and mixing colour became the highest expression of myself. The essence of who I am is getting my hands dirty and being very tactile in the way I make things. It's very different from working in digital spaces.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
The fun part of being a solo entrepreneur is that there is so much to learn, so many things to realize that you normally overlook. What gets frustrating is sifting through all the information and opinions; falling into the endless internet rabbit hole especially at 3am.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
All accounting and financial planning. Anything! to do with money.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
It’s not going to be all glitter and gold, but trust that is when magic happens: when you are right in-between the place of doubt and possibility.
Oh, and starting investing your money. Now.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
Everything Biomimicry. If it’s a new concept to you, it’s the process of looking to nature and natural systems for solutions in human design and innovation. This is something I stumbled onto fairly recently and am reading anything I can get my hands on. I've been obsessed with botany for most of my life and understanding why things grow and how living things work together. Flowers have always been these awe-inspiring living pieces with complex systems and processes behind them. I want to learn from that as much as possible.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
Branding projects infused with interdisciplinary creation, and ideas that solve problems while looking beautiful doing it.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
We work with service-based, small businesses and social enterprises who are inspired to build a sustainable brand and business practices while growing meaningful profit. We are industry-agnostic, believing that sustainability and the ability to create genuine value should be the core of any business no matter the industry. If you are offering services that disrupt the industry and determined to inspire and empower audiences, while adding positive energy back into the world—we want to work with you.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
The Ways We Thrive branding process happens in two stages: the Cultivate stage is the first part of our strategy. This process helps us find out what is unique to you and why anyone should pay attention to you. We then create a brand and business strategy around that discovery to carry through the lifetime of your brand. This starts at $600 and can be done without moving forward to the second stage.
The second stage is building the entirety of the brand based off the business strategy developed in the first. From identity and messaging to the cohesive design and build of a website, we develop the complete foundation for the brand within one, two, or three-day intensive sessions. Yes, that’s possible. The Brand Packages range from $5,000 to $14,000 depending on your need and goals for the future.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
Don’t be a stranger. Say firstname.lastname@example.org
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Surround myself with nature.
This member profile was originally published in December 2016.