Collaboration

Cultural Ambassador Launches Today!

NWPS_igpost.png
Marty, Chuck and I.
Marty, Chuck and I.

I FINALLY get to announce the project that I have been working on since the beginning of December. It all started at a dinner at Brunswick and Hunt with Marty Griswold (Publisher for Seattle Met) and Chuck Zimmerman (Principal - Director Client Services, Northwest Polite Society). That evening was the first time that I had a chance to sit down with them both and hear the story of how they met and how they each ended up doing what they do in their careers. Three hours later I was bubbling over feeling so incredibly happy that I got to have dinner with the two of them and just couldn't believe what a great time I had with them both.

brunswick.jpg

Delicious grapes, grapes, grapes the kitchen had made us, paired perfectly with champagne. Are you beginning to see why it might just have been the start of something fabulous? 

At the end of the evening, Marty and Chuck gave me a ride home, and my heart was so very filled. I was just hoping that I would have the chance to work with them again in the future. I had gotten to hear their stories of their personal paths and to share all that I had been working on, trying to do things that were true to who I am yet disruptive and beneficial to the businesses I was working with. We talked about our passion for Seattle and the creative community, how we wanted to see it reach the next level. I went to sleep that night with a stomach full of delicious food and bubbling over with dreams for the future of our community.

Fast forward two weeks later, I got an email from Chuck sharing that he had been speaking with Hans Kehl (COO at Northwest Polite Society) and they were wondering if I would be interested in coming in to meet with them, so we could each learn about each other's businesses. I was intrigued and eagerly accepted. Next thing you know I am there and Hans is telling me their idea for the "Esther project" which was the beginning of us brainstorming Cultural Ambassador. We agreed to form a partnership to combine our powers to create experiences and empower influencers on a whole new level. I can't begin to tell you how incredible it was to have someone say we see what you are doing and we want to work with you. It was a massive validation of something I have been working very hard at and invested a lot of my heart, money, time, etc. into. Not to mention to be teaming up with Northwest Polite Society allows our combined strengths to shine. Hans challenges me to articulate business value more succinctly, Chuck knows the clients and is the biggest encourager ever, and the cultural institutions that Northwest Society is connected with could open some really awesome new doors (this just scraping the surface of the power of this partnership!).

Flat-Lay-1.jpg

In the following days I will be sharing more behind the scenes about the creative process, the people involved and how we see this as an opportunity to take Seattle to the next level. I hope that you will join the journey, because I have a sneaking suspicion it's going to be a good one.

Make sure to follow us on Instagram and sign up for our newsletter (bottom of page).

Top photo by:  The fabulous Lindsey Bolling!

The Uncommon: Daniel Shapiro, Photographer

DanielShapiro_Ruins-5770.jpg
Photography By: Daniel Shapiro
Photography By: Daniel Shapiro

Last week, in my blog Together Everything Is Possible about the photo shoot and collaboration which took place at The RUINS I utilized images from Yunkin Keophomma. This week, I am sharing the images by photographer Daniel Shapiro. I love how you can have two talented photographers with utterly unique perspectives at one shoot.

Photography By: Daniel Shapiro
Photography By: Daniel Shapiro

Daniel's shots remind me of the scenes in Pride and Prejudice where a beautiful house is being prepared to receive the people after their long stay elsewhere. It makes me think of the fact that many beautiful restaurants and institutions in the city do need to shake off a little bit of their dust in order to welcome in the new generation which has in recent years populated Seattle and begun to make the city their own.

Photography By: Daniel Shapiro
Photography By: Daniel Shapiro

How will our city evolve and yet maintain what makes it so unique yet rid itself of its passive aggressive, slightly cold reputation? This poses a unique opportunity for the individuals who are helping these institutions to evolve and embrace a future that in many ways is already permeating the city. Daniel's photos showcase a new generation of sophistication and beauty which eagerly waits to be unveiled -- if only we will open our eyes to wonder hidden within the individuals who make up the fabric of this city.

Photography By: Daniel Shapiro       
Photography By: Daniel Shapiro       
Photography By: Daniel Shapiro
Photography By: Daniel Shapiro

Keep an eye on the talented individuals raising the bar of sophistication in the city:

  • Collaboration Producer: @uncommoncartography
  • Photos: @danieljshapiro @yunkinkeophomma
  • Behind The Scenes Photos: @greenteleaf
  • Venue: @the_ruins
  • Gowns: @belltown_bride @pmndesigner   , Justin Zachary Couture
  • Event Design/Floral: @kalebnormanjames
  • Makeup: @j0rdanr0ss @melissakornmakeupartist
  • Hair: @makahmatt 
  • Wardrobe Stylist: @julietandlou
  • Jewelry: @shannonkoszyk / @namikoabloom 
  • Food/Dessert: @the_ruins
  • Champagne/Wine: @gruetwinery
  • Stationery Suite: @greyandcake
  • Models: @annavina10 @noellejohnsun @diana_jean_o @imsuzijane @rodasfeker, @_myfriendhanna   

Together Everything Is Possible

Library-2.jpg

Ultimately, the people who choose to champion originality are the ones who propel us forward. After spending years studying them and interacting with them, I am struck that their inner experiences are not any different from our own. They feel the same fear, the same doubt, as the rest of us. What sets them apart is that they take action anyway. They know in their hearts that failing would yield less regret than failing to try. - Adam Grant, Originals Photography by: Yunkin Keophomma

Photography by: Yunkin Keophomma

Almost every week I have the chance to meet beautiful and talented people who are trying to share their craft with the world. Whether they are engineers or photographers, I love hearing their stories. I am inspired by those who hold onto their dreams even when it takes a little longer to break through, to become known for that thing which they are so very passionate about.

Photography by: Yunkin Keophomma

But even more than being inspired by the tenacity and persistence of so many individuals, I am incredibly motivated by how people more and more are joining together to help each other reach their dreams. Because the reality is that while there is much we can do alone, there is much more that we can do together. My favorite artists are those who have been a part of a movement, who surrounded themselves with people who would challenge them even at times compete with them so that their skills were sharpened.  Let's not gloss things over -- Hemingway and Fitzgerald were brutal with each other. It's not fun to have your flaws under a magnifying glass, but as Ira Glass says,

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

Honestly, we've gotten a little too comfortable with not speaking the truth to each other. The reality is though we may have great aspirations, some of our work is shitty. Only when we look that truth in the face can we get better. We do each other no service by not encouraging one another to raise the bar of excellence. While the role of the critic is greatly dismissed, the critic does call out that sort of underdog spirit in an artist that determines to overcome, to make their voice known. A great strength is embedded in our core when we have to fight for what we believe in.

Photography by: Yunkin Keophomma

Never forget your real identity. You are a luminous cosmic stardust being forged into the crucible of cosmic fire. - Deepak Chopra

Photography by: Yunkin Keophomma

It's about being real, true, transparent, and authentically You. Cracks, bumps, flaws, and all. When the light shines through our imperfections, that's when we are truly able to touch other people's hearts and souls. - Rebecca Campbell

Last summer, I had the chance to collaborate with an incredible group of individuals who are each cultivating beauty in their own sphere. They are people who are pushing themselves and raising the bar in the creative community. We shot at the magical venue, The RUINS, located in lower Queen Anne. Everyone reached out to their contacts and favorite people to work with, and out of this came the ultimate dream team.

As we were shooting I could walk into each room and see these creatives like fairy godmothers absolutely transforming the models and surroundings. But more than transformation, it was each of their ability to call out, to usher out the best light of the individuals they were working with. This shoot while it produced amazing images beyond what I could have dreamed of, it revealed to me that together we truly can do anything.

So let's keep doing it. We made mistakes, we had challenges, but we learned so much. Nobody does it perfect the first time, but goodness we sure are off to a damn good start (I mean can you believe these photos?! Yunkin you sir there just aren't even words). And you know what? Even more than that -- I like you guys, and feel so very lucky to be creating in the same city as each of you. Let's do BIG things, bigger than we can IMAGINE in 2017.

Photography by: Yunkin Keophomma

To everyone else it looked like a single leap. But in reality it was hundreds of little baby steps.

Photography by: Yunkin Keophomma

Together this team made magic possible, let's keep taking each and every one of those baby steps towards our dreams. You all continue to amaze me, and I can't wait to work with them again:

  • Collaboration Producer: @uncommoncartography
  • Photos: @danieljshapiro @yunkinkeophomma
  • Behind The Scenes Photos: @greenteleaf
  • Venue: @the_ruins
  • Gowns: @belltown_bride @pmndesigner   , Justin Zachary Couture
  • Event Design/Floral: @kalebnormanjames
  • Makeup: @j0rdanr0ss @melissakornmakeupartist
  • Hair: @makahmatt 
  • Wardrobe Stylist: @julietandlou
  • Jewelry: @shannonkoszyk / @namikoabloom 
  • Food/Dessert: @the_ruins
  • Champagne/Wine: @preceptwine 
  • Stationery Suite: @greyandcake
  • Models: @annavina10 @noellejohnsun @diana_jean_o @imsuzijane @rodasfeker @_myfriendhanna                                             

Ps: Next week a blog post will feature Daniel Shapiro's photography from this shoot :)

The Fairest Ones

Anna.jpg

“Little by little, one travels far”  ― J.R.R. Tolkien

Photography By: Talia Green

How utterly perfect that this blog is to be posted on Tolkien's birthday. His writings have been such a source of inspiration to me. I have always been jealous of his participation in The Inklings, an informal group of literary enthusiasts, which is included C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien who shared and each other's writings. You see there has always been a sort of magical power which happens when creatives combine their talents to craft and shape the world around them.

Photography By: Talia Green

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien

As I sit here writing and listening to Sleeping at Last, I am filled with a quiet sense of excitement and wonder that the artists in Seattle have begun to leave their siloed corners to join together on a journey to give something beautiful to the city and the world. They have individually been working under the radar, quite often thanklessly honing their talents, and cheering each other on, all the while waiting for the day when they will be revealed. Each of us has the ability to recognize that unique essence of a creative, even before they are admired by the press or the masses. We don't have to wait for these artists to gain mainstream recognition, we can support now those who magnify the beauty for the common good. We can support them with our words, and with our financial investment in them + their businesses, showing that we care and we value what they are doing.

Photography By: Talia Green

“In this hour, I do not believe that any darkness will endure.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien

Artists are needed at this time, more than ever before. When people are divided, weary, and lonely this is when the power of art prevails. It allows us to see our life in the perspective of the past and the future. To see we are all interconnected, we do not live unto ourselves. We are empowered with the ability to lift up our fellow man. We can choose to be a hero in the story of our life. How often it is that the hero is not so dear to us because of the love he received, rather because of that which he selflessly gave.

Photography By: Talia Green

“Oft hope is born when all is forlorn.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien

To those who continue to pursue their dreams in spite of the seeming odds, you are not alone. You are important. This is a love letter to who you are now and to who you are becoming. You see something, don't stop, don't give up until you release it into the world.

Photography By: Talia Green

The BIGGEST of BIG thank you's to the incredibly beautiful and talented people who made this dream a reality. This blog contains the behind the scenes images, another blog post will be coming soon with the select final images from the Yunkin and Daniel:

Photography By: Talia Green

  • Photos: @danieljshapiro @yunkinkeophomma
  • Behind The Scenes Photos: @greenteleaf
  • Venue: @the_ruins
  • Gowns: @belltown_bride @pmndesigner   , Justin Zachary Couture
  • Event Design/Floral: @kalebnormanjames
  • Makeup: @j0rdanr0ss @melissakornmakeupartist
  • Hair: @makahmatt 
  • Wardrobe Stylist: @julietandlou
  • Jewelry: @shannonkoszyk / @namikoabloom 
  • Food/Dessert: @the_ruins
  • Champagne/Wine: @preceptwine 
  • Stationery Suite: @greyandcake
  • Models: @annavina10 @noellejohnsun @diana_jean_o @imsuzijane @rodasfeker @_myfriendhanna

Photography By: Talia Green

 

💥Announcing The Launch Of Uncommon Cartography's Partner Program 💥

Night-1.png

Hi!

Can you believe that 2017 is only a couple days away? 

In 2016, I had the privilege of partnering with tastemakers and influencers across a variety of industries (interior design, fashion, food, tech) including @danny.owens, @samuelanthony, @acooknamedmatt, @lanadmitruks, and more! Not to mention delicious brands such as Dueminuti, Shannon Koszyk, The Four Seasons, Tame The Beast, and so many others. Let me just say I collaborate with some of the most talented individual creatives and brands, and I have been racking my mind of how to help you all take your businesses to the next level and make more sales 🌟 

The launch of Uncommon Cartography’s Partner Program addresses the need of creatives and brands to be able to keep their prices competitive and retain more profit by selling to their target customers. This program will connect you with influencers and ambassadors for your brand, who we will then empower to sell your products. Ambassadors receive a 10-20% commission (you set the commission) on items that they sell through their networks (social media, blogs, websites). It can be costly and time-consuming to research, launch, and manage a program like this on your own, so we do it for you. Also, because we are spreading the cost amongst several brands we are able to keep the program relatively inexpensive. 

I am looking to curate 5 -10 awesome brands kick-start this program on January 23💥 Initially, the program will focus on outreach and recruiting affiliates, but as it grows I envision hosting curated pop up’s, affiliate happy hours and more! As you all have been working hard on your social media, websites, content creation, and marketing this feels like a strong next step. What do you think😊

Would you be interested in being one of the curated brands that we launch with? If so, please email info@uncommoncartography.com for more details.

Best,

Esther

Ps: If you know anyone else who might be interested in joining this program, please forward the information along.