top of page


Remember the underground? 


In a time before social media time, the underground reigned. Used to be that you could slide through world above and below ground without an algorithm or tag, and followcrumbs that led to gold. 


In that era (of our individual lives or collective times) word-of-mouth was the fiber of connection, knitting a community fabric founded on mutuality and collaboration to build cultural strength. And with that, a particular hue of entrepreneurship.


I remember one time as a young kid walking down stairs into a townhouse basement Italian restaurant in South Philly. Best red sauce south of South Street. Another fuzzy reel is of a hallway vestibule in a suburban home stacked with fat metal-ringed binders, floor-to-ceiling. They belonged to a woman who rep'd everything from upholstery textiles to lucite party favors. Head north to the Big Apple. Deep in the subway, teenagers sold mixtapes - little cassettes that were the future of sound. Truth: that's how I copped my first Kanye cd and Tony Touch mixtape.


I get nostalgic for the moments before mandatory resale certificates, permits, licenses, and Instagram followings. You had to show up- as an owner and a customer, build mass appeal, and shake many hands to grow your vision. As a customer, you had to go and dig for it.  And if the proverbial “it” had enough strength and momentum, it could actually crest over the basement ceiling and into the streets. 


After that, sky's the limit.


And that's how I started. Physically, it was a warehouse in West Oakland (thank you @hieroglyphics), and then a larger space in a literal basement off Townsend in SF.  


Conceptually, I wanted to see if I could  actually have a sweatshop-free clothing line that utilized progressive textiles (soy, bamboo, recycled). First with dead stock hip hop teeshirts, and then later with deadstock Japanese fabrics in a warehouse in Thailand, I churned around concepts of sustainability before they were commonly used words: zero waste, circular economies, slow fashion. I took it as far as I could, and, then what?


See, in the beginning it's fun. Then overwhelming. Then, fun again, overwhelming, and perhaps even, underwhelming. There must be something else… Say: evolution?


After some boom and bust, I took the principles of the physical products, and grafted them onto the practices and identities of small business, nonprofits and individuals. I asked similar questions, including: "What else is possible from these components”? I went from remixing teeshirts to remixing businesses, and later, supporting career transitions. 


And now, I'm asking again: What is possible?


As we catch the last drifts of that eclipse (why not?), I salute my collaborators who are getting curious and seeing what else is possible: a legendary antiques dealer who is about to launch a new furniture line, a massage therapist who looks to nature to help her clients, and the palliative care nurse who is now open for business, helping folks understand end-of-life care. 


There is also the wilderness quest leader now coaching adults into elderhood, the poet and author who is now authoring for others, the women's spiritual guide who is opening a new chapter to serve. 


I am grateful that they are asking more questions of their professional journey, and it is an absolute privilege to walk alongside them in support.


We started from the (basement), and now we're here.

Where shall we go next?

photos by Matthew Reamer, circa 2008


bottom of page