IN THIS ISSUE
REGULARS 12 EDITOR-AT-LARGE LETTER
Christian S. Dougherty email@example.com
Doreen Creede firstname.lastname@example.org
Sasha Davydova email@example.com
FOUNDER NEW YORK
1330 Ave. of the Americas, Suite 23A New York, NY 10019
FOUNDER PHILADELPHIA +1.646.628.1013
Victoria Wright firstname.lastname@example.org
20 28 36 38
48 SPORTY MARKETING GROUP RASHAAD LAMBERT
The idea behind Sporty Marketing Group came to me while on a field trip at a smorgasbord in D.C.
PURE DEDICATION LANCE BACHMANN OF 1SEO.COM I am a firm believer in balance and remaining grounded...
4TH STREET REDISCOVERED MARY HARVEY & CYNTHIA RAY URBAN PRINCESS What started as just a working warehouse for our individual business flourished into a shop that we all love!
Cover photo by FLOYD DEAN of Dean Digital. email@example.com
44 48 56
ELENA BRENNAN BUS STOP BOUTIQUE I’ve had a passion for shoes ever since I was a little girl...
FRANCESCA RIVETTI FOLLICLE STUDIO I knew from a very early age I wanted to do hair.
AUBRIE COSTELLO SILK GRAFFITI I started Silk Graffiti eight years ago out of a desire to convey my ideas in a different way.
CATCH & RELEASE JULIA BROWN-FARLEY I was waiting for my heart to settle, to feel a wave of ease and certainty wash over.
James Oliver of James Oliver Gallery 723 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106 (215) 923-1242 firstname.lastname@example.org www.jamesolivergallery.com
Copyright© 2015. Founder Magazine® – All rights reserved. Founder Magazine® is published bi-monthly by Society Media, LLC. The entire contents of Founder Magazine are copyright and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the Publisher. Founder Magazine® does not accept responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts and/or photographs. Founder Magazine® assumes no liability for products, or services, advertised herein. Publisher reserves the right to edit, rewrite or refuse editorial material and assume no responsibility for accuracy, errors or omissions. All correspondence should be sent to: FounderMagazine—1330 Ave. of the Americas, Suite 23A, New York, NY 10019.
FOUNDER MAGAZINE Premiere Issue Editor-at-Large Letter
As we stood amongst the silks and velvets and sparkle stacked high in a 4th Street fabric shop, I thought about the thread tying this moment together: the decorating business of my past, a neighborhood transforming in the present, a photo shoot for a magazine of the future. Now that future is in front of your eyes: the premiere issue of Founder, where we aim to show the stories behind the store fronts, the vision and drive with which Philadelphia entrepreneurs, artists and designers have followed their hearts to do something daring; like open an independent shoe store on a street way off the fashion radar; run a couture hair salon that turns the usual business model on its head and rebound from a fire that destroyed everything and start anew. As someone who has worked with corporations and emerging talents, owned two small companies and chronicled iconic brands, I have witnessed many different ways to run a business. Yet no matter the difference in size or diversity of industry, one thing remains the same - each began with a unique vision and grew from a passion to make that vision come alive.
Photo by Floyd Dean
In Founder, you’ll go behind the scenes with Philly’s visionaries as they reveal their often tumultuous journeys and share their ambitious dreams. Like the Silk Graffiti artist who takes precious silk from that 4th Street fabric shop and shreds it to create a powerfully beautiful new form of art, the men and women you’ll meet have ripped apart old notions to create something fresh and bold. In doing so, they are transforming our city and often our own lives. Join us in this and upcoming issues as their stories unfold. We hope they will inspire you to carve your own path and follow your own passions, in both business and life. Doreen Creede Editor-at-Large email@example.com
P R EMI ER E
i v e r w e Int
OF SPORT Y M ARKETIN G G RO UP
When and how did you open Sporty Marketing & Consulting Solutions? Did you have funding, or start from scratch?
The idea behind Sporty Marketing Group came to me while on a field trip at a smorgasbord in D.C. I like the concept of being able to get everything you need in one place. Sporty Marketing Group opened in 2010. When we began, we were known only as iSpit Marketing & Consulting Solutions. We began with one client and absolutely no money. When I started this company, I was transitioning from full time corporate work in Temple Universityâ€™s undergraduate admissions department, Independence Blue Crossâ€™ marketing department, as well as concert promotion. Fifty percent of the aforementioned involved consistent pay checks, so startup costs ate a lot of my savings. In 2012, my brother and I formed Sporty Marketing in honor of our father whose nickname is memorialized as the name of the business. In 2014, Sporty Marketing became the umbrella firm for iSpit Marketing & Consulting Solutions, as well as three other businesses underwent a name change to Sporty Marketing Group.
How do you know what marketing strategy, or branding approach, is right for each individual client? What is the best way to obtain new clients?
What sets Sporty Marketing apart is that we don’t use traditional marketing strategies. We innovate based on what exists, and we invent what we need to supplement that. Our first meeting with a new client is called the “needs analysis” where we receive a survey that paints a clear picture of what a client needs based on a predetermined points system. Where they land on that scale identifies which services are actually needed vs. what the client thinks they need. The majority of our clients come by WOM (word of mouth) which is the first and still the best form of marketing. My primary function at the company now is new client acquisition. So for those potential clients we do pursue, I usually handle the initial meetings to conduct the needs analysis.
How has social media changed, or not, the way you conduct business?
When we started, one of our primary functions was social media posting, management and strategy for event producers (via MySpace and early stage Facebook) who didn’t have working knowledge of social media. Our tech involvement and social media client base has only grown since the addition of Instagram, Periscope, Snapchat, Constant Contact, and other services we use religiously.
Who, or what, inspires you? How do you keep motivated each and every day?
Personally - my children have been my biggest inspiration. I always credit my son for saving my life and my daughter for changing my life. I am currently typing this at 4:44 am. The reason I am awake is because there is work to be done. The reason why I am inspired to do this work is because I love what I do and those little faces have expensive taste and habits. I am a minimalist of sorts (kind of), but my children think I’m Donald Trump, so I have to keep going until I pass him.
Professionally - my current inspiration is Robert F. Smith, CEO of Vista Equity Partners. I’ve been listening to his speeches and interviews as well as studying his story lately. I’m particularly inspired by how he obtained his first internship with Bell. He called every day for two weeks, then changed his strategy to every Monday for six months until they allowed him as a high school junior into a program designed for collegiate seniors. That type of persistence is necessary to get what you want in business, and it shows me that I’m not quite as annoying as I thought. Ha!
Tell us about the Lambert Legacy Charities.
The Lambert Legacy Charities is my 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization where we use experiential philanthropy in efforts to alleviate poverty in the Southeastern Pennsylvania area. Our flagship event is the APIC Giveback which we hold every December where we serve hot meals, distribute free clothing in the form of a pop up department store, provide free resources and provide free family friendly entertainment for all attendees. Did I mention that it’s free? I feel like I left that part out. Our mission is to put the “commune” back into inner city communities by restoring the positive focus back to one of its oldest institutions the community recreation center. Through annual events, educational development, community cooperation and resource provisioning, we enhance the quality of life of under-served neighborhoods. This year’s APIC Giveback will be on December 19th at Kingsessing Recreation Center. All are welcome. You can find more information about LLC as well as updates about the upcoming events here: sportymarketing.com/lambertlegacycharities.
Sporty Marketing Group (267) 991-3380 sportymarketing.com Interview by Christian Dougherty
Featured Entrepreneur Lance Bachmann of 1SEO.com By Christian S. Dougherty
Would you share a few personal things about yourself with us? Outside of business, what do you enjoy doing? I am a firm believer in balance and remaining grounded, so family and friends are very important to me. Whether staying in and watching sports or movies, going to a great concert or visiting Disney World, I always cherish every moment I can spend with my amazing family, which has recently grown to include another beautiful son! I also believe in staying active and physically fit, because it not only improves my physical health, but it provides that necessary balance of working out my body after “working out” my mind at work all day. Another important activity for me is to give back to my local community as often as possible by attending fundraisers and donating my time and resources, both monetarily and professionally, to a wide variety of causes. I also make time to take part in speaking engagements and teaching opportunities, during which I aim to inform both youth and professionals about search engine optimization (SEO) and internet marketing techniques, running and owning a business and more.
When did you launch 1SEO.com? And, how long did the process take from concept to the first dollar? I founded 1SEO.com Digital Agency in 2009, and while we obtained our first client within a week and they are still with us today (after experiencing a tremendous growth for their company), I truly believe the process is never complete. I have recently relocated the company into a new headquarters that could better fit the constantly expanding team, as the staff has doubled over the course of the last year, and I don’t plan on stopping there. I never want to say that the development of this company is complete, because I feel that would limit our potential.
What sets your company apart from the competition? My team. Their commitment to the company’s values and to providing an unparalleled customer service experience is beyond compare. Every single member of my team goes above and beyond the expectations of our clients in order to maximize their returns on investment and increase their business. I developed 1SEO.com with the goal of delivering exceptional end-products and results, and the internet marketing professionals on my team have made that their goal as well. We are constantly learning and educating ourselves too; learning is power.
Give us your elevator pitch... We are a digital marketing agency working with corporations that range in size from small family-owned businesses to large Fortune 500 companies. Our job is to perform the overall inbound marketing techniques for your company. From
our search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing and pay-per-click (PPC) services to website design and development and social media optimization (SMO), we will take care of all of your digital marketing needs and increase your visibility online. Bottom line, our main goal is to help your company grow through getting you leads and new clients.
You've won many awards and have been recognized by Forbes, Inc. 5000 and the Philadelphia Inquirer to name a few. We realize it's tough getting to the top, but even tougher staying there. How do you stay on top? We make a complete commitment to our clients, knowing that without them we wouldn’t have a company. To be successful, your client's success must come first, so we will always go the extra mile to produce and exceed all of our clients' goals. Constant education and a dedication to improvement is also very important. At 1SEO.com Digital Agency, we never
miss an opportunity to stay ahead of the curve with industry happenings. And, attend as many conferences and expos as possible such as the recent Inbound Conference and Google Partner Summit, in order to ensure we remain competitive and live up to the reputation we have worked hard to earn.
As a business person, how has social media changed the way you do things? Before vs. after. Things were simpler before, but not necessarily easier. Before, the biggest social step a company had to take, short of paid advertising, was making sure they were listed in the Yellow Pages. Now, businesses have to be multi-dimensional, creating a website that addresses their company and culture, as well as customer needs, and then following through and meeting those needs and expectations through customer engagements and connections with the community. As a business
owner, you now have to be active across all of the social media channels and create engaging communities to ensure you are capturing as many potential customers as possible, and you have to make sure they know you are there to support them as much as to sell to them. This includes establishing yourself as an expert within your niche and delivering value added services.
Future plans for 1SEO.com? 1SEO.com Digital Agency is a continually growing company that has nowhere to go but up, and we are always going to push ourselves to become bigger and better. Within the next two years, I have plans for growth and expansion that will not only affect our current headquarters, but that will allow me to make 1SEO.com more accessible to locations throughout the United States with new offices, and an ever-increasing roster of internet marketing professionals.
What advice would you give someone who wants to become an entrepreneur? Be willing to work hard and constantly educate yourself. Remember that regardless of your position, nothing within your company should be considered beneath you. I will close on a sales call, take out the trash and then take care of any customer concerns that come my way in one morning â€“ never once worrying about whether or not those tasks were part of my job description. Finally, always providing an exceptional customer service experience should be one of your top priorities, no matter what industry you want to enter. Be ready to do what others are not and thatâ€™s what will make you successful â€“ pure dedication. 1SEO.com 1414 Radcliffe St #100 Bristol, PA 19007 (877) 796-1SEO
t e e r t S 4 th
Produced by DOREEN CREEDE
Written and Photos by CHRISTIAN S. DOUGHERTY
MARY HARVEY & CYNTHIA RAY What inspired you to open up the shop?
Well, we actually never planned to open a shop. The founding partners, Mary Harvey, Cynthia Ray and Ellen Donato, each ran individual businesses. Mary had, and still, operates a mobile clothing business that hosts shopping parties in homes and offices. Cindy is an artisan jewelry maker, and Ellen makes organic soap and other all natural bath products. We met at various craft shows and street fairs. One year, we shared a booth at the Center City Christmas Village. One day, a friend called who was moving out of her 4th street location and asked if we wanted to open a store because her space was available and about to go on the market. The stars had aligned and all three businesses were in need of a place to store merchandise between events. After opening a brick and mortar location, we had the opportunity to showcase a number of other local artists and now boast clothing, unique gifts, jewelry, soaps and more from over 60 artists. What started as just a working warehouse for our individual business flourished into a shop that we all love!
How long have you been in business? Whatâ€™s your secret for staying in business?
We have been in business a little over three years. I [Mary] think part of our secret is that we began as three established businesses with a following; partly our location as a member of the 4th Street/Fabric Row family, and a big part is our customer
service. We get to know our regulars, and many stop by just to check in and share stories about their family. That makes for fabulous word of mouth, and a lot of return traffic. Plus, we still do house parties. We bring the boutique right into your home where your friends gather for a night of shopping and cocktails, which makes shopping a lot easier for some of our suburban customers.
How do you advise clients on what to wear, or what to buy? We really get to know our customers, so when they come in we know what fits their taste, body style, lifestyle, etc. We also have a pretty strict rule that "You have to LOVE it!â€? If you come out of the dressing room looking fabulous, but unsure if you will wear it - we tell you how fabulous you look, but to turn around and put it back. You have to LOVE it! The last thing I want is a piece of clothing hanging in your closet that you don't want to wear. We want you to look and FEEL amazing, so that you walk outside looking confident and proud to be wearing Urban Princess. How do you find all of the one-of-a-kind items? We make craft fairs and artisan shows a big part of our life. So, even on vacation, visiting craft shows and meeting local artists is at the top of our list.
What sets you apart from the competition? We are very proud of our price point. We have gifts from $5-$500. So, you can find gifts and clothing in every budget. We also appeal to a wide age and personality range. I really love it when a family of three generations comes in and mom, daughter and grandmother all leave with something they LOVE. Also, the fact that we come to you with our "shopping parties" definitely differentiates us. Tell us about any plans for the fall. The biggest plan for fall is to be part of fashion week again. Their premier event, "Fashion Under the Shambles" is held on October 14th and features Urban Princess and 25+ local boutiques/salons. Also fourth Fridays in the fall are fantastic! Every fourth Friday, Fabric Row hosts a shopping crawl where participating stores offer cocktails and/or lite bites, sales, trunk shows, artist openings and more. In the fall, the event tends to spill out on the sidewalk with additional artists! And, the rest of fall is just about stocking the store with fabulous holiday gifts. Some of our favorite clothing items for the season are locally made fleece lined texting gloves, ponchos and winter kimonos are very big. We boast a large selection of hard-to-find winter dresses. MANcierge, explain? Ha....a fun term that a friend made up. We work with a lot of men who struggle to find the right gift for the women in their lives (mother, daughter, sister, spouse, girlfriend, friend, aunt, etc.). We work with them to understand the woman's lifestyle, personality, hobbies, likes, etc. and help point them in the right direction for the occasion. My favorite story comes from asking a customer if it was her first time in and how she found us. She told us that she finally got her husband to tell her where he had been getting his gifts for the past two years. He kept it a secret because he finally found a place that was a hit every time. We are very proud of the number of male regulars we have at a store called Urban Princess.
Who is an Urban Princess? Urban Princess is someone who lives in the city, knows what she wants and knows how to get it! But an Urban Princess customer is ANYONE who understands that if you follow all the rules, you miss all the fun!! And, someone who appreciates artistry and likes to make a statement by the way they dress or the gifts they give. Urban Princess Boutique 620 S. 4th St. Philadelphia, PA 19147 (267) 909-8317 urbanprincessboutique.com
PARADIGM GALLERY SARA MCCORRISTON Established February 2010, Paradigm Gallery + Studio® started as a project between co-founders and curators, Jason Chen and Sara McCorriston, to create a space in which to make artwork, to exhibit the work of their peers, and to invite the members of the local community to make their own artwork in a welcoming gallery setting. Over the past five years, Paradigm Gallery + Studio has become a gallery of diverse contemporary artwork from around the world, but still with a focus on Philadelphia artists. What is your background?
I was a technical designer for four years.
What is your typical day at Paradigm?
Well, depending on the time of year or if there are openings, it can vary. Typically, there is a lot of prep work for new artists. Shipping on Sundays and Mondays are accounting days. As any business owner, there are many errands done before arriving at the gallery at 11 am and opening up at Noon. Most likely, there are meetings after 6 pm and then on to reviewing submissions, emails and collector lists.
How do you keep it all organized?
Focus on the week and who to target. This is key because, as any entrepreneur knows, there are so many distractions. Focus on one thing and do it!
How has the rise of social media affected your business?
Social media is super helpful. I can keep an eye on the stats, especially at openings. Although, I don’t go overboard and spend a great deal of time on social media during working hours - two hours a day. And, I have 7,000 followers on Instagram.
Any future plans?
Yes. We are attending the Miami Art Basil this December. I would like to be involved in more art fairs in Los Angeles and New York. And, I am definitely interested in checking out the international art fairs as well. Personally, I’d like to offer design consulting for individual clients, condos, etc. The potential in that arena is huge. Paradigm Gallery + Studio 746 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (267) 266-0073
BUS STOP BOUTIQUE ELENA BRENNAN 44
Your style is unique. How did you start the shoe gallery in 2007?
BUS STOP was born in April, 2007. I’ve had a passion for shoes ever since I was a little girl, and when I moved to Philadelphia from London, I could never really find the kind of shoes I would like to wear. My background is advertising and marketing - a career I had for 27+ years, and I was ready for a career change, so I decided to open my very own shoe boutique (partly to satisfy my own craving) and to fill a need, as women in Philly have very few options for “good” shoe shopping. The shoe collection here at BUS STOP is curated and changes with each season. The shoes are treated like works of art with a reasonable price tag, and are showcased to spotlight the unique features of each shoe so they pop on the shoe gallery shelves.
How often do you travel to London, Rio or Paris?
I travel often, as that’s where I find my inspiration. I was born in London, so I say “Once A London Girl Always A London Girl” and try to visit every year or at least every other year. In fact, I’m just back from London Fashion Week where I bought for Spring & Summer 2016. Other places l visit often are Cyprus, a small Greek island. My parents were born in Cyprus, and though I was born in London, I speak Greek and have strong ties to this little Mediterranean island I call my third home. Annually, I go to Palm Springs with the "Dusty Roses," which comprises three girls - English Rose (moi), Wild Rose (Victoria) and Midnight Rose (Kari). We’ve threatened to go on tour, even though none of us play any instruments and do not have great vocal skills.
This year I’m also traveling to Taiwan to visit the All Black Footwear factory that is producing my next BUS STOP x All Black shoe collection collaboration, which is launching Spring 2016. I’m particularly excited about my travels, as I’m going solo, and this will be my first trip to this part of the world. I will also stop over at Hong Kong, so I’m looking forward to the cuisine and fashion.
Who is your inspiration?
I would say “What inspires me?” The hues of the Mediterranean Sea, street fashion (especially London and New York), street art, “dramastic” nature...
Do you do most business on-line, or from this location?
Most of our customers shop in our brick and mortar shop on 4th Street. However, we launched our online shop this spring and it’s starting to pick up. You can now shop our fabulous shoes 24 hours a day from wherever you reside! Shop.busstopboutique.com.
Are you involved in the community? And if so, how do you find the time?
I’m heavily involved in the community. I am the Chairperson of the SSHD (South Street Headhouse District) and a Mentor and on the Advisory Committee of The Philadelphia Incubator. I volunteer my time, and it is hard to squeeze the numerous meetings into my busy schedule, but I feel it’s worthwhile. It’s my way as an entrepreneur to give back to the community.
Has social media helped your business?
Social Media is a great asset - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our blog Bits & Pieces which you find on our website www.busstopboutique.com. I feel Instagram works the best for the boutique, as it’s a very visual tool, and I love taking photographs.
What’s your advice for staying in business and making it past the “first five years?”
Have a strong branding, stay true to your mission, be dedicated and focused. When facing any issues “sleep on it.” That’s my mantra, so you don’t rush into making the wrong decisions. As important as it is to sell a good product, excellent customer service goes a long way!
Future plans for Bus Stop?
Oh that’s an interesting question! This spring, I launched my signature shoe collection of 12 oxfords in collaboration with All Black Footwear. The BUS STOP x All Black collection was my first ever shoe design. The shoes were named after Hollywood icon starlets and the campaign was Which Girl Are You? Spring 2016, I’m launching my second shoe collection, which is very exciting, so stay tuned for the launch next March. I would love to grow my online sales and explore opening other boutiques in other locations across the country.
727 S. 4th Street Philadelphia PA, 19147 (215) 627-2357 busstopboutique.com
FOLLICLE STUDIO FRANCESCA RIVETTI Where are you from? I'm from Peterborough which is an hour and a half north of London. My infamous line is "I'm a product of Italy, made in England." Why do you think you decided to become a stylist? I knew from a very early age I wanted to do hair. I have memories of me standing on the loo trying to put rollers in my mum's hair, and my sister Maria was the recipient of my first haircut using kitchen scissors!
and educational company that recruited me from England in 1991 to join the creative team here in the USA. That's when my career took a huge turn - learning about manufacturing, sales and marketing and working my way up the creative ladder. Those were some of the happiest days in the industry - such a great team! Unfortunately, the company sold in 2004; hence, lots of changes. That's when I was walking down Chestnut St. and looked up and saw a â€œfor rent sign.â€? I procrastinated as I was unsure
how to start a business. As a result, the landlord couldn't wait for me, so he rented out to someone else. A few months later he rang me out of the blue and told me the space is mine and take as much time as I needed. Three months later I opened Follicle Studio the root of all beauty! May 2005. How did you come up with the name of the salon? The name "Follicle" says it all. It's short and sweet and speaks volumes. Easy to say and remember too! I get lots of compliments on the name!
My first job in hair was as a "Saturday girl" at the local hair salon. My late Daddy didn't want me to pursue being a hairstylist and sent me on a secretarial course - boring for me. My first job upon leaving school was in an office as an office assistant. Daddy was happy - I was not! I kept my Saturday job at the local hair salon and became full time after I got the sack (fired) from the office job. Happy me - not for Daddy. I believe hairdressing is exactly what I'm here to do. It comes natural to me, and I amaze myself with the creations I concoct - both in the studio and photo shoots, etc. How did you get your start in the industry? I am very grateful for the Graham Webb International (GWI) product
Why Philadelphia? Philadelphia - the city that's loved me back! Philly was only meant to be a pit stop. I arrived here with a few boxes and suitcases. Fast forward 18 years still here and loving the growth and changes. I moved Follicle to Fabric Row in 2011 and went from second floor to ground floor corner. My clients love it here, as do I. Tell us about the neighborhood. Fourth St. is undergoing lots of changes - boutiques, retail, restaurants and salons. Fourth St. is becoming a destination spot. My clients love the changes and support the local businesses. It's a great community to work, live and play! My family and friends that visit from all over the world are all pleasantly surprised on what they discover here and wish they had spent more time in our city! Which iconic hairstyles do you love? I love the classic geometric shapes and "hairdressing" such as the Iconic Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and period hair which is what I did in Italy this summer - styling hair for the International Opera Theater this summer.
What inspires you? I find inspiration all around, from nature, fashion, history, city streets. One just needs to keep their eyes open.
Tell us about the new line of products. Very excited about the product line. Sales are up and feedback is great! After a period of time researching the special ingredients for our product line, we are proud to present "Follicle" - the root of all beauty! A line of products ranging from cleansers, conditioners, styling and finishing. The unique blend of Biomineral Technology, uses natural mineral sources and botanical (plant based) protein catalysts to deliver hair that's soft, strong and resilient. Each product is a blend of minerals and protein catalysts designed to achieve specific results. What are the hottest trends for fall 2015? As far as fall trends go, I foresee hair being short and choppy, long and lustrous and sleek and shiny. The best look is a customized couture hair style designed just for you. That's Follicle Studio's signature specialty. Follicle Studio 741 South 4th St Philadelphia, PA 19147 (215) 564-9099 folliclestudio.com
aritst profile AUBRIE COSTELLO
Silk Graffiti Where are you originally from?
The Garden State, South Jersey; but I've been coming to Philly all my life, so Philly feels like home.
Your art is highly specialized and unique. How did you come up with the concept?
I started Silk Graffiti eight years ago out of a desire to convey my ideas in a different way. At that time, I was working with silk, creating installations of silk wrapped objects to accompany my pastel and graphite drawings in gallery spaces. I am a trained draftswoman, so drawing always came naturally, but I didn't enjoy being confined to a studio inside four walls. I was always looking outside at the world. I LOVE installation art and had a strong desire to take the installation outside of the gallery, to the streets. I was drawn to street art, graffiti and public art, and I wanted in. I had a few romances with graffiti artists and observed graff culture closely from a female perspective. It felt like a very rich and brave medium to me, but the culture seemed to be really male-dominated and egocentric. When the world shifted in the 2000â€™s, I started writing A LOT to express my thoughts about the changing climate. I also started collecting phrases that resonated with me from all types of sources - from people, emails, love letters, the news, and A LOT from the music I was listening to at the time on heavy rotation, everything from hip hop to Billie Holiday. I wanted to elevate these words in a beautiful way. I wanted them to be seen by the average person in the streets, not just by viewers in a gallery setting. I decided to approach graffiti differently, writing in a more traditionally feminine and ephemeral material, one I had been using for a long time. I combined all the mediums and training I had acquired over the years, and that's how Silk Graffiti was born. I treat my graffiti a lot like my drawings. There's a similar concentration on line work and line quality when I draw with pencil on paper as when I write with silk on a wall.
Explain the â€œUnravel.â€?
For my latest series, The Unravel, I'm installing pieces outside and leaving them there for the elements to do what they want with them, turning them into a beautiful mess. Nature is an essential medium to the project. When exposed to the elements, the pieces deteriorate, affirming that in nature, everything falls apart. It only takes a couple of words to tell a story. Keep an eye out for my next story whipping in the wind on a street near you.
How do you get inspired for new designs?
Words inspire me. I meditate on words a lot. They drive the work, words I read in books or poems, song lyrics I hear, texts I get, conversations I have. I'll take bits of phrases out of context and get really excited about making a piece using them. As far as color, fashion heavily inspires me - this is why I love to collaborate with designers and well-curated brands. There is usually a distinct mood that is evoked and emoted by observing a color. When I incorporate a resonating word or phrase into the mix - it's magic. Instamood. I get a high off of that, and I love hearing about what it stirs up in the people that see the work; what the words mean to them, as often their interpretation is different than mine, and how the installations make them feel. I get inspired to make work that is timely to what's happening in the world, the collective mood, and more personally to my life and my city. Words bring up so much inside us all and we all have a different emotional response when reflecting on a word or phrase, depending on our personal histories, back stories and experiences.
Typically, how much time does it take to complete a project?
Anywhere between one hour and 48 hours. I did a piece in Founder's-own Doreen Creede's home that took 45 minutes. I did an installation at The International House on University of Penn's campus that took five full days! It
depends on the amount of labor, as I'm doing it all intuitively by hand. Can't rush this process.
Silk Graffiti is in a class by itself. How do you pick the materials? What tools do you use when you are working?
I go into the fabric stores on Historic Fabric Row and pull silks that speak to me - either in color or texture - I love a saturated, nubby dupioni silk, because I know it will get ultra-stringy, sexy and messy when I shred it. I'm still obsessed with how damn sexy and luminous this material is. I love its connotation. It's luxe, expensive, feels good, decadent, impractical and both delicate and strong. I love the body it has. I can really sculpt it and manipulate it. Silk strands are some of the strongest natural fibers. A decade ago, I decided to work with silk in a destructive way - ripping and shredding it. There was an imbalance in class, socioeconomics, wealth, excess
at the time. This imbalance is still very much felt today. Sadly, it is still ubiquitous and prevalent and on my mind daily. Continuing my work in this medium feels right; destroying it into shreds and writing poignant words about the light and dark of life and love on walls makes sense to me. The visceral act of ripping became cathartic. It felt really important to me to use this luxurious medium to write thought-provoking phrases for people of all backgrounds to stop and think about. The material is striking when you get up close and personal with it. I combine the fabric with simple nails and straight pins in the installations. I purposely let these
bits of hardware that piece the words together visible to the passersby. I like the juxtaposition of the luxe silk, and the sharp nails and pins. There's something a little dark about piercing the beautiful fabric with these things.
What are some of your other interests?
I still love to draw and create custom 2"x3" pastel and graphite mini drawings of homes or portraits of loved ones. I love my work at BUS STOP Boutique on Fabric Row, where I am the Assistant Buyer and store Manager. I really love bringing cool shoes from around the world to Philly with my partner in crime Elena Brennan. She's a great friend and mentor. I love shoes because they are like pieces of art. If I'm not at the shop or making art, I enjoy traveling and exploring solo. My travels bring the best art ideas, and I love to install at least one piece for my traveling series The Unravel wherever life takes me. Downtime in Philly - I love a good cocktail, a good brunch date and am addicted to Bikram yoga and The Art of Wellness.
Can one purchase Silk Graffiti online?
Yes. I have an online shop full of 8x10 Silk Graffiti photographic prints for $18, and well as my work on Society6 where you can purchase anything from beautifully framed art print, to mugs, shower curtains and duvets - all featuring my Silk Graffiti imagery.
by Aubrie Costello aubriecostello.com society6.com/ silkgraffitibyaubriecostello SPECIAL THANKS to Jack B. Fabrics 748 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (215) 925-2991
premiere W ELCOM E TO FOUNDER M AGAZINE
Less glam, more guts! Welcome to the premiere issue of Founder Magazine. I am very proud to have the opportunity to launch a publication that will focus solely on Philly entrepreneurs. We will take you through the blood, sweat, tears and success that start-ups experience every day. This will be a resource for those that will make their dream come true while acting as a vehicle for those that possess knowledge to mentor. Stylishly covering the game-changers from tech to fashion to yoga, we will be alongside to listen, learn and ask the real questions. This ferocious mindset has become more evident than ever in Philadelphia. I know that Founder, along with this City’s go-getters, is ready for the journey. Join us - I won’t take “no” for an answer! Christian S. Dougherty Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org
P R EMI ER E
HOROS COPE S
(MARCH 21 - APRIL 20) Moving with movers and shakers will shake things up for you in unexpected and dramatic ways. So, either tread carefully or hold off on any pronouncements until you are very sure that things will go your way. Aries are master planners - plan masterfully.
(MAY 22 - JUNE 21) You may not realize it, but one of your pals may get a little bent out of shape by some of your actions. Geminis love to please others and value friendships. Some can be salvaged through thick and thin times, others are way too fragile. Do your best!
( JULY 24 - AUGUST 23) Travel has its surprises now, Leo. So pack extra cash and supplies lest you go astray. For those who prefer to stay close to home, avoid great cyber pronouncements. Any small speck can become a huge global tornado. Maybe that’s the plan?
(APRIL 21 - MAY 21) If things appear calm on the surface, don’t be lulled into complacency just yet Taurus. There is a bubbling cauldron about to explode when you least expect it, but don’t panic - things will soon settle down in a brand new landscape.
( JUNE 22 - JULY 23) Career paths are never usually smooth, so don’t be surprised if yours become just a little rocky and uncertain for a while - this is a good thing. Sometimes, you need a little shake and stir to change direction and increase your success.
(AUGUST 24 - SEPTEMBER 23) A small off-handed affair can take on transformative and unexpected proportions. You can fall head over heels for a pretty, or handsome face. Will it be a trip to the moon on gossamer wings or just one of those crazy things? I vote for crazy.
(SEPTEMBER 24 - OCTOBER 23) There might be a bump, or change, in a certain one to one relationship now. If you have been satisfied with the ways things are, you better find out if partners feel the same way. You may be surprised, but grateful to find out sooner than later.
(NOVEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 22) Fun may have its ups and downs now, and every party-hearty Sagittarians may prefer to find more quiet pastures. Creative blockage is possible now too. So, stick to the familiar and routine until your muse has time to regain balance.
( JANUARY 21 - FEBRUARY 19) A small thought can become a large issue now. So, if you have something on your mind that just has to be said, say it very carefully and with the knowledge that it can change the landscape. Ready? Set? Speak.
(OCTOBER 24 - NOVEMBER 22) As hard as you think you work and contribute, Scorpio, colleagues may have another idea. And, the response in your workplace may be surprising to you. Are you a real team player? Try to collaborate more on projects and not just delegate.
(DECEMBER 23 - JANUARY 20) You may try to create a quiet and restful refuge at home, but it might not be totally possible to do now, Capricorn. Somehow, domestic projects can get totally out of hand. If you hanker to cocoon, turn up the mellow music and lock the doors.
(FEBRUARY 20 - MARCH 20) The savvy investor can rock and roll their money this month! Pisces who think that they have a sure thing may be surprised as things shift and change. Donâ€™t risk any of your hard earned dough, put it in a fire proof jar for safekeeping.
Julia Brown-Farley My mother and I visited the island of Puerto Rico in October of 2010, one month prior to my possible move. On the last night of our visit, we sat outside an apartment building on Calle Cervantes in Condado, along a stone wall that overlooked the Atlantic Ocean. “Well, what do you think?” “I don’t know. I mean...I think, I think I want to do this.” I was staring at my feet and thought they looked pale and unsightly. My pinky toenail resembled the talon of a small bird. I immediately curled it out of sight to avoid my mother ranting about improper foot care.
a dark rain cloud. If I don’t do it now, it will never happen. How could I not move to Puerto Rico? I was waiting for my heart to settle, to feel a wave of ease and certainty wash over like the evening tide we were watching and solidify the decision. I thought about my father, and strained to imagine what he would have said about his daughter living alone in the Caribbean. But I couldn’t hear him. I had no sense of his presence or thoughts or feelings. It was nine years since his death, and I felt myself struggling to remember who he was.
The answer to her question was conspicuous; and it hovered like
“Jesus Christ, Julia. I told you to lay off the mojitos.”
“Juju, it’s Puerto Rico. What else is there to think about?”
I leaned over the wall and vomited, induced by panic and anxiety. My mother shook her head and sighed. She finger combed my hair back into a pony tail and held it with her hands.
In some ways, the decision to move to Puerto Rico was an obvious one: an opportunity to live in the Caribbean. As someone who was raised by two parents that worshiped the beach, I have spent most of my life digging sand out of various orifices and peeling dead skin off my nose, quite similar to the routine shedding of a desert rattlesnake. Every summer, my parents toted the same rituals to our New Jersey beach home. My mother, whom my brother and I deemed early on as “the beach Nazi,” would rise at the crack of dawn to assume her role as family meteorologist. Her mood was often dictated by the air temperature. What she plated for breakfast varied, the catalyst being the quantity of clouds in the sky. Mostly sunny and 85 degrees: an expensive spread of scones, exotic jams and hand squeezed juices. Isolated thunderstorms: indistinguishable mush, begrudgingly ladled as though we were orphans plucked off the pages of Oliver Twist.
Once Desert Fox Rommel had studied the lines of latitude and longitude and decided which area best suit her needs, she’d start sectioning off the part of the beach that belonged to her. All of her “equipment” marked her territory, and she feverishly drove stakes into the ground to signal new real estate was being developed. Any beach goer that came too close was quickly shot an “I dare you” sort of glare. God help anyone with a screaming baby, or a handicapped individual in one of those bulky sand wheelchairs. Children and the elderly were never exceptions to her beach rules, which she seemed to hold in higher regard than common state traffic laws. My father was always last in line. I used to think this was because he was old and simply unable to keep up. Unbeknownst to me, he was actually trailing behind with intent, secretly hoping my mother would lead us over a series of sand dunes and disappear, inadvertently leaving him in solitude.
When my father was on the beach, he looked like he belonged there. He had a nonchalant surfer’s gait that I spent years trying to emulate. I’d stand at the water’s edge with my hands on my hips and my pelvis jutted forward, while simultaneously craning my neck towards the sun. Initially, my approach was contrived; I was less surfer and more awkward adolescent. I had boney hips that protruded past my chlorine-damaged Speedo brand one piece. It took years before I felt comfortable in a bikini. My long arms and legs were always streaked unevenly with sunburn, and my freckled face resembled a Rorschach ink blot test. Even after his death, my father remained as a source of inspiration for me. I was well into my twenties when I’d figuratively cloaked myself in anything beach related. I had finally morphed into something that resembled a woman; somehow retaining my lean length yet growing into a curvier figure. If my father had been alive, he probably would have forced me to wear a burka.
We ultimately hoped for sun, but knew what a day at the beach with her would entail. She’d pack the essentials, which would have allowed the average person enough food, lotions, towels and gardening equipment to comfortably survive for weeks in their sandy habitat. Neighbors assumed she was preparing to send relief packages out to the American Red Cross. My younger brother and I were forced to aid in the actual transporting of the beach bags and multiple REI brand compartments that resembled meat freezers. Mom led the way down the hot sand like a soldier, combing the beach with her eyes and assessing every inch down to the shore line. Things like tide times and lifeguard chairs were always factored into where we would sit, since nothing and no one was permitted to obstruct her view of the sea. Because clearly, they make life guard stands large enough to black out the entire Atlantic Ocean. We struggled to keep up with her fast pace, oftentimes having to drag a chair or ottoman or Persian rug behind us due to heat exhaustion, to which my mother would scold us for getting sand on the beach furniture. Like prisoners in a war camp, we cried and begged for her to allow us to rest and drink from our shared water canteen.
No longer tied to my mother’s chain gang like when I was a child, the beach became the place I was the happiest. I had perfected the effortlessness I saw in my father, but as a woman who was garnering her own iconic image, yet resembling a “Wicked Game” music video audition. Laying stretched in the wet sand like Helena Christensen, I was ceremoniously knighted “Miss Natural” by the local lifeguards. I was proud of the moniker, and embraced it wholeheartedly, but thought the gap between my two front teeth should have awarded me the nickname “Miss Alabama Hillbilly.”
My father didn’t spend his beach time rolling around in ankle high ocean water, but he was an avid surfer and fisherman. Under his guidance, I learned how to remove a freshwater sunny from a hook by carefully collapsing its fanned dorsal fin with my fingers. Fishing - like everything else water related - was an outlet for him. To spend the day in his shorts and literally catch what would become dinner for our family that evening made him the happiest man in the world.I felt bad for the fish, but I loved my father. He and I compromised on an agreement that would satisfy us both, and in my mind, the fish as well. We never used live bait (cruel and unusual) and we always threw everything we caught back into the water. Hyper-sensitive child that I was, I got more pleasure out of releasing the fish
than actually catching them. In my mind I was rescuing the fishes of the world, one by one. I accidentally caught a box turtle once and cried for days because we couldn’t remove the hook from its mouth. My father wrestled with it for nearly an hour, eventually cutting the line as close to its mouth as possible, leaving the hook still pierced through its beak and letting it go to live a life of mutilation. “The hook will work itself out on its own. He’ll be ok.” My father reassured. I cried harder, not understanding what my father meant by “work itself out.” I was imagining the turtle being ridiculed by the other turtles, fish and amphibians. The guilt I felt was debilitating. My mother had a significantly different approach when it came to sea life and what was for dinner. I had seen her as a tyrant both on the beach and in the kitchen. She plunged live lobsters into boiling pots of water with an enthusiasm more commonly reserved for playing with puppies in a dog park. There was an afternoon when my father and mother suggested we all go crabbing on the bay. I had never been crabbing before, but I knew it would involve a boat because I had seen pictures of them as teenagers on a boat, each holding a bushel of live crabs in their bathing suits. I figured that even if I didn’t excel as a first
time crabber, I could lay my towel out and sunbathe as though I were a passenger aboard a modest yacht, floating off into the Mediterranean. The “boat” was a rental from a shack, poorly disguised to pass as an actual business, with a hand-painted sign reading something like, “Bud ‘n Mary’s Dinghy Dock.” The disappointment caught me off guard, but even more unsettling was the discovery that not only would we be keeping the crabs we caught, we would also be eating them for dinner. Had I realized this earlier in the trip, I most likely would have started throwing whatever I could grab overboard in an act of salvation. Unfortunately, distracted by my spectacular yacht fantasy, I wasn’t aware of my family’s plans until we had arrived back home. “You’re doing WHAT with them?!” I screamed at my mother. “We’re eating them, Julia. That’s what people do. They eat crabs. Come on, it will be fun.” My mother was filling a pot with water in preparation for the steaming. I ran into my room crying and slammed the door. Twice. It was a technique I often used when I needed my parents to understand my anguish and anger. My mother, in turn, had perfected her own technique that allowed her to demonstrate she couldn’t care less.
She completely ignored me. This always pleased my younger brother, who was simply happy to finally be the one receiving some attention. Through my howls and hysterics, I could hear my father argue with my mother. He had been outside, unaware of my tantrum until returning to the kitchen where my mother was undoubtedly sharpening her knives on a block of whetstone. “Come on, Marie! I can’t listen to this!” “Walt, no. These are perfectly good crabs. Let her stay in there all night if she wants. Her behavior is unacceptable.” I continued to sob through my pillow for another ten minutes until my father came into my room. “Let’s go.” He stood in the door frame and motioned towards the car. I gingerly followed him through the living room and glared at my mother who, like a professional, refused to waiver under my sniffles. My father had reloaded the car, and we drove down to an inlet not far from the house. He opened the trunk, pulled out the cooler and carried it to the edge of the water. I followed behind until he set it down and stared at it for a few minutes. I stared at him, and then at the cooler, which was missing the lid, revealing a tangled mess of bluish-brown crabs crawling all over each other. He sighed. “Ok, Julia. Let them go.” His demeanor wasn’t like it usually was during our fishing trips with the sunnies or the deformed box turtle. No doubt my screaming had sucked the fun out of the evening for the entire family. But he also wasn’t mad. That I knew. I bent over and lightly tipped the cooler onto its side. Dozens of crabs spilled out onto the sand and crawled their way back towards the bay. It was dark, but I could see the glistening of their hard shells reflecting from the street lamp and watched until they all disappeared beneath the surface into the black water. We drove home in silence. My father wasn’t a man of many words. I can recall numerous drives with him that remained
quiet, the last and final one being the night before his passing. He had picked me up from work, and we made the ten minute drive back to the house without talking. When we pulled into our driveway, I didn’t say anything. I ran from the car into the house and slammed my bedroom door shut. Maybe I was mad at him about something, maybe I had a bad day. I can’t remember why I went to bed that night without speaking to my father. I can’t remember why, the next morning, I got dressed, ate breakfast and went to school without saying goodbye to my father. It was fairly early in the school day when I was called out of class and asked to take my belongings to the principal’s office, where my mother’s coworker picked up my brother and me, and told us in the car on the way to the hospital that my father had just died. Sitting on the stone wall in Puerto Rico, after the therapeutic vomiting, I thought about my father and where my life had taken me without him as an influence. I feel certain now that my father would have supported my decision to move to the island. He would have applauded my efforts and commended my successes. There is no question that my father would have provided the safety net when I failed in making the right decisions, when
my judgment wasn’t the best, when my intuition was clouded. The struggle I face now is the weight of regret in not talking to my father before his death. The silences that I didn’t break. The feeling that his role in my life is completely gone, and wondering if I appreciated him enough when he was alive. I appreciate these things now. In doing something as simple as letting his daughter release crabs back into the water, my father was selfless. Perhaps in writing about his life, I am releasing the guilt from mine. In a way, letting go of the painful memories is a selfless act. It’s my selfless act for him. Because although there’s comfort in the pain, it’s not what my father would have wanted for my life. He would have wanted to see me happy. He would have wanted to see me happy on the beach in Puerto Rico, and not afraid to go. Where’s the sense in being afraid? After all, things usually have their own way of working themselves out. It probably never truly goes away; the pain is still there, like the rusted remains of a hook. It’s still present just beneath the surface. But this is me breaking my silence. This is me letting go.