recent work

recent work: makers meals summer supper.

well, we made it through another successful evening of makers meals! this meal was a particularly dreamy evening given our truly magical outdoor location at wollam gardens flower farm. we gathered together around a table of delicious food, and, if we did our job well, created a space for new connections between dc residents and the makers who make our community so vibrant. it's always surprising how much work and tiny details go into the preparations for an event like this— it's no easy feat! but each time, we feel a pretty triumphant sense of awe at how beautifully everything comes together in the end, and all the new people we get to meet along the way.

some of our favorite highlights from summer supper:

  • wollam gardens farm tour. farm owner bob wollam began our day with a personal tour of the grounds. we were particularly inspired by the culture he's created around the farmwork there— everyone who works at wollam gardens seems to really own their work and possess a real passion for it. in other words, if we close up shop to go work on a flower farm, could you blame us?
  • guided workshops. we also had the pleasure of hosting two guided workshops— the first of which was in metal spoon-making with Black swan handmade, and the second of which was a pickling workshop from the sweet farm. both local makers and crafters, and a whole lot of fun for us.
  • our partners. we had such a rockstar lineup this meal. the bulk of the menu was the creative genuius of chef yuan tang of rooster and owl, all sourced locally from washington green grocer, al volo, and more. our pre-meal refreshments came courtesy of the uber-talented baklava couture, as well as drinks crafted by kevin zieber using spirits from mcclintock distillery and lindera farms— not to mention, amazing wines from virginia vineyard early mountain. we finished off the meal with an incredible dessert pairing from baklava couture and local ice cream makers milk cult.  
  • the food, of course! okay, so, we already mentioned this, but the food was insane. from the zucchini elote to the carrot tortellini, to the whole roasted suckling pig, we were in food heaven. our favorite dish? the Striped Bass Crudo with Golden beets, blackberry and Lindera Farms vinegars. thanks again for this amazing feast, rooster and owl! be sure to catch their brick and mortar location, coming soon!
  • local music. this was something we had not delved into before, but was so lovely. two of the ladies from dc band bearcat wildcat joined us for a musical set during the meal, carrying us into an evening wind-down by the fire post meal.

and if you want to join for a future event (next one will be this fall!), be sure to sign-up for event notifications from Makers meals! 

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thanks to all of our wonderful partners who absolutely made the evening what it was. 

  • wollam gardens
  • rooster & owl
  • baklava couture
  • washington's green grocer
  • early mountain vineyards
  • mcclintock distilling
  • the sweet farm
  • cucina al volo
  • milk cult
  • lindera farms
  • right proper brewing co
  • something vintage
  • lady farmer 
  • bearcat wildcat
  • rachel lyn photography 

hope to see you at the next meal! 

 

 

work we like: powered by pride.

as the country celebrates pride month, we are really into equinox gym’s engagement of this celebration with their powered by pride campaign. through art activations, engagement philanthropy, and community partnerships, equinox aims to contribute to conversations around sexual identity and creation of safe spaces for all people.

the campaign began with a series of commissioned murals emblazoned with #poweredbypride, equinox called on their community to share photos of themselves with these murals (hashtagged, of course) and a little bit about what pride means to them. for each photo shared/tagged, equinox donates $1 to the Hetrick-Martin Institute and The Pillon Trust. in further celebration of the month, they released a short film, the lgbtqalphabet, which uses modern dance and graphics to shine a celebratory light on sexuality in both its fluidity and its freedom. it's a beautiful mix of good design, interesting spaces, creative execution— but what sets this aside from all the other beautifully-designed campaigns out there? 

we happen to think that the power of poweredbypride lies in the partnership they forged with nyc's the center, an lgbtq advocacy group in new york. instead of striking out on their own to create this video, they made direct connections with the communities they were aiming to represent in a deliberate way. "We didn’t want it to be us dictating meaning around what these letters stood for,” says equinox’s executive creative director elizabeth nolan. “‘LGBTQA’ exists in the world and we all know what [the letters] mean. And then you have these other letters that we decided to give an interpretation of based on the insights of real people and what it means to them— this is not is Equinox saying this is what this means." indeed, the dance interpretations of various 'alphabet letters' used to define modes of sexual identity in this video are extensions of conversations created between equinox and the center. that collaboration allowed for them to turn a risky topic into a genuine exploration and a celebration that feels neither contrived, nor salesy. 

"learn to speak pride." that is just one of the many slogans found throughout the campaign. through their exploration of the acronym, they hone in on our collective use of language to define statements of identity that are until now, almost too fluid to be definable. indeed, in their words, "six letters will never be enough." ultimately, this campaign is a classic example of ‘walking the talk’— equinox committed to something, as they direct their audience to do, and they did it the right way. so, we want to give them some props for that. 

happy pride, everyone! and check out the lgbtqalphabet below.

mood: communal.

as ashleigh and julia gear up for the next edition of makers meals, we thought we would take a look at what community meals mean to us. the food, the music, a diversity of people and perspectives, and that incomparable feeling of connecting a bit with the nature around you— that's what gets us so excited for these meals. and there will be no shortage of *all the things* at the upcoming summer supper at wollam gardens flower farm. we'll see you there, yeah? 
 

in the meantime, check our inspiration below:

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decent travelogue: colombia.

by Michelle Santiago.

Itinerary:
Medellín — 6 days
Cartagena — 2 days
Isla Grande — An impromptu (and unbelievable) 2 days

as far as travel destinations go, colombia has dealt with its fair share of stigma. but in recent years, there has been a noticeable revival countrywide, with thriving metropolitan cities, flourishing arts districts, and the addition of the country’s first metro system. It’s actually been on my bucket list for a while, so when I stumbled upon cheap tickets, the decision was easy. A few unnecessary bathing suit purchases and a couple connecting flights later, I was in Medellín. Read on for my lucky seven spots, places you won’t want to miss if you find yourself there!

1. Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín. the modern art museum of medellín is a must-see, even if for the architecture alone. the newly renovated building has a center courtyard that extends through all four levels, making it feel like you are both inside and outside at once. if you’re looking to dive deeper into country's world of art, el mamm's impressive collection is the place to do it.

2. Parque Arvi. Do not leave Medellín without hopping on the metro cable (an activity in itself) and riding up to Parque Arvi. the park is a seriously impressive ecological nature preserve that sits up in the mountains. it’s definitely worth dedicating an afternoon to the park, and pro-tip: when you want to take a break from hiking, duck into one of the little outdoor bars right off the path. relax and play a game of chess over some beers before the park closes. on your way back down, be prepared for some of the best views of the city.

 

3. El Centro + El Poblado. to get a good feel for medellín, take a walking tour of el centro and el poblado. el centro is the city’s crowded downtown area— it’s rich with history and is a great way to experience the paisano's every day. you’ll find cool trinkets and tons of typical colombian food. head to el poblado for a taste of modern medellín. the neighborhood is filled with little boutique stores, amazing coffee shops, and dreamy streets lined with tropical greenery and the sound of rushing streams. then after dinner, you can make your way to one of many clubs for some dancing and late-night empanadas, which is basically *the dream.*

4. Guatape. in guatape, a town a couple hours outside of medellín, sits a monolithic formation about 7,000 ft. high. you can climb it, and you should. it may take 740 steps to get to the top, but you won’t be sorry once you see the view from the top. guatape itself feels like a fairytale town, made up of cobblestoned roads, pastry-carts, and colorfully painted houses. you need about an entire day to explore the area, but if you have the time, duck into a hostel and enjoy the small town life for a little. apparently, there are really good swimming spots, too!

5. Food. eat anywhere! seriously, all of the food is amazing. arepas are good for all times of the day, and you should try all of the empanadas you can get your hands on. and if you’re looking for a few recommendations: la cantine cocina for french inspired dishes with fresh, colombian ingredients, el social if you’re looking for a dive bar away from home, and berlin bar for a good game of pool and some cheap aguardiente shots (which are a must).

6. Getsemani. cartagena is a tropical port city on the northern caribbean coast of colombia. you’ll find most travelers within the walled city, and there’s reason for it! the entire area is made up of candy-colored colonial style buildings, filling the city with some serious romantic vibes. but if you’re looking to get a real taste of cartagenian nightlife, i’d suggest venturing a little further out to getsemani. on a typical weekend night, plaza de la trinidad becomes crowded with street performers, late night food vendors, and groups of friends hanging on steps. unfortunately, i didn’t take my phone around too much so not a lot of pictures to capture this magic— all the more reason for you to check it out for yourself.

7. Isla Grande, Rosario Islands. on our third day in cartagena, we ventured out to the much-talked-about rosario islands. we stayed in a community of restored independent hostel homes working collectively as the one paraiso secreto. this place was unreal. it was so good, in fact, that we extended our trip by a night and nearly missed our flight back the next day. but with secluded beaches, a nighttime swim in a glittery plankton-filled lagoon, and the best fried snapper dish i've ever eaten, it was well worth it. oh yeah, small thing— there’s no wifi, and electricity is only available between 7pm and 9am, but honestly, it was pretty freakin’ nice to disconnect for a bit.

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one thing we heard a lot of people talk about is the the current state of the country, and the tenacity of young people that continues to affect this change. even from an outsider's perspective, it's hard to disagree. colombia is experiencing a dynamic shift that you can see in everything; the new architecture, the shops, and even in the dishes you eat. it's more than just a visual shift— it's an energy that reverberates. if you ever get the chance to visit, do not pass it up. colombia is a place like no other.

recent work

recent work: priori.

priori skincare.
all skin considered.

*new project alert!* we just emerged from a two-month brand workshop with priori, a high-end skincare brand that boasts some seriously science-backed products. having just launched an online shop, they were looking to put a fresh face on their already-established brand, as well as step up their social media game. creative social media strategy just happens to be our superpower, so we were more than game for the challenge.

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we established a look and feel that was rooted in the idea that beauty should be nonlinear— it is subjective, dynamic, and self-defined. it is adaptive. it is human. and we really wanted to bring those ideas forward holistically. as we embark on telling priori's story, we needed to know two things: who are we talking to, and what do they connect with? we wanted to situate priori as a brand that was accessible yet polished, body positive, knowledgable, and ownable; a brand that both connects with its customers, and also is recognized as a thought leader in the skincare space. 

the result: a brand style that values youth, but embraces the wisdom that comes with a few extra years of living in your skin. it is a celebration of skin in its myriad forms, and it is also an exploration of how we can rethink our collective definition of good skin and our relationship with our individual skin types.

so, here we are! armed with our brand guide and an arsenal of gorgeous original visuals, we're ready to release this baby to the world! knowing that brands and voices evolve and grow, we're super excited about where we're starting— we've crafted a voice you're going to want to get to know. priori's instagram has officially launched, so hop on the wagon and follow along!

work we like: glossier.

even if you don’t have an in-depth knowledge of the skincare industry, chances are that if you have an instagram account, you’ve probably heard of glossier. a small beauty brand with the motto “skin first, makeup second,” glossier was built on the extensive product research organically created for well-known beauty blog into the gloss. just two years after their launch, the brand boasts over half a million followers on instagram (their principal platform), and a customer base so loyal they’re willing to wear the brand emblazoned on their clothes. to the trained eye (us, duh), glossier exists at the intersection of good design, highly personified branding, and a full-immersion approach to social media marketing.

  • persona: glossier does this incredibly well. they've managed to create an aspirational brand that feels like the big sister you always wanted— the effortless ‘cool girl.’ she doesn’t go for the full-face contoured look, but rather uses a select few products and the tip of her finger to apply her beauty routine. 
  • social media as friend-to-friend marketing. in the beauty world, recommendations from friends is the one of most effective ways to build brand exposure. glossier has created a voice so rooted in an ongoing dialogue with their customers, that you feel like you're talking to a friend. they have their blog to thank for that— but they've also crafted a strong and consistent voice which they continue to reinforce through their instagram. check out #glossier and you'll see just how devoted folks are to sharing the love.
  • packaging. for young people looking to step up their skincare game, glossier's accessible, hip branding and affordable pricing give users the effect of achieving an aspirational lifestyle without the pricetag of brands like clinique or estee lauder. pair that with a colorfully designed box with sticker sheets, and they've created something that is both accessible and seriously shareable. 

you may notice that we didn't talk about their actual products— truth be told, we're not totally convinced that they're the best thing out! but each and every one of us has our own selection of glossier items in spite of it, so you know they must be doing something right. sometimes a book isn't as good without its cover. 

as our own foray into the beauty world continues to deepen, we've got our eyes on beauty brands that communicate in new and exciting ways. stay tuned for new work coming down the pipeline!

decent travelogue: fortaleza.

by julia dann.

the itinerary:
fortaleza, brasil: one week
canoa quebrada, brasil: three days

located on the almost easternmost tip of south america, fortaleza is one of the anchors of northeast brazil, and considered one of the most beautiful states in the country. the region is characterized by rainforests, small fishing towns, stunning beaches, and vibrant urban centers full of colorful re-visionings of post-colonial architecture. i was #blessed TO STUDY ABROAD THERE IN 2009, SO THIS TRIP was, FOR ME, A PRODIGAL RETURN. but for others, it's definitely a dope starting point for exploring northeast brazil.  read on for some of my #lucky7 spots in fortaleza! disclaimer: i had a tough time capturing it all on film— it's still a relatively dangerous place, and whipping your phone or camera out for a quick photo is still risky biz. but i did my best to capture a fun mix of photos, mostly on disposable film, below.
 

1. foods! fortaleza is located in a fishing hub, and you'd be hard-pressed to find better peixe (fish) anywhere else. on my first day, i ordered a table's worth of baiao de dois, macaxeira, and carne de sol. in other words, rice and beans, fried yucca, and grilled steak. despite multiple inquiries about whether someone would be joining me to help me finish the food, i was in heaven. top it off with an ice-cold beer, and you're good to go. below: a full northeastern feast— this time, shared with friends.

2. centro. this is close by where i went to school, so i made a beeline for these cobblestoned pathways of backstreets with random odd goods. easily an afternoon's worth of strolling here. if you're in the shopping mood, head to the expansive open-air market called mercado central. hammocks, or redes, are ubiquitous in every fortaleza home— gorgeously woven and insanely comfortable. pick one up there, along with some seriously gorgeous leather goods. below: catedral de são josé, a freshly painted building dating back to the city's beginnings in 1700s, and a strip of shops full of gorgeous hammocks.

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3. praia do futuro. fortaleza is right on the ocean, so you'll have your pick of beaches, but my favorite beach is praia do futuro. hop on the bus and be there in 30. the fortaleza version of a picnic is to grab a table at any barraca (or ocean-side restaurant) and sip on coconut water straight from the source— i spent a couple afternoons just lounging, reading, and writing here. can't beat it.

4. dragão do mar. a beautiful hub for both museums and nightlife, lined with colorfully-painted post-colonial buildings. i spent an afternoon watching capoeira groups dance and getting lost in old museums. don't leave before you find yourself a forró bar! samba may be the universal dance of brazil, but forró is the universal dance of the northeast. 

5. beira mar. if you're looking for a place to do some strolling and window shopping along the water, beira mar is that spot. a hub for great barbeque, or churrasco. make sure you ask for extra farofa. don't worry about what it is, just do it.

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6. parquelandia. i was surprised to encounter the parquelandia neighborhood this time around, as it wasn't on my radar when i was in fortaleza in 2009. in the months leading up to the most recent world cup, tons of amazing restaurants and forró bars have popped up here— i recommend getting over to that part of town you're looking to shake a leg in the evenings, without all the downtown craziness.

7. canoa quebrada. this beach town is SERIOUSLY GORGEous. A LOT of THE BEACHES ALONG THE NORTHEAST ARE CHARACTERIZED BY ORANGE SAND DUNES— AND CANOA QUEBRADA IS AMONG THE MOST BEAUTIFUL IN THE REGION. about 2 hours outside fortaleza, i made a long weekend of it, and that was the perfect amount fo time. at night, descend through the sand dunes to freedom bar, a beachside shack bumping roots reggae and slinging caipirinhas, a traditional drink made with a sugar-cane rum called cachaÇa.  

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tip of the iceberg here, folks. northeast brazil will need two weeks of your time at least— and fortaleza is just the beginning!

travelogue

decent travelogue: patagonia

by ashleigh ferran.

 

1st stop: Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine, Chile. 
2nd stop: Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina.
3rd stop: Lakes District, Lake Tagua-Tagua, Chile.

 

words that accurately describe patagonia: none. it is a place of breathtakingly giant (and windy) scale. i divided the trip into thirds, 3 weeks, 3 regions (some of which i did on horseback!). i'll let the photos speak for themselves, but read on for 7 of my luckiest stops along the way.

 

Hotel Remota. Enjoy the hotel, splurge for the excursions. This sustainably designed hotel, built into the hillside, is almost as breathtaking as the surrounding landscape. But you'll find the real draw in the different excursions you can take part in, led by local guides committed to conserving the Patagonian land. 

 

Torres del Paine, Valle del Francés . If you only have one torres del paine full-day hike in you, make it this one. We made an early morning of it, stopping to see the sunrise with a view of the Towers. Bonus points? Both the start and end of the hike include a catamaran trip across a stunning lake.   

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Sierra Baguales: This lightly visited geo-paleontological park is like an escape to a faraway planet. Along the way you can hunt for fossils; we found numerous seashells and even a sea worm! Definitely make a point to pack a picnic and bottle of wine— it's worth it when you get to the top. 

 

Sheepskins and Saddles. The gaucho culture is an integral part of Patagonian life, yet the strained struggle between livestock and nature is a complicated one, with many sides to a pressing situation. To really understand, try visiting an Estancia beyond its tourism trips. We rode for 4 days into the heart of estancia nibepo aike, living and working with Gauchos. Nature is beautiful, but so is hard work and real life. Still not sure where the balance lies, but I really valued this part of the trip. 

 

Asado at Puesto La Laguna. This lakeside outpost has been "home" to Gauchos, mountaineers, and a few lucky travelers for more than a century. Not sure if it was the meat landscape or company, but this asado was top of the charts. if you're wondering what constitutes serious asado, start here

 

Fishing for brown trout on the Rio Puelo. Shimmering turquoise and filled with trout, a day on this river is a dream for anglers and non-anglers alike. Basecamp here was Mitico Puelo Lodge, a totally off-the-grid lodge accessed only by boat. While fishing was the real draw, so was the food, which incorporated many locally grown or foraged items such as wild mushrooms, berries, local honey and fresh fish. 

Borago. One "non-Patagonia" item, but this restaurant in Santiago makes the perfect entry or exit stop for any trip to Patagonia. Described as the Noma of Chile, be prepared to learn that donkey milk, ice plant, and bitter tree berries actually can taste good together. 

photos by ashleigh ferran, all rights reserved. 

recent work

recent work: katana strategic partnership.

when we first began working with katana, they were small outfit with about five employees looking for a partner to help them accelerate their growth and drive a robust marketing program. two years later, they’ve more than tripled in size, and together we’ve grown our approach and content to match. we direct their content marketing program, from monthly editorial plans, to bi-weekly emails. we also assist in the research, development, and design of long-form resource guides, and we manage their blog content on a weekly basis. to us, this client is a model of one type of work we’ve really come to value— partnerships. we’ve continued to iterate on their brand, and evolved our content and strategy to both match where they’re at, and reflect where they’re headed. 

check out some previews of a few of the more recent visuals and content writing we’ve done for katana, including blog graphics, email marketing, and landing pages. 

mood, recent work

mood: saudades.

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#saudades: a uniquely brazilian word, with no literal translation in any other language— pronounced sah-oo-dah-jees— used describe a feeling of longing and nostalgia. having all just returned from world travels, we're feelin' saudades for days.

when you get the itch, you've gotta scratch it. we were all hashtag-blessed to have the opportunity to hop on international flights last month, and for some reason, the majority of us chose south america. to ask why would be silly— if you've even seen pictures from any country on this continent, you know what a ecologically diverse and culturally rich place it is to explore. when we came together to share some of our stories and photos from our various trips, a common thread emerged; a true vastness of history, presenting itself both in nature, and on well-worn back streets. we're quite excited to share our stories with you, and over the next few weeks, each of us will take over the blog with our stories, travel tips, and most importantly, our photos.

but we won't share just yet. enjoy this collage of some of our favorite found-imagery from the different places we'll share here in the coming weeks. not quite a preview— just a little inspiration on our favorite day of the week. stay tuned.

  patagonia. 100% worth the hype.
  trinidad, cuba. cigars date back to 10th century south america.
  sand dunes at Morro branco beach in ceará, brazil. 

recent work

decent work: m. montague

As if our stars (and expedia notifications) have magically aligned, March has unofficially become a travel month for the Decent team. Argentina, Chile, Cuba, London, Brazil, Colombia, France - we’re doing some serious globe-trottin' over the next couple weeks. adventure is not entirely new to us, though— as we get our passports stamped and bags packed, we've been reminiscing about the early days of decent, when our work took us to morocco for a month of branding, photoshoots, and serious exploration. yes, the dream is real.

almost three years ago, we got the call for an opportunity to work with m. montague, a hospitality and lifestyle brand based in marrakech, morocco. they were gearing up to open peacock pavilions, a hotel and gathering place for travelers looking for responsible alternatives to the 'tourist trap.' a more cohesive brand and website was needed; something that combined ms. montague's personal and professional brands. of course, we couldn't get the full story without heading straight to marrakech, so you know we jumped on that plane as fast as we could. we spent an intensive few weeks working directly with maryam montague herself; workshopping her brand, directing photo and video shoots to capture the beauty of her space, and building her online presence. imagine running a strategy session in a yoga retreat in morocco— yeah, we definitely had to pinch ourselves once or twice.

check out the website we created here, and some of our favorite shots below:

 

we can hardly believe that project was almost three years ago— safe to say, we were bitten by the bug and now we can't wait to sink our teeth into another international project. so as we gear up for some adventures of our own, we're looking forward to exploring new ways to turn our love of travel into something we can work with. got something in mind? get at us.

work we like: mailchimp's did you mean?

if you listened to the first season of the podcast serial, chances are you heard their infamous mailchimp intro ad, in which people from around the world attempt (and sometimes fail) to pronounce the word 'mailchimp.' this simple ad became something of an inside joke that spread like wildfire— and mailchimp is capitalizing on their newfound cult status with their new campaign, "did you mean..."

sometimes, the best solution is the most obvious one. and mailchimp's new campaign creatively seizes the 'obvious' and turns it into a pretty powerful brand message. through a variety of ads for fake businesses that rhyme with 'mailchimp'— nailchamp, mailcrimp, jailblimb, snailprimp, etc— they acknowledge the viral joke that their name has become, and really take measured, thoughtful, and ultimately pretty hilarious steps to own that joke and use it to tell their story.

what's a little more subtle (yet just as meaningful) is how this campaign also highlights mailchimp's mission— their email marketing service champions the needs of the small business underdog in both its price and user-friendliness. a once-failed e-greetings service, mailchimp's founders often joke that they stumbled into email marketing; they had already built the parts for a different model, and after some trial and error they realized that they had accidentally created a great platform for email marketing services. they understand the sometimes-haphazard evolution of small businesses, and serve as examples of how to find yourself (and own that) as a business. their commitment to supporting brand storytelling also ripples out beyond their service into their backing of endeavors like the emerging women's conference, creative mornings, and of course, the smash-hit podcast serial.

so, this campaign, beyond being a truly interesting version of 'taking a joke,' becomes a poignant way of owning your brand, celebrating your individual story (and commitment to telling everyone else's story, too), and having a little fun while you're at it. check out some of the promo videos they created for fake small businesses below.

recent work

recent work: boody baby influencer marketing

content marketing is a huge part of what we do— enabling brands to not just tell their story, but to create more meaningful connections with the most relevant audiences for that brand. this might mean creating newsletters full of interesting, dynamic content for users to engage; it might mean creating downloadable content with facts and resources for users in need of crucial research in palatable formats. perhaps most frequently, though, it means having a sustained and thoughtful presence on social media. 

each of our clients has different needs, but the majority of them use instagram as a primary means of getting their product or brand in front of their audience. we’ve shared some of the feeds we’ve worked on with you in the past— we build these feeds visually and construct their editorial calendars with relevant messaging and hash tagging. what allows us to make their product more meaningful, however, is our work with key instagram influencers. the advent of instagram has really brought on a surge of personal/lifestyle brands that ground their relevance in their ‘expertise’ about their given niche. one of our long-term clients Boody has recently launched a new Baby brand, and we've really pushed our influencer marketing efforts to help get Boody Baby in front of parents, specifically. Boody is an eco-friendly line of basics made from bamboo fiber— the company itself places a lot of emphasis on their commitment to sustainable and ethical production. Strategically selecting the right influencers to feature Boody has been a crucial part of connecting the Boody brand not just with a general audience, but with parents who seek sustainable, organic products and brands that align with their eco-friendly values.  

check out some of the people we've gotten to work with this year, and feel free to follow along with #boodybabyus!

mood

mood: fired up.

#firedup: when words don’t do your mood justice.

everyone's brains work differently. words conjure different sentiments and images for each of us. though we typically use mood boards as a branding & design exercise for our clients, we decided to take this idea and have some fun with it ourselves. for this week's #mood, we took the phrase 'fired up' on a visual journey through old protest posters, graphics and comics, and textural elements.

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  Marlena Buczek   (activist poster designer)

Marlena Buczek 
(activist poster designer)

  jason edmiston  john carpenter's   they live

jason edmiston
john carpenter's they live

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recent work

recent work: makers meals.

at the end of 2016, we partnered up with amber breitenberg for her seasonal supper series, makers meals. earlier in the year, we'd been guests at her gorgeous summer supper at republic restoratives distillery— we had such an awesome experience, so we were quite thrilled to take on a new role in the meal as her partners for the winter supper!

so, why makers meals? we’re a small agency that really takes our commitment to supporting small, good businesses to heart. the food industry in dc is more vibrant than ever— from the diverse array of local farms and markets to our recent sweep of michelin-starred restaurants,  dc has become a pretty delicious place to live and work. makers meals was an opportunity for us to create a collective space for those food farmers, makers, and lovers to come together and support one another, around a beautiful table of seriously delicious food.

with a brand concept and voice already established by amber, our focus was to really make that brand come alive, both online and in dynamic ways throughout the evening. we established a more formal brand package for the event including a logo, print materials, and a website to showcase the various meals, and highlight the communities and makers we work with for each event, and sell tickets. 

we also conceptualized a separate maker’s table for the winter supper. this, for us, was about engaging dc businesses outside the food space, and tying in our personal focus on small business leadership and entrepreneurism.  serving as an “irl” holiday gift-guide, the table was a styled mix of products from crafters and makers across dc, from wallets from stitch and rivet to jewelry from kicheko goods. the orchestration of a beautiful experience is way more than creating a ‘good vibe’ for us. our end result? extending the experience beyond the evening into real, organic connections between business and participant. and frankly, it was damn delicious, too— though we may have said that already.

all photos courtesy of marisa albrecht.

 

interested in joining us for future suppers? we don't blame you.
we do release very occasional emails with updates on upcoming meals and ticket sales,
so you should definitely sign up to stay in the know.

work we like: gift list edition.

this time of year really brings on that shopping frenzy— and we hope we're not alone when we say that shopping for friends and loved ones often turns into a drool-fest over nice things we wish we owned. we are also huge fans of all the amazing gift guides that come out this time of year, and thought we'd put together a little guide of our own (but, you know, the kind that's actually just stuff you want for yourself). 

sending *all* the merry-ness from the gang at decent!

recent work

recent work: kane ny.

Fashion photography washington DC

we've talked about our work with kane before: we create ongoing campaigns and content that highlight particular aspects of the kane brand in somewhat unexpected ways. beauty, radiance, youthfulness, and luxury. our aim is to curate and create. however, the brand only has two products– serum savant, and a primer– and creating ongoing content around just two products can be hard.   

while we regularly remix and regram others to help bring the kane brand to life, this fall, we had the opportunity to create some original content that fits right in line with our curated aesthetics. to do so, we directed a series of photoshoots to showcase both the luxury of the brand as well as elements of natural beauty and radiance. we wanted to capture not just the product, but also focus on skin and textural softness. it was weird, natural, beautiful, and pretty damn fun. let's be real, who doesn't want to fill a soaking tub with milk and spray glitter everywhere? 

October part 2-1.jpg
kane nov-02.jpg

photography by leah beilhart. art direction and production by decent workshop.

work we like: ace hotel pittsburgh.

the ace hotel opened a new outpost this year in pittsburgh, pa. inhabiting an old restored YMCA building and boasting swoon-worthy views of the city, this newest edition of the nearly-20-year-old brand stays true to ace's mission of being a collaborative space for the city's creative types. the first ace hotel opened in seattle in 1999, with low nightly rates and rooms filled with art made by the owners' personal friends. in the years following, ace has cultivated each new hotel not only as a lodging, but as a meeting place, where you'll find different bars and cozy sitting areas to meet for a drink or a coffee. better still, these myriad spaces also double as venues for events, and ace hotel pittsburgh is actively committed to creating programming for local artists, musicians, and performers to keep that dialogue between business and community alive and thriving.

as cities develop and neighborhoods change, it's hard to ride that line between good progress and potentially harmful change. we wanted to showcase this hotel as an example of a business that makes its mission to know its city's heart and expose the true and beautiful bones of the building it moves into. though it is distinctly 'ace,' it's still thoroughly pittsburgh. we're especially big fans of their preservation of the old YMCA gym, where they host sports screenings for diehard PGH fans, beer events for local breweries, and movie nights. definitely got us plotting our next trip to steeltown. you comin?

 

photos: Top Gallery, Ace Hotel Pittsburgh. Gym Gallery: Ace Hotel Pittsburgh; far right photo is from Sidewalk Hustle, by Tristan Banning.

recent work

recent work: avva baby.

avva baby is a dc start-up providing organic, seasonal baby food, handmade and delivered fresh weekly. avva came to decent at a place many start-ups find themselves-- their product was developed and brand created, but they were without a definitive strategy for carrying that brand across content rich channels to acquire customers. for a topic as intimate as infant health and nutrition, we knew we needed to develop a story that not only promoted the product, but that built trust and deepened the conversation between avva and its customers.

our solution? to create a lead generation campaign based on expert knowledge of early childhood nutrition and healthy eating for children. we guided avva through the process of building a content-driven campaign, then established a branded voice and visual identity to match. centered on a downloadable guide, our campaign utilizes high-value content, email marketing and social advertising to attract prospective customers and educate them on the value of avva's unique product offering. set to launch this month, we hope this means many more happy babies will be enjoying avva baby food in the coming year!

work we like: older brother.

One style fits all.

older brother is a clothing line with a minimal, contemporary style and a pretty serious commitment to environmental responsibility. Their garments are all American-manufactured and consciously made with a handmade process that includes only natural dyes and fabrics, ensuring uniqueness to each item.

minimalism and environmental awareness aren’t necessarily new concepts in fashion, but Older Brother's brand identity manages to separate itself from the pack in a few ways. american maker culture often situates the maker as the focal point of brand stories. take a look at Older brother's blog and you'll notice that both makers and models are actually featured quite rarely-- rather, older brother positions their product in the handmade space almost as individual pieces of art-- each garment tells its own story, visually. in a way, they position the model as an abstract of the maker, and in some cases, even use nature and the elements as their "flatlay." 

even with those earthy tones and a pared-down vibe, they manage to bring a playful contrast to their look and feel through their use of gifs and css animation to highlight the importance of their process. The neutral style of their art direction and clothing itself creates gender neutral pieces that are accessible to anyone. and we are all about that.

Ethical with impeccable design? Yes please.