Super Bowl, baby!!!

It’s a crazy beautiful time to be a Seattleite. Our team WON THE SUPER BOWL, and our city is bursting with pride. Case in point, the estimated 700k people that swarmed the streets of Seattle for the celebration parade.

But let’s rewind a bit. Five days before the Super Bowl, I got a call. My husband, Adam, had magically got his hands on four tickets to the Big Game and did I want to go with him? Um, YES.

Huge disclaimer: No, I’m not a rabid football fan. But I love my city, and who am I to turn down a trip to NYC/NJ to cheer on the Hawks?

The trip was surreal. It started with a rowdy “party bus” that set a record for in-flight liquor sales and ended with a just-in-time departure from snowy Newark.

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Super Bowl Boulevard was … a shit show. The 12th man was loud and proud.

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No matter where we went, Hawks fans were out and about.

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And then, it was game day. The city was electric with excitement. We kicked things off at one of the many Seahawks bars that had sprung up across the city. Inside, nothing but green and blue from wall to wall.

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We followed the masses of green and blue, orange and blue to Penn Station and on to Jersey. And then, we were there.

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Sure, I’m a little biased, but Hawks fans were louder and prouder than the Broncos — from the never-ending chants to the elaborate displays of blue and green attire.

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Our seats were to die for. From row 23, we had an uninterrupted view of field, fans, and stadium.

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The game was ours from start to finish. We cheered our asses off and danced in our seats. The energy was … ridiculously amazing.

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And I don’t care what they say on the Twitters, Bruno Mars rocked.

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What a game. What a weekend. GO HAWKS!

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The morning after: Spotted at 5am, DangeRuss Wilson, kicking it in our hotel lobby.

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Rivet & Cuff

I’m consistently impressed by the talent and entrepreneurial spirit that surrounds me. Today’s case-in-point: my friend’s new denim venture, Rivet & Cuff.

Rivet & Cuff homepage

I had the good fortune of working with R&C’s co-founder, Ryan Peterson, at Übermind (later Deloitte Digital). Needless to say, I was thrilled to help Ryan and his partner, Bruce, craft some copy for their sexy new site.

The site is still taking shape, but it’s off to a clean, gorgeous start. My contributions to-date: the Denim 101 guide.

Rivet & Cuff Denim 101 Guide

Congrats, Rivet & Cuff, on your beta launch! I’m looking forward to seeing what R&C has in store for the denim world. Until then, I’ll leave you with some denim factoids:

Denim 101: Big EDenim 101: Cotton GinDenim 101: IndigoDenim 101: OverallDenim 101: RivetDenim 101: Zipfly

Pre lift R

Seattle history in the [re]making

I love my city in the fierce kind of way that not even six plus months of rain can shake. Yesterday’s celebration was just another example of what makes Seattle so great.

Rainier Beer is a local legend. The brand conjures up memories of summer BBQs and cult-classic TV ads.

My dad drank Rainier. Though my brother and sister and I weren’t drinking beer in the 80s, we would chant “Raaaaaaaiiiiiiiniiiiiiieeeeeer beeeeeeeeeer,” while riding our bikes through the back yard. My friend’s wife dressed up as a Rainier Beer bottle for Halloween one year … before the age of ten. You can’t pay for that kind of brand appeal. Rainier Beer appealed to its hometown crowd to build a brand that was bigger than beer—it was Seattle.

Since 1953, the iconic Rainier R lit up the sky atop the Old Rainier Brewery (ORB). When the R was replaced with the Tully’s T, Seattle lost a piece of its heritage. But the story doesn’t end there.

Earlier this year, Tully’s terminated its lease on the ORB and, in turn, its rights to display the T (source). Enter Pabst (Columbia Distributing), MOHAI, and Western Neon. The powerhouse collaborators united behind a single goal: returning the R to its rightful home.

With the original R safely exhibited at the Museum of History and Industry, we needed a replacement. Led by president Andre Lucero, Western Neon embarked on the project of a lifetime: replicating one of Seattle’s most beloved landmarks. And they didn’t disappoint.

The bright, shiny new R is a beauty to behold. It’s red and sassy and familiar.

Rainier R

What better way to welcome the R, than a party?

Tuesday night, the R took a spirited tour of the city on a Neighborhood R Crawl, starting at Western Neon in SODO and ending the night on the Hill. Local photographer Conor Musgrave captured some pretty badass pictures that night. (View all his shots at http://photos.conormusgrave.com/seattler.)

Conor Musgrave: Rainier Beer R around Seattle &emdash;

©2013 Conor Musgrave, all rights reserved (Visit http://photos.conormusgrave.com)

But the real party wasn’t until Thursday. On Thursday the R was to make its ascent up the ORB, and the whole city was invited to celebrate: http://www.restorether.com/.

My husband’s company, Western Crane, was tasked with the heavy R lifting, and he fed me just enough pictures throughout the day to make me like a jittery kid at Christmas.

Western Crane at Old Rainier Brewery

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hard hat with Rainier sticker

The event started at 4, and by the time my sister and I arrived around 6, the place was PACKED. Music pumped from the speakers, the line to the beer garden was already stretching beyond the event space, and a crowd had formed in the alley where the R sat, waiting.

What belongs here?

Hipsters and bikers, young and old, Seattle natives and transplants—we all stood shoulder to shoulder awaiting the great unveiling. The crowd was littered with Rainier Beer beanies and scarves and damn-near everyone had a phone or a camera in hand. We were ready.Rainier wristbands

Before getting shuffled back down to street level for the start of the ceremony, the R was disrobed with a flourish and a spin.

Pre lift R

Western Neon president, Andre Lucero, and family

Western Neon president, Andre Lucero, and family

Outside the at-capacity beer garden, we were treated to a short video honoring the legacy of Rainier Beer and detailing the recreation of the R. Mayor Mike McGinn cut the ceremonial ribbon, and the R was ready for lift off.

A lone spotlight followed the R’s progress as it was slowly hoisted into the air. The foggy night sky worked to our advantage, leaving a bat symbol (beer symbol?) high above the Brewery. It. Was. Awesome.

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Photo credit: Chach Photography (@chachphoto)

The Rainier R

Welcome home, R. We sure did miss you.

Updated 10/26/13 to include photos from @chachphoto.

Interwebs domination starts here

I knew just enough HTML to break shit.

Thankfully, there’s SVC. If you haven’t interacted with Seattle’s School of Visual Concepts, you should. The people are delightful, and the classes are informative and conveniently geared toward the working professional.

I signed up for Brian Thurston’s HTML & CSS level one class. Brian’s dry wit made class a joy, and he’s a great instructor to boot.

HTML & CSS by Jon Duckett

The text: HTML & CSS – Design and Build Websites by John Duckett

This book was a godsend. Unlike pretty much every other code book, Duckett pairs each concept and/or code snippet with lots of pretty, pretty pictures. Not only do the pictures and diagrams reinforce the material, the presentation won’t make your eyeballs bleed.

Text editor: Sublime Text

On a related note, Sublime Text’s visual cues make it an ideal text editor for newbies. It boasts a “slick user interface,” which, for me, is mostly amazing because it assigns colors to types of code/content (ie. Links are yellow; HTML elements and tags, pink; and CSS properties, blue).

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FTP: Cyberduck

Its logo is a duck. ‘Nuff said.

 

 

 
Resources:

I now know just enough HTML and CSS to make—and break—less-ugly shit. Thanks, @brian_thurston.

Next up: HTML & CSS level 2 with Michael Ortlieb.

Lean, stand, or twirl … just do

Everyone has an opinion on Lean In. Not surprisingly, I suppose, we’ve been quick to criticize Sheryl Sandberg. She’s too rich, too aggressive, too out of touch, too … something.

Give it a rest, people. Instead of attacking Sandberg, let’s applaud her for taking up the feminist crusade. Instead of writing her off as too wealthy and out of touch, let’s thank her for using her high-status position to draw attention to women’s issues.

Lean In isn’t the definitive manifesto for women in (and out of) the workplace, but that doesn’t deny its value. If nothing else, Lean In reignited the conversation.

Leaning in doesn’t have to mean single-mindedly pursuing the c-suite or choosing the workplace over the home. It’s about giving women a voice. It’s about collectively pushing to achieve equal pay. It’s about starting a conversation about traditional gender roles in the home. It’s about encouraging women to help women.

I’m still figuring out my place in this world. I love to work, but I cherish my free time. I thrive on professional challenges, but I have absolutely no idea how I’ll someday juggle work with little ones.

My female peer group is a mixed bag—some are pursuing advanced degrees, others are having children, and most, like me, are building their careers. All are trying to find a balance between self and partner (or, more complicated yet, self and partner and kids), work and life, and relaxation and ambition. All are in search of that imperfectly perfect combination that yields satisfaction and happiness.

Like Kristin van Ogtrop, I want time to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. I want to spend quality time with my husband, dog, family, friends, and someday, our children. I also want a job that’s satisfying and stimulating. And, contrary to this HBR blogger’s two cents, waiting around for men to “step back” doesn’t seem like the answer.

News flash: There is no one-size-fits-all solution. So stop ragging on Sheryl Sandberg. Instead, take advantage of this opportunity that she created.

Ladies, you can lean in, stand up, or even twirl around if you want to—just do.

Denver just got a lot cooler.

We kicked off our #drivenby campaign earlier this month. Our chalkboard wall in Seattle quickly went from blank slate to studio doodle board.

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Yesterday #drivenby landed in Denver.

2013 is the Year of the Denver. Our studio here is coming into its own. They just moved into a gorgeous new space in the LoDo district, and the start-up vibe lends a positive energy. And they’re hiring talent like crazy.

Yesterday the studio officially opened its doors to the Denver community.

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#drivenby

Earlier this week my team at Deloitte Digital launched the #drivenby campaign. At its core, the campaign celebrates the thing that makes Deloitte Digital great: its people.

Drive takes many forms. Motivators in our personal lives are often different from the things that inspire us in the workplace, and both evolve with time. The Driven By campaign also takes many forms.

In part, it’s our new Tumblr blog—peppered with short posts, Tweets, Instagram pics, and video—that visually represent who we are, both as individuals and as a group.

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It’s our Driven By wall—a tangible, in-studio reminder of the things that drive us and a place for us to share and soak up inspiration.

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Snow Fall

It’s rare for web content of any significant length to get my undivided attention. Tweets, sure. Short blog posts, maybe. Articles longer than 200 words, forget it.

And then I found this: John Branch’s NYT piece on last year’s tragic avalanche at Steven’s Pass.

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Multiple people led me to this article, all with different angles. A coworker who’s an avid skier, often in the backcountry at Stevens, shared it with a group of us skiers and boarders, impressed by the richness of the content. A writer friend sent it around as an example of long-form journalism at its finest. A few PNW friends were interested in the story of Chris Rudolph and the details surrounding the tragedy.

Snow Fall is brilliant. It’s a rich collection of narrative prose, video interviews, animated maps and weather models, photos past and present, and strikingly dynamic hero images. The whole thing just draws you in.

And still I couldn’t quite commit to sitting down and trudging through its entirety. Sunday night, long after my husband had fallen asleep and buoyed by a day-long Parks & Recreation marathon, I settled in and read.

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The storyteller

Haggerty is one hell of a storyteller.

This Christmas, while wiping his pup’s muddy paws at the back door, Haggerty launches into an account of last season’s duck hunt. I’ve heard bits and pieces of this story before, but with Haggerty that doesn’t matter. With Haggerty, each telling is its own masterpiece.

He sets the scene. Three hunters—himself, his son, and his, for all intents and purposes, son-in-law—and a dog. It’s Elwha’s first legitimate hunt.

Here, I interrupt. How’d she do? Does she have a soft mouth? Is she afraid of gun shots?

Haggerty gives me a look and holds up his hand as if to say, Just wait. I’m getting there. I shut up.

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The customer experience in a digital world

Updated title at 5:11 am PST on 9.11.12

First things first: Let the record clearly state that I’m not an impartial observer. I attended the concert (along with five sassy, wine-drinking lady friends); I’m a huge Bonnie Raitt fan; and I’ve been a vocal enthusiast of the Chateau Ste. Michelle Summer Concert Series.

Let’s breeze through the already-stale premise of every vaguely technology-focused article—yes, digital technology is here, and it’s here to stay. Today’s digitally-connected world has had a very tangible impact on how we as consumers interact with brands, and it introduces a new set of challenges and standards for today’s businesses. The aftermath of last night’s power outage at Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery is a near textbook case of what not to do in a digital world.

Bonnie RaittBlues legend Bonnie Raitt played to a sold-out crowd on Sunday evening as part of the Winery’s Summer Concert Series. Just after the show’s midpoint—just before Bonnie really started rocking—the power abruptly went out. It flickered back on for a few seconds, giving Bonnie enough time to launch back into Angel from Montgomery, but as soon as she started up again the power screeched to a final halt.

The show didn’t go on, and the paying concertgoers were hastily ushered out of the venue by event staff who provided little direction or information.

Cut to today. Chateau Ste. Michelle didn’t even acknowledge the concert’s premature ending from their Twitter account. They didn’t email attendees with their apologies. And they waited until 3:23 pm to reference the previous evening’s unexpected events on their Facebook page, and even later to reference it on their website.

To those disappointed concertgoers who called requesting a refund, Chateau Ste. Michelle informed them that while they wouldn’t be offering a refund or credit, they would take 30% off a next wine purchase at the Winery gift shop.

The Winery’s lack of a timely response and customer service got people talking, mainly on its Facebook page and in response to an article posted in Woodinville Patch. Spoiler alert: the talk wasn’t praising the Winery for its reaction.

The sweeping negative response could have been easily avoided. Instead, it’s being amplified with social media. Chateau Ste. Michelle, take note—this one’s for you.

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