Five Years

In the summer of 2007, I filed paperwork to form a business. I had no idea what I was doing (evidenced by the fact that I later had to hire an attorney to correct said paperwork), but I wanted to formalize my freelance work, and to legitimize some of the projects I had been working on. A little over a year later, I put in notice that I’d be leaving my job to work full-time for myself my business my clients.

March 1, 2014 marks my fifth anniversary of being self-employed. Naturally, I started thinking about all that the business has to show—all of my bragging rights, really. Then I started recounting all of the struggles; building a business around creative services is incredibly fulfilling, but it can also be unpredictable and exhausting, and mine’s given a few scars.

But instead of nostalgia, or a list of accomplishments or lessons learned, I’ve created five portraits of people I look to for inspiration—friends who’ve paved their own path, and who I respect for their tenacity, humility and outright hustle.

Jay

Trunket & Brooklyn Carry Co

Five-Years-Jay-Chowdury

Harris

Underground Eats & Damashek Consulting

Five-Years-Harris-Damashek

Justin

Plowshares Coffee Roasters & Natural Thrills

Five-Years-Justin-Rodriquez

Ryan

Ryan C. Jones Photography & An Unlikely Scene

Five-Years-Ryan-Jones

Daniel

Daniel Topete Photography

Five-Years-Daniel-Topete

Thanks for your friendship, collaboration and insight, fellas. And special thanks to my clients, employees, collaborators, and everyone who has been a part of this venture. I’m extremely grateful.

(Note: I acknowledge that this list is short, all-male and NY-centric. I wanted to show diversity, but can’t fully cover that in five portraits, but starting here gives me an excuse to continue the series.)

Want info on upcoming shows, and other announcements? I got you covered: