Co-founder of Carrot Creative, design geek, practical hippie, music enthusiast and generally creative individual who finds inspiration through imagination.
Located in Park Slope & DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY.
Dreaming in a galaxy far, far away....
For the last three years (2009, 2010, 2011), I have taken time to document some reflection on the year prior - it’s a fulfilling and rare opportunity to reflect … This is a look back at a very eventful 2012.
I thought Carrot grew in 2011 - it is nothing to the growth we saw this year. Check out carrot.is/peopleto see the most (though not entirely) up-to-date list of staff! Incredibly, we doubled once again … the extended Carrot family (more on that in a bit) is over 50 people. Thankfully, even with this growth, we have maintained (and enhanced) all of the things that make the company great. Our culture is entirely owned by the staff as much as us as founders - for their enthusiasm and commitment to it, I am grateful :) We created Carrot as a place to house the manifestations of our imaginations, and it has - particularly this year - been fed by everyone who is apart of it now, exceeding even our expectations.
Among the enhancements to our culture and perks at the office, we introduced a partnership with Farmigo, and offer every employee $10/week towards Farm-fresh, local goods. We launched carrot.is/jamming, an internal, democratic music jukebox for the office that will be open to the public once it leaves our internal beta. Carrot is a season ticket holder to the Brooklyn Nets, who are enjoying a solid first season (and us enjoying some solid seats!). Our company was invited to the Clio Awards at AMoNH, where we abused their photo booth. We also travel in (#client) style these days. We toast our clients, friends and family while helping local business, and enjoy puns as much as ever. We had an AdWeek spotlight … and Mike and I got a bit silly for The Lab Magazine - don’t forget, we’re coming for you.
I was afforded the incredible opportunity to enjoy some scotch with a long-time hero of mine, Dave Matthews. My (and subsequently Carrot’s work) with Dave Matthews Band over the years have contributed to the momentum of the company into becoming what it is today, so to spend time having a great, casual conversation with Dave as a professional (not as a giddy college-age fan) was an incredible experience and one I will never forget. There have been some absolutely awesome backstage stories since then, but you’ll have to buy me a drink sometime to hear about the details of those fun times ;)
We executed our best work to date this past year, across the entire agency. 2012 client additions include Home Depot, Target, Kraken, Bravo, A&E and another brand that represents the pinnacle of achievement (both ours and in general ;). We continued work with some of our favorite brands, including Red Bull, Jaguar, Disney and Shinola. We also have a brand new client to announce in January - Wilson Sports! Mike and I enjoyed a short business trip to visit clients in Geneva and Salzburg, with stops in Munich and London for business too. Spending time out of the office and 100% immersed in Carrot with Mike, the person I started this AdVenture with, was incredibly healthy and productive, and something we will need to do more of moving forward.
We saw incredible growth with Digital DUMBO, now in 5 cities world-wide! One of my business partners, Bobby, formally left Carrot Creative to participate in CropUp, a funded tech-venture that we helped launch. We are in the process of launching some great stuff for Carrot, that will continue to broaden us beyond the agency world, and are thrilled to have our family expand across complimenting ventures.
What a year this was.
In March this year, I found myself in the E.R. and a short hospital stay with a chest tube to patch up a “spontaneous pneumothorax" - the cause of which (in my case), according to every single medical professional I spoke to, was simply being a tall, lanky, young male. After enjoying a burst of international travel or perhaps just for being extra lanky, I returned to the hospital in October to treat a recurrence, this time with surgery to fix things more definitively. While it seems to be a relatively simple procedure for modern medicine, it’s a fascinating realization that because this happened to me today, and not 100 years ago, I am alive… twice. I am grateful for that. Anyway, hospital food gets dull after 6 days, but I am also grateful to the staff of United Methodist- surgical to nursing - for their great care and entertainment.
If the nurses took care of me, it was nothing to the absolute dedication and loyalty of my Fiancée* Beth, who took several days off and spent countless hours with me … from E.R. to recovery, caring for me in states ranging from painful to spaced-out on IV drugs. She is a saint, and proved her loving loyalty again and again to me, through sickness and health, across this year. We moved in to a beautiful apartment that we have enjoyed decorating, on Prospect Park West (a personal dream of mine) in June. Prospect Park is literally across the street - it’s effectively my front yard. We have an incredible roof deck and enjoyed our evening and weekend down-time with some incredible afternoons and views. While we saw the very sad passing of Beth’s cat Oren, we happily adopted a kitten, Lady Mary, into our family over Thanksgiving, who Romeo quickly took to caring for.
We also enjoyed our first “full” vacation together, and my first vacation (more than a long weekend) since we started Carrot 7 years ago! Our adventure included a week and a half between Prague, Budapest and Graz & Vienna, Austria, after a few days in Bermuda over Labor Day for Bobby’s Wedding. There were a few small weekend trips here and there, including a nice getaway to the Hamptons in March.
Aside from the aforementioned backstage antics at DMB, I saw a good run of bands this year. Worth noting - the Rolling Stones, who are all somewhere near 70 years old, can still fucking rock. If I had half the energy today that they have at their age, I would consider myself to be doing pretty good.
My most listened to band in 2012 was Dave Matthews Band (new album this year), followed closely by my favorite ambient bands, Hammock and brooklyn-based The American Dollar. Top Artist, Top Album and Top Song stats provided by last.fm. Most of my listening, again this year, was done via rdio.
Other things worth noting:
Beth and I also got to see a taping of SNL, with a very rare and personal tour of the floor and set from a friend on the crew! We checked out Storm King on a beautiful fall day with our friends Jon and Cassy, and consistently enjoyed some actual relaxation on weekends for the first time since Carrot started. With help from the roof deck, I met my 2012 goal of reading more and enjoyed a range that included The Cloud Atlas, the A Song of Ice and Fire books and the Steve Jobs bio.
The people in my life made this year great, above all else. I mentioned a handful, but there are a few more worth highlighting specifically for 2012. Rianna, for helping me breathe. Tony and Bridget, for being incredibly thoughtful. We had a ton of fun with Maggie throughout the year, who is just a great person. Jason was an excellent host to us for a visit to Charlottesville, VA, and a great, loyal friend who we enjoyed having visit. It’s been a pleasure to see his music project Centric mature and fucking rock! My family and particularly my sister Marybeth, deserve thanks for their support and care when I needed help most.
2013 will be a brave new chapter for Carrot, and for my personal life. Looking forward to a healthy and happy new year :D Cheers!
*I realized when Beth and I casually found ourselves ring shopping this fall, that she is the woman I want to spend my life with. Well, that’s not true - I knew that a pretty good ways back, but I guess I just realized I was finally ready to actually ask her :) I bought the ring I picked out for her, and proposed last night under the cover of New Years fireworks, in Prospect Park where we met, with the witness and enthusiasm of our friends Wendy and Eric who introduced us 2.5 years ago :)