Being in Seattle right now is kind of an amazing thing. When I first moved back here from LA (six years ago!) being in this city again was a struggle. I wasn't excited by many of the offerings we had as far as restaurants and boutiques, and finding fellow creatives to sit down and have conversations with, or to be challenged or inspired by, was rare. Then - suddenly - all that changed.
Recently, I've seen my city enter into a new period creative growth in every possible way, and for a while now, I've been wanting to share some of these awesome companies, creatives, artists, restauranteurs and more with you guys so that you can be as inspired by them as I am!
So, we're kicking off a new series of studio tours with my friend and fellow entrepreneur, Kate Harmer, founder of Hum Creative - a full-service design studio that happens to be just down the street from my own office.
And yes, her Frenchies make a few cameos too.
When did you start your business, and what was has been your greatest challenge? Your greatest success?
I started Hum Creative in 2005, but we've changed a lot since then! I began expanding the team into a full fledged studio in 2010. Moving into our new office was definitely a big moment for us. It has been a symbol of exciting times ahead, and has also lit a fire under me. A lease is a wonderful pressure to have.
this wall greets guests and sets the tone for Hum's quirky office decor.
Taking the leap from working from home to having a studio isn't easy - what made it happen for you and what's been the best part?
Working in a home office for the first few years allowed us to take the risks that made this company great. We nurtured a positive creative culture and focused on clients we truly admire, but the home office limited our community involvement. One day it became clear that we had incubating long enough, and it was time for us to hatch!
visitors get the photo added to the wall (do you see me?)
One of the best parts about having a studio space is inviting people to visit. For christmas we hosted a "Toys for Toddies" holiday party for about 160 people, and donated 200 toys to children.
What's your design aesthetic, and how has that played into your space?
In both design and life I value balance, transparency, and fun. Our space is uncluttered but full of character, open and collaborative, and it definitely has a sense of humor.
What's your favorite piece in your studio?
I love the book ledges running across our wall. Everyone in the studio adds to these shelves, so it is a wonderful way to see what is inspiring us as a whole. At any point, I can walk across the office and see little drawings of inside jokes, prints from local artists, beautiful books, and some of our favorite past projects.
What's next for you and Hum?
We've been busy rebranding one of Seattle's biggest summer music festivals, so we're excited to see that roll out over the next few months. This is such an exciting time of growth for Seattle – there are so many new companies, industries, restaurants, shops, and cultural institutions with big plans this year. We love this city, and are excited to be a part of its future!
Thanks to our friends at Hum for being our first studio tour! I have to say, that if any office space I've been in rivals my devout love for our own white brick studio, it's theirs. The energy is always so great, and the view ain't so bad either. Hum has become such a great part of the Seattle design community, and I can't wait to see the cool projects (and parties!) they have for the coming year!
photography by carina skrobecki