It is nearly impossible to showcase our 2017 year in one blog post but below is our attempt at doing so. There are missing people and projects that had major roles in last year, but this is a condensed highlight.
As Carbon continued to grow, the office space became to small to be effective and efficient in. Our old space was too cluttered and we really could feel the difference in our work from this issue. The new year new me mentality was really hitting Carbon when we decided to pack up shop and move across town to a building on the West Side of Grand Rapids, 1202 Bridge Street, that became our new home. We found out this space was everything Erik Lauchie, founder of Carbon Stories, had dreamed of from the very beginning of this company.
January brought a lot of change to our process. A new space meant we had to experiment with shoots, videos and so much more. Our was work to be done within the office in order to create a fully functional space for all creators. The month of February was a time for creative freedom, but then again when is it not at Carbon? This meant that there were new project creators could work on and play around within in the studio. It was our time to utilize this space and see what we could create from it. While creators were in 1202 working hard, Erik had the opportunity to travel to Kampala, Uganda to work with a Client. During his time there he documented the organization giving out special need items to Southern Sudanese refugees. This trip meant a lot more than just a project with another client, this was the first time that Carbon Stories was international.
Carbon was asked to capture Lee and Birch’s Rockford store launch. Lee and Birch has locations around West Michigan and requested for Carbon’s creators to be the ones to make their new opening one to remember. Irie Kitchen, founded by Vincent McIntosh, the Marketing Director at Carbon, found it’s location for the first of many restaurants! Carbon was there to document and capture the painting and creation of the interior of Irie Kitchen.
We made a video for the new Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids; this video captured all the spots around the city that have popular poetry readings. The Midwest Tech project came to Carbon Stories, we had the opportunity to talk about how as creators we are pursuing our dreams and our passions with the work we do through Carbon. This is a unique chance to share the work we do with the youth.
Erik, spoke at Burton Elementary about pursuing your dreams and following through with your passions. The elementary students were excited and interested in how they can follow their dreams, too! Carbon Stories went to New York City to work with their client, Brooklyn Cloth, and connected with another client they had worked with previously throughout the year. This was a great time for creators to shoot the city and make new connections.
Early June brought an exciting day, our creator, Matt Horling’s wedding! Matt married the love of his life and girlfriend of four years, Becca. All of Carbon was there, either as guests or to film and/or photograph the event. Carbon worked hard to ensure the wedding went off without a hitch and was everything that Matt wanted it to be, especially since he knew what shots and angles he wanted to see. This was the wedding of the year for Carbon Stories and we are so glad we were there to capture every second of it!
We finally had our first 1202 Session outdoors at Carbon Stories! We brought in a local artist to perform a concert for the creators and friends. This was recorded and photographed for the Instagram @1202sessions. This is the start of something much bigger for Carbon, we plan to make this concert open to the community and packed full of people. While we were filming for 1202 sessions, Josh Solas, a local artist, painted the mural on the side of our building. We wanted him to capture the culture of Carbon as well as the community in which we are located. The results of his mural really brought life to our building and community. Carbon had it's first annual Block Party in the neighborhood! We celebrated with our neighbors and friends from around the community with food, photos, and music. Many people from around the community had booths to talk about their organizations and raise more awareness! There was such a great turnout for our first of many Block Parties!
As the summer was winding down, Irie Kitchen was only picking up! The Grand Opening of Irie Kitchen was finally here and all of Carbon was there to support, film, shoot, and promote the restaurant and event. Carbon worked with Vincent to create content to help promote and advertise the new restaurant. Irie Kitchen is a Caribbean street food restaurant that is family owned and founded by Carbon’s own Marketing Director, Vincent McIntosh. We highly recommend visiting them if you have not already, their food is amazing!
September started off with new clients! GRUSA, a clothing brand in West Michigan, began conversing and collaborating with Carbon. We started a relationship with them by shooting and creating content for them. Apart from new clients, we had the opportunity to work with Seitu for the Heartside Community Meal, his ArtPrize piece for 2017. The artwork he submitted was a community meal that was captured by Carbon and presented at ArtPrize. His ArtPrize installment was housed at the UICA. Shout out to the team there for being so great.
Start Garden hosted 5x5 Night, an event for idea pitching competition. Carbon helped to capture the event and create content from the night. As Carbon Stories is a start up company, we like to support these kind of events for young entrepreneurs. We also worked with Kent Companies, a construction company in West Michigan, and created a story about one of their workers. The content was made of interviews and on site filming, which gave our creators a unique experience! October brought good news for Carbon’s clients, this month we found out that Seitu won ArtPrize and showed the video that Carbon made to debut their piece! Seitu was awarded $250,000 for winning and was such a pleasure to work with!
Carbon has continued to grow throughout the year and as our creators grow, so does our equipment. After doing some work for a client, we were able to acquire a large moving truck to use for our equipment. Right now we don't have enough equipment to fill it but one day we will! Look for some pop up photoshoots this summer.
December means it is Christmas time at Carbon Stories! To start off the holidays we invited our clients, friends, and creators to help fill 20 baskets for families and children on the West Side of Grand Rapids. We successfully filled 16 baskets with different toys, books and goodies for our neighborhood kids. These were then hand delivered by our creators to our neighbors around the community. Apart from celebrating with the community, we celebrated with our creators at our annual Carbon Christmas Party! We brought together all our creators from the year, whether they worked on one project or many throughout the year, were there to celebrate and reflect on the year. We celebrated making (and destroying) gingerbread houses from different teams. The winning team had a working fireplace within their gingerbread house! Two creators, Leoandro and Bryce, were given Apple Watches for their two year anniversary of working at Carbon Stories. We are grateful for every one of our creators and cannot wait to see what they create in 2018!
What to expect from Carbon Stories for 2018?