This Week

A lot has happened this week.

On Monday evening, roughly one or two months after having the idea, Bryan and I opened Unbranded.

After announcing the experiment several weeks ago, we had over 150 applications for the 8-10 available spots and we were able to get some amazing sponsors — including MailChimp and SoftLayer — to help us make it a reality And, on Monday, we opened the doors to show off the likes of leather-makers, restauranteurs, designers, and photographers for the first week. 

And, over the coming four-to-five weeks, we'll have many, many more.

If you're in Dallas — even if you're just passing through — feel free to stop by the space. And, if it's not open, tweet at me and I'll drive over and rectify the issue.

On Tuesday afternoon, I appeared on Myke Hurley's show, Inquisitive. We had a great chat about the genesis of Need, the process of raising funding, and other such topics.

If you're ever considering going down that path, there might be some wisdom to be gleaned.

Moments afterward, Myke and I launched a new show, Bonanza! As I wrote for the show's description, "Bonanza! is an important show about nothing in particular."

Some of the fan-created accounts and websites that launched in the hours after the show's release are amazing. Bonanzaroos for life.

Yesterday, Wednesday, was my 27th birthday. It was also Need's first birthday.

Last night, with 300 people milling around the Need office for our first anniversary party, I (somewhat antisocially) sat in my office and hit the publish button on an all-exclusive edition — Need, Vol. 12 — and an all-new re-design of Need.

We've been internally referring to it as Need 2.0. And we've been working on it — and this collection — for quite some time.

I wrote a full breakdown on Need's publication, Imprint, explaining the process this morning. Alongside that post, we also released our first brand video to offer a brief explanation about Need, our process, and our goals.

And now, today, we're hosting Unbranded's opening happy hour — and expecting over 200 guests in a 1,500 square foot room.

I'm writing all of this simply because I'd like to remember it, to be honest.

This is the busiest and most stretched I've ever been. At the same time, it's may well be the happiest I've ever been.

And, perhaps most poignantly, this week is also the third anniversary of me starting OneThirtySeven. (Apparently I have a tendency to launch big projects on-or-around my birthday.) Although I don't have a chance to write here with any semblance of frequency these days, I still look on it fondly as the means through which I got started in the creative, independent world.

Thank you for all of your help and support. It's truly appreciated.

Unbranded

Today, after very little preparation, Bryan DeLuca and I are announcing an experimental pop-up and event-space concept, Unbranded.

After the success of Need's pop-up at New York Fashion Week in early September, I became infatuated with the idea of hosting one for Need during the holiday months. I began exploring real estate options, whilst also considering what we could sell, the experience we could offer, and so forth.

I quickly realized that offering fantastic coffee and pop-up co-working from the space (i.e., some items from my nice-to-have list) would be rather difficult to afford as one company for two months. Those expenses would quickly outweigh the potential gain from sales.

So, I began thinking about who else I could involve. Bryan DeLuca and his fantastic company, Foot Cardigan, immediately came to mind. We'd been looking to work together for quite some time, but the opportunity had yet to present itself.

When we sat down, though, the idea quickly evolved from a sales-centric model into a means to evangelize and promote all the fantastic creative work that's currently happening in Dallas.

We've witnessed co-working, startups, and creativity begin to truly kick-off, but the support infrastructure for people to actually work with consumers has been missing.

You can work from a number of beautiful co-working spaces with remarkable people on the back-end of your business, but where can you experiment with the front-end? Where can you sell your physical goods to actual customers — particularly at a constrained scale — during the holidays? How can you host a professional event to drum up exposure?

We couldn't find an answer. So, we hatched the idea for Unbranded.

Launching on November 1 (or thereabouts), Unbranded is going to be a community-inspired pop-up retail and event-space that we'll be providing freely to people with great concepts from all manner of fields. Any money they earn is their own, the space will be free for the entirety of their stay, and we'll promote them in the press and other events.

We'll have coffee, magazines, artwork, music, co-working, and more within the space, whilst also hosting fantastic events for some of Dallas' best and brightest talent.

Applications are now open and we'd love to hear from you.

We'll announce the participants over the coming weeks. And we'll also be announcing our sponsors and partners.

If you'd like to get involved and help support the concept, send us a note. We'd welcome the help.

Unbranded is little more than an experiment. It's one, however, that we hope to see blossom in November and December. And, if it does, we may try it elsewhere in the US.

For now, though, keep an eye on weareunbranded.com and we'll see you in Dallas in November.