Well, about five months have elapsed since my first 500×500 challenge post and it is finally time to wrap this series up and say goodbye (for now). What a journey it has been! It feels like an eternity and a day since I picked up the old Virago in Portland and delivered it to Hood River. Now that the ride has come and gone, it’s time for a recap and to share some life lessons.
About two years ago we were tasked with creating a video for Columbia Knife and Tool that captured the spirit of the brand and visually presented the ‘Confidence in Hand’ brand strategy. After a few project hurdles, we set out into the wilds of Oregon to bring this video to life.
The project by the numbers
- 6 days of shooting
- 8 locations
- 17 script revisions
- 1 keyboard smashed in frustration
- 1 trip to the emergency room
- 94 cups of coffee
- 1,346 photos
Over 9.4 terrabytes of 4k footage later, we not only have a finished video to be proud of, but a sizable cache of stories to share.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but this blog post might start much like my last one did. The 500×500 Challenge ride is two short days away, and the preceding weeks have been filled with nothing but starter and battery issues. Alas, it is officially time to raise the white flag.
Rest easy, I will still be going on the ride on another bike, and I plan to bring the rust bucket along to tinker with around the campfire. Who knows, maybe we will get it running and there will be a redemption story after all! Regardless, this blog series will wrap up with a full recap of the 500×500 ride and ensuing shenanigans, complete with pictures and video.
Years ago we bequeathed upon some small, musty corners of Portland a Blue Collar brainchild: The Persuaders Society. Simply, we realized that there are some remarkably kick-ass creatives living among us, and we wanted to connect them with those who feel moved and inspired by their doings.
Since its inception, we’ve hosted live talks with Professional Storyteller David Vanadia, Designer Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Co., Principal Architect at Skylab Architecture, Jeff Kovel, and most recently, award-winning author Rene Denfeld. The short of it: whoa.
Many of these accomplished individuals are friends, or friends of friends, and we’ve been lucky enough to tap the wealth of resources that’s afforded by Portland’s prolific creative community. This year, we are switching things up, and looking outside our immediate circle.
Fresh to The Garage and to The Gorge, we welcome Project Manager Brett Ratchford to this crew!
As traveled as the day is long, Brett came to Blue Collar by way of extensive world travels. There’s hardly space to enumerate his pre-University-of-Oregon-business-graduate-degree resume, though Chinese language student, bike racer, tour guide, and webmaster rise to the top.
A true jack of all trades both professionally and recreationally; we are pleased to introduce you to this stellar addition.
Get to know this seasoned traveler with some Q + A.
Once long ago, we had a realization: we have no regard for living within a predetermined blueprint. We especially have no regard for working within one. And thus, borne of these epiphanies and a reverence for those who agreed, The Persuaders Society began.
It has known its humble beginnings in the musty, moody, back corner of Al’s Den, in a musty, moody, back corner of Portland. Surrounded by creative colleagues, some of Portland’s best and most motivated professionals and the like, we have diligently practiced our tagline: “Think Free.”
This model has served us well in the past, but this year we are setting our sights elsewhere. Rather than utilizing personal connections, and tapping the wealth of friend-of-friend resources that we have been luckily afforded in Portland’s prolific community, we’ve inflated the scale.
Shoeboxes have been overturned, the entries have flooded in, and we’ve crowned a winner! Valerie Hahn is running off with the $500 prize for creepiest photo. And for good reason! Shifty Santa wearing blush? We’ll pass on that lap. Regardless, congrats Valerie!
In response to learning she won the grand prize, Valerie responded “Thank you so much—I’m stoked! We take out this picture every year and laugh and laugh at it. My aunt has it hanging on her refrigerator year-round.” Truly, creepy can’t be held down by a season. That’s poetic.
After a couple of painful weeks dealing with the starter/battery issue, I am happy to say that things have really turned around for my 500×500 Challenge project. Since my last installment, I finalized the simplified wiring harness in about two sittings, and swiftly moved on to some fun stuff.
Inspired by miles of trail and fueled by the backstreet dive bar, April Donovan doesn’t shy away from any challenge, though she has an affinity for those of the creative sort. The first to show, and the last to leave, she’s a driving force in the Blue Collar Garage, and the fearless leader steering headlong into the project-around-the-corner.
This Jill-of-all-trades is quintessentially blue collar. Made of the same stuffs as Hood River’s backwoods and set in a neat typeface, she’s Partner and Creative director of Blue Collar Agency. And it’s about time you got to know her.