Over the past few years, and in the process of helping to create BREWED, I have been completely floored and inspired by the many people serving our city. These are regular people, in many cases with ordinary jobs, who seem to have unlocked what it is that really makes them tick.
Like my friend Blake Sager, who accidentally fell in love with all things coffee. It started as a part-time job to get him through school, but while working at BREWED he discovered that he was really passionate about the whole process of the coffee industry. He’s not in the business for the money, but for the art, the farmers and the culture. His labor and passion for the farmers and his guest is inspiring. He truly believes he is making hand crafted art you can drink.
These local heroes have rediscovered how they uniquely add value to life and bring joy to others. They are not seeking attention or fame, but are faithfully working daily to make our city a better place.
And it is their inspiring stories that have kept me from throwing in the towel.
They are local heroes, or as we call them, City:SHAPERS!
These City:SHAPERS are not perfect or profess to have everything together. In fact, they are people who understand pain, setbacks and have been in the middle of perceived failure. They are not local heroes that come blameless or only understand success. They are ordinary people who have found their calling and are adding value to our city in all sectors.
The Fuel Behind This Venture
I know from experience, and if I’m brutally honest, the passion behind City:SHAPERS comes from some personal dark days over the past three years. There have been many days where I’ve felt all alone and wondered if I could keep going. Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy because you seem to always be charting new ground. Honestly, some days I just want to ‘curl up in a ball’ and quit and find a job that allows me to zone out and become numb.
What pulls me out of my funk often is stumbling across a little inspiring story of someone who is sacrificing much and helping others no matter the cost. I no longer feel alone. Storytelling seems to always inspire and give me the fuel to continue the fight. A sense of community is built through storytelling for this reason.
Here's my idea. It's two fold...
First, local heroes are often people you don’t know much about because they have their nose to the ground focused on adding value to those around them.
My hope is to recognize or highlight these amazing heroes and do whatever possible to encourage them and others to stay in the fight. I want to let them know what they’re doing matters, and others have noticed.
These local heroes are always advocates for others, but I can’t help but wonder, who’s stepping up to be their advocates. We want to be their advocates. We want to bless their socks off.
The first part of our vision:
To highlight local heroes and bless them.
Second, My hope is to see an army of City:SHAPERS, people and local organizations who have discovered a NEW STORY - a story that has been buried within all along.
It is my passion to be a catalyst in helping unbury this story -- to remove the dust and cobwebs from dreams past, and to help spark new local heroes. So often we forget these dreams and the struggles of life itself are sometimes enough to convince us to "grow up" and join the "daily grind."
But I’m convinced that we all have gifts and dreams, which often they have little to do with our current vocation. When we begin to rediscover our assets, rather than what we lack, we start to realize that we truly have been uniquely and wonderfully crafted — that we each have a unique dream.
The second part of our vision:
To catalyze others to discover their dreams and take action for the common good of the city.
We plan on fulfilling our vision by:
- Storytelling - Via blog posts as we highlight local heroes.
- Parties - We will be throwing a “Pop-Up Social” on behalf of our heroes to celebrate them and be their advocates by helping them raise awareness and even funds for something dear to their hearts.
- Consulting - We have a big dream to help as many crazy and radical people as possible take their ideas and turn them into reality. We want to be here to help others join the fun.
In the next few days you will see us roll out our first City:SHAPER along with info on our first Pop-Up Social.
Highlighting local heroes, catalyzing others to discover their dreams and taking action for the common good of the city.
Highlight | Bless | Catalyze