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Entrepreleaders: Dan Ferrari

Dan Ferrari is a copywriter focusing on long-form web advertising. Dan does a majority of his copywriting work for the agency Dig.In, an agency he founded with a few friends. Working in long-form advertising gives Dan an opportunity to do research on products that can greatly affect people’s livelihood. At Dig.In. he writes content for financial services and health supplement companies. For each project Dan does intensive research to fully grasp the companies’ services. Dan also feels an important part of his job is to learn how to better empathize with the company’s target market. Dan tries to connect with the consumers on an emotional level. Being a copywriter that creates web content allows Dan the freedom to work wherever he wants. This freedom to work remotely in Hawaii is one of the main reason why Dan became a copywriter.  

Tell me about yourself and your business

I write the copy for long-form advertisements. Long-form advertising is giving a lot of information to someone in one interaction in order to get them to make a purchase. It’s similar to a thirty minute television infomercial. At Dig.In, I focused on web content with this agency. We make a lot of facebook and instagram ads. We got our start working for a company called the Motley Fool, which publishes accessible financial advice for the everyday person. We also do a lot of work for organic health companies. Those things sound very different, but if you look at them a little bit deeper, what you find is that you have markets where people want to know as much as they can about their services; they are two things that could have a big impact on your life. People tend to do a lot of due diligence when they’re making purchasing decisions dealing with finances and health. That’s why long-form advertising is effective because it takes 30 minutes to 45 minutes to tell someone everything they need to know about the product. Human nature is the same across the board.  People want to be well educated before making tough decisions.

Was there a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your passion?

I used to live in Washington, DC and I was working a very traditional career suit and tie job every single day. My uncle had just moved to Maui and I came to visit him. I stopped in Honolulu beforehand and I fell in love. After that visit all I could think about was to live in Hawaii. That started me on this journey of trying to figure out how to make a living in Hawaii. I happened to hear about a gentlemen named Tommy Schultz who left the corporate world and started to work for the Peace Corps. While in the Peace Corps he was sent to the Philippines, where he was taught underwater photography. His job was to take pictures of the reef. Tommy and I went to the same college, the University of Virginia. Tommy graduated years before me and I found out about him from researching various alumni. l randomly emailed him and told him that I was inspired by his lifestyle. He responded and we scheduled to grab lunch together. At lunch, he told me how he had used copywriting to build his own career. So, for me, it was a lifestyle choice. I could live anywhere I wanted and surf on my own time. He set me off on the path to copywriting.

“…for me, it was a lifestyle choice.
I could live anywhere I wanted and surf on my own time.”
What is your work flow for doing your work and how do you project manage?

I’m very fortunate that I started this agency with friends. They’re in charge of handling the clients. I get to just do the work. Most freelancers have to wear all the hats in a business whereas, I can just focus solely on the work. Normally, I work on multiple projects for one client at a time. The project flow’s pretty much set in place and then it’s up to me make sure that I meet my deadlines. A typical project takes me generally like eight weeks. During the first quarter, I just research. In those three weeks I’m saturating my brain with the product before I sit down to write. After that I make an outline and begin to write.

How to you make a connection with the consumers of the products you write about?

You have to understand what is driving people to be interested in whatever you’re talking about. You put yourself in their shoes because their concerns and desires are very different than mine. For example, when I wrote for Motley Fool, most projects were directed towards selling services for people concerned about retirement. I’m a 34 year old kid – what do I know about planning for retirement?! Half the time you see me back in the HotBox I’m not actually writing! I’m doing a deep dive and trying to figure out what makes people tick. Then, I put all my findings into a general framework about human nature. All of these products can tug the emotional strings, so you have to really understand what drives human concerns.

If you were copywriting for BoxJelly how would you capture BJ’s voice?

A part of the appeal of BoxJelly is the independent vibe. At a lot of other co-working spaces I’ve been to there are only offices and nobody talks to one another. Co-working may not even be sufficient to describe BoxJelly, it’s a community of entrepreneurs, independent workers, and creatives. I tend to think of it as a creative space as opposed to an office space.

Describe your experience working out of BoxJelly

It’s nice to have somewhere to go work where everyone knows each other and there is no weird co-worker hierarchy. It’s just a bunch of people that I have a lot in common with. It’s liberating to be able to work among them.

Have you ever doubted the work you do?

No matter how successful you are in this business, you always sort of feel like maybe you’re a little bit of an impostor or maybe you just got lucky. The honest answer is that doubt is always there and I made peace with it. I just think that failures are as much part of this job as is breathing. It’s a part of life.

What advice would you give to someone trying to get into freelance work or copywriting?

My whole philosophy on being a freelancer is to just get incredibly good at what you do. Dedicate yourself to your service and dive deep into it. I’ve been doing this for years but I’m constantly studying to improve my skills. First thing I did when I came in today was read for 30 minutes about copywriting. Lastly, meet people who are in the same industry as you. Every industry is a part of a network and it’s all connected.

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Entreperleaders: Ellemsee Media

Lauryn Chin and Noah Gordines are two halves of the full service digital agency Ellemsee Media. Ellemesee Media creates content for individuals and businesses across the media spectrum. They design and develop websites, photography, videos, and various other branding imagery. Lauryn and Noah take pride in doing intensive research on all of their clients to create a visual language suited to their clients brands. Not only are Lauryn and Noah business partners but they’re a couple as well. While working as a couple Lauryn and Noah feel communication is a key factor in their workflow and it helps their company grow. Ellemesee Media had a dedicated desk space here at BoxJelly. While at BoxJelly their company started to outgrow the space and they recently moved out into their own office. Before Ellemsee Media moved out, I had the opportunity to sit down with Lauryn and Noah to discuss the ins and outs of Ellemesee Media and their experiences while working out of BoxJelly.

How did Ellemsee Media start?

L+N: It started as a side hobby. It was essential to our other business. We own a jewelry business called The Pi Collection. Lauryn started it about 7 years ago. It was a business where I wore all hats. We actually met at a trade show where I was peddling my product. After we met, Noah jumped in and he started to help with my business. We got into like 200 stores around the world. He is a badass at selling. As our partnership grew we were able to grow the business. Naturally, people started to ask us “Who does your website?,” “who does your marketing?,” and “who does your graphics?” We were like “Oh we do it.” From then, people started asking us for help with their businesses. It started out just as a fun thing to help out our friends and then everybody started asking us for help. Finally, it got to the point where we decided this should be a business.

What makes you different from other design companies?

L+N: We aren’t just a web designer. We don’t just drag and drop things into little boxes and call it a day. We actually take the time to research and develop a campaign appropriately. One of the latest projects we did was for Hawaii Ship. It’s a website for seniors trying to figure out how to get medicare

e. We analyzed the demographic data of people using their website. We needed to design the function of the website to be the best for their specific demographic. When you think of seniors you have to consider that an 80 year old isn’t going to be using the website. Rather, itʻs more likely that their children who will be using the website. So, we had to target to those people. Lastly, I think one of our client’s favorite thing to say about us is that we are very responsive. When they email us they are going to get a response. Noah’s really good at getting back to people.

What is it like working as a couple?

L+N: One of the things that helped us do work as a couple was working out of BoxJelly. It really helped to separate home and work life. One of the biggest things for us was that we bonded instantly. We were actually a long distance couple before he moved back to Hawaii. Conversation was key. Conversation was so important. That’s how we made it as a couple. We were able to communicate with each other and it made our work life much easier. Itʻs just knowing at the end of the day that you love each other and you still are going to be together. We have different skill sets that complement each other.  

Describe your experience working out of BoxJelly?

L+N: BoxJelly was a good stepping stone for us. From working out of random coffee shops or even at home. BoxJelly has a nice creative atmosphere. The people here are awesome and we love that you can bring your dog to work. It’s a collaborative space and weʻve made a lot of good connections here. So did our son Kolby. He loves Matt, the architect. So much so, that now he wants to be an architect! Every time he sees Matt or Ed, heʻs starstruck! We also like the BoxJelly events. We like coming to the art shows. Itʻs really a perfect spot for the creative industry.

Is there anything from the experience of working at BoxJelly that you will take with you  as you grow and expand?

L+N: From the artwork to the placement of the furniture, we were inspired by the space. When we were planning out our furniture for our new office, the number one we need is a snack spot just like in BoxJelly! Thatʻs so important. One thing that being at BoxJelly helped us with was creating a checklist of things we need for our new office!. Also, when planning out the layout in our own space, we were thinking that we needed a more modular style to move things around. We modeled our employees workspace after this place. We appreciate the co-working, open space floor plan as opposed to everybody in their own cubicle. It just works better for us as a lot of the tasks we do are very collaborative. We have designer and a web developer. Our place is going to be a big open friendly collaborative area.    

What advice would you give to anybody who wants to start a small business

L+N: Always answer emails. I canʻt even count how many times a client has said to me “Youʻre the only person who has responded to my call or email!” Another one is be passionate about what your doing. You have to break the mold and go beyond what your comfortable with.   

Check out Lauryn and Noah at ellemseemedia.com/

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BoxJelly x Fishcake Artist in Residence: Call for Artists Spring 2019

 

APPLY NOW FOR OUR 2019 BOXJELLY+FISHCAKE ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE (AIR) PROGRAM

CREATE NEW WORK FOR A SOLO EXHIBITION IN HONOLULU, HAWAII IN THE HEART OF KAKA’AKO

DEADLINE: January 11, 2019

Since 2011, Box Jelly has functioned as a collaborative workspace for a diverse set of professionals. Our mission is to provide a carefully curated physical space that cultivates and enriches our communities. As a coworking space, we understand the importance of a dedicated work area. This is why we’re opening up our resources to upcoming artists.

The Box Jelly/ Fishcake Artist in Residence Program is a development platform for those transitioning into professional artists. We intend to accomplish this by providing ample studio space, utilities and a supportive community of like-minded art professionals to foster resident artist’s creativity.

 

We are now accepting proposals for BoxJelly+Fishcake Artist in Residence (AiR), a 6-month opportunity to create new work for a solo exhibition in Honolulu, Hawaii in the heart of Kaka’ako, an urban neighborhood with proximity to the beach, shops, restaurants, bars and local events.

We’re looking for bright, enterprising creatives who work in contemporary art practices and forms with big ideas and the ambition to execute them.

 

The six-month residency runs from February 1st 2019 with culminating show to be presented in August 2019.

 

The residency includes:

  • A workspace (a clean studio space suitable for artists and designers working in digital arts, video, photography, illustration, fiber arts and textile design).
  • A solo exhibition at The BoxJelly, the premier co-working space for urban creatives in Hawaii! We will provide press, marketing and hosting costs of the opening reception. All sales from the exhibition go directly to the artist.
  • BoxJelly Dedicated Studio membership (a $4000 value).
  • Creative mentoring with the BoxJelly and Fishcake team.
  • A one-on-one portfolio review with Fishcake Art Curator Keiko Hatano.
  • Consultation with Fishcake Co-Founder and Chief Creative Maura Fujihira and Fishcake Showroom Manager Cassie Louie on selling artwork and design products.
  • An opportunity to earn a spot on Fishcake’s roster of local and international artists and designers.  Fishcake sells artists’ work in two retail locations, as well as direct to homeowners and businesses through their interior design studio, Fishcake Works.

The residency does not include exhibition costs, artist stipend, transportation or housing. We cannot offer a visa for international applicants.

 

Submissions must include:

  • The application form
  • Project proposal: 1-2 pages in length, outlining a plan to create a body of work to enhance BoxJelly’s space. Include a detailed list of techniques, materials, and outlining project logistics.
  • Artist’s CV
  • Digital zip file containing 5-10 samples of your most recent work with an inventory sheet
  • Artist Statement
  • Other Supportive Material (optional)

 

Please email your application and materials to dan@theboxjelly.com 

 

DEADLINE: January 11, 2019

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Life Inspired Art

I began to sincerely make work about vulnerable elements of my own life after a studio visit with a close friend of mine, Zina.  At that time, Zina had been making work about her father and his friends’ lives in Iraq when they were in their youth. Utilizing old photographs and narratives from her father, the paintings were vibrant, and intriguing. Most of all, they radiated an endearment that was palpable. Standing in Zina’s studio that evening, we began to naturally talk about our lives and the inherent inspiration we garner from our experiences as women who’ve had to flee our home countries for relative safety in the USA. In the middle of this conversation, as she is wont to do, Zina turned to me and gave me the very heartfelt criticism that I should begin to make work that was primarily about significant moments in my life.

For a very long time, I made work that was inspired a bit by my experiences but was mainly about the lives of people and refugees I interviewed. Although these works were in line with topics I was interested in: memory, trauma, identity, and sensory-to-language translation; they did not speak directly about my own experiences. Instead, offering others a space to speak about their own experiences, acted as a sort of buffer to having to address my own history or translate my experiences. In Zina’s studio that evening in Oakland, her statement acted as a mirror to my thoughts. I had been thinking about the exact same thing, but hesitating from fear of vulnerability. Sometimes, all you need to make a decision, is a loved one holding a mirror up to you. In my case, the conversation with Zina was exactly the push I needed.

Today, I am working on series of works about momentous experiences that shaped my life.  For my residency at Box Jelly and Fishcake, the main concept is ‘Motherhood’. The root of this is in the early loss of my mother to an act of violence.  The sprout of this is my recent pregnancy. In the first month of my residency at Box Jelly and Fishcake, I had planned already to make work about my mother: my memories of her, the pain of losing her to violence, and letting go of the power it’s held over me. Then I learned I was pregnant, and suddenly it became more imperative to do this work now.

The Artist’s Mother

Looking back, what made Zina’s paintings of her father and his childhood friends endearing wasn’t just the colors, or line-work of the paintings. It was also the emotional connection of Zina to the subjects, their memories, and a deep longing for a home loved and lost to time and circumstance. The pieces I am making about my mother will neither recreate her, nor come close to fully defining who she was. By exploring the fragments of her that I still have with me: memories of her singing to me, lifting me to her hips, moving around my grandmother’s yard. Memories of running up to her, burying myself in her skirts, hugging her legs. As well as elusive memories of the moments surrounding her death. I hope to build an exhibit that, as a whole, will give a sense of what she meant to me and the implications of a life lived under the shadow of loss.

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Sandalwood and Memory of Place

My time here at Box Jelly and Fishcake has continued to be inspiring. During a meeting last month with collaborators to discuss an upcoming performance, I ran the concept by Maura Fujihira. She immediately had two simple questions that completely changed the direction of the work. The piece I was working on, Cleanse, is a performance of an act of mourning that involved me cleaning and washing a space in Ward Warehouse, as a final act of nurture and gratitude before it would be torn down. Maura asked: “What soap will you be using?” and “What will you be wearing?” In that moment, I had assumed that what I would be wearing would be something white but hadn’t thought beyond that.  I also wasn’t confident in my decision for a dress.  I discussed my options with Maura and was much more confident in my choice at the end.

In terms of the soap, I had originally thought that I would use an African Black Soap I had procured from a natural product shop in Nigeria the last time I was there.  My reasoning for this was that the piece, Cleanse was a way for me to mourn my mother who passed away in Nigeria when I was a child. While describing the decision to Maura, I recognized that I felt no particular connection to the soap itself aside from the fact that it was from a shop in Nigeria. I didn’t immediately decide to change the soap, but it stayed in the back of mind. It was a very important part of the performance and as such, it was important that it also had a strong connection to the piece itself. That night, the conversation with Maura came to mind again. She is quite intuitive and sensitive in an ethereal way. Something about her choice of the question lingered. I fell asleep that night thinking that I needed better intention in the decision of the soap used for Cleanse.

The next day, my videographers and I went on a site visit of the space to plan the performance.  After our meeting, I mindfully strolled about all of Ward Warehouse to prepare myself for the performance. Lost in thought towards the very end of my walk, I came upon Island Soap & Candle Works. Walking in, I met the owners and their lovely young adult children, Kimo and Tiare. Both had grown up knowing the family business in Ward Warehouse. They told me of the countless hours they spent as children in the space watching their parents work. Tiare had no memories of the family business not being located in Ward Warehouse. Both expressed feeling sad about the closing of the space but also looked forward to the next phase of the business they had watched their parents build and were themselves also helping develop. The family not only sold soaps and candles in the space; they also created their products in the back of the Ward Warehouse space. Kimo and Tiare showed me the new series of soaps they were working on – beautiful decadent pieces carefully crafted from a complex combination of soaps that rivaled pastries in any French patisserie. It was apparent that they loved what they did and unmistakable that they grew up working in the field. I decided at that moment to describe my project to them and ask for a recommendation on a soap.

Sandalwood – ‘iliahi in Hawaiian – has a strong influence on the history of Hawaii. Six high-quality species of the tree once grew so abundantly on the islands that the Chinese referred to the Hawaiian Islands as the Sandalwood Mountains. Through the foreign trade of Sandalwood – Hawaii’s first major export – King Kamehameha I was able to procure weapons in which to aid in his conquering and unifying of the islands. That trade lasted between 1790 and 1825. On August 1st, 2017, I bought two barsof Cedar Sage Sandalwood soap from Island Soap & Candle Works at the suggestion of local soap makers, Kimo and Tiare. Both bars were made in Ward Warehouse. They were made of natural ingredients, had a neutral aesthetic, and carried a beautiful faint fragrance of sandalwood.  I used one of them in my performance of Cleanse on August 2nd, 2017 to scrub the walls and floors of Ward Warehouse. I intend to use the second bar in a second performance at BoxJelly + Fishcake during my exhibit. As this second piece develops, I will share more.

Nanci Amaka

 

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Settling Into The Space

My time here at BoxJelly and Fishcake has so far, been very productive in many unexpected ways.  As a conceptual artist working with the challenging concepts of trauma, memory, and identity, I was unsure of what would come from my time here at a co-working space and interior design organization.  I must say that I have been thoroughly impressed with: the counsel I have received, the space itself, and the freedom to explore and build on my concepts.

My first interaction with BoxJelly and Fishcake was during their introduction of the Artist In Residence (AIR) program at the Artist In Conversation (AIC) Q&A talk. After the Q&A, I was able to tour the space, and get my bearings of what it could allow in terms of art production. I also met several of the creatives already working there. In my initial proposal, I had intended to develop ‘Sensoria’ – a series I have been working on that centers around the concept of paradoxically translating sensory information. During my interview with Laurie Sumiye, and Keiko Hatano, they encouraged me to continue working on my performances as that was what I really wanted to work on.  Although it wasn’t immediately clear how I could translate performance work into their space, nor exhibit it after my residency, I was encouraged to do the work anyway as it was interesting and relevant.  I was, and am still, very grateful for their trust in my work and concepts.

I began my residency in July and have been very happy with it.  The AIR space is located in the inner sections of Fishcake and provides ample space to work; including a gorgeous large work table, ample storage and quite a bit of privacy. It resembles a studio and I immediately felt at ease creating a dry ‘mess’. The residency also comes with 24-hour access which comes in handy when I have to come in at odd hours to work. I will say though, that my favorite part of the space is the ability to meet with several collaborators and teams to discuss projects I am working on. In those cases, it is very easy to buy them coffee at Morning Glass and then settle in at a communal table and meet in a professional setting away from the mess of my studio table.

I am curious and excited about what the rest of my time here at Box Jelly + Fishcake will yield. The counsel I have received as well as the artistic freedom to develop my work has been generous and I am very grateful for it.  I have been able to work as I usually do – intuitively and open to nuance, while maintaining a discipline of concept. I cannot say that I am surprised to find that I have been able to work this way here; as I had no clear expectations.  But I will say that I am thoroughly enjoying the experience.

Nanci Amaka

 

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Goodluck Judith

Judith Brieger from white-space.studio has been through a long journey with us here at BoxJelly (since November 2015)! She’s now ready to move into a new geographic location to reach new clients.

Judith and Marlon are the co-founders of 50/50, amprsand, and white-space studio. I want to start off with a big mahalo to them, because they’re the team responsible for our website. Simply put, they run a branding and design agency. The business has been through multiple rebrandings and changes over the years. They have been through the trenches and they have tested & studied the market already.

 

“WHITESPACE STUDIO SOLVES SMALL BUSINESSES PROBLEMS IN A VISUAL WAY”

I had the opportunity to interview Judith before she moved to Las Vegas. Let’s go back to how it all started. Judith originally sparked her passion during her corporate career. She wasn’t fully satisfied with the cubicle life and she has always felt like she was on the wrong side of the meetings.

What first started off as a passion and hobby grew into a successful small business that offers website design, branding development, social media marketing, and much more. Judith said that by strengthening her network and connections with clients she was able to finally make the jump, because there was a market for the services that they offered.

 

Their specialty is website design and development. They incorporate UI design, strategic UX design, back-end integration, & API for both websites & apps. They also deal with a lot of branding and illustrations such as logos and mascots. Judith says that when creating a logo design it’s not about what you like, but it’s all about what the target market likes. However, it still needs to mirror the businesses style and voice.

 

“WE PAY ATTENTION TO OUR CLIENTS ON A PERSONAL LEVEL NO MATTER THE SIZE”

White-space studio has affected small businesses in many ways. Their conversion rates increase, the businesses expand, donation percentages shoot up, and strong branding is established from the very beginning. If you’re interested in benefitting from this, then feel free to email them for a free consultation at hello@white-space.studio. You can also reach out to them on Instagram @white_space.studio. You NEED to check out their Instagram feed, because I mean look at this theme.

 

 

“WE’RE A WHITESPACE FOR BUSINESSES TO SOLVE THEIR CHALLENGES”

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Chantal & Her Creativity Journey

Chantal Monté has been all over from foreign countries like Bali to Sante Fe and San Francisco. She loves to tap into her creativity through all forms of artwork. She speaks about her exotic paintings, seductive quotes, and deep poems with so much passion. With her background in iyengar yoga and meditation, she’s able to get into the zone to let that artistic ability flow.

Chantal says that, “Sante Fe is a very special for artists and healers.” This is where she got a good taste of the art industry, but Bali is where she was “recreated.” During her repeated trips to Bali she was able to train and work on her gifts. She knew it was time to move on and break free from her past. She’s now pursuing her passion and fire through mediums such as poetry, music and teaching.

Her new album SYRUP was just released. SYRUP has the viscosity of honey mixed with the taste of pleasure and intimacy. You can listen to the teaser here.

“When we are able to experience love and sorrow, ecstasy and pain, equally and without resistance, then we are able to fall in love with our entire life. Everything is welcomed. Nothing is left out. Love is all inclusive.”

 

She’s expanded and reached out to offer classes such as a global online event called Meditation for Lovers and offers private coaching for couples wanting to explore their relationship as a creative union. And by meditation, she means meeting in the bedroom naked, shutting the door to the outside world and wrapping legs around hips as a way to connect and feel into each other. She’s able to work in-person and online. She will help guide you through every step of the way. If we want to feel turned-on with our lives, we must slow down.

 

“Slowing down is the key.”

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On Starting Up, From These Female Founders

When mustering up the motivation to transition from employee to founder, leveraging every experience is vital to placing yourself in a position for success. But what about those dead end, part-time jobs? We’ve all had that first serving gig or that summer job as a retail assistant, cashier, or pizza delivery guy (or gal). READ MORE

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Finding Balance: YogaFloats with Kelsey Barden

This past February Kelsey Barden walked into BoxJelly on a mission to build her dream business from the ground up. From her first day as a BoxJelly member, Kelsey has shared her unscripted aspirations to open a one woman stand up paddle board yoga studio. With enthusiasm and a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit, it was clear that her concept would soon become a reality. For the two months leading up to her grand opening, Kelsey taught trial classes to receive feedback and perfect the process (and have fun!). YogaFloats was ready to opened its “doors” with an active clientele, excited to take their practice to the boards.READ MORE

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