March 28, 2019
What if every dreamer in this city could be more connected and more empowered?
When I was young, I was able to help my dad open a restaurant. He oversaw a series of restaurants in southern Minnesota, and this was his latest. We would spend a week putting the final touches on the space and then eat alongside the small town for the grand opening.
Help is a bit of a loose term. My dad had to constantly stop to teach me everything from how to efficiently move furniture to mopping with proper technique. But this week would plant something in me that would fester for the next 10 years of my young life. At its simplest, I needed to be an entrepreneur.
But it was so much more than that.
I wanted to connect and empower people in the way only small businesses can. I wanted to participate in their story.
Ten years ago I called a couple of friends and asked if they would be interested in starting a business with me. I believe the exact responses were something like, "Sure man." We started with a focus in photo and video work, but viewed all of our work through relationship. These first couple of years is when some of our key "mantras" came out.
"Every person has infinite value. Every person is uniquely excellent."
We have been in the trenches with many startups, non-profits, small businesses, and solo entrepreneurs over the last decade, but this has been the song stuck in our minds the entire time. Every person has infinite value. Every person is uniquely excellent.
Our vision really was born out of this. What if St. Paul was a profound public showcase of people's unique excellence? What if every person that had dreams of doing something for themselves didn't have to do it by themselves? What if every dreamer in this city could be more connected and more empowered? What if we helped them see their infinite value and unique excellence?
The result would be beautiful.
Of course I use this word in the truest sense. Visual beauty, yes, but also relational beauty that comes from a sense of togetherness and wholeness. Each dream in this city finding success and failures, but not facing any of it alone.
As Foreword now finds itself in the heart of downtown St. Paul Minnesota, we still have this tune in our ear.
A more empowered, connected, and beautiful St. Paul where every person sees their infinite value and unique excellence.