Just over ten years ago, I moved to Portland from Garden City, Kansas. At the time, I didn't know much about Portland. I just knew I wanted an opportunity to do something new with my life. Southwestern Kansas didn't provide much for a young, creative kid looking to leave his mark on the world. It didn't take long for me to recognize that Portland was the best place for a guy like me.
Over the past decade I've had several opportunities that I feel could only have happened here in Portland. I've gone to school. I've honed my painting skills. I've helped open an art gallery. I've had the opportunity to help several businesses get started, and I've even run my own web design business. I've met a slew of talented folks that have helped me get where I am today.
Now, I find myself Creative Director here at GRAYBOX, a company fueled by everything Portland has to offer.
The Coffee Shop Workforce
Coffee. It's our best friend. In any one of Portland's hundreds of coffee shops you're bound to catch a programmer on his laptop, a designer meeting with her client or a photographer getting that early caffeine fix before heading out to a long shoot.
GRAYBOX was formed specifically to tap the capabilities of this ‚Äòcoffee shop workforce.' We've harnessed the power of this hard-working creative population to tackle problems bigger than any one of us could handle alone.
We've worked at perfecting this system over the past few years. The product is GRAYBOX as it exists today. At the core is a small group of designers, developers, and project managers with access to a large, scalable network of inspired and local thinkers and doers.
Everyone an Entrepreneur
Maybe it's the beer. Maybe it's the long rainy days stuck inside. Whatever it is, something is leading Portlanders to keep churning out fresh ideas. With over 800 coffee shops, 70 breweries, and 600 food carts, we've perfected the art of turning sheer creativity into a sustainable economy with nationwide notoriety.
This puts GRAYBOX in a unique position. We get to meet and work with a wide variety of passionate clients and help bring their ideas to life. We get to help make people's dreams come true. That's a very cool thing. We've worked with belly dancers, blueberry farmers, winemakers, general contractors and more. Every project brings unique, interesting challenges and rewards.
GRAYBOX started as a group of ambitious DIYers. We understand the struggles of growing and running a business, and we understand the rewards of doing it right. We love what we do, and we love helping others do it too.
An awesome place to be
In addition to the being a fantastic place to work, Portland is also just a great place to have fun. The same energy that feeds the creative professional workforce also provides a landslide of amazing things to do, see, and be part of. Portland is home to some of the best music, art, booze and food in the nation. There's something for everyone. I work hard to make a better life for myself and the people I love.
At GRAYBOX I've found a place to do just that. My job inspires me, entertains me, and allows me to have the best life possible. All in a city that I've grown to love. Portland's given me a lot to be thankful for, and I'm doing my best to pass it on.
Thank you, Portland. Here's to another decade of awesome.