12/23/2014

Local gifts for last-minute givers

By: Abby Breckenridge

If you’re like us, you may have left a few holiday shopping tasks to the last minute. Here’s a round-up of 2A’s favorite, locally-made gifts so you can delight your loved ones and support our local businesses while you’re at it. Now get shopping! Happy holidays from the team at 2A.

1. Knots Necklace in white lambskin from Rachel Ravitz

I’m a big fan of Rachel Ravitz—novel and easy to wear.

Rachel Ravitz Knots Necklace

 2. Wonder Treats for dogs

Don’t forget your furry friends.

 Wonder Treats

 3. Limoncello from Letterpress Distilling

Bring a delicious and unexpected hostess gift.

 Letterpress Distilling Limoncello

 4. Gift card to Trove

Noodles, Korean BBQ, parfaits (yes, parfaits).

 Trove Parfait

 5. Membership to the Bar Ferd’nand Bottle Society

Ok, the wine isn’t made locally, but the shop is local, and the selections are from mostly old-world, small production, family-owned estates.

 Bar Ferd'nand

 6. Massage from Adrienne

Everyone wants a good massage.

Massage

 7. Radiator belt buckle from Steel Toe Studios

Lightweight and makes a strong statement.

 Steel toe shoes radiator buckle

 8. Haversack Shoulder Bag from Alchemy Goods

Waterproof, made from used bike tires—what could be more Seattle?

 Alchemy Goods Haversack Bag

 9. Subscription to New Roots Organics weekly bin

Local fruits and veggies for those new year’s resolutions.

New Roots Organics

 10. Creamed Honey from Ballard Bee Company

Buttery-smooth with light floral flavors, pair this local treat with cheese or spread on whole wheat toast.

 Ballard Bee Company Creamed Honey

 11. Chipotle Chocolate Cherries from Chukar Cherry

Spice up someone’s holiday with a zesty twist on a Washington classic.

 Chipotle Chocolate Cherries

 12. Shigoku oysters from Taylor Shellfish

Have the taste of the northwest delivered to someone’s front door.

 Shigoku oysters

12/17/2014

Giving a damn with Greendrinks

By: Tauschia Copeland

Great showing last week at the Seattle Greendrinks Holiday Fair: Give like you give a damn, hosted at Tesla Motors in South Lake Union. Over 40 vendors were there to show off their local and sustainable goods and services.

We were excited to get the chance to talk with Seattle’s green business network about our new partnership with Triskele Collaborative. We’re teaming up to help companies gain the business benefit of sustainability through employee, building and business wellness.  2A brings our expertise in making the sustainability business case while Triskele specializes in developing healthy workplaces. We provide the communications strategy, track project metrics and help ensure sustainability efforts are seamlessly integrated with an organization’s overall strategy.

Renato and I met with heaps of interesting people working for companies from all over the city dedicated to creating thriving businesses and a thriving environment. This included our host, Tesla, which has been leading the charge (pun intended) with the highest performing car batteries in the world, and recently released their patents so anyone could leverage their research and replicate their work.

The Greendrinks Holiday Fair was created to give people the opportunity to buy gifts that provide the greatest positive impact. Yes Magazine found that when you buy locally, your purchase has four times the economic impact through job creation, tax collection and re-spend within the community.

Thanks Greendrinks, for a great event and for the opportunity to make a difference!

2Adaptive partners with Triskele Collaborative
2Apaptive partners with Triskele Collaborative

12/10/2014

A brand exercise for good spirits

By: Kelly Schermer

PR works a little like a blind date:

1.  You rely an advocate to find and engage the right target

2.  Your advocate tells your story so it appeals to the audience but remains true to you, and

3.  The target expresses interest in you– before you ever meet.

Good PR, like a good blind date, lives and dies by your advocate’s words, which is why it’s so important to arm them with the right words from the start.

Meet Watershed. Watershed is a premium independent distillery that handcrafts a family of five delicious spirits. It was started in 2010 by two friends, who have successfully grown the business through hard work, persistence and passion.

When we first met Greg and Dave, they expressed interest in conducting a PR campaign to expand distribution. In effect, they knew they needed an advocate to help them find a loving audience, but they hadn’t considered the role their story would play.

Enmeshed in all things Watershed, Greg and Dave share a deep understanding of the brand. However, faced with a massive list of day-to-day tasks, they have never had the luxury of time to thoughtfully craft their message.

That’s where we came in.

Through a fast-paced series of rigorous meetings, we helped Watershed cultivate their brand story and develop their voice. By listening closely to them – their stories about starting the business, their experiences with their customers, and their perceptions of the brand – we were able to help them distill the essence of what makes Watershed so unique and wonderful.

In the end, we developed a distinctive brand voice that rang true for everyone at the table, and we tested our ideas by interviewing customers at a launch party. It was a marketer’s dream come true!

The distillery was named for a broader concept about a community that respects and supports those in it. We loved being invited into Watershed’s community and helping them prepare for their next phase of growth, and we hope that the brand elements we created together will be useful in their pursuit of PR true love.

As for us, we can’t wait for the opportunity to help others craft their own compelling brand stories and develop their unique voices in support of their larger business goals. Let’s talk.

12/03/2014

Thai cooking and meeting the 2A team

By: Tauschia Copeland

A few weeks ago, the 2A team got together to chop, stir, skewer, and in the end, EAT! My first time meeting anyone at 2A, besides the delightful Renato and Abby, was an evening of Thai cooking at Sur La Table, and it was a great way to get to know the team.

The gathering got me excited about 2A, not only because I finally made a decent phad thai after many failed attempts, but also because I got to know the nuances of different team members without having to ask questions like “What is your working style?” or, “How do you engage with people?” Many of my questions were answered just by interacting at the kitchen counter, which is why I’d recommend a cooking class get-to-know-you for any group.

Those who enjoyed cooking asked questions and experimented while those who didn’t typically cook got to feel the glory of putting together a home meal without having to do the dishes. It was a great time for all involved: I gained some talented team members as well as a new dish in my dinner repertoire.

2Adaptive team-made Thai dinner
2A team-made Thai dinner

10/16/2014

Renato named to PSBJ 40 Under 40

By: Theresa Howe

What do a wine distributor, senior program officer, and marketing consultant have in common? Brian Maletis started Fat Cork with the aim of getting the best bubbly from the vintner to your front door, Saara Romu is a Senior Program Officer with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation working to eradicate health crises around the world, and Renato Agrella is the founder and CEO of our very own 2A.

What they have in common is that all three are all graduates of the Michael G. Foster School of Business at the University of Washington, and all three have been named to this year’s Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. We could not be more proud.

Renato is thrilled for the opportunity to engage with such an intriguing and accomplished bunch. Check out the article and some pretty sweet pictures on the Puget Sound Business Journal, or learn more about the other 40 Under 40 honorees.

09/18/2014

Celebrating Casa Latina

By: Theresa Howe

Did you know that one of the first workers’ centers in the United States was started in Seattle? And that their workers have a $16 starting wage? Casa Latina, founded in 1994, combines direct service with community organizing, meeting their members’ immediate needs for job skills and employment. The workers’ center helps community members hire a variety of skilled workers, for work in areas from gardening and construction, to house cleaning and event assistance. Casa Latina also works for long-term solutions to level the playing field for immigrant families.

Recently, 2A was a proud community sponsor of Casa Latina’s annual celebration of hope and progress, En Camino. The event drew support from across Seattle and raised over $180,000 in support of Casa Latina’s mission.

One of the highlights of the evening was hearing from Alicia, who turned to Casa Latina when she needed a hand. She got her start cleaning houses in Seattle and now supports her family through her own domestic services business, which she started with the help of Casa Latina. Alicia is an inspiration for any aspiring business owner.

2A supports the work of Casa Latina to ensure a better future for immigrant communities. Please consider hiring a worker, offering your support and learning more about Casa Latina.

Casa Latina Executive Director Hilary Stern with Pablo Alvarado, National Coordinator for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network
Casa Latina Executive Director Hilary Stern with Pablo Alvarado, National Coordinator for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network