28 May 2009

two rules

The Intelligentsia Venice party was Friday. There were some times leading up to it when we looked around at each other & thought "Wow ... There's no fucking way we're going to pull this off."

Then, we pulled it off.

The lesson: Trust Leonard E. Bernstein.

No, just kidding. The real lesson is something I learned in Wieden+Kennedy 12, in which there were exactly two rules:

1. Keep your work tight. I mean, like, really really tight. Keep your eye on the prize, & care a lot about what you do, & have lofty goals, & take great pains to achieve them. Maybe be an iconoclast. Something to think about.

2. But don't be a jerk about it.

· Everybody's human, fighting great battles, trying their best but with their own understanding of what "best" is, which might not be yours.
· You're human, too, and you might fuck up, so you might consider getting over yourself. Everyone else already has.
· Collaborating is cool. Sometimes. We collaborated while studying & practicing drink construction, while hammering out the details of workflow, while figuring out where the heck to put all our stock. WHERE.
· After you collaborate & think hard, together, then go back in there & work harder & suck it up & don't start trouble. Now is the time to be open to some hierarchy & authority in the service of accomplishing common goals.

Anyway, I write now not really to tell people what to do, even though I kind of just did. (I find that stuff helpful, but it's certainly not the only way to go about things.) Mostly, I write to take an opportunity to swear more than is strictly necessary (hey Mom). And I write to compile some information about the shop, to lay out what we've all been aiming towards during this insanely insane process. And why I'm such a fan of where I work and its people. And to relay my excitement about continuing to work hard and be nice to people in the shop, both co-workers and customers alike. So:

Intelligentsia's own write-up about the endeavor, from the Intelligentsia website.
The Intelli.LA blog about all things Intelligentsia in Los Angeles.
A write-up of how the shop will function, from the Los Angeles Times.
An interesting story about one of the espresso machines, from the New York Times.

A little about Direct Trade. (Clicking on "CRITERIA," "TRAVEL," & "FAQ" just below the image yields more information.)
How we get our coffee. (There's "BUYING," "CUPPING," & "ROASTING & PRODUCTION" sections, too.)
And this is pretty cool:

Here are some images of what our training was like, from wonderfully talented photographer & art nerd Phillippé Kim. WK12 people, if you're out there: Phill is our Young Guy with the Fresh Perspective. Unrelated: He speaks English, Korean, & Portuguese. Fluently.

An article on the opening party itself, during which I brewed a lot of tea, from the LA Weekly.

Some people (yo, Dad) have expressed concern about why I would cancel a bike trip to Austin, put the brakes on half-formed plans to move to San Francisco, & withdraw 24 (!) applications to advertising agencies in favor of a whole new industry. I hope this helps explain some of that. Kind of like how I left my boyfriend (sorry Steve), quit architecture, & moved to Portland for WK12: I had been given the opportunity to change the way things are done, for the better. To some things, you just don't say no.



mixtemotions said...

I am so excited for you. I knew you were up to something awesome, but wow... this is awesome. Also, I want to be a creepy customer and camp out at Intelligentsia and stalk you. Soon my pet, soon! <3

Katie O'Shea said...

Counting down the days until you can stalk me, mixte. Which makes me wonder: Who, exactly, is stalking whom?

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