Doin' the Hustle

The hustle steps in hiking boot prints

Did you lose your job last March? April or May? Anytime in 2020? Hey – me too!

At the outbreak of Covid-19, I saw my job in the entertainment industry evaporate overnight, After over two decades building props and managing shops for live theatre I decided to mine my skill set and interests to make a new start. Ideally, this career would fulfill me the way my theatre work did and let me continue to collaborate with the people I’ve spent the last 20 years with, creating art.

As a Prop Shop Manager, I kept complex projects on track and budgeted resources such as time, money, and personnel to produce props that served the needs of directors, designers, actors, and technicians. Before I worked in live theatre, I spent eight years in graphic design. Among other things I produced books, pamphlets, brochures and catalogues.

Weaving together the expertise I developed in these two careers and my passion for teaming up with artists led me to build a web design business catering to people in the creative community.

My model is simple and clear, patterned after the structure I used when I managed prop shops. Once we have clarified your objective, I provide you with an explanation of the process, a list of content I need from you (copy, images, logo, etc.), a timeline for deliverables, and a concrete date for when your site will be ready to launch.

Creating your online presence doesn’t need to be a frustrating or time-consuming experience, and you don’t need to spend a fortune. Cost will never be a mystery with my service: I give you a written estimate so you can budget from day one, with a payment schedule based on deliverables.  Do you have a fixed budget?  Let’s see what we can design to fit your needs and not overspend.

My goal is to make developing your web site an exciting and painless experience for you. Your site will be up and running on schedule, will serve your unique needs, and match your style.  After launch, I’ll be here for you to provide site support. 

I have a BFA in Design from Buffalo State College in Buffalo, NY, where I grew up. I spent one semester in Siena, Italy, and graduated magna cum laude. I spent 8 years living in San Diego and have been in Seattle since 2005. I’m a queer, polyamorous, cis female, Gen Xer who loves to read, travel, hike, study social structures, play ukulele, have long conversations and scuba dive. I look forward to working with you.

A stylized picture of me at my desk
Contemplating Life, the Universe, and Everything
Tilted divider of curved arrows

Prejudice has no place here

In recent months, as I have been forming my business, our country has been grappling with the deaths of American citizens at the hands of members of our police forces: other American citizens. This is nothing new. The history and development of our police forces were profoundly influenced by the task of catching enslaved people who were running for their lives, and returning them to slavery. While the particular slavery I am referencing is a thing of the past, its influences on the culture of the United States and our police forces is not.

I no more believe that every member of law enforcement is corrupt than I believe that the color of one’s skin, their facial features, or their cultural background defines their morality or ethics. What I do believe is that the policies under which we live in the United States are stacked against many of us in a variety of ways. On page 16 of her excellent book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson likens America to an old house, an analogy that any homeowner or professional in the building industry will understand. She states, “We in the developed world are like homeowners who inherited a house on a piece of land that is beautiful on the outside, but whose soil is unstable loam and rock, heaving and contracting over generations, cracks patched but deeper ruptures waved away for decades, centuries even. Many people may rightly say, “I had nothing to do with how this all started. I have nothing to do with the sins of the past. My ancestors never attacked indigenous people, never owned slaves.” And, yes. Not one of us was here when this house was built. Our immediate ancestors may have had nothing to do with it, but here we are, the current occupants of a property with stress cracks and bowed walls and fissures built into the foundation. We are the heirs to whatever is right or wrong with it. We did not erect the uneven pillars or joists, but they are ours to deal with now.”

I agree with Ms. Wilkerson. My family, entirely of European descent, has been on this continent for centuries. I do not know whether any of us were slave “owners” or were employed in the slave trade, but I can say with certainty that we benefited from the system. I have at least one relative who fought for the Confederacy during the civil war; putting his life on the line to uphold the policies of the South. Like anyone reading this, I didn’t set up our current cultural environment, and I can only do what one person can do to make the situation better today, but it’s important for me to do what I can, when I can. What does this mean for Being Freed, LLC?

I am dedicated to building a community of professionals from diverse backgrounds. When seeking new collaborators, I do my best to find individuals whose work I admire and whose life experiences are dissimilar to mine whether that difference stems from skin color, sexual orientation, gender, age, religion, physical abilities, country of origin, … the list goes on. Valuing the differences between myself and others and nurturing diverse relationships enriches my life, and makes my work stronger and more interesting. Dedication to diversity is one of the cornerstones of every collaborative relationship I form at Being Freed, LLC.

I recognize the privilege and power I have as a white woman and as an American: advantages I didn’t begin to understand until just a few years ago. Yes, people make individual life decisions which may be wise or unwise, but the interests of white people have been favored over those of People of Color in this land via legislation, policies, and unlawful behavior since before our nation existed, and this atmosphere limits the options of many, many people in the world. The resulting system of policies and social mores gives white Americans a mountain of advantages, and I believe it’s time for us to open our hearts and wallets and share our nation’s resources unconditionally.

With Being Freed, LLC I hope to build a community of professionals from diverse backgrounds who produce beautiful work together while breaking down stereotypes and urban myths about who we are so we can see that we’re all, in the end, just hard-working people doing the best that we can.

Being quiet is comfortable. Keeping things the way they’ve been is comfortable. And all comfort has done is maintain the status quo. 
-Luvvie Ajayi Jones

Isabel Wilkerson’s excellent work can be found here