Sarah Price, Founder of "You Are An Awesome Human"
So, we noticed graphic tees all around NYC that read "You Are An Awesome Human." Then Emily noticed the same text on a sticker all over the subway. Where are these coming from? Who made these? WHERE CAN WE GET OUR HANDS ON THEM?!
After some research, we discovered Sarah Price, founder and creator of You Are An Awesome Human. We needed to know about this Atalnta woman making such an impact not only on New York, but all over the country. Here is her story:
1. You are a professional in the creative field. Did you know this would happen growing up?
Nah - I don’t think I can say I knew - but my career is certainly the perfect combination of my lifelong balancing act between a) hands-on creativity and well - b) not wanting to struggle financially. Which is funny - because being a start-up founder is still full of that.
I have a degree in Sculpture - spent four years welding and sewing my way to a BFA - an awesome experience - but when I graduated, my head was full of statistics like “2% of fine art majors go on to be successful fine-artists”. And I knew that probably wasn’t my life. I also had a mind for coordination - maybe more importantly I was a great communicator, early - and that felt like the sweet spot for me.
2. What was your "ah-ha" moment for creating Yaaahs!?
There are a couple of ways to answer this one. The simplest answer is - I don’t believe it’s fully “my idea”. I think it’s something I’ve channeled from spirits far greater, wider, more expansive and evolved than my own. To break that down, I keep a close connection to spirit (universal spirit, source energy, divine oneness) and I think the idea is from somewhere *out there* in my subconscious at best; probably gifted from my guides and inter-dimensional attendants. *boom*
There are however two other, more “down to earth” paths that feel imbued by the idea as well…
First, I founded The Eddy, a virtual marketing and datavisualization agency (non-agency?) and that runs on good people. It’s the only way it works. I found myself using the term “awesome human” to describe the creative digital makers in my pool of talent - and it stuck. It became a litmus test for people I folded in and a selling point for my clients - the term seemed to resonate deeper that saying “oh she’s such a great designer” or “he’s a really good guy.” It was a new kind of voucher. “You can trust us, I only work with awesome humans.”
Second/third is the story I allude to on our “About Page” and last but not least - 45. Number 45 happened on November 8, 2016.
I’d been chewing and stewing on the culmination of our t-shirt project for a few weeks leading up to that. We’d already talked about sending HRC a shirt and how amazing that would be - and then… she didn’t get elected. And we were crushed. And we cried about the pending hole we knew was about to fall out from under our feet. I finally told our friends about the idea over a “let’s be together for each other and try not to cry about politics” brunch. I shared a presentation I’d put together for YAAAH and they all felt the gravity of what I wanted to build - we did all cry I think - and with their support - I set out to make it real. Like, I figured out vendors and collaborators and methods and we started building a website and producing products and honing our ideas immediately. By November 16th we had an Instagram account up. By the 30th we had the website live with shirts for sale (and we sold tons) by the holidays. *woot*
3. Wow! Can you share some insight and advice for those, especially young women entrepreneurs, looking to start a business, or multiple just like you?
Here’s my single best piece of advice: Figure out what you’re EXCEPTIONAL at - YOUR COMMON SENSE KNOWLEDGE - and make that your every-day. You will probably have to think about that for a while, but do! If your career and your every-day aren’t serving your soul RIGHT NOW, start thinking about what kind of stuff you can do in your sleep. Because - I promise you, it’s unique to you. It took me years to realize that writing ridiculously good emails isn’t something most people are good at. Me, yes. Maybe most of the compliments I’ve been awarded in my career look something like “That email was insanely good”.
We mostly all do one thing or one theme really well - and I spent years defining mine as communication and coordination. My whole career has been in interactive media and marketing project management, I’ve run many creative shops for OTHER people. I used to make THEIR clients happy, I won THEIR contract renewals, brought up THEIR bottom lines… Until finally, with the support and encouragement from my own tribe and mentors, I found the headspace to go make my own. And because “starting a creative agency” didn’t totally compliment my common sense knowledge (full disclosure, I never wanted to be anyone’s BOSS), I created a new kind of agency where truly all I have to do is, yes - my common sense stuff. I am a sole proprietor. And I have zero employees. Instead, I am the hub. My makers (designers, writers, developers, strategists, etc.) are the spokes. They are all independent contractors who are thriving by focusing on - you guessed it - THEIR common sense stuff - and I bring the work to the table and manage our projects and client relationships. It’s a win win because now clients who don’t want the formality of a large agency still get the one-stop-shop, highest caliber of design and professional services without the muck of “agency hubbub”. And my makers - they just wanna make! The don’t want to have to find new business and manage relationships. Writers, you should be writing! Designers, you should be designing and bringing ideas to life! The Eddy makes that possible.
By the way - also, stretch yourself. You Are An Awesome Human requires more of me than The Eddy - and it’s challenging. That’s important too. Do harness that common sense tip, it’ll go a long way. But find a way to stretch too. Later.
4. What about for those looking to use their creativity to shed some positive light on these recent dark times?
*bawls* - DO IT! Do something. The most remarkable (positive) fallout since November has been the creative kinds of activism we are inventing on the fly. Marches! Yes, all day! Postcard parties? Amazing. More women and minorities running for offices? Yes please - incredible - but… Those aren’t things I can do every day. For me, activism has mostly meant pouring myself into something pure and positive. You Are An Awesome Human is my outlet for my fears and my reminder that there’s beauty still - MORE beauty - than can be undone by politicians and policy. Collaborate, lift-up others, and stay pure. Gratitude has been the light for me. That’s been the seed and the nutrition that has grown this YAAAH thing.
5. The Yaaah shirts all all sold out. CONGRATS! But, what is next for you, Sarah, along with the site?
We’re about to release another run of shirts. We’ll be preselling a small batch of a single color this time so we can make the switch from DTG (direct to garment printing) to screen printing the tees. We’ll still have to DTG the custom tags - but we really want the fronts to be screen printed - it’s a touch / feel / quality thing.
We polled our audience last week and still have this Typeform open for [you] - everyone - anyone - to weigh in on what you want to see more of, from us. That includes other You Are An Awesome Human products like enamel pins and car decals for starters.
We had a huge meeting with the director of employee appreciation at one of Atlanta’s largest companies (I’ll reserve who that is for now) and they’re interested in collaborating on gifts across their entire enterprise. That would be oh, like, 85,000 pieces of *something*. And while this thing isn’t supposed to be about money - it is quite distracting. The Eddy has suffered from my divided attention - and it’s possible I can’t do them both forever. So if a large company that GENUINELY understands the importance of honoring their employees wants to buy 85,000 enamel pins from us, we probably do that deal.
BUT - the thing I’m most excited about is an initiative for our mark in public art. We’re working with business owners, building owners, designers and creatives to place the mark around Atlanta (and beyond) because this thing was never meant to be about merchandise and sales. The merchandise is feel-good - so I’m okay with that - but to begin to see our “Slogo” (slogan + logo - get it?) out in the world will really start to mobilize our intention - to see and honor awesome humans with this simple phrase. It’s a billboard of gratitude - our simple little idea - a beacon of... Hope? Maybe.
Interview by Emily