THE PODGE CO. is a Design + Educational Collective. We've got BIG plans for the future, BIG plans to support locals, BIG plans to offer an holistic education, BIG plans to put large dents in some of the world's most prevalent problems - BIG plans!
It's going to take time, support, research & A LOT of work! So far, we've identified 4 Phases in our journey. We're currently in Phase 01 and aim to move into Phase 02 no later than 2019, which will be the most amazing & epic Road Trip of all time! Read on to learn more...
PHASE 01 ++
Design Studio + Workshops
You gotta start somewhere and we're picking up where The Classy Hippie [our Founder's personal brand + former business] left off. In its first phase, THE PODGE CO. is a Design + Educational Collective. We work with people who want to make themselves and the world a better place.
We do that through partnering with individuals + businesses to work on their Brand Strategy, Identity Design, Art Direction, Styling for Shoots + Events and any other design related material that they might need for their Brand + Business.
We also teach Workshops ranging in topics from Brand Discovery to How-To Reduce Your Waste plus a few things in between. Check out more of our Workshops HERE>>
This Fall, we're adding In-Home sessions to help individuals discover their values, determine where they want to go & help them create the kind of home environment necessary to support them in achieving their goals through decluttering, one-on-one mentoring in waste reduction + budgeting & more! We are REALLY looking forward to this!
Phase 01 will last for a few years, adding more Workshops along the way, until - enter Phase 02!
PHASE 02 ++
Our Founder, Genevieve Nalls, and her husband have been on a journey of paying off their debt. For the last 4 years, they've drastically cut their expenses, started budgeting, cash flowed their wedding, started saving for emergencies so that they'd have the cash when something came up - and it did come up [car repairs, hospital bills, trips to family & friends, etc.] - and have now paid roughly $60,000 towards their debt!
They've still got a ways to go, but once they're debt-free, they're taking THE PODGE CO. on the road!
Part of the mission behind THE PODGE CO. is to build + create a Collective of people who live, work, learn, grow and create together as an alternative to college. The current education system, although it has worked out for some, has left many with a degree they don't actually want to use and thousands of dollars in debt.
That's a broken system. We want to circumvent that nonsense.
If we can create a space that lets one individual fully dive into all of their interests, curiosities, skills, talents, passions and more to help them discover who they are, what matters to them, the impact they want to make in this world, the possible business or career path that will align with all three of those and help save 4-5 years of their life plus thousands of dollars - we will! [Nathaniel Hawthorne would be proud of that sentence.]
Cue the most epic Magical Mystery Research Tour of all time!
In order to achieve this, we've got A LOT to learn - but we LOVE learning, so that's not a problem! We're hitting the road to visit communes, artist studios, makers spaces, alternative educational spaces and more. We're going to meet with educators, artists, designers, politicians [because it's helpful to learn how to navigate the red tape when you want to make a difference in this world], community leaders & more.
AND we're going to share every bit along the way! [Not just when the Road Trip begins, but NOW as well, hello - 2019 is still a ways off.] At the conclusion of the Road Trip, we'll head back home to Charlotte, NC to begin work on the next phase.
PHASE 03 ++
Our Founder & her husband met at Virginia Tech, where they both studied Architecture. The studio was truly amazing. They had a wood shop, metal shop, textile lab, screen-printing lab, pottery lab, plaster lab, spray-painting lab, 3D printer, LaserCamm Printer [in fact, if you Google 'LaserCamm Printer' the School of Architecture & Design at Virginia Tech is the first thing that comes up], a graphic print-making lab & more at their fingertips. It was glorious.
They learned how to use many of these tools and developed skills they didn't know they could have. Then. They graduated. And where were they supposed to keep up with their graphic print-making if they weren't interested in applying for an artist residency program?! Nowhere. That's where. Unless they wanted to fork out thousands of dollars for their own printing press - which they didn't - debt, remember?
This was a problem. Although many resources are available throughout Charlotte, and in many other cities, we haven't come across a place where that many resources are available to the PUBLIC. Most places require a residency program or a membership fee. That's great if you already consider yourself an artist - but what about those who don't?
We believe that we're all creative in some way or another and want to provide a place with a low barrier of entry to the creative arts & crafts for anyone and everyone.
Enter Phase 03 - The Makers Space.
Picture this. A young man visits a museum on a school trip and sees a display of ceramics. He starts to think, it might be cool to learn how to make something like that. Instead of thinking he doesn't know where he could learn or how he could come up with the money, he comes to THE PODGE CO. and signs up for a class to learn how to use the equipment. Then he logs online and books the wheel at an hourly rate to come back the following weekend.
See? Low barrier to entry. No membership fee or extended residency program required.
That young man just got completely enchanted with the possibility of making and creating with his hands that could lead to his own business that would give him the freedom to determine his own life and give to the causes that are most important to him.
That's our goal. Introduce people to multiple forms & mediums of art + craft in the hopes of bringing them financial freedom + autonomy and create businesses that make a positive impact in the community & world. Which brings us to our next phase...
PHASE 04 ++
And finally, the pièce de résistance - Phase 04.
In the final phase, THE PODGE CO. will fully become an educational collective. We will purchase a piece of land, preferably near the city of Charlotte but still in the country a bit, and build a community of tiny homes that will serve as "dorms" as well as community space for working, studying, learning, creating, dining, etc.
During this phase, we will hire teachers & mentors for the students participating in our 'Gap Year' program - a program of self-directed learning - to help guide them in determining what it is they want to create in the world. The students will have the makers space, industry leaders in their area of interest, political leaders and community leaders as resources for them.
Essentially, the ultimate goal for THE PODGE CO. is to become a modern-day commune, fully running on sustainable energy sources and as self-sustaining as possible, growing much of our food ourselves. BUT, we're kicking it up a notch by adding in the educational + artistic layers.
We plan on offering courses on Design, Branding, Business, Marketing, Community + Global Awareness, Environmental Practices, Psychology, Sociology, Architecture, Urban Design + Planning, Political Science, Nutrition, Health + Wellness, Permaculture and more!
Although, our founder would LOVE to teach all of this herself, she's no expert, so we're going to need teachers + mentors to provide classes & workshops in those areas. The intent is not to provide a deep and expert level understanding of each topic, but to provide an introductory level and base knowledge of each area for the student to then take a deeper dive into whichever topics interest them the most.
There will be no diploma or certification after the 'Gap Year' program, but instead a deep knowledge of who you are, what matters most to you, what impact you want to make in the world and a further development of your passions, skills and talents.
The goal is to facilitate those of us who know we WANT to make a difference in this world, but don't know where to start. THE PODGE CO. aims to help create a group of world-changing entrepreneurs who are aware of themselves, aware of the political environment and what it takes to navigate that system for positive change and aware of the needs of their community and the world.
We're not only here to work with the Mission-Minded, Earth-Loving, People-Focused, Joy-Boosting Do-Gooders of the world - we're here to create them too!
See? BIG plans & LOTS of work ahead! If you know of any businesses or people already doing similar things - please let us know - we'd love to shout them out and learn their ways!
If you, or someone you know can help provide us with knowledge as to how to go about accomplishing this - please SCHOOL us HERE>> We're here to learn & grow so that we can be the best resource for you as possible!
Are you a Do-Gooder looking for some help with your Brand + Business? Contact us HERE>> We want to hear ALL about your mission and what you want to create in the world!
Not sure if you're a Do-Gooder? Read how we define our favorite word HERE>>
And lastly, if you want help with discovering your Core Values AND living them out, Embracing Minimalism + Simple Living, Budgeting, Decluttering, Reducing your Waste & More...
SUBSCRIBE to our Newsletter, The Overlap, below and be the first to know when our In-Home sessions launch this Fall! We're so excited to work with you and help you realize the FREEDOM that comes with becoming the best version of yourself!
Thank you SO much for taking the time to read our #Goals - we are excited to be here, excited to serve you and excited for the future! The best is yet to come!