We Exist: On Starting Wild Shore

Wild Shore began as a series of conversations between the three of us — Chelsea, Larry and Molly — about the future of design, brands, and the business of creativity.

We had spent the last few years working on and leading digital innovation projects, most recently at Odopod. And we knew we wanted to bring that experience to something different and new.

Over time, these talks sketched out the sort of studio we believed needed to exist, a new take on the design agency for the 21st century.

What emerged was a vision for a creative company that could deliver all the components of what brands are becoming — a blend of icon, story, function and culture.

That vision is what we’re building here at Wild Shore. As we do that, we have a few simple but hard-to-answer questions we are anchored to:

How do we design a different kind of culture that brings the new perspectives brands will increasingly need? How do we stay radically open to new concepts, new answers?

To this end we are choosing:

To be based in Oakland; to be led by majority female ownership; to recruit outside the Bay Area design bubble; to draw inspiration from architecture, art, restaurants, interiors and the whole wide world beyond digital product design.

How can we be excellent across brand, marketing and digital product? How can we bring a new level of cohesion across the customer experience?

To this end we’re cultivating:

A holistic point of view, agnostic of outputs, technologies and channels; deeper understanding of different creative disciplines and how they intersect; and the belief that radical creativity, applied, can solve problems of all sorts.

How do we design a business that can do all of this at a high level of quality for brands who need more, where budgets aren’t expanding in kind?

To that end we’re building:

A curated network of people and resources, with the ability to scale up or bring in expertise as needed; more efficient processes focused on the places where we can be most valuable.

The past few months have seen us working quietly, getting this new thing up and running and doing our first client projects — which we look forward to sharing when we can.

Follow us: we’ll keep sharing what we are learning and thinking about here in our working notes. If you’re a designer or strategist and you want to be part of our network of collaborators, say hello.

If you are launching or running a brand or product, we’d love to discuss any interesting problems you may need help with. Reach out.

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