It Was Always Just The Foundation
Today, I write to you all with gratitude for everything we’ve done, and excitement for everything we will do.
It has been almost two years since I started mapping out a vision for community that came to be known as Foundation. It was originally a Google Doc titled “Adult Learning Communities.” From there it took on names like “Arete: A Happiness School”, “Finding Your Seattle”, and eventually “Foundation.”
It had plans for a dynamic community space that would be a beacon of community centered around passions. It would have a kitchen for cooking classes and pop-up chef nights; a bar for local mixologists, winemakers, and brewers to share their crafts; a studio that would host everything from painting workshops to history lectures to yoga classes; and a café and community space that would host gatherings of all kinds.
The common purpose would be fun, meaningful growth and education—to elevate and empower those doing amazing things in our community to share their knowledge and inspiration with all of us. Teaching the things that naturally pique our curiosities as a reprieve from the constant bombardment that takes our attention away from what’s truly important: learning and growth, purpose and impact, connection and belonging.
From this foundation (pun intended), the learnings and activities that brought us together would purely be based on feedback. Effective feedback loops can cultivate belonging by empowering an individual voice to guide the direction of the community. I always envisioned a massive marketing campaign titled, “What would you like to learn Seattle?”
After months of trying to raise funds for the space, brand, and vision, I explored the possibility of creating this dream without a space. I began partnering with different venues, different teachers, and working to build a nebulous community from scratch. I found that there was a plethora of spaces in Seattle just waiting to be activated; and a never-ending supply of teachers just waiting to share and be celebrated.
From there, things just kind of snowballed. One event in June, turned into three in July. By October, we had ten. This past month of January, we hosted fifteen different community experiences that brought hundreds of locals together to connect with each other, explore the city, and foster belonging and impact as a community.
Personally, I have built countless friendships, grown more than I ever could’ve imagined, and never been more determined in my purpose and direction.
I believe more than ever that human life is about connection, love, and self-actualization; and I want my life’s work to revolve around cultivating more of that in this world. Connecting with, loving, and realizing the potential of your deepest, truest self. Connecting and loving with all that you do and can create. And lastly, connecting and loving others in a meaningful community that supports, inspires, and celebrates us all.
If there is one thing that I have learned, it is that community is not built from one person’s vision. It is built as a collective, a team, a family.
So, for the past two months, as my personal ego that was so entrenched with the building of my own business grew less important, and my definition of success further evolved to focus on my true impact in what I cared about, I have been looking for missions and organizations to merge my operations with.
From that pursuit, I have decided to integrate Foundation into The Evergrey.
I remember first signing up for The Evergrey newsletter about a year and a half ago. I was told it was a fun, new Seattle morning newsletter that could keep me up to date on what’s happening in this city I love to live in. Within two weeks of reading it every morning, I felt more belonging in Seattle than I had since moving here.
It wasn’t just knowing the current news and happenings that were going on around me, it was The Evergrey’s approach to local news. A grassroots perspective in which the reader was just as much in charge of dictating the content as the editor was. “Oh, urban growth and homelessness is one of the true challenges our city faces, what questions would you like to have answered?” From those responses, the content was curated accordingly.
This empowerment through feedback was the closest thing I’d experienced in relation to the ultimate vision for Foundation. This just happened to be focused on local news and stories, rather than community experiences.
Spurred on by that realization, along with the support and mentorship I’ve always felt from one of The Evergrey’s founders’, Monica Gúzman, I reached out and began exploring what the integration of our visions could become.
It quickly became obvious that there was deep alignment in vision, mission, and values and we decided for Evergrey to absorb Foundation’s programming and community. From here on out, our work – all of our community events and vision – will move forward as The Evergrey.
We will continue creating some of the most dynamic, fun, and meaningful experiences in Seattle. We will continue to bring people together to celebrate commonalities, collectively address struggles, and cultivate a deep community of passionate teachers and curious learners in our city—just now with the help of the team, community, and mission of The Evergrey.
I’ve had moments of sadness as I say good bye to the original vision of Foundation, but the future is brighter than ever. I still deeply feel that I found my purpose at the onset of this journey, and it wasn’t Foundation in itself. That was just the first step, the first leap of faith on the journey. The real path is my continued passion for bringing people together to cultivate meaningful relationships and growth through fun and impactful experiences.
So now, I ask you all to continue this journey with me. Join me and The Evergrey community as we come together as a city; as we curate the local news, stories, and experiences that help you find connection, growth, and belonging in one of the most beautiful cities in the world—Seattle.
Thank you for joining me up to now, it is just beginning.
P.S. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to The Evergrey’s amazing morning newsletter :)