thEM x Utopian Projects Badge
As a parent of 2 children, unfortunately, we aren’t short on things to worry about. Feeling like the world has gone sideways on so many, I wanted the project to lend aid to food insecurity issues that though impact wide communities, have a large impact on children, especially during summer breaks when there isn’t an opportunity for free nutritious school lunches for those in need.
The design and meaning behind “grow” allude to personal & physical growth as well as having connectivity to agriculture and our environmental issues.
Spot clean only (do not dry clean!) Do not iron. Contains magnets
Founded in 2019, Utopian Projects was originally intended as a personal creative outlet. The brand has since evolved into a project studio as well as a creative consultancy.
Based on a passion for all things outdoor culture, Utopian Projects focuses on reimagining aesthetics that can be applied to referential outdoor and utilitarian items. The projects are thoughtful and I hope you find a unique use for them!
Prior to UP I started my career at Patagonia in Ventura CA and was working as a Creative/Design Director at Urban Outfitters for 14 years.
Our "Grow" badge is in support of Philabundance, located in Philadelphia PA. Philabundance was founded in 1984 with the simple belief that no one should go hungry while healthy food goes to waste. Their mission is to drive hunger from our communities today and to end hunger for good.
In addition to food distribution, they strive to reduce food waste, increase access to nutritious meals, and tackle the root causes of hunger through programs such as the Philabundance Community Kitchen.
Tell us about you!
Hey friends! I’d certainly have to describe myself as someone with a serious gear collecting problem. This issue started when I took my first career gig at Patagonia in the early 2000’s. Having grown up wearing Patagonia, once getting inside the mother ship I was just enamored with all the colors and textures. I’m grateful for a lot of luck in making career choices that allowed me to keep playing with clothes my whole life. I love the individuality of it all. These days, post a long career stop with Urban Outfitters, I’ve been able to work with amazing brands in consultancy roles and even more fun for me, I’m currently the Creative Director for a great local outdoor lifestyle shop. I’m located in the Philly suburbs where I hang out with my wife and 2 boys!
How do you lean out, stay active, get out and explore nature?
Full disclosure – when my wife and I were younger and free from a lot of responsibility we were able to be more adventurous. In the past we were all about camping and because of our shared chapter in Ventura, we liked to be in the ocean with our surfboards. These days in the spring/summer, I’m a serious baseball dad. I love being outside at all of my youngest son’s baseball games and tournaments. Nothing for me is better than enjoying a gorgeous day outside watching my youngest human do his thing. I’ve got my travel, side line sitting and sun protection kit down to a science.
What are your tools for leaning out?
My life tools for leaning out, beyond staying on top of important social and cultural issues, most often involve living as empathetically as possible. Once you get to a baseline understanding that everyone has a right to feel how they might feel and pushing differences aside, focusing on shared experiences and feelings will get us all further together faster. Hopefully towards a more understanding and inclusive universe.
Tell us about your gear – what do you tend to bring/wear?
A few of my favorite gear items:
- L.L Bean Tote – A great dump all bag for the daily slog!
- Patagonia Baggies and River Shorts – Baggies for life… utilitarian and colorful, sorta like me…
- Helinox Chairs – The extra seconds of set up time far out weight how uncomfortable cheaper camp/sport chairs can be.
- Utopian Projects caps – Need that big bill energy to dial the sun back off of your face!
Do you have a bug-out bag and if so, what’s in it?
My bug out bag is my trusty L.L Bean tote bag. I own fun stuff, fancy stuff, technical stuff etc… Nothing for me works as easily and perfect as a dump all tote bag. It’s not precious enough to baby, and with a zip top I can sling that thing into and onto whatever the moment might hold! Because I’m hardwired to life bug out most days, that bag holds all my work items, secondary toiletries and extra layers! Most likely another jacket I won’t end up wearing!
What is one of your most memorable adventures or favorite places to lean out?
Part of me wants to share some great experiences camping in and around Mammoth Lakes CA but honestly, and this is bonkers, my head exploded over a trip we took to Coudersport PA, more specifically Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania. It was named the first International Dark Sky Park meaning the stargazing is out of control on a good summer night. It’s considered one of if not the darkest spots at night on the Eastern seaboard and even without serious viewing equipment its absolutely amazing what you can see in the sky. It’s like almost sitting in space!
Who inspires you in the outdoors?
My friends Daniel and Angela Crebbin from Peace Cabin Goods! They have been using an amazing camper to share the outdoors with their daughters. Doesn’t hurt that they make amazing handmade cushions for hanging out!