Monday, December 29, 2008

Just say NO

It's not just us taking matters into our own hands. Courtesy of Peter Shankman today:

Even in bad economic times, people need to think positive! Holton Sentivan + Gury and j2 communications invite you to stand up and choose NOT to participate in the recession! Everyone who signs up will have their names included in an upcoming Wall Street Journal ad that will tell Wall Street and Americans that we refuse to wallow in bad financial news, and will continue to do what we do even better in '09! Stand up and be proud!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Shiny Happy People

This is a good one too!

More Pics

Here are a few more shots from the event....we uploaded and Flickr tagged these (and you can too) with theuncompanycollective at

Sarah Shewey produces events (and smiles)

Sarah Shewey stopped by the GOOD Space and briefed us on the TED conference coming soon to So Cal.

mucho kudos to Google

Hey a big shout out is due to GOOGLE, without which this project would not even be possible.

The Uncompany Collective receives email there....theuncompanycollective at gmail dot com....and keeps track of stuff & things at Google docs and Google calendars. It's super simple and it's FREE. Which fits the UN of the mission perfectly. Google enabled a great holiday brunch with food, drink, and real professionals behind the bar. (Thank you, Akasha, for coming out!) Alta Dena, La Brea Bakery, Mighty Leaf Tea and Intelligentsia also contributed to a fine day in the GOOD Space. We got to borrow Modernica furniture and use Repurpose cups courtesy of GOOD. (If you're nice, GOOD may let you use the GOOD Space for a small fee. But you have to be nice. Plus GOOD.) So mucho kudos to Google and also these serious talents: Eric on turntables, Ryan on video, Jenn Su on a/v, and Chet in general. xx

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Publicist Nia Tahani Davis

Nia's smile lit up the room on Sunday...

Sent in this morning...Mr Paul Redmond

uncompany members keep getting handsomer.
this is mr paul redmond

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Uncompany Collective featured on The

Calling All Creative Comrades

A new grassroots media organization holds it inaugural event in Los Angeles, and what starts as a networking event becomes a call to arms for media professionals to figure out new ways of working as the economy and old media empires are crumbling.
By Rachel Dowd

In the weeks since Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States, a notable shift has occurred in the American psyche. Whether it’s strictly attributable to the grassroots movement that propelled an African-American into the White House or the sheer vulnerability created by a sudden and continuing collapse of the world economy is neither here nor there. Free-market Americans have suddenly warmed to socialism.

Nowhere was that shift more on display than on Sunday at a brunch held at Good magazine’s exhibition space in Los Angeles where Uncompany -- a “collective” of the city’s professionals in media, design, fashion, architecture, and entertainment -- came together to meet, eat pastries, and drink mimosas.

The crowd sticking name tags on a makeshift org chart initially seemed tentative. After all, few, aside from the five founders -- Bill Benjamin, Jessica Fleischmann, Edie Kahula Pereira, Caroline Ryder, and Jennifer Uner -- actually knew what Uncompany was. But the invite had sounded intriguing enough: “Meet like-minded creative souls and discuss new ways in which we can work together at this gathering of forward-thinking professionals. Treats courtesy of La Brea Bakery, Intellegentsia, Mighty Leaf tea, and Sunday papers from both coasts.” While this creative soul didn’t see any copies of the Sunday New York Times, the cinnamon rolls were truly amazing, and the room was packed with interesting minds.

“I used to come to these kinds of events to find people I could get work from,” said Fleischmann, founder of the graphic design firm Still Room, during her introductory remarks. “Now I look for people I can work with.”

Ryder spoke of her recent layoff from Variety’s Stylephile blog and how that gave rise to lunch with fellow Uncompany cofounders. “I went into that lunch anxious,” she recounted, “and I left energized and optimistic.”

The same transition could be seen at Sunday’s event. Conversations among the some 150 attendees about the “anemic” job opportunities and the growing number of unpaid invoices quickly led to discussions about innovative projects people like Lauren Gropper, founder of a green building firm and host of HGTV’s Green Force, are working on. Gropper, incidentally, provided the compostable plastic cups for the mimosas -- free of charge.

And while networking will always be a factor in a town known for making deals during 12-step meetings, the goal for that afternoon was a little less about what an individual could get and more about what “we” might do. Ryder, for one, plans to propose that Uncompany mobilize in the fight to overturn Prop. 8 at the group’s next meeting in February.

Because in this age of bankruptcies and government bailouts, Uncompany believes that only by joining forces can we also become too big to fail. “This is just the beginning,” reads its mission statement. “Your ideas, and above all, your participation are encouraged. Because only when we unite are we greater than the sum of our parts.”

To become a partner in Uncompany’s collective -- or to get invited to the next event -- check out the group’s Facebook page or join its blog at

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Uncompany Collective launch, and what Santa left behind

A HUGE, GIANT THANK YOU to all the curious creatives, all 150 or so of you, who showed up to the Uncompany Collective's launch at the GOOD space. We were delighted, energized and inspired by the response. Seems like more than a few of us are looking to pull together L.A.'s notoriously disparate creative community. Dozens of great connections were made--I saw one jewelry designer connect with a store owner who wanted to carry her wares, journalists teamed up with editors they hadn't worked with before, wardrobe stylists pitched screenplay ideas...the room brimmethed over with ideas. As one modern furniture store owner commented, "this was the most optimistic recession gathering I've ever been to."

The Secret Santa table was, as predicted, a wild success. One writer couldn't get enough of her vintage black purse. A costume designer was excited by her mini bottle of Grey Goose. Inexplicably, this delicious candy jock strap (pictured) and a pine cone remained unclaimed.

Look out for coverage of the event at The in the next few days and in the LA Weekly in January.

What with all the mingling, I only found time to snap a few are a couple...many more will come shortly. If you have any, please send them in to us at

Posted by Caroline Ryder

Sunday, December 14, 2008

what are we?

what is the uncompany collective?
we are a loose agglomeration of creative professionals.
we are a response to the breakdown of the economy.
we are a way out and a way in.
we are a conversation.
we are an open question.

we hope to work together to contribute to this exciting (a new president! who thinks!) and terrifying (a devastated & deteriorating economy, & all that means, especially for the most vulnerable) time.
we hope to work with others too.
we hope you will work with people in disciplines you hadn't considered as related to yours too.

things can be different.


The day after Thanksgiving, five of us got together in a backyard in Echo Park, Los Angeles to start the uncompany. We drank Belgian beer and ate garbanzo beans, Brie, and fennel salad. We come from the worlds of journalism, design, marketing communications, fashion, publishing and gardening. We look forward to unearthing new paradigms for business and society. We look forward to new opportunities for the fabulous creative community of professionals who believe that it is still possible to thrive, even in this economy. And the way to do that? By pooling our talents, by combining and recombining so we can work together in new ways.
This is just the beginning.

Jen Uner
Caroline Ryder
Jessica Fleischmann
Edie Kahula Pereira
Bill Benjamin