Steve’s favorite moment of the first 4 years?
Doing a full brand refresh for a bakery that had been around for 30 years, including creating concepts for the exterior and interior design of new locations, which was new for us. And frankly, we crushed it.
Alexis’ favorite moment of the first 4 years?
Beating out 15 other creative firms (at the last minute) in landing work with Recology in SF. Even though we were “just” a company of two, we drove home the point that we do work differently than others.
Steve moved to SF in 2010 looking for a vibrant city and challenging work. He started as Creative Director at XYZ, a visual design agency, so he could dive into more digital work; and then quickly got accustomed to production at break-neck speed for bigger global brands, from laptops (Acer) to yogurt (Chobani) to cars (Chevy).
Alexis worked at Originate, an engineering firm in SF. She started as Product Manager and moved into a Creative Director role, managing product direction and UI/UX for a wide range of clients, both corporate and startup.
Alexis was Creative Director for BYKNYC, one of the top contenders for the New York City bikeshare contract requested by Mayor Bloomberg. In a quick turnaround, she helped compile the team and partners, the brand, website, apps, and overall proposal; NYC ended up choosing Citibikes, but hey, the little company was just behind the big guys.
Steve partnered in a company called Travel Group, which starting by building a more efficient and cost-effective method for connecting luxury hotels with corporate meeting planners. Hey, every Google needs their holiday parties. What began with two founders has evolved into a 10-person company, a mobile app for planners and travelers, and full-range-content creation for these hotels.
Who wouldn’t want to make their own business work in Santa Barbara? Somehow, in between the college kids and Oprah, Steve managed to carve out a successful design consultancy with Steve Thompson Design, building brands with the likes of And1 and their athlete roster, and a bevy of audio brands (from Marley and Altec, to Klipsch, Tunami, and Plantronics).
Alexis began her first couple business ventures, which couldn’t be more different than one another…An apparel company called Label of Contents, which had success both in the U.S. and overseas despite launching when the banks crashed in ’08 (whoops)….Then it was onto launching Dot Calm, a tech support company for the Boomer segment, which she grew into nearly 200 home clients and over 20 small business clients within a year – and hey, even some national press.
To the detriment of his hearing…Steve doesn’t know how to operate without music. From growing up Mod and SKA in LA, to watching punk break in Portland, then hopping the Pond while nascent electronic happened in Amsterdam, to sorting through the mishmash that makes up today’s music, he’s never not rocked out. Add attendance to double digit Pearl Jam shows and one of Radiohead’s first…let’s just say he’s a music fan.
A massive interest of Alexis’ has always been all-things food and drink. From creating 13 course meals when she was in high school, to landing a job at per se in NYC through a Craigslist ad, and then later Gabriel Kreuther’s The Modern, she’ll likely run a weird little foodie spot some day.
Another predominate part of Alexis’ life and career has involved fashion. She modeled in Milan after college, then worked in design throughout New York, for houses like Jill Stuart, Nicole Miller, and Peter Som, while she attended school at F.I.T and S.V.A.
Working for footwear licensee GBMI, Steve was heading up Creative for 10 brands at a time. Not impossible, but certainly schizophrenic, as the brands ranged from Long Beach lovin’ Snoop Dogg to the 12-year-old-fanatical-girls of XOXO. Some others in the mix included Diesel, Pony, and 7 For All Mankind.
Life needs sabbaticals. Steve took off one year in San Pancho, Mexico, because it was remote, hot, and unknown. He home-schooled and life-schooled his kids, hunkered down in a shack through a hurricane, and even kept to Creative by designing everything for a local cafe (sans computer, mostly with paint).
Alexis went to Stanford in a somewhat unconventional route, creating her own major called Conceptual Design which had the awesome upside of mixing classes with Engineering and then Drama, and minored in Photography, back when dark rooms were still a thing.
After high school, Steve moved to Portland to work for Nike. Over his decade there, he navigated from Illustrator to Creative Director, and everything in between. Among the coolest parts of working there, he was selected to launch the Film & Video branch in Europe. While in Holland, his team created videos at an absurd 250-plus-a-year pace.
Swimming was basically Alexis’ main profession for about 17 years. She swam for Stanford and competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2000…Which is why she can hold her breath for something like 2.5 minutes.
Steve has an innate passion for all-things Lakers and Dodgers, as introduced to him by his maternal Grandma (who’s still kicking it at 101). Both teams won their respective championships the year Steve’s first son was born (named Riley, after Pat). He’ll bleed blue (including Forum Blue) til he’s off this planet.