10 Highlights from the Past 10 Years in Business!
If you can believe it, Uncommon is celebrating TEN YEARS of being in business!
To be honest, I get choked up just thinking about it. I stand in AWE of the Lord’s faithfulness and how He has worked through my story and through the story of Uncommon.
To celebrate, we are boiling down ten highlights that are on our hearts these days!
1. This is the OG logo from 10 years ago! Did you know this business had 2 names before we settled on The Uncommon Creative Studio LLC?! We started as KatieRae Interiors, then KatieRae Design & Interiors, then The Uncommon Creative Studio we know today! A sweet college friend designed my original logo, and I couldn't have been happier with how it turned out. Even though we grew out of it quickly, I'll always be thankful for our roots in interiors.
2. The first commercial I ever worked on was for FingerHut. This was the very first time I was a paid worker for the MN film industry! I assisted Teri Gold in the art department, and I can still remember styling this garage. I'll never forget my rookie mistake of bringing my own lunch, not knowing we got fed! I left the set that first night knowing I was heading in the right direction of a career that I knew I would LOVE!
3. For the first two years as a business owner, I worked at Starbucks part-time. Art department jobs were starting to come in while I was growing in the industry, but it was not enough to pay the bills.
Picture this: I was a broke college grad living in my parent's basement and eating their food. My mama gently told me that I needed to find something that would allow me to make a little cash in between my gigs. So I worked early mornings and Sunday afternoons to get by. I'd wake up at 3:40 am and get to Starbucks at 4:30 am. I'd work 4 hours and then head to a shoot for 8 hours and then back home for more work. It was a GRIND (pun intended) but I knew with faith, some hard work, and a little lack of sleep, I'd one day be able to quit Starbucks and truly be a full-time business owner. And I did! Starbucks taught me so much about hard work and customer service. I also made awesome barista friends and have fond memories of my green smock days :)
4. This business was first built in my parent's basement, then in the very first home I owned with my sister, and now in a proper shop. It's a space I can truly call Uncommon headquarters. It started with humble beginnings, messes upon messes, and climbing over materials and projects. I remember taking these photos and thinking that one day I would have a designated space for the business.
What a difference 10 years makes! 5. I have been blessed beyond measure with incredible opportunities over these past 10 years. My resume is FULL of work that most people only dream of being a part of. I can't take credit for any of it ... it's all been the Lord's doing. Several memorable spots come to mind, but this one always seems to turn heads the most!
It was the fall of 2012, and I received an email from an art department lead asking if I was available for a music video. Thankfully I was, so I jumped on board right away. Little did I know that this video was for a music icon …
We would be shooting a music video for Prince and our location was Paisley Park!
It was a wild experience I'll never forget! When the video was released I noticed a familiar face in the final cut:
Yup ... that's me! haha You can see the full music video here! 6. In the summer of 2016, I read a book that challenged me, changed my perspective, and pushed me to declare my biggest dream. I want to help thousands of people by using my God-given gifts and talents to serve others and make them feel loved. I started the Uncommon Acts of Kindness. It was a simple idea where we asked our Instagram followers to nominate someone who could use a pick me up. We would then select a winner and send them a curated box of their favorite goodies. Out of everything Uncommon has done, I am most proud of this project and how much JOY it has brought so many people. We've gotten stories over the years of how the box arrived at the perfect time and how it couldn't have happened to a better person ... that is all God. We just showed up and did our part, and God does His. It is all for His glory.
7. One of my all-time favorite projects was the “Alice In Wonderland” party we did for Carmichael Lynch several years ago. We turned the Varsity Theater into Wonderland in just a handful of hours. The entrance was one of the MOST challenging, time-consuming, logistical nightmares I have ever had to deal with. BUT we were able to pull it off so that as the guests entered the venue, they "fell" down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. So many amazing details from the party but this before and after is one of my faves:
8. In May of 2016, I was given the opportunity to sponsor the survivor area for Minnesota's Race For The Cure. It's a very special cause that is near and dear to my heart since my mama is a cancer survivor. I wanted to create a WOW photo opportunity so I folded 1,500 paper triangles to make the backdrop you see here. It took too many hours to count, but the smiles on the survivors’ faces that year made it all worth it. This photo of my mama in front of the wall is one of my faves!
9. September 2017 always sticks out in my mind as an important turning point for Uncommon. It was the month that Sal (Sarah) started working for Uncommon part-time on a consistent basis. What a JOY it was to have my bestie officially join in on this crazy journey. To kick off her start with Uncommon, we flew to Nashville to help the Story 2017 team bring their conference to life. That week set the foundation for us as coworkers and dreamers both chasing creativity and endless possibilities. 5 years later that sweet girl decided to begin her own business ownership adventure, and I couldn't be more proud that I can call myself a Koala Creative client!
10. This might be silly, but I’m always most proud when I see a friend or family member wear an Uncommon T-shirt. Their support and love for my company and work bring me the most JOY! Seeing Uncommon’s logo and them reppin’ it proudly, reminds me of everything I have been through these last 10 years. It makes it all worth it.
In 2018 we rebranded our logo and website, and I’ll never forget my grandmother putting on her new Uncommon T-shirt for the first time. She wore a white eyelet collared shirt underneath with pink pants and told me she wanted to help drum up business for me! At the time she lived in a town of less than 1,200 people, and she was 400 miles away from the Twin Cities. Probably a far cry from potential Uncommon work, but she wore it proudly. I can still see her sitting in her camping chair at the Harvest Fest parade with that shirt on. It will forever be my proudest moment.
We are SO thankful for these past ten years, and we cannot wait to see what the next ten bring to Uncommon! Thank you for being with us on this journey!
All our love,
The Uncommon Team