Photo by Ali Vagnini
Amanda Ciesielczyk and Adrian Goad are not only partners in business with their PR agency BoldBrew, they're also partners in life... a life spent on the trail, angling, and taking conference calls on the slopes. In line with Amanda and Adrian's commitment to the outdoors, BoldBrew focuses on creating meaningful work and relationships with outdoor-focused brands like Western Rise and EPIC bar. We catch up with them to talk about starting their own agency and why it's important to make room for nature.
Were you both very active in the outdoors growing up?
Adrian: Most definitely. I grew up in a very small town in New Mexico where the outdoors was always front and center. I was the kind of kid that couldn't sit still and watch TV. I always preferred being outside exploring to being indoors. My parents always tease that it was difficult to get me inside for dinner. Growing up I learned to ski, hunt, camp, hike and fish, and I always had a thirst for more.
Amanda: As a kid, my dad always took my sister and I camping in the north woods of the Midwest. But I didn't truly fall in love with the outdoors until my little brother, who is ten years younger than I am, was old enough to go camping with us. I loved teaching him about being outside and appreciating nature. For his 8th birthday I bought him snowboarding boots and a helmet and gave him my old board. I taught him how to snowboard and appreciate the outdoors in the winter. I think we've both been hooked ever since.
Photo by Ali Vagnini
Before starting BoldBrew, what were your career backgrounds and how do you apply them to your business?
Adrian: All things science. With a biology degree, I bring a pretty diverse perspective to the creativity and relationships involved in running our shop. I also love business ventures and blending the analytics and art of both science and business.
Amanda: I have a degree in Science Communications... half science courses and half marketing courses. After college I worked for a mid-sized advertising agency as a Public Relations & Social Media Manager, just as that job title was becoming a "thing".
What inspired you both to start your own Media + PR agency?
Adrian: Necessity breeds invention. It's not that we invented anything but this saying defines our position and why we founded BoldBrew. While working in the Midwest, we knew life would be more fitting for us if we moved to a place we truly loved. Sometimes it feels like we never had a choice... we just knew we had to take a leap. So we took six months off to live on the road and explore the amazing landscapes of our country. After spending time in Alaska and popping through mountain towns throughout the west, we knew we wanted to live in a town that had it all. So we started BoldBrew in Durango surrounded by high Rocky mountains and red rock deserts.
Amanda: Always eager to be entrepreneurs, we wanted to focus on telling the stories of the lifestyle, products and companies we fell in love with during our trip. Along the way, there were products we used daily, new brands we learned of and quickly backed, and on the flip side things we realized we could really do without. We became big advocates of quality goods over quantity, the story behind what a company is all about and building a business that mirrors the lifestyle we had fallen in love with before and during our travels.
Photo by Ali Vagnini
What have been some of the challenges and rewards of starting your own agency and what keeps you juiced up and kicking?
Adrian: Setting your own hours is often the reward and the challenge. We absolutely love the ability to take a conference call behind a ski hut when it's dumping four feet around us. Yes, feet! We always make it a point to get outside and hit the snow, desert, forest and river. However, sometimes work can suck you in and there's no clear 'leaving the office'. Today, social media and PR are 24/7 and late nights can stack up quickly!
Amanda: I'd agree. It is so amazing that we often get to go outside and do the things we love as part of our job, yet it easily becomes difficult to define a line between working outdoors and personal playtime outdoors.
Your slogan is that you are a creative shop dedicated to "good stories, great people and lots of outdoor time." Can you elaborate on what that means at BoldBrew?
Adrian: We truly feel that when we're telling stories, connecting talented people, and focusing on what we love that is when the creative juices flow. It's always front and center for our team. Today, content is king, but the relevancy and depth of content is key. If you don't tell good stories, connect with people and know what you love, you can lose sight of sharing the important parts with others.
Amanda: One of the reasons I was excited to start BoldBrew was the prospect of meeting so many new, good people. I love learning about what people are really passionate about and of their own experiences. Everyone has an outstanding story and I am always eager to hear it and help tell it if need be. I really try to live that mindset every day.
Photo by Ali Vagnini
It's clear that a healthy life/work balance is important to the success of your personal and professional lives. How do you make sure you make time for nature?
Adrian: Quite simply, the last experience. Whether it's gazing up at golden quaking aspen leaves in fall or the gasp of powder spraying over your head, that last moment outdoors is always the inspiration to experiencing the next.
Amanda: Every season I seem to have a little hole in my heart that it has passed. Peak flower season fades in the high country, aspens shine gold for just a few weeks, winter powder melts down the mountainside. I always have to remind myself that it is these changing seasons that also lift our spirits and spark that jolt of excitement inside me for the next season's adventures! The endless opportunities to experience something new outside each season and each year are really coded inside me, I can't live without it.
Thanks for chatting with us Amanda and Adrian! See you out there. All photos by Ali Vagnini.