For the past two years, we've worked with the GoDaddy team to travel across the country telling entrepreneur stories. We highlight everyday business owners making their own way and carving their own path.
We kicked off January 2020 with another stint of GoDaddy shoots, this time in the San Francisco Bay Area. Little did we know it'd be one of the last big shoots of the year. As always though, these everyday entrepreneurs are a beacon of hope and optimism. Many of them were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, but they persevered through by shifting online. Check out their stories below!
Anna Rotty Art
Anna Rotty reveals her mission to create art with a purpose and connect people through her unique prints in San Francisco, California. Influenced by the artistic talent of her mom, Anna Rotty chases her own artistic dream and pushes the boundaries of photography by creating one-of-a-kind prints with a mission in mind: to connect with others. Although she creates art for a living, Anna proves to be much more than an artist — she’s a social experimenter, storyteller and creative thinker. Each piece she curates provides a meaningful experience, thought-provoking dialogue and deeper connection for her patrons. Her purpose-driven prints allow folks to see beyond what the image represents and tells multiple sides of a story based on her interpretations. Staying true to her mission and zeal, Anna finds everyday success in the ability to express herself through art and make something that resonates with others.
Lily Ann Lam
From salon assistant to manager to entrepreneur, Lily Ann Lam’s deep family roots in hairstyling compels her to open a studio in San Francisco — despite the challenges that would come with rebuilding clientele from scratch. With the power of a GoDaddy website to showcase her plethora of skills catered to fresh hairstyles for both men and women, Lily Ann is given the opportunity to focus on what really matters. This mom of three teenagers shares her positive outlook on the life of a small business owner in the big city, including the priceless flexibility of putting family first. As she continues to grow her five-station salon, she finds the perfect balance in juggling a growing family and a successful business that keeps customers walking through the door.
SF Love Tours
The moment Allan Graves put his tech-finance job in the rearview mirror to pursue a more meaningful journey, he became inspired to bring his idea for a sightseeing company to life. He launched San Francisco Love Tours — a one-of-a-kind experience that captures the essence and rich history of the city. Sightseers hitch a ride on a decked-out 70’s van and get to see the city like locals, walking away feeling inspired by the stories, music and iconic sights that shape the city’s vibrant culture. Day in and day out, Allan is fueled by the energy from the thousands of folks that hop into his iconic tie-dye vans to experience his unforgettable tour every year.
Tres Leches Cafe
With the perfect caramel latte recipe and a coffee cart purchased on Craigslist, ET boldly took the first step towards making his coffee shop dream a reality. Locals fell in love with Tres Leches Cafe’s unique Mexican-flavored drinks and his business soared, expanding from the coffee cart to an 800 sq. ft. home to a 3,000 sq. foot space in just a few years. With its unmistakably friendly and welcoming vibe, the cafe celebrates Chicano art and culture in every way — from the art on the walls to the Insta-worthy drinks like flan lattes and strawberry horchatas. Wanting to expand his business further, ET took to the kitchen and set out to add his own baked goods to the menu. Despite a few burnt attempts starting out, he finally found his recipes to success. The pastry case at Tres Leches glitters with everything from donuts and empanadas to traditional pan dulce — and locals can’t get enough.
Always having a knack for sketching letters and typography, it was a high school graphic design teacher who told Jahred he had something special—and he should go after it. In college, he led a team of designers, teaching them how to make top-notch creative choices through captivating design. He also founded his brand, JN Design, where he expanded his design experience through various creative projects. Once he was ready to take his business to the next level, Jahred created a customized website where he could showcase his creative talents through brand strategy, illustration, content and motion graphics services. Pulling artistic inspiration from fashion and makeup, he works with each client to infuse their personality and vision into his designs. Jahred continues to encourage creatives by holding steadfast to his definition of success—the ability to make a living with the freedom to create whatever he wants.
Lost Republic Distillery
After a late night putting together their business plan on cocktail napkins, Matt and Colin set out on a quest to start their own distillery. Knowing they wanted to do things a little differently, they pulled a page from Matt’s winemaking past, aging their spirits in wine barrels to yield a unique lighter style whiskey. From filling and corking to the handwritten touch on each bottle, the Lost Republic team is dedicated to staying true to their person-to-person business roots, hitting the road to hand-deliver their bottles and maintain the quality relationships they’ve built with their partners. As they expand their small-batch craft into new markets, including Texas and Colorado, their GoDaddy website carries the torch, sharing their story while staying true to their independent California spirit.
VIVIC Sparkling Coffee
During his barista days, Graham enjoyed testing offbeat flavor combinations and creating a secret menu that coffee shop customers loved. His skills and drive propelled him to team up with Louis to co-found VIVIC — a direct trade sparkling coffee brand made with real, honest ingredients straight from the source. Dedicated to doing their part in addressing the inequities within coffee trading, Graham and Louis source their coffee directly from a farmer in El Salvador (and even visit the farm themselves). The dynamic duo created VIVIC to represent a unique twist on coffee, bringing life into patrons with fun flavors of caffeine: original, sarsaparilla and lavender. VIVIC can be found in over 80 stores throughout the San Francisco Bay area, with more fizzy flavors and locations on the way.
Puzzle Piece Athletics
Chad is the founder and CEO of Puzzle Piece Athletics, a program specializing in personalized fitness plans for neuro-divergent children and young adults. He and his team of coaches work closely with each athlete, creating a special bond and using functional movement exercises to build strength, balance, coordination and confidence. The incredible transformation of the kids and young adults is clear — they go from shy and unengaged to thriving as they become empowered to emerge from their shell and meet every challenge thrown their way. Pouring their heart and soul into this unique neuro-diverse community, Puzzle Piece Athletics is equipping its athletes to become champions both in and out of the gym.
Based out of Oakland, Turf Feinz is on a mission to bring newfound hope to the community through a unique form of art: turf dancing. Made up of all styles of dance, the crew uses their movements to express the emotions of everyday life and tell the stories of the journeys they’ve been through. Their dancing honors the legacy of the Oakland community, working to maintain the much-loved culture, even through modern times. Turf Feinz’s “I shine, you shine, we shine together” mentality reminds them to push for something bigger than themselves: to be a symbol of love and hope to their community and beyond.
Big Shout out to the team that worked on this:
- Sanica Apte, Producer
- James Fair, Filmmaker
- Katie Wade, Editor
- Darren Will, Editor
The past six months has really demonstrated how creative we can get given such stringent limitations. Casual Films has pivoted to continue to meet our clients' needs even in our new normal. Need to communicate ever-changing strategy? We've got you covered with delightful animations and snappy edits. Absolutely need to show your employees or facilities? Our team is well-versed in all the COVID-safe precautions to make filming in-person both safe and effective. Contact us today to learn more.