Dear Indianapolis, the time is now
Back in 2008, PUP started as just an idea. A very abstract idea about making the change we wanted to see in our city. And in many tangible ways, I think we've done just that. It hasn't always been a smooth ride, but it has been a rewarding one. We've gotten good at things we never imagined - transforming waste into fashion, advising on innovative reuse, and hacking old stadium seats just to name a few. These are fun challenges, and we're grateful that so many of you have brought these ideas to us.
The truth is, however, that we're no longer a startup. The days of cleaning Dome Fabric in my bathtub are over (fact). Increasingly, we're interested in what it means to be post-startup. At the studio, we're constantly discussing scale, production, and community engagement - making sure that as we grow, we continue to bring the community with us. Our reviving of the Outpost at Circle Centre Mall over the holidays is just one example of us testing these ideas and goals. (Stay tuned for more news on the future of Outpost!).
This is all new territory for us, but fundamentally, we believe that PUP is Indianapolis. That the work we're doing as an organization and as a city is notable, and important, and worth exporting. Our recent article in Dwell Magazine is just one example of how our work is extending beyond Indianapolis. And there are so many other great examples of this throughout the city - The Cultural Trail, Blue Indy, Big Car at Garfield Park, Pacers Bike Share, Speakeasy, The Alexander, The City Gallery, the list goes on and on. These are national stories. These are Indianapolis.
A few weeks ago, with the passing of Denver Hutt, Indianapolis lost a giant. At the celebration of her life (which was a gathering of people unlike anything I've ever experienced), there were posters everywhere saying 'If Not Now, When?' As Denver epitomized this spirit, I think she also infused it into the fabric of our city. So many of us are unknowingly working with these words in mind. Collectively, we're standing a little taller, realizing that we don't need permission to do great things, to fail, to experiment, to aim high. The time is now.
Indianapolis is post-startup. Heck. Yes.