We can't solve the world's problems if we don't make some trades. Here's how it worked in Carl's pilot project, which led to a custom mural by SF artist Nigel Sussman.
The Pilot Project's Trades
1. Two Fish (and Five Bagels)
The project was meant to start with two fish from a local fish store, but Carl decided to kick off the project with a mini-competition to win the first trade. His cousin and his girlfriend in Brazil got the most votes for their offer, so he had to improvise and find a corollary that would hold up on an international flight to South America.
He went to his local Safeway and picked up some packaged salmon and five bagels, which seemed to be so packed with preservatives that they'd last for years.
2. Fome29.org T-Shirt
Carl's cousin Rahel and his girlfriend (now wife--woo hoo!) Carol had a great project in Brazil called Fome29, which translates to Hunger29. They periodically worked with community youth groups to spend 29 hours fasting, reflecting on hunger in the world, and doing some community service activities.
They were kind enough to trade Carl a T-shirt from their group. Check out a video of the trade.
3. Trivial Pursuit Board Game
A trip to L.A. afforded Carl the opportunity to unload the T-Shirt for something bigger and better in the form of a Trivial Pursuit board game from his friend Janet. She wasn't playing it, so it was a good chance to make a swippity-swap. Boom!
4. Nutcracker & Starbucks Gift Card
Shortly after receiving the board game Carl's company had a Christmas in July Secret Santa party. The summer intern Ashley (a saint of a human being) had gotten Carl a nice wooden nutcracker and a $25 Starbucks gift card. Score! Carl promptly asked if he could use it as a trade for the Trivial Pursuit and moved the project along.
5. Alpha Omega Bottle of Wine
Carl's childhood neighbor and friend Sheryl is part owner of this winery in Napa Valley called Alpha Omega. Gracious as she is, she offered to donate a little expensive vino in exchange for it.
6. Burton Snowboard Boots
One day Carl got an email from my cousin Matt, seeing if there was a way he could get involved with the project. He told me about his good friend who had lost his life in an avalanche, and Matt was left with a lot of great snow gear but unsure how to handle it. The project seemed like a good way to make sure his friend's memory lived on.
Burton got involved, inspired by the story, and offered to provide any-size boots to the next trader.
7. MGMT-Autographed Guitar
This is where it gets REALLY good. Aaron Merlo from Denver, CO, got in touch with Carl, wondering if I would accept a gently-used acoustic guitar for the snowboard boots. Sensing an opportunity to get it autographed, Carl agreed.
Sure enough, Cousin Matt came through again, putting Carl in touch with killer band MGMT to sign the guitar and make it ultra valuable. Little did Carl know that they would actually go nuts with it, drawing cartoons all over it and signing it awesomely incredibly. It rocked.
8. Full-Wall Custom Mural by SF Artist Nigel Sussman
Carl and his then-girlfriend (now wife--woo hoo!) Andrea met San Francisco artist Nigel Sussman at an event in San Francisco, and he was gracious enough to offer us a custom wall mural for home or business. He's been doing cool drawings since 2008, and we are proud to have him aboard! Check out his work at nigelsussman.com.