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The concept behind the Desk Project was simple: track down Pittsburgh’s change makers and ask them how they work. Why they work. What they envision for the future of work.

We talked to creatives, entrepreneurs, and advocates. Self-taught savants and PhDs. And we were surprised at how often this diverse group of people expressed similar — but no less fascinating —  themes about their chosen vocations.

The Desk Project: Volume I is all about work and freedom: the freedom of working for yourself; of choosing your own projects; of abandoning a “set” schedule in order to do your best work.


Beauty Shoppe Desk Project - Baker Humphrey

“For us – being freelance – knowing we have a couple of spots with a seat open and we can get our stuff done; that helps us feel the most productive.


Also, because Creatives Drink is a community-driven event series, none of this would exist without the community.


My advice to others is do what you want to do. Strive for that; whatever it may be. Plan it. Then work it.”


CHANCE HUMPHREY, Founder of Keep Pittsburgh Dope and Co-Founder of Creatives Drink

“The main goal in my agenda is to convince people our age to work for themselves. I don’t wanna be cheesy and say ‘take risks’ … but take your own path with the resources you have.


Get to a point where you can work on your own schedule, on your own time and make it happen.”


CODY BAKER, Pittsburgh Advocate and Co-Founder of Creatives Drink


Beauty Shoppe Desk Project - Taylor

“To avoid any confusion with ‘Fashion Week,’ I usually explain to people that Fashion Week is for fashion shows and for brands to showcase their stuff.


Style Week engages design and the multidisciplinary elements around photography, creatives, stylists, innovators…for example, this past year Style Week focused on innovation. We showcased a collection using different textiles and themes.


Style week showcases the arts in an entertaining and educational way. We want folks to engage in ways they aren’t accustomed to or engage in ways they might not have the opportunity to.


Being selective in the work that I do and where I do it, that’s me being free. For me, the future of work is freedom.”


— WADRIA TAYLOR, Founder of Style Week Pittsburgh


Beauty Shoppe Desk Project - Grelli

We have something here called ‘Core Hours’ which are from 10 to 2. That’s when our team is here. We touch base. Beyond that, we don’t care where you get the work done.


I remember having a desk job (in a cube) and around 3 pm everyday, I felt like I was in prison. I’d think, ‘If I could just go for a run and come back I’d get better work done.’


So when we started this, we gave people the freedom to do their best work.”


MEREDITH GRELLI, Co-owner of Wigle Whiskey and Threadbare Cider & Mead