When KOOLIKEDAT got started not too long ago, I mentioned in Intro Part 2 that there were a few specific people who inspired me to start this blog. The first person was Derek Sivers, and as I promised in that entery, I wrote about him. Up next is the 2nd person (2 out of 3) that inspired this blog: Jeff Sheldon. If that name does not ring a bell, here's a name you will definitely not forget after hearing it: Ugmonk. No one knows what it means (nor will they ever know, since the meaning is a secret), but it is the name of Jeff's brand/line of products - which all started off as a t-shirt company that focused on typeface and minimalist design.
Years ago, I took a few people on our creative arts team (at the church I used to work at) to an arts conference called ECHO. I went to so many seminars and workshops and was introduced to a countless number of artists/creatives/thought leaders I still follow and admire today (Scott Belsky, Jon Acuff and so many more). But the one that left the biggest impression on me was this guy named Jeff, who talked about simple little shirts he designed. After hearing him talk about his journey and how he runs his business, I instantly became a fan.
In fact, I loved his products so much that I offered to do a free photo shoot for him - and a few of the photos ended up on Jeff's old blog! Above are some images from the shoot, many years ago :)
If you spend some time on Ugmonk's site and read more about Jeff, you'll probably (at the very least) appreciate the wonderful shirts and products he's created over the years. I've never seen minimalism show up in design that is wearable that is THIS beautiful. Honestly. Many try to do it, but miss the mark. After his T-shirts took off, he started adding more and more products - many of which were limited runs, and were incredibly specific - such as a large AMPERSAND for home decor. Whether it's a sweater, a hat, a wallet, or a chemex collar - everything he makes is just ridiculously beautiful. And like MANY people I admire, Jeff does what he wants. He simply MAKES what he likes. If he is passionate about it, it will somehow get made. Done deal.
I would describe Jeff as an artist's artist. If you follow him on instagram, you'll notice that from time to time, he'll post photos of his work station - which in and of itself is a work of art. I might add that my own latest desk purchase for my home office may or may not have been influenced by his setup.
And this leads me to my absolute favorite thing about Jeff, and WHY he's one of the key people that influenced this blog: Other than the meaning of Ugmonk, Jeff keeps no secrets when it comes to what he loves.
I am on Jeff/Ugmonk's email list, and every month he sends out a little email entitled "5 things I'm digging". In the body of the email, he simply writes a sentence or two about 5 things that he really enjoys/appreciates. At times it can be about a baby carrier, another time it can be about speakers that are on his desk. Sometimes it's food, music, or watches. You name it. If he's diggin' it, he'll tell you about instead of keeping it all to himself. Here's his LATEST.
In many ways, this blog is kind of like that. I write about the things I am a super fan of. I want to share about things that benefit my life, and hopefully would benefit yours too. And this time, Jeff/Ugmonk, you are on MY list of things/people I DIG!