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Shifting Tides

Rebecca Tall Brown sitting at a desk reading something and laughing at it

As I wrap up my time at Four Fin, it’s paralleling such an interesting time in branding. Particularly for sustainability companies with complex sciences, and the founders who are tirelessly working to do it all right: take care of the planet, take care of their people, and build a business model that itself, sustains.

Having built a few companies of my own along the way, I’m seeing shifts in the marketplace.

Just five years ago, more often than not we were being asked to brand The Person With The Answer. Today, the branding landscape is so much richer with clients showcasing process, impact, team, and even, yes, an imperfect vision.

Today, the brand story is no longer about a founder’s vision alone. In fact, I believe that many of these companies exist only because founders couldn’t enact the change they wanted in more traditional settings. Because of hoops and bureaucracy and limits of traditional pipelines, they choose entrepreneurship, even with its inherent challenges and risks.

They want the greater good to prevail so much that they’ve committed themselves to being an entrepreneur: hiring exceptional team members, slogging through fundraising, and building something far bigger than themselves, and well beyond themselves. They’ve chosen entrepreneurship because it’s the best path forward for the scaled change they want the world to have.

I am grateful that there are waves of new entrepreneurs who I’ve met during my tenure here (shoutout to Shift and Travertine and ConnectDER, just to name a few!) with leadership teams who want brands to be honest, products to be real, and above all, change to be made. And I’m glad there’s a place that’s safe and honest like Four Fin, for them to head to.

It’s enlivening every time a brand like this walks through the doors of Four Fin. This team, gathering on the second floor of Palm Avenue with the sunlight pouring in, works to take the weight off those founders, and truly develops brands that lead to a clearer path ahead.

As Four Fin continues to ride waves of sustainable change into the future, I will forever appreciate being a witness to the transformation. And the momentum built. I’m excited for the brands ahead who will be guided through these waters of clarity, and I’m grateful, and lighter, for my own journey as a Fin.

Keep it light, y’all.


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We care deeply about sustainability branding, graphic design, industry trends, company culture, and more. Dive into the minds of our team on the Four Fin blog, The Deep End.

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Carly DeMento

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Janelle Monae
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  • She once traveled around the world by herself in less than three months. Her favorite places on the planet (so far) are Chiapas and Sicily. 
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Evan Shulman

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Fun-loving & versatile
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  • Proud 90’s U.S. Space Camp Graduate where I got as close as I was gonna get to my kid aspirations of being an astronaut. Now super happy to be an Earthonaut (like you).
  • For fun I read wikipedia articles, watch youtube explainers, and look up the etymology of words, often leading to waaayyyy too many tabs open in my browser.
  • I’ve DJed on an art car at Burning Man. My “theme song” is what got the vibe going.