Our name And Them was coined by our katalyst (that's spelled correctly), inspirational speaker, author, translator and former NBA trainer Kevin Carroll.
In 2006 I was living in Tokyo, Japan heading up footwear design in the new Nakameguro studio. My work and home life had a wonderful balance.
The same wasn't true for Kevin.
The success of his first book, The Rules of the Red Rubber Ball, brought and unbelievable list of opportunities to Kevin and he'd built a small team of PR, branding, web and organizational talent to fuel his growing empire. These were extremely talented individuals that had come together because Kevin had inspired them.
But somethings wan't quite right.
So Kevin reached out to a few creatives that had known him for years and asked us to sit in on some of the meetings. Not wanting to offend any of his talented team, he made certain that none of us were there to replace anybody. We were just creative friends that wanted to help.
He casually referred to us as "Jeff and them" or "Jason and them" or "Dwayne and them". We were like family. No big deal. Just here to help.
At some point we became "Kevin and them" and his team realized that the "and them" had a little more say in decisions than the moniker explained.
And Them stuck.
We aren't here to take credit for anything. We are happy to be behind the scenes. We are happy to offer our expertise.
But we aren't shy about sharing our opinions.
With Kevin we realized that his very talented team was doing exactly what Kevin was paying them to do. The problem was that Kevin wasn't that interested in every opportunity that came his way. He was happy writing and speaking. Voicing a cartoon character and hosting a television show. That was the real struggle.
Our creative expertise gave way to our organizational understand. And Them doesn't just draw. And Them doesn't just take pictures. And Them doesn't just sell things. And Them understands first.
Thanks to our Katalyst Kevin Carroll for showing us how to help.