A Review of 2014

What a year. So much has changed in the past 15 months, but the last 12 have been fantastic.

15 Months Ago

I quit my job to freelance full-time

In October of 2013 I quit at my last place of employment, a startup in Boston, and started freelancing full-time. This was such an incredible change for me. I had been wanting to work for myself for so long and I finally took the leap.

I was fortunate enough to have had some really great friends and old colleagues who started referring freelance work to me after I told them I was going off on my own, so I was pretty busy right off the bat.

The Beginning of 2014

I founded a web design studio with two friends

My friend Sean, from the agency I used to work at, brought a freelance job to me, which we worked on together – him in the evenings and me during the day.

Working together again inspired a lot of talk about forming a web design studio of our own. We were missing one piece though, a designer, which we soon found when we met Alec.

Alec shared the same desire to start a studio, and we all got along well, so they both arranged to quit their jobs within a few months. Thus, Grafton Studio was born and my solo freelancer life ended.

Day 1 of Grafton Studio, working out of Alec's living room. Alec, myself, Sean.

Some other neat things happened throughout the year, which I'll break down month by month.

February

I visit my brother in San Francisco

I've been to SF once before to visit him, but this was a super fun trip. I got to explore so much of the city – the good, the bad and the ugly.

I think my favorite part was bicycling the entire length of Golden Gate Park to arrive at the coast and enjoy lunch and cold beers overlooking the ocean.

At the Embarcadero, February 2014

March

I visit Atlantis in the Bahamas with my girlfriend

This was my first time to the Bahamas, and we really only experienced the resort areas, but it was a great time and the weather was beautiful.

Atlantis Vacation, March 2014

May

I visit Walt Disney World with my girlfriend's family

It was really nice to spend time with my girlfriend and her family – going on rides, going to shows, eating out, relaxing and even just walking around all day.

Disney Vacation, May 2014

June

I got my drivers license and my motorcycle license

I had been stalling on getting my license for 8 years. I'd gone through 3 learners permits in that time, which are valid for 2 years each. I finally got my drivers license.

I then took the weekend motorcycle training class which earned me my motorcycle license, at which point I purchased my first motorcycle, a 2014 BMW G 650 GS.

2014 BMW G 650 GS, June 2014

July

Grafton Studio moved into it's first official office

It's small, but it fits the three of us fine, has a great view, and it got us out of Alec's living room.

P.S. Alec, thank you for sacrificing your home to get us started!

Grafton Studio's first office, in Boston's Faneuil Hall, July 2014

August

Grafton Studio finally launched it's own website

After being in business for months we finally got a website for ourselves up. It's simple for now, but we're planning a more elaborate website for Q1 of this year.

Grafton Studio's website launched, August 2014

I went to Walt Disney World a second time

Again with my girlfriend's family, who are massive Disney fans. Twice in one year is nothing to these people! (lol)

Disney Vacation #2, August 2014

September

I purchased a second motorcycle

A 2008 KTM 690 Duke. Yes, the motorcycle obsession had fully set in at this point. The only problem with owning two motorcycles is that you can only ride one at a time.

2008 KTM 690 Duke, September 2014

October

I got back into photography (again)

I've had an on and off relationship with photography for the past 3 years or so. I'll shoot every day and not want to think of anything else for a month, and then not touch a camera for 3 months straight.

Each time I get back into it I wonder if it'll finally stick for good. It hasn't yet, but I'm pretty fond of the subject at the moment.

Boston Cityscape

November

Grafton Studio launched a project for Harvard University

We've been lucky enough to do work for some great organizations so far, one of them being Harvard University.

We helped Harvard's History Design Studio and historian Richard Dunn by architecting, designing and building a website to visualize and make available 40 years of slave family research.

A Tale of Two Plantations, November 2014

December

Grafton Studio sent out it's very first holiday card

Featuring me wearing a ridiculous cat sweater.

Grafton Studio holiday card, December 2014

In Conclusion

2014 was a fantastic year. I really enjoyed it, and I enjoyed the great people I shared it with.

It was a year of change and growth, of new experiences, of travel, of late nights and hard work, but overall it was just a lot of fun.

Posted on January 1st, 2015