In January of 2020, local business Thirdleaf NW’s tenth year was shaping up to be its best yet. The business, which stocks seasonal fresh fruit and healthy snacks in offices around WA state, was on the rise and had recently secured major new clients. Co-owners Danielle Haschak, Megan LaRiviere, and Lexi Schmidt saw nothing but growth in the months to come.
Little did they know what lied ahead.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought ThirdLeaf NW’s business to a near halt, along with countless other small businesses. However, amid the hurt of the pandemic, the local community rallied to support their neighbors like never before.
That’s when local video production company, VIA Creatives, decided the stories of Seattle’s small business community deserved to be told. They created the Seattle Forward campaign, a video series capturing Washingtonians’ stories of heartbreak and resilience.
VIA Creatives asked ThirdLeaf NW to share their story, and co-owner Megan LaRiviere says they were excited to be part of such a meaningful project.
Due to office closures, ThirdLeaf NW had to completely rethink the way they operate. Other businesses featured in Seattle Forward, including University District restaurants and the Seattle Deconstructed Art Fair, faced similar challenges.
VIA Creatives’ video captured the raw emotion of what Seattle’s small businesses were really going through.
“Watching everyone’s story and struggle made me feel even closer to Washington’s small business community,” LaRiviere said. “I have so much respect and admiration for the people who are fighting to save their dreams, and I feel lucky to be empowered by them every day.”
Tyler Mayeno, Owner of VIA Creatives, says Seattle Forward has been a valuable experience for his team too.
“The filmmaking process can be a little messy, but seeing it come together to tell a compelling story is really rewarding,” Mayeno shares. “Meeting people from all walks of life and getting to learn about their businesses and communities has been really interesting for us.”
Seattle Forward is just getting started. There are more stories to be told, and VIA Creatives hopes to continue this project beyond the pandemic.
ThirdLeaf NW still remains hopeful for the future. Watch their story below: