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The Hustle

Name: Thomas Paterek (Stevie & Fern)

Posted By Graham Colton

Thomas Paterek holds the prestigious title of chief dog officer at Stevie & Fern. He is also the co-founder and strategy director of this boutique brand experience agency. Paterek's focus on emotional connection through storytelling is his way of connecting brands to people. Stevie & Fern has worked with some of the world's largest brands, including the Women’s Tennis Association, Red Stripe and Tiger Beer, and well-known local tastemakers like St. Petersburg Distillery, Jannus Live and Great Explorations Children's Museum. Whether working with industry titans or beloved local gems, Stevie and Fern's small-but-mighty team has been known to artfully challenge clients, deliver excellence, and maintain a tight focus on all aspects of brand identity, from consumer research to social media.

Years in Tampa Bay

7

Hustle (job)

Chief dog officer at Stevie & Fern.

What do you do?  

Empower emotional connection through storytelling via brand strategy for S&F.

Why do you do it?

Because everyone has a story to tell. We are all interconnected, regardless of religion, race or ego. When a story can bridge common ground, we are all better together.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

As humans, we are constantly seeking ways to reinvent ourselves. This current iteration of life transformed about 4 years ago after burnout from working in NYC for an international branding agency. The day came when the excuses finally stopped and the risk of the unknown was fully embraced. Post deep dive into the business region, a gap in the market was discovered and pursued.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

My role within Stevie & Fern and the community is acting as a facilitator of connection. We all have our own unique specialties and when we collaborate within this space, magic can happen. Creativity is not limited to graphic design, video production or fine art, to me, it's the ability to express a perspective of the world through many mediums, in tandem with others.

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

Pausing, reflecting & recharging. As much as it feels great to tick boxes and hustle on the daily, it is just as, if not more important to find that personal time to cultivate awareness. To me, this is where the best thinking, clarity and gratitude arise to inspire the future.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

You are the sum of the 5 people you surround yourself with. Find mentors from multiple disciplines and take these relationships as seriously as you would in your business. Mentor others who ask, spend time giving back to your community and always bring a sense of humility everywhere you go.

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