Happy New Year, everybody! 2017 brings with it reason for us to celebrate beyond the holidays. Believe it or not, it has been 20 years since Rocky first picked up a camera and pushed record! That was the beginning of what is now known as FireRock.
What was once just a high school hobby with friends back in 1997, has become our passion and livelihood today. Together, we've overcome a lot to get where we are now, all while remaining true to ourselves, our values, our standard of excellence, and ethical business practices. The decision for a young, newly married couple to become full-time business owners in 2009 was a risky one, to say the least. AND we made that decision shortly after buying our first home! If you have seen the movie "The Big Short," you know how that turned out...
But our dream was and is big, so we continued to persevere; not just surviving, but thriving in the recession, outlasting bigger production houses and making it through a short-lived partnership with someone who pulled the wool over our eyes and would rather squash us than help raise us up. We learned a lot (we'll never again be so naïve!), refocused, and recommitted to our mission which is bigger than ourselves. And that mentality and focus has helped lead us away from negative relationships and toward successes, including two more Emmy® Awards in 2016 - bringing our total to seven.
"Nazareth: Resonating Through Time" received a 2016 Emmy® Award in the Magazine Program or Special category. This is the second year in a row that a piece we created about a Lehigh Valley city or town has received a prestigious Emmy® Award. It is also the second year in a row that Rocky received a craft achievement Emmy® Award in the Program Photographer category which recognizes excellence in a specific craft discipline demonstrating the skills of an individual.
2016 also brought us the opportunity to revamp an educational series for children. Roey Ebert, artist and author, came to us with her idea for a tv show in which she would help guide viewers - even the most timid beginner - step by step through the painting process. What could have easily turned into another typical, meets-the-status-quo local show, we dreamed into a whimsical new world of children's programming.
The title of this revamped children's educational series is "The World of Roey's Paintbox," and it's the perfect example of what can happen when you make the mission bigger than yourself. Paint and learn in this 6-video series, which was inspired by the patients of Lehigh Valley Children's Hospital and brought to you by Capital Blue Store!
This program was made to entertain, educate, and encourage children of all ages and abilities to create their very own works of art while also teaching about music, nutrition, science, movement and more!
Thank you, Roey, for trusting us with your image and brand during the entire evolution of this project!
See, below, how our vision for the show evolved from a seemingly wild and unattainable concept into a reality!
As we quoted on Instagram, "If you're not passionate enough from the start, you'll never stick it out." Passion is what drives FireRock forward with every project, every single day! We get regular feedback from the community that they recognize our work. How? Why does it stand out from the rest? We try to self-evaluate regularly, so we've asked ourselves why people see our work as unique, and we've concluded: because we genuinely care; and we put a lot of our own time into the product. And we'll continue to do so.
So, where is FireRock headed in 2017? Well, in order to achieve our goals locally in our hometown of Lehigh Valley, we think it's vital to continue to expand outside the region. Our desire has always been for our work to compete nationally, far beyond the Valley, to the benefit of our clients, especially those clients with the responsibility of growing Lehigh Valley, PA. The fact that we brought home one Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Award each for Lehigh Valley's tourism bureau and the chamber of commerce in 2015, and earned an Emmy® nomination for Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) in 2014, hopefully tells you a lot about our aspirations. In 2016, our collaboration with LVEDC was awarded the Silver Award for Best Video/Multimedia Promotion by the International Economic Development Council for our video highlighting manufacturing in Lehigh Valley. FireRock always aims to go beyond the status quo, and our client earning recognition from the largest council serving economic developers suggests we succeeded with this one!
The winning video was just one of a 6-part series, which focuses on the four target sectors of LVEDC's strategic plan, as well as Lehigh Valley's entrepreneurial community, and Lehigh Valley Land Recycling Inivtiative's redevelopment projects. Our goal, together with LVEDC, was to answer the question, "Why Lehigh Valley?" Check out the entire series by clicking on LehighValleyTV.com! As we move forward, more of our story will be revealed, but, in the meantime, we'll continue to focus on telling yours! We will forever be grateful to the mentors and supporters who have believed in us since the beginning (you know who you are!), and, to everyone who ever tried squashing, hurting, or discouraging us... good luck with that. "After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb" - Nelson Mandela We'll keep climbing. Here's to 20 more years!