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for all things, endless possibility. for every story, endless ways to tell it.
we are only as great as the community behind us. we believe in its power to ignite creativity. we strive to cultivate a community of inspired storytellers—of movers, shakers, do-ers, designers, artists, thinkers, joy-makers.
to create art. and change the world.
in all things. in our communication. in our company culture. in the transparency of our supply chain. in our own story.
we believe in the story that is archived for future generations. we believe in moving stories off your device and into your life.
without it, we are nothing.
we strive to be kind stewards to mama earth whose outdoors shape so much of who we are. we are committed to using environmentally responsible papers, to rethinking how and why we source materials, to creating quality products whose final resting place is not a landfill. Eternal students to it all, we seek to ever-improve our practices and reduce our footprint, all in the spirit of becoming better citizens. always.
We call the Rocky Mountains of Colorado home – and we believe that anyone who has ever floated one of our state’s canyons or skied a bluebird powder day would agree that these wild places inspire so much within us. These are places worth protecting. These are places where better decisions are more important than better profits.
As a company, we are taking decisive actions to be a leader in our approach to how we source materials for our products. Our goal is to develop products that use waste materials where possible – and to create choices that empower our customers to do the same.
That’s why you’ll see that the interior printed pages of our hard and softcover books are made of recycled content -
with pages made of 100% Post-Consumer Waste (PCW) recycled paper. You’ll see this same paper in our postcard pack. By offering this paper for our book pages and postcard pack, we help to strengthen the demand for recycled papers while simultaneously reducing the demand on our virgin forests.
We work hard each day to create more forward thinking products that are sourced from waste materials. While we have a ways to go - this is the goal we work toward. We want to float the rivers and walk our woods knowing we are always striving to build a responsible business. We want to give others the power to make the same choice.
If you’ve had the chance to play in the Colorado high-country, you’re no stranger to its dying forests. More than 4 million acres of lodgepole and ponderosa pine trees across America’s Rocky Mountains are being killed by the pine beetle infestation—an epidemic that has left our forests in a sad and not-so-green state.
The millions of beetle-infected trees turn from green to red to gray, ultimately becoming a sea of dead and fallen trees—and seemingly, waste.
But there’s hope. Our forests now have a continued future thanks to the ingenuity of a few craftsmen. You see, the logs themselves are just as rigid and harmless as their
healthy counterparts—begging the question, “Why use healthy trees with so many already fallen?”
It’s true, beetle pine is uniquely grayish-blue in color. But we see this as a pretty cool reminder of its new purpose in an otherwise storied past.
Our woodworkers who handcraft our calendar, wood block and box products are proud pioneers in the Colorado area—collaborating with local sawmills and the U.S. Forestry Department to continue to bring these kinds of products to the market. 100% of the beetle pine we use is sourced right here in Colorado. And that—that’s one for the forests.
Starting From Scraps:
How the Wood Block + Prints was born.
How can we rethink the way in which new products are born? It's a question we've asked ourselves from day one - and one whose answers challenge us to try to do things a little different around here. We seek to have a purpose behind the products we create. And to us, that makes a difference.
Born from our love for the outdoors, we strive to create innovative products that reflect and respect the wild places that inspire so much within us. This is why you'll find many of our products use recycled and reclaimed materials where possible. We aim to not only create products that won't end up in a landfill, but—by using recycled paper in our books—we limit what gets to the landfill in the first place.
Create products with purpose. We've repurposed new uses for Mountain Beetle Pine wood - otherwise considered waste - to create the wood products you see here.
Artifact Uprising is proud to make all of our products right here in the U.S.A. By making things at home, we make jobs here too.
Our calendars and wood block + prints provide jobs for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Partnering with SKCAC, a non-profit based in Seattle, their team proudly assembles and brands these products. Employment is empowering and gratifying - and we are proud to be a part of their vision.
// Look for the icons above on our product pages to help guide your purchase. //
In 2004, as a recent college graduate, spending money was hard to come by. My husband Matty was getting his elementary teaching license and we lived paycheck to paycheck, finding happiness camping almost every weekend. Life was simple–but awesome. Rafting down the Green River that summer, a family of otters followed us for five days. I couldn't get a good picture of them to save my life. I was determined to come home from that trip and learn how to use a real camera–you know, the kind with lenses and all sorts of functions I didn't understand. However, funds were short–and saving for such a toy was going to take time.
Three days after this trip, I told my father-in-law that I wanted to learn photography. The next day, I kid you not, he found a camera sitting next to a dumpster in a shiny metal case–lenses and all. The abandoned camera–it turns out–had once belonged to a local hospital. No longer a part of their inventory, they said it was ours to keep.
Sometimes the world shouts at you to take life in a different direction–and we did just that. One year later, I quit my job to become a professional photographer. Six months later my sister Katie and husband Matt joined me. We've been working together as creatives ever since.
We worked as professional photographers for 8 years–making permanence of experiences that move minds and hearts. As one click of the shutter turned to another turned to hundreds of thousands of photos, we realized our documented lives were sitting on our phones and computers with no true place to live on. It’s something we kept coming back to–‘What are we leaving behind?’
This question spiraled into experiments that included baking photo books in our oven (yes, you can bake books in your oven–though I can’t say we were successful!) and eventually into dreams of a photo book business.
We spent the next two years ideating, prototyping, failing and beginning again. We scrapped everything and started over. Again and again.
Somehow - with a kind of serendipity much like finding that first camera - doors opened where there might have otherwise been dead ends. Sometimes the world whispers ‘Stay the course.’ And that we did.
We continued to create an authentic, creativity-driven business as best as we would know how. We knew our choices for this unborn company needed to sit right in our hearts. And they needed to sit right with the wild places we love so much - places that feed MY soul; places that will feed my children’s souls. And so we focused on creating products that were congruent with our own beliefs - sourcing recycled papers for our book pages and wood products made from locally-sourced fallen beetle-kill pine. We wanted to give good materials a second life.
With gratitude in our hearts and nervous energy running through our bones, we launched Artifact Uprising on October 9th, 2012 from our basement.
I will never forget the first order that came through by photographer Jeff Gleason – the very. first. order. Thank you Jeff. Or to Holly Becker at Decor8 for sharing our photo books on her blog – your words inspired many and changed the course of our company. We cannot say thank you enough. To the first day when over 7,000 of you visited the site – to the first 1 million images uploaded into the databases. To the bloggers and photographers, for all of your tweets and pins – the big guys and the little guys. Thank you. We are humbled.
Since that day, we've grown from three people working in a basement to a team of fourteen - yet the roots remain the same. We pride ourselves on being an authentic company — and we think that matters. Because at the end of the day, we take it personally. All of it.
Today, we continue to listen to the whispers that point us on our path…and to listen to the community we’ve found in you. We spend our days coming up with new product designs and making sure our customer experience remains one worth having. We work - every single day - to create a better company: one that empowers the creative in everyone, one that remains true to its eco-conscious roots, one that never forgets where it came from or what it first believed…
We believe that doing good is more important than doing well – and that kindness makes the world right. We believe in travel and the things you can learn from getting lost. And we believe the best lessons come from the listening. We try to laugh when light is needed and persist when the path requires it. We love wide open spaces and campfires and the kind of quiet that allows you to hear the snow crunching below your feet. We believe in those who wake up every day to choose joy. And we believe in the underdog. We believe in always remembering where you came from. We believe each of us will - in time - do something really, really nice for the world.
And we believe we are only as great as the people behind us. Thank you for supporting our company and the choices we think matter. You are the movers and shakers that inspire us daily.
Everyone has a story to tell. Tell on.
Co-Founder, Artifact Uprising
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Inspired by the disappearing beauty of the tangible. Bettered by a community of inspired storytellers. Driven by the belief everyone has a story to tell.
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