Goodbye, TJ and Paul

It’s with mixed emotions that I post about this: on Friday, it was TJ and Paul’s last day at Emmis Interactive.

While I’m sad to see them leave, the two of them have some exciting days ahead. They’ve decided to focus their attentions full time on their t-shirt company, RIPT Apparel. Launched nearly two years ago, it’s grown to become something they want to devote all their energy to.

A small part of me (the selfish part) wishes they would stay. But like others who know them, I’m really excited for what they have in store.

So many of us at work have side projects – hobbies, interests, things we do in our off hours. The idea of spending all our time on these projects is a fascinating one. And this is exactly what TJ and Paul are setting forth to do. They’ve built up RIPT over the last two years, and it’s grown from side project to viable business.

The two of them are currently scoping out places for an actual office, and all sorts of things like that that accompany a new business venture. It’s a very new chapter for the two of them, and it’s awesome to see them focus their talents on something they’re passionate about.

On Friday, we had an informal goodbye lunch for the two of them. Several of us made a trek out to Epic Burger for burgers and shakes. Since that place is usually packed during lunchtime, we decided to bring our food back and do a picnic instead, over in our (unused) Annex area.

Folks plopping down on the ground.

I guess we could have eaten in the conference room, but that seemed a little weird and cold. While not particularly fancy, it felt laid back – sort of like a school field trip. While I was eating, it felt like we had just helped someone move their apartment. Which I guess in a way is kind of true.

Larger shot of the area. As some of you remember, this is where we held our holiday party, last year. And that image on the wall there? Well, it’s a long story.

TJ and Paul – you two are incredibly talented, and it’s going to be tough not having you both around. Good luck and much love to you both – I look forward to hearing your reports from the field, and to see you both online.

Definitely excited for the proper send off next week, when I get the chance to raise a glass or two with you. Looking forward to some good stories about your first days as official entrepreneurs…

Lunch is Served Up
RIPT Apparel: T-Shirt Designs That Only Live For 24 Hours
TJ and Jane: Copycats
Emmis Interactive Holiday Party, 2010
Urban Street Game: Journey To The End Of The Night
Chicago Street Art Show @ Chicago Urban Art Society

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