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2022 Next Creative Leaders Work - NCL Work

The Mother Special

Agency Emily Sheehan

Client NCL 2022 | Emily Sheehan


NCL 2022

Annual ID


Project Type

Mother New York

Client Name
Mother New York

Client URL

My Role in This Project
When Mother New York moved offices post-pandemic to Gowanus, Brooklyn, no one thought much about anything other than our new commutes. But agency leaders wanted to give back to our new community: so I was tasked with figuring out how to turn $100k in donations to local businesses into a program that brought Mother employees out of the office and their straight line to and from the subway - into the existing, unique neighborhood around them. I pushed for a program that made it feel natural for Mother's people to patronize the businesses we'd donated to, getting to know business owners and become regulars - not just gentrifiers.

Project Description
In 2021, Mother New York moved their office to Gowanus, Brooklyn. But we didn’t want to just drop into an existing neighborhood without getting to know our neighbors. We started by partnering with local businesses, giving away $100k to help keep small shops afloat post-pandemic. In doing so, we created a program called ‘The Mother Special’: a series of highly-specific-to-Mother freebies that our employees could pick up by visiting those local business partners close to our office. We wanted to integrate our people into Gowanus by getting them to walk into these businesses, ask for The Mother Special, and get to know small business employees - everywhere from local bars, bakeries and bodegas to tattoo parlors, botanicas and barber shops. We ensured that we made these offerings diverse, so we could help the widest range of local business owners. For example: we turned a $5k donation to the local botanica into a free Creative Inspiration Candle Mother employees could pick up if they couldn’t get their ideas approved, and a $10k donation to a flower shop into a free “Sorry I Fucked Up” bouquet for Mother employees to bring their significant others when they spent too much time at the office. We made it as simple as possible to turn Mother employees into regulars, and join the community we moved into without harming it.

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