Get to Know: Faithlife

When you think of downtown Bellingham, what comes to mind? Probably our abundance of breweries, cozy coffee shops, unique retail stores, right? What about Bible software? Yes, you read that right–Bible software. Our downtown is home to the most advanced Bible software company in the world, Faithlife. Formerly known as Logos Bible Software, Faithlife has over 10 brands under its umbrella, ranging from Bible study apps to worship presentation to mobile education seminary classes. Over 400 employees take up 4 buildings in downtown, and I can attest to the fact that they are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Before joining the Partnership I worked there for almost 2 years, and am still good friends with most of my former coworkers. A fast-paced environment, Faithlife is all about innovation and growing to create new products to better serve churches, universities, and regular people wanting to study the Bible. Something else Faithlife is all about? Serving downtown Bellingham. They were the title sponsor of this year’s Bite of Bellingham, have donated multiple times to our organization, and have helped spread the word about our events. Faithlife holds a special place in my heart, and I’m excited to help you get to know them and their CEO Bob Pritchett a little better. 

Photo from Bellingham Herald

          Photo from Bellingham Herald

Logos (now Faithlife) didn’t originally start here. Why the move to downtown Bellingham?

We started in Kirkland, then moved to Oak Harbor for family reasons. As the business grew we realized we needed to be in a larger community, and we chose downtown Bellingham to have access to restaurants, coffee shops, and an active area.

Since you started in 1992, it’s been Logos Bible Software. Why the switch to Faithlife?

Logos Bible Software is still our flagship product, but we’re now offering a variety of tools, products, and web sites that are all connected by a single user account — your Faithlife account. It just made sense to eliminate the product/company confusion and ‘Faithlife’ encompasses everything we’re doing.

There are over 10 brands under the Faithlife umbrella: Bible Study Magazine, Verbum, Proclaim, and Noet to name a few. Is there one you have a particular soft spot for?

I love them all! It’s been fun growing and learning about new businesses and product categories, but Logos Bible Software is still where my heart is. It’s an incredible tool.

Faithlife has been a huge supporter of the Partnership. Faithlife donated to the Partnership, sponsored this year’s Bite of Bellingham, and you personally have sat on our board and were a judge for the Bite. Why do you feel that the Partnership is so important for downtown Bellingham?

Downtown is the heart of the community, and it (and all of Bellingham) succeeds when we are working together. It’s the critical mass of people, businesses, and ideas in one place that gives Bellingham its energy and momentum. The Partnership plays an important role in hosting events, connecting downtown stakeholders, and representing downtown to the rest of the community.

Faithlife at the Bite

                                                                 Faithlife at the Bite.

Faithlife’s leadership team consists of you, your brother Dan, and your father Dale. Even though it’s a 400+ person company, you still have a family-business feel. Is this intentional?

I think the family feel comes from a lot of people who like each other working together, and the fact that so many early team members are still with us 10 or more years later.

Even though it’s not a ministry, Faithlife creates technology to help students, pastors, and laypeople study the Bible. What inspired you to go into this specific field?

It’s fun building a product people actually use and like, and which makes a difference in people’s lives. The Bible is the best-selling book of all time, and the most influential. It’s vitally important to more than a billion people. We offer tools and resources to study God’s Word; how could you pick a better job than that?

You used to work at Microsoft. How have you seen that experience influence your management and leadership style?

I learned a lot in my time at Microsoft, and I think we absorbed some of the good things about their culture (as I experienced it twenty years ago), including a willingness to argue in order to refine an idea and a respect for the right answer regardless of the age or rank of its contributor.

What’s coming up next for Faithlife?

We’ll continue to improve our online and mobile offerings.

And finally, what are some of your favorite spots downtown?

I spend a lot of time in The Woods Coffee in the Flatiron Building, and Ciao Thyme is my favorite place to take a guest for lunch.

Bite of Bellingham 2014 Review

We made it! Thank you to everyone for coming out to this year’s Bite of Bellingham. It was a massive success, the biggest crowd we’ve ever had! The DBP staff had a great time, and we wanted to say a huge thank you to all of our our sponsors, vendors, and Bite from Heraldamazing volunteers for making this event so much fun!

The Bite always has a bit of a friendly competition, with the crowd voting for their favorites. Here are this year’s winners and runner-ups:

Best Gluten-Free Bite:

1. Pure Bliss–Belgian Chocolate Torte
2. Leaf & Ladle–Thai Coconut Soup

Best Drink:

1. Boundary Bay–Root Beer
2. Bayou on Bay–Black Cheery + Rosemary Lemonade

Best Dessert:

1. Pure Bliss–Caramel Turtle Wedge
2. Pure Bliss–Champagne Cupcakes

Best Bite–Judge’s Choice

1. Bayou on Bay–Mushroom Grits with Tasso Gravy
2. Deli’cious Mischief–Willy B’s

Best Bite–People’s Choice

1. Silver Reef Casino–Filet Mignon with Tangy Roquefort
2. Deli’cious Mischief–Willy B’s

So many delicious dishes, I don’t know how you all were able to decide! Again, thank you to everyone for participating in this year’s Bite! Here are some of our favorite shots from the day:

Silver ReefUisceStaffEvolveCute ChildBeer Garden VolunteersBayouFaithlifeRock and RyeThe Table

Get to Know: Mi Shoes

I am of the school of thought that one cannot have too many pairs of shoes. With all the colors, styles, and types (Heels! Boots! Flats!), it’s a never-ending addiction that is fueled by Michelle Bouma and her downtown boutique. Mi Shoes is a shoe-fanatics dream. The walls are adorned with pictures from fashion magazines, and beautiful shelves are stocked full with the cutest and most diverse women’s shoe collection you can find (sorry menfolk). Michelle loves downtown Bellingham, and has spent many an afternoon with me and Lindsey on one of our great downtown patios, chatting away about our vibrant and growing community. Even though I know Michelle and love her dearly, I interviewed her for our blog so that you can love her too. And trust me, you’ll fall in love with this firecracker of a woman!

How long have you worked downtown?

I’ve been working downtown since….well….since I moved to Bellingham in Sept of 2000. I worked at Crusin’ Coffee for a few months while I was getting my bearings. Then started working at Terra Organica January of 2001, teaching dance lessons at Pacific Dance Company on Cornwall shortly there after and in the Summer of 2001, I also started working at Sojourn. I taught dance lessons for a few years and worked, managing Sojourn until Summer of 2005.  That’s the summer I deMi Shoescided to open Mi Shoes!

Why did you open your store downtown?

I decided to open Mi Shoes downtown because I had fallen in love with downtown! I used to venture up to the ‘big city of Bellingham’ with my friends while I was in high school and I always liked Bellingham’s downtown vibe. Working for 4 years at Sojourn helped me to see first hand what the market was like downtown, and who my customer was going to be. The location next door opened up and I jumped at the opportunity! Within two months of the space becoming available…..I’d written a business plan, negotiated a lease, been on my first (and second) buying trips, remodeled the space from floor to ceiling and opened the door to Mi Shoes!!

What’s your favorite part of being downtown?

My favorite part of being downtown?? EVERYTHING!! I live, work and play downtown!  I’m always on foot or on bike. I love running into people I know all over town! Bellingham has such a charming downtown, I am so proud to be part of it!

You’re also on the board for the Pickford. What drew you to that position, and what’s your favorite part about being on the board?

Yes, I’m on the Pickford Board! I was asked to be part of the board two years ago and it happened to be a time when I was trying to figure out how delve deeper into the downtown. Perfect timing! My favorite part of being on the board is being able to take part in the planning of the Pickford’s events. The Oscars party every winter is my favorite event!

What inspires you for your store? How do you find your unique inventory?

I find inspiration for Mi Shoes in everything. People watching….whiskey drinking….magazines….travel adventures….buying trips…antique shopping….online blogs….etc. There is so much creative information out there….it’s hard to put my finger on what really inspires me. My unique inventory is an eclectic mix of my taste and the taste of the customers I’ve grown to know and love. I have connections with brands near and far and I enjoy scouring little known places in cities that I travel to for business or pleasure.

What’s your personal favorite brand/designer?

I have so many favorites when it comes to brands and designers. My favorite shoe brands at Mi Shoes are Frye, Seychelles and Miz Mooz. Frye has been making shoes for 150 years….so they really know how to make a great shoe! Seychelles and Miz Mooz are a little more fashion oriented and both are comfortable, well made shoes. My favorite brands/designers outside of Mi Shoes are endless!! I am obsessed with Free People. Their styling and marketing are so on trend and mind-blowing! I am very tactile when it comes to shopping….it HAS to feel good, so I love brands like James Perse that make super soft t-shirts and jersey dresses.
Mi Shoes 2Do you get the chance to work/collaborate with many other downtown businesses?

I love getting the chance to work and collaborate with other downtown business owners. My favorite collaboration took place from 2006-2009, myself and 3 other business owners (FourStarrs, Paris Texas and Paperdoll) started ProjectBHAM. An event that combined fashion, shopping and entertainment. The event was later downsized and turned into BeautyBAR. Businesses could set up a booth at the event and sell their clothing, accessories, make up, salon services, etc to women watching fashion shows, live music and sipping special drinks! The events were so popular!

What’s your favorite event the Partnership does?

My favorite event put on by the Partnership has to be Downtown Sounds! The turnout is insane! The entertainment is over the top! And the people watching is phenomenal!!! I also do love the sidewalk sales. I’ve been working the sidewalk sales since 2001 when I was managing Sojourn…..I look forward to them every year!

Can you do custom orders for individuals, wedding parties, etc?

Mi Shoes can special order most shoes we have in stock and even some that are not in stock. I work a lot with brides and their bridal parties to customize their wedding footwear! If there is ever a shoe that you see at Mi Shoes that you are interested in a different size or color….ASK! Chances are we can get it for you! :)

Mi Shoes is coming up on its 10 year anniversary. What plans do you have for the next 10 years?

Has it been 10 years already!? Ha! Where does the time go!? It’s hard to believe I’ve been here that long. If the next 10 years pass as quickly as the last 10 I’d better put a plan into action! I have my wheels turning currently and am planning to unveil a new business very soon!!! I’m also very passionate about health and wellness and inspiring people to take care of themselves through healthy eating/cooking and exercise!! I can see myself getting more into this field down the road. I live a super healthy lifestyle and I want to help other people do the same. We only have one body to live in our entire life so we better start taking care of it now!!

Make sure you head on over to Mi Shoes at 1315 Railroad and stock up for Fall!

Teaser Trailer 2: Bite of Bellingham

Today’s blog post is written by our intern, Sam Sunderland. Sam’s a student at Western Washington University studying Journalism.

BayouBite

We’re counting down the days till the Bite of Bellingham, no seriously we are, and you should be too. This year Depot Market Square will host only the best local food vendors and restaurants in our area, from Kurly’s Kart and India Grill to Boundary Bay and Bayou on Bay. For just a few bucks you can sample your way through tasty BBQ, fresh salads and decadent chocolates. Each “bite” at the Bite of Bellingham ranges in cost from $1 to $3. The money you use to purchase your bite-sized portions goes toward the Downtown Bellingham Partnership, so that we can continue to put on events like the Bite of Bellingham, Downtown Sounds, Friday Art Walks, Sidewalk Sale, Holly Days and Trick-or-Treat that keep our beautiful downtown area alive and vibrant! As always, we appreciate your donations and continual support of the Partnership!

Silver_Reef_Bite

This week we are dreaming about:

Pure Bliss Desserts champagne cupcakes. Two tickets will buy you one delicious cupcake made with champagne cake batter baked out and drizzled with champagne simple syrup then topped with raspberry butterscotch. Pure Bliss has won our “Best Dessert” category three years in a row, so be sure to check them out this year and cast your vote!

The Table, known for their handmade fresh pasta’s from the Bellingham Pasta Co. will be serving a thirst-quenching basil infused Arnold Palmer to go with their rich three cheese mac n’ cheese. For just two tickets your taste buds will thank you after trying The Table’s white cheddar, provolone and mozzarella gooey melted bite of love.

Kurly’s Kart, known for his organic potatoes hand-drilled into a perfect curl and made with non-hydrogenated rice bran oil, is where you will find Kurly’s famous poutine. For those not familiar with poutine, imagine crispy golden curly fries, doused in beef gravy then topped with cheese curds and green onions – no this is not a joke!

Try all of these and more on Sunday, September 14, from noon to 4pm at the Depot Market Square. See you then!

 

 

 

 

 

Bite Spotlight: Whatcom Educational Credit Union

We would not be able to put on the Bite of Bellingham without the support of our wonderful sponsors. Today our intern Demi Cavanaugh is highlighting proud sponsor Whatcom Educational Credit Union.

WECU

 

 

 

 

The Whatcom Educational Credit Union (WECU) is a nonprofit financial cooperative that encourages its members to save and borrow responsibly. Since 1936, WECU has been serving Whatcom County, and they continually strive to be a socially responsible component of our community as well as to be one of the county’s employers of choice.

WECU is committed to serving the needs of our community by promoting education, health, and community concerns through quarterly donations. In addition, WECU employees participate in an array of sweat equity projects including maintenance of the Bellingham South Bay Trail and Habitat for Humanity landscaping.

WECU’s tax-exempt status allows them to give back to their members in a number of ways including offering the lowest over-draft fee in Whatcom County, lower interest rates, and above-market savings.

At WECU, members are more than just an account number and that is reflected in the quality of products and services they have provided for almost 80 years.

Visit www.wecu.com for more information.

Bite Spotlight: First Federal Bank

We would not be able to put on the Bite of Bellingham without the support of our wonderful sponsors. Today our intern Tina Thatch is highlighting proud sponsor First Federal Bank.

Federal Bank

First Federal first opened their doors in 1923 and to this day, they have set the standard for excellence in Community Banking. They have committed in knowing their customers and communities in order to provide them with innovative solutions that help meet customers’ financial goals and their dreams. They deliver the best banking experience anywhere with a “hometown” touch, and today they are nine counties strong serving Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, and a lending center in Whatcom County.

Their vision is that through service, leadership, and strong financial performance, their resources will work in strengthening communities and supporting local business. They also deliver banking services that support customer convenience and choice. First Federal has developed and retained phenomenal talent who love their jobs and love where they live.

The core values that First Federal goes by are:

Community: With a deep sense of appreciation and responsibility to the communities they serve, they work towards improving the life and experience of others through their contributions and volunteer activities.

Excellence: They take personal ownership in their company and its future success, and are willing to put their full heart and mind into being the best.

Collaboration: Recognizing that they are stronger and more effective when they work together, they actively foster healthy internal and external partnerships to accomplish their mission.

Integrity: They are committed to honesty, respect, fairness and straightforwardness in their communication and conduct, so that they can earn the trust and confidence of the community and take pride in where they work.

Accountability: They take individual responsibility for meeting and exceeding professional and ethical standards for employee and customer relations, fiscal management and operational soundness.

To find more information about First Federal, please check out their website at:

https://www.ourfirstfed.com/home/home

Or Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ourfirstfed/timeline

 

 

Teaser Trailer: Bite of Bellingham 2014

Today’s blog post is written by our intern, Sam Sunderland. Sam’s a student at Western Washington University studying Journalism.

froglegs

September 14th is fast approaching, which means you’re that much closer to tasting all your favorite local restaurants and food trucks at the 2014 Bite of Bellingham. Where and when else can you find more than 25 delicious food stops all in one location with bite-sized portions of their most popular menu items? Depot Market Square on September 14, from noon to 4 p.m. is the only answer we will accept! To name drop for a second—Boundary Bay, Rock and Rye Oyster House, and Pure Bliss Desserts will all be there, and of course many more.BoundaryBay

Menu items that we are salivating over this week include:

Gluten free, Dungeness crab and avocado ceviche from Panasia inside the Silver Reef Casino. For two tickets you can try this fresh dish (even the gluten intolerant, yay!).

For three tickets you can bite into a bite sized BBQ pulled pork quesadilla with cheddar cheese and slaw on a garlic herb tortilla from Leaf and Ladle.

Thirsty? Head over to Bayou on Bay’s booth for house-made black cherry and rosemary infused lemonade, only one ticket!Silver_Reef_Bite

If you have one ticket left at this time, look no further than Evolve Chocolates (but also the Downtown Bellingham Partnership’s booth because you can buy more tickets!). For one ticket at Evolve you have plenty of rich and chocolaty options from a cocoa wasabi truffle to an organic 85% dark chocolate truffle known as “The Colombian” made with coffee, blackberry and maple!

Curious to see who all is going to be at the Bite of Bellingham this year? Visit our website to see the full list of all our vendors! 

2014 Downtown Sounds!

Can you believe it? After 5 shows, 10 bands, 1 rainy Wednesday, and thousands of pints, Downtown Sounds is over. All of us at the Partnership had a great time putting on this annual event, and hope you loved it as much as we did! Here are some of our favorite shots to remember the best year in Downtown Sounds history.

All of these photos are from staff and our Facebook fans. Have some great shots of your own? Send them to kyle@downtownbellingham.com to be featured!Bayou

Sounds Crowd--Instagram

 

DonateEdMarch FourthPatrick & LindseyCrowd SurfMt. Baker AptsPublish the QuestToni & Guypuppy

Interview with Voyager

This week’s interview is written by our intern, Sam Sunderland. Sam’s a student at Western Washington University studying Journalism. 

Come rock out with us for the FINAL Downtown Sounds concert today at 6 p.m. in the 1300 block of Bay Street. The Trees: A Rush Tribute will get the crowd pumped and ready for the crazy antics of Voyager, set to take the stage a little after 7 p.m. and rock the night away…or at least until 9:30 p.m. If your spandex and leather is stowed away in some box marked 1989, don’t worry, Toni and Guy stylists will be standing by providing free mohawks and mullets (see David Bowie in the Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust for further inspiration). As far as wining and dining goes, Boundary Bay beer and great food vendors will all be there to tempt your taste buds. See you at 6! For now, read the interview below for the best Voyager tip to date (see their Facebook) and what you can expect at the show.

VoyagerWhat’s Voyager’s favorite song or artist to cover?

Based on our setlist it would have to be Motley Crue. Their music does something to us as well as the audience. Van Halen and Guns N Roses are also heavy favorites. There is also something about playing the song Kix Cold Blood (YouTube it right now) in front of unsuspecting audiences that really gets us going.
What/who influences Voyager the most as artists?

As performers we are influenced by the things that make for great performances. Over the top, brazen, and transcendent people, places, and things. David Lee Roth. Put the fun, the carefree, the risk, the sin, the whiskey, and the heartbreak in a blender and out comes the spirit of 80s rock. Out comes Voyager.

What’s the best thing about performing live?

Playing these songs for people is an exercise in the absurd. Whether it’s for people reliving their glory years, or a mostly unaware young generation it’s always a million degrees of heat blasting in both directions from the stage to the audience. It’s energetic, loud, out of control and like all good things in life it’s addicting. A common theme of our live shows is people coming that really have no idea what 80s rock is or what it’s about and they leave as fans—not necessarily of us specifically but of the music. That is our purpose. And even though it’s our job to act like it’s not, it’s a truly humbling experience. 

What are Voyager’s plans for the rest of summer?

Guilt-free day drinking, babes, partying, and being unreasonably loud. Voyager 2
What can we expect to see and hear at your show August 6th?

You will see a large group of Bellingham faithful being reminded why the 80s was the best era in all of music history. Smiles, dancing, hands in the air, a mass exultation really. At the end of the day we just want you all to love this music as much as we do. This will be a celebration and a homage. 80s rock lives.

What is your ultimate “Voyager tip”?

Try not to constantly worry about the state of your own happiness. Once you do that you have mentally jumped the shark. Focus on good times, good deeds, good beer, good music and good people. Take none of that for granted in the face of doubt over the future, relationships, death or taxes. Shrug, do a “Roth Scream” and be the party because you are. In summary, listen to Van Halen like it came out yesterday.

Sounds Spotlight: Chrysalis Inn and Spa

We would not be able to put on Downtown Sounds if it wasn’t for the support of our sponsors. Today, our intern Sam Sunderland is highlighting proud sponsor Chrysalis Inn and Spa.

ChrysalisIf you missed out on the superb five minute free massages offered by Chrysalis Inn and Spa during last week’s Downtown Sounds show, don’t fret! Thankfully, the Chrysalis Inn and Spa is conveniently located at 804 10th Street in Fairhaven, right next to the Taylor Dock at Boulevard Park.  Stop by the Spa for a facial or deep tissue massage next time you’re in need of some relaxation and you will not regret it, we promise!

The Chrysalis Inn isn’t just massages and pampering, they also have deluxe rooms, luxury king suites with waterfront views. Their tasty restaurant, Keenan’s at the Pier, offers happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Group meeting spaces are also available for reservations as well as a deck and lobby for weddings, parties and other events! Head over to the Inn and Spa’s website to start de-stressing and rejuvenating today.

Follow the Chrysalis Inn and Spa on Facebook and Twitter today!