On February 14, 2006, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh emailed employees a finalized version of the company’s guiding principles, more loosely known as its core values. Now, a decade later, Zappos.com and nonprofit Beautify Earth have teamed up to create a wave of incredible artwork across the country to honor this monumental occasion!
Beautify Earth began as an effort to beautify Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica, California and was originally named "Beautify Lincoln.” Its founder, Evan Meyer, took an interest in walls due to his passion for public art and the immediate communal benefits. Today, Beautify Earth has colored hundreds of walls in Mexico, India and the United States.
Tapping local artists to interpret Zappos’ core values, such as “Embrace and Drive Change” and “Be Humble,” murals were created on buildings in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Miami, Chicago, Austin, San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Additionally, Zappos artists even painted a unique hometown mural in Las Vegas, which ties together the overarching core values theme.
Located on Chicago’s north side, Matthew Hoffman was tasked to create a 20’ by 67’ mural on Thorek Memorial Hospital. The piece was based on core value #8, “Do More with Less.” A self-proclaimed typography artist, Hoffman says it took some playing around with the phrase to develop the final piece. In the end, he says, this core value resonates deeply within him and the people of Chicago.
“Chicago is an amazing city, full of exceptionally hard working and bright people. It always seems like someone is up to something, and when they are, they’ve figured out how to make something happen out of almost nothing,” said Hoffman. “'Do More with Less’ is literally what we do every day.”
With a catalog of over 100 artists, and always adding new ones, Hoffman and the other ten muralists were hand-selected by Beauty Earth as humble, up-and-coming creatives who represent the best of their city.
"It's very important that our artists express freely, and for the most part, they have the ability to create whatever piece they want," says Zach Puchtel, Director of Beautify Earth. “Blank walls are blank canvasses, and the world is an art gallery waiting to be painted.”
Murals have the ability to turn a regular neighborhood into an actual art gallery. People suddenly enjoy walking around their block, businesses attract more customers, and there is a conversation piece to provoke thought about art and beauty.
-Zach Puchtel, Director, Beautify Earth
Together, Zappos and Beautify Earth believe they can help communities create cost-effective paths to becoming more accessible, lively, inspiring and culturally stimulating. Furthermore, Puchtel says Beautify Earth's values are similar in scope to Zappos’, and he believes it ultimately helped facilitate this one-of-a-kind project.
“First and foremost, we believe that work should be fun,” says Puchtel. “When we create, we create with passion and love, from our vision and belief that what we are doing is making a positive impact in the world. We also believe that honest and open communication is a key to understanding people and that being in service to each other and the world cultivates a culture of giving.”
A special ceremony honoring each of the artists' artwork will occur at the Life is Beautiful Festival, which takes place the weekend of September 23-25 in downtown Las Vegas.
Here’s the full breakdown of contributing artists, their cities and the core values they represented. Be sure to follow more of their amazing work online by clicking their names below!
Deliver WOW Through Service (Miami)
Embrace and Drive Change (Baltimore)
Create Fun and A Little Weirdness (Austin)
Pursue Growth and Learning (San Francisco)
Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication (Boston)
Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit (Philadelphia)
Do More With Less (Chicago)
Be Passionate and Determined (New York)
Be Humble (San Diego)