July 15, 2020

On The Line With... the con.cept

We connected with the con.cept co-founders on how they're spending time at home during this time.

We connected with the con.cept co-founders on how they're spending time at home during this time.

This article is part 26 of 31 in the series: On The Line With...

 For this installment of On The Line With… StockX connected with the talented female twosome, Sarah LoMedico and Michelle Silva. The co-founders of New York City based creative agency the con.cept, they’re known for curating an effortlessly cool aesthetic that has been tapped by the likes of Asics, Converse, Nike SNKRS, Complex, Filling Pieces, and even us at StockX. An unstoppable team on the rise, we chat with Sarah & Michi on navigating the new normal, how to keep inspired and informed, and other ways they’re staying on the socially distant grind. Read Up. 

Describe what you do for a living and how you’re adjusting to social distancing.

Michi: I am one half of our creative agency ‘the con.cept’ – We are a female duo that specialize in creative direction, consulting, production, casting + styling.

Sarah: My business partner Michelle and I started ‘the con.cept’ about three years ago. Our services range from Creative Direction, Consulting and Production to Casting, Styling and even small events. The adjustment has been challenging but productive for us. We’re both pretty high-energy people that love being out and about in our city. Usually, we’re always on-the-go from the minute we step out the apartment with our cold brew – running to a meeting, set, a workout, another meeting, dinner – always something. While the in-person, social aspect of what we do has been crucial to starting our business, having the time these past few months to sit down and work on things we’ve pushed aside has been super motivating. We’re using the time to turn ideas we’ve talked about for months into tangible creative briefs and tackling the ‘admin’ work we always put off: organizing past work, updating the website, and spending time scheming the next chapter(s)!

During this time of social distancing, people are leaning on things such as streaming services, puzzles, at-home workout classes,etc. What activities are you using to take your mind off of things?

Michi: I’m currently listening to Girl Trek’s “Black History Bootcamp” where they celebrate strong black women who have opened the doors for other women of color like myself. Also, I’ve been spending too much time on Youtube watching interviews, Vogue Beauty Secrets, and a whole lot of cooking shows!

At home workouts too. I’ve been consistently on The Nike Run Club App, Hot Pilates is amazing & the classes are only 30min but v challenging. The holy grail of yoga studios Modo Yoga — (Sarah and I are obsessed) — it’s a hot yoga studio in Williamsburg that is now on Youtube live and IG live & our recent fav Sami Clarke. Loving all the VERZUZ & lots of brainstorming over a martini!

Sarah:  Staying informed and finding ways to contribute to the Black Lives Matter movement; listening to shows and podcasts from important voices like Tamika D. Mallory, Angela Rye, Trevor Noah, Shannon Sharpe on Undisputed, Dr. Jess Clemons, and Revolt Black News. 

I won’t miss a VERZUZ battle and have rewatched every episode of ‘The Last Dance’ an embarrassing number of times. Staying active is also high on the list; Michi and I both grew up playing sports so we’re luckily programmed to prioritize some type of workout every day. My current favorites (aside from running) have been the Nike Training app, Modo Yoga and Sami Clarke who has some good videos on YouTube I love to do while blasting a good playlist.

What is keeping you grounded/balanced at the moment?

Michi: Definitely just trying to find the perfect balance with how much information I consume about the pandemic, social injustice, social media, and politics. I am trying to not feel overwhelmed but instead energized. Also cooking with a few glasses of wine, lighting the right candle, watering my plants, and making sure the music is right!

In the beginning, adjusting to the new normal was challenging and very different for us given our dynamic, but also so seamless at the same time. We’ve definitely shifted our ‘normal’ and made the changes needed to remain active and productive! We’re both used to sitting across from each other at Dumbo House everyday feeding off of each other’s energies to now having hours of calls/text & zooms! We figure it out, we always do.

Sarah: Fresh air! Michi and I will take walks for fresh flowers or sit on her roof for some sunshine. At home, depending on my mood I’ll offset the newscycle by listening to or watching something I’m inspired by or can learn something from. Recent favorites have been any Kobe interview I can find on YouTube, the Tinker Hatfield episode on the Netflix series ​”Abstract”,​ a​nd Brene Brown’s podcast episode with the queen Alicia Keys. When I want to relax, I’ll put on ​Soulection​ ​Radio o​n our sunday sound ​playlist, add a face mask and a glass of red wine and we’re in business. If I need to laugh I listen to the Joe Budden podcast or FaceTime my friend Marquia. : ) Last and probably most important – calling mom!!!

How do you stay connected to friends and family during this time?

Michi: Group chats and lots of annoying facetimes! We’re an active and chatty Dominican family so we’re always motivating each other with different workouts, articles, family recipes & gifs! My mom loves a good gif!

Same with my friends, I think it’s important to check up on your people & see how they’re doing!

Sarah: Facetime & Zoom have been the best way to feel connected especially when you’re on a solo quarantine mission like I am! Consistent check-ins with your people are important; I love the constant back-and-forth: sharing music, shows, recipes, workouts, etc. with my close friends and family. It makes you feel like you’re experiencing things together which is one of the things I think we’re all missing most right now.

How do you typically start your day? What daily rituals are you practicing?

Michi: You know, I’ve never been an early riser BUT I started training myself to wake up and make it happen and honestly I’ve been vvvv into it. So… sometimes my mornings are really active with the most energy or the complete opposite! Either way, I’ll usually blast a concept playlist or NPR depending on what kind of morning it is and the weather outside of course! Big weather baby!

Then head out for a run or maybe sneak up to the roof for one of those IG workouts! Mix that with a lot of running around my apartment, trying on every hydrating face mask, serum, moisturizer I own (current obsession: Josh Rosebrook hydration mask, Tata Harper resurfacing mask, 111skin repair serum & June Jacobs neroli toner and collagen serum), lighting my fav candle (current: Le Labo Palo Santo), making a cold brew, annoying Sarah with a million thoughts and eventually diving into emails.

Sarah: Mornings are really important to me. I usually start the day sleepwalking to the kitchen to put the tea kettle on, lighting some palo santo or a candle, washing my face and pressing play on whatever playlist or album I’m feeling at the moment. Most days I pick my music based on the weather and these days it’s been the new Teyana Taylor album or one of our playlists: ​fresh thing ​or ​kitchen music.​ My favorite new ritual has been an early morning walk with a podcast or audiobook. It’s crazy how some fresh air first thing in the morning can impact your energy in the best way.

How are you staying productive while at home? Any useful tips?

Michi: I think it’s important to stick to your routine as much as possible and create healthy habits. I know that I do my best work and I’m my most creative in the afternoons, so I really focus on making my mornings active or not active at all, but for me.

Mimi’s hot tip: Know when you are the most creative and use that time to work and save the rest of the other time for self care or educating yourself on current events.

It’s also okay to have days where you don’t do a thing! That’s also productive!

Sarah: I’ve been trying to stick with a routine that’s pretty similar to what it would be on a normal day; waking up early, making my bed, working out, and getting to work. I’m a big coffee person and would get nowhere without my cold brew + oat milk every morning. I think having a dedicated “work” area is important but also believe in moving around if you’re on the computer for hours on end. I’ll change spots throughout the day for a new perspective which I think helps my workflow – I kind of just follow the light around my apartment. I get some of my best work done sitting on the floor listening to music with a coffee next to me.

What advice would you give to someone who’s struggling in isolation right now?

Michi: Explore the things that make you happy. Find comfort in family, connect with old friends, start a new book, let your body rest, go for a walk and give yourself the love you didn’t have time to give yourself before.

Sarah: Do what makes you feel good. I’m a big believer in taking responsibility for your energy as much as possible so I try to do what I can to put myself in a good headspace every morning. Everyone has their ‘things’ that make them feel good physically and mentally and I think making sure you’re giving yourself those things is the most important thing right now. It sounds cliche but it’s really been the small things that make a big difference for me right now; getting fresh air every day, drinking a lot of water, lighting a candle, cleaning or reorganizing my space, buying a new plant or some lilies (my favorite), putting on a face mask and staying connected – checking in on my people.

What accomplishment or new project are you most proud of ?

Michi: I’m proud of the conversations Sarah and I are having about what we want to accomplish, how we want to grow professionally, personally, and emotionally, and the impact we want to have.

Sarah: I’m proud of the way Michelle and I push each other. We work as teammates, motivating each other to get creative and find solutions. We’ve re-evaluated a few projects that have been postponed and found ways to turn left and keep going. I’m proud of our passion for what we do – we’re constantly working on new creative (for both existing and dream clients) and some personal projects that we’ve been dying to get off the ground. We stay socially distant scheming. : )

What are you most looking forward to once this is over?

Michi: Traveling and dining at a restaurant with friends while having a CasaMigos rocks lime in hand.

Sarah: Running around this city with my partner in crime! Coffee runs. Our favorite boxing gym. Being on set again. Spending hours (as we do) in Whole Foods. Some wine outside on a Sunday. Dinner with friends. Walking into Las Lap… Mainly just being with my people when and where I want to be! I can’t wait.

@the con.cept | www.thecon.cept.com | Sarah LoMedico | Michelle Silva