Names are important. Really important. Our names say something about who we are, where we are from, our family roots, etc. Names are stories in and of themselves. Business names too. And Graffito SP has a story to it.
Let’s start with the easy part; SP stands for Special Projects. I started Graffito to work on special projects – special projects with people I respect and projects I believe in.
Graffito is the singular form of the Italian word graffiti. Graffiti is a writing, mark, painting, drawing, etching, etc. on a wall or other surface in a public place. It’s an artistic expression on a visible surface that is in the public domain. There’s something powerful about this.
To me, graffiti conjures up images of cities, previously overlooked places, bold illustrations, grit and edginess. It’s often misunderstood as vandalism and discounted as amateurish, reckless, disruptive art. Some is, perhaps. Some isn’t. But there’s a story behind almost all of it – often a social, political, artistic and/or community story. All stories that fascinate me and stories that are part of the context through which we must understand cities. And through better understanding cities we can collectively make better neighborhoods and better tackle complex real estate, community economic development, business and social issues.
Lastly, my mom loved the name. One of the last lengthy conversations I ever had with my mom was about my plans for Graffito. She died last year. And she would be so excited about GSP. More than anybody else my mother encouraged my individuality and supported my various projects. She encouraged my sister and I to explore the world and its people; she empowered us to make our own decisions from an early age and she gave us the impression that we really could do something special professionally if we were up for the challenge… She was an optimist and gave us the life skills to become entrepreneurs. She taught us to be doers and to “go for it.”
So yeah, Graffito SP, we’re gonna “go for it.”