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Heads Full of Lightning

A Look at Some Bright Ideas Lit by Sun Valley’s Young People

(page 3 of 6)

Cynical Optimists

WIZE Design

It wasn’t supposed to have happened this way. Their plan was to take their college degrees and wait out a sluggish economy disguised as ski bums in a remote mountain town, joining the ranks of what they consider a ski town’s “transient youth culture.” When the gloomy economic skies cleared, they’d pack up and move into the “real” world. But things didn’t go as planned.

That’s how 29-year-old Chatham Baker sees it. After struggling as a freelance designer in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen, Baker moved back West and persuaded two friends to join him. After Shaun Kelly (a childhood friend) and Michael Ames (a college friend) joined him, they laid out for themselves a path of leisure and part-time jobs.

“We ended up here because the economy was so bad,” says Baker. And, shortly after, the three friends turned what they still consider an ongoing “art project” into a growing hip clothing business.

WIZE Design, Baker says, began as a creative outlet for the three friends to visually express their ideas, which were born mostly on the pages of Baker’s sketchbook, on scatterings of random Post-its® and bounced around on the chairlift rides that took them to the top of Bald Mountain. Those ideas, in turn, became a favorite fashion of that youth culture in the forms of tees, hoodies and pants for the people who value the freedom to choose lifestyle over the comforts of life enjoyed by the status-quo.

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