Urban Alchemy is a social enterprise in San Francisco that engages with situations where extreme poverty meets homelessness, mental illness and addiction.
When a neighbourhood, street or intersection earns a reputation as a place to avoid, Urban Alchemy help to turn it around. As well as healing traumatised urban spaces, they also create fair employment opportunities for people who are turning their life around after serving life sentences in prison.
I spent hours with the founder and core team, listening to their stories on the streets and understanding the complex balance in how they communicate with vulnerable people. I then translated this raw, sincere and incredibly moving narrative into an impactful tone of voice that started with a verbal identity and ended with a new website.
Our intention is that the website will educate local communities about Urban Alchemy and help them to raise support through donations. This was one of the most fulfilling projects I have ever worked on – presenting the final website was an emotional experience for everyone in the room.
“I’ve overseen the development of several websites for multimillion organizations. When I began working with Seth, I expected it to be like every other mundane web development experience, where I’d provide content and text that would be edited for content and brevity. Working with Seth was an entirely different experience.
Seth approaches his work like a tortured artist, trying to capture the essence and soul of the organization’s work that he pulls, prods, and shapes until it becomes a unique poetic masterpiece. His openness to collaboration resulted in a final copy that beautifully captured and elevated my voice and the work of the agency and transformed it into the voice of a movement.
I was blown away by Seth’s approach and mastery of the particular art form of writing copy for a website.” – Founder of Urban Alchemy