Mary McCallum l Field Guide Inc
Field Guide owned by Mary McCallum, partners with forward thinking businesses in the Twin Cities to provide advertising, marketing and communications services. The mission behind this innovative company is: Making Good Better. Read how Mary impacts the world by elevating businesses with social and sustainable missions.
Can you tell us a bit about your business and background?
Field Guide is a communications and public relations consultancy founded with the express purpose of working with forward-thinking organizations, those focused on community and those that have a social or sustainable component to their mission.
I have a background in food, events, and worked as a producer at a few ad agencies in town. I was looking for a way to combine the things I really cared about with my skill set, and that’s how Field Guide was born. I get excited about so many wonderful things people are doing, and my mind sees opportunities to help create space for collaboration, and ways to energize and elevate messaging.
How do you think living in the Twin Cities has shaped your business?
I lived here when I was younger, then moved away several times - I think that gave me perspective and an appreciation of the positive things about living here. There is a great deal of creativity and a collaborative spirit here. Having worked in a variety of jobs, in food, flowers, events, film production, and advertising, as well as having done a lot of volunteerwork for the environment, social justice, and sustainable agriculture has made for an interesting web of connections. I like it when my different worlds collide it always sparks something great. There are so many wonderful people here -- and never a shortage of interesting thinkers and creative, collaborative do-ers.
If you had one piece of advice for someone starting a business, what would it be?
Really focus on what you are good at, what brings you energy and joy, and then surround yourself with people who can support you. You can’t do it all alone - it’s unsustainable.
LAB is founded on three key values: connect, create and collaborate. What are your three key values?
Cultivate, Navigate, Communicate.
To me that means, building trusted relationships and setting goals and strategies to tell the story and spread the word.
What is the favorite thing about your workspace?
My favorite thing is that I am moving all over town, meeting with a diverse set of people doing interesting work, since I usually go to where they are. I like a change of scenery, and I get one every day.
I don’t have a typical client--or type of project. When I need to hunker down and get work doen, I make a point of working from some of the great spots around Minneapolis and Saint Paul, like Birchwood or Spyhouse. I love being out in the community where I can bump into friends while supporting local establishments that I love.
What is your no-fail, go-to when you need inspiration or to get out of a creative rut?
A walk with a friend or a dog, ideally in the woods or near the river. Anytime I can get out of town even for an afternoon always helps me re-boot.
What are some of your everyday essentials that you can’t live without?
Good story swapping with my coworkers, political podcasts, music that suits the mood, nights out with friends, the laughter of my children, daydreams, a good long bath.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
I always say if I wasn’t doing this I’d work on a landscaping crew. As a former florist, I miss having a more physically-oriented job connected to nature. I never thought I’d sit in front of a computer so much!
I would love to work with the team from Perennial Plate on a project.
Favorite place to meet/collaborate in the Twin Cities.
What’s currently binge watching or listening to?
I just finished the HBO series The Case Against Adnan Syed, which was fascinating and depressing. and am compulsively awaiting what happens to Curtis Flowers, whose case has made it to the Supreme Court, from the incredible reporting done on the APM pocast series In the Dark.
What item in your closet do you wear the most?
Boots that have furry insides because I hate socks.
Fantasy Dinner Party Guest List:
Patti Smith, Chuck D, Jane Goodall, Banksy, AOC, Robert Mueller, Chimanda Ngozie Adichie, Wendell Berry, Mavis Staples, Iggy Pop, Will Allen.
Three Instagram accounts you love to see in your feed.
Last Adventure: Trip to France and Scotland with my husband and 3 daughters
Next Adventure: Saving up to help my youngest daughter live her dream of volunteering at an elephant orphanage in Thailand. It might take us a while, but we’re pretty determined!
Voted Most Likely To: Be a few minutes late, I’m not proud of it, but it’s because I’m a chronoptemist!
Secret Skill: SuperTaster. It’s a blessing and a curse.
Yes Please: Travel.
No Thanks: Passive aggressive communication. (Why not just say what you mean?!)
Spirit Animal: Top Secret.
Brand You Can’t Live Without: Field Guide! But in reality, being able to live happily without any dependence on brands would be a goal.