Local Creative: Rachael Yaeger
With all the hoopla that is city life it can be difficult to maintain that all important glass half full mentality. Rachael Yaeger is a human being whose encouraging optimism and relentless work ethic is a rare find amongst all the noise.
Her kindness and generosity are felt by many, as she is a natural connector for friends and similar-minded kindreds looking to collaborate on cultivated projects that develop community. Her own project, appropriately titled Human NYC, is a storytelling agency that uses narrative design to improve and cohesively tie together a digital and IRL human experience through website development and brand strategy.
The 3 C's of curating, creating and collaborating are always insight for Rachael whether she is spearheading a project for Human or planning her own exhibit, Clavicle which opened at XXXI gallery in the East Village this past May.
Always looking for the opportunity to share a local discovery or friends newest endeavor, Rachael is a champion of her creative community, selflessly spreading love and good cheer.
On our visit with Rachael she showed us her new office digs she shares with RoAndCo's studio in Chinatown. If your like us you want to know which which independent designers she is currently crushing on (her Sandy Liang denim jacket is dream and Sandy is also a satisfied Human NYC client!) Read on to learn about her other passion project The Working Pair, an online editorial showcasing creative couples and which mentors have helped her achieve what she has today.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself? What's the first thing that comes to your mind when it's time to wake up in the morning?
I am originally from upstate New York. I grew up camping, hiking, fishing, snowmobiling, being outdoors all of time. First thing in the morning I would say, I'm excited, when I wake up I am looking at my phone thinking, what do we have going on today!? New York City is intense, I mean in an ideal world I would wake up, make fresh squeezed orange juice, french press coffee and eat some avocado toast on a balcony reading a book.
In 2013 I founded Human NYC, LLC. we started out as a gallery in Greenpoint, curating shows and creating zines, something I still would like to do more of. Now we're a small creative agency based out of RoAndCo's studio in Little Italy, mainly working on websites with brands. We launched Basic Rights, we work with Saturdays NYC, Sight Unseen, Know-Wave radio, Sandy Liang.
I am the creator and editor of The Working Pair an online editorial (one day a biannual print mag) showcasing creative couples, their lives, love, work and the balance of it all.
"My dad always said, a little faith in humanity will get you a long way. I take that with me everywhere I travel."
Background and upbringing can play such an important role in creative work. Would you please share some of your most significant memories?
Picking green beans from the garden with my parents singing "beans beans the magical fruit the more you eat the more you toot..." haha! I played outdoors every day growing up, we would wander around and make up games. I love lilacs, the smell still makes me so happy. I remember deer hunting with my dad and we were sitting in the tree stand and I was chatting his ear off while he was nicely trying to tell me the deer would never come if I kept talking. Canoeing around Rainbow Lake with my Grandad. Building campfires.
Please describe your last month in a word.
Are there any dream destinations on your “to visit” list/ Is there a next trip you have planned?
Maybe driving across the country, I have been dreaming about going to Egypt on a scuba diving trip, maybe Finland.
What are some cultural touchstones that have been most influential in shaping you today? — i.e.: what films, books, artists, places, etc.,
I am very lucky to have traveled a lot, snorkeling and scuba diving in Fiji, Australia, Mexico, The Caribbean. My dad always said, a little faith in humanity will get you a long way. I take that with me everywhere I travel. I visited Monet's house in Giverny and my favorite museum is Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris. I studied abroad in Italy and then did my Master's degree program in London—I didn't know anyone, traveled around Europe whenever possible and loved it. I had a cool apartment near Edgware Road, read a lot of Bret Easton Ellis. Most influential trip would be to Morocco and Essaouira, the colors, rugs, tea, people, adventure of it all. My favorite book is Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived. For movies: The Fall, it's so visually stimulating. I have an appreciation for photography when it comes to art and books. For "work" books we created reads.nyc :)
Do you have any mentors or people who have guided you throughout your career?
Emmett Shine, I wandered into Gin Lane over seven years ago and he has been a constant inspiration since. I remember this really proud feeling of having my name on our business cards. He's particular so that level of perfection and standard of excellence is still something I think about. We worked with Terence Koh, Jason Nocito, Tim Barber, Aurel Schmidt, Baron Von Fancy, Susanna Howe; Emmett taught me the value in working with "culturally significant" clients and doing meaningful work. I met all of my dear friends and now partners and collaborators at Gin Lane.
What’s your mantra?
Keep it simple, stupid.
What objects have been most significant to you lately?
This cream white and bright red blanket I got at Brimfield, my dad's jackets, a Timex watch my brother gave me, I love photos and framing things, a bowl I brought back from Morocco filled with pinecones from upstate.
Where are you local (food/galleries/venues/ bars, etc)?
I live in Chinatown so I frequent Kiki's and Mr. Fongs
I love Film Forum, Nitehawk
In Greenpoint, River Styx and Little Dokebi.