How $10,000 Will Help These People Further Their Talents

Meet the first-ever #LiveThem Award finalists

Sponsored by Rémy Martin®

When we created the #LiveThem Award with our friends at Rémy Martin® and Gear Patrol we felt kicking off the year with a $10,000 award was a great way to help one of our readers further develop one of their talents, and today we are one step closer to making that come true. We are very excited to announce the five finalists, one of whom will be presented with the first #LiveThem Award along with $10,000. This was no easy task given the large number of proposals that were sent in. We are truly humbled by your passions, interests and talent, and selecting five finalists from so many inspiring proposals was one of the most difficult we’ve undertaken in the last year. To the many of you whose proposals were not selected, please know that we read every single one and were moved by most of them. Ultimately, this award is meant to help one individual further develop an existing talent that goes beyond their skills, passions and career, and that is what drew us and the editors at Gear Patrol to our five finalists.

This unique initiative from Gear Patrol, COOL HUNTING and Rémy Martin embodies the spirit of Rémy Martin’s One Life / Live Them campaign which, like the iconic brand’s harmoniously blended cognacs, celebrates the belief that fulfillment in life is about embracing your many talents. Together, the three companies combined are offering $10,000 for one reader to invest in themselves and in their dream. Over the next few weeks we’ll be in touch with each of the finalists and have them develop detailed plans for how they would use the #LiveThem award to bring their proposed passion to life. One will be chosen and they will write about their experience here on Cool Hunting and on Gear Patrol.

Portland-born, Bay Area-based Mark Kwak has many passions, but filmmaking is one of his strongest outside of his work at Foursquare. He’s developed the plans for his second short film, and the #LiveThem Award would help him bring it to production.

By day William Schwing is co-founder and creative director of LA-based Tawny Goods. For some time he has been perfecting his secret fried chicken recipe, and would use the #LiveThem Award to compete in the famous Gordonsville Fried Chicken Festival.

Working in risk management, G. Emory Anderson also has music in his blood. He’d use the #LiveThem Award and it’s $10,000 to create a follow up album to the jazz-rock record he produced in 2011. With money going to studio time, professional musicians and more, the new record already has a title and will blend big band, ska and more.

A real adventurer, John Shrumpf is an alpinist when not working at a big auto company. He recently found that he was a capable sailor, and would use the $10,000 #LiveThem Award to help fund a trip circumnavigating the eastern United States by sailboat. The rigorous trip requires skill, perseverance and the right gear.

A self-employed artist and graphic designer, May Babcock combines her creativity with business acumen. Paper making is one of her talents, and using foraged weeds and invasive plants she creates prints and installations that have been crafted by human hands while celebrating nature. Rather than use the funds from the #LiveThemAward for personal use, Babcock wants to create a series of instructional videos to teach other artists her paper making process.

With passions that vary greatly, each finalist shares one thing: an enviable and refreshing dedication to their talent. Take a closer look at each finalist’s project at the #LiveThem Award site.

Images by Cool Hunting