PaperishMess: An Interview with the creators on life, learning, and entrepreneurship

Have you ever been on Etsy? It’s a direct selling site that has a variety of artistic and handmade goods available. From sweaters, to perfume, to zines and jewelry. I got the lovely opportunity to speak to the founders of … Continue reading

Welcoming George, Artists, and Zines

This weekend was wonderful – it involved taking out the new camera (George, a Canon 60D) out for a spin, macaroons, trains, zines, and meeting artists. For anyone that is just getting into zines I do suggest checking out Stolen … Continue reading

Going back to handmade and (mostly) ethical

I just finished watching “Handmade Nation” a documentary on Indie Craft and DIY Culture, needless to say I cannot wait for the next Renegade Craft Fair. There’s this going back to nature and anti-consumer sentiment that has been growing.  

Having something handmade, whether it be a zine, book, scarf, or craft is special. There’s a story behind every item. This is why I love and advocate fair trade practices and ethical businesses. That’s why I only partner with businesses that will use fair trade materials, organic inks, and things that will have a low negative impact on our environment.

That’s why I partnered up with Replica Chicago to make my tees, and that’s why I make zines. I like knowing the businesses and artists behind the art. After discovering the art and craft of the ethnic minority groups in Yunnan Province I was very eager to go and connect with them. Collect their stories, and have their goods available to share with others.

Hope you’re all living a BellaVie!

The BellaVie Interview with Mathew Bongat

1. What got you interested in music/managing? And how did you start?

I always liked music for it’s accessibility. I think the development of bands is the most facisinating to me. When I was about 14 or 15, my friends were in bands and were looking for shows. I put on smaller ones in the suburbs and I really enjoyed doing it. I hung out with my friends at their shows and met other bands and other people in the industry. A few years later I decided to push myself to make it a career. When I was about 21, I started booking shows downtown and became friends with a good amount of people in the industry. After talking about running my own company for a while, I finally opened “alley capital” earlier this month.
2. How did the bands start? How were you a part?

I manage Republic of Lights and Finding Valor right now. I don’t know how those bands started. I met Greg (republic) back in high school. Republic of Lights started to solidify as I was starting to make a name for myself. They are good friends of mine now and me being their manager just worked itself out. Finding Valor is a younger band I took on because of their potential. They are from Villa Park, where i grew up.
3. What’s the best and worst part of the job? ‘

The best part of the job is seeing people come out to the shows and have a great time. Whenever the band mentions my name on stage as a thank you, it puts a huge smile on my face. All the work pays off when both the bands and fans have a great night. The worst part is the promotion process. Clicking individual names on facebook event invites is really mundane and boring.

4 What are your favorite bands, genres, etc.?

I really like the indie rock bands. Right now I am listening to Phoenix, City and Colour, As Tall As Lions and FUN. My favorite locals right now are; republic of lights, audiences, milano, stay ahead of the weather and the deserters.
6. What advice do you give to people that might be interested in going in this direction? Music, management, business?


My only advice really is to be friendly and meet as many people as you can. Making it in the music industry is all about networking. Don’t expect on being top 5 in a year. Making it in the music business is extremely hard. There’s a ton of competition. Also, research the bands you want to work with. Little things like that will definately help.

You can check out Alley Capital with more info on gigs and shows that Matt is organizing around Chicago.

Here’s a bit of the bands from the last show that you can check out.

Hope you’re all living a BellaVie!