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Conversations with Mitch Bruehwiler

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mitch Bruehwiler.

Hi Mitch, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I grew up on the Connecticut shoreline and have always been fascinated by cameras and how they work. Inspired by my dad filming home videos throughout my childhood, I bought my first camera when I was 13 and started my own YouTube channel. I reviewed Lego models and gave tutorials on my own creations, a hobby I very much enjoyed throughout middle school and into high school. Some would say I was making videos on YouTube way before it was considered “cool”, but getting 1,000+ views on a video seemed pretty cool to me. I grew up in an entrepreneurial family – my parents owned two bakeries while I was growing up so I was very much exposed to the day-to-day operations of running a business. In pursuit of following in my parent’s footsteps, I began offering my photography services to people in my community, shooting senior portrait sessions for the yearbook and capturing events around my town.

I went to school at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts to obtain my Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. Throughout my four years in Boston, I was able to really dive into the business world and join clubs and organizations that aligned with my interests. I joined Suffolk’s American Marketing Association as an executive board member and the student-run newspaper, The Suffolk Journal as the lead photographer/photo editor as a way to network with similar-minded colleagues and to learn more about covering events on a larger scale. As I was deciding on my career path throughout college and going through the motions of business classes, I realized how much more passion I had for creating content as opposed to researching data for a marketing campaign.

I landed my first college internship at a Boston-based start-up called American Rhino where I specialized in creative marketing, shooting photos and videos for our e-commerce store, designing graphics for various campaigns, and ultimately understanding how a small business operates on a national level. As a self-taught photographer and a graphic designer with no design degree, I was worried I would lack the credibility to make a name for myself. Luckily, that didn’t matter. For my second internship, I was a graphic designer at a company called Bullhorn where I really had the chance to flex my design skills in front of a global audience and prove to myself that I could be a designer despite my business background.

Graduating during the pandemic was something that no one could have prepared for. I was laid off from my internship in Boston and made the decision to move back to Connecticut in search of my first full-time job. As you can imagine, not many businesses were hiring in 2020 so my family and I decided to do what we do best and start something on our own. With their experience operating bakeries at scale and my knowledge in the creative space, we launched Däsh Bakery, a ghost-bakery concept with a mission to deliver European baked goods around the holiday season. As scary and nerve-wracking as it was to start a business from scratch during such an unpredictable time, the entire process was truly exhilarating and provided valuable lessons for all of us every step of the way.

Throughout my continued job search, I spent countless hours sending out resumes, reaching out to recruiters, and applying to hundreds of jobs, only to receive nothing in return. One of my favorite quotes is, “it’s all who you know” and by pure chance, I was reconnected with a family friend on LinkedIn who was hiring for a role at their own company. By the beginning of 2021, I was employed at my first full-time job out of college as a New Product Specialist, working alongside the President and Digital Marketing Manager of Anthem Sports, one of the nation’s largest distributors of sports equipment. For the next year and a half, I was determined to make my mark and provide as much expertise as I could before deciding to make my next big step in my career. I moved to Denver late last year in pursuit of new beginnings, and new adventures and to ultimately make a name for myself in the content creation industry. I decided to legitimize my photo and design agency under the name Brü Media and have been providing my freelance services to businesses and other agencies in the Denver area and beyond. In addition to Brü Media, I have recently joined the start-up EcoSoul Home as the lead designer on the marketing team.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has definitely not been a smooth road along the way, but I can happily say I have no regrets. My biggest challenge so far was landing my first job out of college. No matter how many applications I sent out and how many “NOs” I received, I still managed to pick myself back up and continue searching. It can be really difficult to witness your peers’ successes on social media, but in the end, we’re all on our own path and it’s important to be patient when you want something to happen in your favor. Don’t let other people’s achievements discourage you, but rather, let them inspire you to do something better. I’ve learned to be persistent with my goals over the years and to not be afraid to adapt because the world is changing so quickly, especially in the creative industry.

Moving my entire life from New England to Denver was not an easy decision, but was one that was important for my growth as an individual. Being so young, I feel the need to see as much of the world as I can as opposed to “settling down” in one city for the rest of my life. I try to seek discomfort as much as I can by trying new things, meeting new people, or releasing an idea to the world, even if your gut has some hesitations. The worst outcome? Failure. But hey, at least I tried and learned from it.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Primarily, my work is focused on creating and capturing content that leaves an everlasting impression. Whether that is through photography, videography, or design, I strive to provide my clients with imagery that are modern, simplistic, and captivating. Currently, I specialize in portrait, event, and product photography and have 10+ years of experience behind the camera in a variety of industries. My design work is primarily focused on brand development, package design, and social media content, however, I am up for any challenge that is thrown my way. I think what sets me apart from others is my background in entrepreneurship, which allows me to truly understand the goals of a business as it associates to their creative needs. Without a formal design or photography degree, I see myself as an individual with a “raw” lens that takes inspiration from my own experiences.

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
My advice for networking would be to simply put yourself out there. Post about your interests, reach out to people in similar fields and don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you’re on the fence about joining a club or being a part of a summer kickball league full of strangers, my advice is: just go for it. In most circumstances, the rest of the group are feeling the same way you are. My curiosity is something that has truly helped me along my career path and has enabled me to be a part of experiences that I wouldn’t have been able to partake in if I hadn’t spoken up for myself. LinkedIn is also a great networking tool, especially if you are looking for a new opportunity and don’t know where to start. Once you’re connected to someone you’re inspired by, give them a quick email or text to see if they’d like to meet for coffee or hop on a call. You never know what opportunities lie ahead until you try. Some of my greatest experiences have sparked out of pure spontaneity.

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