#WFH Diaries: David Baldwin of Baldwin&

As Covid-19 continues to sweep across the globe, we're checking in with creative people to see how they're coping. Here's an update from David Baldwin of Baldwin&.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

CEO/CCO of Baldwin& in Raleigh, N.C.; brand master at Ponysaurus Brewing; hammock-sitter-inner.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

I'm at home with my wife and kids. Thankfully, the lockdown happened during spring break, so both of my kids were home from college. They ended up stuck at home taking virtual classes. It's not perfect, but at least they're not quarantined in their apartments in Boston and Savannah. Not sure they agree.  

What's your work situation like at the moment?

I'm treating my days like normal work days: get up early, work out, eat, shower and head to the office. The office is just an attic, my hammock, or a picnic table. Then it's work until the day is over, and I head back to the main part of the house when I need to. A couple of times I didn't go back down until around 6. Then it's yabba dabba doo time.

Describe your socializing strategy.

Work-wise, I'm just checking in with people as much as possible. We're having an all-agency Zoom town hall every Friday. Personally, we just had a big neighborhood gathering last week, where we all formed a big circle in between our houses and put lawn chairs out 6-8 feet apart, and we just sat around and talked for a few hours. A friend of ours down the street has a blow-up outdoor movie setup so there's talk of a drive-in kind of thing this weekend. 

How are you dealing with childcare?

My kids, 23 and 20, are both in college and stuck at home taking classes virtually, so it isn't childcare so much as having to deal with kids who have lived on their own for a number of years. Now, they're having to live with the house rules and juggling Zoom schedules so we don't all hog the bandwidth. I really feel for them. They want to be back in school.

What are you reading?

I'm in the middle of a book called Sawdust by former ad guy Patrick Scullin, who used to be a hype man for the circus. The book is about an ad guy who becomes the hype man for the circus. I'm really loving it.

I have to say, this sure would be a good time for G.R.R. Martin to drop the next Game of Thrones book.

What are you watching?

I've binged a few things. Just watched the latest season of Schitt's Creek, including the finale. Very sad to see that one go. And watching Rick and Morty with my daughter, which is just insanely great. (OK, maybe just insane.) Lastly, I recently got turned on to Brockmire with Hank Azaria, which has some of the more magical writing you'll hear on TV right now: While calling a baseball game, "That ball cannot be buried in a Jewish cemetery because it just got tattooed."

What are you listening to?

Lots of podcasts. My current favorite is called 13 Minutes to Moon about the NASA moon landings. Season 2 just started. There's a wonderful companion podcast called Moonrise, which is a telling of the events that led up to the space race that adds a lot of color. Still anxiously awaiting the latest Hardcore History from Dan Carlin. They come out about every six months. 

How are you staying fit?

I'm pretty disciplined so I'm just staying on my normal workout schedule of circuit training with free weights as part of my day. Biggest addition is more dog walks. My dog is getting exhausted.

Have you taken up a hobby?

I've been having a lot of fun making cocktails lately. I only drink on weekends, but I've been making a lot of interesting stuff. If you look on Instagram or YouTube, it's like a rabbit hole of cool stuff to try. Last week we made a beeswax-infused bourbon Old Fashioned with frozen honeycomb ice cubes. Tastes as good as it sounds. I'm a hacker, though, just having fun.

Any tips for getting necessities?

Wear a mask and don't stop. Get in and get out. Don't touch your face. 

An awkward moment since all this started.

I have two companies, Baldwin& and a brewery called Ponysaurus. If you think the advertising/design industry has been hit, you have no idea the devastation of the hospitality industry. We had to lay off a big portion of our staff for now. That just absolutely sucked. But we have to make sure there's a brewery to rehire them when things recover.

Best work email you got since all this started.

We started a chain at our place called Daily Gratitudes, where everyone says every day what they're grateful for. I can't tell you what that does to your inbox. It just adds positive juice like you wouldn't believe.

An aha! moment since all this started.

There is always an opportunity to meet every moment of every day to simply ask what that moment requires and then do it with a whole heart. Everyone is in the same boat, so we might as all row together.

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

I think the only thing we can know is that normalcy will be redefined for the immediate future, at least until there's a vaccine. And some of the companies we love, from our industry to the hospitality industry and other smaller businesses, may not be here in two months. If you have somewhere you're a regular, find a way to support them if you can.

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards, editor of Muse by Clio, and host of the podcast Tagline. He is the former creative editor of Adweek.

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