Maritza and Roshaun Davis are not just creative entrepreneurs, they are visionaries who are bettering the world through art, culture, and inspired events, one community at a time. After meeting in school, Maritza and Roshaun first worked together managing and promoting the Sacramento-based hip hop band Righteous Movement before founding Unseen Heroes in 2008. The now-married couple complement each other as The Creative & The Planner, developing and executing interactive events and promoting artists and artisans. They even helped to plan and execute the BFFF Re-launch party at West Elm on July 11th! Read on to learn the secrets to their success and what projects these two will be unveiling in the near future.
Before co-founding Unseen Heroes, the two of you were essentially managing and promoting Roshaun’s band, Righteous Movement. What prompted the career shift, and what was the experience of developing a stronger focus on your event and public relations-oriented company like for you?
Roshaun: We started Unseen Heroes based on the idea of chasing after the things that we are most passionate about doing. People started to notice everything that we were doing with Righteous Movement, and began to ask us to do the same for them. I jokingly suggested to Maritza that we should just start our own company and get paid to do what we naturally love doing. We toyed with the idea for a while, and we finally decided to just go for it. We had to learn a lot through trial and error, but we stuck with the tough times and turned it into a successful business that has allowed us to expand into other endeavors.
What values are most fundamental to your company, and what are the biggest factors to which you attribute your success?
Roshaun: I think defining success on our own terms is at the core of everything we do. It helps us determine if we are sticking to our passion and developing things from that creative space. I would also say that hard work, communication, having the right people on the team, and actively becoming experts in our field helps as well.
Maritza: We attribute our success to our families—it sounds cliché, but we both have huge families that are extremely supportive. We also work countless hours and we really value developing long lasting relationships with clients and the communities we work in. All in all, we really love what we do; it’s our passion to work with new brands and concepts and to build them.
Unseen Heroes just put on the first GOOD: Street Food and Design Market event of 2013. Tell us about GOOD, how the concept developed, and some of your favorite featured artisans.
Maritza: We were approached by a client who is working on developing the area to a design district. We developed the concept of the market to align with the goal of making the area more design centric and breathing life back into an area that has struggled. Roshaun and I travel a lot and we had been to some really amazing markets, and we knew a cool market would be great in the area. When we were shown the space that we hold GOOD in we fell in love with it. It was a blank canvas that we knew we could design into a really fun experience where people could enjoy local retail and local food. We are constantly seeking designers of various disciplines—clothing, furniture, food, lighting, etc. I don’t really have a favorite—I love them all!
You have a tried and true process for your projects that is quite methodical, including a great deal of research, a lot of organization, and truly inspired creativity. What are your favorite parts of the process?
Maritza: I love the creative process! I am more of the visual side of the process-the creative. I also believe in organization and having order so I really emphasize that to our team. I love building and working with concepts from scratch and ones that have themes. I love that we get to start with a blank slate and then see an event come to fruition and watch people enjoy what we have been working on when it all comes full circle.
Roshaun: It’s funny. We read somewhere that Creatives and Planners are so complementary that they should get married or become best friends. We chose to be both. I am more of the planner between the two of us. I am usually the one looking into the future, developing a strong vision, and planning how we are going to get there. I tend to be creative in a different way than most people think. It is pretty much the same outcome as a traditional creative person, but it just takes a little longer for the plans to come to fruition. And, I admit, I’m not a cool as Maritza is most of the time.
Your company is based out of Sacramento, and you have emphasized the importance of honoring local culture in your events. What are some things that are special about the culture of Sacramento?
Roshaun: Sacramento is going through a great creative renaissance right now. People are starting to come into their own and develop some cool concepts that are based around making the city better. It’s such a unique time. We’re glad we can contribute our talents to that idea, and we hope we inspire others to do the same.
Can you share with us a little preview of any upcoming projects that you are excited about?
Roshaun: We are currently working on developing two different market concepts. One will be in Emeryville and another in San Francisco. Both will be based around creating new ways for people to experience local retail and local food.
Maritza: We are also working on a permanent concept for all the dessert lovers out there that we will be announcing soon. Don’t worry—we will be sure to give Best Friends For Frosting an exclusive when it’s time to officially announce it!
Photography by: Caroline Winata of Milou and Olin Photography