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Matthew Sumi

After a post-college stint in L.A., this Seattle native returned to the Pacific NW, where he's a photographer for Nordstrom, hikes and bikes around town, and recently founded a company that allows him to mix his profession with his passions... 

Photography by Matthew Brush @brush

Hey Matt! Tell us about who you are and where you live, what you spend your time doing…

I live in the Greenlake neighborhood of Seattle. I’m a photographer, work for Nordstrom, and I also run a branding and design agency called Anvil&Flint. We work with food and lifestyle companies to create messaging across different channels.

How’d you land your gig at Nordstrom?

After college, I lived in Los Angeles for a while and started a wedding photography company. But the mountains and evergreens were calling, and I moved back to Seattle in 2009. That’s when I landed my job at Nordstrom. I’m glad to be working with a team that’s successfully leveraging technology in the fashion industry and pioneering workflows that have been game changers in digital photography.

What’s Greenlake like?

It’s by far the best neighborhood in Seattle. I run around the lake a lot (at least 4 times a week) and I’m just close enough to downtown. It's also a great place to take a dip during the summer and/or ride your SUP board.

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Tell us more about Anvil & Flint…

Food is a major passion of mine. Some of my friends and I started this agency so that we can work more in that space—there are so many cool companies based in this town—offering food, coffee, and libations. We’re excited about working with them to tell their stories.

We love cycling over here at W&P. What’s your whip, and where do you ride?

I have a Raleigh and a Fuji Pista, and do daily rides to work as well as longer distances, like Seattle-to-Portland ride and Seattle-to-Vancouver. You have to get used to hills around here, but the riding is great—it's a good way to decompress after a long day.

What's your advice for people looking to get into a creative career?

First of all, never give up. There’s always gonna be haters and things to fear. But perseverance is important to success—even if it comes through learning what doesn't work. And secondly, surround yourself with positive, encouraging people in your professional and personal life. It really does make a difference.

Surround yourself with positive, encouraging people. It really does make a difference.

Matthew Sumi

What are your go-to spots around town?

The Walrus and Carpenter is excellent and Shelter in Greenlake never disappoints for happy hour. For coffee, I like the local mom-and-pops—Cafe Vita is a favorite. For hiking, Rattlesnake Ridge is a must. It’s close enough so you can do it in a few hours and be back to the city before noon. And even this late in the season we’re still hiking the Cascades… The trails are endless and so are the views. Nothing beats the Pacific Northwest.

OK, and we heard you’ve got something going called Man Day... Man Day!

Every Wednesday evening, a bunch of buddies and I meet up for drinks and/or whatever else we can talk ourselves into. It’s an awesome way to keep connected with friends—weekly guys-only time, no ladies allowed.

What did you think of the W&P shirts? Which one did you wear?

I got to try a couple new shirts they've recently started making—the black twill button-down and the navy tattersall. Honestly, at first I wasn't sure because I don't wear wool very often. But now I’m a huge fan. They get softer the more I wear them, like a favorite pair of jeans. And they look great under a suit jacket.

Matthew is 6'2", 180 lbs., with a 14" neck, 33" arms, and wears size M.


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