As you can probably see from my site name, logo, and domain name...my name is Brooke. (The "FG" stands for "Foti Gemmell"–my middle/maiden and last names–and I rarely mind when someone jests that "BFG" stands for "Big, Friendly Giant.") The thread that pulls my life together is pretty straightforward: I love to be the glue that holds people, projects, and ideas together. Nothing makes me happier than dreaming up new possibilities with people who share my zest for the "what could be" way of thinking. I can't promise a trip to Giant Country, but I'm always game for a friendly chat. Drop me a line if you want to dream up something new and exciting with me!
“We is in Dream Country,' the BFG said. 'This is where all dreams is beginning.”
– The BFG by Roald Dahl
Who I am + what I love
Born and raised in New England, can't go a day without petting an animal, and fully steeped in the working-mom way of life.
Residing in central Connecticut with my lumberjack-engineer-gamer husband & our zany toddler son, I equally enjoy both the loud, momentous occasions & the quiet, meaningful moments that life has to offer. We fully embrace the leisure activities of all four seasons of our region, though I could personally do without the sub-freezing temperatures of winter.
Everyone who knows me is aware of my passion (read: obsession) for horses; I strive to be not only a skilled horseman, but also a dedicated volunteer & mentor within my equestrian community. Winning titles and trophies is exciting of course, but nothing has brought me more joy than creating new horsey memories with my son over the last few years.
I consider myself to be a warm and enthusiastic person who truly cares about the people in my life. Improving the lives of those I love gives me the most satisfaction in life; I enjoy helping people and organizations think creatively and to dream outside of their norms. I love to make folks laugh, but also enjoy giving my family & friends a shoulder to lean on when they need it.
What I do + what I don't do
I am currently working full-time at the University of Connecticut's Greenhouse Studios where I have an exciting and ever-evolving role as a Design Strategist, i.e. creative director, design-thinker, creative strategist, and mentor of emerging professionals. Our studio has given me the opportunity to try on many different hats, and above all else I deeply value being part of a community which values flattened hierarchies, true collaboration & creativity, and supporting one another on a human level.
I have been fortunate to have had opportunities for teaching & leading in several capacities through this position, which I always thoroughly enjoy! Most recently, I have co-taught a course that takes principles from Life Design theory and applies them to the challenges & opportunities presented to first-year honors students.
Outside of my UConn-affiliated work throughout the year, I take on freelance gigs with my family's multimedia studio, Essennelle Studios/Seymour Media, and contract photography for a select handful of equestrian events with National Horseman Publishing.
At this time, I am booking a very limited number of design & photography partnerships beginning in Winter 2024. I am also open to exploring new contract, freelance, and/or part-time opportunities & collaborations that can be completed outside of traditional business hours (EST).
I am not currently available for visual design- or design thinking-specific partnerships in the scholarly communications, digital humanities, library, or academic fields outside of my current role at UConn. I am also not currently accepting clients in the capacities of wedding photography and general portraiture; feel free to ask me for my list of *super* talented wedding & portrait photographers!