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Dear BYT friends and family,

Before anything else: thank you. Almost 15 years ago, a group of kids (there’s really no other way to describe us) built a website to help share the lesser known side of Washington D.C. It was intended to be a resource for discovery in a time when discovery was still something hard to come by, something you had to work at. Thanks to YOU, BYT evolved and grew over the years to become so much more: a community, a yearbook of sorts for the creativity of this city, and not just a curator, but a culture maker in its own right.

We truly hope BYT has made your life in D.C. a little better, a little more magical. We are deeply proud of this messy, often magical work and have done our best to stay fiercely independent, shamelessly ourselves and driven by creating joy this whole time.

Now, we have some big news to share: today, as we prepare for a new president and emerge from one of the most challenging years (and weeks) in recent history, it is overwhelmingly clear – 2021 is a year for change. For us that means both a goodbye and a hello.

On January 20th (inauguration day feels like a right time for a new start) – after 40,000+ articles and almost a million photos by hundreds of bright, young contributors (I wish I could hug all of you right now), 600+ Best Weekend Bets, 300+ events, 2000+ emails, 74,000+ tweets, 7600+ Instagram posts and 700,000+ uses of the #BYThings hashtag, we are closing the chapter for BYT content, and turning our attention to a project we’ve been transitioning into for two years now: Exactly Agency.

BYT was about original storytelling, community and making those elusive and magical memories and connections. It all seemed effortless, but our team worked tirelessly behind the scenes on strategy, curation, writing, design, event production, PR, photo and video shoots, web design and so much more.

Exactly is born out of that same fire and purpose, and we hope you can see it for what it is: a thoroughly refreshing creative agency, built for 2021 and beyond.

We are rooted in culture and inclusive and intersectional engagement, and offer services in design, branding, events & experiences and more.

Over the last few years we, as Exactly, have had the pleasure to work with brands and institutions like Smithsonian, REI, The Phillips Collection, Instagram, NBC Comcast Universal and more, and help tell their stories in creative and unexpected ways. We are grateful for these opportunities, and we know that this transition will allow us to shift all our energy and skills to this work as we take on new clients and continue to evolve our offerings.

We hope you’ll keep an eye on us (at exactlyagency.com and our @exactlyagency Instagram), and that you’ll think of us next time you or anyone in your network needs creative agency help. And while this Friday will be your last Best Weekend Bets newsletter (save it, laminate it?) and Inauguration coverage will be the last official BYT post on the site, don’t worry, we’ll keep brightestyoungthings.com up – we want us all to continue to have access to these memories that made us all what we are today.

Big group virtual hug and all our positivity,

Svetlana & the (now) Exactly team

P.S. – Speaking of BYT memories….if you read down this far, we assume you have some and would love to hear from you – share your favorite BYT associated memory here, and we will compile some of our favorites into the last post published on the site.