Hey! I'm Ben.

I'm a Front End Developer & UI/UX designer based in Harrisonburg, VA. This is a collection of some work / projects / interests that I'd like to share, sort of a jumping off point for each.

I work as a web developer at Who Gives A Crap where we sell sustainably produced toilet paper and donate the profits to WASH charities (Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene) – we've donated $9 Million USD so far. 😮

I also write music as Monopolyopolis, which is my solo musical project of live instrumental loops, mostly with guitars and samples. I put out an LP in 2017 and an EP in 2018, and I also post short clips on instagram somewhat often. I've also been playing drums with some buds in our punk/garagerock band, Wineteeth

My latest web-based project is Dayprogress.com a web app that shows you your day as a progress bar of 1,440 minutes, color coded by the daylight hours. Lately I've been interested in alternative ways of telling time and I'm convinced that there are better, more intuitive ways to conceptualize the passing of time and to better place yourself within the linear representation of the day than digital or 12-hour analog clocks. So I made this - hopefully to also convince myself to become a morning person and make the most of these short winter days. I started on this right around Christmas of 2022 so it's just getting going. Once I make a few critical changes I'll share it around a bit on product hunt and whatnot, and then after that, if I'm feeling ambitious, I may try to recreate it in Swift as a native iOS app.

Those are my main projects these days - besides that I've been spending a lot of my time about a 30 minute drive west of town working on building a little retreat on a few acres of land out in the mountains (circa Feb 2022). This is near the VA-WV border. Yes, I've become another victim of the tech-millenial-to-homesteader pipeline. But, in seriousness, I've always enjoyed learning by doing, building (in general), and spending time outside, so dreaming up the plans for this and spending a day or two a week out there slowly building the cabin(s?) on the hill and all the bridges and trails and stairs and everything associated with them has been very fulfilling. I'd like to document and share the progress with a wider audience, but I'm wary of becoming a ~ c o n t e n t ~ c r e a t o r ~ and ruining the magic, so, we'll see.

Some older, but still noteworthy stuff:

I started a subscription garden seed company called Arcadia Seed Co back in 2018, where I shipped out 5 packets of seeds every month that could be planted (that same month) in your climate, along with cards with detailed growing instructions specific to each climate and information about the plants. It ran for a about 9 months and I shipped out something like 1600 orders in that time. Ultimately I didn't have the bandwidth for it and I ended up burning out pretty bad - I had to put it on pause in 2019, but I'm proud of how far this got and I would like to eventually start it up again if the time feels right.

I made a web app called BarCheep about a decade ago (one of my first functional semi-useful web things). It shows a feed of the happy hour specials happening near you (or, er, near me and my friends). I gave myself a deadline of one month to make it, at the time knowing how to make little more than basic wordpress sites. I pulled it off, somehow, in a very hacky fashion and then refactored it to make it less hacky a year or two later. It's been a fun project to revisit every now and then - I just put it back online recently.

I'm pretty easy to find on social media (twitter, instagram), and my email is benrellick@gmail.com if you'd like to get in touch!