Welcome to Bramble.

We’re rewilding our human and built environments as we rewild ourselves.

We support people and communities willing to transform through an openness to excruciating feelings.

We help those conscious of their responsibilities to the land to reconnect with their own bodies and selves.

Through this, we can co-create with the land and other beings as expressions of interconnected love, rather than separation and dominance.

Bo (Boting) Zhang

I’m a civic creative who wields mischief and harmony. Displacement, racism, patriarchy, violence, surrender, and uncertainty have been some of my greatest teachers. I am in the life practice of learning to better listen to bodies, feelings, spirits, and minds. In my work, I aim to support people to deepen their true, loving relationships with themselves and the world.

Bo’s resume | writings

More about Bo…

Born in China’s Northwest, I lived through multiple uprootings and daily violence in my early life, in the lineage of my ancestors’ own wounds. Young adulthood led me from a Yale education in electrical engineering and computer science, to supporting rural community stewardship in Japan’s Iya Valley. There, a 300-year-old thatched-roof farmhouse named Chiiori reminded me of more sacred ways to connect and co-create with life.

I moved to the land of the dxʷdəwʔabš and suq̓ʷabš in 2007, though I didn’t acknowledge Seattle this way back then. Even in my ignorance, these Coast Salish mountains and waters nourished and watched over me while I finished grad school in landscape architecture; learned to manage affordable housing development; facilitated civic conversations and dialogue; and supported BIPOC community groups reclaiming space from displacement.

Once proudly unemotional, my relationship with my own body, feelings, and spirit deepened over the years, beginning with two cancers at age 26. Complex and painful social dynamics in these critical, turbulent times pushed me to deepen into studying somatic therapy and other ways of surrendering into expanding circles of wholeness. The more I could hear the whispers of my animal body and the knowings of my timeless spirit, the more I could hear the land’s invitations and pains as well. This has led to an unfolding, ongoing crisis of an opportunity in me, as I seek ways to bring forth the gifts I have grown, while honoring the land’s divine agency and consent as a co-creative partner.

I’m regularly humbled by my own inadequancies. These have valuably taught me the distinction between change—striving towards an end goal that I believe I’m clever enough to know—and transformation—letting my certainties be ripped apart by a life force far beyond me, reavealing truths that I’d forgotten and potential that I’d missed.

I enjoy lovingly breaking societal and individual habits of being. I’ve come to perceive our collective longings as visions of truer versions of ourselves. While I am still feeling my way, I’m also here to accompany others, whether individually or in community, who want to explore together.

Brian Kalthoff

Born in the Sierra Mountains, with an early childhood spent with my Mother moving annually up and down the West Coast, I have found myself in my middle age more comfortably balancing solo, meditative time back in the mountains and helping people create homes and projects in an urban environment.

Brian’s resume

More about Brian…

Moving to San Francisco to be with my Father at age 9, after 8 homes, I found a sense of home and community with the families of Chinese American friends, that showed me the value of mutual care and stability while I was a latch-key kid. But I also imagined that I would be “at least” a senator, maybe President, some day. A not-yet refined sense of equity and social justice influenced that idea. After time spent in Nanjing, China, in a valiant attempt to learn Mandarin while in college, I began to move away from the idea of politics and individual leadership as a solution.

The continued hubris and belief that I was particularly suited to solve societal problems, while mid-career in real estate led me to graduate school at the University of Washington, where I received a Master of Urban Planning, and a Master of Science in Real Estate with Historic Preservation expertise. Seattle’s Chinatown-International District was where I placed my energy and passion, still working to connect all the dots in my background from childhood friends, China Studies undergrad and a student of history, with still to be refined senses of equity and justice.

Now over 20 years in the Real Estate industry, where I have worked in most entrepreneurial roles available, from consultant to smaller scale developers, broker and landlord, with the Bramble Project I am able to practice the truer lessons I’ve learned from these different positions, advanced education and life lessons. The work that I have been most at ease in is developing relationships with people and the land we reside on. Now more humbled than the former self who sought out politics for affirmation that I was an expert or had the answers, I am comfortable swinging a hammer, helping build out places—both on a spreadsheet, and in the real world. It’s in these Coast Salish lands, where I have now spent my entire adult life, I have learned tenacity (former marathon runner—attempting again), learned to build home and rediscovered my early love of the mountains.

Work with us

Below are some roles we often take on. We are also open to branching out from these familiar spaces and growing ourselves in relationship with others who resonate with one or both of us.

  • (Bo) somatic and spiritual mentorship for people drawn to personal and collective transformation—centering our truest selves while gently helping untrue patterns to dissolve
  • (Bo) creative resource-sharing and reparative financing among place-based community organizations—improvising with existing structures while harmonizing with the land
  • (Brian) informal market and feasibility analyses for place-based projects, to ground visions in existing systemic context
  • (Brian) small-scale carpentry and renovation projects for relationships of mutual care with our built environment

You can sign up for our mailing list here (we email about once a year these days), use the form below, or email office [at] bramble [dot] life to connect. We look forward to hearing from you!