Bringing our Team Back Together in Graton’s Historic Hallberg Building
May 30th, 2021
The past year brought a lot of challenges, and while we were so grateful for Zoom, we missed having everyone on our team under one roof. 2020 also brought our company a lot of opportunities for new growth, and as the new year dawned we realized we desperately needed more space to be able to play, imagine, and create freely! This move also meant that for the first time in over a year, team members from different departments could collaborate together, in person! Encouraging cross-pollination between our teams is a key aspect of our company culture, as every person’s ideas and voice are of value, no matter their title. Since settling into our new headquarters in a renovated apple cannery in Northern California, we’ve enjoyed having brainstorming meetings in our photo shoot studio, experimenting with plant dyes, and hosting special guests!
Sarah shows Rachel, Shiloh, and Jessi (@BigPicturePlay on Instagram) around our order fulfillment workspace
One Zoom-era tradition that we were excited to implement IRL is our end-of-the-week creative hour, which is usually facilitated by someone from the Marketing & Design team, but open to all departments! We preach the power of play all the time, and it’s important to prioritize time for open-ended, unstructured play as adults, too! The creative hour is a space to explore new ideas and experiment with raw materials, without a specific vision or end product in mind. Sometimes team members come with works in progress they want to develop or get feedback on, and sometimes we just come ready to create!
( L ) - CFO, Mike (R), and Warehouse Manager, Meshach (L), join the Marketing & Design team for creative hour. Our Marketing Director, Josh, started hosting “creative hours” virtually while most of our staff was working from home. We had our first in-person session just a few weeks ago!
We chose this space because of how fluid and open it is, encouraging interdepartmental collaboration. The open floor plan and two levels allowed us to create flexible workspaces, so that team members can go back and forth between private, quiet offices and shared, multi-use areas as they please.
Sarah, Rachel, Shiloh and Jessi peek inside our CFO's office, with the order filling station visible below.
We’re working on creating plenty of child-friendly spaces in our new location, so that we can host photoshoots and playdates here, and make it a welcoming place for team members’ little ones to visit! Our Production Artist and Stylist, Madlyn, has been hard at work setting up our photo studio with open-ended wooden toys and silks.
Our special guest, Shiloh, was more than happy to transform Sarah’s office into a playroom!
Grateful to be able to visit with friends again! We are so lucky to not only have our team back under one roof, but also to share our space with special visitors as it becomes safe to do so. Rachel, Jessi, and Shiloh of BigPicturePlay asked if our Headquarters could be a stop on their road trip, and we couldn’t say no!
Many of our wooden toys such as teethers, playhouses, and hoops are made here in California. These beauties are waiting to be transformed into streamers and teethers!
Being in our new space allows us to do some photo shoots in house! Stylist and Production Artist, Madlyn, carefully presses and stores our silks after each photo shoot so they can be used again rather than put to waste.
Sarah paints at our welcome desk, between a rainbow and a painting by Hilma af Klint - two of her inspirations!
Between attending every single team meeting, answering Instagram DM's and developing new products, Sarah is rarely the only person in her office! Masks are still required in workplaces in our county, so even our fully vaccinated team members wear masks at work, unless they are alone in their office. Our team members have small children and elderly relatives at home, so looking out for one another's health and safety is important to us.
Retail team shares the ground floor with our Wholesale and Amazon teams. When we found out we were moving, Sarah made the decision to commit to eliminating as much plastic as possible in our new space. We think our silks look much better on wooden shelves, after all!
We’re constantly filling our new space with as many rainbows as possible!
Sarah & Aila