I'm the Co-founder and CEO of The Grommet. We launch undiscovered consumer products. It's also the birthplace of Citizen Commerce. I write about design, cultural anthropology, and start-ups, mostly.

Daily Grommet Move (Sort of) Part One

I wrote recently about our pressing need to move the Daily Grommet team to more space.   It has gotten ridiculous in our offices, with twelve people working out of two small offices and an entry way.  For instance, I hold most job interviews on our worn porch steps.  We have an elaborate telecommuting schedule set up.  We park eight cars end to end in two lanes, and have to play chessboard moves every time someone needs to leave.  You really can’t hear yourself think with all the hubbub of our worklives.

Here is Lara making a phone call. This is pretty much how all of us take calls…outside or in our cars.

Our new software developer, Anthony, who works at a card table just inside the front door, said,

I came in here to interview on a video shoot day and was overwhelmed in 20 minutes, with people coming and going, guests, and everyone tip-toeing around to not make noise during taping.

We shoot videos once a week in our conference room. We just shove the table aside and let it roll.

Anthony (now that he is on board) wisely has taken to staying home on our weekly video days.

So, in May I launched a thorough real estate search and found some great spaces.  I was all jazzed up to make it happen

And then luck, or life, or something, intervened.  Two offices in our “office house” became available as of July 1.  And we snagged two other offices in the office/house across the lane.  I guess we are actually building a village.  It’s nice.  I like our location, right in a historic town center, with shops and services right at our doorstep.  I like our landlord, who does business on a handshake.  And I like being right next door to our site designers, POD Design.

So we stay.

And after we decided to stay,  one of my favorite journalists, Wade Roush, said:

Daily Grommet moving?  You can’t move! I know it’s crazy and funky, but that house is part of your culture and your brand.

And one of our investors in Philadelphia, who has never even been to our space, echoed the same thoughts.

So we are doing our first wave of our “not-move” move today.  We decided to put half the Discovery Team across the lane…working on the theory that they won’t be easily ignored or isolated.  Joanne will float between the two offices, to stay close to her team.

Our Executive in Residence, Apollo Sinkevicius, is running the whole operational side of the move. He loves to make these disruptive events seamless and smooth for the team.
Me, bringing flowers from my garden over to transplants, Wendy and Julia, to help them feel at home.

We’re all pitching in today to bring masses of stuff over to occupy the two new rooms.  Alas it is the first day of work for our Savannah College of Art and Design intern, Claire Lorman.  But we warned her….start-up life is not glamorous!

That’s our new intern Claire in front, and June and Anthony bringing up the rear, as they exit our current offices with stuff for the expansion space on our “campus”, as Jeanne calls it.
This is our “multi-purpose” room and Jesse’s future editing suite. Yikes.
Wendy and Julia are already settling in.

And, yes we will really move one of these days.  But not for now.  And in a start-up, “now” trumps “tomorrow”–any day.

P.S.  Patti just cracked me up.  She told Apollo “The psychiatrist in our new building is starting to see patients at 1PM.”  I thought she was telling him to make an appointment!  (“Not very subtle”, I thought.  And, “Odd. Apollo does not seem to be having any issues with the move.” )  Turns out she was just letting him know to keep the noise down during the transition.

4 Responses to “Daily Grommet Move (Sort of) Part One”

  1. Thomas Aylmer

    Nice blog entry. It’s a good reality check for someone like me who is considering being an entrepreneur.

    I am sure you considered tele communication. That would solve the space issue. Is there a reason you didn’t go that route?

    Reply
    • julespieri

      Hi Thomas,
      Yes, like I mentioned in the post, we have been running an extensive telecommuting schedule. But we literally do not have a desk for people when they do want to be in the office. Seven people have been sharing three desks, in one case, in a very small space. When we are all in the office to do video or have weekly team meetings we are literally on top of each other.

      Reply
  2. Claudia

    So glad it worked out for you to stay in your current abode. It would have been a shame to leave the landscaping that you did last year. The hostas are thriving I see.

    Reply

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