I remember the email Geoffrey sent our team last March when, due to Covid, we told everyone to work from home for the foreseeable future. We'd discussed the virus in the office together the day before, but casually, over our favorite $5 sushi special we ate for lunch once a week. We talked about who was most prepared (my heightened anxiety meant everyone had their money on me), where to track down hand sanitizer, and whether they'd be closing schools early for spring break. But none of it felt real and, as I left for the day, I never would have thought it would be our last time all together in that space. Or, that we would be ending the lease on our office nearly one year later.
The first time G and I toured the airy office we knew it was perfect. I posed in the doorway for a picture, forgoing any possibility of jinxing our chances, in hopes that I could put out enough good energy that we'd secure it as our own. I couldn't believe that I'd have my own office (with a door!!!), its windows looking out to the Hollywood Hills in one direction and the rest of our incredible team in the other. It felt surreal, like it was meant for us, and the day we found out it was ours, the entire team, who'd also been stalking the listing, erupted in applause.
Of all the things I loved about it most—the large kitchen table where we'd hosted Friendsgiving, impromptu lunch dates, and dessert swaps, and the separate area for fulfillment—it was the conference room that meant the most. I remember a piece of advice my dad gave me, years ago, to "hire people smarter than you." I'd been confused and probably a little offended at the time, only to realize what he meant when I sat at the head of that table in the conference room a decade later. It was there that I got to watch with such pride as our team presented their findings, statistics, inspiration, and goals. I was always filled with such pride when I entered that room for a meeting, knowing that I had made good on my dad's guidance. I was surrounded by such intelligent, hard-working, and creative individuals and it made coming to work such a joy.
It was a bittersweet decision to leave, but all things considered, I realize just how lucky we are. The office became an enormous strain, each month that went by a cruel reminder of how much we were paying for a location that sat nearly dormant. But that's not to say I won't cherish the memories that flooded that space—the blaring pop music we danced to while working (forever appreciative for G and his noise-cancelling headphones!), packing orders, adding wallpaper, photographing jewelry, and naming our cabinet that housed it all (Kevin, for those wondering). And now we're packing it up and tearing it down—our pink couch, desks and dishes, our neon cupcakes and cashmere sign—without the promise of a bigger space as our next step. We were in the process of photographing the office for our long-awaited reveals (we shared the kitchen and my office) and instead we're downsizing to a fulfillment warehouse, which will be used primarily to package and ship items from the Shop. While there are a couple of offices in this new space, it's unrealistic to think it will ever be the place where we all congregate five days a week. And to be honest, I'm not entirely sure what the future will look like. For now, the majority of us will continue to work from home, but will reevaluate once the time is right.
It's made me nostalgic for all of my office spaces throughout the years. The wobbly desk I sat at behind the couch in G's and my first apartment, where I brainstormed names for my blog. That feeling when, five years later, we hired our first employee and dedicated a room in our apartment for our office. I painted it pale pink, ran a sparkly tassel along the wall, and filled it with vintage treasures I'd found at flea markets. Four years later, after Sloan was born, we upgraded to an office outside the house—an industrial space downtown with huge windows and cement floors.
After we brought on our e-commerce team, we moved to a loft where we hosted our first event, had team potlucks, and got our cars towed frequently due to strict parking restrictions. Despite being spread out across two stories, part of its charm was that the walls echoed so we heard each and every conversation, including the phone call I got (in which I promptly began crying) when I found out our planners had been picked up by Target. But when we arrived at our current space, it felt like we'd truly found our spot. The aesthetic was bright, spacious and inviting, with an open floor plan and several offices enclosed in glass for a touch of privacy. I know how fortunate we are not to be closing the doors on cupcakes and cashmere, only a location, in a time when so many companies have folded, but I'll miss it nonetheless.
It's also allowed me to focus on creating a beautiful space for myself at home where I feel inspired to work. I converted our guest room above the garage into my office—with little relics to remind me of how far I've come, even though at times it feels like I've gone backwards. The framed print of balloons that was my blog's first header, the acrylic C&C letters I've had since 2009, both of my books, and the simple white desk whose top has been etched from years of use. Our team talks all day long, but it's our daily 2 PM check-ins over Zoom that I look forward to most. It was something we set up within the first week of quarantine, when we were all scared and confused, which now serves as a lovely reminder of just how much we've progressed. It's a time when we don't talk about work, but instead share the podcasts we're loving, the snacks that we reach for each afternoon, and the first things we'll do once this is all over. I promise to share more of the process as I go—adding art to the walls, a rug to the floor, additional shelving, until it's all illuminated under the glow of a neon sign.