September 24, 2013
Here it is – my latest project, my biggest pride, my baby, the reason for many sleepless nights. Seriously, the amount of nightmares and mind-spinning nights I had over greeNEWit’s office space is a little ridiculous. In case you haven’t noticed, I deeply identify with and care about my company. This has been my first and only job and I’ve been with the company almost since the very beginning. greeNEWit is more than a 9-5 gig, it’s my home during the day, where I can be with friends and do something meaningful. Therefore it was the greatest honor, but also most serious tasks for me to create a new home for greeNEWit.
In August we had to leave the residential home that we had slowly been taken over and grew out of over the past years. The guys found a really nice and bright space with lots of potential. You just had to see past all the tiny cave-style office rooms, divider walls, green marbled wall paper, cream trim, and brown carpet.
The place was terribly outdated and boring, but we were getting a completely free renovation with the lease. My dreams went wild with endless possibilities. Until I learned that my budget to furnish the new home was about as much as other companies spend on a good conference table alone. Nothing my thrifty DIY self can’t handle, but ugh, this meant way more labor and less bottomless shopping than hoped for.
First step on the agenda: tear down a bunch of walls and open up the dungeony dark center. This was the original floor plan of the entire third floor and the yellow lines mark the walls that are to crumble to dust forever. (Later we ripped out another room to let more light to the kitchen area)
And here you can see the southern portion of the floor that greeNEW is leasing and how all the walls had to go bye bye.
The goal was to create a bright, modern, cozy, and inspiring place. This was the idea, created with floorplanner.com. For a fully maneuverable 3D model, click here.
Because of the limited budget, I had to work with the pieced together furniture that we already had, but did not want to compromise on style again like we did over the past years. So, a lot of furniture makeovers were in order. Everything that didn’t have a matching wood finish (birch or bamboo), had to change its look.
Tables in various shades of brown were greeNEWified.
Our old black conference table got a new coat of black spray paint on the legs and a shiny new birch table top slapped on (made from a$50 piece of plywood).
In the meantime the contractors were hard at work tearing out walls, removing wallpaper, rewiring, patching, painting, and laying floors.
To make things even more challenging, I imposed a rule on myself to get only meaningful wall art instead of just pretty stuff. So of course, I had to make it myself. Here are just a few initial pieces to start out with. More to come over the next months.
greeNEWit signature wall. Bamboo installed by Richard Hammond Builders, sign by image360.
Icon wall tiles with representations of what we do and stand for. I used stock icons, printed them big, and glued on MDF squares.
Triptychon of our old greeNEWit home.
Super large wall decal for our Rec-room ordered from Coocoodecal on Etsy.
Together with two of my coworkers the kitchen got transformed from the orange old oak to a crisp white.
Now we just need a new dishwasher and maybe do something about the greenish marbled countertop some day.
After 3.5 weeks of renovations our new office was finally ready for move-in. The whole team pitched in to set everything up for working conditions within one day. I’ll probably do a separate post on direct comparisons of before and after pictures. So without further ado, here is a tour of our brand spanking new greeNEWit office. Just look past the mostly blank walls and a few unmatched pieces of furniture. We’ll get there by the end of the year.
January 4, 2012
On January 1st, 2012 I have officially worked for my company greeNEWit for three years. What started out as a commission based position with some volunteering hours has grown into a full time salaried position as manager. And I am still having fun. greeNEWit and me, we are a match made in heaven and I could never imagine working for any other company. Today I want to tell you how we met and became such a great team.
About 3.25 years ago I started my job hunt in the US. After 6 months in the US my green card hadn’t arrived yet, but I was getting antsy and wanted a job lined up by the time I would finally be allowed to work. While I probably would have become a photo journalist in Germany I did not see too many opportunities in that field in the US and therefore shifted my focus to my minor that I had in university: ecology. The rest of the job market already started to go down hill, but green jobs were booming, so I jumped right on the green wave. After a few spontaneous applications sent to random green companies I realized that volunteering was a better way to go. So I started hanging out at the Green Building Institute.
On the side I also went to the Green Fest in DC, a big exhibition with green vendors and service providers. This is where I handed out my generic “business” card to many prospective employers and also Matej from greeNEWit. He said that they were looking to hire an energy auditor, but then never got back to me. Fast forward a few weeks later when I was volunteering at a networking event at the Green Building Institute. That’s where I met the two other greeNEWit guys Jason and Josh. Looking back I got a pretty accurate impression of both those guys. Both very enthusiastic about their mission, Jason the sales guy selling the world to me, and Josh the financial person being more elusive (probably still calculating back and forth if they could really afford to hire their first employee and if so, whether it should be a small girl recently immigrated from Germany).
The rest is history. What was supposed to be my first job interview ever turned into a really great conversation at Panera’s. You know the feeling you have at a first date and you go home knowing that’s it? How you can’t stop smiling and are so nervous to hear back from the guy if he wants to see you again. Yep, I kinda fell in love with greeNEWit that day and we are still inseparable.While things have been a little up and down success-wise over the past years, we never ever ran out of fun at work. When jobs were low, my “bosses” found me a side job at a partnering company. When things went well, they made sure that I still got the personal time and pay I needed to lead a balanced life.
Now we got a new big contract that is bringing in some good moneys, got me a nice raise, and a manager position that is still somewhat flexible to accommodate family life. At least every other week the whole company gets together for spontaneous or planned happy hours, Frisbee sessions, bike rides, birthday lunches, or other parties. I feel extremely lucky to have a job that I like and where every single coworker/boss is a really good friend that supports me and understands me on a personal level as well as on a professional level. Thank you guys for everything you have done for me and for making me look forward to work every morning!
Peace and love,