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Stop 10: Clean Fun Promotional Marketing
Costa Mesa, CA

On this Saturday morning in Costa Mesa, CA, we’ve broken in to Clean Fun Promotional Marketing (asi/162979), a 50-employee distributorship owned by Greg Washer that caters almost strictly to the entertainment industry. While we’ve already heard much about the culture of the company, which Washer launched 24 ars ago, nothing has prepared us for what we’re about to see.

Inside the walls of the ultra-modern cavernous steel building designed by Washer himself, we find an open-floor-plan office space that resembles a set for the coolest workplace movie on earth. The two-floor space (second floor is a loft) is painted in bright red, yellow and green, with concrete flooring, a red, winding metal staircase, hip cubicles with fun, movable partitions and a conference room with floor-to-ceiling steel sliding doors that showcases every movie and record label promotional product imaginable: There’s Something About Mary hair gel, X-Men T-shirts, penguins of the ‘Mr. Poppers’ variety, Glee gift bags, and a host of LMFAO party rock paraphernalia, including an “Every Day I’m Funnelin” beer bong, which is a play on words to a line in the hit song “Party Rock Anthem.”

If one has any doubts that the environment in this ultra-cool, creative workplace is conducive to fun, one only needs to take a peek in Washer’s office, which we gladly do. It’s fashioned to look like a bar (stools included), has a refrigerator stocked with Patrón and beers, and – wait for it – a steel garage door that opens to the California sunshine with the click of a remote control. We’re told that the door is open more often than not, and the area outside serves as a great spot for Gil the taco guy, who sets up shop outside whenever Washer feels like treating his employees. A Jane Fonda sweatshirt (the first promotional product Washer ever sold) hangs proudly on the wall, as do a few dozen unopened sweepstakes envelopes that proclaim Washer a winner of hundreds and thousands of dollars.

It’s clear he doesn’t need to pin his hopes on some one-in-a-million sweepstakes entry, though. Clean Fun is a business (having sold more than a quarter-billion dollars worth of promo items in its history) and culture winner. Washer says that 90% of his employees have been with the company for at least five years, and Clean Fun has built an environment that is conducive to building long-lasting relationships with coworkers.

“Over the years, we have had bowling parties, pool parties, scavenger hunts, spin the wheel for prizes,” Washer says. “Many friends have been made here; they leave every day to work out together, and they recently threw a baby shower outside my office showroom.”

No doubt, we’ll be back someday when the doors are open for business. Note to Washer: Keep the Patrón chilled for us.

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