Movin' On Up With The Pop! Promos Crew
"We Have A Lot Of Fun Here As A Team"
The last stop on the Best Places to Work Road Tour promised to be a unique one, as we were asked to don some faux hard hats. The occasion? A tour of the active construction site that will soon become the new offices of supplier firm Pop! Promos (asi/45657) in Philadelphia. You see, the current office simply can’t contain this company’s growth anymore, so it’s moving to a converted gym and fitness facility that will hold 8,200 square feet of newly-constructed space.
“It’ll be exciting for us, because it will be big enough for us to grow into,” says Sterling Wilson, who founded the company along with Erin Reilly when both were in college in the fall of 2011. “We guaranteed the city 30 new jobs in the new facility, so we’ll definitely be adding on in the coming months and years.”
It has been a fast rise for this company, which began as CollegeGlasses when it was solely selling branded sunglasses to universities. In the company’s early days in 2012, it worked out of the row house apartment that Wilson and Reilly shared. But, now it has 16 employees in its Philadelphia office as well as three in Shanghai and three more in India. The Pop! Promos crew is a tight-knit one – well, its current busting-at-the-seams office kind of forces that, but it’s an atmosphere that they actually appreciate. “We’ll all love the new office, but we definitely work together well in a tight space right now,” says Reilly. “We get along well and everybody really chips in to ensure we get the job done.”
The key traits of workplace success for this fast-growing company? Communication and, yes, fun. All of the company’s employees, including Wilson and Reilly, meet once a week around the office’s centrally-located conference table – which also doubles as a lunch table and a sample counter and really anything else needed for two or more people – to discuss what each person worked on during the past week and what their goals are for the coming week. It’s a chance for the employees to ask any questions they want and also share any information that others in the company could need. “We all work toward the same goals,” Wilson says. “So it’s good to know what everybody else is doing and see how each person can help the others.”
But to make sure they’re not doing the “work hard” part without having the “play hard” return, Pop! Promos has implemented a Fun Fund, in which the owners put a certain amount of money each week for meeting sales goals and completing projects. Then, each month the whole company will go on an outing such as attending a Phillies game or going bowling or the old staple of a Happy Hour at a local watering hole.
“We have a lot of fun here as a team, and that really helps the camaraderie in the office,” says Julie Touchstone, the director of marketing and branding for Pop! Promos who has been with the company for two years and is the keeper of the Fun Fund. “We have a great dynamic. It has been really energizing and motivating to see the growth of the company. We’re really excited for the new office, and for the party we’ll throw when we open it!”