The Blog

· January 29th, 2015

TO READ · 05/08/2014

Floor Plan

We love polls. Sometimes we poll our fellow employees about their tastes, preferences, and favorite magazines. Here’s where we share the results.

We love polls. Sometimes we poll our fellow employees about their tastes, preferences, and favorite magazines. Here’s where we share the results.

This week’s question: what magazines do you subscribe to?

Consumer Insights Real Simple

Copy New York

Employee Experience Us Weekly

Social Innovation New Yorker

User Experience Fast Company

Design Kinfolk

Marketing Harper’s Bazaar

Customer Experience National Geographic

 

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TO DO · 05/06/2014

Eight Ways to Spend a Summer Day

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TO READ · 05/05/2014

Literary Rx: Pale Fire

Welcome to Jeopardy—the literary edition.


Welcome to Jeopardy—the literary edition.

This novel contains a 999-line poem, an exiled king, an assassin, and one reference to Sherlock Holmes.

What is: Pale Fire

Thanks to our friends at Flat Vernacular for the excellent backdrops behind these titles.

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TO MEET · 05/01/2014

Desk Job: Rob Natale

A desk can tell you a lot about a person—and we think we’ve got some pretty interesting ones here in our office. These are the stories of our favorites (and the folks who sit behind them).

A desk can tell you a lot about a person, and these are the stories of our favorites. (Desks, that is. And also people.) 

Rob Natale, Customer Experience Content Coordinator

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Megaphone

“The megaphone appeared on my desk one morning after a company outing. It has become the perfect heckling device when new hires first visit our office.”

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Bingo card

“I found this vintage bingo card inside a desk during my first week working at Warby Parker in September 2011. It’s a subtle and constant reminder of how lucky I am (BARF, but seriously).”

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Panama hat

“I borrowed this Panama hat during a Dolce Vita party when our offices shared a floor. For a while, I wore it as a signal when I wanted to work without interruption. It looks better on my computer than it does on me.”

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Desk award

“My Secret Santa took inspiration from these various pieces and donned my desk the ‘Most Organized’ as the initial gift in a several-part Secret Santa reveal last year. The subtext, ‘We have to wonder if you actually do any work’ seems more apropos.”

 

Photos by Kelsey Rose

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TO MEET · 04/30/2014

To Meet: Birchbox’s Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp

Recently, Birchbox’s co-founders Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp popped over to the office to talk how the two became friends in business school and the business’s growth since their early days in 2010.

Recently, Birchbox’s co-founders Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp popped over to the office to talk how the two became friends in business school and the business’s growth since their early days in 2010.

If the beauty company’s origin story sounds a little familiar, it should. Our co-founders also met in business school, we just toasted our four-year anniversary, and now, Birchbox is complementing their successful e-commerce operations with a physical store in SoHo later this summer, a couple blocks from our Greene Street space. So yeah, we have a lot common and were doubly excited to hear from them. Thank you, Hayley and Katia!

Here are five encouraging pieces of business savvy from Hayley and Katia:

1. Neither of them are what you’d call beauty fiends.

“We met over nail polish even though neither of us loved beauty. My nail color attracted Hayley on the first day of school. I really don’t like washing my hair. I love dry shampoo and I know way too much about it.” Katia

“It was pathetic what makeup I had before Birchbox. I was a tomboy growing up; walking into Sephora was overwhelming. Fortunately, I had lived with my friend who was a beauty editor at Condé Nast and she’d give me those products with information on how to use them.” Hayley

2. Sometimes, a quick and polite email works.

“When we were still students I cold-emailed CEOs of companies like NARS, BeneFit, and Kiehl’s, and strangely enough we had a huge hit rate. We were very strategic about these emails: they had a snappy subject line and a straightforward message, just ‘five minutes of your time please.’ We received 200 samples at first, but they were super skeptical about what we inherently believed: that consumers would pay for samples.” Katia

3. Your network probably goes farther than you think.

“We used a grassroots approach and got friends of friends to sign up. (If our friends signed up, the data would be crap.) When it came time to launch, we had a wait list of about 1000 people.  In our five-year plan we thought we’d be at 50,000 subscribers. We got there in six months.” Hayley

4. Confidence, though, goes really far.

“You’d heard stories about eBay and Zappos getting copied in seven years, and we got copied in like five months by a well-known, well-funded international company. They raised $70 million against our idea. Initially we were nervous but very quickly we realized it’s challenging to copy a vision. Our long-term game is to be the largest beauty commerce company in the world.” Katia

5. Shopping for beauty products doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Promise.

“If you want to go into our store after work and get your makeup done, you can go there for free. We don’t mind.” Hayley

“We call our model ‘try, learn, buy.’ We really tried to replicate that in the store. You’ll be able to try the beauty products, you can also get services and learn from experts—nothing over 30 minutes. We’ll be teaching classes and of course you can buy the full-size product. We’ll have a few thousand products on the floor while a traditional beauty store has 10,000. That’s terrifying! How do I choose from 1000 mascaras what I want? Our store is our little laboratory to learn how normal women shop.” Katia

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TO DO · 04/29/2014

Happy Team Spirit Day!

One of the nice things about working at Warby Parker is that you are surrounded by people who are stoked about Warby Parker and about life in general.

One of the nice things about working at Warby Parker is that you are surrounded by people who are stoked about Warby Parker and about life in general. The office has a friendly vibe, and the copy department’s recent—and first—Team Spirit Day was no exception.

What’s Team Spirit Day? At heart, it is an excuse to wear matching outfits and take a step back from the usual routine to have the funnest day of your life in an office context. (SFW activities only.)

We asked the copy department to tell us about their day, and to share some tips on creating your own version.

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Step one: Create a logo for your team and order custom apparel.

“With some help from Warby Parker’s design team, we were able to create a logo that really captured our spirit,” says one copy department member. “The logo depicts a cartoon pencil with a sassy smile wearing our Wilkie frame.”

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“Then, we splurged on a couple of airy, wrinkle-resistant shirts from CorporateCasuals.com. We picked a style that featured sweat vents because things can get a little intense at the copy desk sometimes.”

The team uploaded their logo and ordered the shirts, which arrived at Warby Parker headquarters ten days later.

Team shirt

Step two: Get pumped.

“Team Spirit Day was on Friday, but we were talking about it all week—getting amped and planning activities,” says another copy team member. “We were emailing each other constantly. Not that it affected our productivity.”

Team Spirit

Step three: Do activities.

Team Spirit Day is all about unity, bonding and trust. “We were inspired by stock photos of business people,” says one copy team member. “They’re always looking at charts and smiling, or signing contracts and laughing, or shaking hands and chuckling.”

Inking a dealInking a deal

BrainstormingBrainstorming

 Human Pyramid
Human pyramid!

 

Trust fall
Trust fall

 Step four: Make memories.

Take photos and videos of your special day! The copy department commemorated theirs with an Instagram video and hundreds of team selfies.

Step five: Reflect.

Take time to pause and reflect on your team time. “It was incredibly fun,”  says one copy team member. “At one point I was smiling so hard I had to lay down in a conference room, just so my face muscles would stop constricting.”

In the words of another member: “I’m never taking this shirt off.”

IMG_7636Go team!

 

Want to team-build with Warby Parker? Check out our Jobs page.

Photos by Kelsey Rose

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TO READ · 04/28/2014

To Read: Do You Want to Be a Writer?

First of all, make sure you read a lot.

First of all, make sure you read a lot.

Second, find your beat early on.

Third, start at the top of our syllabus (above) and start working your way down. (And if none of these topics enhance your literary passions, you can always loosen your ambitions and lower your standards. That also works sometimes.)

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