Changemakers

In the Spring of 2017, there were 11 Tramps creating in our studio. Over the course of the next three quarters, we added 5 more positions—accounts, production, design and social teams all benefitted from additional personnel.

Change can be hard.

Staff configuration, client needs, business plans…we’ve always been nimble with an ability to stretch and flex as needed. The last twelve months—and the 14 years previous—prove that we should not fear change but we should embrace it.

Without change we would never have assembled this amazing staff.

Change continues.

We’ve made space for even more positions in 2018. A videographer, a proofreader, and more designers, creating award-winning work in Glens Falls.

Change adds up.

A 2016 study found that the daily ritual of staff buying coffee and lunch can total $3,000.ºº annually. This summer, 19 hungry Tramps will hit the sidewalks of downtown, for a latte, a rice bowl or the Chef’s Whim. That’s a $57,000 change to our local economy in meals alone.

Change creates space.

Revising our structure has created room for new opportunities, relationships and revenue.

A change in approach.

Our growth led to the creation of necessary processes to guide our business.

Do you see a pattern?

Don’t fear change. Move with it, accept it. There are good things ahead.

 

The Intern Story

It’s snowing, I’m late, and I have no idea where to park!

Those were the thoughts running through my head as I looped around the slick streets of Glens Falls the morning of my first day as an intern at Trampoline. By the time I walked through the door to the office I was frustrated, flustered, and mortified for being late. The fabulous Meg Erickson showed me to my desk, as the introvert inside me cowered in fear as I realized the reality of an open concept office. My computer screen is wide open. My work is on display for everyone to see. I don’t like teachers looking at my work before it’s complete, let alone an entire group of people I don’t know! Ugh, what did I get myself into? Feeling like a bug under a microscope, I settled into my first day and hoped I would get used to this…

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Working it While We Work—POP Pilates

How awesome would it be if you could get your workout done while you were at work? When one of your co-workers is a group fitness instructor and your employers have an open mind, YOU CAN!

Last Friday I had the pleasure of teaching POP Pilates at Trampoline! What is POP Pilates? POP Pilates is a group fitness class that is a twist on classical Pilates. It combines ab-chiseling and total body defining moves to give you a full body workout choreographed to upbeat pop songs!

Since becoming certified to teach POP Pilates in 2016, I have found so much enjoyment in bringing this incredible format to new students and giving them a great workout they feel proud of! To say I was excited to teach a class at Trampoline was an understatement. I still couldn’t believe this was something we could do right in the office! I was excited to share my passion with my fellow Tramps and give them the special POP Pilates brand of positivity and encouragement.

As we set up the conference room for the class, I could sense some nervousness. Truthfully I was nervous too, what if they all hated me after I put them through the killer ab challenge? Or the crazy cardio track? Thankfully that didn’t happen. Everyone loved POP and I wasn’t fired for making my boss do hollow rock ab holds 😉

For me though, the best part was the feedback I received from my co-workers who didn’t take the class. They weren’t even watching, but they could hear me teaching through the double doors that separate the office from the conference room.

“You are a beast!” said Sean

“We were all sitting up straighter in our chairs just listening to you.” said Patty

“When I heard you tell the class that they’ve already done two rounds so they can do one more, it melted my heart. You have found your true calling,” said Allison

Wow. Those are the things I live for as an instructor. I want to bring positivity and motivation to my students. I want them to leave my class feeling good about themselves and of course wanting to come back for more.

POP Pilates is going to become a regular feature at the office once I begin working full time. As one of my Facebook friends commented on the photo from class; “You have POP Pilates in your office? Where do I apply?” Exactly. Trampoline is that cool.

I am thankful I will be able to continue pursuing this passion once I begin working, both in the office and outside of it. After seeing my passion for teaching, Amanda and Paula have agreed to let me leave early on Thursdays in order to make it to one of my classes in time. As far as jobs, benefits, and work-life balance go, that small accommodation means so much. I can’t wait to become a full time Tramp, and the official fitness instructor of the office.

 

National Write Your Story Day: The Story of Trampoline

Today is National Write Your Story Day. As a partner at an agency that specializes in storytelling, through visual elements and words, I can’t help but approach this day with delight. We’re celebrating our 15th year in business and I want to take the opportunity to look back on all that has changed around us, personally and professionally.

It was late fall 2003 when we incorporated. We shook hands as newlyweds and new parents at a campground in Dorset, Vermont, pledging to create a company that put family first and would have an unerring focus on design and communication that hit the mark. The early months were lean, with late nights and light paychecks (if any). Two of us held full time jobs to keep us all covered by health insurance, the books were done after bedtime, headlines written before sunrise.

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Summer Favorites; Beverage Edition

It’s no secret that the staff here at Trampoline enjoy a good drink or two. So much so that we’ve dedicated a significant chunk of our working lives to them. Visit the office and you’ll find a well stocked fridge, bar, kegerator, and coffee pot. Catch our team on the weekend enjoying a variety of alcohol related pastimes, from brewing beer (Staci is our fearless leader in this regard) to jamming out at a local watering hole. It’s safe to say we take our fluids very seriously.

For most of us, the competition for our beverage of the summer was stiff, no pun intended. The following list is a collection of drinks, artwork, and thoughts on what it means to be refreshed in the summer months. Pour yourself a beverage of your choice (we don’t judge!), sit back, and pick our brains. Read more

Join the Team-UPDATED (a second time!)

Summer is winding down and things are revving up here at Trampoline, which is why we are here sharing this throwback commercial from Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. It’s time for us to find that perfect mix as we grow our team. This clip will demonstrate that we aren’t afraid of a little bit of low-res cheese. It’s also foreshadowing that we are looking to do more than staff an open position, it’s to connect people and ideas in a way that strengthens our team and gives you an opportunity to sweeten your skills.

 

 

Ideally, you will be open to learning new things, being flexible to adapt to changes in workflow or assignments, and also a fan of this area.

Things we aren’t: a massive agency, a huge town, users of words like maven, thought leader, or ____-preneur.

Things we are: Passionate about design, solving communication riddles, flaky pastries, craft beers, and kombucha. Ok, so that last one may only be Megan and Amanda.

Graphic Designer

We don’t take adding designers to our team lightly, but the time has come. We are looking for someone with 3+ years working as a designer. We value opinions and confidence, particularly when they are paired with an appreciation for design, typography, process, and clear communication. The process at Trampoline involves collaboration between the different members of the team—one of the reasons why we do require that this position be on-site.

Designers (we currently have 8) work with clients as well as production vendors. The work in the shop ranges from branding projects and ad campaigns, to print magazines and annual reports, with a bit of social media and digital advertising thrown in for good measure.

Fine print: Must have a mastery of Adobe Creative Suite, Word, ability to do battle with Publisher through clenched teeth and a smile. Some familiarity with HTML, video, and photography would be swell.

This position will report to an Art Director and assist in mentoring junior designers.

Please respond with work samples, availability, and references.

 

Junior Graphic Designer

We don’t expect you to be an expert, but we do expect you to be proficient in the Adobe Creative Suite. You can anticipate acting as a support for our current design staff. This could involve re-sizes and re-prints, assisting with proofing and research. If you have video/animation skills, or an interest in learning, all the better. We love a well-rounded, knowledge-hungry designer. As a member of the team, you will participate in creative concepting sessions and the crit process. There will be times when you go on-site for client meetings and events. Our clients range from higher-ed and health care to ski resorts and non-profit organizations.

You’ll have a senior team member who will serve as a mentor. We understand that there will be times when you have questions or need guidance; there isn’t a day at Trampoline when someone doesn’t learn something from a co-worker. Our goal is to have you grow into a larger role, but to do it at a managed pace. There are opportunities to allow everyone a chance to spread their creative wings.

We hope that you will be someone who wants to be here for a while.

When you respond, please send work samples and references.

 

If you think you might be a fit for either of these positions please send us an email with your resume.

 

Learning the Ropes

“Hey Allison, would you be open to sharing your impression of Trampoline from the perspective of a new-to-the-team person?”

“Sure,” she said, “Could I do it in a comic?”

Everyone thinks about it for a minute. “Don’t see why not.”

“Great,” she said cracking a sketchbook.

“Thanks!”

Here it is:

Comic-Spread-01

Draplinspiration

Good designers know that there is always more to learn. It’s an interesting industry to be a part of, like a log rolling contest. The rules and methods are constantly changing, and designers are systematically challenging the status quo. You have to keep shifting your feet to keep up, otherwise you’ll end up in the drink.

One of the ways we do that is to learn from fellow designers. On Monday, four of our designers attended an intensive logo workshop at SUNY Adirondack with one of the greats, Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Company.

We filed into a tightly-packed classroom filled with computers, and waved hello to a few friendly designer colleagues and students who we recognized. The room buzzed with excited anticipation, wondering how many swear words and pearls of wisdom Mr. Draplin would bestow upon us.

Aaron Draplin running the design workshop.

Dressed in one of his signature trucker caps, full beard and sweat pants (he is a rockstar on the road, after all), he absorbed the energy in the room and began the workshop. He whizzed through Illustrator quick keys and stories about past clients as we fervently scribbled notes and sketches in our books. He told the story behind his work for President Obama and opened up his working files to show us how he works on a daily basis. “Don’t tweet this!” he’d proclaim, followed by “Keys to the kingdom!”

Aaron Draplin running the design workshop.

One of the most interesting anecdotes he shared was his journey from Michigan to Portland, Oregon. (He and Staci later shared a moment when they talked after the workshop and discovered that his mom hails from the same hometown that she does: Livonia, Michigan.)

Draplin's hand drawn map of Michigan.

After the workshop, the entire team sat in on his presentation—filled with the same heartwarming, hilarious and inspiring design stories, more swear words, and insight into the design industry.

Our team came away feeling inspired and refreshed, excited to have touched base with a designer we all admire. We laughed and shared, and came to work the next day with the tips we’d learned fresh in our minds.

Design is all about evolving, listening to the world, and moving people with the art we create. And when we learn and get inspired together, we benefit as a team. You see it in the work we produce. As he stated when he closed out the workshop, “I know this is going to sound really ‘Bob Ross-y’, but inspiration is infinite. Catalog those things around you.”

Draplin puts Rob in a headlock.

Joy-of-painting-Bob-Ross

International Women’s Day

Last week rumblings began around the internet about plans for “A Day Without a Woman,” which would highlight how much women do, at the same time that the celebrations of International Women’s Day were being planned. Neither has been without controversy, which actually seems to be par for the course for days-of-awareness and grassroots initiatives lately. Writing this as a business owner, mother of three daughters, and married to a man who was raised by a single mom, I have some opinions on all of it.

I’m not here to pick fights or sling harsh words, I’d really like to just talk about women, not because men don’t matter. I want to talk about women because our agency is women-owned. This isn’t lip service or “abusing the system” as I once had a man say to me. The reality is that of the 12 people who work here, 6 are women. Two of those women, Staci and Leslie, have been hired within the last six months. We didn’t set out to hire women, but as candidates for the open positions, they exemplified the skills and character traits needed in the mix at that time. They could not be more different from one another in how they design and think. I laughed at great length when Staci said, “I do none of the cooking and very little of the cleaning at home. Karl and I like to challenge gender roles.” Leslie talks about parental responsibilities over the dog she and her husband share.

I enjoy having women as a part of our team and I am proud to be a woman in a position of power who is able to open doors for other women. This doesn’t mean that I coddle women on my staff or set different expectations for them, in fact, I may be considered the least nurturing of anyone in the office. It’s ok.

I spent last week out of the office in order to be with my children during the school holiday. I haven’t always felt comfortable doing this and earlier in my career I chose not to a lot of the time in order to project a “professional appearance.” I understand, particularly as I follow the discussions online about participating in A Day Without a Woman and how someone women who have to work feel left out, that the flexibility and autonomy I have to take the time is not something that everyone has. I also know as a business owner that the work is still there to get done when I return, it’s really just delaying what needs to be done.

My business partner is out for a few days to spend time with her daughter who is away at college. Her absence in the office will be felt, but it is also understood that we all take time off and that we have different things that fuel us and root us. As a result of our personal lives and professional decisions, we bring different things to the business.

Partners_S

Grace Bonney of Design Sponge and author of In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from Over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs said in an interview with Business Insider about women and work-life balance:

“… I think the biggest sort of eye opener for me was realizing that almost all of these women had in common the idea that they had given up work/life balance, because I think that it’s a concept that doesn’t — it is not rooted in reality. I think that life and work are constantly in flux, and the market in which we’re all working is constantly in flux.”

Everyone is looking for balance, personal fulfillment, and professional growth. I happen to believe that the more we surround ourselves with people who have different perspectives and desires, the better we are able to navigate the world, service our clients, and define our roles.

This morning a friend of mine with a fierce digital business included Trampoline in a round up of women-owned businesses. The article below highlights women in the design industry who are making waves, gorgeous, bold waves.

 

33 Women Doing Amazing Things in Graphic Design

Today we sit at the precipice of more hires. Maybe they’ll be men, maybe they’ll be women, who knows? What I can say with certainty is that the jobs are available because of the contributions and sacrifices of women. I am grateful for the women and open minded men who came before me and made it not so outside the realm of possibility that I do what I do. It’s because of them that a meeting in 2005 played out in this way:

“Uh, hi, I’d like to speak to a manager about some work I’d like done.”

I smiled as I stepped forward with an outstretched hand and said, “You can talk to me.”

He did a double take and said with a laugh, “They let the women do the meetings here?”

I smiled again, “Actually, they let the women do the owning. What can I help you with, sir?”

 

 

 

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