We give a lot of #thanks (You Rocks!) around Sandstorm. Check our Sandy’s collection.
Kellye’s unique approach involves a delicate balance of left and right-brained thinking. She most recently hailed from the corporate video world, where her diverse client list ranged from fun consumer brands, like Mike’s Hard Lemonade, to big financial names, like BMO Harris. Here at Sandstorm, she’s excited to bring strategic, innovative thinking to every project.
In her spare time, Kellye is a dramatic writer and TV junkie. She hosts a weekly writers circle through which she develops scripts for television series, plays, and short films. She also kicks some serious butt at Call of Duty.
At Sandstorm, we wear black to honor the passing of the original Information Architect, Massimo Vignelli.
Massimo Vignelli on Black: "There is no other color that is better than black. There are many others that are appropriate and happy, but those colors belong on flowers. Black is a color that is man-made. It is really a projection of the brain. It is a mind color. It is intangible. It is practical. It works 24 hours a day. In the morning or afternoon, you can dress in tweed, but in the evening, you look like a professor who escaped from college. Everything else has connotations that are different, but black is good for everything.
To me, black is black and red is color. That’s it."
We recently had an amazing opportunity to share our story of building a culture of gratitude, fun, and recognition with Marcus Lemonis from CNBC's "The Profit" (who is totally awesome by the way). Like any other small business, we had growing pains. By focusing on defining and building our culture, we absolutely flourished. The results are staggering. We doubled our staff, moved into new digs, grew revenue 250%, and are growing another 30% this year, too.
Here are 5 things that transformed our culture:
1. "Leading by example" is only half the work. "You are what you tolerate" is the second half. So if you're a CEO or manager, step up and speak up.
2. We held a company meeting called "The best place I ever worked." Everyone on our team shared what they loved most about past companies they worked for... and why. This was the beginning to our multi-year plan to learn from other successful organizations and implement. I would recommend Tony Hsieh's book, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose.
3. We established ground rules. We call these "Sandstorm Expectations" and they show you how to be a Sandstormer.
4. We defined our core values to work by, to hire by, and to live by. Not core values on a poster, but meaningful, concise, memorable ones (call our office and anyone who answers will be able to tell you what they are).
5. We celebrate successes every month in a company meeting called a "You Rock." CNBC did an amazing job capturing this in their video - thank you!
So, how did CNBC and Marcus Lemonis find us? Through Vistage, a CEO leadership group that I've been a member of for 8 years. They were looking for small businesses with a story to tell. I replied, and many weeks later, Sandstorm was selected as 1 of 12 companies featured.
We are so grateful for the opportunity to share our story with other business owners and hopefully inspire them to embrace a culture of celebration at work.
We hope you enjoy the show: Check out the video
We were a little busy last week with prepping for the holiday weekend, and we also had some special guests! Marcus Lemonis, from CNBC’s “The Profit” stopped by our office to interview Sandy. A crew from CNBC spent 2 days getting video of Sandstormers in our natural environment.
We’ll be featured in a web series about small successful businesses. This will showcase what makes Sandstorm unique and how we balance fun with accomplishing good work. We had a You Rock, a little too much buffalo wing popcorn, and a lot of fun. Such a great opportunity to share the Sandstorm story!
We’ll keep you posted on when it’s live.
Learn more about how to better the user experience on your Drupal website. Take some time this weekend and attend the Midwest Drupal Camp 2014 (or Drupal MidCamp). Michael Hartman, our Technology and Usability Director, is giving a presentation that highlights 4 of the best user research approaches. He will walk you through the practices that uncover what your users are looking for, their needs, and areas to improve.
The user experience research methods discussed include:
Michael’s talk is scheduled for Saturday, March 29 from 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. in the River room at the University Center (525 S. State Street, Chicago).
Adding to a long list of all we have to celebrate this month, Sandstorm is so thrilled to announce that we’ve made Brill Street’s list of top 50 Gen Y employers in Chicago for the fifth time running.
Our growing reputation as one of the best places in the city for Gen Y-ers to learn and grow across a multitude of marketing disciplines is a huge source of pride for us, and is one among many reasons why we’ve been able to develop such a tremendously talented team of creative thinkers and life-long learners.
We love our Gen Y A-team!