Threadless is about making things. The culture is DIY to the core. And the office is littered with contraptions and innovations, creations and experiments – on the floor, the walls, even the ceiling. It’s complete visual overload… until you realize that this is the Threadless way.
Have an idea? Do it. Want a unicorn bust on the wall? Go for it. Skate through the warehouse? Sure. Animal skull on your computer? Why not? How about a huge annual party open to the entire Threadless community? Of course.
So how does a space reflect a culture of making things? How does a company with this philosophy create their space? Together. As a team. From scratch. Naturally. When the team walked into the cavernous space for the first time, they saw an obsolete FedEx facility – an empty box. And they loved it because it meant they could create. Each employee at Threadless leaves their mark on the space – they all bring a little piece of themselves to it.
From a pride parade robot that would speak messages tweeted to it, to a fully functional airstream trailer bookable on the calendar, Threadless is the antithesis of the office. People are scared to miss a day of work, not because of a reprimand, but because they may miss a Gorilla-gram or a water balloon fight. Or a band playing in the warehouse (sometimes by actually walking through the aisles). Every day is a different adventure.
While formal values are being rolled out (slowly, with a dedicated event for each value), the hiring strategy has been informal: Is this person a maker? Is she passionate about community, both external and internal? And is she willing to work hard and play hard?
“People didn’t find great success by fitting in,” says Jake Nickell, Founder and CEO of Threadless. And judging by Threadless’ success and office, that statement could not be more true.