Since day one, we have always operated the So iLL office from my house. At first, a small table next to my bed during college. When our college roommate moved out, we "expanded" into a bed room with a lime green painted wall. We were still working off dial up Internet but were on top of the world. We then moved to Saint Louis, MO a few years later to start Climb So iLL. At the time we operated the office out of a one bedroom loft, with the new members of our team working remotely from their own apartments (2 other people at the time which was 2008). Once we outgrew that tiny loft, my family moved to a two bedroom apartment where we had an entire extra large room and space to breath so our team didn't have to work remotely in their own apartments. The room wasn't big enough though, even for a few employees. Soon we had sample boxes, foam, and product stacked to the ceiling telling us that we needed our own space.
I think our marketing efforts are so great that (in general) the outdoor industry thinks that So iLL is a big company. Really, even now, it's just a few of us with forward thinking ideas and a strong / encouraging vision. We look big online but are still DYI and growing the smart way.
Once we outgrew the bedroom, it was off to the Hill neighborhood in Saint Louis, MO in 2013. Here we operated in the basement of my house until just 3 weeks ago. We had 5 full time people and 2 interns in our basement. It got out of control, and occasionally on busy days (with photo and video taking place) we would have up to 10 people working out of 1200 square foot basement. I don't want to sound unappreciative. The basement was nice. It was a live / work unit with a separate entrance, separate bathroom and conference area. Not to mention, the basement office was 1 block from our warehouse. It worked for 3 years, and I am very grateful to save costs as our company has been growing.
Enough was enough though, and a few short weeks ago we moved into a simple, but beautiful office space. We went from the basement to the roof. Garcia Properties recently renovated a building on South Kingshighway and they had the perfect space for our small team. It fits the brand well, and I genuinely feel like we are supposed to be here. Almost like it was built just for us.
The space is an old car dealership that would move vehicles from the first floor, through a series of ramps, to the roof where they would be parked. Our unit was designed by UIC in Saint Louis, the same architects that designed Climb So iLL. At the time of design, UIC didn't know that the product side of our business would be taking the space. They were working with Garcia Properties to design and develop the renovation. Yet, somehow, they still designed the space we ended up taking to have a lot of the same simplistic and modern / adaptive re-use elements that our gym has. It's clean and simple and feels like it was created just for us. The roof top office is the room where the dealership would hang the keys for the cars, which is now my office. After over a decade, I finally have a door and a quiet place to talk with clients and our team. We are so very thankful to be out of the house and into such an amazing office.
We are still only a few blocks from our warehouse, and the time spent with the team on the roof top deck has already been refreshing with our extended spring. If you want to stop by, call us. We would be honored to show you the space. Thanks for helping us get out of my house. Onward.