Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Unencumbered by the trappings of Christmas, albeit slightly bastardized by Black Friday, Thanksgiving is a time of giving not defined by the gifting of material commodities. It's kind of just about love - and food - but hey, food is basically love #amiright. And yeah, I'm slightly biased cause once every four years my birthday falls on Thanksgiving so that's pretty cool, too. But, for the most part, my reverence is completely genuine (and this isn't one of those years).
This Thanksgiving in particular I count myself especially lucky. Nine months ago - wow, time really does just fly! - I moved to San Diego. Shortly after I found an amazing company that, unbeknownst to me, would grow to become like family.
Today I want to share a little bit of my family with you. They have no idea I'm doing this so it'll serve as a little surprise for them too (hopefully a good one...), but the thing is: our team is so great and none of you out there get to see it. And that's a shame.
People call our customer service line and think that we're this huge entity when really, we're a mighty team of nine (eleven if you count the pups). There's seven humans, and two dogs, in a lovely loft office in San Diego, one human up in the supposed winter wonderland that is Vancouver, Canada, and one up in LA.
So let me tell you about them (and also just let me say: I work with a bunch of models).
Let's start at the beginning
It only makes sense to start with Will, Ora's founder and CEO. Becuase, well, without Will there'd be no Ora. It's his passion that created the idea that is now Ora Organic, and his passion that - I think - ignited everyone else's, mine included. Work aside, he plays guitar beautifully and (I can't believe I just discovered this), does the world's best Gollum impersonation. Like: it's just a little too good.
Oh, and yeah: he's also secretly a model? Check out that runway glare.
From Will it only makes sense to introduce Erica because #relationshipgoals.
Erica is Chief of Marketing, and by that I mean she does anything and everything (superbly) from building furniture to designing those cobalt blue bottles we all just love to telling the worlds best/worst puns. She has a stunning voice, which is unfortunate when singing karaoke alongside her, but wonderful when she and Will fill the office with lovely music. And yeah, she's someone I'm lucky enough to consider my friend and so clearly I'm a little biased. Also: MODEL (and has a sweet New Zealand accent).
Then there's Ron, Will's freshman year college roommate. (Also fondly known as Chef Ron - or...Chef Kai?) The joke around the office is that Ron is so giving that, when asked, he'd probably donate his kidneys to you if you really needed them. While I can't attest to the kidney part, the rest is definitely true. In addition to being Chief Operations Officer, running the sales department, and formulating new product flavors, we arrive to work every Monday to a refrigerator prepped and filled with an entire week of pre-portioned lunches. Oh yeah - all homemade. #BLESSED.
Chef status right here.
And check out that hair!
Next is Sebastian, Erica's brother, who's currently bundled up in the hinterlands of Vancouver. As our Chief of Technology Seb talks to computers a lot so it may come as a surprise (but shouldn't) that he's also an amazing writer (seriously, have you checked out his latest Medium article?). Oh and yeah, Sebastian's a musician too. Talented bunch, those Bryers - and both avid karaoke lovers.
Sorry if you hate this picture, Seb. It's just too good, though.
Danielle is our customer service department. Yep. The entire thing. She's also our undercover weirdo, has the most expressive face ever (if you could only see the baby pics), and is potentially a little OCD about the cleanliness of her desk (all said from a place of love).
Also a model.
Our Director of Product Development, Gerry is secretly the funniest person on Slack. We don't get to see him as often as we'd like, but we're always grateful when he does trek down to see us. Gerry is not only the only person I've ever seen out-joke Ron, but he also has a wealth of knowledge surrounding each and every one of our products.
Which brings me to...our two newest recruits, Anna and Troy. Although they've both only just finished their first, full, official weeks with us these two fit right in. And we love 'em.
Anna, our Product and Operations Manager, is wickedly funny and a total nerd. She also rockclimbs, which is badass (in fact, I'm supposed to meet her at the climbing gym right now and am totally late...), and just generally contributes an aura of positive-vibiness and good feelings to our office. And, although she dislikes getting her picture taken, is also totally a #model.
Sometimes you just gotta dance.
Assisting Ron in the sales department, Troy spends a lot of his time corresponding with the outside world and is, consequently, pretty quiet at work. I fact, I don't think I've ever seen him say a peep on Slack! Which is a shame because this guy's got jokes (and a mean handstand game, AND the whitest chucks I ever did see).
Seriously, are they real?
And that's it! These are my people. The great group that I have the pleasure of joining at work every day, both virtually and in person. We work hard and late but we also care for and support each other. And we can have a good time, if necessary.
So I'll leave you now with a few more parting pics. The silly kind that won't show up on our About page but that the world deserves to see anyway. Why? Cause some people are too great not to share.
The Kiwi Sibs.
Roommate love runs deep.
A day in the life.
Written with love, and gratitude, by the Content Manager.