Guest Blogger Karin is the Office Manager at Learner’s Edge, and truly knows everything. She’s addicted to HGTV, DIY Network and home improvement projects in general, she loves fishing, hunting and the outdoors, and she owns a Standard Poodle (but let’s be honest…most people wouldn’t admit this).
Some of you know me as the voice on the other end of the phone, the grantor of extensions or just the name at the bottom of the email. Here at the Edge, I am known as the Office Manager. But more than that, I have the privilege of being the first employee. Only I can claim that title!
Seven years ago I was fortunate enough to move into a home located next to the owner and founder of Learner’s Edge. I had no idea what that would mean for me at the time.
The first time Joe approached me to come and work for him and Kyle – the other owner and founder, I declined: I had a job, I was pretty happy in that job, and I wasn’t looking for a change. The second time I was approached I decided that maybe I should check into this gig. What were these two guys about and what was this company they had built from the basement up? I say that with a smile, because Learner’s Edge started in the basement of Joe’s home. Two guys in a basement – who knew?
The guys had just rented their first real office space. Aaahhh…the memories. This space was located on the edge of a corn field at a sanitation company’s site. Yep, that’s right – we worked on the site of a garbage company. The space was nice: we had a small conference room, which was host to many a shared lunch hour and power meeting. It overlooked a collection of recycle bins and garbage cans waiting their turn to be delivered to some home to live out their purpose. There were two other offices that shared this same view. The front office consisted of a countertop area, a closet and a bathroom with room for other miscellaneous items. My desk was strategically placed in the corner facing the room, and my back was to a corn field. This space is now reverently referred to as “the land fill”.
As the company continued to grow and take on new employees, “the landfill” quickly began to close in around us. At the time of our first move there were 6 of us in that space. We were busting at the seams, much like an overstuffed bag of garbage. We needed space to flex.
The next space was bigger, modern, and, as the women in the office referred to it, “cute” (to the chagrin of the owners). It was adorable. From the outside it looked like a play house. A few window flower boxes and some eyelet curtains… you get the picture. As this space was being built we all got to give our opinion of the décor. The color choices were mutually agreed upon from the floors to the paint. We were included in the process every step of the way. It was a neutral palette of beige and black with accents of brushed nickel. This space served us well. But soon we found ourselves, again, busting at the seams.
That was 1 ½ years ago. Today, we work in an office condo. It’s an incredible space with room to grow. Its halls echo when you walk through them. There are many offices. The desks are separated by dividers. The lunch room is a kitchen area complete with ice maker. The view from the windows is amazing: eagles fly in and out, hawks sit perched waiting for their prey, squirrels frolic in the sun and leaves. The conference room still holds many a shared lunch hour and high powered meeting. The number of employees has grown from 1 to 15 and we can all eat lunch together in this conference room, and from time-to-time, we do. And those of us who were there from the beginning…we reminisce. We look back on the humble beginnings at the “land fill”, with a smile, and we look forward to new memories and new faces and are thankful for the spaces that have come and gone.
This past fall I celebrated 6 years, 3 office spaces, and the addition of many great people to The Edge. From its beginnings in the basement, we’ve got a good thing going – who knew?