We’ve been planning the Knock Knock tenth-anniversary party since approximately forever ago (really, six months at the very least). While we can’t possibly share all the nitty-gritty deets that went into prepping for the party and “Fun/Functional” showcase, you can check out party pics here and see how the hard work paid off. And if you see yourself in a pic, tag yourself, please!
As Jen explained, we didn’t hire a party planner, but we did have the Knock Knock “Ten-Year Team” (“TYT” for short—pronounce it out loud) to setup and ensure everything went smoothly.
Step in TYT’s pre-party shoes for a few moments:
Several days before the party, Chelsea, our manufacturing coordinator, Sara, our e-commerce manager, and Melanie, our marketing and digital coordinator, spent an afternoon in our conference room making thirty paper boutonnières for the team. They made it out of our Why I Must Get Drunk With You Pad, because of its orange color and because it was oh-so appropriate.
Left: Paper flower made out of our Why I Must Get Drunk with You Pad. Right: our production artist, Will, sporting the finished version.
Bare brick walls and furniture in plastic wrap. Let's do this!
We used strong, removable double-sided tape to hang up our product signage. They were quite the bitch to peel, but it worked out. From left to right: Jen, head honcho; Sara, e-commerce manager; Mel, marketing and digital coordinator.
Trish suffered from a "taped" leg. (We actually ran out of places to keep tape while we hung signage, so our legs were the only answer.)
At one point Will threw his hands at the heavens because he couldn't take the pressure of hanging a giant January card. Theatrics.
Our publisher, Craig, found the stash of orange bowties for the bartenders and security guards. Craig, orange looks good on you!
Meanwhile, AmDC took care of their showcase room:
Kiel and Annie make sure those Urban Shoe Pots hung from the ceiling just right.
The team displayed around thirty products. Products galore.
It's lookin' good, guys!
We had to somehow manuever the giant plywood piece (that the products sat on) to the second floor, where the party was. Since we couldn’t fit it through the doors or elevator, a number of strong arms actually hoisted it up and over the second-floor railing. We aren’t kidding. Thank you, leverage!
People on Abbot Kinney stopped and stared at our conundrum.
Before we knew it, it was 5 p.m. and though we may or may not have been sticking the last of the product signage on the brick walls, it was nearing game-time. Check our finished SPACE out:
Ready to party. (Photo by Jennifer Fujikawa Photography)
Security guards at the ready, wearing dashing Knock Knock orange bowties. (Photo by Jennifer Fujikawa Photography)
Please enter the “Fun/Functional” showcase room:
"Fun/Functional" products on display. (Photo by Jennifer Fujikawa Photography)
Our head honcho Jen and the American Design Club crew. From left to right: Henry Julier; our head honcho Jen; Sam Cochran; Annie Lenon; Sarah Boatright; Kiel Mead. (Photo by Jennifer Fujikawa Photography)
"Fun/Functional" products on display. (Photo by Jennifer Fujikawa Photography)
"Fun/Functional" products on display. (Photo by Jennifer Fujikawa Photography)
"Fun/Functional" products on display. That's an In-N-Out Qult on the right. We also gave out special tenth-anniversary tote to all attendees. (Photo by Jennifer Fujikawa Photography)
"Fun/Functional" products on display. It's a very romantic thing. (Photo by Jennifer Fujikawa Photography)
Wyatt Little's Urban Shoe Pots. (Photo by Jennifer Fujikawa Photography)
"Fun/Functional" products. (Photo by Jennifer Fujikawa Photography)
We created special cocktails exclusively for the party. They were named after a couple of our products—The Pep Talk and The High Five. Delicious.
Jen giving her speech to a room full of friends, colleagues, and fans of Knock Knock. (Photo by Jennifer Fujikawa Photography)
Knock Knockers in the loung area. From left to right: Jim, president; Craig, publisher; Gil, director of operations and customer service, and Trish, VP of branding. (Photo by Jennifer Fujikawa Photography)
Party mingling. That's our manufacturing director, Elyse, in the middle. (Photo by Jennifer Fujikawa Photography)
More party people. Is that our former designer Alexis (in white) that we see? (Photo by Jennifer Fujikawa Photography)
Our sales associate, Travis, and her boyfriend, Chris, write in the party guestbook. (Photo by Jennifer Fujikawa Photography)
A peek at a few entries from the guestbook. Front: the Knock Knock guest book; Middle: Merritt's rad Knock Knock doodle; Below: Paco?
When the party ended, Knock Knockers and friends helped with the breakdown and took the signage off the walls. And the night was still young . . .
Knock Knockers during mid-breakdown. From left to right: Sara; Dayna, our assistant editor; Melanie; Trish, and Craig.
As our birthday festivities come to a close, we want to thank each and every one of you who helped us celebrate. Here’s to another decade of putting the “fun” in functional!
The second sign welcoming people into the party. The first posed the question, "OMFG, has it been 10 years already?"
Do you, any of you, have social anxiety? That weird thing that makes you dread something that’s supposed to be a great time, even though you know intellectually you’ll probably have fun and forget about yourself once the shindig actually starts? The perverse instinct to cancel and run and hide with some ice cream and TV even though everybody thinks you’re outgoing?
That’s what I had going into the ten-year-anniversary party. Not to mention that it was a hell of a lot of work to put on. As someone who’s never planned a wedding (bridesmaid five times, though, thank you very much), I really had no idea. It’s a party. In a space. With people and food and drinks and decorations. What, Trish? What’s that you say? You think we need a party planner? Pshaw.
Trish was right. (She usually is.) It was such a big project that, as the day approached, I was not only dreading it irrationally and agoraphobically, I and the party team quite understandably couldn’t wait for the post-work relief that would set in once the heavy lifting was over.
But you know what?
IT WAS A MAGICAL NIGHT.
Social anxiety be gone. Work be worth it. People be incredible. Evening be beautiful. Triumph be palpable. Party be rock star.
Trish, Craig, me, and Jim—festive captains of the ship!
In general, gratitude—at least the self-help modality version of it—bugs the shit out of me. “Blessings,” people say. “In gratitude.” Yeah? I mock your Prius bull-hockey with my namaste hands. So imagine my surprise when I noticed myself feeling GRATEFUL. Tear-in-the-eye grateful. Non-mocking-namaste-hands grateful. Therapist-would-be-proud-of-me grateful. Pocket-full-of-sixpence grateful.
Because of this, right now, for one time and one time only, I’m going to do what I’d vowed never to do—make a gratitude list. The kind that Oprah says will make me a better person if I do it every day. But that’s not why I’m doing it—I’m doing it because I really, truly, and uncharacteristically want to count my and Knock Knock’s blessings. And I’m going to make it eleven just for the hell of it, and because ten years is actually sort of eleven years when you count them on your hands.
A kick-ass ten-year-anniversary party that truly felt culminative and triumphant and symbolic, filled with Knock Knockers past and present (and who knows, maybe future?), trusted and relied-upon vendors and consultants, friends of Knock Knock (shout out to August Friend of the month, Ariana, who came and surprised us from San Bernardino and made my night!), friends of Knock Knockers, up-and-coming young product designers and their creations, neighbors, and even a very small smattering of (other people’s) family. A party that looked as good as it felt, that went off flawlessly, that included mixed drinks called the High Five and the Pep Talk, that offered cheeses with unpronounceable names from local shepherds served by delightful individuals in orange silk bowties. A party filled with art and music. A party at which all attendees actually looked like they wanted to be there.
The first Knock Knock catalog, the first Knock Knock product (pre–Knock Knock), and lots of gorgeous cheese.
An amazing Knock Knock team. Really and truly and unforgettably. A more dedicated, skilled, hard-working team you will not find—because we get shit DONE. Shout-outs here to Jim and Craig and Trish, who manage the whole enterprise with me; Mia and Miguel and Aimée in design; Patricia in product development; Shane and Will in production; Erin and Jamie and Kate and Dayna in editorial; Melanie in marketing and Sara in web; Elyse and Chelsea in manufacturing; Gil and Paul in ops and customer service; Jazzlyn and Lena and Paul in customer service; Travis and Lonnie in sales; and Odi in accounting. And all of our sales reps all around the country. And our distributors all around the world. And our PR agency and lawyers and IT consultants and accounting firms. But not Jesus. I’m sorry. I’m just not going to be thanking Jesus here.
Getting to make creative, fun, interesting stuff we believe in. Yes, there are the craven marketplace bestsellers like all the WTF products, all of which seem to sell no matter how little creativity we put into them, but we work at a company where we brainstorm about reasons to have sex, write books about drunken toasting, and design snow globes. Right? Right? And a creative corollary here: I’m grateful for a workplace in which we can swear and talk about untoward things and not have to dress up.
Having people buy creative, fun, interesting stuff we believe in. Oh, you retailers and buyers and friends, how wonderful are you to allow us to do what we do? If you didn’t buy it, we wouldn’t be able to keep making it. If you didn’t interact with us on social media and in stores and at tradeshows, we would feel alone and blue. You get it, we get it, let’s get it together! We’ve got it together, friends, you and Knock Knock. And might I just add that I am also thankful for 2012 being one of the best sales years we’ve ever had, with incredible opportunities popping up left and right. It’ll all combine to be our most profitable year, too, and if you’ve been following the year-by-year history of Knock Knock on this blog (see postscript below), you know how important that is for us!
Just as the party was starting. A few great Knock Knockers in this one: Chelsea, Will, Sara, Jim, me, Craig, Trish, and possibly a couple others I can't make out. Doesn't everybody look great in their Saturday best?
Offices we love in a place we love. We are so fortunate to be in the Electric Avenue Studios, with our perch recently expanded into four units from three. It’s a creative, light-filled, open space within walking distance to great lunch places and even the beach (though nobody seems to go from work) in the land of eternal sunshine and the neighborhood of cool breezes, a place where we can walk and bike and generally flout the Los Angeles cars-only reputation.
The fact that we made it ten years. Wow. Ten years. Lots of businesses don’t make it to five. When I started Knock Knock, a couple people in my life told me they first thought, “Well, that stuff is great, but what other things can they do?” Each time we brought out a new list, they thought, “Okay, surely they’ve exhausted the ideas now.” The fact that we made a ten-year-perservering company out of consistently innovative and fresh creativity—with major mistakes and missteps and disasters and meltdowns and injuries and teaching “opportunities” along the way—is something to be grateful for, no doubt about it.
Other smart people. Early on, I determined that I wanted Knock Knock to function in part as a think tank in the following manner: really smart people coming together to grapple with and debate about interesting challenges and issues (one of the definitions of an interesting problem is one you haven’t had before). I like smart people. I like learning from others. I like it when other smart people constantly spur you to bring your A-game. I like it when there are people around you who are better at what they do than you are. Done, and done!
The amazing AmDC new product design show, Fun / Functional. Such beautiful and witty designs, along with many of their beautiful and witty designers!
Knowing how to do this thing we call business. It was so terrifying when I/we had no idea what we were doing or how to do it. Now I’m reasonably seasoned and not a bad businesswoman. For the most part, I truly know how to run Knock Knock, and I know how to do the critical thinking work to figure out the things I don’t yet know. And we’re big enough and functional enough to attract and compensate other people who know what they’re doing, people who’ve had prior experience doing things (vs. reinventing the wheel over and over again), people who can say things like “There might be a better way to do this” or “Let’s create a system or process for that” or “Jen, you’re full of shit.”
Having the financial support we needed. We got help for about seven years, which culminated in our becoming debt-free in 2012. Knock Knock’s financial history is unique. It’s one of the areas in which we had an extremely lucky break, and we were able to get to where we are today without many of the financial struggles other growing companies have faced. Sometimes people feel that if others get help financially, what they’re doing isn’t worthwhile. It’s probably an envy thing, and to be sure, it isn’t fair whose endeavors get supported by easy money and whose don’t. But when you and the team work really, really goddamned hard to do something innovative that succeeds in the marketplace year after year (not easy to do, let me tell you), does the fact that you’ve had a couple legs up discount what you’ve done? I don’t think so.
A return to a reasonable work-life balance. This is partly personal and partly across the company. That first six years of ninety-hour weeks and untold stress and chaos took a TOLL on me. I still haven’t gotten back to certain pre–Knock Knock standards of life and self (though of course in so many other areas, I’ve greatly surpassed where I was before Knock Knock), but at least there’s the possibility of doing it, and I’m working on it (why, oh why does life require so much work on oneself? it’s exhausting! will it ever end?). It’s also across the company. Knock Knock is so much more orderly and sane than it was in the early years, with most people working normal hours most of the time and knowing what they’re supposed to be doing when. (Yes, this last creative development season, the one that just ended, Spring 2013, was an anachronistic killer, but it’s now over, thank god.)
Unending excitement at the prospect of new opportunities and the future. We have compiled a team that does not prefer complacency and status quo—in fact, people who drift in that direction don’t end up doing well at Knock Knock. But for those who love stimulation like I do? People who are easily bored and like to tackle new endeavors? People who are curious about almost everything and don’t say things like “That’s not my job”? It’s the best! On a strategy level, our planning is well into 2014. We’re thinking about things we’ve never thought about before, on scales that would previously have been nothing more than unachievable fantasy. This shit is FUN!
The smiling faces I saw as I gave the speech for the evening. I think I kept it short enough!
So. I end my gratitude list by saying thank you. Thank you to everybody who’s made this ten years possible. Thank you to everybody who’s survived difficult times with and for us and has the scars to prove it. Thank you to everybody who’s celebrated with us, near us, or on us. Because you must know—for a pessimistic, self-flagellating curmudgeon like me to feel so lucky even for a moment is no small thing.
See you at the twenty-year-anniversary party!
P.S. Even though the postscript is dead, I do feel it’s important to let you know that I am aware I only got up to 2007 in my year-by-year narration of Knock Knock’s history. That’s six posts out of the eleven required, a majority. I do still plan to finish this project, and who knows, maybe I’ll make a book out of it, and it will come with a CD of music to slit your wrists by—like Mazzy Star. And a book isn’t too far off—it turns out that the median length for all books is 64,000 words, and I’ve already written (not including this post) 29,138. Because, as we’ve said from the very beginning, why use fewer words when you could use more?
We’re ready to look outward during this tenth year and beyond, however, let’s not forget the leaders who have been the solid foundation of Knock Knock for quite some time—and their inherent solid taste. Infectious positivity radiates from Jim, our president, on a daily basis. So much so that you probably won’t even need a cup of coffee after being in his presence. Here are his pick of items that shape him into the “guy’s guy” we all gravitate toward.
Writing this post for “guy’s guy” stuff, has made me realize how great and yet how simple my life truly is. It revolves around a few things that I love the most: family, sports, friends, and my barbecue! Those four simple things put a smile on my face and keep me grounded.
So what are those products that I cherish most and keep me engaged and enthused with “guy’s guy” stuff?
1. In my life, first and foremost is family. I love playing golf with my two boys, Jake (six years old) and Zach (five years old). I grew up playing golf with my grandfather and my dad, and have some amazing memories of which I want to pass along and create with my own boys. We like to play out in Palm Springs, go to the driving range, and also play on our local Par 3 course not too far from our home. They both have great swings and definitely needed their own set of clubs!
Golf clubs, a must!
2. So I do love to play golf, but to try and stay in shape, I like to jog. One of my favorite Knock Knock products is theHealth Life Log, where I can track all of my runs, my distances, times, and write comments on how I felt during the run. I know nowadays it’s old school to actually write these things down, but I find it very rewarding and therapeutic to complete this log right after I’ve finished my run.
My Health Life Log
3. Staying true to the sports theme, I am a huge sports fan and basically will participate whenever possible or watch almost any sport on TV. I’m so bad that even when I travel to China I’ll get caught up in watching table tennis or cricket—sports that I typically don’t have much interest in, but it’s on and I’ll watch it. Also, I am an alumnus from Michigan State University and love to show off my Spartan pride to my neighbors.
My Spartan flag hangs proudly.
Funny story: so after I moved in a few years ago, I hung my Michigan State flag on our house right away. Clearly I didn’t know my neighbors well until after a few months. Then one day I was out front cutting my grass (yes, I actually do this) and two of my neighbors came up to me asking about my flag. They didn’t know what team it represented and thought it was Stanford, only without the right school colors—total rookies! I was appalled, but had a good laugh with them. Nothing like being a Midwest transplant and living between USC and UCLA neighbors! Go Green!
4. One of my annual rites of passage is a “John Doe bachelor party” to Vegas with some of my high school buddies. We’ve been doing this for twenty years now, and every year it gets better and better. There’s nothing like reliving your high school and college days with good friends and a few (or many more) brews. I like to bring Knock Knock care packages for these guys and here’s is what I brought this past year:
This is just some classic Knock Knock product that has these guys cracking up and are usually a good foray into a couple of good stories.
5. Additionally, I don’t really like to cook but I do love to barbecue. At my house, the barbeque area is my own oasis where I have a barbecue, a flat top grill, a sink, and yes, a fridge. So that’s why I like to barbecue so much—there’s an endless supply of cold beverages literally right at my fingertips! I barbecue about three times a week, sometimes more, especially in the summer months. I also keep my handy Recipe Notes Sticky Notes in my barbecue drawer, so I can jot down cooking times or changes to a marinade, etc.
6. Last but not least, I did mention that family is very important to me. So, to keep the goodwill flowing and to try to pitch in where I can, I have the trustyThings To Do Around the House Pad on my fridge so it’s easy access for my wife.
It’s usually filled-in, so not sure what’s up with that, but this pad keeps the harmony in the home!
A few of us have stayed on team Knock Knock for the long haul these past ten years (besides Jen, of course).Patricia Rudolph, whose been a Knock Knocker since 2003, is one of those select individuals. In this special “In It for the Money,” we picked Patty’s brain on her time at Knock Knock.
A third of Patty at Knock Knock's first National Stationery Show.
1. Knock Knock title you had when you started: Director of Sales
Knock Knock title you have now: Director of New Product Initiatives
2. What has changed the most over the time that you’ve been at Knock Knock? Sixteen new employees, additional office space, processes, published books, international presence, and key account relationships.
3. If you left Knock Knock in the past, how did you feel? Tell us about your departure. If you came back, tell us about that too!
I left Knock Knock when they we’re going through a period of logistical challenges to explore product development and manufacturing, which I also had an interest in.
I was always proud of Knock Knock’s continued rise in the marketplace, even as I watched from the outside. So during a phone call last spring, Jen and I realized that I could bring what I had learned about product development and sales and put it back into the Knock Knock mix. Now, I’m happy to say that I’m off and running again with Knock Knock. The creative energy across the company is energizing!
5. What are you proudest of during your time at Knock Knock? Expanding a nascent Knock Knock across the country and internationally.
Patty's fave Knock Knock ite. The Original Slang Flashcards came out in 2004.
6. What do you think would most surprise people about working at Knock Knock? You can swear as much as you want . . . for Christ sakes!
7. What’s the hardest part about working at Knock Knock? Being diligent about proper punctuation. Also, knowing the difference between ampersands and umlauts and hashtags and hyphens—oh my!
8. What’s the best part about working at Knock Knock? When we have direct orders from the head honcho to do things like check out Jon Hamm’s penis video.
9. What has surprised you the most about working at an entrepreneurial startup company? That a small group of talented individuals really can have an impact on a design trend, both nationally and internationally.
10. What’s your favorite discontinued Knock Knock product? Besides my nostalgic fondness for the Report Cards, I loved the first release of Slang Flashcards. The hysterical combination of the straight images and sentences peppered with current slang words made for fun selling, and I learned how to sound like a nerdy hipster.
We’re psyched to introduce you to a handful of remarkable designers whoseitems will be featured during our tenth-anniversary party and “Fun & Functional” event with the American Design Club on November 10. We laud their work and can’t wait to see their stuff on display.
Meet Wyatt Little, an industrial designer based in Houston, Texas. With a last name that certainly contradicts his innovative creativity, Little’s projects are nothing short of clever. Just check out his work at wyattlittle.com and behance.net/wyattlittle (be sure to read his design inspirations!), and you’ll understand exactly what we’re talking about.
Meet designer Wyatt Little . . . with cockatoo.
1. How did you get started as a product designer? Did you always want to be in this field?
Ever since I can remember, I have always been tinkering around in the garage and watching my dad design and build sculptures, toys, houses, etc. I guess it was only natural that I follow in his footsteps.
Wyatt Little's Urban Shoe Pots.
2. Name of Fun & Functional product featured: Urban Shoe Pots
3. What’s the story behind your idea? What really inspired you to create it?
I was walking home one day and saw two city workers on a cherry picker removing a couple of pairs of shoes from a power line. I have always found a certain beauty in a pair of old sneakers dangling from a line. I looked at one of the shoes and noticed there were a couple of plants growing inside—probably from a bird that had made a nest and pooped inside of it. It was right about there that I came up with the idea for “Urban Shoe Pots.”
I was really excited at that point and decided to ask the workers if I could take a pair. They gave me a weird look and I got the go-ahead. From there, I made a plaster mold of the shoes and slip casted them.
4. What was the hardest or most challenging part of designing this product? Any creative bumps in the road you dealt with?
I honestly did not have any bumps. Making the mold was super simple. Casting into the mold is a breeze and the firing and glazing is super fun.
Creating a mold from the original hanging shoes.
Planting the Pots.
5. How do you organize your work process to balance fun and functionality in your own daily grind? Any tips you’d like to relay to friends of Knock Knock?
I always make lists of all the random ideas that pop into my head. I try to develop at least one idea per week. This allows me to be super productive and never let any idea—good or bad—slip away. The key for me is acting and developing the ideas into some sort of physical form. Without that, it’s just all talk.
We asked you all to create a new Twitter background for us, encompassing our company’s “fun in functional” philosophy. A big thanks to everyone who submitted a design—you all really do get us and are so deserving of exploding high-fives. But after much strenuous deliberation, we finally chose a winner . . .
Congrats, Kelsey Spencer of Austin, Texas! We’re big fans of how Kelsey captured our love for doodling and whimsy and incorporated it into a fresh design, alluding to our Paper Mousepad. Plus, if anyone were to put the “pro” in “procrastination,” it would be us.
Matt Katzenson, CEO of Fine Lines Company and a longtime friend of Knock Knock, wrote this piece. His company became one of our rep groups early on and works, to this day, distributing our product wholesale to retailers. We’re treating this post as an indication that a certain someone already has his tenth-anniversary party hat on, making us feel oh-so happy and appreciative.
Matt Katzenson of Fine Lines Company. He likes Knock Knock and waterfalls.
Has it really been a decade since I first met Jen Bilik? It was 2003 when she first came to our showroom and we talked about taking the line on at Fine Lines Company. This was way back in the day, when her list of “things you must do to make me happy” had only twenty-two items on it. (Note that with the passage of time she’s become much more demanding.)
Admittedly, I first found Jen a bit intimidating—she used really big words, talked fast, and I thought she was probably a lot funnier than me. Knock Knock was funny, but full of multiple-choices, long checklists, and so much to read. I worried and thought that with ADD becoming the new national epidemic, was this line doomed to fail? I took it on anyway. It was unique, it was complex, there was nothing like it out there.
Well, it took off. It sold. People LOVED it. (They still do.) Like its creator, Knock Knock doesn’t dumb down communication, but has a knack for getting to an essential truth with just the right amount of honesty and wit to overcome what might otherwise be quite an insult! They’ve even managed to create an entire book of insults and somehow made it look harmless, even . . . quaint.
A nugget of wisdom from Jen's "Why Funny Sells in a Tough Economy" presentation.
In the last ten years, we’ve been through a bubble and an economic collapse with Knock Knock. At the height of the Great Recession, we even called Jen in to give a lecture to an audience of panicked retailers. She called it “Why Funny Sells in a Tough Economy” and not only did it rival some of the best stand-up comedy I’ve seen, it was sharp, focused, inspirational, and full of great information—a lot like Knock Knock. Incidentally, funny did sell in a tough economy, and our business with Knock Knock increased even while the economy was in a free fall.
Every day, lines are submitted to us for representation and we’re always looking for the next Knock Knock, the next Jen Bilik. So far, we haven’t found another. There’s only one, and we’re glad she’s here.
Thanks for a great ten years, Jen—here’s to a few more decades!
A few of us have stayed on team Knock Knock for the long haul these past ten years (besides Jen, of course). Gil Vizconde, who has been a Knock Knocker since 2004, is one of those select individuals. In this special “In It for the Money,” we picked Gil’s brain on his time at Knock Knock.
Mr. Gil and his token catchphrase after all these years.
1. Knock Knock title you had when you started: Slave. It’s funny, but I really can’t remember. Now I’m the director of operations (DOO)—still a slave, but I get paid a lot more and I get to tell other people what to do.
2. What has changed the most over the time that you’ve been at Knock Knock? The number of offices we occupy. Other than that, the business has grown tremendously and our brand is found everywhere.
Gil and his Knock Knock Composition Book from 2004. He still uses it to this day!
3. What are you proudest of during your time at Knock Knock? I can’t recall any specific event, but every year has been an achievement in terms of what we’ve done as a company, as well as personally in the various roles and positions I’ve had throughout the years. To grow year after year is a lot to be proud of.
4. What do you think would surprise people the most about working at Knock Knock? I think the biggest surprise is the size of our company (FYI, we currently have twenty-five employees). We’re small, but we get a TON of crap done. It amazes even me!
5. What’s the hardest part about working at Knock Knock? Commuting from Phoenix, Arizona, and keeping Jim, the “Prez,” under control during meetings. He gets a little excited sometimes.
6. What’s the best part about working at Knock Knock? It’s gotta be the roll-up door on the business side! Okay, maybe it’s the people and the product—both super cool. And having an office in Venice less than a mile from the beach isn’t bad either.
7. What has surprised you the most about working at an entrepreneurial startup company? It has to be the amount of creativity and work that gets put into every item we sell, from the early idea stage, all the way through production, to the final stage of distribution. It’s so much more work on this side of the business (production and manufacturing). I was on the entrepreneurial retail and selling end previously, so buying and selling product now seems so much easier to me.
8. What’s your favorite discontinued Knock Knock product? I almost forgot about the original Composition Book. It’s the perfect notebook with a hard cover, a strap to keep it closed and your crap inside, perforated corners to mark where you left off, and doodling dots on the bottom.