LET'S GO BACK…
This week we have been celebrating our 5 Year Anniversary of being in business! We are having our biggest sale ever today through Sunday, June 19th where every single item available on our store is 25% off!
As part of the celebration, each day of this week leading up to the sale, we have been highlighting a moment from our history that you may not know about!
...TO OUR FIRST "OFFICE"
Today is the day! We are 5 years old as a business!
Thank you so much for all your support that has helped us get here and for joining along in our posts this week. Today is the last day of posts in the Celebration Week and we are going to be going through our physical locations we have been in through the years as well as our future location. Let's do it!
When I first started the business, I still lived at home with my mom and worked a graphic design job at a promotional company and as a go-cart mechanic at an arcade for a while.
FUN FACT: Vitalik (who is now Omnitype's Fulfillment Manager) was a go-cart mechanic with me and Heather (then my gf, now my wife and Omnitype's Director of Operations) was our manager/boss lol.
The photo above shows my mom's dining room completely blocked off by packages waiting to be picked up, and the photo below above shows my first office setup.
I had a small card table and a single shelf next to my bed in my room, and I would run everything from there when I got off work. I would pack orders on my bed and sleep next to them because there was nowhere else to put them. Sometimes, like the photos below, I wouldn't even be able to sleep in my bed and would sleep on the couch or in the guest room. On big orders, my family would all pitch in and help pack the orders to get them out faster. In October of 2018, Heather and I (after just getting married) would move to our own house, and I would take the business with me there.
The photo below shows me having to literally lean my mattress up because I needed the height to stack the packages, so they wouldn't hit the fan lol.
After we moved out to Huntsville, I finally had a dedicated room to work out of. AN ENTIRE ROOM! It felt like I had 10,000 sqft at the time because I had room for my desk, a packaging table, shelves, AND room to walk! But not for long... Once the first groupbuy arrived, it started getting tight again because the number of units sold had continued to grow with GMK Minimal being one of the first, if not the first, sets to hit 1000 base kits sold. It literally filled our living room up from floor to ceiling. And I mean literally.
When we first moved to Huntsville in Q4 2018, Heather's job had gone remote, so only I had to find a job. I was still working my job at the promotional company in Birmingham, AL when we moved as I was not full time keyboards yet. It just didn't feel like it was time then. This meant I was still working at a job that was 2 hours away until I could find a job in Huntsville. So I left our house every day at 5AM, drove 2 hours to work, drove 2-3 hours back after work (traffic), got home at 7:30/8 PM, worked on keyboards for around 2 hours, and then had to be in bed by 9 PM or I would fall asleep on my way to work the next morning. I did this for 6 months until I just couldn't take it anymore. I had to pick one. I chose keyboards. I quit my full-time job April 1 2019. It was the scariest thing I've ever done.
I stayed in this office in our house until Spring 2020. By this time, Heather had joined me full time and we were both working the business at our house. The garage was completely stacked to the ceiling with pallets and boxes, and our entire living room was filled with boxes. It was clear that if the growth continued, a dedicated space would be needed for the business. We started looking for a place and finally closed on our current location in April 2020.
We moved from having a single room in our house to our current location which is a 2500 sqft house with a large garage on almost 2 acres accompanied by a separate 2000 sqft warehouse for a total of nearly 5000 sqft of useable space. This was an incredible upgrade and we could finally stretch our legs with a dedicated space for everything we needed! Check out this video
and the other videos
in the Omnitype HQ series to see walk-throughs of our office
and some changes we made to it
. However, less than 1 year after we had been in this location, it was clear that even this was not enough room for us. So we started looking into the next place around the end of 2020.
In Summer 2021, we closed on a 3 acre plot of land a few miles away from our current location with the plans to build our own custom facility from the ground up. I decided to design the building myself and it took much longer than I expected, but we finally finalized the plans in Dec 2021 and closed on the construction loan in Feb 2022. We have been playing tag with the city and different changes that have to be made to the plans since then, but are hopefully very close to breaking ground! The photo below shows a rough render of the outside of the building. We will have two garage doors on the front that will act as windows but can be opened for an indoor/outdoor atmosphere. There will be a really cool entrance-way with black siding and the Omnitype Icon above the doors. And lastly, we will have three garage doors to the warehouse (the far end will be a loading dock for trucks which our current location lacks).
The inside will be split into three areas. Warehouse, packing room, and office area. The office area will be completely open to the 24ft ceiling and have a mezzanine with more office space above to allow all the natural light into all the offices. The open area in front of the offices will be flex area that we can change into whatever is needed at any given time. Cornhole anyone?! Aside from the offices, we will have a meeting room, kitchen area, various storage rooms, and a photo correct room that I am very excited about. The photo correct room will be completely sealed from outside light and will have D65 lighting throughout so the ENTIRE ROOM is a color correct light box. It's going to be so much easier to do color work than my current setup where I have to shut myself in a closet with a Pantone Lightbooth. Altogether, the office space is about 4,000 sqft.
The packing room will be completely climate controlled so our team is comfortable when packing your orders. The warehouse will consist of about 7,000 sqft which will really allow us to organize and be more efficient. All these areas connect, so the paths to anywhere in the building are efficient and we aren't walking through mazes going to and from different areas. The render below shows the mezzanine connecting to the warehouse behind it. The total square-footage of the entire facility will be right under 12,000 sqft. The land is more than we currently need, but it will allow us to add on if needed. We did this so that we never have to move again. Or at least for a while.
We are a little frustrated with how long it is taking to get this building done, as we are busting at the seams at our current location. We are using every nook and cranny available to store product and boxes. Our goal was to be in our new building by the end of 2022, but it is looking more like Spring or Summer 2023. We'll see.
Well, that is the end of the walk down memory lane for the 5 Year Anniversary Celebration! Thank you so much for reading about our journey through these last 5 years! We can't wait to see what is in store in the next 5!