We work and we play. Read about both here.
The Creative Pursuits of Red Nova Labs Employees
In case you missed it, the RNL band got together this week to write and record a song in celebration of reaching 600 likes on Facebook. That kind of spur-of-the-moment creative undertaking is not uncommon here at RNL. We’re a creative bunch of people, and creativity is a skill we seek to bolster, both in and out of the office.
It’s a kind of circle. We seek forward-thinking, innovative individuals to strengthen our platforms in new and invigorating ways. Meanwhile, an atmosphere of support for new ideas and encouragement for creative endeavors helps foster the very creativity we seek in all our employees. Spearheaded by the fun-loving spirits of our leaders, CEO Dan Miller and President Bob Zhou, the creative energy of RNL thrives in every department – at work and after hours.
The RNL band is one of our many creative outlets, featuring a range of instruments – from guitar to accordion to steel drum. The members meet each Thursday during lunch to jam. “We mostly eat pizza and laugh for forty minutes,” said ukulele player and SEO specialist Beth Cain of their practices. “Then we play two songs.”
Music is a common thread throughout RNL. My ten fingers are not enough to count the number of headphones I see each day as people listen to whatever music helps them work best. (I prefer classical and ambient.) Many of our employees devote their talents to playing music as well.
Account manager Peter Soto is surely one of our biggest music lovers in the office. Between his hours spent tirelessly serving our wonderful clients and lending his steel drum skills to the RNL band, he enjoys making mixes and DJing in Kansas City’s lively and growing electronic music scene. He’s performed at clubs in Westport, the Bottleneck and Jazz House in Lawrence, and a host of house parties.
“I really want to make a mix for the sales team,” he said. They have a routine of turning music on at 4 p.m. to push themselves through the last hour of the day, and Soto plans to make a playlist to help keep things lively. “Something to keep them pumped up,” he said.
Cain also performs outside of the office as a member of the “bluesy worldbeat alternative rock” band Smokemonster. Music is far from her only creative venture, however. Before the show ended, she was a fan of writing LOST fanfiction that proved quite popular at times. She also enjoys making small clay sculptures of various foods.
Her creativity is not a recent phenomenon. At the age of only 13, she contacted actor Sam Huntington requesting to design his website, which she still maintains to this day.
Web designer Rachael Heslop is also, of course, in the business of designing websites, but she employs her talents beyond the walls of RNL as well. With a background in print design, she is a master at lending her friends a hand with wedding invitations and the like. Her latest project is the first major Midwestern blog conference, Go Blog Social, whose website she designed and where she is working hands-on with the other coordinators to secure speakers and ensure an exciting event.
Our other web designer, Abby Madison, is a “DIY queen,” as some in the office refer to her, whose home improvement projects stretch from pallet furniture to mason jar candles. Her blog, Home Sweet Townhome, chronicles her DIY endeavors, recipes, and life in general.
As a graduate of the University of Kansas’ design school, where she focused on photo media, Abby’s passion for photography and video recording bleeds right into her work here at RNL as a web designer and social media manager. She’s never far from her camera and always manages to gravitate toward the fun, strange, and ridiculous happenings around the office, ready to catch them on film or on camera at a moment’s notice.
From account manager Beth Austin’s passion for cooking “decadent desserts,” such as carrot cakes, flourless chocolate tortes, and candied bacon, to business developer Natalie Bragg’s ink and coffee paintings, there is no limit to the depth of RNL’s creativity.
And when so many creative people come together, the opportunities for collaboration are endless. In our work and in our play, we continually push one another. Whether we’re making a surprise video for our bosses at Christmas or celebrating Pi Day in style with StorEdge product manager Beth Donnelly's pi-shaped pie, we go above and beyond.
Just before the holidays, a mystery Santa placed chocolates and individualized notes on everyone’s desks. The identity of the benefactor remained obscure, and as the day passed, we became immersed in discovering the truth. I’m still not sure who put those chocolates there, but it sure led to a fun day of speculation, intrigue, and – of course – satisfied taste buds.
When we got close to 500 likes on Facebook, we decided to reward the 500th person to like our page. The prize? 500 pennies, hand-delivered by the trusty RNL gnome.
Red Nova Labs is not just a fun, challenging, and engaging place to work. It’s an environment that seeks to inspire personal growth and originality in all aspects of our employees’ lives. The innovative, forward-thinking mind is not cultivated in isolation. Just as we push ourselves ever forward in the self storage industry, we push each other to pursue our passions and achieve our goals.
Whether it’s cute images of sheep (our StorageFront mascot), customized T-shirts, or impromptu game nights, there’s always something going on here to engage our imagination, bolster our community, and entertain our loyal fans.