Sponsor: Thanks to turnstone, an office furniture company focusing on small businesses, for supporting Silicon Prairie News. The company is sponsoring our monthly Startup Spaces series.
About the author: The Turnstone Tip is authored by Jenny Gauld, space planner for turnstone.
It’s fitting for ecommerce startup Goodsmiths to be located in West Des Moines’ Valley Junction. Nestled above a row of brick-and-mortar offices, eateries and boutiques, the “marketplace for makers” is right at home.
Goodsmiths’ office at 218 1/2 5th St. in West Des Moines represents the union of old-school handcrafted charm and the future of the digital marketplace. The company has been in the space—which was once home to a chapter of the International Order of Oddfellows—since May of 2012.
It’s easy to imagine the hardwood floors lined with rows of tables and folks congregating for a Friday fish fry. But not anymore. Goodsmiths has imbued the space with a charm of their own.
“Our office is both functional and playful, which is the perfect workspace for Team Goodsmiths,” Goodsmiths’ community builder Riane Menardi told Silicon Prairie News. “We embrace collaboration, but we are heads-down, hard workers.
“Our space allows for all of it—quiet work, collaborative meetings, fun activities with the team and larger community gatherings.”
It’s certainly spacious—3,500 square feet to be exact—for the six full-time team members and a few part-time employees. The main work area includes a quartered-off conference room, a few rows of desks and two lounge areas. That’s not to mention the pool table, TV and video game area, plus the kitchen located just to the right of the main entry—all decked out with turnstone furniture.
Earlier this year, turnstone awarded Goodsmiths a $20,000 office makeover, including furniture and design consultation.
“I loved working with Goodsmiths to help them achieve a more functional and inspiring workspace. Despite having good bones, Goodsmiths faced a couple of real challenges: their tall ceilings created a cavernous feel and old desk separators made collaboration tricky.
The first thing we did was install a turnstone Big Table and made it central to their space. This not only created a standing-height workstation but helped to ramp up office culture by inviting people to gather there – either to socialize or collaborate on projects.
Finally, we removed the desk separators and replaced dated workstations with our Bivi desks, adding a Canopy to create a cozy feeling despite the ceiling height. We then carried the same concepts of collaboration and warmth into their lounge area, bringing the ceiling height down with a Big Lamp. This helped define the space and create a feeling of intimacy despite the room size.”
The main area at Goodsmiths’ Valley Junction offices provides workspace for the startup’s six full-time employees.
The office pool table is fully equipped with old-school billiard balls.
The Goodsmiths team moved to Valley Junction offices in May 2012.
The kitchen has a counter reminiscent of the old elementary school cafeteria line.
The entry corridor to the Goodsmiths office. Notice the two Peace Tree Brewing growlers? An excellent choice.
The Goodsmiths “handmade” conference room was constructed using plywood in one corner of the office.
No office is complete without a trusty skateboard rack.
This snowflake globe light fixture was a gift to the startup from a neighborhing shop in Valley Junction.
Large whiteboards flank both walls of the conference area, which allow for everything from brainstorming sessions to formal meetings.
The TV entertainment area: “Where we play Tiger Woods Golf on PS3 on snow days,” says Riane Menardi.
Recognize that handsome prairie dog on the right? Goodsmiths won New Startup of the Year at last year’s inaugural Silicon Prairie Awards.
Goodsmiths’ offices are located in West Des Moines’ Valley Junction, an area known for its small boutique shops and locally owned businesses.
This post has been co-authored by our sponsor, turnstone.
Credits: Photos by Frank Merchlewitz
About our sponsor: turnstone gives people in small business the freedom to think and move in ways that inspire, both by creating furniture unique to their needs and by supporting their efforts to thrive. We champion the idea that space and office culture matter, and work behind the scenes to connect the dots so that you can get back to changing the world.