#AgencyInsider: Victors & Spoils, Boulder

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Today, we continue our ongoing feature — Agency Insider. We all know agencies have amazing physical spaces. But unless you work at a specific shop, you might never get a chance to see how cool they truly are. Until now. Email us at the@denveregotist for details on having you agency featured.

Victors & Spoils opened its doors in October of 2009. And, until recently, we called West Pearl in Boulder “home.” But in 2012 we found ourselves both growing up and growing out. Our polarizing little endeavor, which began with five people and a couple of dogs running around what then seemed like a laughably cavernous space, was now pushing 30 employees. And cavernous had become cramped. So in November of 2012, we packed up and made the move to East Pearl Street. Spruce Confections was – with some initial reluctance – traded in for Boxcar Coffee. Lolita’s made way for Dish Gourmet. And post-work brews moved from West End to Mateo.

Our new building was in the process of being renovated at the time of our move, but building owner John Reynolds was kind enough to shuffle the construction schedule to let us in early. It wasn’t without compromise, however, as we didn’t have bathrooms for three months. A character-building experience of sorts. So a huge thanks to Dish Gourmet for warmly welcoming us to the block by sharing their, um, facilities. And to the construction workers who allowed grown men wearing chunky glasses and skinny jeans to use their porta potty.

Despite the challenge of the yet-to-be finished bathrooms, the new space had one pretty wonderful thing the old one didn’t: light. The old space, by the time we left, had earned the less-than-affectionate nickname, “the cave.” The new space, in a refreshing contrast, has windows on both the North and South ends, giving everything a more vibrant, open feel. We had a garage door installed on the South end to allow those nice Boulder breezes to blow though. And to give everyone a quick means of escape on Friday at quitting time. Most importantly, we’ve gone from zero conference rooms at 821 Pearl (seriously) to four at 1904 Pearl.

Before it was a light- and conference room-filled space, our new building had been many things. It had, like a few of our crew, a bit of a checkered past. It’d been a private residence, a furniture store (pictured), an appliance distributor, a business center, the Boulder Co-Op and most recently, Skratch Labs.

When we moved in, the office was a blank canvas. Our goal was to keep the space open, communal and collaborative, with enough room to provide workspace for any visiting client, freelancer or friend. And space, when we first moved, was pretty much the only thing we had. That, and a fairly tight budget. But we’ve slowly but surely populated it with help from a few select local businesses.

Our conference room tables, kitchen table and breakfast bar were built by Rocky Mountain Table Company out of Denver (Tell Donnie that V&S sent ya). And our lobby was generously furnished by Factory Made, a furniture and design studio here in Boulder that supports local artists and furniture builders. Special thanks to Leah Brenner for how killer our lobby looks.

Our conference rooms – now that we have them – all have nicknames. Some that they’ve earned – "Echo" has a bit of an acoustic issue, for example – and some that they’ve been given. When one of our community members – Michael Collado – reached 1,000 ideas submitted, we wanted to commemorate his accomplishment. So we commissioned this modest little oil painting from agency friend Megan Jones, and named our main conference room after him. His affinity for Hawaiian shirts, as depicted in the painting, is accurate. The pecs, he tells us, are not.

While most agencies have a foosball or ping pong table, we have our very own V&S-branded Cornhole set. What can we say, we like to keep things classy. The Victors & Spoils Cornhole tournament is an ongoing Friday afternoon activity, complete with brackets, beer and plenty of shit talk. C’mon by so Jen Miller can tell you how much better she is at throwing bean bags into a small hole than you are.

Cave-like though it was, we’ll always have a soft spot for our first office space. It’ll live on in memory…a nd in this $2 frame from IKEA in our new lobby.

Photos by Paul Talbot

Comments

Hmmm I wonder what their clients think of the rather expensive looking space...

they dont care because the crowd sourcing eliminates paying your actual talent for the hours they put in. Overhead is low... heheheheh

I see quite a few people that they are paying in these pictures, not to mention all of the people who contributed winning ideas and were paid as well. It's easy to be snarky hiding behind an anonymous name. I'm inclined to think you're just jealous since you aren't profiting from it.

Why would the clients care about the expensive looking space?

it is easy and that's part of the fun and intrigue of the double edged sword that is the Egotist. And no... not at all jealous and have no interest in profiting from it or participating in the model. I think their work is great, just strongly believe that the business model is something that works against the needs of the creatives that it employs. Again, why I dont work under it or desire to.

Clients care about expensive spaces because they pay for it. At a certain point the "coolness" of a space is imperative to seeming like you know whats up, but at the other end is realization that your budget pays for the fancy chair people sit in. Not saying this the is case with this space as it looks sweet and not overdone, more of a comment on what an expensive space can reflect

@anon - Cool spaces like this often allow people's creativity to flourish. If clients didn't like agencies with fancy offices, you'd see everyone operating out of a windowless warehouse in the middle of nowhere.

That's the beauty of the crowdsourced model, if you believe in it and want to participate, you can. If you don't, you don't have to. I believe it democratizes ideas. I believe it allows someone who doesn't have the book to get into an ad agency to contribute and possibly actually sell work. There aren't tiers of BS hierarchy to get through in order to have your idea heard. It doesn't matter if you're an ECD from Wieden or a janitor at an amusement park, the best ideas win.

It looks expansive, not expensive, and that's very cool, as is the whole place. Good luck to everyone and continues success.

If you were a client, would you rather your agency work in a shithole or a nice, well designed, more expensive place? This spaces looks no more or less expensive than any of the other agencies featured on the Egotist.

Killer space. Congrats Noah. Very cool.

The guy in the painting has submitted more than 1,000 ideas! When does the fucker sleep? And, I wonder how many of those submissions have been used, let alone paid for?
Cheers/George "AdScam" Parker

Does surprise me some, the size of the place. I thought it was an ideas aggregator, not a full blown ad-design company.

With respect to the discussion in this commentary, I am one of those nobodies, so I definitely appreciate the opportunity to put forward an idea that might be taken up.

I can see how this crowd-sourcing structure is devolved from a traditional advertising company structure, and how the business model of creatives is not that attractive.

I believe there may be a more efficient system whose operating system is entirely crowd-sourced. But our ability to work in this way, requiring more listening, alignment, flocking, has not evolved yet -- though I have developed the financial protocols to enable us when we do!

Anyway, nice space, and perhaps one day I will see it in the flesh.

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