I’m writing this article at the SFO airport, having just landed for meetings after a very late night at our new office space in Vancouver. I was there building desks and sweeping up construction dust with my brother and cofounder Sean, our dad Kerry, and Chris, vitruvi’s VP of Digital. Around 11 pm, as I stood at the window overlooking busy Granville street and looked back at the new office we’ve designed and built over the last 4 months and the 18 desks sitting empty, it all sort of hit me: a huge amount of gratitude and the privilege of the responsibility to lead and work alongside an absolutely brilliant group of some of the kindest, funniest and talented people I know in Vancouver.
On Tuesday I will officially say good-bye to the space we have been in since the inception of the company, and it means more than just an office to me. vitruvi started as a passion project that Sean and I worked on late in the evenings from our apartments that we both rented in a live/work loft building on Beatty Street in Vancouver. It was in my apartment that I came up with the name and it’s where we would stay up until 1 am watching re-runs of Anthony Bourdain while filling bottles of essential oils by hand.
As the passion project grew, as did our need for space. We would corner off a section of each of our apartments and dedicate it to a specific “department”—mine was “Creative and Content” and I turned an entire wall into a mood board and set up a writing station with a globe and some of my favourite tokens from my travels. 200 square feet of Sean’s apartment was turned into our “Operations and Packing” department, where we would fill, bottle and label products. There was also a separate “Shipping” department, which was a long table where we’d package and print off shipping labels, hand-cutting and hand-taping them to every order. Our holiday season became a full takeover of Sean’s living quarters.
In complete honesty, it’s hard to write this article without tearing up—this company is something that has grown with Sean and I and was nurtured and cared for out of our homes. There were times we were absolutely not sure if we were going to make it, and too many times to count when we had absolutely no idea what we were doing. The drive and obsession and the way with which this company has grown from such a personal place has made vitruvi become just a regular part of our central nervous systems. There are many times that Sean will wake up out of a sleep with an idea or having solved a problem for the business. There is an intuition and a 6th sense about a company when it comes from your home and your heart without any expectations beyond following something you’re completely passionate about.
Having transitioned our live/work spaces into actual offices, the character and culture of vitruvi really is that of a family company. We’ve created a culture and work ethic paired with a kindness and lightness of family. The team that has grown in and now out of our previous office space have a grit and grace to them that are unique and I believe that energy and perspective is reflected in the products we make, content we create and the vision we hold. The new space we’ve designed will inspire a new evolution of vitruvi and will allow us to flex our creative muscles and push our vision that much more. Stay tuned and of course connect with us anytime—we make products for you and love hearing from you.
When building this new space, it was incredibly important to Sean and I that it felt more like a home and less like an office. We didn’t include anything that we “thought” an office should have—instead, we designed the space to function like a home, with warm colours, layered textures and an incredible amount of storage. We wanted the lines and design to be clean and simple, as well as effortless and functional, so that people could focus on the work they’re doing and not to need to worry about anything other than making really beautiful and functional products for our community.
As we settle into the new space this coming week, we be sure to send you updates and share how we are implementing our three Vitruvian design principles into the space.
Thank you for being on this adventure with us—this marks the end of one and the beginning of a new chapter. Expect great things from us.