LifestyleBrooklyn BK insider: Behind-the-scenes at Etsy's sassy DUMBO digs By NINA RUGGIERO September 7, 2014 10:41 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email While everybody else is working for the weekend, Etsy's creativity-filled headquarters keeps its team fresh and inspired. We took a peek inside the unique, handmade and vintage e-commerce mecca's office to figure out just how they do it... and what we found was a DUMBO gem we just had to share. Let us take you on a tour, so you can see for yourself. Welcome to Etsy HQ. Photo Credit: Nina Ruggiero First, you'll take an ordinary elevator up to this ordinary door. But don't let that fool you. You may enter. Photo Credit: Nina Ruggiero Immediately behind that ordinary door lies an extraordinary green oasis, beckoning you to walk on through and explore what other treasures await. Say hello to Mr. Grit. Photo Credit: Nina Ruggiero It's more than likely that the first to greet you will be Mr. Grit, the office mascot. He's a real hoot. He's also just the first of many art projects by Etsy sellers and staffers you'll see around the place. Need to make a phone call? Photo Credit: Nina Ruggiero Etsy employees don't have phones at their desks. But they do have a row of whimsically decorated phone booths, ready to make conversing via landline that much more awesome. Oh, you're a superhero? Photo Credit: Nina Ruggiero Then you'll want to make calls from this phone booth right here. They already hung your cape up for you to the left, so you can ponder a wardrobe change while you chat. Pay attention... Photo Credit: Nina Ruggiero In need of a giggle? Be sure to read the wooden sign by each door. Rooms are named after witty food and music combos. (Modest Mousse, Bon-Bon Jovi, A Tribe Called Queso... you get the gist.) Because who really gets amped to meet in Conference Room A? Craving caffeine? Photo Credit: Nina Ruggiero Grab an Etsy cozy-wrapped mason jar and fill it up with your favorite blend, readily available to you at the coffee bar. Or, bring it to a local coffee shop and get a discount as a high-five for being eco-friendly. Talk about a feel-good morning. Or, maybe you need some brain food. Photo Credit: Nina Ruggiero Hungry? No problem! Etsy's kitchen is always stocked with snacks, and, if it's a Tuesday or Thursday, you'll get to enjoy "Eatsy," a lovely lunch catered by a local restaurant. Check out the art... Photo Credit: Nina Ruggiero From murals and installations to yarn-wrapped pipes and a color-by-numbers wall, there's creativity around every corner. ...but don't forget to pet Beanie! Photo Credit: Nina Ruggiero This perfectly posed corgi, Beanie, is one of many pups you'll find hanging around. The Etsy team loves to take their four-legged friends to work, and they seem to enjoy the office, too. OK, the people are cool, too. Photo Credit: Nina Ruggiero This is Gabriella Cetrulo, 28, of Park Slope. As Etsy's merchandising specialist, she helps curate daily emails, Etsy Finds, and merchandises the curated sections of the site. What catches her eye most? "I look for loose-fitting clothing that seems comfortable without being overly conservative, and still has a fun edge to it," she says. Relax, Gabriella. Photo Credit: Nina Ruggiero We talked to Gabriella in Etsy's relaxation room. (Yes, that's a thing-- cat pillow and all.) So, we thought it'd only be fitting if she would kick back a little and show us how it's done. She did tell us the "casual environment" is her favorite thing about working at Etsy, after all. "Everyone's professional, but you can still hang out with people and feel like you're with friends," she says. There you go. Photo Credit: Nina Ruggiero Much better.Once Gabriella took a load off, we got her to open up about her favorite Etsy seller-- "Young Frankk; she makes amazing geometric jewelry!" and her favorite spot to unwind on a work day-- "I like walking to Brooklyn Bridge Park to have lunch by the water." Meet David. Photo Credit: Nina Ruggiero David Leon Morgan, 28, a Bronx resident who's originally from Washington D.C., is Etsy's social media coordinator. "Every day I try to highlight everything from interesting items that our sellers create or curate, to fun news that we have coming up, to great articles that our editorial team collects," he says. "I help to humanize the brand, to sort of remind people that there are real people that they're interacting with on every level." What does he have the most fun promoting on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and more? "I love highlighting interesting technique," he says. "We have such amazing artists and crafts people on our site-- everything from embroidering to etching." David knows how to keep it real. Photo Credit: Nina Ruggiero Like, really real. What's his favorite part of working at Etsy? "The food," he tells us. "It's great food. We have all sorts of random snacks. I need to eat in order to think, and so I really appreciate that the company thinks about those kinds of things; it allows us to be our best selves." As for his favorite Etsy sellers, David named vintage shop Shaunathn and baobap, a shop that embroiders entire landscapes on tiny surfaces such as bottle caps. This is Nicole. Photo Credit: Nina Ruggiero Studio designer Nicole Licht hails from Greenpoint, but says she loves working in DUMBO. "It's wonderful... walking around along the water," she says. "In the office, I love being under a pile of paper scraps painting some sort of design." She's usually working on fun visuals for Etsy events and seasonal campaigns, plus material for print and the web. "I love the people and our relationship to the community that we serve," she says of working at Etsy. Hey, can you find us some fresh flowers? Photo Credit: Nina Ruggiero We met up with Nicole in the greenhouse, a refreshing room for work or breaks filled with lush plant life. So when we asked her to grab some stems for the shoot, she was happy to oblige (and picked out just the right ones with her artistic eye). That jewelry, though. Photo Credit: Nina Ruggiero "I love the off-beat and creative," Nicole told us, "the borderline ridiculous design, art, clothing, jewelry. It's so much fun." Some of her go-to Etsy sellers include urban bohemian jewelry maker AdrianaSoto, Datter Industries, which turns "drawings and ideas" into narrative jewelry (rings, pictured), and A Ways Away, which sells handmade and vintage accessories (bracelet, pictured). Stop at the Etsy Museum on your way out. Photo Credit: Nina Ruggiero You know what they say: "The only time you should ever look back is to see how far you've come." So before you leave, stop in the Etsy Museum, a room some staffers adorned with relics from the start-up days, and think about the leaps and bounds Etsy has made since it began. In 2016, they'll be moving to a bigger and better headquarters (we're talking more than 200,000 square feet) just down the street... and we can't even begin to imagine what that space has in store for the future. Oh, and wait! Enjoy the view. Photo Credit: Nina Ruggiero Your spirits may be low as you're forced to bid Etsy adieu, but the views right outside should have you feeling better in no time. Thanks, DUMBO. You rock. By NINA RUGGIERO Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.