July 18, 2011
Filed under: Best Places to Work Road Trip 2011
From Counselor’s Melinda Ligos, as she hits the road for the 2011 Best Places to Work Summer Road Tour …
Fun In The Sun In So Cal
It’s Saturday morning in Costa Mesa, CA, and we’ve broken in to Clean Fun Promotional Marketing, a 50-employee distributorship owned by Greg Washer that caters almost strictly to the entertainment industry. While we’ve already heard much about the culture of the company, which Washer launched 24 years ago, nothing has prepared us for what we’re about to see.
Inside the walls of the ultra-modern cavernous steel building designed by Washer himself, we find an open–floor-plan office space that resembles a set for the coolest workplace movie on earth. The two-floor space (second floor is a loft) is painted in bright red, yellow and green, with concrete flooring, a red, winding metal staircase, hip cubicles with fun, movable partitions and a conference room with floor-to-ceiling steel sliding doors that showcases every movie and record label promotional product imaginable. There’s ‘Something About Mary’ hair gel, ‘X-Men’ t-shirts, penguins of the ‘Mr. Poppers’ variety, Glee gift bags, and a host of LMFAO party rock paraphernalia, including an “Every Day I’m Funnelin’ beer bong, which is a play on words to a line in the hit song “Party Rock Anthem.”
If one has any doubts that the environment in this ultra-cool, creative workplace is conductive to fun, one only needs to take a peek in Washer’s office, which we gladly did. It’s fashioned to look like a bar (stools included), has a refrigerator stocked with Patron and beers, and – wait for it – a steel garage door that opens to the California sunshine with the click of a remote control. We’re told that the door is open more often than not, and the area outside serves as a great spot for Gil the taco guy, who sets up shop outside whenever Washer feels like treating his employees. A Jane Fonda sweatshirt (the first promotional product Washer ever sold) hangs proudly on the wall, as do a few dozen unopened sweepstakes envelopes that proclaim Washer a winner of hundreds and thousands of dollars.
It’s clear he doesn’t need to pin his hopes on some one-in-a-million sweepstakes entry, though. Clean Fun is a winner, and we’ll be back someday when the doors are open for business. Note to Washer: Keep the Patron chilled for us.