The head honcho, the tough cookie, the MAN…or, it’s just Kevin. Leading our little rag-tag group of misfits is a man with broad experience from foundry work, computer programming, marketing, hot rods and…remote controlled helicopters? While we mostly focus on our respective tasks and hunker down to get the work done, we obviously need someone to keep everything in check.
Luckily for the team, Kevin is super laid-back and trusts us to do our jobs. When we have a question, we ask and then you just see him peak over his dual monitors. “Yeah…?” He’s there when we need something, whether it’s approval on a new graphic, input on technical projects, advice or showing us an online video to help break the tension.
Now, of course, he does typical managerial duties such as meetings, project development, problem solving, and scheduling as well. He breaches the gap between eCommerce and the rest of the company, answering questions, meeting with the CEO and taking input from other departments. In cheesy analogy form: he’s the captain of our little internet ship and we’re just the crew making it sail.
The next “department” is…well, mine. Hello, my name is Mel. Welcome to marketing for hats.com! What’s marketing? Hmm…good question. Marketing is such a vague and elusive term to those outside the industry. In truth, marketing is a blend of receptacles and processes all leading to one glorious end: improving brand recognition and sales. My duty is to bridge the gap between the company and you. Now that I put it that way, my job doesn’t sound quite as fun anymore.
Let’s put it in different terms: what do I do in a day? I develop the social media for hats.com – such as this blog, our facebook, twitter and more – and then use these great tools to create a personal connection to our consumers. Hats.com is a URL, but it’s also a great group of people. Social media is how we show you that! Now, don’t get the wrong idea. I don’t sit here all day and play on facebook and twitter all day. I also work with Google Analytics and AdWords to analyze our sales and traffic, manage campaigns and plan upcoming marketing. I analyze data from past campaigns to develop our future plans, create schedules and new campaigns. I also code our HTML emails and help with graphics. Twice a week, you can get a glorious handcrafted email from yours truly. Isn’t that a good enough reason to sign up? (Just kidding. No, really. Sign up.)
All in all, my job is really just a hodgepodge of things (similar to the compilation of action heros and figurines on my desk) all somehow working together to get things done. Whether I’m in excel creating spreadsheets to monitor different campaigns, creating calendars of the blog posts for the rest of the year (what can I say, I’m a planner) or if I’m just searching google for the latest hat-related news, I’m part of the magic that is hats.com.
So far we’ve talked about content. Pictures, info…but we need a place to put it. We have an on-site computer genius – I mean, programmer. While our dearest Atindra is a bit camera shy, he’s a master at making the impossible happen. Our crazy ideas, evil demands and “um, can you do this?” questions are no simple task, but somehow they happen!
Whether he is creating scripts to make our jobs easier or developing a site with his eyes closed (ok, he works with his eyes open but he makes the most difficult thing look easy), a minimalist desk of computer monitor, keyboard and mouse makes our dreams come true.
We talked about photos last week. But then what happens?! Chris happens, that’s what. The next step is compiling data. Sounds exciting, huh? At the desk in front of Jesi, Chris focuses on the information of every hat we sell.
Aside from the seemingly mundane task of compiling item numbers, color codes and UPC codes, Chris also writes for hats.com. Each hat gets one on one time with him as he develops descriptions. Combining details like fabrics and styles with fun descriptions to help you imagine how the hat will fit into your wardrobe.
Between spreadsheets and the back end of our site, he bounces back and forth. Writing descriptions, developing databases and working on the site…it all gets done by a window in the back of the office (the area usually filled with glorious boxes of hats, of course!). Hats are released to the website with a click of his mouse. The dude got power.
Check out next week’s post about our programmer and how the site gets made!
Photographs are a huge part of hats.com. Our photographer, Jesi, takes two types of pictures for the site: product and lifestyle. Product images are the pictures you see on the site of each product from a variety of angles. These pictures are taken in the photo studio and then “clipped” digitally. Either Jesi or Ashley, use photoshop to remove the background, resize, center, etc. The process sounds simple, but now imagine having 3,000 hats to photograph and then digitally edit at one time, waiting to get on the site! Lucky for us, these gals are good at their jobs.
Lifestyle photo shoots are the fun ones. These are the photos you see throughout the site and in our marketing of models wearing hats.com products. Some images are submitted by the hat brands, but we take a lot ourselves. Sometimes we make it rain with a hose, other times the model is standing in the hot summer sun bundled in knit hats and jackets to prep for the winter season. Our library of lifestyle images is then used for a variety of purposes from Facebook to site graphics. For shoot locations, we often don’t go too far out the office door. Woods, green grass, old buildings and a quaint town are all great backdrops – and are all within walking distance!!
Ever wonder what an eCommerce site really is? When you’re at home, shopping around, it all just seems like it’s always been there. That it just magically appeared and there’s no second thought because you’re just shopping. You’re either on a mission for a particular item or just browsing to relax…it doesn’t occur to you how much work goes into that experience. Hats.com isn’t just one dude in a dark, creepy basement drinking coffee and eating microwave pizzas (although we are big fans of coffee and pizza). Learn about the eComm team and what we do. The next time you view a product on the site, you can tell yourself “Jesi took that pic. Good job!” For the next few Fridays, keep an eye out for another aspect of hats.com! You can learn about us while we get ready for the weekend!
Hats.com is an open-air office with a mixture of old architecture, hodgepodge furniture and a fun array of silly decoration. From the shelf of mystery and adventure to the post-it wall and the art featurette, this laid back environment lends itself to creativity and hard work. Whether communicating via Skype or yelling across the office, we work together to get the job done. The nuances of paper roadkill taped to the floor, our personal collections of transformers, dinosaurs and randomness, and the freedom to be ourselves just shows how awesome and fun it is to work here.
On the business end of things, we have 6 computers and 9 monitors crammed into our little corner of the world, as well as a photo studio. Not to mention file cabinets, desks, chairs and the usual office things. Plus the atypical hat racks of various products, extra photo lights, and personal needs (like my knitting basket for lunch breaks, art for the walls at our desks, and what not). Somehow we have a typical office and an atypical office all at once. Go figure!
So stay tuned next week to start our journey through the eComm team! Part 2: Photography.