It’s estimated by Business Insider that the average American spends around 90,000 hours at work over his or her lifetime. Although many of us hang some credentials on the wall or stash a plant near the window, these four local companies maximize the locale of those 90,000 hours with such finesse and tasteful design that your office fern just might sprout legs and abandon you for greener pastures. These are Columbia’s coolest offices.
AnnaBelle Events, Hoot Design Co. and SilverBox Photographers
107 Orr St.
Kristen Brown, Anne Hanks, Annika Miller and Kim Wade
Four women running three businesses out of 107 Orr St. might seem like a full house. But the four women — Annika Miller and Kim Wade of SilverBox Photographers, Kristen Brown of Hoot Design Co. and Anne Hanks of AnnaBelle Events — wouldn’t have it any other way, and they lovingly refer to their shared space as “Studio 107.”
“The really amazing thing about sharing our space is that together we can afford a space that we wouldn’t be able to alone,” Brown says. The potential for cross-marketing, referring clients to one another’s services and opportunities for creative collaboration don’t hurt either.
“It’s our own incubator, of sorts,” Brown adds.
Since the women-led businesses mainly cater to a female audience, Brown says they wanted the space to feel light, airy and comfortable. “We see ourselves as the type of people who surround ourselves with good design all the time, and that’s where a lot of the inspiration came from,” Brown says.
Bukowsky Law Firm
810 E. Walnut St.
Nearly everything in criminal defense attorney Jennifer Bukowsky’s office is highly personalized, from her signature red awning and quote-of-the-day chalkboard outside to every single frame on her walls.
“I spend a lot of time here, so I wanted it to be aesthetically pleasing and to give my clients confidence that I know what I’m doing,” she says. Along the way to her office, there are framed media clippings in the foyer, artwork her clients have made for her while awaiting trial in prison and personal mementos.
“People trust you more when they feel like they know you, so I have a lot of personal things here so my clients can see I’m a real person, too,” she says. On the east wall of her office is a large piece of artwork by Peter Lik titled River of Zen. It was a present to herself after a big win in the courtroom, and she says she hopes it has a calming influence on clients who are often in stressful situations when they come to her office.
One last personalized item? A red couch. “I have a sleeping bag in my closet so I can sleep here to save time during trials,” she says.
500 Business Loop 70 W.
When True Media grew out of its downtown office space, President Jack Miller began to look at his options and ultimately landed the advertising agency in the former Commerce Bank building at 500 Business Loop 70 W.
“We came into a building that was already unique in nature,” Miller says. “The architectural layout was ahead of its time, even when it was built in the late ’60s, early ’70s.” Despite its former purpose, Miller says the original design lent itself well to the transition from bank to ad agency.
“When it was built, it wasn’t designed to look like a traditional bank,” he says. “If we didn’t keep the vault, you might not even know it ever was a bank. It almost looks like it was designed to be an ad agency.”
Logboat Brewing Co.
504 Fay St.
Judson Ball, Tyson Hunt and Andrew Sharp
Logboat Brewing Co. cofounders Judson Ball, Tyson Hunt and Andrew Sharp had a very specific vision for the design of their brewery: a mix between industrial and rustic. Only keeping two walls of the former building at 504 Fay St., an old meatpacking plant, the trio married the space’s industrial past with rustic reclaimed wood accents.
“We’re big fans of the mountains and wanted this place to feel like a lodge,” Hunt says. Visitors enter through the taproom, which has a view directly into the brewing area. Upstairs is an office area and conference room overlooking the brewery.
“It’s really inspirational when you’re sitting at your desk smelling beer being made,” Hunt says.