The Charles was originally founded in the living room of CCO Samantha Edwards back in 2012. Back then, book shelves divided the space and a dining room table served as “the desks.” Six months later, we moved to our first office—a 4th floor walk-up with no windows above a tattoo parlor on Broadway and Canal. In 2014, we moved to the 4th floor of 401 Broadway where we painted one room entirely black (don’t ask).
It was in 2015 when we finally landed in our freshly renovated office: Suite 601, 6th Floor @ 401 Broadway. When we designed the space, we wanted it to feel like a home away from home…a place where our team could truly collaborate, be creative and have fun while doing it.
Local Redhook furniture designer Kevin Burns designed a series of custom desks specifically for collaboration and a custom bar on wheels (long live the Thirsty Heron!) for congregations that doubled as a reception desk/waiting area. Our Summer Intern Lia created the monolith masterpiece that greeted every client, guest, model and delivery guy that walked through the white doors. Our photoshoot space saw shoots for numerous clients and the Thirsty Heron was the scene of many, many late nights.
We closed the doors to our beloved physical office space on March 6th and anticipated maybe 3-6 months of Work From Home—not 18 months. Our lease ended in August 2020 and while we loved our space, we knew we had to conserve costs for the unknown. Throughout this time, we’ve listened to experts, asked our team and consulted with our peers. How do we “go back?” What does “going back” look like? Do we need an office? What will the future of work look like for us? These are some of the many questions we’ve asked ourselves and asked our team.
Work from Home has changed how we work, but not how we want to collaborate. At The Charles, we thrive on culture and have been lucky enough to keep the culture alive online. Now, as we look to the future and returning to “normal,” we know three key things:
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the pandemic, it’s that nothing is certain and life is for living. We hope that our new way of working provides our employees with the balance we all desire.