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Anna Boyadjieva

Author Archives: Anna Boyadjieva

Design Director at The Grommet

  • Behind the Scenes: Spring Volunteering

    Spring Volunteering at The Grommet

    Last Friday we had the pleasure of volunteering at the Somerville Community Growing Center, a local community space and garden. The site has become a center for both environmental education and cultural performances in Somerville. Initiated in 1994, it is a model for urban land use and collaboration between city government and local nonprofit and community agencies. This urban oasis was designed and built by local residents and is maintained by volunteers.
    I have to say I am proud to work at a company that supports the local community with actions - not just words. This volunteer event kicked off The Grommet's volunteering initiative, where we spend some work-time helping our local community throughout the year. Our first go at it was very successful:
    We sanded and painted the woodshed (designed and built by local students!)
    Spring Volunteering at The Grommet
    We learned how to properly use (and hold) garden tools...
    Spring Volunteering at The Grommet
    We stacked wood into giant piles... (harder than it looks, trust us...)
  • Holiday Shenanigans at The Grommet

    I have to say that this year was the first I've ever felt holiday-decoration-induced shame at the workplace. It's a very real and stressful problem, I assure you. The day after Thanksgiving, I came in to a "pod", which is how our teams are organized, that had decked out their space - tinsel, lights, a tree, the works. Slowly, all the other pods started building out their holiday displays and getting creative: hanging things from the ceiling, wrapping their entire walls in paper, getting bigger trees, and making Grommets into ornaments. At this point I was still comfortable with having no real holiday decorations in the design area, thinking that this holiday mania wouldn't spread beyond a few pods. Besides, if we were to do something, it would have to be awesome because everyone has high expectations from "creative" people. No pressure.


    A few days later, I walked into the developers' office and had a small but substantial panic attack. Not only had they gone above and beyond in wrapping their walls, top to bottom, they had also gone into the design prop closet and fished out most of our holiday photoshoot props, arranging them in adorable festive still-lifes, fit to be in Real Simple magazine. They even had oversized hand-made paper ornaments hanging from the ceiling at various deliberately-calculated heights.

    If people who stare at boring code all day (yes, I said it...) were getting this creative, how could the design team compete? The answer is that we couldn't complete - but we COULD scramble. We ran to Davis' best-well-kept-holiday-secret, The Dollar Store, and bought an unhealthy amount of holiday decorations. We realized as we were there that most of The Grommet had already passed through days ago and bought everything we were eyeing. Originality would not be our winning hand here. We had to get fancy with oversized stockings, a holiday mat, window stickers that just can't seem to stick to the window, and a reindeer puppet. All in all, we didn't do too bad for ourselves - our little holiday spread was festive but not overboard. Most people commented on our well-decorated tree, and our fake paper fireplace (little victories).

    derek_jig (1)All jokes aside, I do love the amount of engagement The Grommet's team has and how it so very positively affects our culture. Plainly said, it's fun to work here, as hard as we do work. It's really very special and unique and i've never worked anywhere quite as consistently collectively joyful and engaged. There was no official call for decorating, no contest, no prize - people just did it because it made them feel good. And the fact that it went viral and created an anxiety-ridden competitive feeling (in some...), only speaks to the over-achiever nature of people who work here, and whom I am proud to have decorated not-quite-as-well-as. There's always next year.

    Happy Holidays!


  • SXSW: Why We're Excited

    Exciting news, The Grommet team is being considered to speak on two panels at the upcoming SXSW! But first, we need your help! Please vote here and here to help us get selected. Read on for more details. 


    I have to admit that I first learned about SXSW way too late (it's been around for 20 years), when a former co-worker started posting mind-blowing pictures and event recaps on Facebook a few years back. What was this magical week-long creative, innovative, techie gathering that I didn't know about? Clearly not an early adopter (took me forever to figure out what the X stood for...), I set out to will myself into attending SXSW someday.

    SXSWedu_SXSW_Slideshow_Debbie_Finley-0106_0 (1)

    For those of you who are not familiar, SXSW (stands for South by Southwest) is a 5 day conference, of sorts - "an incubator of cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity". This includes amazing industry leader talks, networking, seeing new technology and interactive work, as well as the latest work in music and film.

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