Last month I traveled the country coast-to-coast in order to install a custom Magbooth for Warby Parker in Soho. My adventure started off on a high note when, I was graced with an empty seat next to me on my flight from SFO to JFK. It is a simple joy, but certainly lessen the sardine can nature of air travel these days.
Warby Parker sells fashionable yet affordable eyewear, and has been a fabulous company to work with over the years. They just opened their flagship store (#121greenest) in New York, and we designed a custom photo booth, which would be built directly into the store. We also have a custom Magbooth traveling with their Class Trip (#classtrip) school bus across the US.
Once I was in New York, I spent a full day working at the new Warby story getting the final touches completed in the booth. I basically spent a full day asking the carpenters to borrow tools so that I could move shelves, fabricate mounting brackets, and get everything lined so that the all the photo booth components were secure and lined up properly.
The next day was Easter Sunday. Lucky for me, my best friend lives in Brooklyn with her husband, daughter, and adorable pug named Egon. We loaded the car and headed north to spend the day with her family in the town where she grew up. Sadly, Egon had to stay behind. I could go on about how epic the day was, but most important was how much everyone made me feel like part of the family. There is just something about massive trays of Italian food, crazy aunts, and opinionated grandparents that make being with any family on a holiday feel comforting.
Back to work…. Monday was upon me, and it was back into the thick of things. The day was a blur of fabricating, testing, running to the hardware store, tweaking settings, IP addresses, firewalls, bolts, vinyl, lighting, focus, software, upgrades, printers, more testing, logos, logo adjustment, artwork approval, shipping delays, back to the hardware store, etc…. Oh the life of designing and building photo booths.
Oh wait…. I had forgotten to eat lunch. It was 4pm and my last bit of food or water was at 8am. I hated to break the productivity roll I was one, but I was running on fumes. Normally, I’m not one to splurge on an expensive lunch, but there was a Dean and Delucca next door and the hunger got the best of me, “When in Rome… or New York.”
Once next door, I B-lined to the butcher and ordered a salami sandwich on a baguette with some Havarti and a touch of olive oil. I added a large lemonade to my order, and what followed was one of the most satisfying and rejuvenating meals of my life. Salted meat on fresh bread and a refreshing beverage had never tasted so good. $9 well spent!
The rest of the build went well, and by the next day, I had the photo booth purring. The pics looked great, and the store was getting its final touches of paint and fluffing for the grand opening. Time to start the show!
The next day I had some time before my flight home, so I met back up with my BFF, and I took her to the Warby store for the grand tour. We checked out some other shops in Soho, and yes I bought some pillows. Don’t worry about that. We grabbed a bite; then I jumped in a cab to the airport.
Travel time always gives me time to reflect on how lucky I am to run a great company that sends me to great places building photo booths. I’m even luckier to have great friends that make me feel at home even when I am far from it.
Lesson learned: Do good work and spend time with your friends.
And remember…. don’t forget to eat. I suggest a salami sandwich