Ask an Avenger: How Inspire's Designer ‘Owns It’

A Q&A session with our Designer about cultivating positive workplaces and what ‘Own It’ means to her

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We recently recognized our Designer, Lucy Traver, as Avenger of the month for our “Own It” value.

Own It: Avengers are accountable. We always act in the best interest of our business. We don’t need to be told what to do. When we experience setbacks, we dig in harder and rally the team. We rise above politics. We don’t make excuses or place blame. We never say, “that’s not my job.”

Lucy has successfully owned a number of design projects for our business, from office design to marketing campaigns, social media assets, and web design. No matter the type of task or size of the challenge, Lucy brings her unique skill set, positive attitude, and solution-oriented work ethic to the table—consistently delivering work that elevates our brand. We sat down with her to discuss “owning it” and how our positive workplace helps to spark her growth and creativity.

Q: So you won Avenger of the Month for “Own It” What does this value mean to you?

The part of “Own It” that really resonates with me is never saying “that's not my job.” Being a startup at this stage, I think that there are odds and ends to every project that need to get picked up by whoever is willing to do so, and I think everyone takes on that mentality here. What it also means to me personally is simply being humble. Owning a project doesn't necessarily mean you're giving out orders and looking for recognition, I think that’s what turns the concept sour. The best part of Inspire is that people really believe in the product and the campaigns we run, and so even when we “own” something, we manage to do it collaboratively and with humility.

Q: How has Inspire taught you to be a leader and take initiative?

This really was my first real job after college and freelancing for a little while, so I have been able to grow significantly here. What’s unique about Inspire is that you have all these resources, people who are willing to help and support you when you fail, yet there’s not a lot of hand holding. I’m happy to know that I can always seek help when necessary, but still have the freedom to work individually and shape my own path. I’ve also been especially lucky to have a manager who advocates for me and supports my growth. With that, I’ve been able to work on things I want to work on — the things I’m passionate about. Having that flexibility within my role has enabled me to take more initiative and lead a variety of projects.

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Q: What’s been your favorite project to own?

My favorite project to own has been working on the design for our all team meetings every winter and summer. For those projects, I get to develop slides, name tags, agendas, and swag items among other things — without much oversight. Each meeting has its own unique theme and I love being able to play with our brand and push the boundaries beyond our guidelines since it is an internal event. It’s a nice change from my regular responsibilities that allows me to play with typography and create visuals for a completely new idea. I also love how many people I get to interact and coordinate with during the planning process because I enjoy partnering with co-workers I don’t typically get to collaborate with.

Q: What has been the most challenging but rewarding project to own?

I had a love-hate relationship with our recent brand campaign launch. It was challenging because it was the first time our company had ever produced an omni-channel campaign. However, in retrospect, it was the largest growth opportunity that I have had at Inspire. For the first time, I was tasked with art directing and concocting visuals for a campaign all on my own. Ultimately, seeing the final product and positive results from the campaign was really rewarding and got me excited about our upcoming smart energy launch. Because smart energy is such a unique product, we won't really be able to look to other companies for much inspiration, which will force us to be really creative and do a lot of testing to figure out what works and what doesn't. After successfully launching the brand campaign, I feel more confident and more prepared to take on this challenge of bringing smart energy to life through design.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working at Inspire?

I really love working here and I think it’s a combination of the actual workspace itself and the people. Recently I read an article where a co-worker described Inspire as “going to a friend’s house to work on innovative and impactful projects,” and that really rang true for me. Some days you have lots of important meetings and a busy schedule, but most days it really does feel like you’re at a friends house working on a project. It’s relaxed, we meet on couches to discuss projects and keep it pretty informal most of the time. Even in 1:1s with my manager, I’m not doing any crazy presentation of my work — we just sit and talk through the projects I’ve been working on, which puts me at ease. Overall it’s a really positive workplace and that positive energy makes it easy to come to work everyday and be productive.

Looking for a supportive team and an opportunity to grow your leadership skills by owning exciting and challenging projects? Join Lucy and the rest of the Inspire team by applying to one of our open positions here.

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