The End of Entrepreneurial Adolescence: Digital Gypsy Firm JESS3 Settles Down

When we announced back in August that we were opening more offices, we weren’t exaggerating.

Having functioned entirely under the “work-from-home” model until January of this year, we cannot speak more highly about what the physical space and proximity has done for our process, results, cohesion and inside jokes. This seems like an obvious statement to make, but as as a scrappy start-up that has been transforming into an established agency over the last two years, it is an important reflection point for us.

Curious where our offices are? What they look like? How big they are? Who in fact works in them and what exactly they do? If visitors are welcome? What has changed for JESS3 and our clients as a result?

Well, you’ve come to the right blog post. The moment you have been waiting for has arrived…


Purpose: WHQ, team and client gathering place; strategy, client services, PR and project management

Address: 1707 L St. NW Suite #1000, Washington, DC 20036

Size: 2,197 square feet

Full time: 9

Part time: 4

Interior decorating status: Hand-drawn mural complete, large logo sticker hung, weekly deliveries from Etsy and Ebay, fridge from Red Bull and carefully curated fridge.

Fun fact: JESS3 founders Jesse and Leslie, as well as JESS3 team leads Chris Olson, Lauren Cook and Becca Colbaugh, all started their careers just blocks away in the offices at the likes of Ogilvy PR (19th/L: Jesse), Arent Fox (Connecticut Ave/L: Leslie and Chris), Dezenhall Resources (1100 Connecticut Ave: Leslie), The McLaughlin Group (17th/Rhode Island: Becca and Leslie) and the Advisory Board (The Watergate: Lauren).


Purpose: Motion, creative

Address: 5004 York Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90042

Size: 800 square feet

Full time: 3

Part time: 0 (openings for animators and design interns if you know anyone!)

Interior decorating status: Just desks for now, moving into a new space soon.

Fun fact: A goat was tied up, like a normal pet, outside our office during the production of our ESPN “TV Ratings 101” video.

JESS3 Orlando

Purpose: Engineering

Address: 1100 Town Plaza Ct #1010, Winter Springs, FL 32708

Size: 850 square feet

Full time: 4

Part time: 0 (openings for developers if you know anyone!)

Interior decorating status: Unnecessary.

Fun fact: They share the space with a CPA (riveting, we know).


Purpose: Client services, project management, production and operations

Address: 4900 Richmond Square, Suite 206 Oklahoma City, OK 73118

Size: 959 square feet

Full time: 3

Part time: 0 (openings for writers / bloggers / production interns if you know anyone!)

Interior decorating status: Local mural talent search underway, large logo sticker awaiting placement after the walls are ready!

Fun fact: One of the artists we are looking at for the mural is good friends with and painted the art gallery owned by The Flaming Lips, who are Oklahoma natives. Also, in case you’re wondering why JESS3 has an office in the heartland, there’s plenty of good reasons — learn about them here!

JESS3 Denver

Purpose: Client services

Address: 1510 York Street, Suite 203, Denver CO 80206

Size: 500 square feet

Full time: 1

Part time: 0 (openings for digital producers and interns if you know anyone!)

Interior decorating status: Brainstorming underway RE: how to best utilize clawfoot tub in our bathroom.

Fun fact: Our office is located in a former, historic hotel designed in 1911 by the same architect who also designed Denver’s famous Brown Palace and Oxford Hotel.

JESS3 International

- Address: Home offices
- Purpose: Creative, information design
- Full Time: 3

 - Address: Home office
- Purpose: Creative
- Part Time: 1

- Address: Home office
- Purpose: Creative
- Part Time: 1

JESS3 Co-Working, Shared Spacing and Home-Officing

Full time Director of Engagement Alix McAlpine in Brooklyn, NY is ISO a good co-working spot after over a year of working from the home office. Suggestions? Tweet her: @AlixMcAlpine.

Full time Technical Director Bonnie Aumann in Philadelphia, PA has her eye on Indy Hall and is known to also work from her homeland in Detroit. We salute you, digital gypsy!

Full time Director of Strategy Brad Cohen in Portland, OR is also ISO a good co-working spot after nearly six months of working from the home office. Suggestions? Tweet him @supnah.

Full time Designer Eric Leach in Connecticut will be relocating to DC and joining our team at WHQ later this year! After nearly four years of working for JESS3 as a contractor, we are incredibly excited about this next step.

Man-of-many hats Daniel Brusilovsky runs Teens in Tech while attending college and evangelizing JESS3 in Silicon Valley. He works from Appcelerator’s HQ in Mountain View, CA.

For those keeping score at home, totals come to:

Total full time employees (includes full-time contractors and full-time with benefits): 27

Physical offices rented by JESS3: 5

Total foot print of our physical offices: 5,306 square feet

Total co-working / shared office spots in use / pursuing: 4

Total goat sightings: 1

Part-time network of trusted designers, researchers, animators, strategists and developers: 300+

So now that you have taken a spin around our offices and hopefully gotten a better sense of the who / what / where, let’s talk results.


5 Results from Our Physical Offices. Thanks to our expanded team and physical offices, we now:

1. Have more disciplined work hours. This has meant that we are more focused and efficient with our time. More sleep and more balance have also resulted.

2. Work along side each other. This has translated into more coherent and efficient communication, processes and results. We still rely on Basecamp, Google Docs, Bonfire, Jira, GitHub and Skype quite a bit, but once you have worked together in person, it is hard to go back. We travel to visit and train with one another as much as possible, too.

3. Have centralized meeting places. Whether it is for client meetings, workshops, team summits and trainings, visits from friends and colleagues or even the production of key video projects (like those for Gmail and ESPN), we are grateful for the physical location.

4. Create bigger, better results. While our dedication to big ideas and excellence has always been our northstar, our ability to do even better, more thorough and more focused work has increased exponentially since having offices.

5. Are more legitimate. As open minded as people like to think they are about modern work arrangements, I’ve witnessed a collective sigh of relief and nod of approval from advisers, clients, reporters, new recruits and even my parents with the knowledge that we aren’t all working showerless and pantless from the couch until all hours of the night. (No mom, those were just the early years; don’t worry, I wear pants to work now)

On that awkward, but true note, this is Leslie signing off — and inviting you all by for a visit should you be in one of our many neighborhoods!

Interested in more about the growth and evolution of JESS3? Check out:
A Look Inside How JESS3 is Scaling
Our 2011 Expansion
5 Defining Moments at JESS3

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