When old becomes new again

In a little less than four months I will be turning 30. I know, I know - 30 is not old. And to be honest, I am looking forward to what my thirties will bring. However, I am starting to notice that 30-year-old Joslyn is not as "put together" as 25-year-old Joslyn. Gravity is starting to take its toll, lines are forming on my face, bags under my eyes, and I am noticing a few strands of hair that are lighter (and I'm not talking blond lighter) than I would like. If my body were a building, I would say that it is time to consider some retrofitting.

Retrofitting "refers to the addition of new technology or features to older systems". It's a term that can be used for almost anything, but today we find the term is often associated with buildings or homes. As the economy declined, new commercial and residential construction declined. Rather than creating something new, building and home owners began to consider how they could make something old, new again. And in a time where sustainability is king, what could be more sustainable than rehabbing existing structures?

Many of Function:'s clients manufacture building products that can be used for retrofitting buildings. From curtain walls and insulated metal panels, to woven metal mesh fabric, each of these products can not only be applied to an older building, but can also enhance the beauty, durability and sustainability of that building. Retrofitting is something that we talk about constantly and live daily. That's right - Function: resides in a building that has been repurposed and updated. This may have been mentioned in an earlier blog posting, but our offices are located in what was once a candle factory. Rather than tearing down the old warehouse, the owner decided to retrofit the building, working with Function: to add new parts and technology so that we could use it for our purposes. And I have to admit, the space is amazing.

Creating something amazing can be done with something that is already there. To have a beautiful home or building, you don't have to start from scratch. Retrofitting is more budget friendly and environmentally friendly.

Right now, through diet, exercise and a lot of firming eye cream (my retrofit product of choice), I am working to make my personal "old", new again.

Here's to a New Year (And a Constant State of Evaluation)!

While December is characterized by the words “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…,” the appropriate tune for January might be “It’s the busiest time of the year….” January: the month of new beginnings. Fresh starts. Optimistic ideas. Crazy, intense New Year’s Resolutions. It can all be a little exhausting- or very exciting- depending on your mood…

Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about New Year’s Resolutions. I don't think there's anything wrong with New Year’s Resolutions. In fact, the resolutions we make are usually wonderful. But unfortunately many of our resolutions simply don’t last. Unexpected circumstances arise. The gym loses its luster. The diet is overcome by the urge for just one cookie (and another and another). And the snooze button once again becomes your best friend. So, my point is that while New Year’s Resolutions are fine, I think we’d be in a much better place if we lived our lives in a constant state of evaluation rather than embarking on a once-a-year crash course improvement plan.

Constant evaluation and improvement is a fundamental goal at Function:. While 2010 does, of course, bring about new sets of strategies and proposals, we don’t just leave it at that. Each month, each week, and even each day, we evaluate our progress. We tweak our plans. We brainstorm how to make things better. We’ve found that living in a constant state of evaluation is the key to being in a constant state of improvement. And I think it’s safe to say that those companies who live in a constant state of improvement are well on their way to success.

On that note, Happy 2010! Here's to a successful year! Make your plans. Dream big. And remember: this isn’t your only shot at a fresh start if you live in a state of constant evaluation.

The holidays are all about giving.

We at Function: not only believe that, we live it.

Every year, come October, we start talking about the upcoming holidays – when to have our party, when to draw for Secret Santa, who's turn it is to design our mailer (always a source of anticipation) and, most importantly, what cause we'll donate to that year.

I count that particular choice one of the best parts of my job here. We get together for our weekly meeting and throw out ideas and suggestions. The decision is made by us all, as a group.

This year it was one of my suggestions that we rallied behind.

It's been such a bad year, fiscally, for so many all around the country – people out of work, families out of homes, children going hungry. Atlanta has certainly not been immune. I thought it would be nice for us to do something for our community. Make a more local impact.

So we donated a nice chunk of change to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

For the mailer, we took the theme and ran with it. The message was printed on a dinner napkin and then wrapped around a plastic fork, stuffed in a clear bubble wrap mailer and shipped out to spread the holiday giving to our clients, friends, partners and prospects. The finished piece was a big hit.

And to make it a particularly special holiday, I was also able to pour some of my non-Function: passion behind the mailing: each napkin was screenprinted by yours truly.

The best part about the holidays, for me, truly is giving... Giving the perfect thing to my mom, giving a great time to friends at my annual party and especially giving both on my own and with my company to a very worthy cause.