So since I can’t tell you why I was there, thought I’d share what it’s like at Hero Arts. All HA rubber stamps are made by hand in Emeryville, California — it’s right across the Bay Bridge from San Francisco. In fact, when you look down the street you can see the bay, it’s pretty cool. It’s in a neat old warehouse building — will have to find out when it was built and let you know. Other businesses within the area that you’ve probably heard of are Leapfrog, Pixar and Kodak EasyShare.
When you first go in the door you’re in the customer service area — if you’ve ever talked to Lay, Lois, or May this is where they sit. There’s a few more offices too for sales, accounting, and such, but that’s kinda the boring part so we’ll move on to the “rubber room” — where the rubber is pressed — believe it or not, it smells really good! And it’s non-toxic so I can smell it to my hearts content, ha.
Then there’s the room where the rubber is trimmed — it feels like Santa’s Workshop there — all these ladies merrily trimming away. Then in the next area the “elves” are busy mounting the rubber on foam/wood blocks. The smell of the wood and rubber combined is really really yummy. Makes me almost hungry!
A walk through shipping area is pretty cool too, all the orders being pulled and packaged up in boxes ready to roll out the door. Oh and the warehouse area with the aisles and aisles of stamps is always fun — except I always seem to get lost and end up wandering up and down the aisles. Not that I mind.
Another favorite area is where the merchandising boards and sample cards for retailers are made — it’s amazing how fast these ladies can create batches and batches of they same card — and they all look beautiful. And I think I’m doing good when I create 30 Christmas cards, ha!
Then there’s the area with all the card kits that are sold in the online store — it’s pretty sweet too — seeing the kits all there and lined up makes me want to grab one and start stamping.
A trip upstairs takes you to a meeting area and then Jackie Leventhal’s office — she is the founder of Hero Arts and is truly a special person. She started Hero Arts from her home about 25 years ago — and she had a young son at the time, Aaron, who is now all grown up and the CEO of the company. Aaron’s office is in the next room over from Jackie’s. Then around the corner form Aaron’s office is a little office where I sit when I’m there — when I’m not running around doing things, ha. It’s right above the rubber room so it can get a little hot, but boy it smells good.
Every time I’m there I just feel so creative — most of the time I have trouble sleeping and have to get up in the middle of the night and write down ideas — well and I guess the timezone changes have something to do with that too — but mostly I leave brimming with ideas that I can’t wait to try…