Raisa Colon

Does your brand smile?

Opening the door is a little thing. But here at Monaco Lange, even the little things count. Every part of who we are as a company is expressed in everything we do. I learned this even before I started working here.

I was a stranger to the world of branding before I visited Monaco Lange for my first interview. I didn’t know what to expect. Who would greet me? Would they judge me? Would it be a welcoming environment? I hope everyone’s in a good mood, I thought.

It’s terrible to feel unwelcome. You know, that feeling you get when you walk into a restaurant and you’re greeted by a frown, a huff and puff while looking at the whites of the eyes of the hostess because she’s rolling them at you, all the while yelling at the busboys to clean the tables and the wait staff to hurry up. Finally she sucks her teeth and asks in a grunting voice, “Can I help you?” Can someone say rude with all caps? RUDE! It happens all too often these days.

On the day of my interview, I was nervous about the unfamiliar environment, the new faces, the totally new industry I was walking into.

I took a deep breath and rang the bell. Ryan Gilpatrick, who’s one of our account managers, greeted me. I didn’t even introduce myself to him and he had this welcoming smile that was so contagious that it rubbed off on me and put me more at ease. I thought how pleasant he was—like the type of person who always has a smile on his face and a positive attitude. I could imagine him being a great work buddy. I told him whom I was there to see and he instructed me to wait in the large conference room, so I did.

In came Tessa Tinney, one of our founding partners. She was bubbly and cheerful and her demeanor was so gentle and hospitable. She asked me if I wanted coffee, we chatted about my commute, some of our favorite things and then we got down to business. Once our interview was done she gave me a tour of the office and introduced me to everyone.

Every single person paused what they were doing and greeted me with a welcoming smile that was genuine and sincere. The environment was tranquil and not one person huffed or puffed, or rolled their eyes. That is when I knew I would like to make this place my new work home and I wanted these strangers to be my new work family.

One of our 10 guiding principles here at Monaco Lange is to believe in laughter, meaning that work should be fun and enjoyable—not just productive. And since I’ve worked here, I’ve found that a welcoming environment is one that is fun and open to ideas. A welcoming environment is one that makes you feel valued as the customer, client or employee. It’s one that makes you smile. And the feeling is infectious and makes you want to spread it to others.

And this ladies and gents is my message. Smiles are contagious; always keep a positive attitude and demeanor. The slogan may be, “We love to see you smile” or “Have it your way” but I think the person who opens the door or the person who takes your order has to embody that as well.

I am proud to be a part of a brand team that not only creates amazing work, but backs it up with amazingly talented people who care about the people who walk through the door.

It’s infused in our daily business. Now when I open the door for others, I make sure I smile and do what I can to make people feel as welcome as I did on that first day.