Tour Ban.Do's Glittery, Colorful, & Insanely Fun L.A. Office

Photographed by Tessa Neustadt.
Ban.Do's Los Angeles office is like nothing you've ever seen. Take just the walls, for example: From room to room, they're candy-striped pink, covered in glitter wallpaper, or made entirely out of disco balls. Of course, if you know the brand, this should come as no surprise. As founder Jen Gotch says, they're not just selling accessories; they're selling fun.

And, that they do — in the form of graphic bags, kitschy tech accessories, vibrantly-printed stationery, and much more, all with a necessary dash of irreverent sass...and confetti. While it may not be your traditional company (our math shows 30% of the staff have dabbled in pink hair on the job), the employees make no secret of the fact that their one-of-a-kind office is really just a genius exercise in branding. The happy byproduct? A workplace that delivers enough visual stimulation to keep the small team of eight powered through the day, sans coffee. Interiors aside, the personalities that reside in the Los Angeles space (nicknamed "The Ban.Do Party House") are each as vibrant as their professional abode.

Ahead, meet a handful of the staff members — the designers that brought the comapny's vision to life — plus between 13 and 37 accessories you'll likely want to purchase.
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Photographed by Tessa Neustadt.
A simple, pink pop of color on the door and color-blocked shades lends a cheery touch to the otherwise unassuming exterior.
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Photographed by Tessa Neustadt.
Kelly Edmonson, Director Of Marketing

Tell us about your role at Ban.do.
"I’ve been with Ban.do for five and a half years; I’m technically the second employee ever. I came on doing miscellaneous things, and my role grew into what it is now. It’s been fun learning and growing, and working with Jen [Gotch] especially. I call her a creative powerhouse.

"Now, I handle anything under the marketing umbrella: I make sure we look good in all aspects of what we are and that our brand message is strong. I always try to make new besties for Ban.do, whether it’s PR people or wholesalers, Instagram people or social media influencers. I like to talk to people and get their feedback. It’s my dream job, and it’s perfect for me."

What’s your typical day like?
“All over the place. I’m trying to put more shape into my day, but it’s whatever needs me at the time. Wholesale, social media, marketing, branding, any of that. I work with our partnerships and collaborations. It’s a lot of talking to people, a lot of emailing and phone calls.”

Describe your relationship with the color pink.
“When I started working here I was like, ehhh? Now, it’s full-blown love and I can’t get enough.”
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Photographed by Tessa Neustadt.
What’s your favorite part of the office?
“The disco ball wall.”

Do you think you’ve become more creative since you started working in this office?
“I think so; this office breeds creativity. It's so incredibly dreamy, but it’s also the girls who are in it. They’re packed with personality and inspiring...it really helps feed my creativity.”

What's your typical work uniform?

“I would probably say vintage dresses or something sparkly.”

When it comes to accessories, when is less more?
“I’m all about the more, but I’m also about the selection. I wouldn’t necessarily do earrings, necklace, and rings. I wouldn’t do a necklace with these big brooches. So, it’s just about more, but the right amount of more.”
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Photographed by Tessa Neustadt.
Is it as fun to work here as it seems?
“Yes. But, we do work very hard. And, we do work long hours. It’s like, work hard, play hard.”

Has the office rubbed off on your home look?
“Actually, yes. I just moved into a new place, so I’m setting it up now. Knowing [designers of the space] Emily and Ginny, their use of color is amazing, and how they style things is so cool. It’s nice being close with them by proximity. Hopefully some of that comes off on me.”

Last question: Confetti or glitter?
"Confetti! But, a curated mixture of confetti... I buy different confetti separately and mix them differently.”
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Photographed by Tessa Neustadt.
Christina Winkelmann, Director Of Social Media

First things first: Tell us about your rad hair!
"It's been pink for about seven months; it used to be dark brown with ombre, and before this, I did a gray-blue, which faded out to what I like to call 'L.A. water.' [Laughs] People come up to me all the time and say, ‘I wish I could dye my hair, but I can’t because of my job.’ Luckily, I work for Ban.do. and pink hair is okay here! It’s definitely a job perk."

Have you always been into the color pink, or was it inspired by Ban.do?
"I’ve always been super-girly. When you first start, you want to fit the pink vibe, but after a while, you shift into your own identity. Which is the same with the brand. We started off with super-girly hair products, and now we’re doing lifestyle, gifts, and accessories.”

Tell us about your role at Ban.do.
"I work with our director of marketing to put together our marketing and social media calendar. I’m in charge of making sure everything gets posted to Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, and making sure everything is curated to reflect our brand. Also, I create our content for Instagram!"

This office seems like a social media goldmine!
“It is! Every corner you turn, there is something beautiful to photograph. You definitely get used to it, but it’s always refreshing to see people come into the office and want to Instagram everything. In the old office, we had no natural light. I was more focused on doing little vignettes, but now it’s easier to tell a brand story that way."
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Photographed by Tessa Neustadt.
Have you become more creative in this office?
“Definitely, 100%. I think working with someone like Jen [Gotch], it’s just so inspiring. It’s hard not to be creative when you work with so many talented girls.”

Is it as fun to work here as it seems?
“Yeah. There are a lot of job perks. We work really, really hard, and there will be times when everyone’s silent and in work mode, and then Jen will come out and be wild and crazy. We do like to incorporate, for our own sanity, field trips. We’ll go to a movie or lunch or get cookies. We have a wall of field trips that we can plan to do as a group.”

What’s the best reason for a girl’s night with your office crew?
“Chris Pratt in a tight shirt in Jurassic World.”

Could you ever go back to a minimalist office?
“No. I would just be on my phone the entire time, looking for more color and more fun.”

What's your work uniform?
"Probably a flow-y dress from the Rose Bowl and some sort of tailored top, like a jacket or a blazer."
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Photographed by Tessa Neustadt.
Favorite Ban.do offering?
“The Ban.do agenda. I kind of nerd out with stationery stuff, and it’s right up my alley. We've learned that there are some girls who are obsessed with agendas. I’m not that obsessed, but I like being organized.”

Has this office rubbed off on your home look?
“Yes, to a certain degree. But, I feel like my life has always been colorful. You see a lot of people in L.A. gravitating towards macrame, leather, and succulents. But, I [have] huge Hello Kitty neon posters and vibrant colors everywhere. I think my house is a mixture of SoCal vibes with a lot of color mixed in."
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Photographed by Tessa Neustadt.
The space comes complete with a pop-up shop in the rear of the stand-alone house that sells prints, cards, patches, and approximately 1,000 other items one wants to buy immediately.
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Remember when we said "irreverent charm"?
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Edmonson holding her favorite item, the Peekaboo Clutch. "I’m a bag-within-a-bag person," she says. "I would love to have it nicely organized, with my phone, keys, and wallet, and that’s it, but really I just throw all my junk in there. So, it doesn’t look pretty, but I do love it.”
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Photographed by Tessa Neustadt.
The space had to be gutted, painted, and aired out before the girls moved in (the marijuana dispensary that resided in the building previously left a fragrant odor behind). But, it was well worth the legwork: "We loved the idea of having a freestanding office because we would be able to make the rules as we go," Gotch says. The entire project took around three months and many trips to the Rose Bowl flea market.
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Photographed by Tessa Neustadt.
Every journey begins with a single step, and in the case of this elaborate office, it came in the shape of Gotch pulling inspirational images, then shopping for pieces to anchor each room with designers Emily Henderson and Ginny Macdonald (more on slide 14). "On a sensory level, I had an idea of what I wanted and what I wanted it to feel like," Gotch says.
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Photographed by Tessa Neustadt.
The main room houses a large table suited for group meetings and communal projects, plus desks for the graphics team.
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Photographed by Tessa Neustadt.
Emily Henderson, Stylist & Designer (left)
Ginny Macdonald, Interior Designer (right)

Henderson is one of Gotch's oldest friends (plus an interior guru). She and her associate, Ginny, designed the space from top to bottom with Gotch.

Where to begin? What were the first steps like?
Emily Henderson: “First, Jen came up with the inspiration; how she wants it to feel. When you plan, it can be totally abstract and conceptual; it doesn’t have to be images of spaces. There were pictures of Dolly Parton on there! Then, we try to figure out how to visualize that inspiration into a space that is functional for people to work in.

But, we weren’t just going to West Elm and CB2 and filling the office. So, it takes time. Sometimes, it’s just not at the Rose Bowl flea market that day.”

What's one small thing you did that made a big impact?
Ginny McDonald: “We bought vintage chairs, then found fabric for them and had them reupholstered."

EH: “Making a space look interesting and full of personality is definitely a longer process than just filling the space with furniture you need."


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Photographed by Tessa Neustadt.
Were there any challenges that you somehow pulled off?
EH:
“The disco ball wall. In every project, there are things you haven’t done before, which is why you hire a designer and why you have to be willing to make mistakes. The disco ball wall, the plexi on the desk, and these plexi boards were all custom-made. Just figuring out how to construct it, who’s going to make it, how do you make it secure? Once it’s done, it’s like, ‘Man, I could make another one, it’s so easy.’ The first time is always just troubleshooting, and it’s a big learning curve to do anything for the first time."

How did you keep the office balanced?
EH: “We tried to keep the basic pieces simpler. So, we have the white cabinets and the white desks. Then, we tried to make it visually louder where we could. We tried to have more exciting moments around the function.”
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Photographed by Tessa Neustadt.
What’s your favorite part of the office?
GM: “I like the Girls Girls Girls neon sign. Some other details were trial-by-error, but it came out well.”

Did working on this project change your look at all?
GM:
“I’m a black-and-white person; I don’t like color. But, when I come here, it kind of makes me want to wear color. I appreciate it more.”

EH: “When we were doing this job is also when we were doing our office and my house. There are definite things where I was having such a Ban.do moment. I did do a metallic wallpaper in my bedroom. I wish I could do this stuff in my own house, but I live with a straight man. ”

GM: “I do have pink pillows in my house now!”
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Photographed by Tessa Neustadt.
Jen Gotch, Founder & Creative Director

First things first: confetti or glitter?

“That’s like picking children! I think I’m going to pick glitter; it’s the herpes of the craft world. Do you know that joke by Demetri Martin? Because you can’t get it off you."

Have you always been into the Ban.do aesthetic?
“No, and I don’t even know how it happened, to be honest. I like really simple, pure, beautiful things as much as I like crazy things. The way I look at Ban.do is that it’s an element of my personality, but I’m not like ‘I just want rainbows and unicorn dust on me all the time!’ It’s not like that. I’m really trying to inform people outside of our bubble that it’s more than just that."

Is it challenging to live within this one aesthetic at work?
"We’re working to broaden a little bit because, for me, I want to appeal to everyone. I’m also the type of person that wants everyone to like me. Ban.do has a lot of other elements, and I have a lot of other elements. The thing with branding is, you have to commit, and then you have to stay there for a really long time. And, as a creative, that’s a huge struggle. I’m trying to interject things that are a little bit smarter. If you look at Ban.do’s Instagram and my Instagram, I get to say a lot of things we can’t say. I’m sure most creatives suffer with the same thing — you get the itch. You’re like, 'I want to change the logo!' but you can’t.”

Let’s talk about your relationship with pink.
“I think pre-Ban.do, pink was just a natural feminine reaction to color for me. Now, I still love it, but it almost feels like a job. It’s love-hate, but mostly love.”
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Photographed by Tessa Neustadt.
Is it really as fun to work here as it seems?
“Absolutely not. We had an intern quit because there wasn’t enough dance music playing. She kind of expected it to be a party, and I was like, 'That’s called branding, we actually have a lot to work to do.' So no, it’s not as fun as it seems, but I really care about how people feel at work. I want people to feel fulfilled and satisfied and challenged. If I’m not here, apparently it’s super quiet — I’m the most distracting. However, we do spend a lot of time focusing on joy and celebrating success. We’re growing and doing better each day.”

Let's talk about the office: Is it everything you dreamed of?

“Yes. I think part of my job is to never be fully satisfied, so I could also re-do it tomorrow. I think I’ve found a balance with this. We’re starting to grow out of it, so we’ll probably have to move some desks around soon, but it does feel really special. There is a glaze that comes over people’s eyes when they come in. We sell products, but we also sell fun. I wanted something that felt nice...but I also wanted people to come in and immediately get where we were coming from.”

What’s your favorite part of the office?
"My office. I love having an office, I love the walls, I like all these gel [window treatments] that do crazy things throughout the day. I like having a space that I can control that I don’t have pets or a husband in, who tend to break all my precious things. [All this stuff] would not fly in my house for several reasons. I like to look at stuff all the time. And, my second favorite is the store.”
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Photographed by Tessa Neustadt.
Does the Ban.do vibe translate to your home or any other part of your life?
“I think maybe to my wardrobe. If I’m at a swap meet, the vendor I’m going to is not the one that’s curated by color; it’s the one with all the dresses and frills and sequins all over the place. My home is much more whites and neutral. Also, I live with a guy. This is not a relaxing environment. My husband came in once and was like, 'I gotta go.' I think I’m pretty immune to visual stimulation, but for a lot of people, it’s a lot to take in. It keeps my mind active at work, but I don’t want that at home. My home is much quieter."

Do you think being in an office like this makes you more creative?
“We did a lot of great stuff in an office that didn’t look like this, so it doesn’t have super-healing powers, but I do think there is a lot in visual stimulation. And, it especially helps with social media; there’s always somewhere to take pictures."

Could you ever go back to working in a minimalist office?
“I guess it depends what my job is. Maybe when I become a therapist. I did go to school for that for a while. As long as I have this job, no way!”

Last question: favorite Ban.do item for sale now?
“We have a watermelon cooler bag that’s pretty epic because it serves so many purposes; it actually keeps things cool. It has a lot of cache on social media to have a bag with a watermelon.”
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Photographed by Tessa Neustadt.
Welcome to the pop-up! In it, you'll find a sampling of Jen's favorite designers, like Ashkahn, Sara M. Lyons, Tuesday Bassen, Sue Jean Ko, Gabriella Sanchez, and Maddy Nye.
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It's been nicknamed the "Girls Pop-Up" because of the signature neon light, which Jen and Emily had made in downtown Los Angeles. (Go ahead; you know you want to pin this.)
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Photographed by Tessa Neustadt.
This is Ban.do's third office, if you count the first few months spent in Jen's living room. The second space was a standard office building nearby, but they didn't have the budget to pimp it out, so it stayed in tones of white and cream, decorated only with supplies and such. "Glitter wallpaper does not come cheap!" Gotch says. "But, worth every penny."
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Photographed by Tessa Neustadt.
Gotch admits she was hesitant when Emily approached her to do pink, candy-striped walls. "It can look so...basic," she explains. A leap of faith later, the results thrilled her, thanks to the offbeat direction of the pattern.
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Photographed by Tessa Neustadt.
Did you really think they were going to let us out of there without a confetti bomb?
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