HOODZPAH DESIGN CO.
Newport, Orange County, California
The Hoods of Hoodzpah; photo by Matthew Morgan
We like all of the Spaced offices. We’d like to work in all of the Spaced offices. We’d like to live at Hoodzpah.
Why? Let’s Top 5 it:
1) The Hoods’ Hood.
Newport Harbor, a few blocks from Hoodzpah HQ
Amy and Jennifer Hood do live at Hoodzpah. The designing twin sisters and their 5-member team cover everything from branding to book covers to websites to packaging, all from a building that serves as Amy and Jen’s home and everyone’s office.
The live-in, work-in space is located near the water on the Balboa Peninsula, which Jen (originally from Kentucky) calls “the hillbilly part” of Newport, Orange County, California, sandwiched between Newport Harbor and Newport Beach/the Pacific Ocean.
The area has, or seems to have from where we sit in ye olde East Coast seaport, everything one expects from a funky West Coast beach town: sand, sun, surfers, bikers, a waterfront Fun Zone with a 1930s ferris wheel and, in Jen’s words, “endless water.” Being able to look at the ocean offers perspective, she said. “It’s so huge and constant. Makes the occasional rogue client fade away.”
Speaking of rogues, Hollywood greats like Humphrey Bogart and John Wayne hung out in Newport back in the day. Decades later, the local population continues to wow. “Living in a beach town populated by lifer beach nuts, tourist kooks and transplanted East Coasters is amazing,” Jen told Dribbble. “Year round we have people driving by in cars, hanging out their window and bellowing at passersby like frat boys on spring break. … You don’t have all the super-rich people that you see on ‘The OC’ or ‘Real Housewives of Orange County.’ You have the riffraff and the fishermen and the surf rats … . People are unapologetic and quirky.” The peninsula also houses “tons of neighborhood cats.” (Cats. Reason #1.5)
2) Our Commute Would Disappear.
The office; photo by Jenavieve Belair
We thought we were spoiled. Dan lives a five-minute walk from the office; Rich and Susanna hoof it for a fat seven. But if we lived at Hoodzpah, our commute would shrink to, what, 30 seconds? (The telecommuting members of our Team also enjoy a 30-second commute. We are jealous of them, too.)
"Being able to walk downstairs to your office is ridiculously convenient," Jen says. Amy and Jen live upstairs, Hoodzpah lives on the first floor, and everyone (Jen, Amy, Julie, Lauren, Alyssa, Arturo and Margo) shares the roof deck. (See Reason #3).
Perhaps because the office is also a house, or perhaps because Jen and Amy know how to set a mood, the first floor office feels homey, in a good and productivity-enhancing way.
Amy’s easel stands behind a sitting area. Jen’s piano provides her an excuse to serenade her coworkers with show tunes. A mantle and fireplace offer not only a classic focal point, but also the potential for a crackling fire should it snow. (In Southern California. Ever. No shoveling! Reason #2.5.) A blank wall serves as movie screen for viewing everything from classic movies to Creative Mornings spots, and a chalkboard features “the lineup,” a current listing of jobs. Any spaces remaining, Amy and Jen have filled with art.
3) Roof with Fire Pit and (Kiddie) Pool.
Take it away, Jen.
"The roof patio is our haven. We try to take lunches up there as oft as possible because it is such a nice break from the office! You have peek-a-boo views of the bay as well as vast views of the housetops and buildings from Laguna Beach all the way to Huntington Beach. Up there we have twinkle lights, lots of succulents to create a Palm Springs-like oasis feel, chairs and a fire pit. And our recent addition to the roof is our 12’ x 8’ kiddie pool. In it sits a floaty and when it gets to be 95 outside, sometimes you just have to take a pool break to cool down and let the creative juices refuel."
4) In This Space, Fun Happens.
Showtunes, photo by Jenavieve Belair
If you were paying attention, you’ll remember movies. Impromptu piano concerts. The rooftop swimming pool. The beach, steps away. Who wouldn’t want to spend as much time here as possible, what with multiple opportunities for revving up creativity and decreasing tension?
"I love the office because it is so laid back," Amy said. "Some days we play records on the record player all day, when we’re tired of music we break out the projector and screen movies, and no matter how stressful the day gets it’s nothing a quick walk to the beach can’t fix."
5) In This Space, Good Work Happens.
Photo credit Jenavieve Belair
Fun aside, the Hoodzpah offices are really about getting work done. The environment offers stress relief, sure, but mostly it fosters creativity, fuel for an active agency.
"The office in general is pretty inspiring," said designer Julie Mack Boyce. “The environment is definitely motivating and very collaborative. If there’s ever a moment where any of us are stuck or just need an extra set of eyeballs on a project, it’s super easy to gather the team for a quick critique.”
Everyone shares an open, well-lit office with three windows and a variety of work surfaces, including a Hood sisters-crafted conference table that doubles as a desk, two two-person desks, four 27” iMacs, and a rusty, exceptionally useful old lightbox the sisters acquired from a print house.
Designer Julie Mack Boyce; photo by Jenavieve Belair
These tools, this space, all serve the current batch of clients, which include Cocina Central, a new, small chain of restaurants, and a huge social media site the team can’t wait to launch. Amy and Jen also recently spoke at San Diego’s ValioCon and AAF Indianapolis, both in June. To give you a visual sense of what’s being going on at Hoodzpah, we’re highlighting nine recent pieces below. Click through for full details.
Thank you Jennifer Hood for all your help! If you and Amy ever want to swap offices-by-the-sea for a week, we’re in!
Spaced features interesting Dribbbler office spaces. E-mail email@example.com to be considered for an upcoming article.