We’ve long had a style crush on Shopify, the commerce platform that allows anyone to sell online or at a retail location. From their much-admired office space, to their work culture, to the exciting events they host (Creative Mornings, anyone?)
So when Shopify approached us about running a creativity retreat for their staff, we were thrilled! For a full day, Shopify organized a hotel takeover for its team. Pods of brainstorms and outside-the-box activities were sprawled throughout the building. Afterwards, we checked in with Shopify’s Alexandra Middleton to hear about and everything worked out, and exactly what was going on when everyone was frozen in tableaux in the art gallery…
What brought the Shopify crew to the Gladstone Hotel?
The goal of the workshop was to bring together Shopifolk from different teams and disciplines to learn about the fundamentals of storytelling and work together to come up with different video concepts that explore and explain Shopify.
Shopify is known for their decked out offices – why did you choose an offsite location to host your workshop?
Getting out of (our decked out) office for the day allowed us to mentally separate from our day-to-day routine and stimulate our senses by exploring a new space.
What did you like best about your Gladstone Hotel experience?
Having access to the open space and the art gallery.
We saw the group interacting these various spaces in the hotel – can you explain how these helped facilitate your workshops?
Knowing that the art gallery was there, we had planned a few exercises that incorporated the different pieces. Interacting with the art in different ways acted as a kick starter for our participants creative spark! It was also great to have a separation between the space upstairs and lunch in the melody bar. Having the ability to move between rooms was essential to keeping everyone open and engaged.
Can you explain the activity where everyone was looking at paintings in tableaux?
Sure. For this exercise, each person picked a different painting that they were drawn to. Then, we each looked at the piece for about 10 minutes and allowed ourselves to go into the world of that painting, interact with the characters of the painting, inspect the surroundings, etc. And while we explored, we explored through lens of Shopify and the Shopify story; What does this character mean to Shopify? How do these colours reflect Shopify? How does this scene play into the story of Shopify?
Where did you hear that you could host workshops/meetings/events at the Gladstone Hotel?
A friend of mine used to work at Red Bull and recommended the space. Plus, I had seen a few concerts there and enjoyed the energy of the building.
Will you be back… we miss you already!?
Soon I hope. Thanks again for everything 🙂
Thanks for coming and inspiring us, Shopify!