Bringing the Vision of a New Building to Life
MBB has officially moved into our new office, but we’d be lying if we said it was exactly what we expected. While the newly renovated office in Downtown Overland Park is above and beyond anything we ever could have imagined, it’s not quite the same without all of our favorite colleagues. COVID-19 has impacted us all greatly and, of all the things we miss the most, brainstorming over happy hour and visits from our furry, four-legged friends are certainly at the top of our list.
It’s been a year unlike anything we could have anticipated, but it wasn’t all bad. With 2020 came a new MBB, a new building, and new clients.
Jim Brown, CEO/Partner, and Christian Weld-Brown, COO/Partner, shed some light on what it took to bring their vision of a new office to light and what it means for the future of the agency.
Why did MBB decide to renovate a building?
Christian Weld-Brown: Our lease was up at our old office building, so we took it as an opportunity to look elsewhere. We wanted to find an office that would be centrally located for MBB employees. At MBB, we pride ourselves on work-life balance, so we needed an office location that would provide a limited commute to as many employees as possible.
Jim Brown: We are a healthy company, and we’re going to be around for a while, so we said to ourselves, “Let’s own this and create an environment unique to us!” We were really focused on making this matter to our employees. It was important to find a culture that fit MBB’s, and DTOP did just that. It is an urban yet charming area of the city with great stores, bars, and restaurants.
Was the renovation of the new office impacted by COVID-19?
Christian Weld-Brown: We were actually fortunate in the timing; there was a sense of urgency to complete it. Construction was all hands on deck. Everyone worked very hard to stay safe while completing the job. Our contractor, Monarch, and our architects at Clockwork all did an incredible job of moving the project forward in the midst of a really crazy time.
Tell us about the look and feel inside the new building.
Christian Weld-Brown: The office is very industrial. We designed it to be functional with a clean look and feel. There are some pretty cool elements that we kept from the prior space—like the ball pit—and other spaces that we added—like the mezzanine. One of the best design decisions that was made is having the main entrance to the office open into the kitchen. I think it says a lot about who we are. The best parties happen in the kitchen. I hope that will be the case here, too. The outside living space available to us says a lot about us. We are active, we love spend time outside, and now we have a place for our pets to play.
Jim Brown: We worked hard to make MBB feel like a family, and this property feels like the family environment. It is very welcoming, open, and full of energy.
The exterior of the building underwent a huge transformation. Tell us more about it.
Christian Weld-Brown: We worked really hard to bring the vision of the city to life. Obviously, adding several windows to the building changed the dynamic considerably, both the interior and the exterior. We spent a lot of our energy on painting the exterior, adding wood, and improving the landscaping to provide a warmer, more inviting feel to the building.
The office used to be a gym, does it still have the feel…and smell?
Jim Brown: On Monday mornings I still pick up a little kid’s foot odor. I hope we never shake it.
What makes you most excited about the new office?
Jim Brown: I look forward to having everyone here. Hugging, high fiving, celebrating. It will be a great day when that finally happens.
Speaking on being in-person, many businesses are moving toward working from home 100% of the time. What is MBB’s stance on this? Is this in the future for MBB?
Jim Brown: COVID sped up realities that were to come as it relates to technology and the work environment. At MBB, employees have always worked from home on occasion. COVID-19 accelerated that rapidly. Over the past few months, we have found that employees can be productive and creative at home. But there is an energy that comes from people being together. Sparks happen. Collaboration happens. Happy accidents happen when we are together. I will always see value in us being together. I believe great works come from human interaction. Human interaction is good for ideas, and it’s good for our mental health,
When we return to the new normal, there will be more hours working from home. Will we all be in the office 40 hours a week? Probably not. Will it look like it did in 2019? Absolutely not. Hopefully, it looks a lot better.
Tell us about the growth of MBB.
Jim Brown: We bought this building for growth—for growth of our agency, our capabilities, and our client roster. We have added some great new clients to the list, including Truman Medical Center, Centrus Health, and Noble Health. We’ve also added North American Bison, Emprise Bank, and 1K for KC. We’re also excited to extend our relationship with a long-standing client, CommonSpirit.
What does the future look like for MBB?
Jim Brown: I could not be happier with the staff and the quality of the people we have right now. The recent acquisitions have made us a better version of ourselves. Our position of Make it Matter has been successful with new business and uniting us around one purpose. COVID-19 has made people evaluate what matters. That includes business, too. I believe the future is bright for MBB.
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