Amelia, our wordsmith and grammar guru, grew up in Arizona where she found herself editing books even as a small child. After trying many different directions in college, from seismology to interior decorating to nursing, she had an epiphany: that editing was what she had been meant to do all along. In addition to a passion for the written word, she has a deep and abiding love of animals. She volunteers at animal shelters, and particularly loves the cats and dogs who are harder to place in homes—the older ones, the ones with disabilities, and the ones who tend to be overlooked. Yahtzee, Boo, Russell, Snook, and Toby are just a few of the creatures with a hold on her heart. And if you’ve seen her desk, you’ll also know she also has what she calls a “serious soft spot” for rodents.
Andrea wrings every last drop of sunshine from the rare bright days Seattle has to offer. She plays on two softball teams, loves to plan camping trips around the hills and forests of the northwest, and takes full advantage of the Stillaguamish river that runs right through her backyard. Evenings, weekends, and free hours are spent with her sister and nephew—they’ll pull some old inner tubes down to the water and spend the afternoon drifting and lazing in the heat. Andrea’s a lover of live music and a glass artist who’d like to go back to school someday to pursue glass art more fully. And while she’s never been on a plane, she’s planning her first flight to Puerto Rico with a friend. Fresh coconut, golden sunsets, and lots of time on the beach sound just right.
Angeline grew up in the Philippines, California, and Seattle. She still travels to the Philippines every few years to visit her family, play cards on the porch, and see old friends. They make excursions to the mountains and the beach, buy vegetables from the market, and eat lots of traditional dishes. She thinks of food as a hobby, and is always searching for the perfect brunch, happy hour, or tamale. And though persimmons and popsicles factor high on her list, Angeline’s dream is to write a romance novel. She adores tales with a plucky female heroine who challenges a dashing man, and recalls that even as a child she could hardly tear herself away from books. One summer, she read 100 books and ended up with her picture in the paper. These days, she’s finally hard at work on a book of her own.
Dan grew up in the Italian neighborhood on lower Queen Anne in the days of Italian gardens filled with tomatoes, beans and fig trees. Rather than getting candy on Halloween, his neighbors handed out hard-boiled eggs, and salami with cheese. You’d think with such strong cultural ties he’d speak Italian like a native, but even after several visits to the old country, no one in his family’s northern Italian village can understand him. Recently, he moved across the street from the zoo and has lions, tigers and peacocks serving as his early morning wake up call. Being in Seattle again means that Dan is also closer to his large extended family, which is great for him because family is everything to him. And that’s great for us because he sees us all as his family, too.
Open-minded and curious, Diane is always in search of expanding her horizons. Nutrition? Organic vegetables? Meditation? She’ll try it all in the name of a healthier lifestyle. It’s the thing she does to combat her love of chocolate. She never met a piece she didn’t like, even though she tries to drown out its call with the use of her Zen-like fountain and green plants. Her love for it extends to her favorite question: “Would you rather have chocolate or vanilla?” It’s a question reminding us that we all get to make choices. Her uppermost choices? Time with her beloved dog Zoe, her adorable granddaughter, and her adoring daughter, all of whom light up Diane’s life in ways that chocolate never can.
“The most important thing in my life,” says Emily without hesitation, “is my family.” Any time they have a chance, everyone gets together to relax and spend time together at their Montana cabin—a place she describes as “good for my soul.” She also admits that it’s almost impossible for her to sit still if there’s good music on. “I can’t not move,” she says. She’s danced jazz, ballet, and modern since she was ten. And while she went through a bit of a punk-rock phase in high school, she decided when she went to college that her focus was going to be on “meeting great people.” It must have worked, because she met Brett her first day on campus. They’re getting married this fall in a garden overlooking Roche Harbor. There will be lots of great people, and they will all be dancing.
Emma’s heart is on the road. She got her first taste of travel while studying abroad in Florence, where she lived in an apartment with vaulted ceilings and a fresco of phoenixes on the wall. She swam in the neon waters of the blue grotto, bought tickets for trains that never came, and spent one of the best nights of her life sleeping in the Pisa airport. After graduating from school, she moved to Dublin with a friend and worked odd jobs while exploring the streets and alleyways of the ancient city. One night in a bar with a local old-timer is all it took for her to pick up some Irish jigs, which are now useful for impressing coworkers at office birthday parties. When she isn’t traveling, Emma reads anything she can get her hands on, and spends plenty of time outdoors. “Still,” says Emma, “I prefer to be dancing.”
Flora and her family live in the same house where her husband grew up. Though they’ve made some pretty serious design changes since then (magenta walls!), it’s a home that’s filled to the brim with memories, old and new. All three of her kids love at-home dance contests and soccer, so their house with a lake view is always filled with lots of boisterous energy. In summer, after the lifeguards go home, they all head down to the water to jump off the dock and cool off as the sun sets. Flora loves any kind of outdoor activity, from running to the New Year’s polar bear dip, especially if she can do it with her longtime morning workout group. Flora also adores fashion, and her classic yet sunny signature look must be inspired by the spirit of her family’s favorite vacation destination: Hawaii!
Gayle admits she’s a study in contrasts. One part of her craves the hubbub and noise of family and city life, while the other part cherishes quiet. As a mother of four and a grandmother seven times over, celebrations at her house are always a big deal. She loves to orchestrate surprise visits from Santa Claus and plan elaborate brunches and birthday parties. A vegetarian for twenty years, she delights in serving people meatless meals with lots of “little tastes”—small portions, soups in espresso cups, and lots of little appetizers so people can try different things. After the parties are over, it’s time for a weekend escape to a nearby island with her husband John where she can read plenty of books, watch whales out the window, have a movie marathon, and plan her next epic feast.
Idyllic Sarasota is Heidi’s childhood city: a place of picnics on the shore, lavish Easter egg hunts, and late-night conversations long after most everyone else had gone to bed. Sarasota is also where Heidi went to art school, and where she met the man who would one day become her husband—she and Jose took each other’s hands on the beach one night, and haven’t let go of each other since. They grew close side-by-side in the design studio, working until they were bleary-eyed, and propping themselves up with runs to Taco Bell. Now they live across the street from Heidi’s sister, and spend their time up on the roof, cooking arepas (Jose’s specialty) and hosting friends and family. If they’re not catching a train to Portland for the weekend, you can find them close to home, with their two marmalade cats for company.
Whether she’s biking to work, playing in a volleyball league, or running in a local 5k, Helen likes to be active. Her graphic design career is a testament to her go-getting spirit—over the years she has built a thriving freelance business. What finally convinced her to come to Compendium full-time was the people, she says. And if she isn’t at work keeping our creative projects running smoothly, she might just be entertaining with her cooking club or designing pro bono work for non-profits. An avid football fan, she has the Seattle Seahawks to thank for introducing her to her husband Mark—the two met at a football party at a friend’s house, and he later proposed at their annual Super Bowl party. Helen’s a great one to invite to your party, too—she'll show up wearing something wacky from her costume closet, and carrying a platter full of good food to share.
Jason is the key reason that Compendium has developed such a loyal following from our wholesale customers, and why we’ve been able to develop a turnkey shipping and warehouse operation that is nearly unrivaled in the gift industry. Jason is patient, hard-working and quiet ... except when he’s yelling wildly for his beloved Seattle Seahawks! Jason is very close with his Mom, his sister and his 3-year-old niece, Savannah, with whom he spends much of his free time.
Jenn is very much at home in motion. She and her family moved to the U.S. from the Philippines when she was a child—a transition that gave her the confidence that she would always land on her feet. She moved to Boston two weeks after her eighteenth birthday, and has also called New York City home. After an epic road trip, she finally ended up in Seattle where she discovered sailing. When a friend invited her on a year-long sail from Seattle to Mexico, she couldn’t say no. They took turns hand-steering the whole way, from the rough waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the Sea of Cortez, and met her pup Agnes along the way. A highlight of the trip? Learning to swim one night in Puerto Vallarta after a picnic and a bonfire on the beach. “Now,” she says, “I can’t really imagine life without sailing.”
When Jessica’s husband Tom met her at the Rhode Island School of Design, it was love at first sight. And quite frankly, you couldn’t meet a more compatible pair. From making curry together to Jessica’s fear of spiders and Tom’s ability to fling them away as if they were never there, these newlyweds were made for each other. When she’s not creating her delicate and whimsical mixed-media illustrations full of birds, people and animals for our newest products, Jessica and Tom are creating music together. She’s the lead singer in their fake band, the Star Studlies, and his tone deafness doesn’t get in the way of Tom’s playing all the instruments. It’s one way of passing the rainy days away, a key element that Tom “forgot” to mention as they were moving back to his native state. Ahem.
Jill has been honing her signature design style almost all her life. At 5 years old, she drew a lanky Mr. Popper with a penguin on a leash, looking strikingly similar to the whimsical figures she creates today. She describes her signature look as “sketchbook stuff,” and she’s gained quite a following for her screen prints and posters with elegant and fanciful scenes featuring boats, balloons, and bicycles. Jill grew up in a small Connecticut town with lots of dirt roads, tempting fate on a go kart made from old lawnmower parts. She moved to Seattle in 2007 and now makes her home at the top of a hill that’s far too steep for go karts. When she isn’t making new designs and getting her hands covered in ink, Jill’s probably taking a walk around her neighborhood, hoping to catch a glimpse of her favorite French bulldog. If he ever goes missing, we’ll know where to look.
While most accountants get pegged as being nerdy and solely number-driven, Jim is a hands-on improvement specialist. Whether it’s inventory processes or production schedules or kids’ bikes, he loves to figure out how to fix it. Mischievous and generous, Jim also has one of those under-the-radar senses of humor that make us all say, “Did you just say what we think you said?” While we appreciate his ability to mimic houseflies in meetings, we especially love that he’s enthusiastically getting products in and out the door. When he’s not working on cash flows, he’s rounding up his lovely wife and three kids to head down to their favorite family getaway in Cannon Beach, or to fish for trout, or plant a new garden or Japanese maple tree.
“I got really lucky,” says Julie of her husband, whom she met while they were still in high school. And though he was a football player and she was a creative type (as a child, she read poetry to her pet chickens), something obviously clicked between them. They married after college, and after a couple of years they decided to sell all their stuff and move to Florence, Italy. They found an apartment in the heart of the city where he painted, she took pictures, and they both wrote and cared for the cat. After soaking in the expat life, they moved to California where they had two kids and launched more creative endeavors. Now that the whole family lives in Seattle, Julie says their life is a lesson in learning how to “roll with it.” With impromptu family dance parties, whale-watching trips, and lots of laughter, it seems that’s exactly what they do.
Kevin once traveled all around the country on Baloo, his classic blue Harley, but these days you’re more likely to find him in the kitchen, cooking for his wife Ingre and their three teenagers. Kevin and Ingre’s story has all the makings of a great movie—they met when they were just teenagers themselves, and became the best of friends during junior high dances, family picnics, and camping trips. When Kevin’s family moved, the two lost touch for 30 years, until discovering through a mutual friend that they were now both living in the same place once again. In fact, they’d been riding the same bus, walking the same streets, and just generally tempting fate to reunite them for years. Married this summer overlooking the water at Golden Gardens, Kevin says he’s just happy to be spending the rest of his life with his best friend.
Kirsten is our contact with the outside world. Especially with our reps. Lively, enthusiastic and amazingly talented with styling product shots, she’s brought enormous energy through the walkways and corridors of Compendium. Whenever we can’t find her at her desk talking with a rep, we know to holler for her outside. She loves it out there. It doesn’t matter if she’s snowboarding, boating, or waiting to board the next plane to anyplace warm, she’s up for the adventure. In fact, getting stung by a jelly fish in Mexico didn’t even faze her – it was an opportunity to use her high school Spanish. Along for the ride on her adventures is her husband Garrett. They met in their human anatomy class and she knew he was the one for her when he won “Most Marriageable.” It was his sense of fun and his willingness to do crazy stuff that won her heart.
Family is a big part of Kobi’s life. He can often be found covered in monkey stickers from his daughter Shale, or flying his son Ever in the air to get him to laugh. Laughter is a critical element in his life—to the point of chasing his wife around the house in a tickle fest. Here at Compendium, he often gets us all to do a double-take with his dry sense of humor and quick wit. What also makes us laugh is when he’s trying to get his heels on the ground when showing off his latest passion: yoga. He owes his stubborn hamstrings to his years of playing soccer, something that led to playing in an NCAA championship and his inclusion to the SDSU Hall of Fame. Now, though, he’s happy to continue working on his bungas, exploring the best restaurants in Seattle, and spending time with the loves of his life—his family.
Ludylyn and her siblings Ludymar, Lorielyn, and Ludyin all have names that combine their parents’ names. “At times, it gets confusing,” she admits, “especially when someone asks for Ludy.” They grew up in the Philippines where they spent their days playing volleyball on the white sand beaches and skating at the mall. “There was never a curfew,” she says. Here in the U.S., she says life is quieter, even with two kids. “Once they were born,” she says “they put everything into perspective.” Now, she and Domonique spend their weekends with Savannah and Domonique Jr., riding bikes, visiting the library, and having Sunday dinner with relatives. “My family always stays together, no matter what,” she says, “and that’s what I want for my kids too.”
Little Miss Millie-Sue-Who comes from a big, close-knit family of movie-goers. Every Friday night when she was growing up, they’d drag mattresses into the living room for a homegrown theatre and slumber party, complete with tubs of popcorn. These days, she lives with her sister and brother, and spends a lot of time with her nephews and niece. On weekends, they all head out to Sounders games, and holidays guarantee a crowd of at least twenty. Melissa is also an avid baker (constantly refining her recipe for the perfect macaroni and cheese), and a true fan of Shakespeare—especially A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Lately, her Kindle follows her everywhere. Free time is the perfect excuse to get herself back into the day’s classic of choice.
Meredith has a true love of the woods, the ocean, and the salt marshes in between. She moved around a lot before settling on the west coast, and is still a true lover of spontaneous, solo travel. Anyplace that’s bike-able is fair game, especially if there are coastlines, open fields, or forests involved. She’s always been a reader and a writer, and her love for the written word has grown to encompass bookbinding and letterpress as well. On weekends when the weather is good, she’ll sit at the local farmers’ market with an old manual typewriter and write poetry on demand for passersby.
Michael makes constant analogies to running and track, which is only fitting as they are some of the many things he’s passionate about. Other things include his Yanni CD collection (no kidding), dressing like a pirate, and basketball. In fact, he longed to play the sport but only grew to the height of a point guard. Good thing for us, since in his Compendium role he’s constantly on the go between gift shows, meetings and lunchtime runs. A firm believer that people should be passionate about what they do for a living, he’s most deeply passionate about his wife and three children.
Miriam is a new mom to River, who (Miriam adds proudly) has been reading since the day she was born. River’s first book was Olivia, but she’s been on a roll since then—partly because Miriam herself is a lifelong lover of books. Miriam wrote all through high school, and created her first book, The Very Accurate Man, in college. The Very Accurate Man introduces readers to proper use of the metric system, but we’re betting it was funny too, because Miriam’s known for injecting a little humor into everything. In college, people claimed you could hear her laugh from three blocks away; friends would find the party by standing in the street and listening. Now, Miriam and her husband Lee, who met on Miriam’s first day at the University of Puget Sound, bring their sense of humor and play to raising their little one, who gives them both a new sense of joy and motivation.
Renée’s big-hearted laughter might be the first clue that she’s from Missoula, Montana, where the skies are wide and the spaces are open. She grew up rafting, skiing, camping, and exploring the old ghost towns of the forgotten west. And when she moved out to Seattle for a job, it was an old friend from Montana who set her up on a blind date (right here in Fremont) with the man who would later become her husband. She walked into the restaurant, caught his gaze, and knew right away. By the time he proposed, on the longest wooden porch in the world, he’d been the love of her life for a while. These days, they have big plans to continue exploring the world, and have become certified sailors in the hopes that they might, someday, sail off together.
One night Sarah went out dancing and was whipped around the dance floor by an experienced salsa dancer. She’d never had so much fun – she was hooked and immediately signed up for lessons. Throughout her life she’s been hooked by a number of things. As a kid, she collected a ton of Breyer horses, those plastic horses that look real, until her parents finally gave in and let her take riding lessons. They never saw her again. But Lucky Tattoo, Jam Master J and Mad Madame Min all had the pleasure of being part of Sarah’s lifelong love of riding. Another lifelong love? Thanks to her dad’s painting, she was inspired for a career in graphic design and illustration. It’s remained something she’s loved all these years later.
This woman loves a microphone. And while we haven’t yet purchased the office karaoke machine, she promises to be the first to try it out. Hailing from New York, Sheila is a lover of travel, a theater and arts nut, and a connoisseur of fine French dining. She’s lived the big city life in Chicago and Manhattan (where she first heard her future husband’s voice while on a phone line at the offices of The New Yorker magazine). They were married at the Rainbow Room. And when she and her husband had their daughter Sydney in 1997, it didn’t crimp their style—they brought her along on their globetrotting adventures. Although Seattle’s a quieter city, Sheila’s rising to new challenges—like learning how to drive, and tackling Compendium’s organizational and trafficking challenges with enthusiasm and persistence.
Originally Steve wanted to be an architect, which explains why his design is generally more technical in nature than in his words, “artsy-fartsy.” He has been with Compendium since some of our earliest days. In fact, he can remember when he was still a technical illustrator for Boeing by day and moonlighting for us until the wee hours of the night. He’d fall asleep standing up or take a long lunchtime nap in his car. He’s pretty thankful now, though, that those days are long gone. Now he has the time to devote to his community, his friends, and most importantly to his wife Janet and their four children. If you get a chance, ask him why his kids all call him “Steamroller.”
Tammy and her husband Dan are made for travel. They met in college and spent most of their twenties exploring and enjoying each other’s company before they got married. And, true to their beginnings, they still take a solid three-week vacation every few years to immerse themselves in a new place. One of their favorite memories is a Christmas vacation they spent in a rented RV on the California coast with their golden retriever Sangio for company. It was a vacation of so many little things—buying fresh fish at the market, cooking up a warming soup, hiking, wine tasting, and discovering great joy in simplicity. One of her most lasting pieces of travel wisdom? “The world over, we’re all people who want connections,” she says.
Tiffany says she never expected to be an artist. She lived in England for a year, attending a bible school, and traveled around Italy, Austria, and Greece. She worked for a year before going back to school. Creativity runs in the family, though, and after a year of drawing classes, her teacher encouraged her to apply for a degree program. Lucky for us, she soon discovered that the symmetry, balance, and harmony of design work was everything she never knew she wanted. “In creativity,” Tiffany says, “there’s no clear direction except for the desire to keep trying new things.” A self-described irresponsible reader, she’s been known to lose herself in a book until 4 am—especially if it’s a historical fiction. With her cats Pickle and Sausage for company, she’s happily lost until just before sunrise.
Whenever we need something done around here, from building shelves, managing sales accounts, setting up computers or being the go-to guy for our corporate customers, Tote is the one we call. He has been for the last 15 years. Until his body gave out on him, Tote played soccer, soccer, soccer when he wasn’t here. Wanting to show those young whippersnappers on the pitch how the game was truly played, Tote pulled his hamstring. His limping doesn’t prevent us from asking him when his next sushi night might be. He makes an amazing “House Sushi Roll” with salmon eggs, flying fish eggs and quail eggs. It’s something that all his friends and family clamor for, including his longtime soccer-playing wife and two adorable (potential soccer-playing) sons.
Trisha will be the first to admit her life often plays out a little like an episode of Seinfeld—with a bit of confusion and lots of situations that don’t have to happen the way they do. Such as the time she thought she was walking into an intro-level yoga class only to discover halfway through that she was actually in the expert-level “vinyasa power hour.” Or the time she managed to break the windshield of her rental car, miss her flight, and get to the airport only discover her gate was on TSA security shutdown. “It’s definitely me,” she says. “These things always happen to me.” Which is why, although she loves to travel, she often prefers to hunker down on the weekends with her boyfriend and her cat Sammy, watching Netflix, eating Thai takeout, and taking a much-needed break.