Elves at Play
“Play is essential to our social skills, adaptability, intelligence, creativity, ability to problem solve, and more. Play is hardwired into our brains—it is the mechanism by which we become resilient, smart, and adaptable people.” —From Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul, by Stuart Brown, M.D. & Christopher Vaughan
Customers often tell us they wish they could work at Softstar because our workshop seems like such a fun and friendly environment. Honesty… we’d have to agree with them. Sure, we have our hectic days with heavy workloads and computer crashes and screaming children in the showroom. Our seamstresses work hard to stay on top of the orders and the customer service elves spend all day jumping from one customer to the next. Nonetheless, the pros outweigh the cons and most elves would agree that Softstar is a very fun place to be. Last month it just became even more fun with our first official Elf Play Day.
Play Days are intended to boost the fun factor in the workplace by giving us space to re-invigorate, socialize and invent. Softstar C.Elf.O. Larkin heard about this idea from her brother's company and decided to give it a spin.
We picked a slow day to close the shop early and gave the elves free reign to play with whatever they wanted— products, processes, research or anything else they had stewing around in their minds. Their projects didn't even have to be work related. The only rule was that at the end of the day everyone had to share what they did and learned.
The results impressed us all! Some elves learned new ways to work with leather, some learned a few key lessons in shoe design and some found creative solutions to improve the way things work in the shop. Overall, everyone had a lot of fun, and whether or not their projects had anything to do with making shoes, we all agreed it was good for the mind and soul. The benefit to Softstar is that our staff devoted time to improving skills and creative thinking, which only makes the workshop a better place!
Here are a few of the elves’ play day projects (sorry, but you won't see these for sale on our website):
If you'd like to see projects from past Playdays, you can either search our blog or view this gallery highlighting every Playday project since 2013...