Working at Peppershock takes me back to the time before I made the decision to be a graphic designer. I’m the youngest member of the Peppershock crew, a millennial and a 90’s baby. If you asked me what I wanted to be when I was six years old, I would have told you that I wanted to be a singer. Against my luck, it turns out that I actually can’t sing worth a damn. I spent my early years pretending my bed was a stage as I belted out Shania Twain and Alanis Morissette. My fantasy of being famous went down the tube and I found another artistic passion that I was actually good at. Hours of my life were spent in my own bubble, putting together made up magazines. I would create my own typography and drawings for these magazines, as well as write all of the content for them. I was in love with the idea of being a creator.
I was that kid who could spend all day by myself and be perfectly okay with it. I’m a pretty chill person in general, I roll with the punches and take each day as it comes. I struggled in school growing up because I’m 100% deaf in my right ear and I learn differently. I once had a teacher humiliate me in front of the whole class because I couldn’t hear what he was saying. I hated being the only kid in the class that had to have someone sit next to me and help with me with my school work. I would come home crying almost everyday because my brain doesn’t seem to comprehend math and science. Therefore, I would bury myself in art because I was too shy to scream.
Against all odds, I graduated from Northwest Nazarene University in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. After turning my tassle, I was finally thrust into the world of adulthood. Getting a job in the graphic design industry is difficult, especially if you are someone like me who lacks the confidence. Of course I didn’t think getting a job in my field was going to be a walk in the park, especially after I saw the 2009 film “Post Grad.” I spent nine months at the same job I had been working at since high school. I wish I could say that my first job was glamorous, but I was actually making burgers at McDonald’s. I had a college degree for God’s sake, so naturally I felt like a complete failure to society.
I finally landed an interview at Peppershock. I got dressed up and showed up 30 minutes early, waiting awkwardly on the couch by the door. I stepped into the interview with our Art Director, Angie Scobby. It was the first interview that I actually felt comfortable in (Angie was nice and her dress was cute). My first impression of Peppershock was that the employees seemed like a tight-knit group and I loved the small work environment. The orange that covered the walls gave me positive vibes and I thought the logo was kick ass.
During the application process, I had to do the one thing I feared the most: have faith in my work. I once had an interview where the interviewer spent the whole hour on her phone. I went in for my second interview with Peppershock CEO, Rhea Allen, and had a completely different experience. She was genuinely curious about me and took the measures to understand my personality. I knew immediately that I wanted to work with someone who valued their employees.
My whole life changed going into 2017. I moved into an apartment with my best friend, which I know is a typical early twenties kind of move. I mustered up enough courage to play roller derby, something I wanted to do for seven years. Now I spend a few days a week hitting chicks and taking hits, but I am proud of the bruises. I quit handing out orders through the drive thru and said goodbye to my old life.
I’m going to be honest about my life as a graphic designer at Peppershock Media. I walk through the door in the morning and am always greeted with a friendly hello. I put on my noise canceling headphones and get as much work done as I can. Sometimes I make mistakes and have nervous breakdowns because I am way too hard on myself, but I always learn from them. I’m able to bring my dog to work, despite the fact you could hear her snoring from any room. Angie puts up with my bullshit and is the most patient person I know. I send her stupid Youtube videos on the daily and sometimes switch her chair out with the piano bench when she leaves the room. For those of you who are fans of “The Office,” I’m going to put this into words that only you can understand: Angie is the Dwight to my Jim.
Peppershock is a unique place and I firmly believe that our culture sets us apart from other businesses. We are always striving for improvement by the way we communicate and participate in team building activities. We go on a camping trip once a year where we float the river, chat around the campfire and play bingo for prizes. Marketing meetings are on Monday mornings, where everyone’s thoughts and ideas can be heard. We discuss how we can promote our business and most importantly, make our clients happy. In fact, we love our clients and always put them first. Sometimes we have “Funch” on Friday’s where we celebrate birthdays and workversary’s. There are plenty of jokes to go around, pranking, and laughing going on around this place.
Peppershock is perfect for people like me because everyone welcomes the crazy. I don’t have to pretend here and no one else here pretends. If you want to meet a group of genuine individuals, just stop by and say hi!
We’re very happy to have Sierra’s quirky whit and charm as a part of our daily lives at Peppershock. Stick with your can-do attitude and you’ll do very well in this whacky world of advertising and media! Thank you for being you, Sierra!