From the Eyes of Katie... The Intern:)
The Challenge: Do More, Feel Good, Live Clean
Walking into Switchyards, amazed by the industrial design and hipster vibes, I was confused as to how I could be so nervous in such a laid back atmosphere? Granted, I was about to start my first internship and I was 600 miles away from home. The combination of my nerves and the heat of an Atlanta summer had me plastered in sweat, the only thought of relief being, ‘at least I’m working for a wipe company.’
My goals for this summer are to learn the behind-the-scenes of business, expand my personal talents and comfort zones, test the waters of startup culture, and contribute to the world on a larger level. I know this sounds like a lot to expect out of your run-of-the-mill internship, but my hopes are high and I have faith in the possibility of doing more.
5 AM: In a mix of fatigue and excitement, we embark on a cross-country marketing roadshow: 1 renovated school bus, 40 days, 10,000 miles, and 5 Goodwipers. Twenty-four hours prior, Maria and I were sanding said bus, bonding over mutual craftsmanship cluelessness, and obnoxiously laughing due to paint fume exposure. Casual.
After driving for 24 hours, we arrive at Daybreaker’s “Aqua boogie” event in Austin, Texas. The nerves are gone, the game face is on, the whole team is rocking little kids’ blow-up floaties, and we’re ready to jam. Peaking through the windows at Melody Dancefit, I wonder how someone can move like that? She has such confidence and charisma! But as I enter the room, I realize that this is an environment where everyone is comfortable and accepted. There are moms letting loose in mermaid leggings and grown men dancing like no one’s watching. Colored lights flash with every beat and smile. Product is flying out of our hands and suddenly, I am grooving with a hula-hooper and vibing with the body paint woman on the inevitability of boob sweat. Looking side to side, it all becomes cohesive – brand and lifestyle. We aren’t telling people to go with the flow, we were simply helping them flow as they go. Okay that was bad, but you get it. It came to me, the understanding that doing more comes from finding authenticity. Whether it’s within our company or between Goodwipes and the consumer, relationships and shared experiences bring us all together and allow us to accomplish more.
The days following Daybreaker were filled with explorations of local culture in Austin, my favorite finds being the tiny boutiques and taco trucks. I have grown in my one-on-one interactions with potential consumers, learning the the best sales pitch is not one of pressure but of listening. Hearing real-time feedback on the multiple uses of body wipes or the true necessity of “down there” hygiene is invaluable.
I have also been inspired by the team’s amount of spontaneity and silliness! Our unexpected entrance into Galveston’s 4th of July Parade was definitely the most exciting and successful experiential marketing tactic of the trip thus far.
I have ignited a new craving for and appreciation of adventure.The experiences that come from living and working on a bus- whether it’s surviving sketchy campsite bathrooms, watching Sam squeal over each and every creature, conquering my personal space bubble limitations, or sleeping an arm’s distance away from your CEO – let’s just say that they’re the perfect ingredients for self-development and maturation.
I am happy to say that this experience has already pushed me to do more. Week 1, Thank you. You have set the foundation for many more events and outreach opportunities to come. I am looking forward to the upcoming adventures in Houston, Dallas, and El Paso.