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Super Awesome Description-June 2012 Winner

The Super Awesome Description award is a way of recognizing a member of the Zappos Development content team once a month. If a product description is particularly witty or creative, anyone in the company can nominate the person who wrote it.  The nominations are then read by other members of the content department and voted upon; the description with the most votes wins. The writer of that description is rewarded with a trophy and a certificate, not to mention recognition from their peers.

zappos content team, zapponians, Zappos Development, super awesome description winnerThe winner for June is Chelsea P. Chelsea is part of the fashion team and her quirky description for the Wallet On A Chain was too amazing to ignore. Congratulations Chelsea!

We asked Chelsea a few fun questions to get to know her better. Check out her answers below!

What is your biggest Grammar pet peeve?

Commonly misused words: their vs. there vs. they’re, loose vs. lose, affect vs. effect, etc.

What is your favorite color?

I love every color in the rainbow.

What inspired you when writing this description?

The style name was quirky and it was later in the day when I wrote it, so exhaustion/goofiness was starting to get the best of me.

What activities/hobbies take up your spare time?

Going to the dog park with my pups, movies, photography, and lots of eating!

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HOPE Home Foundation Helps a First-Time Home Buyer from Zappos

Earlier this year, Zappos launched a new benefit for our team members through a non-profit organization called the Hope Home Foundation. This organization is locally based and helps our employees find their perfect home or apartment by offering financial education, coaching, and even down payment assistance!

This past week, one Zapponian who took advantage of this program just signed the papers and received the keys to his very first home! The Zappos Benefits team along with a few folks from the Hope Home Foundation congratulated Matt T. on this huge milestone.

HOPE Home Foundation,home ownership,first-time homeowner,Zappos Culture,Zappos Benefits, Zappos HQ,Las Vegas,

We asked Matt a couple of questions about his home shopping experience with the help of HOPE Home Foundation:

When did your journey to home ownership start and what made you decide to purchase a home rather than rent?

M: I started looking for a home in late May and really got serious in early June. I had rented since college and always dreamed of owning a home. The housing market is Vegas was really hit hard in 2008 and it finally became feasible for me to buy a home at the current prices and interest rates. I figured this was as good a time as any to buy a home and decided to see what was out there!

How did you get in touch with the HOPE foundation?

M: Bhawna (from the Zappos Benefits team) and I are friends and I take the yoga class she set up at work. I happened to mention I was looking at buying a home. She said she had this cool program called the Hope Home Foundation and they work with Zappos employees. My interest was really piqued when Bhawna mentioned I may be eligible for down payment assistance.  The rest was history!

How did they make the home buying experience easier for you?

M: I really knew nothing about home buying when entering the program. Dawn, the HOPE foundation director, hooked me up with Tanya, my realtor and Melissa, my loan officer. The framework was all in place before I even came along which was cool. I was concerned about home buying because I didn’t want to get taken advantage of but immediately after meeting everyone over there I knew I was in the right place. They honestly want to help new home owners with finding a new home and improving the Las Vegas community. I’m really still amazed with how much they are dedicated to helping people.

Now that you have the keys in your hands, how does it feel to be a first-time homeowner?

M: Pretty awesome. Instead of throwing my money away every month in rent, I can reinvest into my new home. I have a lot of ideas with how I can really make my house a home and am very excited to experiment!

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Culture Project: Azzazinz

Upon acceptance of the Zappos Intern position, we were forced to sign, in blood, an agreement to create a culture project. It may have just been some cherry syrup, but that’s beside the point. We were forced – against our will – to…to… CREATE FUN AND A LITTLE WEIRDNESS ( Core Value #3)!!!! Ghastly, I know. But really, right between “don’t suck” and “work your little butt off” in job requirements, there is a bit about creating a company-wide project embodying the ten core values.

This project may encompass anything as long as no bodily harm is involved (cross off Zappos MMA), it doesn’t cost boatloads of cash (#8 - Do more with less, people), and wasn’t Barbara Streisand karaoke. Okay, the last part was my stipulation, but then again, who doesn’t agree with me?! We all broke into groups and worked our little butts off to come up with something equal parts fun and creative.

Zappos Interns, Zappos Internship Program, Zappos Summer Interns, zombies, Zappos Core Values, Zapponians, Zappos Employees, create fun and a little weirdnessThese were the fruits of our labor: a paper plane contest, a secret admirer initiative involving clues and gifts, and a Merch/Tech lovefest with positive affirmations. My team came up with Azzazinz. This game, like the typical Assassins or Zombies and Humans you may remember from college, involves stalking, staking out, and acting like a total sketch in order to get the target assigned by yours truly. To make it more Zapponian and to Build Open and Honest Relationships Through Communication (#6), we required the hunters to take from their target a picture of their attack and a random factoid. We had a total of 88 people sign up – way more than we had hoped! It was such a success (and still is, as the game is still going) we have been asked to make this an ongoing game. Hoo-rah!

Unfortunately, your captain this evening has been slain. Go look at the website chronicling the attacks as I nurse my wound…

--Taylor

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Three-Week Recap from the Zappos Interns

Hey everyone!

It’s been over three weeks since the last blog post from the Zappos Interns, so here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve been up to lately:

1. Our first All-Hands meeting: On June 22, we participated in a Tech All Hands with all the other tech employees at Zappos. The afternoon included the usual briefings from top company officials, the CTO doing a ridiculous dance, and even a spoof video made right here at Zappos called “Sh*t Developers Say”. After that, we all enjoyed a Happy Hour poolside at Green Valley Ranch, which had been booked out specially for Zappos employees. Pretty sweet. But the highlight of the afternoon was definitely the surprise appearance of the legendary Steve Wozniak, who indulged us with a half-hour Q&A about his time at Apple, his thoughts on the future of technology, and some funny stories. That was surreal.

Zappos interns, Zappos Internship Program,college interns,Las Vegas,Grand Canyon,Mount Charleston,Steve Wozniak,Apple,Zappos All-Hands Meeting,Zappos Summer Interns,Zappos Core Values,july 4th,Fourth of July,Vegas fun,Fun stuff to do in Vegas,Henderson,Zappos Family Interns,

Ravi R. and Yong L. with Steve Wozniak 

2. A volunteer day at the local Animal Shelter: Zappos is really involved in the Vegas community, and it trickles down all the way to the interns. All of us spent a day learning about the great animal shelter here, as well as walking and playing with dogs. It was ridiculously hot outside, but hanging out with dogs usually makes things much more bearable!

3. General craziness around the Zappos campus: Probably the best part is the frequent table tennis sessions all around the office. Zappos even has a unique 3-on-3 version of ping-pong, aptly named “Zing-Zong”. It’s a bit ridiculous to outline all the rules (basically because when you watch it seems as if there are no rules, and when you play you learn a new rule every time). Suffice to say that it’s a cross between regular ping-pong and volleyball, with each team setting up teammates and the ball not being dead till it hits the ground. It’s sick.

4. July 4th week(end): My superhero Christina had a July 4th pool party, and that night we all walked to a nearby parking lot to watch fireworks. The display here in Vegas was definitely better than what I’ve seen in most other places. Then, on July 6th, for another day outside the office, all of us hiked up the nearby Mt. Charleston. The weather was beautiful, about 20 degrees cooler than in Las Vegas, and the views were fantastic.

Zappos interns, Zappos Internship Program,college interns,Las Vegas,Grand Canyon,Mount Charleston,Steve Wozniak,Apple,Zappos All-Hands Meeting,Zappos Summer Interns,Zappos Core Values,july 4th,Fourth of July,Vegas fun,Fun stuff to do in Vegas,Henderson,Zappos Family Interns,

Left to right: Adrian T., Nick HS, Jessica C., Alex H., Kiersten S., Kim H., Michelle V., Luke Z., Ravi R., Yong L., Irene P., Tylan C., Anya E., Tony G., Taylor S.

5. A trip to the Grand Canyon: One of the best things about working in Vegas is the proximity to so much nature (e.g: California beaches, Zion, Grand Canyon, etc.). Three of us decided to make an impromptu trip to the Grand Canyon a couple weekends ago, and were there within two hours. We spent all day taking in the sights and climbing to as many treacherous places as possible. Good times.

All in all it’s amazing how quickly the time has gone – we’re already starting our eighth week here at Zappos! I’m pretty bummed that summer is over in a month. But up to this point, I couldn’t have asked for more. As interns, we’re always involved and in the middle of things here, it’s never lonely, and there’s a great work-life balance – all things that I’d heard thrown around at the beginning of the summer, but that I’d never truly understood until now. It’s a great feeling.

Till next time,

Ravi

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Going Bald (& Blue) for the American Cancer Society

Bald & Blue/Yell for YellowSpirit Week has been a highly anticipated, widely celebrated, and often promulgated tradition at Zappos.  This year, the Zappos Fulfillment Centers, Inc. not only showed its love for both the Zappos and Amazon families during the ever-popular Bald & Blue/Yell for Yellow day, it participated in the face-painting, head-shaving, temporary-tattooing, and hoop-hollering good time for a great cause!

In a show of community involvement and support, Zappos donated on behalf of each participant (up to $5,000) who took to the spray-can, the razor, nail polish bottles, and more.  In addition, the three warehouses in Shepherdsville, KY pursued a side bet: collect the highest total of personal donations in a single warehouse, and see a “celebrity volunteer” get buzz cut.  Raise $1,500 of personal donations from members of the Fulfillment Center as a whole, and see the new General Manager Al O. get his inaugural head shaving. 

Ladies_BeforeLadies_After

The team members banded together and accomplished both feats. More than 1,000 team members participated in the various displays of Zappos spirit and went home covered in yellow and blue. With the maximum Zappos donation; in addition, team members contributed their own funds in droves, raising well over the $1,500 minimum and cheering as both Hector E., Process Manager in W2.5, and Al O., GM, went under the razor.

The 2012 Spirit Week was a great success, and the Zappos Kentucky Family enjoyed fun, friends, and family festivities.  Over $6,500 was donated to The American Cancer Society.

 

So, how did KY Team Members earn these Zappos donations?

  • Spray Your Hair Blue and Yellow: $1
  • Get Tattooed: $1
  • Polish Your Nails Blue and/or Yellow: $1
  • Wear a Blue and/or Yellow Hair Ribbon: $1
  • Wear a Blue and/or Yellow Shirt: $1
  • Shave Your Head
    • over 12 inches: $100 (Males)/$150 (Females)
    • 6 inches - 12 inches: $50 (Males)/$100 (Females)
    • under 6 inches: $25 (Males)/$75 (Females)
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Tank Top Tuesday!

tank top tuesday, tank tops, Zappos HQ, Zappos Culture, Zappos Development, Inc., Zapponians, Zappos Employees, create fun and a little weirdness

As you may know, Las Vegas gets hot during the summer. Really, really hot. That’s why a few of us in Zappos Development have decided to start what we affectionately like to call “Tank Top Tuesdays”. It’s literally just that; every Tuesday, we rock our super awesome tank tops for everyone in the office to admire. Yes, even the dudes…or should I say, especially the dudes!

tank top tuesday, tank tops, Zappos HQ, Zappos Culture, Zappos Development, Inc., Zapponians, Zappos Employees, create fun and a little weirdness

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It's an Under Armour Parade!

A few Zapponians decided to welcome Under Armour to Zappos.com in the best way we know how—a Zappos-Style parade!

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Super Awesome Description-May 2012 Winner

The Super Awesome Description award is a way of recognizing a member of the Zappos Development content team once a month. If a product description is particularly witty or creative, anyone in the company can nominate the person who wrote it.  The nominations are then read by other members of the content department and voted upon; the description with the most votes wins. The writer of that description is rewarded with a trophy and a certificate, not to mention recognition from their peers.

The winner for May is Jennie W. Jennie is part of the athletic performance team and her quirky description for the Raskullz Cutie Cat Helmet was too amazing to ignore. Congratulations Jennie!

We asked Jennie a few fun questions to get to know her better. Check out her answers below!

zappos content team,Raskullz,Super awesome description,Content Team,

What is your biggest Grammar pet peeve?

I’m not thrilled when I see pronoun/antecedent disagreement committed in pursuit of gender neutrality. Just make it plural, people.

What is your favorite color?

If frequency is any indicator, then black is the likely choice. But my dad will probably read this and tell me that black isn’t a color.

What inspired you when writing this description?

Raskullz generates extensive back stories about all of the characters in the line, so they actually make my job much easier. Then I just imagined my ten-year-old niece Soraya talking with her friends. They probably don’t talk anything like that, and I’ve just invented the what-a-33-year-old-believes-preteens-say language.

What's a fact people would be surprised to learn about you?

I was a four-year member of my university’s pep club. Apparently, people don’t normally find me peppy. Go Bears!