Here's A Peek Inside Athleta's Headquarters
From now on, you can call me Nathleta. 😉 Because over the past few months, I have officially become addicted to Athleta: for making it socially acceptable to wear workout clothes all week long, for creating the coveted Chaturanga shorts that are overflowing from my closet drawers, and for reminding girls everywhere that there is nothing greater than the #PowerofShe. So you won't believe how loud I screamed when their marketing team invited me to take a peek at their headquarters during my trip in San Francisco last week!
I showed up to their South Market headquarters at 1:30pm sharp. I checked in with the lobby receptionist, gawked at the familiar Athleta banners displayed in glass cases, and soon after, was greeted by Nikki, the Social Media Manager of Athleta (who also happens to have a killer sense of athleisure style). We exchanged hellos, and then I picked her brain about how she joined the team as we rode the elevator up to the fourth floor. (I seriously tried my best to maintain eye contact, but to be honest, I was totally drooling over her Blossom Intuition tights the whole time...)
First she took me to her stomping grounds, where the marketing and social media teams were hard at work. The office looked very polished with clean, white walls and light wooden accents. Large, colorful banners depicted strong women getting their workout on, and colorful Athleta catalogs decorated every coffee table in sight. The vibe totally matched the brand’s clean, minimalist aesthetic.
The office was set up in a standard open layout, with cubicles situated in the middle of the room, and glass offices overlooking the city on the perimeter of the office. The room was mainly filled with women working hard at their desks, which prompted me to ask Nikki what the male to female ratio was at Athleta. She told me it’s a predominantly female company, which totally explains why the brand values the #PowerofShe so much.
Then she introduced me to a few of these ladies on her team, who were all very friendly and welcoming. In fact, every single team member I met asked me about my upcoming race and genuinely wanted to get to know me. It put a huge smile on my face that they actually cared about who the stranger walking through their office was, and it even gave me a little bit of #FOMO for not being a part of this team. It was obvious that they all loved working here. (But then again, who wouldn’t if you got to wear Athleta clothes to work everyday!?)
Next we swung by the design department, where the catalog creation and other design-related work takes place. (I’m a graphic designer myself, so I was totally geeking out at this point.) The room was filled with colorful #fitspiration boards, and on the walls, you could see the future catalogs laid out with pink post-its and editor’s marks scribbled all over them. I felt so privileged peeking at future Athleta looks!
Then as we made our way towards the cafeteria, Nikki took me by the Catalog Hall of Fame wall, which showcased ALL of the Athleta catalogs from past and present. It was crazy to see how the branding has evolved over the past 20 years.
Then when we arrived at the cafeteria, I had to do a double-take to make sure we hadn’t walked into a Whole Foods instead. Y’all: it was the cafeteria of all cafeterias. We’re talking healthy options galore, an ever-changing menu, a dreamy ice cream assortment, a health-conscious smoothie bar, a refrigerator full of grab-n-go juices, and even a cupboard filled with glass jars of everyone’s favorite candies. Not to mention the fact that the dining area of this room undoubtedly had the best view of the Bay in the city.
Nikki decided to save the very best part of the tour for last. She took me back down to the ground floor and led me into a secret door, where the holy grail of the office was hidden: it was a mock store with all of the upcoming styles and patterns that haven’t debuted in stores yet! I was a kid in a candy store. 😍 I swear, for a moment, I actually felt like I was on private shopping spree in this dream store. I didn’t want it to end.
But it was time for Nikki to return to work and for me to bring myself back to reality. As we said our goodbyes, Nikki handed me a farewell goodie bag that really put the cherry on top of this sweet experience. She told me she threw in some pieces the team thought I would look great in, and I couldn’t wait to rummage through it to see what they had picked out. I thanked her for the incredible experience and the surprise gift, and then I rushed home to take a peek in that mystery bag.
When I pulled the drawstrings of that Athleta Girl bag open, I discovered the Heather Baja UPF Jacket, the white Airy Essence tank, and sure enough, the Blossom Intuition 7/8 tight that Nikki was wearing earlier! 😱 At first I racked my brain as to how she could've read my mind (as if me staring at her legs for the past hour wasn't a dead giveaway), and then I spent the remaining 3 days of my San Francisco trip in unwashed floral leggings. 😜 Thank you so much for the incredible experience, Athleta!
This post is not sponsored by Athleta in any way.