Behind The Scenes At Pinterest

Our family was planning a vacation to San Francisco (and then a drive up HWY 101) and since the headquarters of Pinterest is in SF I decided to email Ben himself and see if I could have a tour. You know, just email the founder of Pinterest and ask a huge favor. No biggie :) I figured “What the heck?” The worst case scenario would be I don’t hear back from him. And since everyone in the world has access to his email, I knew that chances were SLIM.

Guess what? He emailed back within a couple of hours! I met him back in January and he is the nicest guy ever. He said he wouldn’t be around but that Enid Hwang could give me a tour. When Enid emailed me I was a little nervous to tell her that I would be bringing my husband and four boys with me. But she seemed genuinely fine with it.

So what is the Pinterest office like? Imagine your hippest pin board has come to life. It is industrial, colorful, and modern with vintage touches.

Right when you walk in the unassuming brick building there is a receptionist at a desk waiting to print you out a name tag. Off the the left you have a charming seating area.

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And did I mention that Enid is just about the cutest thing ever? She didn’t even bat an eye when my four boys marched in behind and she answered all my husband’s 1,000 questions. If everyone at Pinterest is half as nice as Ben and Enid, it would be the world’s best place to work.

enid hwang at pinterest Behind The Scenes At Pinterest

(We thought we could walk from the trolley station with no problems. It was A LOT farther than the map suggested. We were late and sweaty.)

To the right of the reception desk, there is a small game room. I loved the printing press and my boys loved the game tables.

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When you walk through the doors past the receptionist, off to the left is this seating area. Seriously, doesn’t it look like Pinterest come to life? Right next to that is the Lego wall.

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I think my boys could have stayed here all day :) And they have each made a request for a Lego wall in their room. Right across from the seating area and Lego wall is this “welcome” sign.

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To the right when you walk through the doors there is another seating area tucked behind a unique turquoise wall (which you can see in the collage below).

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The telephone booth was back behind the kitchen area if I remember correctly. It was in a lounge type area with a bar. The craft room that my son is sitting near is upstairs in their new part of the building. How awesome is it that they have a crafting space?

Straight ahead (you can see it in the stair picture) is this wall. In the beginning they decided it would be fun to track their growth by adding profile pictures of their users to this wall. They obviously have grown so much that they no longer have room to add more pictures, but who knows, if you were an early user you may have your picture on there!

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Here it is from above. Most of the work spaces are upstairs. No cubicles, just an open area. They all looked like they were having entirely too much fun ;)

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Behind the “welcome” light up sign there is an area where all 300+ employees can eat. Lots of tables and chairs. I didn’t get a picture of it, but underneath where I am standing in this shot, is a kitchen/deli area filled with all kinds of food for them. Enid offered us anything we wanted but with four boys I graciously declined. That would be a can of worms I didn’t want to open. They were being so well behaved that I didn’t want to risk it.

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Here are more shots of places around the office. I love the “hey girl” poster! It says: “I’ll repin yours if you repin mine.”

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This is their new area. They just expanded their office off to the right. There was this awesome seating area that was surrounded by offices. Each office was given a theme (something you collect) and then decorated accordingly. The “baseball card” room was literally wallpapered in baseball cards. The “wine” room had cork art. And the “superhero” room had well, superheroes.  I can’t remember them all but there was also a “marble room” and a “stamp” room.

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Pinterest lived up to every expectation I had and then some. It is what you would want the Pinterest offices to look like. And you can literally feel the creative energy pulsing through the space. I now have an even better understanding of why this company has taken off the way it has. These people are not just tech savvy, but creative and passionate. A triple threat :)

 

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  1. says

    Hi Stacy – First of all, how insanely cool that your family got to tour this building but secondly… the building itself is so unique and fun and creative. And very… Pinterest. It’s exactly what I thought it would look like. The pictures of the original pinners is amazing. Thank you for a great behind the scenes tour! Now… which board to I pin it to…. Hugs, Holly

  2. says

    What a fun field trip and a great perk of your job! Of course everything would look perfect. It’s Pinterest after all!

    Can I ask a quick question? What do you use for your “recommended links” at the bottom? I like that look! Thanks!

  3. says

    What a fun tour! I’m sure your boys (all of them) will remember that forever! :-)
    My husband is about to work-from-home 100% of the time (he’s a computer programmer), and I’m in the planning stages of figuring out a efficient/creative workspace for him. I will most likely have to use part of our garage, since we don’t have extra space in the house for an office, especially with me being home with 3 (soon to be 4) little ones all day. This post gave me some more inspiration to not only try to plan for efficient space use, but make it fun too. I obviously have much smaller space limitations, but I hope I can come up with something creative (with his input) that he will enjoy working in. He’s not much of a decorator type (at all!), so if left up to just him, he’d just unfold a 8′ banquet table & folding chair and get to work, lol!

  4. Karen Lewis says

    I noticed they use many things that are movable. Seems like wheels on everything which would be great and easy to move around when rearranging.
    I hope your boys noticed all those bikes. Even when they turn 16 and want to drive, it will still be “cool” for them to ride a bike.
    Thanks so much for sharing. It’s always nice to get to see where others work and produce. And like so many others that left comments, it opens your eyes up and jogs your brain into thinking creatively for your own space.

  5. Donna says

    That is so cool! The company that I work for provides them their lunch…I always wondered what it looked like.

  6. LinhC says

    We were in SF in June 2014, and like you, we LOVED the area. I wish I had known that Pinterest was based there and perhaps take a tour. So, thanks for the post and photos!

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