You can’t miss the huge trampoline just past the computer workstations off the lobby of RevZilla.com’s sleek company headquarters in Philadelphia’s Navy Yard.
It’s not the only unusual feature a visitor will encounter at RevZilla, which for the second year in a row placed second among small-sized businesses in Philly.com’s annual Top Workplaces awards, based on employee surveys conducted by Workplace Dynamics, an Exton firm.
Employees’ survey responses as to what made RevZilla a great place to work highlighted a real feeling of community at “TeamZilla.” A large part of that ambiance is evident in the company’s headquarters, with fun and even zany touches.
Wander around the 52,000-square-foot building and you would be wise to keep an eye out for workers zipping by on kick scooters. Perhaps duck into the games room for some ping-pong or video games. How about a session on the outdoor skateboard ramp?
Drop in at “The Hub” on Thursday for the weekly company-wide meeting and you will see employees sipping beers as they watch coworkers spin a Wheel of Fortune-style wheel for prizes such as iPads and remote-control cars.
Eavesdrop on a conversation among coworkers and you may hear them gleefully plotting to nail one of the bosses at the upcoming all-day paintball tournament.
Wait. This is a business? When do they actually do, well, business?
Apparently, plenty of work gets done. RevZilla.com, founded in 2007 by three friends, the oldest then 27 years old, is in the midst of hyper-growth.
The e-commerce retailer of motorcycle apparel, accessories and parts grew by about 40 percent last year, with revenue exceeding $75 million, according to the company, a private partnership.
Last year RevZilla hired about 55 new people for a total of about 140. This year it plans to add 50 more jobs. To make room for the new hires, in August the company moved its warehouse from the headquarters at 4020 S. 26th St. to a 48,000-square-foot space nearby.
The company ethos is straightforward: Work hard, play hard.
Anthony Bucci, 34, started the company in 2007 with friends Nick Auger, 30, and Matthew Kull, 31. Bucci said they are demanding bosses, but keeping the workplace fun and a little bit weird benefits everyone.
“You can be hard-charging, but if people don’t enjoy the ride they burn out,” he said.
The workforce is young. Most employees are between 29 and 33, said Lee Anne Fischl, chief of staff for Bucci. Fischl, at 54, is the second-oldest employee.
“We need to keep pressing forward and act like adults, but it’s also fun,” said Stevan Popovich, the purchasing manager. “We’ve maintained a level of fun while keeping a foot on the gas.”
Although about 90 percent of the employees ride motorcycles, Bucci said the company looks at itself as more of a tech company than a motorcycle company. The start-up mentality prevails: fast-paced, creative and willing to adapt quickly to changing technology and market demands.
Chandara Rattanasitthi started at RevZilla as an accounts payable specialist in January after moving to the region last year from San Francisco.
The style at RevZilla reminded her of San Francisco workplaces, she said. As she ate lunch in The Hub on her first day of work, co-workers introduced themselves and welcomed her to the company.
“I really like the company culture,” Rattanasitthi said. “Everyone is really friendly and approachable.”
RevZilla’s engine is propelled by proprietary technology created by the three founders for e-commerce, content management, order fulfillment, merchandising, purchasing and warehouse operations.
Social media has played a vital role. RevZilla TV has an ever-growing catalogue of videos on YouTube and has racked up more than 37 million views and 110,000 subscribers.
In the early days of the company, Bucci and Kull staffed the customer service phones and found that an unquenched thirst for product information among consumers often led to long conversations. They decided to use technology to answer the need, initially simply pointing a flip camera at Bucci and winging it.
Now an in-house video production team creates increasingly sophisticated videos full of technical information on everything from helmets to oil filters.
They also are funny, even bizarre, sometimes with elaborate costumes and makeup. In one video Bucci is seen bowling with a frozen turkey, after licking it.
Employees can be tapped at any time to appear in a video, whether modeling apparel or as a character in a skit.
Popovich was roped into a video on his first day of work. They needed a model for a green jacket and he was the only one it fit.
“I wasn’t sure what was going on,” he said. “It’s been a whirlwind ever since.”