Let’s skip the awkward first date and just give you some nitty gritty info about us. Here are:
Here Comes The Guide is employee-owned. We’re proud to have a corporate structure that underscores our team mentality. We each own stock in our company and are incentivized to make it a success.
No commissioned sales, ever. We believe that a commission structure fundamentally changes the way a person sells. So at Here Comes The Guide, we’ve taken that issue off the table and all of our account representatives are paid a straight salary. This means we can put our highest priority on what is right for our venue and vendor clients, and what’s best for our web users, rather than on what pays our bills.
We have Girl Power and lots of it. Our founder is a woman, and we’re an all-woman company. We didn’t set out to be, and it may not be this way forever, but we’d be lying if we didn’t say we delight in being a tight-knit group of strong-willed, outspoken women.
We were the first local wedding resource. True story: Lynn Broadwell, our founder, literally invented the local wedding resource back in 1989 when she couldn’t find a wedding venue to suit her needs. She filled a hole in the market with that first edition of the Here Comes The Guide book and a genre was created.
We pre-date the internet. Publishing our first book about Northern California wedding venues in 1989 means we are 26 years old this year! (I know, we look so young!) and it means that we existed BEFORE the internet. I’ll give you a moment to take that in. You can imagine how delighted we were when, in 1997, we launched the Here Comes The Guide website and were able to reach exponentially more brides than ever before.
These boots were made for…being bootstrapped. Another anomalous trait of Here Comes The Guide is that we were entirely founder-funded. Lynn had to take a second mortgage out on her house to do it, but she paid for her company herself, never accepting any outside investment. That means we make our own destiny and we can hold tight to our own values and vision.
No “job hopping”. Almost half of the Here Comes The Guide staff has been with the company for more than a decade. Shocking, right? But it’s true. In this age of people shifting from job to job, we’re delighted to have this kind of longevity. And the institutional knowledge factor is huge. Very few people know the wedding and events industry better than Here Comes The Guide employees (also called “Hoppies”—our corporate name is Hopscotch Press, Inc.) because they’ve just been around a long time. We always say, “Once a Hoppy, always a Hoppy.” #hoppyforlife
50% of our staff work off site, away from our main office. Part of that low turnover rate is because we allow our employees to work from anywhere. So, when members of our team have had to move because of a change in a spouse’s job or to be closer to family, they don’t have to leave Here Comes The Guide. We love that! But we also love seeing each other’s faces, so we get together as an entire team twice a year for several days at a time. We do lots of great work during that time, but we also just hang out, talk, cook and eat meals as a group and play together.
We are Penelopes. That means we are type-A, super efficient and unapologetically organized. You can read more about being a Penelope here.
No drama. Period. I mentioned we’re all women, right? At many companies, this would equal disaster—with in-fighting and cliques tearing the fabric of the culture and undermining the work. At Here Comes The Guide, we believe so strongly in our culture of teamwork and sisterhood that we’ve declared our company a No Drama Zone. Each and every person at HCTG is responsible for maintaining an environment of support, encouragement and honesty. Do we argue? Sure. But out in the open, and we deal with the issues and move on. We care about each other and our clients and we’re not going to let that change.
It’s not easy to get a job at Here Comes The Guide. Our hiring process is rigorous, especially compared to other companies in our industry. It takes up to 3 interviews, a barrage of testing, and 2 full trial workdays to get an offer of employment at Here Comes The Guide. Why do we choose so carefully? Because we know that the people on our team matter more than anything else.
—Meredith Monday Schwartz, Chief Operating Officer
Hopscotch Press, Inc.
930 Carleton Street
Berkeley, CA 94710-9727