Inside the Almost-Grown Up Office of Your Favorite Instagram Account
If you’re on Instagram, chances are you’re following one of Elliot Tebele’s viral accounts. His meme-heavy feeds include @kanyedoingthings, @beigecardian (the brainchild of Jessica Anteby, Tebele’s wife), and, supreme among them, @fuckjerry, which has over 12 million followers. The 26-year-old’s success story doesn’t stop at the company’s near 50 million devotees. Tebele has parlayed his knack for curating genuinely hilarious content into a full-fledged business, creating sponsored posts for Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., and Tinder.
Tebele’s Instagram empire has spilled over into the product game, too—you can now purchase the brand’s ironic t-shirts, ‘80s-style pool slides, and a card game touted “for millennials and their millennial friends.” While the content looks uniformly lo-fi—screenshots of memes, tweets, and out-of-focus photos—the operation has become quite sophisticated; the company now has 20 full-time employees working across its dozen-odd brands. The team has grown so large, in fact, that last November, Instagram’s chillest feed moved into a shiny SoHo office space, sharing a street with Louis Vuitton and Stella McCartney.
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But how does @fuckjerry square its too-cool-to-care aesthetic with running a business? What does a DGAF office even look like? We stopped by the new digs to find out.
At the @fuckjerry headquarters, there are no assigned seats. And, according to Tebele, that's intentional. "Most people have their designative spot but, with a small and scrappy team, everyone kind of has their hand in a bunch of different projects so people tend to hop around," he said. "I myself like switching just to change up the vibe a little bit."
The company's decor is not unlike your friend's Brooklyn apartment: It's filled with half vintage finds—used leather chairs, a sprawling Persian rug—half dorm-room style Ikea staples. Was this high-low mix a conscious choice to look authentic? Quite the opposite: "It was a conscious choice to save some money," Tebele said, adding that it all came together organically and without a decorator. "I don't think we really put in a real effort in designing it. We just pulled things from different places and it kind of just worked."
The space is replete with ironic tchotchkes—a cartoonish tiger-skin rug, a statue of a dog wearing a hot dog hat—but what would a business for millennials be without its perks? The most popular item among the staff is the beer fridge, which is positioned in the company's entryway; for Tebele, it's the basketball hoop. "It's kind of my escape when I'm stressing," he said.
Movin' on Up
Tebele's decision to leave the company's original location was fairly straightforward: "We were outgrowing the space as well as being on the same block as a fish market in Chinatown." But even with their spiffy new office and rapidly expanding business, they are still much more chill start-up than straight-laced business. There's no reception area—Tebele said they haven't quite reached that level yet—which makes for a pretty amusing result: "I like people just popping in and being a little confused."