We’re pretty excited. Effective December 3rd, Smarter Interiors is joining the Ball Office family. This Richmond company is one of the best local providers of office furniture and interiors, and their team has a ton of expertise. It’s going to greatly enhance what Ball can offer you!
Category Archive: Furniture
If you’re like many of us, you go back and forth about whether or not to get a traditional desk or a new standing desk. There are also a number of sturdy and fashionable convertible desks that allow you to transition from one to the other.
But what if you didn’t have to buy a new desk to convert from sit to stand? What if you could, using your existing desk, transition just your workstation?
The Richelieu ERGO Sit2Stand allows you to do just that. It adds 18″ of vertical height to your workstation, has a great cable management system, and a small footprint on your existing desk. Check it out.
We make no secret of our love for our Richmond home. It’s a great town. Over the last 15+ years we’ve made great relationships and great friends. We’re able to work with local groups and organizations to make Richmond an even greater place to live, work, and play. It’s fun.
We’re also huge fans of small businesses. That’s why our local customers enjoy our delivery services. We offer over 32,000 items, require no minimum order, and offer next-day delivery. Often with freshly baked cookies. 🙂 This works great for them, and as they grow, we’re there for them.
But that isn’t all that we do.
When someone is outfitting a big office, we can handle that. Need desks for your 200-person call center? No problem. 25 pallets of paper? We’ll load a truck. We can handle your needs whatever the size of your office.
One of our relationships is with the U.S. Government. In the photo above are two pallets wrapped for shipping. The one on the left is getting ready to be shipped to Miami, where it will board a boat headed to Havana, Cuba. We’ve been helping to stock our newest U.S. Embassy there. The one on the right will travel to Norfolk, Virginia, board a container ship, and then sail to Cairo, Egypt to replenish our embassy there.
If you need basic office supplies, furniture for 200, or cleaning supplies 3,000 miles away – we can help. Just ask, and we’ve got you covered.
When people discover us for the first time, they generally look at our name, Ball Office Products, and think pens and paper. We certainly have that covered.
But we offer so much more. We’ve sent desks and chairs to a school in Africa. We’ve helped scores of clients design better, more effective offices. We’ve delivered toys and art supplies to children in programs throughout the Mid-Atlantic.
We wrote last week about a great Keurig deal. We can build that into a complete beverage program for your business. Need snacks for your break room? We can do that. Cleaning supplies? No problem. Something funky for your office kids? How about a clever chair?
Just after Thanksgiving, we got a call from a client who had been put in charge of decorating her office for the holidays. She was pressed for time and didn’t know where to start. We got her a tree, a tree skirt, delivered it, and set it up with all of the decorations and trimmings. Because that’s what we do.
Anything for your office needs? Anything.
For decades (and perhaps longer), mankind has known that a bit of physical activity is good for you. A couple of years ago, and in a growing movement, researchers began pointing to the ill effects of spending too much time on one’s behind. They looked at rates of disease and spinal health and whatnot.
Newspapers and magazines, no doubt in an effort to inform the public, loudly announced that “Sitting is Killing You!” Reputable publications, including TIME Magazine, proclaimed that “sitting is the new smoking.”
Wait just a minute.
Science indeed found that sitting too much leads to obesity, heart disease, and maybe even a shorter lifespan. But that was all sitting – at work, watching television, eating, driving, etc. Suddenly everyone was in the market for a standing desk. But simply buying a new desk and lurching to your feet missed the broader mark.
A century ago, we routinely stood at work. As a result, we had problems with our feet, constant backaches, bad joints, and a workforce of varicose veins. In a mad rush of innovation, we designed plush office chairs, ergonomic wonders of sitting, and somewhere along the way decided that a large blow-up ball meant for yoga was equally at home under our rear end and in front of our keyboard.
Sure, standing instead of sitting burns a few more calories, but not as much as taking the stairs. Standing and burning calories may help fight obesity-related illnesses, but not as much as putting down that extra donut. It’s the actual moving around that does the trick.
That’s right. Lying down.
As study after study details the benefits of a good night’s sleep and proper rest, another company created a convertible desk that features a hidden compartment with a mattress for a mid-day slumber. We won’t allow that here at Ball Office Products.
Our suggestion is to take a look at our partner Trendway. They offer a line of adjustable tables. Want to sit? Sit. Need to stretch a bit? Raise the desk up and stand. No napping, and you can’t lie down unless you empty your inbox.
In the meantime, move around a bit. Eat a salad. Do something other than watch television. And leave your desk alone.
A friend of ours just came back from a short trip to Asheville, North Carolina. If you’ve not been, go. It’s a lovely town.
A highlight of any trip is a visit to the Grove Park Inn. This resort and conference center is now part of the Omni chain, and is truly a spectacle. Opened in July of 1913, it shows why so many selected Asheville as the go-to retreat from summer heat in the South. They do a Sunday Brunch that’s not to be believed. Rooms and rooms of every sort of food imaginable, and the dining room offers stunning views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains.
The true highlight, however, is just walking into the lobby. The architecture is Craftsman style, with nods to Frank Lloyd Wright. The cavernous space is scattered with groupings of comfortable leather chairs, sofas, and occasional tables. Each end of the lobby is dominated by an enormous fireplace; large enough to accommodate an 8-foot log. They are so big that one actually houses an elevator that rises up the side of the chimney.
We also talked to another friend who was in the market for a new dentist. They decided to visit a few practices to see what sort of fit this particular DDS might make for them. The first one they dropped in on, however, quickly removed themselves from consideration. The reception area was poorly lit, with cheap plastic chairs, was in need of a good dusting, and certainly would have benefitted from a bit of artwork to brighten things up.
First impressions are important, aren’t they?
When a client or customer walks into your business, what do you want them to think of your operation? That you’re crisp and professional? That you’re warm and inviting? Either way, your lobby or reception area should say that you’re serious about your business, about their needs, and you’re a professional. The design should intuitively point them towards a reception area or whatever information brought them to you – you don’t want them wandering around. Organization is crucial. If your business receives daily packages or products, the reception area is not where you want them to live. Lighting should be ample, but not overwhelming. If seating is appropriate, make it comfortable. You may not need comfortable leather chairs and giant fireplaces, but make them feel welcomed.
One of our favorite vendors is DARRAN. They offer the Central Park Collection for reception areas. While it’s crisp and professional, the rounded seating and earthy colors make it very inviting. It says, “Step right in. We’ve been expecting you.”
That’s a good first impression.
If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, you may have seen a painting we have hanging in our big meeting room. It’s this colorful gorilla. He has a sort of peaceful expression, which reminds us that not everything needs to be a conflict or argument. He also reminds us that a quiet strength can help us be a better company. With his shock of orange hair, he’s also sort of funny. So there’s that.
An office can be a somewhat sterile place. You can jazz things up with some playful color, like with these Feek pieces from Trendway. But a simple way to influence the mood of your office is with artwork.
Like our gorilla, artwork can inspire creativity and passion about something. Portraits of heroes or landscapes can help workers set goals. They have an image to emulate. Artwork can also inspire feelings of confidence in your staff, and more importantly, your clients. When you walk into your local garage, what do you see? Pictures of sports cars. A doctor’s office or therapist likely has artwork featuring happy, smiling families.
When you choose your artwork, there are a few factors to take into account. First and foremost, while something thought-provoking might be fine, there’s a thin line between that and offensive. Secondly, think about where you display your art. If you’re a travel agent, putting images of enchanted islands in your restroom might not do you much good. When designing for your staff, your artwork should be readily visible while they’re working. Artwork for your clients should inspire your desired emotions while they interact with you.
Think about color, also. Earth tones provoke calm feelings while orange, like our gorilla’s hair, inspire energy. More public health facilities are using pastels, as they promote serenity. And did you ever wonder why restaurants seem to love red? Red makes you hungry.
Lastly, what’s your budget like? It would be nice to display a Van Gogh or Rembrandt to impress your friends, but we imagine most of you don’t have that kind of petty cash laying around. You don’t however, have to break the bank to spruce up your wall space. One of our vendor partners is Great American Art. They’re pretty passionate about creating an awesome atmosphere with some artwork, and reasonably priced. They also have a ton of different genres and styles, and something for almost every office environment.
Don’t ask about the gorilla, though. He’s not for sale.
We’ve had a long and fruitful partnership with Trendway Office Furniture. We admire them for their classic styles, clean lines, and the amazing craftsmanship of their products. We’re also proud to be an exclusive Trendway dealer for Central Virginia. Their values and mission closely mirror ours here at Ball Office Products, so working with them is like peas and carrots.
Trendway also likes to have fun and inject a bit of whimsy into static office environments. These two short videos highlight two of our favorite Trendway products – Feek and the Zego Chair. Have a look and consider how Ball Office Products and Trendway can create some color and playfulness in your office.
When we meet people out and about they inevitably ask, “So, what do you do?” We smile and proudly tell them, “We’re Ball Office Products.” The response to that can vary wildly from person to person.
“Oh, you mean like desks and chairs?” Yes, we carry those.
“So you sell pencils and paper?” Yes, we carry those also.
Many people, however, are amazed at the scope of what we carry.
Office furniture is certainly a huge part of our inventory. But we’re not content to offer amazing products from fantastic manufacturers like Trendway. We help our customers pick just the right collection to meet their needs. We help them furnish offices, meeting spaces, reception areas, and break rooms. Our team gladly supplies 2D or 3D design planning, with no obligation, so that you’ll see what your finished workspace will look like. Our drivers will deliver your furniture, set it up, and leave you delicious cookies.
Sure, we also sell pens and pencils and paper. But we also sell everything else that you could possible need to run an office or business. Would you like custom printed items with your logo, for either staff members or to leave with clients? We can provide those. Finding yourself routinely running out of things? We can help you to manage your inventory. We have cleaning supplies and janitorial equipment and small electronics and more. We recently shared photos of some toys that came through the warehouse. One of the groups that we enjoy working with is the Department of Juvenile Justice. We send them these things for use in rehabilitation sessions for youngsters.
Interested in some office snacks? In addition to coffee and beverage programs, we supply people with snacks from such names as Nabisco and Snyder’s. We recently started carrying what we consider our new favorite BEST SNACK EVER. Tastes like a Graham Cracker – shaped like a Pretzel. They’re Hansel’s Gretzels, and they’re to die for.
Desks and chairs? Sure. Over 200 furniture lines from the world’s best manufacturers. Pencils and paper? Over 32,000 different items. But we provide solutions. Our team at Ball Office Products have helped people start their business with the right look and right supplies, helped them grow, and helped them relocate. We don’t just sell the products – we help you put them to productive use. Be it a school, an established business, a government office, or a rehabilitation program – we want to be your partner.
You may recall our post last week about our home in Richmond, Virginia. We love it here. We’re from the area, and Ball Office has called it home base for 15 years now. You’d like it, too.
We also consider ourselves an integral part of our community. We went to great lengths to get certifications as a Small Women and Minority Owned Business and from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. Melissa Ball, our owner, has long been a partner and member of the Richmond Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. We’re also active with a number of philanthropic organizations and non-profits. It’s what we do.
But we don’t limit ourselves to Central Virginia. We’ve done work with the U.S. Military, and they’ve moved our products almost everywhere we have troops, both in the United States and overseas. It takes a mountain of paperwork to move an army, and that means desks, chairs, staples, and even cleaning supplies.
We help supply the Federal Government with supplies, furniture and equipment. They use it to outfit their offices across the country.
If you follow us on social media, you may have seen the photo below. It is one of several pallets that are currently on their way to Havana, Cuba. It’s cleaning supplies and staples for what will become our newest United States Embassy overseas.
We also work with NGOs and foreign government to help them meet their needs. We recently sent enough chairs (very similar to the ones below) to outfit a new elementary school in Ghana.
Again, you would like it here in Richmond. We’d love for you to come by some time. But really, it doesn’t matter where you are. We can come to you.