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Brentano Holiday Party 2011
Employees embrace a playful mood at annual holiday party

Brentano family
2011 Brentano "Family Photo"

Brentano hummed with excitement in the days leading up to the 2011 holiday party. Overnight the training room transformed into a venue fit for the holidays complete with Brentano-red tablecloths, snowflake cutouts, and poinsettias; and as the number of dishes on the buffet table grew, Brentano employees from every department encircled the spread eager for the celebration to start.

At the beginning of the meal, owners Iris Wang and E-Kwan Chen offered a toast to the occasion and extended a particularly warm welcome to all of the employees who had joined the Brentano family since last year's fete. By dessert, the energy in the room had swelled as a few intrepid souls strutted their stuff across an imaginary catwalk for the dubious honor of the ugliest holiday sweater. The competition really kicked into gear then with an impromptu game of getting tennis balls to bounce off the walls into baskets several feet away. After little success, focus shifted to the second annual ping pong tournament and an equally cutthroat challenge to construct the "best" graham cracker house--or perhaps the biggest mess.

Full of good food, camaraderie, and satisfaction with the successes of 2011, the party wound down with a slideshow of pictures taken throughout the day and new images from the upcoming 2012 Back to Basics collection. The headliner was Zinnia, a lookalike of Brentano classic Dahlia that the studio redesigned for outdoor use. Joining it were three luxurious Oeko-Tex certified linen fabrics that embody the collection's focus on water conservation--Mistral, Ostro, and Sirocco; and Schematic, an upholstery with outstanding abrasion resistance.

The new faces, the celebratory mood, and the newly unveiled collection all reminded Brentano that there is much to look forward to in the new year!

The Holiday Feast
The Brentano Holiday Feast
clockwise from top left :

  • "Before" picture of the beautiful, abundant potluck buffet
  • Customer service, warehouse, sampling, and operations try to identify every dish
  • More than enough desserts for seconds and thirds
  • At the head of the table, owners Iris Wang and E-Kwan Chen offer a toast

The Ugly Sweater Contest
The Brentano Ugly Sweater Contest
left to right:

  • "Ugliest" holiday sweater contestants
  • The winner, Andy Rodwell, celebrates with a little victory dance

2nd Annual Ping Pong Tournament
The Brentano Ping Pong Tournament
clockwise from top left :

  • Brentano's newest employee, Daniel Evers, battles ping pong veteran Ming for the title
  • Oksana Knish enjoying the competition
  • Michael Hsu, 2010's tournament winner, in a tough first-round match with Ming
  • And the winner is ... Daniel!

Good Company
The Brentano Smiles
left to right:

  • Alice and Able Lee in the holiday spirit
  • Sharing smiles, laughter, and good cheer

The Graham Cracker House Decorating Contest
The Brentano Graham Cracker House Decorating Contest
clockwise from top left :

  • Intense concentration surrounds the decorating table
  • Kate Tucker, behind a mess of supplies, puts the final touches on her house
  • Aaron dubs Joanna Seo's house "Best Overall," and gives Sonia Kalinkova honorable mention for neatness and Irina Dmitriyeva for unconventional materials
  • 2010's creative winner, Aaron Mensik struggles to choose just one winner

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