It’s time for the first Daz Employee Spotlight of 2023! Meet Brett Shaffer, Web Designer for the eCommerce Team, who has been with us since 2014. We interviewed him to learn about his time with Daz and a few interesting facts about what makes Brett tick.
If you missed it, you can learn more about our Associate Production Manager in the previous Employee Spotlight Post!
Without further ado, let’s dive into Brett’s interview.
Brett, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. First, what is a day in the life of Brett like?
My role is a Web Designer for the eCommerce team. I take the sales and promotions that we want to run on a particular day and make it look all pretty using assets from the PAs who are releasing that day. I create a web page for customers to browse through those offers, along with a banner (slider) on the main shop page, and a newsletter that goes out to our customers.
Some of my other responsibilities are designing flash sale banners, on-site messages, and also sending out our weekly Daz+ Newsletters. I also assist in designing and/or coding up pages for our website, social ads, and other newsletters. Currently, I’m also in the process of coming up with a render contest for our customers, which will be the second contest I’ve come up with this year.
Sounds like a busy day! What do you like most about working at Daz?
What I like most is the fact that we, as designers, get to have a lot of freedom as far as what we can design. Sure, there are some style guides we have to stick to, but overall, we get to be as creative as we want to. And it’s really fun trying to come up with a theme to design around those releases.
I also like the fact that we get treated like adults. Sometimes life can happen, and it can happen unexpectedly, and Daz is always willing to listen and help you out, like if you need to work from home because your babysitter quits unexpectedly, you’re able to do that.
That creative freedom sounds great. What are some of your favorite memories at Daz?
Oh boy, where to even start… I think for me the Casino Night Christmas parties are some of my favorite memories. The office is always a very casual and relaxed place, but on these nights, everyone is just so happy and excited, and LOUD lol. Not to mention the food is always amazing. Plus, you can always count on Peter to have an outlandish outfit!
They are pretty incredible! Quick gear shift, what has been your favorite project at Daz?
I would have to say it was the VDB Render contest that I ran last April. It was my first time running a contest, and I sure was nervous about it, but because we had some great renders to use, that fueled my ability to design some really great assets to get our customers excited and want to submit a render or two for the contest.
And following that, what is your proudest moment or accomplishment at Daz?
I would have to say the render contest again. It was a great learning experience as it was my first time doing anything like this, and overall it was great. I also felt proud when I got the responses from the winners, and saw how shocked and excited they were that they won. In my position, I don’t interact with our user base, so knowing that you are a part of something that can make someone’s day feels really good.
Before working at Daz, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
I have worked a few other design jobs before working with Daz, but I guess the most unusual would have to be working in my family’s business. My Grandfather on my dad’s side started up a bakery before I was born, so I practically grew up there. As a young kid, I’d do odd jobs here and there, like taking the bread that is getting close to expiration, drying it out, and then grinding them up in a big ol’ mixer, then taking those crumbs, and grinding them up even more in a meat grinder, so it’s very fine and soft, and selling it to the local restaurants in the area for their food that they put breading on.
Then in high school, I worked part-time on the clean-up crew, cleaning up the bakery after business hours getting it all ready for the bakers to come in at 11 pm to start production for the next day. Then working as a baker during the summer months, and after graduating from high school. Sleeping during the day and working in the middle of the night was crazy! To the point where I’m a total night owl, and NOT a morning person lol. Currently, my oldest sister and her husband still run the bakery out in Logan, Utah. If you’re ever up there, get the maple bars, as they are the best!
That sounds like a lot of bread, haha! What’s the best career advice you’ve ever been given?
Be transparent, whether you are just an employee or the CEO of a company. It’s important for all employees to be able to have that consistency, as it brings more trust and openness to the floor.
Great advice, thanks for sharing. Now, let’s get a little more personal. What’s something about you that would surprise us?
Back in my younger days, I was very involved with music. I learned to play the guitar when I was 14 years old and tried to make it “big” in the music industry. I started up a few different bands, which were mainly in the metal genre, and the last two bands I was in ended up having the most success. In one of those bands, we were able to open up for some national acts, like Kittie, Otep, and Mudvayne to name a few. In the last band I was in, we were able to tour around outside of the state, which was really fun, and even got a spot to perform live on a local Park City TV show, and released a decent full-length album.
That’s amazing, thank you for sharing! What about now, any passion projects you’re working on?
I am trying to get back into drawing again, but this time doing it with a Wacom tablet. I haven’t done too much yet, but this is the first piece I completed with it:
And this is the current piece I’m working on. My youngest boy is REALLY into Spiderman, and he asked me to draw Miles Morales, so while this piece isn’t fully complete yet, as I’m wanting to do a different background, this is the current piece I’m working on:
Those are really cool! What else do you enjoy doing in your free time?
The majority of my free time is spent with my wife and 3 boys. There really isn’t anything more in the world that I love than to be with them. They are my life. I’ve been happily married for 10 years, and our boys are 14, 11, and 4 years old. Being a husband and father is the best feeling in the world, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
I love playing video games when I can. It’s one of my favorite pastimes.
Traveling has been something I’ve been getting into more and more with my family. Especially road trips. I love driving! I love listening to music and going to live shows. For most of my life I’ve listened to metal, but for the past couple of years, I’ve found a new love with the Reggae genre. I just love how happy it is and it’s always playing in our house. We are all always singing it and listening to it. Our 4-year-old goes around singing it and it’s sooooo cute! In October ‘21 we took all 3 of them to their first live show, which was 311. Since then we’ve taken them to a few live shows, and it’s been a life-altering experience. Being a dad, and remembering my first few live shows growing up, it’s a whole different experience. Fortunate Youth is my favorite band.
Since Covid, I’ve also found a fondness for cooking. Before I met my wife, my diet consisted of fast food and frozen TV dinners. Now I’m cooking and eating foods that I never thought possible. All thanks to my wife for that one lol. I love grilling and using/trying different spices. When we cook together, and we have the Reggae tunes jamming in the background, it’s a moment in time and in life that is the most perfect.
Sounds like great times. Speaking of cooking, what’s your favorite and least favorite food?
Nothing beats a good homemade steak, or chicken wings, but I would have to say Potatoes are my favorite food. I love them in any way and want to eat them with everything. My least favorite food would be seafood. I just can’t get into it lol.
Fair enough! If you could only drink one beer for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I’ve never been able to acquire a taste and liking for beer. I need mixed drinks that have a sweet taste to them.
If you could only have one “specialty drink” for the rest of your life, what would that be?
Hmmm, as much as I love a good Jager Bomb, I really do enjoy strawberry daiquiris. I know, I know, crazy right?
Only a little crazy, it’s cool. What is your favorite travel destination?
I consider myself a Disneyland enthusiast and love to go as much as I can, but since Covid hit, my wife and I have been going to Colorado to celebrate our anniversary. This last July, we stayed up in Estes Park, which is famous for the haunted Stanley Hotel, which was also the hotel inspired by Stephen King’s The Shining. RED RUM!
It is just gorgeous up there. Right smack dab in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. We plan on taking our boys there the next time we go to experience some of the things we were able to do there, like take a 3-hour 4×4 ride up 17,000 feet to the Alpine Station, seeing waterfalls, snow, elk, big horn sheep, deer, and some extreme heights to the ravines below!
Great pick. Is there anything else you’d like to share about yourself before we go?
I try to live life the best that I can. I don’t have any regrets in life. To regret something, albeit small, can truly affect the present, or the future. My life wouldn’t be what it is today, and I love every single second of it!
brannon laveder says:
Congrats on making the employee spotlight! Working with you the past years has always been a pleasure. You bring creativity to the team, and you are a great asset to have by my side!
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