The Importance of Tchotchkes
One of the most interesting things about agency culture is the freedom for employees to show their personality. To be quite honest, I think there is no better example of this than someone’s tchotchkes.
A tchotchke (pronounced CHOCH-ka) are small, often miscellaneous items. I picked the phrase up in college, and I’ve been using it ever since.
What I love about a good tchotchke (and to my eyes, they are all good) is the story behind them. There is almost always a story — an interesting hidden history behind what the object is, where it came from, and what it means to the person.
For example, I have a metallic blue gorilla on my desk. To the casual observer, he looks like a simple kid's toy (and in some cases he is!). He’s the Gorilla Galactabeast figure from a season of Power Rangers from the late 1990s, but to me he represents a time where I took a big leap in my career. For a while, I worked for a comics publisher that held the license to the Power Rangers. While I worked for them, I became close with the editorial team. We would often meet outside of work and immerse ourselves in the Power Rangers world to see how we wanted to shape a new set of stories. I’m proud to say that some of my hard work and ideas are still in play to this day.
Those are the kinds of personal stories and fun facts I love to share and learn about my fellow Toads. A tchotchke is a story, made real. They give me the opportunity to break out of my comfort zone and get to know other Toads for who they really are, not just what they can do.