I stopped to see a tailor recently and like most in his trade, he sized me up in quick order. He asked me if I wanted to look like your everyday salesman, or the professional my clients most likely wanted to work with. Implications hit home hard. Did I really need some help?  He pointed to my non-shined shoes, my frayed tie. 

Last year, we moved into our new offices at the Cincinnati Club and the management was so nice to offer us free extra furniture to fill out our growing space. Soon after, however, a client told us the hard truth. He was surprised that our mixed décor (and piles of magazines everywhere) didn't seem to match the quality of our product. We decided we needed an upgrade. Honesty can hurt, but sometimes it's what we all need to help develop who we can be.

So where could we find local office furniture and designers? Last year, nothing presented itself. Often, when we try to come up with new features in the magazine, our team tries to think about what things are important within our own company and what services we need. If we want something and can't readily find whom to turn to locally, this probably means that a lot of professionals like us have the same challenges and might want to see a story on it. Thus a story on office furniture and design was born. 

This year, we are excited to build on this feature with the first annual "Where We Work Design Challenge" with the support of PowerN et Global. In putting out a call for entries to readers to show us their office or commercial space, we found that there were some really cool spots here in the Tristate. From restaurants to real estate, many fully appreciate what a nice working environment means to their customers and employee morale. We would like to thank those in the local design industry in providing us some (much needed) guidance in the selection process.

Truth be told, our cover subject didn't submit an entry. So with no submission, how might you ask did our snooping writers find out what a cool space Jerry Kathman and LPK has? This wasn't a challenge: We monitored their progress in the build-out phase, four floors above us in our own building. With all the new furniture and workers coming in, it caused quite the stir. This was no ordinary "just slap a coat of paint on" operation. The thought prevailed that if they put this much care and thought into their offices, just think of what they are doing for their clients. 

So enjoy this special "Where We Work" edition. Looks might not be everything, but these companies sold us without saying a word.