When Thysse first conceived its plans to build a new 95,000-square foot facility to move into this year, the extra space was meant to accommodate future growth.
However, now that extra space to grow is providing a different kind of room that Thysse did not foresee – the room for employees to physically distance because of COVID-19.
The new building, located at 780 Cusick Pkwy., is three times the size of Thysse’s previous location in the Alpine Business Park. Employees moved in on July 24.
While the new building is three times the size of Thysse’s last home, the company doesn’t have three times the employees yet, which means plenty of space for distancing. The space can accommodate its 100 employees – of which around 80 are now working in the building – but it was designed to fit up to 150 employees.
The graphic design, marketing, branding and printing business is coming up on its 80th anniversary, but only eight of those years have been spent in Oregon.
Jason Thysse, grandson of founder John Thysse, moved the long-time Madison business to Oregon in 2012. He serves as the company’s president, keeping the company founded in 1941 in his family for a third generation.
It provides clients with the creation and printing of apparel, brochures, catalogs, wall murals, banners, floor graphics and interior wayfinding signage.
This third move in eight years brings with it new opportunities for clients and enhancements for employees, Thysee said.
One of those opportunities comes as a result of the larger space. The company’s specialty graphics division has provided graphic wraps for ATMs and taxi cabs in the past, but the new space could accommodate much larger wraps – such as a semi-trailer, Thysse said.
But, the “signature space” is the new design studio, he said. The designers were able to work with the architects to create a “configurable space” that is “beautiful and highly functional for their changing needs,” director of marketing Jen Braga said.
Employees can relax at the “fireside,” Thysse’s name for its breakroom, which has a mix of bar-height tables and seating along with more casual seating, accented by a fireplace.
Other companies of this size may have small breakroom “pockets” that could accommodate eight to 10 people, Braga said, but the fireside was designed to fit basically everyone at Thysse into one room.
Thyssee needs that extra space, as its personnel has grown multiple times over since it moved here in 2011, some of it with the help of the Village of Oregon.
Last April, the Village Board approved a $1 million tax-increment financing deal with Thysse. Part of that money was used for soil remediation at the building site, before the groundbreaking in June 2019. The village had also provided Thysse with TIF in 2011, to help it move into the community. Thysse had grown from around 13 employees up to 90 employees between the two deals.
It was “pretty remarkable” that the COVID-19 pandemic only delayed the originally projected move-in date to the new building by three weeks, Thysse said. It opened in July this year, which had always been the plan.
While Thysse said it was “wishful thinking” on his part that the pandemic would be done by now, staff have adapted as a company. Thysse said while earlier on in the pandemic there was a slowdown in business, things are getting better now and business has been “on the rise and heading in the right direction.”
But even the pandemic brought innovations. One piece of software that has become nearly synonymous with the pandemic – Zoom – will outlast the pandemic at the company, Thysse said. He called it “excellent” for client communications and said both internal messaging and external meetings will remain on Zoom long after the virus ends, replacing phone calls and text messages.
As for what’s next, there is more land to build on if Thysse needs. But for now, there’s no such plan.
“We built the building to be easily expanded upon, but where we sit now, that’s not a goal,” he said. “We’ll keep refining what makes us great and keep getting better – where that takes us, we’ll find out.”