Why PledgeMe's CEO Anna Guenther and her team sometimes wear their onesies to work on Wednesdays

Some Wednesdays, at crowdfunding platform PledgeMe, things get a bit animal-crazy. Life-size ‘dinasours’ or ‘pandas’ stomp into the office and the workplace takes on a decidedly whacky feel, especially when your boss is no longer in proper work gear but in her PJs, dressed as a panda for the day.

Wearing onesies to work may not be everybody’s cup of tea but at PledgeMe, the wear-your-onesie-to-work day which started as a joke, has become somewhat a statement of the culture the company wants to create.

Anna Guenther, founder and CEO at PledgeMe says: “We don’t always do it! It started out as a joke but is now a fun way to describe our culture, and hang out as ‘us’. A person’s onesie choice is almost like a psychological test, it really does say a lot about a person. And, while we can suit up with the best of them, we much prefer to hang out in our panda dragon dinosaur wolf onesies.”

PledgeMe recently created a bit of local history when it became the first local crowdfunding platform to seek public money to crowdfund its business. Within 24 hours, PledgeMe managed to raise its maximum target of $100,000, drawing Vend’s - a software company - founder Vaughan Rowsell as a funder.

Guenther says PledgeMe tries to keep its culture focused on people, be it people coming through the platform, or the team in the office.

“We have PledgeMe family dinners, do meetings in the park on nice days, and help each other with our outside passion projects (be it Jen organising the Improv Festival through to Jackson championing for the Saddleback to be Bird of the Year).”

Making 'good shit' happen

The biggest motivator for the team, she says, is seeing the difference the company makes. “We get excited every time a campaign meets it's goal, and sad whenever it's the opposite. We celebrate what we do well, and start every meeting with a check in on how we're all feeling. We also regularly discuss what we could do differently and everyone gets to propose solutions. Occassionally, the solution has been more chocolate at meetings!”

The company has three employees but work with a team of up to 15, including its development partners, board, and contractors.

The walls in the office are covered with images of successful campaigns PledgeMe has helped crowdfunded.

“Our mission statement is to "Help Kiwis fund things they care about", and we live that mission every day. We have been thinking about taking a leaf out of the Vend book and getting the mission statement (and other good stuff) printed up on the walls.”

So what gets people to go to work every morning? “Well, since we (mostly) live in Wellington, our feet normally get us to work. But what motivates us is helping people make good shit happen. And getting paid. And onesies. And chocolate biscuits,” Guenther says.

Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).