Thursday, December 09, 1999

Tree Trimming Underlings at Underline

Antique wooden marionettes danced above and a 15' tall Pinocchio-like wooden soldier doll stood guard in the corner as the DJ spun disco tunes. A large bayleaf wreath hung on a Plexiglas partition with a lovely Christmas tree in the corner, waiting to be dressed with ornaments from guests. The artfully designed invitation said, "please bring nothing but yourself and something to hang from the hook," which was taped inside the card. Underline's tree-trimming party on December 9 at their offices was indeed a festive affair. The offices are a veritable feast for the eyes with a sailfish suspended on one wall, an original Coca-Cola sign hung on another and desks decorated with the usual unusual arrangements of creative folk in the web design building business.

The dark room with a big "HUMBLE" sign had mussels, fruit and cheese sticks and many Underline friends and officemates inside snacking on the treats. DJ Edgerton, founder and CEO of Underline had the most interesting office I've seen since a tour of Hearst's Castle. Rich, brown walls were a sumptuous background to a wall of original memorabilia, including fancy guitars, a 4' taxidermic bass, a baseball bat and a velvet plaque to the astrological sign Leo. The alligator head on the desk was just another notable knick-knack in the office where a few gathered for a demo of their site. Here I met DJ, William McGinty (pres. Americana Financial Services), Michael Iuzzolino (Cendant Corporation) and Nina Biornstad (Mastercard), who was Underline's first client. An impressive list of clients soon followed Nina's lead, including Nickelodeon, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, SixDegrees and most recently Media Metrix.

DJ's enthusiasm and the friendly creative space left guests with a sense of warmth and hospitality. The party was still in full swing as I took a few final snapshots with my digital camera and headed out into the night.