Kayla manages relationships with several of Comfy's key clients, ensuring they have the best possible Comfy experience. She brings years of experience helping people engage with the built environment. Prior to Comfy, she was responsible for customer success at Lucid—helping enterprise customers realize their energy reduction goals. Fun fact: when she’s not traveling the country getting customers set up with Comfy, Kayla runs a side business dedicated to custom calligraphy and lettering.
Tell me about the path that led you to Comfy.
I was raised in a household that was very focused on energy efficiency. As a kid, if I ever left the house with the lights on, my parents would actually steal the lightbulbs in my room! So I definitely learned early on to shut things off when they weren’t in use. And it wasn’t just energy, we were very conscious of all our resources, from water use to food waste. We had a garden where we used soil from our compost before it was something everyone did. I was embarrassed to have people over back then, but now it’s cool to hear my friends say, “The first time I learned about recycling and composting was at your house!” I guess you could say my parents are sort of hippies.
Sustainability was always a big part of my life, but I never really considered it as a career path until later in college. I studied Environmental Geography, with a focus on human impact on the environment and climate change. During my senior year, I had the opportunity to intern with the Alliance to Save Energy out of Washington D.C. for a program that did both energy auditing and retrofits on college campuses across California. I managed a team of other students, and together we created educational programs and ran competitions in dorms to reduce energy use—things like unplugging washing machines, turning off the AC, and shutting down lights during the day. That experience was what got me really interested in and excited about buildings. It became so clear that they were this incredibly untapped resource, by just tweaking a few things here and there you can see massive savings!
Throughout the program we used Lucid, an energy dashboard that allows you to track how a building is performing. After graduating college, I decided to go work for them directly, first in project management, and then ultimately becoming their first customer success manager. It was great to get my feet wet in this new building technology space, but after a couple of years I realized I wanted to get back to something that was more people-centered. So when I first heard about Comfy, a tool designed for people that could also save energy…I wanted to get on board.
"Getting to know them, what they care about, and what gets them excited is interesting to me personally, but also helps me provide a better, more human approach to account management."
What's your favorite part of your job?
One of the best parts of my job is getting to work with all of my amazing clients. Working with colleagues at these Fortune 500 companies and hearing how much they love Comfy—that it’s fundamentally improving their lives—is incredibly rewarding. One of the reasons I decided to move from project management to customer success was the aspect of building and maintaining more long-term relationships with clients. Getting to know them, what they care about, and what gets them excited is interesting to me personally, but also helps me provide a better, more human approach to account management. As a company, we’re able to deliver value to several different stakeholders; the employees themselves but also workplace managers, facilities personnel, HR, and others. Figuring out how to provide value to each unique individual is really fun.
Is there something you do regularly to perform better?
It's funny, I think the key for me to performing better throughout the day is actually not thinking about work first thing when I wake up! Of course, there are times when you need to rush in early or race to meet a deadline, but I try not to check my inbox from bed. It’s important to stay grounded and figure out what I want out of the day before diving into work.
I usually start the day with some sort of exercise, even if that’s just walking or biking to the office, which is really meditative for me and sets a good tone for the day. While at work, I try to keep in mind that everything I do should ultimately be useful for someone else. We’re growing super fast, so iterating quickly and understanding the needs of other teams is essential to ensuring we continue to scale successfully.
Oh and I couldn’t get anything done without copious amounts of yerba mate!
What's your ideal day off?
If this is my ideal day, I’m gonna want as much time as I can get! So, let’s say I went to bed early the night before—because I’m suuuuper responsible—and wake up well-rested and ready for the the day. I’d start off with brunch with my fiancé, Nathan…and by that I mean going to Donut Farm in Oakland because vegan doughnuts are the best thing ever. Then I’d love to go hiking at Redwood Regional or Muir Woods, really anywhere out in nature. Then I’d go home and shower—make sure you include that part—and head out for dinner and a comedy show. Nathan and I love seeing no name comedians. They are often some of the funniest ones! We take notes for every comedian we’ve seen in case they make it big one day…saying that aloud sounds even more lame than it did in my head, but hey…someday we’ll have a huge list of super funny people we saw when they were just starting out.
What can you geek out on for hours?
Oh lettering…for sure. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve loved learning about letters, examining unique typography, and trying different techniques. I didn’t realize it was abnormal, I thought everyone wrote letters all over their notebooks in class, but I guess not. I was also always mesmerized by those people who paint signs on store windows, ha! I always thought it looked like such a fun job! And it's funny how things turn out, there’s been this total resurgence of the “makers movement” in the past few years and this desire for unique, hand-crafted items.
I started getting requests from friends and colleagues to make them custom pieces, and decided to feature some of them on Instagram, which brought in whole new flood of requests. I guess you could say it’s turned into a little “side business,” creating hand-made invitations, wedding seating charts, special gifts and yes…sometimes painting signs on windows! So pretty much all of my free time is spent either doodling, shopping for supplies, and—thanks to my patient fiancé—sprawling materials all over our dining room table and trying new techniques to letter like gold foiling and stamp carving. If I see something cool online, I have to try to do it myself. It’s addicting!
Want to work with Kayla? Well, we're hiring! Check out all open positions and apply here.