Meet the Crew, Pride Edition: Sam

Leanne Yenush

Our fourth and final Pride Edition of Meet the Crew features Sam Godding, Customer Care Champion. Sam advocates on behalf of our customers every day -- which should come as no surprise; as a dedicated social activist and fierce LGBTQ+ ally, Sam passionately advocates for anyone who struggles to have their voice be heard.

What led you to Hydrow?

Hydrow actually found me - I was working with a recruiter, and was immediately intrigued by the opportunity, so came in to meet the team. It really didn’t feel like an interview at all -- it just felt like a series of conversations with kind, interesting people. I was really aware of the openness that existed here, which was definitely different from what I experienced while interviewing at other organisations. As I was interviewing, I asked team members why they chose Hydrow, and was moved by the responses I got. Most of the feedback related to the people who worked here, and how committed and engaged they were, as well as the strong sense of community and team spirit that exists here.

What is Hydrow’s culture like?

I call us a community, more so than a company - honestly, it’s amazing. I’ve had a lot of jobs in a number of industries, but this is really the best. I’ve never worked in a place where everyone is so genuinely kind, or so eager to talk to you and get to know you. And I mean everyone; Bruce [Founder and CEO] was literally one of the first people I met when I got here! He was so friendly and unassuming, which you don’t always see in leadership.

One of my favourite questions during my interviews was from Andrea, who asked about my interests. I’m really committed to social activism - I’m a passionate feminist, and it’s a huge part of my identity. It was so refreshing to be able to share that part of myself with team members from the get-go. I haven’t always felt comfortable being myself in a work setting; I’ve had coworkers be dismissive of my forms of self-expression, whether it’s been my hair colour, piercings or tattoos, or my convictions. Here I’m completely accepted, and that’s really something special. 

How does teamwork factor into Hydrow’s culture?

I think teamwork is one of the core values this organisation is built on - and that’s the best part. Yes, we all support specific teams and are responsible for driving separate aspects of our business, but when it comes down to it, we’re all a part of the same team. We’re all so unique in terms of our backgrounds, where we’re from and what we’re interested in, but what we do have in common is a shared mentality, and our belief that what we’re working towards together is truly something that will help people -- and that’s pretty powerful.

I think the fact that we’re still a small, intimate organisation is a major driver within our culture. We come together on Fridays for an all-team meeting, and it’s this really cool opportunity to get a truly holistic view of everything we’re working on, and connect with people in other areas of the organisation. In my role, I often need to tap other teams for the information I need to relay to customers. There’s never a moment of hesitation when I reach out to someone outside of my immediate team -- I know that no matter who I engage, they’re ready and willing to help, because we all respect and appreciate the role we each play here, and understand that the only way we’ll succeed is if we work seamlessly together.

What have you learned during your time here?

I’ve learned SO much in just a short amount of time. Because we do have such vastly different backgrounds, there’s so many opportunities to learn from each other -- we all bring unique experience that can be applied to what we’re doing here. 

Before joining Hydrow, I’d only worked in corporate environments, so adjusting to the startup culture has been a really interesting learning experience. As a startup, we’re inherently more casual than more traditional corporate settings, but that works for us. I think that our success in that capacity stems from mutual trust and respect. We’re all adults, and we have the autonomy to do what we need to in order to get the job done. I believe that people do their best work when they’re given the freedom to truly be themselves -- that’s absolutely the case here, and I think it shows.

What activities do you enjoy outside of work?

I really enjoy doing anything outside. I love being outdoors --  walking (I walk to work!), hiking, going to the beach, and going to music festivals. I love spending time with my two cats, Khaleesi and Fetty, and my sister Steph. And of course, anything to do with activism! I had a fantastic time at Boston’s Pride parade earlier this month. 

I’m also working on a podcast, which will be a platform for me to have meaningful discussions about the topics I’m most passionate about with others -- whether they agree with my viewpoints or not. I studied journalism, and love exploring topics that interest me, understanding different perspectives, and hearing other people’s stories. Recording and producing a podcast solo is a lot of work, for sure, but it’s definitely something I feel strongly about making time for. 

What’s your favourite food?

I love food! Pizza, burritos, sandwiches, guacamole, cheeseburgers, and anything to satisfy my sweet tooth are right up my alley. 

Favourite songs (at the moment?)

“Rich, White, Straight Men” by Ke$ha, “Fall in Line” by Christina Aguilera & Demi Lovato, and “Fight Like a Girl” by Zolita. I’m also a huge fan of RuPaul’s music (and RuPaul in general) -- “Call Me Mother,” “American” and “Peanut Butter” are my favorites at the moment. 

This interview concludes our special Pride Edition of the Meet the Crew series. We’re so grateful to our team members who volunteered to share their stories as a part of this initiative, helping us to celebrate the talented, unique community we’ve built here at Hydrow. Pride Month may be drawing to a close, but know that our Pride -- for our team members, for the Hydrow community, and for the LGBTQ+ community as a whole -- never goes away.