Blinker Profiles: Meet Sarah Miller

Blinkers are an interesting and dynamic group of people. Each Blinker is carefully selected to join the team because we understand how he or she will positively contribute to our culture and work. And while we do post Blinker Bios on our website, we thought we’d go a little further and profile our Blinkers on our blog. Today we’d like you to get to know Sarah Miller from Employee Development.

Everyone arrives at Blink along his or her own path. What path brought you here? Tell us about your journey.

I am originally from a tiny town in the middle-of-nowhere, Illinois, and my path to Seattle is a long and twisty one. In a nutshell, I was a tourist visiting the famous Pike Place Fish Market where my (now) husband works. I caught a fish like most tourists do and caught myself a husband as well. After I made the move to Seattle to be with him, I worked at Safeco Insurance for many, many years as an Executive Assistant until a friend introduced me to Blink. The company was growing and needed someone to manage the recruiting and hiring process. Even though I had little experience in the field of Human Resources, Blink took a chance on me and here I am. Next year will mark my 10th year in Seattle, which means I can officially call myself a Seattleite, right?

Exploring the Into the Wild bus while visiting Alaska

Exploring the Into the Wild bus with my husband Anders while visiting Alaska

We are all encouraged to focus on an area of Thought Leadership here at Blink. Will you talk about your area?

My thought leadership topic is centered on creating a great company culture. To be honest, the topic is a little intimidating but one that I feel passionate about especially since my job is so involved with the people of the company. Humans are unique and complicated, which means that what works well for one person won’t work well for another. Having a great company culture is vital for having a successful business and retaining and attracting top talent, so I need to constantly be asking the right questions. It’s so much more than ping pong tables and Nerf guns and more about creating an environment where employees can grow, people feel supported, we are socially responsible, and everyone feels comfortable asking for what they need.

Who or what motivates you right now? What’s causing the greatest impact on the way you work/live/think?

While it’s not always easy, I try to be conscious of what I’m purchasing and the impact it has on the world. Items that are unique, sustainable, and well made are what motivates me and gets me excited about the future of goods production. Whenever I come across a small business owner who is doing just that, I find myself digging into his/her story and following along on the journey. One great example is Block Shop Textiles, a shop run by two sisters who make beautiful scarves that are hand-block printed by a family in Bagru, Rajasthan. The company is committed to having high social impact and low environmental impact. They also give 5% of their profits to implementing community healthcare programs.

Another great company is Mohinders, a hand-woven, ethically-made shoe company (also based in India, but that is purely coincidence). Every time I find one of these great companies, I support them in any way I can. I love the idea that there are still products being made with love and care, and it is always a good reminder to put more attention into what I’m buying.

Visiting New York in her block shop scarf and checking out her soon-to-be crab dinner in my Mohinders

Visiting New York in my block shop scarf and checking out my soon-to-be crab dinner in my Mohinders

When you’re not at Blink, where would we find you? And what would you be doing?

When I’m not at work you can find me exploring other countries. I am genuinely curious about the world and want to see as much of it as I can. To me there is nothing better than seeing how other people live, trying their food, seeing their sites, and experiencing something totally different and slightly uncomfortable than my normal routine. Traveling makes me feel rich in so many different ways.

Since not every week can be spent in a foreign country, I try to channel that same passion for traveling into trying new things in my city. My husband and I spend a lot of time hiking new mountains, exploring new neighborhoods, trying new restaurants, and seeking out anything and everything on and off the beaten path.

The beautiful lanterns of Hoi An, Vietnam

The beautiful lanterns of Hoi An, Vietnam

Lastly, if you set out on a long voyage at sea and could only bring one book to read, what book would you select? Why?

I am a total sucker for a good memoir and Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert is probably the greatest one I have ever read. In this book, the author takes a year off from “life” and travels to Italy, India, and Bali. While the author of this book actually received a lot of criticism for being self-involved, the subject matter really resonated with me. She tackles a lot of issues that I also think about…to have or not have children, my relationship with food, the power of meditation, and finding balance. On another note, the book feeds my wanderlust-y heart!

Game of Thrones was an extremely close second. I am a proper nerd about that series.

Kayaking in Halong Bay, Vietnam.

Kayaking in Halong Bay, Vietnam.

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