Inside the DXAgency: A renovated schoolhouse that feels more like a home

DXAgency looks less like an agency and more like a place you’d want to live.

It might be a stone’s throw away from Manhattan’s busy streets, but it is a world apart. The agency lies on the banks of the Hudson, perched on a hill in Edgewater, New Jersey — housed in a 100-year-old schoolhouse-turned-office that still retains several of its old features.

“The intention was always to create an environment that was like a home, and I think the office really puts out that kind of a home vibe,” said Benjamin Hordell, founding partner at DXAgency.

Enclosed within the red brick-exposed walls of the old building are four stories connected by a grand staircase in the middle. The different floors are dotted with both open and closed spaces — unlike the exclusively open-space layouts of most Manhattan ad shops — designed to make it easy for people to work in groups or work alone.

The outside of DXAgency in Edgewater, New Jersey
The outside of DXAgency in Edgewater, New Jersey

The decor and aesthetics are reflect the Feng Shui approach to creating a harmonious environment, according to Hordell. Eclectic rugs and mirrors, as well as wind chimes, comfy couches and colorful lamps populate the different floors. There is a gorgeous roof deck with a view of the New York skyline for when employees need some inspiration or just fresh air, and an arcade room with several pinball machines and other games for when they just need to vent.

The view from the agency's rooftop deck
The view from the agency’s rooftop deck

“We’re trying to build this environment of creativity, so we wanted to make it a pleasant environment for guests as well as a place where people love to come to work every day,” Hordell said. “It’s definitely not sterile; each individual item in a room can be a thought-starter.”

The agency's arcade room
The agency’s game room

Most of all, the agency’s layout is a physical manifestation of its core value: Pushing the boundaries of creativity might be the top priority for most agencies, but for DXAgency agency, it is building and maintaining relationships. The belief is that genuine care fostered by these relationships is what ultimately spurs creativity. “It’s a company that cares,” said Hordell. “ It cares about its people; it cares about its clients. That care has penetrated through all our relationships.”

The company was founded in 2002 as a music-marketing agency and has since evolved into a full-service marketing agency, with clients from Comcast to Welch’s Fruit Snacks and from MTV to Whole foods. It has now come full-circle promoting upcoming musicians and now leading campaigns for Sears-Kmart for the clothing lines of two of today’s biggest stars: Adam Levine and Nicki Minaj.

“There’s thousands of agencies that do what we do; it’s really the service that sets us apart,” said Hordell. “We like to think we do it better.”

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