Take a tour of the New York City subscription startup where you'll find swings, sneakers, and gnomes

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Birchbox office tour Courtney Verrill Business Insider's Gillian Dukoff (left) and Amanda McKelvy (right) give the Birchbox office swings a test.

In 2010, beauty box service Birchbox launched the subscription-box craze.

Now, companies offer subscription services providing everything from chocolate to liquor to dog toys - not to mention competing beauty-box services. Faced with stiff competition and a cooling environment for startup financing, Birchbox has had to make some changes.

In March, Business Insider reported that Birchbox held a round of layoffs, and in June, CEO Katia Beauchamp announced another round. The Wall Street Journal reported that the company was also putting expansion plans on hold and consolidating its two-story office to one floor.

"We have to be focused on the fact that the economic environment is changing for all startups," Beauchamp told Business Insider . "We want to make sure that we are mindful and that we keep in front of that and we're ready to weather whatever this is."

And weathering it they are. The company's new floor is in NoMad, the neighborhood north of Madison Square Park in Manhattan. Aside from the sparkling kitchen and cheery conference rooms you'll see in many startups, the office is peppered with unique tokens of employee recognition, from bright pink Nike sneakers to a surprisingly large population of gnomes.

Scroll down to take a tour.

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Birchbox moved to its NoMad (North of Madison Square Park) location in December 2012. Its 130 employees work in a casual, open-plan office.

Birchbox moved to its NoMad (North of Madison Square Park) location in December 2012. Its 130 employees work in a casual, open-plan office.

Among the cubicles, there are swings to entice employees looking for a mental break.

Among the cubicles, there are swings to entice employees looking for a mental break.

The company makes a point recognizing staff members publicly and often. It celebrates new employees, employees of the month, employees celebrating anniversaries, and those who have achieved individual milestones.

The company makes a point recognizing staff members publicly and often. It celebrates new employees, employees of the month, employees celebrating anniversaries, and those who have achieved individual milestones.

On this employee's desk, you'll find "Gnomi Watts." The employee of the month signs her cap, keeps her at his or her desk, and gets a $1,000 bonus. At Dashboard, the weekly company-wide meeting, CEO Beauchamp explains why the employee and their work embodies Birchbox's values.

On this employee's desk, you'll find "Gnomi Watts." The employee of the month signs her cap, keeps her at his or her desk, and gets a $1,000 bonus. At Dashboard, the weekly company-wide meeting, CEO Beauchamp explains why the employee and their work embodies Birchbox's values.

The gnome phenomenon started because the company's CFO, Mike Cohen, wanted to find a way to celebrate and recognize employees for their achievements on an ongoing basis. He chose the gnome as the company mascot because it is a symbol of hard work, community, and collaboration.

The gnome phenomenon started because the company's CFO, Mike Cohen, wanted to find a way to celebrate and recognize employees for their achievements on an ongoing basis. He chose the gnome as the company mascot because it is a symbol of hard work, community, and collaboration.

Other forms of appreciation include yearly presents, like these customized Nike sneakers. They're given around your first-year mark to represent the anniversary "sneaking" up on you.

Other forms of appreciation include yearly presents, like these customized Nike sneakers. They're given around your first-year mark to represent the anniversary "sneaking" up on you.

After two years at the company, you get a pair of headphones for your "two (y)ears." For three, a "tri-batical" which is a paid three-week vacation, plus a travel stipend, a Birchbox weekend duffel bag, and dinner with the leadership team. For four, a vest to represent that you are fully "vested" in the company. At your fifth year, you get a watch from Shinola to symbolize how "time flies."

After two years at the company, you get a pair of headphones for your "two (y)ears." For three, a "tri-batical" which is a paid three-week vacation, plus a travel stipend, a Birchbox weekend duffel bag, and dinner with the leadership team. For four, a vest to represent that you are fully "vested" in the company. At your fifth year, you get a watch from Shinola to symbolize how "time flies."

Behind the swings is the "Shop," a conference room in the middle of the office where the company teaches merchandising employees of Birchbox's SoHo retail store.

Behind the swings is the "Shop," a conference room in the middle of the office where the company teaches merchandising employees of Birchbox's SoHo retail store.

In the Shop, you can find many of the company's in-house brands. Around the office, you'll find goods from other brands as well.

In the Shop, you can find many of the company's in-house brands. Around the office, you'll find goods from other brands as well.

And some cool Birchbox collaboration boxes.

And some cool Birchbox collaboration boxes.

But the mother load is in the "PR Closet," where a huge array of colorful products bide their time, waiting to be tested and sampled.

But the mother load is in the "PR Closet," where a huge array of colorful products bide their time, waiting to be tested and sampled.

The company holds its own version of a sample sale three times a year. Employees, their friends and family, and neighbors from the office building come shop the products. All proceeds go to an employee-selected charity.

The company holds its own version of a sample sale three times a year. Employees, their friends and family, and neighbors from the office building come shop the products. All proceeds go to an employee-selected charity.

Products are also found on almost every employee's desk (along with colorful stationary and decorations).

Products are also found on almost every employee's desk (along with colorful stationary and decorations).

No one has their own personal office, so you can find the executive team sitting at the same-sized desks as everyone else. Some teams, such as customer operations, like to change desks frequently. They find the physical changes influence the way they listen and talk to customers.

No one has their own personal office, so you can find the executive team sitting at the same-sized desks as everyone else. Some teams, such as customer operations, like to change desks frequently. They find the physical changes influence the way they listen and talk to customers.

One of the rooms that gets crowded is the kitchen, which is fully loaded with snacks, drinks, and cold brew coffee on tap.

One of the rooms that gets crowded is the kitchen, which is fully loaded with snacks, drinks, and cold brew coffee on tap.

There are candy machines filled with customized M&Ms sporting Birchbox's logo.

There are candy machines filled with customized M&Ms sporting Birchbox's logo.

A wall decal reads "best day ever," to remind employees of the experience they are aiming to give their customers.

A wall decal reads "best day ever," to remind employees of the experience they are aiming to give their customers.

There are 12 conference rooms in the office, and each is named after a room in a home.

There are 12 conference rooms in the office, and each is named after a room in a home.

There are phone booths at the end of the office, where employees can find some personal space and privacy when needed.

There are phone booths at the end of the office, where employees can find some personal space and privacy when needed.

For daily props, this gong is available for an employee or team who wants to announce a milestone or accomplishment any time, whether it's big ...

For daily props, this gong is available for an employee or team who wants to announce a milestone or accomplishment any time, whether it's big ...

... or small.

... or small.
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