Doing What You Love: Joel Bennett of Starfire Direct

Life is too short to spend your time doing something that doesn't light your fire. Too many people go through life on autopilot, never truly pursuing anything that makes them happy. For Joel Bennett of Starfire Direct's Art Department, every day is an opportunity to flex his creative muscles and use his talents as an artist to bring the company to new heights.

Joel has been a part of the Starfire Direct family for over five years. From a fledgling online business to the thriving, Inc. 5000 company that SD is today, Joel has been around for many of the company's major achievements and milestones.

"It has been amazing to see what this company has accomplished in the time it's been around," Joel adds, "There really is nothing that Starfire can't achieve when we put our minds to it."

Joel has been enamored with art and design since he was old enough to pick up a pencil. "For as long as I can remember, I have loved to draw. People, super heroes, landscapes, animals, objects. Pretty much anything and everything around me," Joel continues, "I’m just glad that I've been able to turn that into a life-skill that has been marketable and enjoyable."

Joel's passion for Japanese art and culture is evident the second you step into his office.

Joel was hired on to the Starfire team as a Graphic Designer before the SD Art Department itself existed. As the company grew--and the Art Department added new members to its ranks--Joel's skills as a graphic artist grew along with it, and were nurtured by the incredible team that surrounded him. "JB [Starfire Direct's CEO, Jonathan Burlingham] has really created a great work environment. Starfire’s team members stand out as different. I look forward to working hand in hand with every department each time I walk through the doors." Joel has become an essential piece of the puzzle that is ecommerce marketing. From creating banner images displayed on the site and printed catalogs to social media content and lifestyle photos, Joel's work is visible in almost every aspect of Starfire Direct.

"As one of the largest online retailers of lifestyle products, we get to offer some pretty stunning and amazing products to our customers that, in a way, defines part of who they are," Joel proudly emphasizes, "These people want to create a space that helps define part of their life experiences and I am immensely proud to do my part in defining that experience."

On a typical work day at Starfire Direct's Temecula, California corporate office, Joel can often be found at his desk in the Art Department office, surrounded by animated film memorabilia and Japanese decor. A master impressionist, Joel is a man of many voices. While walking the halls near the Art Department office, you may hear the deep baritone of a Scottish Highlander, the gravely tone of a merciless pirate, the smooth buoyancy of Michael Cane, or the unmistakable cadence of Christopher Walken--to name a few of his classics. He is also completely captivated by Japanese culture. "It’s a widely known fact I love Japan. I find the culture and people fascinating in almost every way," Joel admits, "You can take one look at my office and realize this in seconds." Besides his vocal and artistic talents, Joel's exuberance for his job and outlook on life are contagious.

Left: Joel's two daughters, Elizabeth and Katie, share a sweet secret. Middle: Joel and his wife of 13 years, Nicole, enjoy the mountain views. Right: Joel spends some father-son time at the beach with little Samuel.

"I've discovered that to make yourself truly happy, you must make others happy first. Take what you want out of the equation and help others first. When we do this, it allows us to learn more about ourselves, truthfully absorbing life and its experiences," Joel explains.

At the end of the day, Joel knows what is truly important-- his beautiful family. Father to three amazing kids, Elizabeth (10), Katie (7), and little Samuel (2), Joel and his wife of 13 years, Nicole, have created a life together full of laughter and some tears, as well as all the milestones in between. "I am part of a wonderful family that I get to come home to every day. I’ve had the privilege of being a part of their lives and that has enriched my life a thousand times over," Joel recounts proudly.

A shining illustration of leading by example, Joel's enthusiasm and vigor are matched only by his propensity for kindness. "I like to take a moment and tell others what I truly appreciate about them right then and there. I don’t like to wait for someone to leave my life or pass away to finally say what I appreciate about them."

Joel's unique perspective of the world shines through in his work with Starfire Direct in every project he touches. His love for the act of creating art is evident in his attitude towards his job.

Joel's energy and zest for life is contagious around the Starfire Direct corporate office.

Joel continues, "If there is something you love doing, go do it. Don’t just sit and let life happen to you. Find a way to make it happen."

To see some of Joel's work in action, make sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook or do some browsing on our site! Call us at (866) 578-8538 with any questions, or feel free to chat us on the site, or email us by filling out this simple form. We are always ready and willing to help you develop a love for your entertaining space and reignite your life.

Main Image: Joel enjoying the sunshine in front of Starfire Direct's showroom and corporate office.


Katrina McBreen