Employee Highlight – Christina Abel
We are proud of our employees and the pride and care they take producing your orders and want to share their stories with you.
Each month we highlight one of our employees and the department they work in! You will get a look behind-the-scenes here at the lab, and get to know one of our own a little bit better.
Christina Abel – Albums
Did you know that all of our albums are handcrafted one at a time, to your specifications, here at H&H Color Lab in Kansas City, Missouri? The members of this department are responsible for making each one of our beautiful albums, along with our folio and accordion wallet covers, covered CD cases, and more! It is here that you will find our sewing machine humming, our scissors cutting, our presses working, and all our tools and equipment organized ready for work. The thought, care and dedication of the team members in our Album Department is evident in this interview and a big reason why H&H stands out for our quality products! We are honored to introduce you to Christina Abel!
What is your job title/position?
What do you do as an assembler?
I put together the photographic pano books and the gallery lay-flat albums. I also help make leather covers and leather wraps. I really enjoy doing the leather wraps, because I like sewing.
How long have you worked for H&H?
I have been here since last June, so a little over a year.
How many people are in your department?
There are about five of us. Since our department is more specialized, it takes more training, so our staff is consistent and doesn’t have seasonal employees. It’s kind of like a family down there.
What are some of the ways lean principles are applied in your department?
We are currently tracking our photographic paper waste in all three of the areas right now. We just did a Kaizen* for the leather cell area. We actually did some rearranging of the area, adding more jigs to make the process more efficient. That way the processes are all located in one area.
*Definition of a Kaizen – Japanese word for continuous improvement. A management philosophy emphasizing employee participation, in which every process is continuously evaluated and re-evaluated for the elimination of waste. H&H regularly conducts Kaizens in each department, to stay in keeping with lean principles in all parts of our business.
What did you do prior to working for H&H? How do those skills help you with what you do now?
I worked at Chick Fillet for a short time because I just moved from Texas. I have been interested in graphic design. I also worked at a historical house museum. The biggest skill that I have used at H&H is sewing, which I did for 4H for about ten years. We also utilized lean principles at the restaurant, so I was familiar with the terms and principles behind it.
What different roles have you had here?
I am trained in four different areas. I started in photographic pano books, and then I trained in the leather wrap, gallery lay flat and SSE areas.
Do you hop between departments?
What are challenges with that?
Sometimes shifting between the photographic pano books and gallery lay-flat albums can be challenging because the processes are so different.
What is it that you love about your job? Or how do you measure a job “well done” in a given day?
I really enjoy seeing the different images, especially the location pictures. They are really very beautiful. I have been to Disney World, so I enjoy seeing the Disney wedding images, especially.
What do you like to do in your spare time, hobbies, interests etc.
I really like graphic design. I like creative writing. I play a lot of board games with my friends. For board games, I enjoy Monopoly. I like a lot of the specialty ones, too. I have 23 different versions of the Monopoly game at home.
Tell me a little bit about your personal life, family etc.
I am from Texas. I moved up to Kansas City about three years ago. I have a lot of friends in the area, so it just made sense to move up here. I love it here!
Tell me about a favorite trip you have taken.
I travel a lot. I really enjoy cruises. My parents have a Disney excursion timeshare, so we go somewhere Disney related once or twice a year. Next week I am going to Disney World.
What is your favorite ride or experience at Disney World?
My top three rides are Rocking Roller Coaster with Aerosmith, Hollywood Tower of Terror (based on Twilight Zone) and Mount Everest. I am looking forward to going to the opening day of Galaxy’s Edge based on Star Wars Land!
What are some of your favorite movies?
Inception, Treasure Planet, The Dark Knight Rises and Avengers End Game.
What is your favorite meal, to eat out?
What kind of music do you like?
I like a lot of different kinds of music. I go through phases. I don’t have a particular favorite at any given time.