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Amfam blog: Extreme agency makeover, LEGO edition


Like many kids, American Family agent Trace Tyler grew up playing with LEGOS. Now, they fill his insurance agency near Vail, Colorado. 

There are nine LEGOLAND™ parks across the globe including sites in California, Germany and Malaysia. Colorado is not on that list – although it probably should be if you ask Trace Tyler, an American Family agent in Edwards, Colorado.

Like many kids, Trace grew up playing with LEGOS. And, like most teens, he eventually outgrew them. He went to college, then law school, then joined American Family where he held several roles, finally returning to agency.

When Trace returned to agency, so did his love for LEGOS. “I revisited them because, when I got stressed, they helped take my mind off it,” says Trace, whose first LEGO set was the Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo. “I’ve always been goal-oriented, so they’re appealing. I love putting a set together and seeing it through to the end.”

Originally an in-home hobby, Trace’s LEGO building evolved into something bigger. “I had a display shelf at home, but realized nobody would see it,” says Trace. So he moved his creations where they would not only be seen, but talked about: His office.

Trace’s slogan is, “Stop by our new office, it’s like no other in the state.” His LEGO figures lining the walls back that statement. But Trace’s collection is far more than decorative, it’s a conversation starter.

“There’s definitely a theme,” says Trace. “I have a home, auto and life section. Customers love it, and when they ask about it, that’s how many conversations start.” One of the “home” sets includes Trace’s personal favorite – the Cinderella Castle he built with his daughter last year.

While Trace is the mastermind behind the many sets in his office, he credits his daughter, Samantha, for coming up with another main feature. The walls – no, really, the walls – on the inside of Trace’s office are made up of 6-inch by 12-inch LEGO blocks that separate the office into work spaces.

“When I first told my staff, they thought I was joking,” says Trace. “They still think I’m crazy, but they like it a lot. Our agency used to be a popular candy stores in the Vail area, and I like to think, with our setup, we’ve kept that spirit alive.”

LEGO’s website reads, “Inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow.” Trace echoes that sentiment, and hopes his LEGOS inspire others as much as they’ve inspired him.

“When I die, my LEGOS will be donated to the Children’s Hospital,” says Trace. “They’ve brought me so much joy, and I want to make sure they continue to do that for others.”