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The Uncommon Life

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Sha’Ron Burden

October 4, 2013
UncommonGoods Outbound Warehouse Team Lead Sha'ron Burden
Sha’Ron Burden, UncommonGoods Operations Supervisor

My hometown is…
Staten Island, New York

My Favorite Process in the UncommonGoods Warehouse is..
The Exporting process. As an exporter you are pretty much running the floor from a perspective of how much work you bring out and the type of work you bring out. I love the feeling that I can control the floor from my exporting room.

I am inspired by…
Knowing I have the ability to improve myself every second I am living life, and how a positive mind can bring about positive results.

My favorite interaction with a UG team member has been…
There are too many to pick out one, but all interactions have been pleasant.

An uncommon fact about me…
I have two. I am the only person in my family to go to and graduate college and I only wear MLB official game baseball hats–my hat collection is pretty large.

When I’m not working, I’m probably…
With my 6-year-old son Sha’Ron Jr letting him eat macaroni and cheese while watching Phineas and Ferb, playing basketball, watching Law & Order SVU, or dining at a restaurant somewhere in my beautiful city.

The word that best describes me…
MOTIVATED

Since working at UncommonGoods I’ve learned…
The ability to be great within a corporate structure, while starting from the bottom, still exists.

Would you rather… Spend a week camping in the forest with no contact with anyone OR a week hosting a 10 visitors you’d never met before in your apartment?
I’d host 10 strangers for a week, and we’d have a Law & Order party that would consist of us playing a sort of games relevant to the show.

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Carolyn Topp

September 30, 2013
UncommonGoods Director of New Business and Product Development Carolyn Topp
Carolyn Topp, UncommonGoods Director of New Business and Product Development
My hometown is…
I grew up in Ardsley, NY, also home of the late great ice cream magnate Tom Carvel.

My favorite product we’ve developed at UncommonGoods is…
Always something new that will soon be in our assortment; this month it is “My Life Story – So Far.”

I’m inspired by…
Possibilities.

My guilty pleasure is…
I don’t believe in guilt.

An uncommon fact about me…
I was a cellist in Harry Alshin’s junior string orchestra (Westchester County, NY). We performed a concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC (in the early 1970s) and each member of the orchestra was listed in the Congressional Record.

My favorite place to eat in New York City is (was)…
Florent– it represents a time and a place in NYC that no longer exists.

My style is…
My personal style is urban practical and classic.
My decorating style is eclectic – a mix of old and new, colorful, and comfortable for people and pets.

Working at UncommonGoods, I’ve learned…
Something new each day.

Would you rather… Spend a day on the set of Mad Men OR get front row seats and backstage passes at a Bruce Springsteen concert?
“You cannot be serious” (to quote John McEnroe) with this question. Bruce.

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Kara Fillion

September 27, 2013
UncommonGoods Marketing Associate Kara Fillion
Kara Fillion, UncommonGoods Marketing Associate

My hometown is…
Clinton, CT

My favorite project I’ve worked on at UncommonGoods so far is…
Working on our new responsive design email template. It has been a journey collaborating with the tech and creative team to put the template together, but I’m really happy with the way it turned out.

I’m inspired by…
Resourcefulness and innovation that spurs ideas for sustainable, green design. Urban design has been especially inspirational to me since I’ve moved to the city and am able to see it on a daily basis. The Highline, Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, Citi bike system, and commercial roof top gardens are a few things that really inspire me!

I’m passionate about…
Environmental sustainability. Growing up, I used to basically live outdoors and would constantly be hiking and building forts in the woods. My parents taught me to love and respect nature and because of that I’ve become an advocate for protecting it.

An uncommon fact about me…
I was a named First Team All-State four times, twice in volleyball and twice in basketball. Sports used to be my whole life!

My favorite place to hang out in New York City is…
The Liz Christy Community Garden which was the first community garden built in New York City. It’s tucked away on a busy street section between Bowery and Second Avenue. They have seating so you can hang out with friends there and enjoy the garden throughout the week.

My style is…
Colorful and eclectic. I’m a big thrift shopper so my style is kind of all over the place. When I come home with clothes though, I find myself taking the shoulder pads out of shirts pretty frequently. So I guess I can say a big chunk of my wardrobe probably came from the ’80s.

Working at UncommonGoods, I’ve learned…
A great deal about digital marketing, especially SEO and email marketing. Coming right out of college with a Marketing degree, I assumed that I knew the ins and outs of my field. Boy was I wrong! I’ve learned an incredible amount since I’ve started working here.

Would you rather… Bike across the country (getting to stop and see the sights at your leisure along the way, of course) OR play a game of one-on-one basketball with your favorite player?
If you asked me this three years ago, I would definitely say play one-on-one basketball with Maya Moore (even though I’d get my a– kicked). Today, I would definitely pick a bike ride across the country. There are too many places that I haven’t been to yet, so I would absolutely love to experience those places on a cross country bike ride!

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Norma Medina

September 23, 2013
UncommonGoods Customer Service Representative Norma Medina
Norma Medina, UncommonGoods Customer Service Representative

My hometown is…
Tucson, AZ

The best customer interaction I’ve had at UncommonGoods was…
A customer was once so pleased with the customer service I provided for him that he purchased a gift from UG and had it delivered to my desk.

I’m inspired by…
The unwavering dedication a person can have when they feel deep down inside their heart that what they are doing is right.

My guilty pleasure is…
Chocolate.

An uncommon fact about me…
I have been an invited guest at both Obama inaugurations.

My favorite place to hang out in New York City is…
The Actors Studio on 44th–something magical happens there every day.

My style is…
At times embarrassingly casual.

Working at UncommonGoods, I’ve learned…
So much about myself, the skills I have learned are immeasurable and the window to my weaknesses is huge.

Would you rather…Direct a production of Cats in its Broadway revival OR live life as an actual cat for one week?
Direct. I lived with a cat for 21 years and hope as a director I could pull from the actor the secrets and nuances that make the kings and queens of domesticity be real.

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Morgan Tanner

September 19, 2013
Morgan Tanner UncommonGoods Production Manager
Morgan Tanner, UncommonGoods Product Development Production Manager

My favorite product that I helped develop is…
It’s a toss-up – either the Major Scale Musical Wine Glasses or the My Life Story–So Far journal. Though both are appreciably different in what they represent – one is a thoughtful look back on one’s life and the other a fun way to spend a meal and/or drinks – they both took a great deal of consideration and care in terms of execution.

I’m inspired by…
Those who have the conviction to think for themselves and make the right decisions.

My guilty pleasure is…
Everything artisanal (chocolate and coffee, specifically) that I consume – generally inefficient production but entirely worth it!

An uncommon fact about me…
I love durian. I hear this is uncommon.

My favorite place to eat in New York City is…
Singular is unfair. If I had to decide – brunch at Prime Meats in Carroll Gardens is a definite go-to.

When I’m not working I’m probably…
Listening to Freakonomics podcasts, reading up on longform.org articles, and driving north along the Hudson River (not simultaneously!).

Working at UncommonGoods I’ve learned…
Giving people a sense of ownership can inspire pride and effort like nothing else. That a company with a great mission can attract a lot of really smart, creative, and conscientious individuals.

If you could teleport to another location for 24 hours with no limitations, where would you go and what would you do?
Ticket for one? Probably wherever my fiancée is. We’d hang. For two? I’m transporting to North Shore Oahu. In addition to teleporting I’m also going to change the position of the Earth, make it winter there for extra big surf, eat spam musubi and observe.