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marketing

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Brian Hashemi

July 8, 2015

Brian Hashemi, Director of Marketing

My hometown is…
In Virginia somewhere. I didn’t really grow up in a “town”, it was really just the middle of the forest. Well, like a house in the middle of the forest. A house in a forest that was technically in a suburb of DC. My backyard flowed into a state park, so I could walk for miles back there without running into another house. It was great as a kid to be able to explore – I once found an old bootlegger’s hideout back there, a dilapidated building full of old, rusty stills. It was pretty much exactly like the house they find at the end of The Blair Witch Project. The place I grew up looked a lot like The Blair Witch Project.

I’m inspired by…
The fact that existence exists, because it doesn’t have to. There is something weird and profoundly mysterious about the idea that we are here at all. It’s really much weirder than we allow ourselves to think about.

I chose to go into marketing because…
Marketing chose me. I’ve felt my way through a series of jobs that I’ve found progressively more fulfilling, until finally landing at a company and role and team that I love.

If my 3rd grade teacher could see me now, he or she would say…
That I’m much bigger now? That my math and verbal skills have progressed (but my handwriting hasn’t really)? I don’t know, I think my 3rd grade teacher is dead. So I don’t really think she’d say anything.

The most amazing thing I’ve ever seen is…
Let’s see – I once saw some dogs eat a baby horse, that was pretty amazing. Oh, and ghosts; I’ve seen two ghosts. Well, one was sort of a spirit that visited me in a dream. The other was like a real, physical ghost (that I saw in a graveyard in Scotland). So yeah, I guess I’d say ghosts. I don’t know, was I supposed to say something more profound, or more poetic? Like, “The most amazing thing I’ve ever seen is the sun rising over Everest.” I have seen the sun rising over Everest – but I still say ghosts.

If I could travel back in time, I’d…
Stand very still, trying not to create any paradoxes that would destroy the universe, make my image disappear from photographs, or cause humans to follow an alternate evolutionary path resulting in us now all being lizard-tongued beasts.

Working at UncommonGoods, I’ve learned…
So much. I’ve been lucky enough to have been exposed to so many different sides of the business; it’s really been a thorough education. I’ve gotten the chance to take on many things that I don’t think I’d ever have gotten the opportunity to do at another company. I came in as an analyst, but have been given responsibility for everything from PR to project management at various times – I love learning the ins and outs of new things, and how to optimize different programs. I’ve also learned that I can have a viable, successful career without compromising something about myself.

An uncommon fact about me…
I am constantly replacing my bones with metal. I have metal rods in one arm and one leg, because of soccer injuries. I’m hoping that thousands of years from now, when alien archeologists unearth my skeleton, they’ll point to me as the missing link between organic humans and the cyborg overlords that subsequently took over the earth.

Would you rather… go without music for a year, or go without travel for a year?
I couldn’t go without music. I mean, how do people get anything done without Ke$ha blasting over their headphones on repeat? Music is an everyday thing, travel is a treat.

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Dylan Sorensen

April 7, 2015

Dylan Sorensen | UncommonGoods

Dylan Sorensen, UncommonGoods SEO Associate

My hometown is…
Albany, the REAL capital of New York.

My favorite project that I’ve worked on at UncommonGoods is…
Working with bloggers on giveaways!

I’m inspired by…
Trees, natural bodies of water, and the satisfaction of a job well done.

My favorite place to hang out in New York City is…
Those tiny rock ‘n’ roll clubs that are constantly in danger of closing.

An uncommon fact about me…
I play the saxophone in a disco band.

My guilty pleasure is…
Inventing niche online dating sites that would be perfect for my friends to sign up for.

Since working at UncommonGoods I’ve learned…
What the beginning of an online shopping addiction looks like.

If I could travel back in time, I would…
Convince whoever designed the NYC subway to pursue other careers.

With a pile of stuff in front of me I would make…
You’re given 5 kg of Kinetic Sand, an empty beer growler, rainbow pipe cleaners, an unlimited supply of Velcro, a Plush Organ of your choice, and a selfie stick.

A signaling device to get the attention of someone with the ability to fill the beer growler.

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Abi Treut

February 24, 2015

Abigail Treut | UncommonGoods

Abi Treut, UncommonGoods Email Coordinator
My hometown is…
Asbury (NOT Asbury Park), NJ

My favorite project that I’ve worked on at UncommonGoods is…
The email program (and if I can have a second favorite, it’s Google Plus).

I’m inspired by…
Generosity, selflessness, considerate people, beautiful and honest works of art (especially of the acting and singing variety).

My favorite place to hang out in New York City is…
Brooklyn. I love so many of the neighborhoods, and I really enjoy spending time in Prospect Park when it’s warm outside.

An uncommon fact about me…
I really enjoy abbreviating words, but I rarely know what any acronyms represent.

My guilty pleasure is…
Wearing and collecting high heels. The more sparkly, shinny, and higher (preferably with a hidden platform), the better!

Since working at UncommonGoods I’ve learned…
A TON about Marketing, that I’m much better at math than I ever thought, and that I have been attracted to Marketing all my life.

If I could have any 3 course meal I would choose…
Chocolate mousse, mussels in a white wine & garlic sauce with freshly made bread, and flan for a starter, main course, and dessert.

Would your rather… never be able to abbreviate another word, OR never be able to buy another pair of shoes ever again?
Wait, do I still get to use hashtags? Because if I can’t compulsively spout out hashtags as commentary on most real-life situations, I will be truly sad. Aside from that, it’s totes imposs for me to even begin to solve this ridic riddle. It’s a totes terb conund. Shoes are the essence of my being, and abbreves are the embellishments I use to flavor my sentiments.

Design

How to Write Your Artist Bio

February 10, 2014

How to Write Your Artist Bio | UncommonGoodsWhen I was first asked to write a blog post about writing about yourself, I got really excited because, like any 20 something year old girl who majored in writing, I’m pretty well versed in writing about myself/thinly veiling mortifying moments from my adolescence and calling it fiction.

Thankfully, the kind of bio-writing we’ll be discussing doesn’t require you to reveal that you wore braces to your senior prom. It has a lot more to do with selling yourself to potential vendors, sites that sell your goods, and customers who want to know all about you. Much less awkward for all of us.

You really are an extension of the product you’re asking people to buy or sell. When it comes to unique, handmade goods, people love being able to put a face with their new gift. People want to know:

  • where you’re from
  • what you do
  • how you got in to what you do
  • what inspires you to do that thing that you do
  • your plans for continuing to do these things in the future

In addition to being an excellent checklist, this is also a good order to put them in.

You don’t have to start with the fact that you were born in a barn on a balmy Tuesday morning under a double Pisces moon. However, the fact that you grew up in the country could say a lot about your influences. Can you remember any early inklings that you could become an artist? Who were your inspirations?

Now that we have the early stuff covered, how did you start your life as an artist? Did you start of with a 9-5 and then gradually turn your craft into a full time business? Did you start working with a local collective? How have you seen your style change throughout the years? What was a favorite project of yours?

If you want some extra personality, a short and sweet anecdote can complete your written image. When writing my own bios, the quirky facts that come to my mind are 1. I’m very scared of goats. And 2. I was the girl who wore braces to prom. These facts might not have anything to do with my craft, but it does give a little insight into the type of person I am–something a customer would be able to garner if they were able to talk to you at a craft fair or chat with you at the register.

Whatever you do decide to highlight, just remember to keep it relatively short–epic tales of heroism and metaphors on life are best suited for your memoirs (and preferably written from a small cabin in the woods, Thoreau-style.)

With these basic guidelines, you’ll be able to create a friendly, readable bio that will give your creations a more personal edge. Happy writing!

Here are some of our favorite artist bios:

Etta Kostick

Etta is compelled by glass in its many different forms and applications. She grew up in the woods and by the seashore in Massachusetts, in a family of glassblowers. After moving to Chicago in 2007 she started experimenting with stained glass, attracted to the many colors, textures, and its relationship to light.
Over the years Etta’s fascination with glass has grown and has lead her to pursue and experiment with different methods of manipulating glass. Torch fired enameling, fusing, and incorporating intricate solder work are some of the techniques that Etta uses. She loves the transformative properties that occur when integrating these materials and techniques into her glass work.

Etta’s love of jewelry was initially inspired by tribal jewelry and adornments she had collected from South Asia. Strong shapes and the feeling of empowerment they give to the wearer are elements that inspire her. Her jewelry incorporates bold designs as well as more delicate and organic elements that emulates things she sees in nature. Etta is constantly exploring and developing new visions for her work in glass and jewelry.

Dolan Geiman

Dolan Geiman is a nationally recognized mixed media artist known for his Contemporary Art with a Southern Accent. Born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Dolan Geiman’s formative years were defined by outdoor adventures in his bucolic surroundings. Twenty-plus years later, the flora and fauna, found curiosities, and fading Appalachian culture still define Geiman’s contemporary-folk creations. Trained in printmaking and sculpture, Geiman’s mediums span painting, collage, silk screen, drawing, and 3-D assemblage. An advocate for green design and sustainable business, Geiman and his wife Ali Marie currently work from a green warehouse in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood.

Fred Conlon

Raised in Colorado, Fred Conlon lives now in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he makes garden sculptures out of recovered objects. For his helmet sculptures, he uses real recovered World War II helmets. “It is very satisfying to transform something once used in war into a peaceful garden decoration,” he says. His work has been featured in Niche Magazine, the Salt Lake Tribune and HGTV. What would he be if he weren’t an artist? “Happy…just kidding!” he answers. “I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Design

Using craftgawker.com to Promote Your Designs

April 9, 2013

As an avid craft blogger, I know the magic of getting a post featured on craftgawker. One DIY or tutorial posted on the site usually means thousands of new visits to my blog! We even use it as a tool to promote UncommonGoods design challenges and blog posts. But it recently dawned on me how helpful the gawkerverse could be in gathering inspiration and promoting your work so I reached out to Maria, their designer and editor, to pick her brain. As a designer herself, Maria has some great advice for using the gawkerverse to it’s greatest advantage.

How can a designer use the gawkerverse community to market their designs?
Anyone can use the gawkerverse to share their work. Our goal is to publish posts that are inspirational to our readers. Sometimes that comes in the form of a DIY or recipe, an artist’s interview, or a post that shares a behind the scenes look at how something is made.

If you are a designer looking to share your work, the best gawkerverse site to submit your work to is craftgawker or dwellingawker. A great way to get readers to check your post is to offer a printable or a DIY, as people like to participate. If you don’t want to provide a DIY or printable, another great way to get noticed is to provide an inside look at your process. Did you just create an amazing logo? Why not share some of the ideas that led up to the final? The same thing would work for a fine artist. Rather than only sharing the final painting, why not share some of the in-progress photos? People love to see how an artist/designer got from point A to point B.

Also, remember that photography is important! Photos are important for any blog or website, because most people are visual, but it is especially important when submitting to the gawkerverse. You only have a short time to draw someone in, and the best way to do that is with a photo that makes them stop and look.

What is the most creative thing you have seen submitted to the gawkerverse?
That’s a really hard question, because we get a lot of amazing submissions but here are a few posts that stand out.

This post by The 3R’s Blog utilizes a paper craft we all know how to make from our childhood and repurposes it into this modern, geometric lamp shade!

This DIY by My Poppet is a great way to restore old, hand woven, cane chairs. Cross stitching turned this old chair into a modern, colorful work of art.

This recent post by Feathers of Gold shows us how to create this awesome hexagonal ornament with stir straws!

Where do you seek inspiration?
I usually don’t have to look too far for inspiration, since I am one of the craftgawker moderators, so I see tons of amazing ideas daily, but some of my favorite design blogs are Design Work Life, Weekday Carnival, and Door Sixteen.

I try to find inspiration everywhere. Packaging, posters, magazines, catalogs, they all give me ideas and inspire me to try something different.

What makes a good gawkerverse submission?
Our goal is to inspire our readers to be creative. In our opinion, there is no better feeling than creating something! Whether your creative outlet is food, art, your wedding, your look, or an entire room, we want people to experience the satisfaction you get from making something yourself.

The most important component for a good gawkerverse submission is a great photo. Beautiful photos are always inspirational and will usually do well on our site. It’s the first thing a reader will see and it is what makes them want to find out more.

Next we look for good content. We always prefer DIY, but we will accept anything that we believe our users will find inspirational. That includes process photos, interviews, or any discussion about what inspired the blogger to create.

What are some tips for taking gawkerverse-worthy photos?
In my opinion, lighting is the absolute most important component for taking a good photo. If you don’t have good lighting, the photo won’t be successful. Natural diffused light is always best, because very direct light can create distracting shadows.

Next, composition plays a huge role. It’s always important to consider your subject matter and be sure that it’s always your focal point. An image can be perfectly exposed, with amazing light, but if the composition isn’t right, the image won’t be successful. It’s always important to consider your subject matter and compose a balanced shot that will work in our square format. When in doubt, keep it simple.