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The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet David Anderson

October 21, 2013
David Anderson | UncommonGoods
David Anderson, UncommongGoods Inventory Transaction and Control Supervisor

My hometown is…
NYC!

My favorite process in the UncommonGoods warehouse is…
Sample Sale! Samples that our merchandising team decides not to include in our assortment are given very discounted prices and sold to our employees. They are all one of a kind and can not be found anywhere. I handle the storage, organization, and then set up of the actual sale event that we have every few months.

I’m inspired by…
Tastefully designed products, e.g., iPhone 5, Herman Miller, and things I build myself.

The best gift anyone has given me was…
Life. (Thanks Mom & Dad!)

An uncommon fact about me…
I lived in Africa, Europe, and the Bahamas before I turned 12.

When I’m not working, I’m probably…
Building computers, Legos, or models.

The word that best describes me…
Original!

Working at UncommonGoods, I’ve learned…
The Verrazano toll really adds up…

With a pile of stuff in front of me I would build…
(You’re given glitter glue, 3 wood blocks, a yard of fabric, a spool of string, and a cardboard box filled with wire hangers.)

I would unwind all the wire hangers and then use them to make a giant wire ball. Then I would glue the blocks together. I would then use the fabric to create a parachute for the blocks using the string to tie the ends around the blocks. Then I would tie points of the parachute to the top of the ball. Using more string I could suspend the entire wire ball in the air, with blocks suspended from the fabric, which hangs from the top of the ball! Yay!

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Rebecca Paull Marshall

October 15, 2013
UncommonGoods Associate Art Director Rebecca Paull Marshall
Rebecca Paull Marshall, UncommonGoods Art Director

My hometown is…
Princeton, NJMy favorite project I’ve worked on at UncommonGoods is…
Happening right now! But it’s a secret. Shhhh.

I’m inspired by…
So much! On a daily basis though, I would be remiss not to mention Pinterest. It’s basically design crack.

I’m passionate about…
Kindness // Bicycles. They’re super fun, and environmentally friendly. Win-win. // The use of words in text messaging. No LOLs, please. // Travel. Restaurants, bars, stores, parties, hotels, countries, towns, cities you name it I want to be in it exploring. // The ocean // My family, friends, and relationship. // Mad Men! Breaking Bad! Game of Thrones! In no particular order. I’m a fair weather friend when it comes to TV.

An uncommon fact about me…
Did you know UncommonGoods employs the Dance Dance Revolution world champion? I can’t compete with that.

My favorite place to hang out in New York City is…
Sigh, R.I.P. Lakeside Lounge.

My style is…
Thankfully evolving.

Working at UncommonGoods, I’ve learned…
How fascinatingly beautiful the Brooklyn Army Terminal is.

Would you rather…Get a tattoo of a celebrity’s face OR relive your most embarrassing moment?
I think reliving my most embarrassing moments would remain interesting longer. Let’s just say it’s lucky that I have a sense of humor.

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Valerie Baloga

October 8, 2013

UncommonGoods Customer Service Team Lead Valerie BalogaValerie Baloga, UncommonGoods Customer Service Team Lead

My hometown is…
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

The best customer interaction I’ve had at UncommonGoods was…
It’s always really fun when a customer calls expecting a fight and hangs up completely blown away by how easily their situation is resolved. One of the great things about working here is having enough freedom to really listen to what each customer needs and then being able to offer a solution that is really specific to the situation.

I’m inspired by…
Right now I find I am most inspired by people who take life into their own hands and live their dreams. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

My guilty pleasure is…
’90s pop music.

An uncommon fact about me…
Before moving to New York in 2010, I spent one summer in Upstate New York, three summers in Maine, and an entire year in Richmond, VA working in theatre. I built and painted scenery and worked on props.

My favorite place to hang out in New York City is…
Prospect Park in good weather – and at the risk of looking like a huge nerd, the library. I frequent the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and the Brooklyn Public Library.

My style is…
Casual. Comfortable. Colorful.

Working at UncommonGoods, I’ve learned…
I’ve learned so much, and I have acquired so many new skills – spreadsheets – they’re amazing! What I also learned, perhaps most importantly, is that some companies actually care about their customers and their employees. I’m so lucky to work for a B Corporation.

Would you rather… Tap dance OR ride your bike, in place of all of your walking?
I was all set to say bike, definitely. But then I thought, I might want to take the train sometimes, and how will I get up and down all those stairs on a bike? So I’m going to say tap dance.

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 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 Senior 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.

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Laura Frost

September 13, 2013
UncommonGoods Customer Service Assistant Manger Laura Frost
Laura Frost, UncommonGoods Assistant Manager – Customer Service

My hometown is…
Brooklyn, NY. (Before that is a list that’s way too long.)

The best customer interaction I’ve had at UncommonGoods was…
I had a customer who had a big Great Dane. Her dog was getting on in years, and the vet didn’t think her dog would have too much more time on this earth. She wanted to get the Custom Nose Print Necklace while her pooch was still around, but she wasn’t sure his nose would fit the mold since he’s such a big doggy. We figured out the dimensions on the phone, and it was super cute to hear him snuffle the phone and the ruler while she checked his nose-size. She was able to order the necklace with full confidence she’d be able to keep a token of her favorite dog’s nose forever.

I’m inspired by…
Farmer’s markets and flea markets.

My guilty pleasure is…
Action movies.

An uncommon fact about me…
I’ve lived in 9 states.

My favorite place to hang out in New York City is…
Brooklyn Ale House—the best little corner bar in Brooklyn.

My style is…
Casual, quirky, comfy.

Since working at UncommonGoods I’ve learned…
That Excel is my friend.

Would you rather… Have to sing everything you said out loud for a week or not be able to sing for a month?
While I do like to sing around the house, I’m not up for a solo act. So, I’d stick with no singing for a month.

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