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The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Rachel Goldstein

January 20, 2014
Rachel Goldstein | UncommonGoods
Rachel Goldstein, UncommonGoods Planner

My home town is…
Annapolis, MD

The word that best describes me is…
Is it not one of the most difficult questions to describe yourself in one word? If I have to….optimistic :).

My favorite thing about working in the Purchasing and Transportation department is…
My team. They are the best collaborators…and bakers…and diorama makers. Dioramans? Dioramaists? Anyway, the list goes on for the reasons why I think they’re so wonderful. (Here’s proof of Purch & Transpo’s awesome diorama skills. )

I’m inspired by…
The kindness of strangers. I live by the mantra that you don’t have to know someone to help them in whatever small or large way you can.

If I could become an expert on one thing it would be…

The inner workings of the NYC Subway!

My favorite place to hang out in New York City is…
The East River Promenade. Every time I look back at the skyline I feel so lucky to live here.

An uncommon fact about me…
Due to a year stint of intensive studying and a summer living in China, I speak a little bit of Mandarin.

Since working at UncommonGoods, I’ve learned…
That a long commute can be made less stressful if you get to see the Brooklyn Bridge for a few minutes in the middle of the ride over the East River.

Would you rather…model every hat UncommonGoods sells for the catalog and website OR test every new UncommonGoods office item?
Can I test all of our Tabletop items instead? I love being in the kitchen! I’ll bring in a thank you present….

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Emily Dryden

January 13, 2014

Emily Dryden | UncommonGoods Photographer

Emily Dryden, UncommonGoods Senior Photographer

My hometown is…
Rockmart, GA.

I’m inspired by…
French New Wave Films.

If I could travel back in time, I’d…
Create a photo story of the same place in different times. Same street, different years.

An uncommon fact about me…
I’ve read almost every Faulkner novel written.

If I won the lottery, I’d…
Do a lot of traveling!

The cheesiest thing I’ve ever loved is/was…
The Anne of Green Gables movie series.

My relationship with Mother Nature is…
On hiatus since moving to NYC.

Working at UncommonGoods I’ve learned…
A great deal about collaborating with a great group of people.

Would you rather… Travel in space for a week, or in a submarine?
Definitely space!

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Paul Allison

January 2, 2014

Paul Allison | UncommonGoods

Paul Allison, UncommonGoods Quality Assurance Analyst 

My hometown is…
Brooklyn, NY by way of Chicago and Boston.

I’m inspired by…
Music, kindness, and fun!

An uncommon fact about me…
I had the good fortune to travel the world and sing, and got to travel the world one last time as a competitive Magic: the Gathering Card Gamer. (Magic: the Gathering is a fantasy based card game that has been around since the ’90s that has won numerous awards, and revolutionized gaming.)

The best customer interaction I’ve had at UncommonGoods was…
I appreciate every time when I am able to allay my customers’ fears and make everything right.

When I’m not at work, you’ll find me…
I still have the gaming bug, so elbows deep in game geekery–all kinds of gaming, board games, computer games, miniatures and card games (but not the gambling kind).

Working at UncommonGoods I’ve learned…
It’s a wonderful thing to love you job again.

If I could meet anyone currently or formerly alive, it would be…
Benjamin Franklin. He is one of those people who were a pivot in the course of history. Without him the world, and the United States in particular, would be entirely different. He is an amazing figure of intelligence, creativity and diplomacy. Plus, history suggests he was just a plain groovy guy.

Would you rather… have the ability to read minds, or to tell the future?
Can’t I fly instead? To know the future would be an awful temptation to do some awfully selfish things, and a crush of responsibility to try to stop the ill of the world, while being able to read people’s thoughts is awful intrusive. But flying, just get a snuggly jacket to keep warm up there and you get to skip rush hour traffic and get a heckuva view! And maybe I could get over my fear of heights, although no doubt I would soon develop a fear of street lamps after running into a few.

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Jason Gomer

December 20, 2013
Jason Gomer | UncommonGoods
Jason Gomer, UncommonGoods Drop Ship Area Operations Manager & Senior Planner
My hometown is……
Brooklyn, NY. Born and raised.

An uncommon fact about me…
I’ve had to think of so many uncommon facts about myself since working here, so instead of a new one, I’ll list some of my favorites:
– I have never drunk or tried coffee. Ever. Not even once. I can get a caffeine buzz of a single can of soda.
– I’ve sky dived (dove?) five times and hope to get certified one summer. I once went straight through a cloud! How’d it feel? Moist.
– As you can tell by my sky-diving activities, I am not afraid of heights. However, my biggest fear/phobia is seeing someone other than myself close to a ledge or steep drop. Roof parties are horrible for me.
– I am a self-taught horror-FX make-up artist. I once entered a contest with a friend and we made me into an awesome zombie. And we won! That may not sound like much until I tell you who the judge was: Tom Savini, the original make-up artist for all of George Romero’s zombie films (Day of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead, etc).

Working at UncommonGoods I’ve learned……
…The value of teamwork. There are so many moving pieces that make UncommonGoods work for our customers and they are all connected. No single person can do everything, but a well-oiled team can get it all done and exceed expectations.

I’m inspired by…
Calm under pressure. Selfless acts of kindness. My cat, Tree Trunks (on days off, I follow her daily routine of eating and sleeping).

If my 6th grade teacher could see me now, he or she would say……
“You look the same.” (I’m 28 now.)

The most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen is……
A starry night in rural Maine. We don’t have many stars in the Brooklyn night sky.

If I won the lottery, I’d…
Travel the world and donate to causes that help the young, the elderly, and our environment. Oh, and I’d buy one of these!

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Sharon Chin

December 16, 2013

Sharon Chin | UncommonGoods

Sharon Chin, Uncommongoods Operations Team Lead
My hometown is…
NYC (Manhattan/Chinatown).

I’m inspired by…
Knowledge. I love to read and try to learn something new every day, whether it’s a new recipe (baking from scratch) modified to my taste and what I have on-hand to make it more nutritious (my specialty: yogurt wheat brownie* (see below)); or one of my other interests. I like to challenge myself and enjoy trying new things using my imagination and being creative.

My favorite thing about working in Inventory Transaction and Control is…
That it’s always a challenge and never boring keeping track of current top sellers, new items and what’s on sale (I’m also a customer). It lets me use my current skills as well as learn new ones and by working smarter I can get more done sooner and always be prepare for the unexpected.

My guilty pleasure is…
I don’t have any. I eat in moderation whether it’s sweet, salty or fried, just enough to satisfy my cravings. Yes, sometimes all in the same meal. Who says desserts have to be last?

Something that always calms me is…
Reading a good mystery (even better if it’s food-related). Always away from the crowds, usually somewhere along the waters or in a quiet niche at a park.

An uncommon fact about me…
I have perfect attendance, from school up to my current job here at UncommonGoods.

Working at UncommonGoods I’ve learned…
that every job is important no matter how small. I started as a seasonal cycle counter and learned the fulfillment and receiving process as a former Outbound/Inbound team member assisting as needed. Everyone has their own job to do and we are all part of one team. Also that sustainability is more than just recycling and composting.

Would you rather… Go on a dream vacation for two weeks, or spend five days with anyone in the world, but you must stay in your own neighborhood?
Go on a two week cruise vacation to Hawaii – island hop, try new dishes and absorb the culture/sights see and enjoy the great weather.

* Sharon Chin’s Yogurt Wheat Brownie recipe
Start with King Arthur Flour’s “Guaranteed Fudge Brownies” (aka “On-theFence Brownies because they straddle the Great Fudgey/Cakey Brownie Divide):

Sharon says: “My substitute makes it easier to remember as well. I reduce the butter since it has a lot of fat and can get expensive. I cut down on the sugar since I don’t like my sweets “too sweet;” and besides, the yogurt (I use it in cookie and quick bread as well) and chocolate chips already have fat and sugar in them.”

1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup milk chocolate chips (I prefer Hershey’s)
2 large eggs (I use 3 if I want it more cakey)
1 (6 oz) container vanilla yogurt (adding yogurt keeps it moist – use your favorite brand)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 cups flour (sometimes I use ½ all-purpose and ½ organic pastry flour (Arrowhead Mills brand) or ½ cup each of all-purpose, organic pastry flour and oatmeal (which adds fiber as well).

Step 1 is the same as above except that I add the chocolate chips to melt after the sugar is slightly dissolved and stir it all together.

Step 2 – Whisk in the eggs then add yogurt. Add salt, baking powder and flour. Stir until combined. Then follow the rest of the baking instructions.

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