The Wake Up

Last week I signed up to a new newsletter called The Wak Up, run by Sally Rumble who has been educating herself on race relations, racial justice, white supremacy, and privilege in America over the past eight years.

She is sharing what’s she’s learned and guiding us through this difficult and confusing time. Please do yourself a favor and sign up for The Wake Up Newsletter.

My heart is bleeding over this morally corrupt administration and recent developments in Charlottesville. I am grateful for Sally’s guidance in understanding what actions I can take.

I am writing this while vacationing in Switzerland. It’s surreal to follow what’s happening in the US from afar. My heart hurts.

It’s Still Summer!

I am off to the Swiss Alps today! Posts might be lighter than usual during the next two weeks. But don’t you worry, I’ll be back refreshed early September! Dig into my archives to find some old gems by clicking on “Show Category Filters” above. Happy Summer everyone!

My Favorite Interview Questions

When I talk to my friends who run companies or are in hiring positions, I usually ask them for their favorite interview question. Here are some of mine that I collected over the years:

  • – Why do you want this job?

    – What do you know about us?

    – What did you like about your last job? Why did you leave?

    – Tell me something about yourself that I can’t find out on Google!

    – Who do you admire?

    – What’s a reason why I should not hire you?

    – What do you do when you’re not working?

    – What’s something you’re bad at that you really wish you were good at.

    – What’s your favorite part of your current or previous job?

    – What’s your secret superpower?

    – When was the last time you wore a costume? And what was it?

    – What’s the shittiest job you’ve ever had?

    – What are you learning right now?

    – How do you organize your closet?

    – What would the title of your autobiography be?

    – Tell me about some people you’ve helped in your career.

    – I’m going to give you 5 minutes. Teach me something new. Anything!

    – If I was to ask your friends 3 words to describe you what would they be?

    – When is the last time you went out of your way to do something nice for someone?

    – What are the biggest values you think your parents taught you?

    – When is it okay to break the rules?

    – Give me a single sentence to tell our CEO about you when I see her later today.

    – If you weren’t getting paid for what you do, would you still be doing it?

    – How does this position relate to what you really want to be doing?

    – What do you dream of?

    – What is the thing that breaks your heart?

    – What are you pretending you don’t know?

    – What do you want?

  • Do you remember being asked an interesting interview question? What was it?

    UPDATE: Inc.com featured 10 of my favorite interview questions after seeing this post.

    Yours Truly on the Clever Podcast

    Jaime Derringer (of DesignMilk) and Amy Devers, the charming forces behind the Clever Podcast interviewed me a few weeks ago and the episode just went live. This is certainly the most vulnerable and personal interview I have ever given. Gulp.

    We Are All Counting On You!

    A few days ago I walked into the bathroom in our office building and saw the above situation played out. I took a photo and posted it on our internal Slack channel, expressing my frustration. My studiomate Jeff, took it to the next level and got quite philosophical.

    “Dear person who thinks this is OK, I assure you that when you figure out how to break through whatever is holding you back from putting the roll of toilet paper on the axle, there is no telling what you can achieve in life. You can do it. We’re all counting on you.”

    Made me smile.

    Chronological

    Heartbroken

    Feeling A Bit Like This

    Talk/Guided Meditation with Tara Brach

    A few years back my friend Maria of Brain Pickings pointed me to Tara Brach’s guided meditations. They have carried me through some difficult times and I can’t thank Tara enough for so generously offering these podcasts for free. This morning, I listened to the above talk on relaxing the over-controller and it really hit home. Watch the talk and then enjoy the guided meditation at the end. It’s just what I needed. Maybe some of you do too…

    12 Years!

    Tomorrow marks 12 years of me feeding this blog. So many feelings! How fitting that this was my very first post.

    My blog is my longest running labor of love. Dig into my archives and you’ll see how the blog has evolved over time in terms of what catches my attention. Feels good to stick with something for this long.

    Thank you for reading and happy my blog birthday to you!

    Tips for Human Interactions

    Build vs Destroy

    My Girl

    I took this photo of E at a waterpark with a GoPro Hero Session. What a fun little camera this is! Thinking of blowing it up and hanging it on my living room wall.

    Remarkable NYC Company Founders

    Companies You Love

    Happy International Womens Day

    Celebrating International Womens Day by wearing all of the red I could find in my closet and by giving the ladies on my teams the day off to go volunteer, march or write postcards to our senators. But, most importantly, hopefully teaching my son T, to be a man who will respect and celebrate women.

    When Checking My Email

    email

    This is how I feel when glancing at my inbox. Oh, email…

    Support Good People with Your Holiday Shopping

    dog

    Every time you buy something, you vote with your wallet.

    As someone who has bootstrapped companies and knows just how hard it is to do it right, to fight the good fight and do things the right way, not just for the bottom-line, but actually run a business with a set of values that might make the world a tiny bit better, I know just how incredibly hard it is to make it work. Just like this election has shown, the ruthless ones, the ones that don’t care about anything other than full pockets, are the ones that usually win.

    I have bootstrapped Tattly from the beginning and we had some wonderful successes but it is a bumpy road, even 5 years in. I believe in manufacturing whatever I can in the U.S. I believe in selecting my artists carefully and paying them a generous royalty. I believe in shipping everything out of Brooklyn and creating lower wage jobs in the city. I believe in creating a healthy work environment for my employees and offer sane working hours. I could go on! All of these values make it exponentially harder to succeed. Our business model has been copied by people that don’t care about any of these things and that are just in for the money.

    All of this has made me realize that I need to be more careful on how I spend my money and who I support and endorse. My purchases have a direct impact. Supporting small matters. Here are are few small companies and individuals that I know, or have been following for a long time, that have a set of values I admire. I want them to succeed with their businesses.

    Help me grow this list! What small entrepreneurs or individuals should we be supporting and why? Write suggestions below as a comment with links to their sites. I am actively keeping tab of companies that make the world a little better and will continuously support them, here on my blog and beyond.

    Here is my GROWING list of companies I suggest you consider supporting this holiday season:

    Sugru – the world needs fixing. The founder Jane is one of my favorite people. Watch her 99u talk and fall in love as well.

    Slow Factory – Fashion as a tool for social and environmental change. NASA images printed on 100% natural fabric and eco-friendly dyes and process.

    Holstee – a subscription that explores one mindful theme each month through art, words and action.

    Various Keytags – get someone a special key chain. The people that run it are special too.

    Three Potato Four – Janet Morales and Stu Eli began Three Potato Four through their love of found objects. It’s been a pleasure to watch their labor of love grow into a company.

    Pipsticks – Monthly sticker subscription, run by a super kind couple with three kids.

    Tinybop – the best educational kids apps out there. SUCH good, smart people that run this company.

    Uncommon goods – Dave the founder is remarkable. Read their about page. Then support them.

    JAM – online courses for kids. Zach Klein, the founder, is good people.

    The Sill – Get some plants into your home and office. Healthy plants by healthy, lovely humans.

    American Heirloom – I have one of their cutting boards. It’s my favorite.

    Field Notes – the original. I have admired Jim Coudal, the founder, for a long time and he has been instrumental in my decision to let go of clients. He is an entrepreneur with values I admire.

    Jen makes beautiful jewelry. And she is a beautiful human.

    Rifle Paper – satisfy all of your paper needs. Anna Bond, the illustrator behind the brand, has shaped this industry. She is probably the hardest working human on this planet.

    Etsy – a company with fantastic values and a serious moral compass, supporting makers around the world. YES!

    Brooklyn Industries – know and admire the founders.

    Oliver Jeffers – one of the most talented and hardest working artists I know. Buy a print or look for his picture books next time you’re in a book store.

    Brvtvs – a New York based jewelry collection created by Caroline Ventura.

    City of Industry – It’s been a pleasure seeing Sara build out her pin business into more than just that. A labor of love I want to see succeed!

    Soma – Good people. Good products.

    Charity Water – instead of christmas/wedding or birthday gifts fundraise for clean water?

    Lumi – I met Jesse Genet, the co-founder recently and was so impressed by her hustle and enthusiasm to improve the world of packaging goods.

    Kikkerland – my favorite place to find fun gifts.

    ban.do – a destination for slightly silly fun gifts.

    Ghostly – it’s easy to get lost in their music or products.

    Haptic Lab – stunning products by a remarkable woman.

    Poketo – beautiful gifts curated by a beautiful couple.

    Paper Jam Press – love these so much.

    Hendley – I have never met a person before that makes perfumes. Hans’ love for this industry is beautiful to follow along.

    Adam J. K. – one of my favorite places to shop for gifts on the internet.

    Ignite Talk by Yours Truly

    At a recent un-conference at the Kickstarter HQ a few weeks back I was invited to give an Ignite talk. Here it is! And if you’d like to see the other presenters as well, you can see them all here! Enjoy!

    (In case you’re wondering why I am talking so fast and am out of breath at the end. It’s the format of Ignite: Presenters get 20 slides, which automatically advance every 15 seconds. The result is a fast and fun presentation which lasts just 5 minutes.)

    Some Helpful Responses In This Thread:

    Tips for Human Interactions

    Breathe. Exhale. Repeat.

    breathe exhale repeat

    I have been doing a lot of controlled breathing exercises in the past 48h.

    The Nr. 1 Lifehack

    Tattly on National TV

    Yesterday Yng and I were invited to be on Tamron Hall’s live show over at MSNBC to talk about Tattly. What an incredible experience and honor for our company. I have become a person that talks about temporary tattoos on national tv. Someone please pinch me!