The Insider: Cassie Marketos

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Cassie Marketos is always up to somethin’—but not in the sneaky, Boxcar Children kind of way. The bubbly, soulful creative spends her days over at Kickstarter as part of the project specialist team, her weekends cooking delicious things in upstate cabins, and her time off exploring the world. Basically? If life’s a school, this girl is its valedictorian. —carlye wisel

Q: What’s your favorite part about your job?
A: Kickstarter’s a proxy to all the most exciting things happening in the world to me, because it’s all the stuff that I’m interested in. Everyday, there’s twelve new examples of something particularly incredible. It makes me feel like our world’s gonna be okay!

Q: Is there any one project that’s really stayed with you?
A: The ones I respond to the most are the civic-minded projects, with people who are community-sourcing these incredible initiatives. There’s a guy who ran a project called Global Village Construction Set that was creating the 50 industrial machines it takes to build a village. He was open-sourcing the plans and making it possible to build them from basic materials so that people can take ownership of building their own communities.

Q: Is there any product or service-based Kickstarter that is now part of your everyday life?
A: Stop, yes! Dark Sky! It’s an app of highly accurate short-term weather predictions. You can turn it on and it’ll tell you what your hour looks like in terms of weather: when its gonna rain, how hard, and provide you with this really awesome data visualization. It’s so, so helpful!

Q: How often to do you travel?
A: I travel a lot. I’m uniquely enabled because my mom is flight attendant, and I fly for free. So, going somewhere is usually as easy as going to the airport and picking a flight. It feels like not real life. Every time I do it, I’m like, “There’s no way!”

Q: What’s the best thing you’ve read lately?
A: Oh, shit! I love to read! I read so much. There’s a new book of short stories by Marie-Helene Bertino called Safe as Houses, and they were just, like, magic. I just finished a history book called Sons of Conquerors: The Rise of The Turkic World—I read that while I was is in Turkey, but it was probably some of the most engaging historical, travel writing I’ve read in a long time. I really loved it.

Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Oh, not at all. Pajamas?

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The Insider: Chris Paik

Chris Paik is an investor at Thrive Capital—a company that’s funded ridiculously rad companies like Warby Parker, GroupMe, and Kickstarter. He’d like you to know that the gig doesn’t make every day a suit-and-tie kind affair (though there are plenty of those too). And we’d like you to know that it’s perfectly normal to feel some major hair envy. jiayi

Q: Do you think you’re the only VC who owns a Rick Owens jacket?

A: There’s a high probability. It’s a winter jacket and an absolute staple in my wardrobe. I haven’t worn it in a while, but once the weather gets a bit colder, it’s going to make an appearance.

Q: I hear you wear a lot of start-up T-shirts.

A: I do. I really like my Reddit T-shirt. I also have a ton of Vostu shirts, which is a company that Josh [Kushner, founder of Thrive Capital] started. Any shirts printed on American Apparel 50/50 tend to be my favorite.

Q: What’s one piece worth an investment? [Ed: Heh.]

A: For a guy, a good winter jacket—it’s perfectly acceptable to wear the same thing, day-in and day-out. For a girl, a purse.

Q: How do you wear your Nikolai Rose tie bar from Of a Kind?

A: My formal wardrobe is pretty standard—so with a black tie, a white shirt, and a black suit. Classic.

Q: What’s something happening in the NYC start-up scene that you’re excited about?

A: There’s a really cool fashion show happening soon—it’s called Raise Cache, and it benefits hackNY, a non-profit organization that helps educate computer-science majors and programmers in New York. All the proceeds from the show go to the program, and a number of really cool start-ups like Birchbox and Rent the Runway are involved—I think Of a Kind is part of it, too. [Ed: It’s true.] 

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Alumni News: Help Mary Meyer Help Kids

As if you needed another reason to be reminded of just how kick-ass our designers are: Mary Meyer is currently spearheading a Kickstarter project to raise money for Step Right Up, an after-school arts program she and her friend, Bonnie Pipkin, have been running since 2007. The duo write and produce original screenplays for students at Bushwick’s The Green School to perform—and, no surprise here, the kids love it. “I often run into groups of our former students who always want to make sure we’ll be coming back,” she says. (We wrote more about it here.) Bonus: Backing the project (which needs $4k by Oct. 12!) also get you access to limited-edition tanks from the designer, so contribute away. —jiayi

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Of a Kind

This retro-looking (but very un-granny!) lingerie line The Loved One raised money on Kickstarter—yah, next-level funding!—and now its first mini-collection is available for pre-order. Congrats! —erica

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