The Insider: Kayleen Schaefer

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Dare you to read three magazines and not spot Kayleen Schaefer’s name in one of them. She writes about things like pissy pilates purists (three times fast!) for The New York Times, cool-girl synchronized swimmers for Vogue, job promotions (or lack thereof) for Elle, and cultish blowouts for The New Yorker. Aren’t you dying to know her? Thought so. —monica derevjanik

Q: Which celebrity would leave you the most star-struck?
A: Is it fair to call Hillary Clinton a celebrity? Does that demean her? If not, then her. 

Q: What do you heart most about Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, your ‘hood?
A: Can I say I love my apartment most of all? I gut-renovated it with the help of my amazing architect friends at OFFICIAL, and even though I’ve been there a year, I still get really jazzed when I come home. I also love running in Brooklyn Bridge Park—I still love seeing the view from the promenade—and going to Sahadi’s, a grocery store where you can buy the best bulk foods for cheap. Also, if all of the other beverage establishments besides Cafe Pedlar and Congress Bar were wiped off the earth, I’d be fine.

Q: What’s on your coffee table right now?
A: My friend Ruthie, who rules, gave me Can’t Lose: A Friday Night Lights Fanzine, which is displayed prominently. I also have a Fresh Cannabis Santal candle and a mini succulent from The Sill that Erica, who also rules, gave me. Plus, an embarrassing number of magazines with Kim Kardashian on the cover (two).

Q: What’s one thing we’d never guess about you?
A: I really want to be the voice of an animated character. It’s going to be tough to do since they’re all voiced by famous people now, but I still hope it’ll break my way someday.

Q: What do you wear, like, allll the time?
A: My new Alexander Wang Marti backpack has barely left my shoulders since I finally bought it after circling around it for about two years. I also think that my super-light blue jean jacket makes me look super-cool. And Catbird pretty much owns my ears. I wear my rose gold ear cuff and Chained To My Heart earring every day.  

Q: What have you been reading lately?
A: I’m in the middle of #GIRLBOSS, which is Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoroso’s part memoir, part be-a-baller-at-work guide. It’s fun to read. I’m also reading a mystery called Visitation Street, which takes place in Red Hook, which is right by me.

Q: Which Of a Kind designer are you totally in love with?
A: So many! I’m so happy it’s Veda leather-jacket season again. I’m on my second Rachel Rose silk tee since I’m a spiller and silk-shirt ruiner. Also, I’m way into Bing Bang’s teeny skull jewelry and Blanca Monrós Gómez’s equally teeny black diamond studs. And I have some K/LLER COLLECTION quill earrings that make me feel like a badass. 

More amazing people you’ve really gotta meet!

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The Insider: Claudine Auguste

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Perhaps the only thing chicer than Brooklyn’s Wythe Hotel is its wonderful project manager, Claudine Auguste. She’s been pumping her energy into the Williamsburg spot since it was a construction site, helping make it the coolness hub—for both out-of-towners and locals—that it is now. Bottom line: Girl knows what’s up, and she shares some of her tips ‘n tricks below. —monica derevjanik

Q: What are your top three travel essentials?
A: RMS Beauty Oil is like dessert for your face, a Marlow Goods scarf is always right, Aesop’s Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm—I love that smell. It’s classic, clean, and sexy, and the packaging is insane. Ok, and I know this makes four, but I have to include Everlane T-shirts. You can never go wrong with one of those.

Q: If you had to throw a dinner party tonight, how would you theme it?
A: Tonight? Well the Good Eggs order won’t arrive for another two days, so takeout it is! Between planning events at the Wythe and getting ready for a baby girl due in May, I’d say the theme would be “2 Bizzy 2 Cook,” and the invite would be sent out to friends two hours before asking for their burrito orders. And to really stretch out that theme, I would make sure that every burrito is also served with a paper towel and two individual packets of Cholula.

Q: If you could live in any city outside of NYC, where would you head?
A: Vienna. Paris gets all the glory. Vienna is a darker sexier version with art, architecture, music, and food that sings of precision, grace, and warm beauty.

Q: Which Of a Kind pieces do you have your eye?
A: The White Diamond Pharos Ring by Steven Shein—squeal! The Ingrid Cuff and the Simone Ring from Dream Collective are like a daydream to Mykonos, and this Rachel Rose blouse—wowza. It’s a little business and a little pleasure. 

Q: We bet you know all the good spots in Williamsburg. Ideal day? 
A: First we’d go to Organic Planet on Bedford for coconut smoothies. Don’t forget to add the banana! This is key. Then we’d go to the new V1 Gallery space, Bad News, which is in the front of Black Bear Bar. Jacob Holdt’s American Pictures is currently up, and it is fantastic. Then we’ll head north, up Wythe, and make a stop at The Ides or Reynard because these are my home-bases and perfect stops before heading to Greenpoint, where I’ve lived for eight years, for part two of the night. Straight to River Styx for good times, squid suave, and perfect nachos. Then round out the night at Achilles Heel for familiar faces, on-point tunes, and an overall killer selection of all things good.

Catch up with other people we sweat over here! 

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The Insider: Ben Nabors

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Ben Nabors is somebody you should know about, and we’re not the only ones who think so: Dude has nabbed big-deal prizes for his thoughtful, hyper-captivating film projects at both Sundance and SXSW. Dive into some of the amazingness his production company {group theory} puts out, and get to know Ben (and what else he has cooking) below. —monica derevjanik

Q: Tell us about your neighborhood!
A: My company is in Brooklyn, I live in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and I sleep in the Chelsea/Union Square area in between, so I don’t exactly have a neighborhood. When I’m in the Boston area, I’ll make meals at home and invite people over, so I actually don’t know much about the city at all other than the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. They have a really great John Singer Sargent collection that I was really excited to see.

Q: Wow! That’s a lot of traveling. So how do you pass the time while you’re commuting?
A: Mostly with the New York Times and email, but I’m not the kind of person who combs the internet for ideas. It’s frankly my preference to start my day not consuming anything and to work on an idea. But I do listen to public radio and routinely read a few magazines—The New Yorker, Cabinet Magazine, and a few film journals. And I guess I have a regular relationship with the folks at WNYC’s On the Media.

Q: When you’re at your studio in Williamsburg, where do you eat?
A: I have breakfast meetings at Jimmy’s Diner. It’s quiet, the menu is interesting, and the coffee is excellent and bottomless.  I love getting the lunch special at Caracas. It doesn’t matter what the soup is—it’s always good. M Shanghai is across the street on Grand is great because noodles are so good when it’s cold, and I go to Stan’s Cafecito on Havermeyer because Stan is a solid guy and his burritos are amazing. I eat dinner at the ramen joint on North 6th and Berry without the ATM—it’s called Yebisu. You can eat alone there without it being strange and sit at the bar to watch the cooks through the glass.

Q: Which startups do you think are doing really amazing things right now?
A: One of our clients that we make films for hired us to make a series of documentary profiles on social innovators, and they introduced us to Brooklyn Grange. They run the largest soil-based rooftop farm in the world out of the Navy Yard, and they’re pretty amazing risk-takers. [Ed: Watch the video here!]

Q: If you could collaborate with any Of a Kind Insider, who would you pick?
A: For a meeting—or for somebody who’s perspective I’m really in to—it would have to be the team at Sight Unseen. Or that Amanda Dobbins over at New York Magazine.

Q: What’s the last thing you Googled?
A: “How many cups are in a gallon?” I purchased a cookbook called The Family Meal, and I cook out of it all of the time—so I sometimes need help with conversions. What’s unique is that every step has these wonderful pictures associated with it, and it uses a timeline and organizes your steps relative to when you intend to be serving the meal. The book is by Ferran Adrià, who used to run elBulli, so it’s pretty amazing.

Q: What’s one movie that you think everyone should watch, like, now?
A: Stories We Tell. Then write a letter to Sarah Polley and her family to thank them. I’m in awe of what she succeeded in presenting. 

Come on—meet some more awesome people!

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The Insider: Katia Beauchamp

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When you have the opportunity to talk to Katia Beauchamp, CEO and co-founder of Birchbox, you have to ask her about beauty products—you’d be a total dummy not to. But we had a whole lot more we were itching to ask this smart, savvy, and supremely accomplished whiz (who also happens to be a taco connoisseur). Dive on in. —monica derevjanik

Q: Ok, let’s cut to the chase: What’s one beauty product that’s totally blown your mind?
A: Shu Uemura has this hair volumizer that has a makeup brush at one end. You pump this powder into the brush and use it on your hairline to create this incredible volume, and you don’t need any hairspray. It’s perfect for that just-messy-enough look.

Q: And what’s the beauty product you’ve used for the longest amount of time?
A: It’s Jouer’s Luminizing Moisture Tint. It’s a tinted moisturizer, and almost everyone at Birchbox wears it now. When you wear it, people are like, “Your skin! What do you do to it? Did you get a facial?” I’ve been using this since Birchbox started in the summer of 2010. They also came out with a matte moisture tint, which provides full coverage, and if I want a little more coverage for an event, I just mix the two—it’s beautiful.

Q: You’re from El Paso, right? What do you miss most about it?
A: Other than my mom, it’s a tie between the sunset and the Mexican food. El Paso is a desert, and people usually live in the more elevated areas where you get amazing views of the sunset. The sky is so big that almost every night it looks like a sunset that you’d see in the movies.

Q: What movie do you think everyone needs to see?
A: My latest favorite movie that makes me so happy is Midnight in Paris. I tend to be attracted to more heavy books and movies, but when Birchbox started, I decided I was going to watch brighter, happier things. This movie is perfect if you ever have that moment where you think you want to be a writer—which I think a lot of people do. In high school, I was obsessed with my English class and all of the authors I was learning about, and watching a movie where the main character was meeting all of these authors made me giddy. I couldn’t imagine meeting these people who were like celebrities in my mind.

Q: Which bloggers are you loving right now?
A: I developed a crush on these girls from Texas who run a blog called A Piece of Toast. They’re so sweet—they’re honestly great people. I love their style and just how authentic they are.

Q: If you could collaborate with any Of a Kind designer, who would it be?
A: I discovered Jade Lai from Creatures of Comfort through Of a Kind, and am such a fan of her philosophy and aesthetic. I mean, who doesn’t want to look fantastic and be completely comfortable at the same time?

Q: What do you do when you want to relax?
A: I love getting massages, but that doesn’t happen very often because you have to plan them ahead of time. I’m really relaxed when I’m just with a small group of people, preferably outdoors and talking about anything other than work. I love the roof of our apartment, so I’ll sometimes make breakfast tacos and bring them upstairs and hang out there for a while. I also love the patio at The Maritime Hotel, which hasn’t been a scene for years, and that makes it perfect. The food is still great, the cocktails are still great, and the breeze that blows through there is so nice.

Lots more people you just HAVE to read about right this way!

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The Insider: Jeff Bercovici

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Staying on top of what’s hot in Silicon Valley is no easy feat, which is why Forbes has crazy-smart and plugged-in writer and reporter Jeff Bercovici on the case. When he’s not covering the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Yahoo (ever heard of them?), he’s exploring his new city, San Francisco, and just being plain insightful. Proof below. —monica derevjanik

Q: Which apps are you always turning to?
A: I use Pocket all the time, because it fits into my day so nicely—all the times that used to be dead zones, like waiting for the bus, I can now use for catching up on long reads. I use the Podcasts app constantly, especially at the gym, where I listen to Harmontown, This American Life, Stuff You Should Know, Men In Blazers, and some others. I use Spotify for pretty much all music needs now, and I use the Kindle app on both iPhone and iPad. I don’t use my iPad for much else, besides Netflix when I want to watch TV in bed.

Q: You just moved to SF! Have you found any good spots in your neighborhood yet?
A: There are tons of good spots in my neighborhood, NoPa [Ed: That’s North of the Panhandle]. I’d love to say we found them, because we really did sort of stumble on this area, but it turns out NoPa’s charms are only news to people who are new in town. It’s trendy for sure. Within a couple blocks of our apartment, there’s Little Star, which is a fantastic pizza place, and The Mill, which is the beating heart of what I have since learned is the burgeoning artisanal toast movement. Go figure. There’s also a spot called Mojo, which is both a cafe and a bike repair shop and is pretty good at both. 

Q: Which startups do you think we all need to keep an eye on right now?
A: Oh, gosh. People who can answer that question with any accuracy make a lot more money out here than journalists. Now that Google has decided to go big on robotics, any startup in that field is potentially a billion-dollar acquisition candidate. I hear about new two-sided marketplace startups all the time. For instance, I just heard about one for used furniture today, called Move Loot. Those solve a real problem in people’s lives, so I think the opportunity is huge and durable.

Q: What’s the last thing you googled?
A: It’s almost always directions. In this case, it was directions between the two bars I’m headed to tonight, Virgil’s Sea Room in Bernal Heights and Dear Mom in the Mission. 

Q: What would you do on your ideal staycation?
A: Play soccer and tennis, as much as my creaky, old-man body can handle. Read a lot, ideally some good historical fiction. Eat and drink with friends. Nap. 

Q: Who’s the most interesting person you’ve ever interviewed for a story?
A: I just did “The Playboy Interview,” an 8,000-word Q&A, with Nick Denton, who owns Gawker, Gizmodo, Jezebel, Deadspin, and all those sites. He’s definitely one of the most fascinating people I’ve met. He’s a real idealist—not in the usual sense but in the way that he’s more willing than almost anyone to put his ideas into practice and then live with the consequences. Another one: I had lunch once with Mike Fay, the National Geographic Society’s Explorer-In-Residence. He spends most of his time in the jungle, to the point that when he’s back in the States, he can’t sleep properly in a bed or even sometimes indoors, so he’ll lie down on a median strip somewhere. His stories about trekking through Africa are so far outside the realm of my experience. I could listen to them all week.

Q: If you could do a collaboration with Of a Kind, what would you propose?
A: I have an amazing pair of zip-up ankle boots from the seventies that I want cloned. I found them in the garage, caked in mud. My dad had been using them for gardening. I cleaned them up, and now I get compliments on them all the time. I’m pretty sure if someone did a limited run of them, they’d sell out overnight. 

Q: Shot in the dark question: Do people ever try to turn your last name into a veni vidi vici pun?
A: Never gotten that one. As a reporter, I do come and see all the time, but I don’t get to do a lot of conquering, unless you count getting the last word. The last-name pun I usually get is Jerkovici, which I’m quite fond of. It was my AIM chat handle, and now it’s my Instagram name. 

 There are a whole lot more way-talented people right over here…

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The Insider: Katherin Son

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One word to describe the newest member of the Of a Kind team, Katherin Son: spunky. If we got a second word, we’d have to go with delightful. She’s exactly the sort of girl you want to have in your corner, but if you’ve sent an email to customerservice@ofakind.com lately, you probably know that already. More classic Katherin below! —monica derevjanik

Q: Who do you love following on Instagram?
A: I love nail art, and one of my favorite accounts right now is @radnails. I haven’t tried any of their stuff yet, but I like that you can buy the wraps and kind of DIY-them to your liking. I’m currently eyeing the pizza-themed ones.

Q: What’s one thing that everyone in the office makes fun of you for?
A: Well, I’ve recently discovered that I’m horrible at online shopping. It’s not what I buy—but more the logistical details. For instance, I had my name spelled incorrectly on my wedding album. Like, who the heck is Kaherin? Last week I had one of my packages shipped to a former employer. To all of our customers out there: When you entered the wrong shipping address at checkout, I FEEL YA! 

Q: What’s one vacation you are dyyyying to go on?
A: Tokyo! First, I want to eat all the sushi and would ultimately want to go to Sukiyabashi Jiro (if you’re not familiar, you should watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi). Also, I think the shopping would be amazing. There are so many things on my Pinterest board that I want to get in Tokyo—mostly stuffed animals and erasers shaped like food. And I want to pretend like I’m ScarJo in Lost in Translation. I have the umbrella already. 

Q: Who’s your style icon?
A: Ashley Olsen as my foundation, and Taylor Tomasi Hill as my over-arching theme. Ashley is really good at wearing basics in new and interesting ways—she makes a white button-down look good. She also exudes a kind of sexy vibe, but in a sophisticated way. Taylor Tomasi Hill is a genius at mixing prints, patterns, colors, everything. I love how her style is playful but fierce at the same time.

Q: What’s your ideal meal?
A: Pasta carbonara. It has everything I love: Pasta, parmesan cheese, eggs, and bacon. However, the balance between cheese and egg must be perfect. I hate when it’s too cheesy. My favorite place to order it is at this teeny, tiny restaurant in San Francisco called Gamine. It’s totally a secret place, and now I’ve told everyone.

Q: Did I just see a crazy Instagram video of you dancing on stage somewhere?
A: That wasn’t me. Ha! Just kidding. Live with Kelly and Michael is one of my favorite shows, and I finally got to go with my Of a Kind co-workers Michelle and Keely. We wore our matching Of a Kind sweatshirts and looked totally cute, so I knew we were going to be on television. They choose an audience member to dance during the trivia segment of the show, and I actually got picked to dance on stage! I’ve never felt that much adrenaline before. Kelly and Michael, if you are reading this: HI!

Q: What’s one place that you’re so happy you live close to?
A: There’s this Korean restaurant on Metropolitan Avenue in Brooklyn called Dokebi that I go to when I’m craving my mom’s cooking. It’s nowhere near as good as her dishes, but it gets the job done. I also like that dokebi refers to some kind of cute monster in Korean. Monsters are totally in right now. 

Q: Which Of a Kind designer are you obsessing over?
A: Since I started working at Of a Kind, I’ve discovered a newfound love for jewelry. I was that girl who bought jewelry and then never wore any of it, but I’m totally on-board now. I’m currently really into In God We Trust, and I’m so sad that I don’t own the Macaroni Necklace they made for us. I’m on the wait list!

Adorable, right? More lovable peeps right over here.

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The Insider: Charlotte Druckman

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If having a soft spot for food writers is wrong (ahem, see past installments of this feature Q&Aing JJ Goode and the sisters behind The New Potato), then we don’t wanna be right. Case in point: We think you have to meet the über-talented and lovely Charlotte Druckman. She wrote a book on women chefs called Skirt Steak—good name, right?—and her byline pops up all over the writing-about-eating sphere. Get the scoop. —monica derevjanik

Q: What’s your ideal meal?
A: Because it’s cold and dreary out, I find myself craving one-dish wonders like lamb tagine and cassoulet. But I’m more inclined to make a bowl of roasted vegetables or a big country frisée salad with lardons, a poached egg, and lots of red wine. And, no matter what, I could finish with a rich, dark, near-bitter chocolate soufflé with whipped cream and coffee or hazelnut or vanilla ice cream.

Q: Which startups do you think are doing really amazing things right now? 
A: Here goes: Medium, Everlane, and Of a Kind (and I really mean that!). Like everyone else, I’m curious to see what Ezra Klein’s going to create at Vox. I’m also looking forward to seeing what Oyster does and how it takes off. In terms of O.G. startups—you know, the printed kind—Cherry Bombe and Modern Farmer have my support, and I’ve just subscribed to PORTER and to Book Riot’s Quarterly. I’ll never give up on print.

Q: Which cookbooks do you swear by?
A: I have a few bibles: Any Julia Child or Maida Heatter, The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual, The Zuni Cafe Cookbook, and The Essential New York Times Cookbook. Mario Batali’s Simple Italian Food still has the best risotto recipe out there.For vegetable cooking, I love Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty andNigel Slater’s Tender. For Mexican, I’m loving Roberto Santibanez and JJ Goode’s Truly Mexican.

Q: What’s one vacation you’re desperate to take?
A: I always want to go back to France—Provence and Paris, especially—and so that’s what I tend to do. But of the places I’ve never been and dream of going to, India is probably at the top of that list.

Q: What do you wear all the time?
A: For the day, jeans and a mix of Chance, A.P.C., Everlane, Of a Kind, and Lars Andersson. For night, Zero + Maria Cornejo, Isabel Marant, and Tucker. I also rotate between a few favorite Le Labo scents. Breaking my kneecap in college marked the end of my life in heels, so you’ll always find me in flats and, because I love walking everywhere, sneakers—the cuter, the better.

Q: What do you love about your neighborhood?
A: Everyone always talks about the commercialization that has swept through Greenwich Village in the last seven years and the proliferation of faux charming neighborhood spots. But if you take your time and pick one street—I choose 10th Street, because it’s mine—and you follow it all the way from Avenue C to the highway on the west side, you will discover so many secrets and stories that span the city’s history.

Photo courtesy of Melanie Dunea.

Meet more rock stars (in our minds, at least!) here.

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The Insider: Joe Martinez

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That face you see up there is the one responsible for getting Of a Kind out into the world—how insider-y is that? But when we first asked Joe, a so-cunning, Tallahassee-based web developer, to do this Q&A for us, he pushed back (hard), nominated other people, and then suggested using someone else’s headshot. Well, we finally got him, and thank goodness: He should obvi be on the site that wouldn’t even exist without him. And please, please, please scroll to the bottom for the scoop on this pic. —monica derevjanik

Q: Which celeb would leave you the most star-struck?
A: I’m a very big Matt Damon fan. He’s just made so many great movies, and from any and all anecdotal evidence is an awesome person. I’m really drawn to the smart-guy-who-can-kick-your-ass character. I think maybe because I was never that guy. In any case, Good Will Hunting is the best screenplay of all time.

Q: Any good phone apps you think we should all be downloading?
A: I use an iPhone and have to say the Audible app is my most-used. When I’m moving around doing a mindless task, I’m typically listening to an audio book. I recently finished Ready Player One, which I really enjoyed.

Q: Break down your ideal Saturday.
A: I’m an avid Seminole fan, so game day at home is my favorite. I think when my boys Joey (who’s three) and Matthew (he’s 11 months) are old enough to tailgate and go to the games, then those Saturdays will be the ultimate.

Q: Tell us more about your kids! What’s the funniest thing they’ve done in recently?
A: I work from a home office with big French doors, and there’s typically some drama going on between the boys on the other side of the doors. It’s pretty fun to watch them wrestle. Other than that, Joey says some really funny things. The other day he was trying to get our attention and yelled “Bonjour!” in a very convincing French accent. We totally didn’t see it coming and suppose he picked this up from a children’s show.

Q: Do you own any Of a Kind pieces?
A: Yes! My favorite is my horsehide wallet by Maxx & Unicorn. I break that bad boy out every time I give out a business card, and it always gets a quick complement.

Q: Tell us about Tallahassee.
A: So, Tallahassee is a really small town, so there’s not as much intrigue as you big-city folk are used to. However, we do have a very cool antique car museum that holds many autos of note, including the original Batmobile and Lincoln’s hearse. It’s also a very old city. In fact, the name itself is an Indian word meaning “old town,” so there are some very old historic sites and trails, which are quite interesting. Doak Campbell Stadium on a game day is really a sight to see. It’s an interesting blend of inebriated students, rich RV-borne alums, and lots of families in between, all hanging out to celebrate the big game.

Q: What’s one TV show you think everyone should give a shot?
A: The wife and I mostly watch different things, but we’ve been watching a lot of Criminal Minds recently. It’s like a version of Law & Order that makes you feel smarter because they pepper it with pithy quotes from long-dead authors and poets. Plus, you get to learn a bit of psychology each time that you can use to do drive-by psychoanalysis on your friends. Well, that is, if your friends are psychos.

Note from Joe about the pic:
“So, I have a really appropriate photo for this: It was shot, according to the metadata, at 5:28 A.M. when I had pulled an all-nighter working on an early version of Of a Kind. In the beginning, Of a Kind had a project manager who was a night owl and really good at keeping me up working right along with him. So I had to take a photo and send it so he could really get a sense of how much I needed to sleep!”

Love this? Well, then read about our past Insiders, why don’t you?

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The Insider: Joanna Goddard

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We’ve been following Joanna Goddard’s insightful blog A Cup Of Jo for yeeeears now—and so has just about every other chick we know. Even though you can get lots of peeks into Joanna’s world over at her corner of the Internets, the content powerhouse (who really is as nice as she seems!) saved some top-notch tidbits for us. So, basically, read on. —monica derevjanik

Q: You seem to know every great blog out there. Which are your current go-tos?
A: One that I really love is called Kottke. It’s all over the map because he’s writing about all of the stuff he’s legitimately interested in—like he’ll write about why Doritos taste good and then some fun fact he found. It’s a good reminder that you should write about what you’re interested in. Dinner: A Love Story is great, too. It’s a magazine-food-editor-turned-cookbook-author, Jenny, who writes about making dinner for her family every night. (She has actually written down every dinner she’s had since 1998!) And illustrator Gemma Correll’s tumblr always makes me laugh.

Q: Your sons are too cute. Where do you get all of their adorable clothes?
A: I really, really, really love the brand Mabo, which was also featured on Of a Kind. It was started by a mom who wanted to open her own shop, and the clothes just fit so well. We also shop a lot at Winter Water Factory. They have the best patterns. Petit Bateau also has some really good deals on their site.

Q: Are there any writers out there that you’re really loving right now?
A: Ann Friedman has a great newsletter that I recently signed up for. She writes about politics, culture, and gender, and I love her smart, unapologetic style. 

Q: We feel like we know so much about you from reading your blog every day, but what’s one people don’t know?
A: In college, I had to decide between majoring in English and physics. I cannot imagine going through a physics major now, but I started it and was a dual-major at one point.

Q: You moved to Battery Park City recently—what are the cool spots in your neighborhood?
A: We’re in the very north part by Chambers Street, and there’s a hidden playground that’s right behind our building. There’s this gigantic sandbox and a huge, skinny slide that’s about five times the length of a normal slide—it’s even scary for grown-ups! And Chambers Street Wines is awesome. They’re friendly and know everything about wine. Sometimes after the babies go to bed, I’ll walk over there for a tasting.

Q: Which Of a Kind pieces are you feeling right now?
A: Everything! But especially Blanca Monrós Gómez’s Dainty Champagne Diamond Ring. Blanca actually did my wedding ring, and it was such an amazing experience. My husband and I went to her house together, and she told us all about her own wedding in Gibraltar over some wine. It was so lovely and felt so intimate. 

More way-impressive peeps right here!

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The Insider: Alice Marwick

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One writer you all have to check out? That’d be Alice Marwick, an assistant professor at Fordham University who wrote Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity, and Branding in the Social Media Age, a crazy-fascinating look at how people deal with large audiences in this tweeted, instagrammed world. Read on for proof that she’s as charming as she is smart. —monica derevjanik

Q: What’s on your nightstand?
A: Only things that must be charged: My Kindle, iPad, and iPhone. I read a lot, but I’ve managed to kick the paper-book habit. The last great book I read was Ancillary Justice by Anne Leckie. It’s about a spaceship’s AI that becomes sentient. I’m a huge sci-fi/fantasy fan! 

Q: What’s your idea of the perfect Sunday night?
A: Watching any big budget sci-fi blockbuster on the Lincoln Square IMAX with my husband, if I can convince him. I love going to the movies—the bigger the screen, the better. Lincoln Square is the only real IMAX in the city. I’ve left many popular Foursquare tips warning people about the fake IMAXs, which are just the biggest screen the theater has, for which they charge you $5 more.

Q: What’s the last YouTube video you passed around?
A: It is called “The Two Talking Cats,” and it involves two cats chirping at each other. It has been viewed 55 million times—God bless the Internet.

Q: Any guilty pleasures you’re willing to share?
A: As someone who grew up in the irony-drenched nineties, I long ago made a vow that I would never pretend to not like something I actually liked. It’s too confusing. So I am unabashed about my love for Top 40 music, particularly the oeuvre of Ms. Britney Jean Spears. I also love YA novels, celebrity fashion websites like Go Fug Yourself and Tom and Lorenzo, and weight-loss shows like The Biggest Loser. Lately I have been appreciating Kim and Kanye as a couple, which I do actually feel a bit guilty about. I freaking love “Bound 2.”

Q: What’s your go-to neighborhood restaurant?
A: My husband recently sent me a Proust ranking the restaurants of the LES, and we agreed 100%: Taqueria is the best. It’s cheap, it’s cool, you can always get a table because they turn people over super fast, and their enchiladas verdes are awesome. 

Q: What’s your style uniform?
A: I am not one of those people who loves simple, classic clothes: I like costume jewelry and following stupid trends. Given my druthers, I would wear, like, chandelier earrings and turbans all the time. However, in the last few years, I’ve had to transition from grad student to professor, so I’ve accumulated a kind of boring wardrobe of work dresses and blazers. On the weekends, I am so happy to not be wearing pantyhose, and I live in skinny jeans, striped T-shirts, and gigantic bulky cardigans. I still load up on the jewelry, though. 

Itching to meet more unreasonably savvy people? You got it.

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