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Employee of the Month:

Crystal Carroll

Interview by Ally Mullen
Our PR manager really knows how to fill a room. Here she takes us through her event planning process and gives us tips on how to have the ultimate party.

Hi Crystal, tell us a little about yourself!

My name is Crystal Carroll and I'm originally from the burbs of South Jersey and I now live in Philadelphia, just south of Center City. I love French toast, puppies, giraffes, art, black and white, traveling and my adorable dog Nala!

What's your official title at Urban Outfitters and what do you do?

I'm the public relations manager here at UO. I pretty much oversee all communication with the press and media through press releases, product placement and brand awareness. It's a pretty awesome gig!

What's your favorite part of your job?

There's literally so much about my day to day that I love mainly because no two days are the same. I'd have to say my favorite thing would be all of the cool people I meet and interact with on a daily basis. Whether it's editors, designers, artists or co-workers, I'm surrounded by cool people.

You're in charge of setting up some major events for the company. What's the process of setting up an event like?

I like to start with a theme and once I figure that out everything else falls into place. The events I coordinate are mostly collection launches and press previews, so we scout the venue first and then plan the smaller details like sponsors, music, food, invites and other party elements later. It's a long process but seeing it all come together makes it all worth it!

If you could give just one tip to someone hosting an event what would that be?

Have fun!

What's the best party you've ever been to that you HAVEN'T thrown?

I find that the best parties are the low-key hanging out with family and friends type of situations. It just proves that all you need is good company, and a good time is pretty much guaranteed.

What are five things that set the mood for a party/event?

Music, decorations, fun people, wine and spirits!

What's one thing that will completely ruin a party?

No wine or spirits!

Can you tell us about your art shown in this feature? What type of mediums do you use?

I mostly work with acrylic but have recently started experimenting with watercolor. My most recent collection of work is a series of abstract paint collages. I really love mixing colors, patterns and textures together to create something really beautiful and unique.

What inspires you the most when you sit down to make something?

I'm inspired by so much, from general emotions, nature, people or even music-it really depends on how I'm feeling at the moment. I work from raw emotion but my work is designed not to directly articulate how I'm feeling but rather evoke emotion, whatever that emotion may be. I never want to be too literal with my work. It takes the fun out of things.

Can you tell us about the art work below?

Below is an untitled piece and a part of my acrylic collage series. I really love it because the colors are so bold. You don't really know what you're looking at but it's still compelling. I wanted to create something with a lot of texture and layers that could draw you in from a distance and would ultimately allow the viewer to form their own opinion and emotion—I feel this piece does that.

Your cousin started The Jason Thompson Foundation, which you run. Can you tell us all about it and your work there?

My cousin Jason is a professional basketball player in the NBA. We started The Jason Thompson Foundation last year in memory of my twin sister Tiffany, who passed away from heart disease three years ago. I'm the vice president of the foundation and oversee all day to day operations. The Jason Thompson Foundation is dedicated to creating healthy lifestyles for children and young adults by providing the resources and social support needed to live each day as active heart-healthy individuals. We aim to LIVE by example and bring awareness to heart disease. You can find out more information by visiting our website.

What's your dream NYE party dress?

Marchesa Anything! Sequins, feathers — the gaudier the better. I figure it's the holidays so you might as well go all out!

If you could kiss anyone in the world this year on NYE, who would it be and why?

Someone I haven't met yet but will hopefully know for a long time.

What's your biggest goal for 2013?

Every year it's the same: happiness!

Choose:

Holiday up-do or big curls?

Big curls

When bringing a gift to a party... Home-baked goods or a nice bottle of alcohol?

Alcohol

When dressing for the holidays... All black or something colorful?

All black everything

Ugly Sweater Party or a Fancy Wine and Cheese Party?

Fancy Wine and Cheese Party