• US@UO: A Modern Apartment with Kiersten Marian

    Kiersten Marian spends her days organizing UO's creative team, doing everything from streamlining daily schedules to keeping multiple marketing campaigns on track. Here, we find out how she translates her organizational skills to her home life.
    Photos by Anna Ottum

    What do you do at UO and how long have you been working here?
    I’m a Project Manager – specifically for the Brand Marketing team. I’ve been here a year now!

    What did you study in school? Were you always someone who was super organized?
    I studied Advertising in college. My school had a portfolio program, so I concentrated on the more creative side of advertising/marketing. The program was both stressful and fun - definitely more free form and chaotic. I actually don’t necessarily consider myself super organized. I am super good at super organizing things, though. In general, I’ve always kind of thrived off of total chaos, maddening frustration, and then obsessive organization (TBD on the Freudian analysis of this). I’m a total sucker for thoughtful efficiency, but my desk and apartment are always in slight disarray. I think it silently fuels my need to forever compartmentalize.

    Above: BAGGU & UO Splotch Quilt

    How did you get started at Home Office?
    Came here straight from SF! I worked at a fashion start-up before and then jumped/red-eyed across the country at the opportunity.

    What's one of your favorite things about working for UO?
    There’s a lot of badass ladies here. Everyone is very supportive and hardworking. It engenders a healthy creative environment, and it’s exciting to see our projects come alive and evolve.

    Above: Wink Face Mug

    What's a typical day in the life like for you?
    My day starts with a power-stroll through Center City followed by a bus ride to the Navy Yard (which is at the southern most tip of Philly). Early mornings are reserved for emails and any excel or budget things (it’s the only time of the day my brain can process math). The other hours are usually spent in scattered meetings and then a lot of time in InDesign – Urban is a very creative and visual company. So, I try to synthesize the details of our larger marketing campaigns (like our epic May Road Trip!) into digestible road maps (pun kinda intended), so everyone is aligned. I’m really into charts and forms. Is it weird that I find them quietly sexy? Also, coffee – a lot of coffee throughout work day.

    Tell us a little bit about your apartment - where is it, what's the layout, vibe, etc.?
    Yeah! I live in Rittenhouse Square - the neighborhood is super cute. It’s in the heart of city with this gorgeous park as the epicenter. Pennsylvania is the 7th state that I’ve lived in, but my first time in the Northeast. When I was looking at places, I immediately fell in love with this neighborhood because of the brick walk-ups and outdoor cafes lining the park – these details screamed Northeast charm to me. My apartment is in one of these older brick walk-ups (dreams do come true!). It's petite with some recent renovations but still has the original crown molding – holes and all.

    What was one of the main things you were looking for when hunting for your apartment?
    Wood floors because asthma. Tall ceilings because I like a good challenge when the light bulbs burn out. And lots of natural light for when I fail at said challenge.

    You came out here from San Francisco - what's been one of the biggest culture shocks for you?
    I’m still wrapping my head around the word “jawn”. Also, Ubers are SO cheap here.

    What about something you love about Philly?
    Oh! The city’s history is fascinating. Apart from the well known (the Liberty Bell, Ben Franklin, etc.), there’s also these other amazing and obscure stories that unfolded here and equally amazing people who called this city home. I’ve found so many good Wikipedia pages with Philly references. My favorites: the architecture of Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi, the real life characters in Thomas Eakin’s Gross Clinic, and Edgar Allan Poe’s contributions to Burton’s Gentleman's Magazine.

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