Coming in hot with this brand new Hump Day Hot Seat featuring one of my homies, Christine Soner! Hailing from Jersey, Christine grew up in a creative family where music, painting, and sewing were celebrated. She graduated with a degree in clothing construction and design and quickly became a visual merchandiser for major clothing retailers, like Benetton and Macy’s. Check out what she’s into these days, at play and while working for IKEA, as she answers questions provided by Finch & Ada. Big thanks to Christine for hanging out on .stART here. MUAH!
1. Who are you?
A curious, creative, Jersey girl with a good heart.
2. What do you do?
I do corporate PR for a major home furnishing retailer, IKEA.
3. When/Where/How did you get your start?
I started off as a decorator in the Elizabeth store in ’93, and about six years in, a position opened for a product placement person with corporate. So I went for it, got it and was able to remain at the store, since it’s so close to all the media offices in NYC. My main function is to help media outlets get the products or images they need. I’ve also been a stylist for photoshoots if someone needs one, be it a television show, publication or online outlet, I help with corporate events, I was a founding member of our Pinterest account, I blog for our design blog TheShare-Space. I’ve even created original content for our Instagram account, in my office, with my iPhone. So I’ve had my hands here, there and everywhere.
4. How long have you been at it?
This November it will be 17 years total in PR, 23 years total with the company.
5. What is the most important thing we should know about you?
I’m a fiercely loyal friend as any Leo.
6. Is there anyone else in your field that you particularly admire?
I absolutely know nothing about anyone in the PR field.
7. What other types of art are you in to?
I began getting heavily into street art about 10 years ago, and yes I had a Banksy and Shepard Fairey phase (lost interest in them at least 5 years ago). I was at galleries, museums and warehouse shows every week and weekend, throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. 5 years ago I inherited a house, so that became the focus of my spare time and money. Then 3 years ago my free time got focused on becoming caretaker of my mom, so all my social activities and working on my house, has had to take a back seat. Ironically the last thing my living and dining rooms need, is art. This summer I am taking random days off from work, just with the intention of seeing some exhibits and installations. I recently went to Grounds for Sculpture in south Jersey for the first time, and it was great. Storm King Art Center in upstate NY has a special exhibit of Dennis Oppenheim’s going on. Govenors Island was just overhauled with the installment of The Hills and the longest slide in NYC. In Rockaway Queens there is an installation by Katharina Gross I want to see, and lastly, a retrospect of the late, great fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez, at El museo del Barrio in Spanish Harlem. He was one of my 80’s idols and we attended the same designing school in NYC.
8. You got any crazy hobbies or unique talents?
Pinterest has been my only hobby the last 5 or 6 years. I’m a virtual scrap-booker. I use to save lots of magazine pages of fashion and interiors, and when Pinterest came along, I freaked out. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve purged a lot of physical stuff. I also love that with technology, you can go smaller and lighter. Albums to tapes, tapes to CDs, CDs to audio files. I nearly wanted to kill myself when Apple stopped production of the iPod. At least now with the 6s+, I bought the 128 gig so I can store the current 80 gigs of music that I have. This year my goal was to take all those magazines pages, some dating back as far as the early 1980s, photograph them with my phone, then upload them to Pinterest. I’m also tackling a lot of my photos by uploading them into albums on Facebook. I also think it would be cool to put certain photos into Chatbooks, actually hard cover bound books.
9. What’s your favorite vice?
Unique cocktails with things in them like cucumbers, rosemary, lavender, fresh ginger, etc. Relaxing and drinking with friends is the best. And Pinterest. I’m obsessed with Pinterest.
10. How do you make it over the creative hump?
Take a break and go on social sites, Instagram and Pinterest. Then I just dive right back in.
11. You eat food? What kind? Like to cook?
Yes, a bit of everything, except I don’t really like fruit, nuts or too much spice in what I’m eating. And tofu freaks me the f*ck out. I absolutely hate cooking. I like cleaning and organizing.
12. Tell me about the last time a project blew up in your face?
I can’t recall a project completely blowing up, but when you’re in PR, there can be a lot of set backs as you move along through a project. Things are very reactive, so sometimes you have to put out little fires along the way. You can be dealing with many different personalities and working styles. Not everyone is good with deadlines, which is disrespectful. When that happens, your whole project get’s thrown off balance, and usually means scrambling at the 11th hour.
13. What is your most prized possession?
My Pinterest account.