Sure, you’ve seen snapshots of our employees on our blog and Instagram, but have you ever wondered what makes them tick? Today, we’re introducing you to one of the many fab folks who make our workdays at ModCloth so marvelous. Meet Shipping Associate (and inspiring artist), Chuck!
Let’s go back to day one on the job. What’s your first ModCloth memory?
I’d say my first complete ModMemory would be getting sent into the Fulfillment Center with a sheet of paper with about 10 questions on it. My mission was to approach folks I’d never met before, introduce myself, and ask for their input. I thought it was a really clever way to break the ice. The staff at ModCloth really is amazing. It is a rare thing to be surrounded by so many talented, thoughtful, and interesting people. There is a wealth of personality and ingenuity in that warehouse.
What do you like most about your job? You often refer to yourself as a Shipping “Enthusiast” versus “Associate”. That’s really awesome.
I AM an enthusiast. I think the thing I truly love most — cheesy as it may sound — is that I LOVE being able to make someone’s day. I love being able to help solve a mystery, or right a wrong. In this life we get so few opportunities to really DO that. I think a lot of my sense of enthusiasm comes from a desire to rock someone’s world in the best way. To be able to really provide the best service possible, even for someone I’ve never met, half a world away.
When you’re not spreading joy to everyone you encounter at ModCloth, where can we find you?
When I am not working, I am usually spending time with my family. We have a 5-year-old daughter, a 3-year-old American Bulldog, and a 2-year-old Chihuahua, so the days are never boring. My family enjoys spending time at the dog park and hiking. We also enjoy going to various conventions and collectibles shows. I also enjoy exploring Pittsburgh in search of amazing foods. I LOVE FOOD — my Nana owned a Mexican restaurant in Arizona called Elvira’s, and we spent a lot of time there. Food is a big part of our lives. I really lucked out, too, because my husband is an amazing cook.
Another big chunk of my time is spent creating art. I do a lot of painting late nights and early mornings. If I’m really in the zone, most of my “spare” time is spent with brush in hand.
When was the first time you really called yourself an artist?
I think art is just an integral part of ME. I am an artist. I may not be supporting myself with that skill, but I am not really doing it for money. I do all this creating to fulfill my own selfish desires. It is like a purging. I get an inspiration, and it itches at me until I get working on it.
What inspires your work?
Lately, I have been more inspired by my heritage than ever. I grew up in small town in Arizona called Apache Junction on the foothills of the Superstition Mountains. My family on Mom’s side is of Mexican decent and very colorful. My Nana was an amazing and influential part of my life, and she is a big part of my inspiration. I am proud of the hard work she did to take care of her family. She started working when she was 6 — that’s about 6 months older than my daughter is now. We have family in Mexico and got to visit a couple of times, and I was so inspired by the colorful painting, the vivid personality, and friendliness of the culture. I loved all the hand-painted tiles everywhere and the religious icons and the skeletons.
What are the coolest projects you’ve worked on? We heard something about a giant fake horse you painted.
Thunder is the name of the life-sized fiberglass horse. He was a commission last year and one of the most fun things I have ever done. His owner sits him out front every year for Halloween, and the neighborhood kids come get their pictures taken on his back. I tried to stay true to the anatomy of the horse and used photo reference to try and lay out a good skeleton. I embellished him with Mexican tile motifs, flowers, lines, and dots. It was a blast.
This year has been very exciting for me. I was one of ten artists chosen to participate in the Pittsburgh City Paper Artbox Project. They provide the artists with a blank streetbox and materials and set us loose on them. My design was inspired by Mexican folklórico dancers, Dia de los Muertos, tiles, and sombreros. The boxes will be revealed at the Best of Pittsburgh party, and the next morning, they get put out into the city for people to enjoy! I am very excited to see what happens and where my box ends up.
Five years from now, what does your dream life look like?
Honestly, right now I HAVE the dream life I always wanted. I am with my best friend and partner in crime, we have a amazing daughter who drives us insane, because she’s a chip off the ol’ block. We are blessed to know so many creative, interesting, and wonderful friends. I get to work with awesome people and help provide for my family. I have always been one of those people who tries to live in the moment. I try not to worry about the future, I just roll with it and deal with it as it comes along. I can’t worry about the past — I can only acknowledge the experiences and do my best to absorb those lessons. The time is NOW. You can prepare for the future, but NOW is the only thing that matters. You’ve got to marinate in it, feel it, LIVE it, because that’s why we’re all here, right?
+ What are YOU passionate about? Share your story in the comments!