Gig: Restaurant GM
Lives in: Santa Cruz
Last TV show, movie, or podcast enjoyed: Westworld
Major source of news: Apple News, NPR
Brands on the Street: Ray-Ban, Target, Apple, Visa, American Express
Are you loyal to any of the brands you just mentioned?
Not really. I go to Target. I have one or two pairs of Ray-Bans.
Are there any brands you particularly love?
I love Paige Jeans. I have quite a few pairs.
They’re super comfortable and the right fit. I also love Trader Joe’s. I feel like you always get a good value when you shop there. Cheese and wine are very inexpensive there, and everyone who works there is always nice.
It feels like a community there.
It does. They always have the same type of people. It’s not a huge selection, it’s not too many choices. Too many choices make you anxious about the choice you actually make.
Are there any brands you’d never buy?
Microsoft. My family has always been an Apple family.
Is it anything specific about Microsoft?
I feel like they have inferior products to Apple and I would much prefer spending my money the better product.
Do you know any brands with shared value?
Toms. I’ve definitely had a few pairs of Toms shoes. It’s a personal ideal but I like what Toms is about.
Do you feel like the One for One program is a gimmick?
I like to think that it’s not.
Are you aware of any other brands that give back?
I’ve heard of Imperfect Produce. I like what they do. (Imperfect Produce is a produce delivery service that sources ugly fruits and vegetables that usually go to waste on farms.)
Do you belong to any charitable organizations?
I don’t. But I’m a grown up now so I should probably do that at some point. I’m fortunate so I should give back.
(Weed guy comes by with big stash.) Wow, that’s a lot of weed. No, we’re good. (Weed guy leaves.) I’m a New Yorker and you don’t really see that there. This is insanity.
Yeah, that’s California for you. Actually, I did something recently that I enjoyed and that I should do more. I did some volunteer work at the Ronald McDonald House charity. It felt good.
If a brand were to give you that same kind of feeling would it sway your purchase decision if you compared it to a similar product at the same price?
Sure. It’s funny that you bring up the idea that people could consider it a marketing gimmick. That’s the challenge. How do you get past it when people are jaded? I bought my Toms shoes in part because of their One for One program. Of course lots of companies say whatever they want in their marketing, farm-to-table and that kind of thing, and it takes away from companies that really are doing good things.