When it comes to helping our customers, these guys represent two very important parts of the process. As a marketing consultant and graphic designer, Alan and Brian make sure you've chosen the best marketing product and that the design is reflective of your business personality.
How long have you been with Magnets USA? Six years.
What does a typical day at the office look like? BUSY! Lots of calls and emails (both incoming and outbound) and a LOT of talking!
What’s the best part of the job? The camaraderie I share with my co-workers, and the fact that I work with a very giving and generous group of people who like to help others in need — through donations, fundraisers, giving blood, collecting school supplies for the Rescue Mission and sponsoring children and families at Christmas. It makes me proud to be part of such a good group of people.
How would you spend an unexpected day off? What’s that? I don’t understand…
If you could choose anyone as a mentor, who would it be? Bruce Lee, 'cause he’s Bruce Lee.
What’s one of your biggest accomplishments? Making it through a nasty Achilles tendon surgery and rehab and being able to walk again.
How long have you been with Magnets USA? Four months.
What’s the best part of the job? Aside from helping customers with their marketing needs, I would have to say the people I work with. I'm fairly new here, and everyone has been extremely friendly and helpful from the start.
What does a typical day at work look like? It usually revolves around food. Nine times out of ten, someone has brought in food for everyone — I'm a big fan.
What are your hobbies outside of work? Working out, drawing and personal design work.
If you won $1 million, how would you spend it? I would say bills, but that's not very interesting — so I would probably plan an awesome vacation.
What’s your idea of a perfect weekend? Nothing too specific, just getting to spend time with friends or family doing something fun like a cookout.
This is the year to become a pumpkin-carving pro. A jack-o'-lantern ace. A prince or princess of the patch. But you won't be able to succeed alone. No, you'll need an army of carefully crafted cutlery and insider intel. Luckily, we've got some tricks — and treats! — up our sleeves. Let's get started.
1. Start with the right tools. Say BOO! to those tiny, plastic carving kits that break mid-cut, and hello to cutlery that's heroic enough for the job. For our Magnets USA-inspired pumpkin, we chose our LifeLong Cutlery paring (left) and filet knives. Hello, dream team.
2. Begin at the bottom. Rather than cutting a hole around the stem, make one at the base of the pumpkin. This way, you can place the pumpkin over the light, instead of having to reach inside the pumpkin to position your candle. Pro tip: With your paring knife, carve an indention for the tea light to sit comfortably.
3. Gut it. Arguably the best part of carving a pumpkin, removing the insides is the time to conjure that messy kid you used to be. So roll up your sleeves, put on your game face and go for it. Pro tip: Save the seeds for a delicious treat. Did someone say Spiced Pumpkin Seed Brittle?
4. Punch your way to perfection. With your design taped to the pumpkin, use a thumbtack to establish an outline. When it comes to jack-o'-lanterns, staying inside the lines is a good thing — and will help prevent your freaky Frankenstein or cackling cat from becoming one terrifying blob.
5. Conquer the cut. We suggest starting with the smallest parts of your design. The paring knife, which features a short, easy-to-control blade, is a great detailing knife. For the larger sections, we found that the filet knife, with its thin and flexible blade, was best.
6. Polish it off. When you're finished cutting and all the pieces have been removed, it's time to add the finishing touches. Use your paring knife to carefully shave any ragged edges or remove stray guts. Pro tip: To keep your pumpkin looking alive through Halloween night, mist the interior with a bleach and water mixture. This will prevent molding and keep bugs away. You can also cover the edges with petroleum jelly to prevent shriveling.
This week, meet marketing consultant Amy Clark and web administrator Kristen Vander Kooy. Each day, they work hard to make sure your experience with us is helpful and hassle-free.
How long have you been with Magnets USA? Four and a half years.
What does a typical day at the office look like? From start to finish, it’s about our customers. From taking calls to working with graphics and our admin department, we make sure our customers are happy and we have provided great service and a quality product they can be proud of!
What’s the best part of the job? The best part of my job is building relationships with my customers. I love to work on special projects with them, helping them design unique marketing products. As an added bonus, I have an opportunity to meet many of our customers at REALTOR Expos across the country!
Who in your life inspires you? My grandmother inspires me the most. Raising a family in the 40s and 50s, they didn't have much money. She would tell me stories about working on the family farm and the roles everyone took to make sure they had enough to survive. To this day, she continues to be a hard worker. At 87 years old, my grandmother works a full-time job, sells cosmetics on the side and travels to visit family and friends every weekend. There's no stopping that lady, and I love her so much!
What are some of your passions outside of work? I enjoy spending time with friends and family, but in the fall, you can find me in front of the TV on Saturdays and Sundays ... I LOVE FOOTBALL!
If you won $1 million, how would you spend it? That's easy! I would buy a nice house, take a vacation, pay off some bills and save, save, save! I'm thinking a trip to Greece or Italy would do me some good.
Kristen Vander Kooy
How long have you been with Magnets USA? Almost three and a half years.
What’s the best part of the job? I don’t get to write a ton of code, but when I do, seeing it work properly is pretty cool.
What does a typical day at the office look like? There’s not really a typical day for me. It really depends on what’s needed at the moment. Fixing problems, adding new products, updating pages and working with templates for Build-It are some of the usual suspects.
What’s your idea of a perfect weekend? Getting to spend time with friends and family, but also having plenty of downtime at home to relax. It also helps to have an extra day. Long weekends are the best.
What’s your proudest accomplishment? My college degrees and deciding to change career paths (I was a counselor for six years), even though it was terrifying and a lot of work. At one point I was working two jobs and going to school. I’m proud to have just survived that year.
What's the best gift you've ever received and what made it so special?
I hesitate to say best ever, because I’ve received a lot of really thoughtful gifts that were special for different reasons, but most recently my new cousin-in-law took our wedding photos and they are amazing. He captured some really great moments and made the day even more special than it already was. That’s definitely a gift I’ll never forget. I also got a KitchenAid stand mixer that I didn’t ask for, but one of my best friends knew I wanted. I’ve always had a soft spot for intuitive gifts.
Brighten your work week by meeting two of our sales specialists, Angie Bohon and Heather Pendleton. Each day, we are inspired by their driven personalities and sincere belief in all the products and services we offer.
How long have you been with Magnets USA? Since May 27.
What does a typical day at the office look like? Mailing list, mailing information, online chat, occasional phone conversation, mailing list, mailing list, online chat, mailing information — oh, did I mention we have a full mailing service? It can save you time and money, so you should probably add that to your order today!
What's the best part of the job? The family atmosphere. We're a very laid-back company that is GREAT to work for!
What's one of your proudest accomplishments? Actually I have two accomplishments in my life and those are my children! My son is 20 and my daughter is 15.
What are some of your favorite things about living in Roanoke? Being surrounded by the beautiful mountains, and it's the perfect size for a town — not too big or too small.
How long have you been with Magnets USA? One year and about 3 months.
What does a typical day at the office look like? Making lots of follow-up calls and helping customers get all the information gathered for their orders.
What’s the most rewarding part of the job? Being able to direct customers to the perfect products for their marketing needs and being surrounded by my co-workers. Also, one of my favorite experiences and most rewarding things about working at Magnets USA has been using my love for photography to photograph our beautiful cutlery. (If you have not purchased our cutlery yet, you are missing out!) I have worked first-hand with each and every knife, and I can assure you that the quality and the price are unbeatable.
Who in your life inspires you? My parents, my son and my grandmother. My parents are always there to put my life into perspective when I am out of line. My son reminds me daily to slow life down and take it all in — basically to “stop and smell the flowers." My grandmother radiates an amazing amount of love and support whenever I am around her or talk to her.
What's your biggest passion? My biggest passion would be my photography. It has inspired me to take my love for the art a step further and start my own photography business (Sweet P Photography by Heather Pendleton, for all you local folks.) I am in love with all art, like painting and making new things. I like to test my abilities, even though sometimes I fail miserably!
This week, meet marketing consultant Brittany Wilson. The best part of her job? Building meaningful relationships with their customers. See what she say about this, and discover her passions outside of the office.
How long have you been with Magnets USA? Four years, five months.
What’s the most rewarding part of the job? Working with customers year after year. You get to learn so much about them and their families. It really lets you know they are happy with your service when they call back to order with you.
What’s one of your proudest accomplishments? I have accomplished several things that I am proud of, but the most recent was this spring. I had talked about making a flower bed around my house for a year and a half. It took me six hours to till the yard, shape the flower bed and plant the flowers. Now five months later, the flowers have doubled in size and are more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. I do not have a “Green Thumb,” but I definitely did something right this time. I'm very proud of myself for making something my daughter can enjoy as well. She loves to water them, and seeing her smell them and point out which one is her favorite makes me happy.
What are your biggest passions? Scrapbooking. I have been working on one scrapbook for four years now, ever since my daughter was born. Just the thought of giving it to her when she is all grown up makes it even more special. Fishing is also another passion of mine. I could spend hours sitting on a dock beside a pond.
What are a few of your favorite places in the Roanoke Valley? My first would have to be the Mill Mountain Zoo. I have so many wonderful memories going there as a kid that I want to make sure my daughter experiences it like I got to. Another is Scott's Strawberry Farm. You have never really tasted a strawberry until you’ve pick your own fresh from the field.