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CURATORS

MINISOCIAL FOUNDERS HOLIDAY STOCKING WITH THE BEST BRANDS

KIRSTEN BAUMBERGER AND AUSTIN ROGERS SHARE NEW PRODUCTS THEY'VE ADDED TO THEIR HOUSEHOLD

Kirsten Baumberger and Austin Rogers are the founders of minisocial, a user generated content platform. After founding and building the company in New York, New York the couple recently moved back to their hometown in Columbus, Ohio. There they’re scaling the company with an all-remote team while being closer to family and friends.

Since starting work in the era of new brands, Austin and Kirsten have found themselves switching over from big-name labels to startup brands in every aspect of their life including in their homes. They have embraced the world of smaller brands that hold more meaning in their missions, and they hope to pass on some good tips to you this holiday season.

Q:  

Since we’ve gotten to know a bit about you and what you do, can you give our readers a lowdown about what you do and why this is so important?

Kirsten: minisocial was founded from our need as content marketers to produce a large amount of high quality assets in a way that is turn-key and affordable.

Austin: Exactly, mini helps brands produce UGC that they can leverage on their social channels, website, ads, and everywhere in between while also generating the buzz associated with a traditional influencer activation.

Q:  

What are some of your favorite brands you’ve worked with so far and why?

Austin:  We have a super special relationship with the guys at Pattern Brands so working with Equal Parts and Open Spaces has been a blast! Beyond that, I’m a dog guy (who doesn’t have a dog yet) so our work with the teams at Nom Nom, Lucky Dog, and others have let me live vicariously through other people’s furry friends.

Kirsten: I love working with women-owned brands. Brands like Hilma, Alala, Sunwink, Wholier, and Everyday Humans are just a few we have worked with that I personally love.

Q:  

We know that you’ve been filling your home with the latest and best online brands. What are some products you absolutely must suggest be picked up during the holiday season?

Kirsten: We love everything Emmett and the team at Pattern Brands touches. Organization is definitely a hobby of mine and Open Spaces is my go-to to keep things tidy.

Austin:  Even though I’m a pretty hard guy to buy for, fragrances are typically a pretty safe bet. I’ve loved — and stolen quite a few - spritzes of — Kirsten’s A.N. Other fragrance, I’ll definitely be grabbing a bottle for some of the hard-to-shop-for people on my list (and maybe myself!)

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Q:  

Getting people in the know about startup products takes more work than partnering with a big name brand— how can we continue to do this with holiday gifting?

Austin:  Discovery and the excitement that goes along with it is a huge part of why I love to buy and give gifts from startups. Anyone can go to the big box store down the street and grab something off the shelf, gifting something from a smaller brand takes real thoughtfulness and shows that you really put in the legwork to find something unique!

Kirsten: I love the idea of never needing to worry about giving someone a duplicate gift. Shopping small helps make sure that when your friend or family member tears open the wrapping paper it’s something they don’t already have and that you won’t accidentally give that person the same gift as someone else!

Q:  

The idea of gift-giving can sometimes be daunting, as founders who work such innovative brands, what are some of your top suggestions for the holidays?

Kirsten: I love a good fragrance. It is a very personal gift. Whether it’s a perfume or a candle, scents are super powerful and can make everyone feel great! I love the SN / 2020 fragrance by A.N. Other. I’m a big fan of anything that has notes of sea salt and I also love how it isn’t an overly feminine or masculine scent. For candles I love Cadence Candle company and Isle De Nature! They are both female founded and keep sustainability in mind when sourcing their ingredients!

Austin:  For better or worse, 2020 has been the year of the home workout. One of the single biggest upgrades I’ve done this year is grab a Nuprava yoga mat. It’s responsibly manufactured with eco-conscious materials like microfiber suede, 100% natural tree rubber, and even water-based inks. On top of that, they’re latex-free, PVC-free, silicone-free, free of toxic glues, and free of phthalates.

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Q:  

How has staying at home changed the way we are getting to know products— if we haven’t ever seen something, how can we know it’d make a good gift? What are some top holiday research tips we should be looking out for?

Austin:  One of the things I loved most about pre-2020 NYC was the element of discovery. Kirsten and I used to take long meandering walks from our Midtown South apartment down to SoHo or the West Village and pop in little hole-in-the-wall boutiques along the way. We discovered some of our favorite brands that way. With the city more-or-less shut down for months that discovery really started taking place online.

Kirsten: I used to never buy products online especially clothes and now I’ve had to take a few leaps of faith and grab some new things online. I definitely take a look at the descriptions and always pay attention to reviews. There are definitely brands that are hard to go wrong when buying anything from and Nisolo is one that is high quality every single time!

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