Meet Abby Pucker

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A single perfect path to a creative career does not exist. Abby Pucker, who originally wanted to be a chef and now works as a producer, knows this to be true. After interning at Michelin starred kitchens, she hopped from city to city in hopes of narrowing down her interests. Today she finds herself working in business development during the day, and monitoring her production company’s projects during the weekends.
 
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ON HER MORNING ROUTINE

My morning routine starts around 11:30 PM on the night before when I pick out my clothes for the next day. I am a night person, so when I wake up around 6:30 AM, the only thing I can manage to do is change into workout clothes. Once I’m out of the apartment for the day, I don’t get back until after dinner, so all my friends know me as a bag lady. After or on the way to class, I check two news aggregator apps: Newspicks and Quartz. They’re more business focused and do a good job of meeting their audience at or above their level. I never feel like things are dumbed down, but rather, concise and parsed into manageable amounts of high level information.

ON TAKING THE WRONG PATH

I agreed to “staj,” or intern, for a summer in one of the top Michelin-starred kitchens in Chicago. I got there and realized that not only did I not want to be a chef, but I didn’t want to be in that kind of environment. I did two months of 15 to 16 hour days, a lot of polishing of copper pots and pans, and totally bizarre social navigation in a 14x40 foot kitchen. Unpaid!

ON SEEKING ADVICE AND FINDING HER INTERESTS

Before leaving the restaurant, I sought out advice from Ikram Goldman, who is a very close friend and mentor. She has a store in Chicago, Ikram, and is the fashion person of the Midwest. I knew her as a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur, and she insisted I work for her in the kitchen of her store's cafe. I was going as a young woman interested in food and the culinary world, and left way more interested in the fashion industry. I sat in on buying appointments and saw how decisions were made. I felt like I was in The Devil Wears Prada and Miranda Priestly was talking about the cerulean belt. For my last two years of college, I based my schedule around going to help market them in Paris. It was incredible, and I can’t believe I got away with it.

    The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone    by Olivia Laing ;   Modern Romance   by Aziz Ansari ;   The Alchemist   by Paulo Coelho

The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing ; Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari ; The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

“The Lonely City” and “Modern Romance” are books about relationships and intimacy. They approach these topics in different ways, but take a historical stance and back up their claims through anecdotes and comparisons between romantic relationships in past and present generations. Dating in New York has remained elusive to me. Not being able to control the variables in a situation, like I do with my apartment, job, or side projects, is challenging. An ex-boyfriend, one of the people who knows me best, recommended “Modern Romance.” Getting love advice from an ex-boyfriend clearly means I’m still trying to figure it out.
— On relationships and intimacy

ON THE TWISTS & TURNS IN HER CAREER

After graduation, I wanted to get out of New York, so I moved with my best friend to LA for something different. I worked at a talent agency because if I was in LA, I might as well do what recent college grads looking to get into the industry do. I met a ton of young people who are still great friends of mine and are doing really cool things. Ultimately, it wasn’t for me. I realized that the transactional side of the creative process was so far removed from what I love which is thinking creatively and working to support creatives in their visions.

I moved back home to Chicago to plan my next steps and launch a new brand for a hotel chain. When that project was over, I moved back to New York, and freelanced until I landed at an art auction house doing strategic partnerships. I found myself in a creative field but removed from actual artists. I was craving something with a systemic impact on a much larger population of people.

I started to do that through storytelling, but this time on my own terms. My friends and I are producing a play called “Now That We’re Men” in Chicago at the Steppenwolf Theater. We’re executive producers on a short film, “Girl Talk,” and we are developing a podcast and animated short series. All of that has turned into a production company that is a side project. My day job is doing business development and geographic expansion at a mission driven tech & IT services company.

On Some of her favorite tools for work

I use the Drive app on my phone and SignEasy because I can just sign and send documents on the go without having to print anything! I love Quilt in LA, a women’s coworking community where I create a profile and work in other women’s homes either in a structural or informal setting depending on the host and the goal of the work session.

  Dress,   Duro Olowu

Dress, Duro Olowu

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  Jacket,   Zero Maria Cornejo ;  Shirt, Kooples  ;  Jeans, Rag & Bone

Jacket, Zero Maria Cornejo ; Shirt, KooplesJeans, Rag & Bone

ON Her dailY ROUTINE

I always spend my first chunk of the day on calls or meetings for my "day job" to move projects forward. When I have a lull or need to take a break to boost the creative part of my brain, I’ll switch over to my production brain and check on projects with stakeholders to make sure each piece of any given project is moving forward too. I save the actual development and research of my creative projects for weekends.

On her favorite beauty products

I love mixing different lip colors and using liners. My favorite combination is Sephora 01 matte (red), Dior purple, MAC or NARS red liner. Since I started bleaching my hair, it’s developed this tendency to turn into a rat’s nest every night. Ouai has been a total lifesaver and makes brushing my hair a lot less like warfare and more manageable. The Byredo Rose Noir parfum stick is so easy to pop into my bag wherever I go.

ON HER HOME DECOR

A lot of it is from my old apartment in West Chelsea. I recently did a little facelift with the help of an awesome interior designer named Ashley Wendell. One of my favorite artists is a woman named Ashley Longshore. She is a New Orleans-based artist and did my favorite and first piece of art I bought (Anna Wintour with a shirt that reads "What the Fuck is a Maxxinista?") and my favorite new chair in my room. I feel like my art is my favorite part of my apartment, and they're from all living artists, mostly emerging female artists, many of whom are friends of mine.

Meet as many people as possible both in and out of your specific field of work or study. Be involved in nonprofits or “extracurriculars” that are out of your industry or comfort zone. This will force you to create genuine relationships out of shared interest and passion. Connecting with people who are in your same field makes everything feel like work and sometimes, in my experience, can leave you wondering if you are only spending time with people to advance one part of your life. Doing things outside of your immediate comfort zone can lead to new experiences and expand your world in unexpected ways that might start you on endeavors you’d never thought of before, both professionally and personally.
— Abby's Career Advice
  Jacket,   Zero Maria Cornejo ;  Shirt, Kooples  ;  Jeans, Rag & Bone

Jacket, Zero Maria Cornejo ; Shirt, KooplesJeans, Rag & Bone

Abby'S FAVORITE BOOKS

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Abby's favorite movies

Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Hell or High Water, Anchorman, The Devil Wears Prada 

Abby'S favorite places IN NYC

Malaparte - My favorite place for pasta and a glass of wine

305 fitness - My favorite workout in the city & the best way to wake up

McNally Jackson Books - I sit there for hours just working, reading, and people watching

Grounded Coffee House - I spent most of my senior year of college here. I would hunker down and do my reading and writing with a big lavender latte and a tuna salad. 

Balloon Saloon - The best place to get little gifts and feel super happy

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge - The lobby is beautiful and super peaceful. Sometimes I just get a bite from their cafe and bring it to the lobby and just post up there to work.

Battery Harris and Union Pool for going out

Flaming Saddles is my guilty pleasure

Hauser & Wirth Gallery

The Jewish Museum and the Cooper Hewitt are two of my favorites, but nothing beats a day just wandering around The Met  

  Coat, Ikram ; Top, Net-A-Porter ; Jeans,  Rag & Bone

Coat, Ikram ; Top, Net-A-Porter ; Jeans, Rag & Bone

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