Meet Ana Giraldo-Wingler
ON HER MORNING ROUTINE
I drink a cup of coffee and listen to music, usually something upbeat like reggaeton. I try to wake up pretty early every day, and get moving by 7:00 AM. I’m not a morning person, so it takes me a couple of hours to adjust. I prefer taking it slow than waking up last minute and rushing.
on growing up and finding a career
I spent my childhood in Bogotá, Colombia until 2000. When I was a kid I wanted to be an inventor, but my “inventions” were actually more like art pieces because they weren’t useful in any practical sense. I think I wanted to be an artist. That wasn’t something in my family’s lexicon since both of my parents are engineers, but “inventor” was.
on how she became a progammer
I started making websites when I moved to the US. It was hard for me to make friends because a cultural barrier and pre-adolescence are a terrible combo. I spent all my time online on weird message boards for people who made Sanrio characters and websites based on them.
When I graduated college in 2012, the job market was shit, and after a couple of years in journalism, I started programming professionally. I worked at a digital product design agency called Siberia, and then started my own art-tech company with friends called Girlfriends Labs.
Through starting and running a company, I realized that I actually enjoy the big picture more than just straight-up coding. I transitioned into being the person who keeps up with clients, writes contracts, comes up with a vision, makes timelines, and makes sure the project gets done according to our goals.
on the best part of her job
My favorite part of the job is working with my best friends. We’ve been able to craft the work environment we always wanted which is a place that’s open, safe, and lighthearted. We make it a point to talk about our feelings, and it enables us to get our shit done so much better. People say “never to go into business with your friends,” but actually it’s been one of the best career moves I’ve made.
on making tough decisions
We had to drop a big client because their communication style was really messing with our company morale. With such a small team, it’s important that we’re all feeling good about the work we’re doing. It was rough, but great in the end because we learned that even though we’re small fish, we have to put our needs and priorities first.
on her favorite tools for working
I use Sketch to design stuff, and Sublime Text 3.0 for 1337 h4xx slash programming. Even though I’ll never forgive Microsoft for cursing us with Internet Explorer, I love the Microsoft Outlook app for iOS. It combines email and calendar in a great way. It also has Facebook events integration, which is clutch.
some advice for aspiring programmers
My path was quite meandering, but there are so many different ways to get into programming and digital. Some people major in computer science, others get into it through art programs like NYU ITP, going to code school, or being entirely self-taught. All of these are legit, so I would encourage anyone to look at their options and find the route that makes sense for them.
I’d also be happy to answer questions or get coffee with anyone who reads this and is interested in talking more.
On HER BEAUTY ROUTINE
At night, I use the oil cleansing method (known on Reddit as OCM) because it cleans my face much better than soap, and is way less abrasive. In the morning, I moisturize with oil or a light cream. I love La Roche-Posay’s tinted tone-correcting primer. Tarte’s Amazonian Clay blush is dope. Same with Eminence Organic Skin Care Clear Skin Probiotic Masque, Schmidt's Deodorant Jar, Morihata Binchotan Charcoal Toothbrush, Tulsi Organic India Tulsi Tea, Honey Chamomile and Remedy Nourishing Skin Cream with Phytoplex. I also love D.S. & Durga’s “Debaser” perfume in the pocket size. I can take it everywhere and it makes me feel pretty and fresh.
My teenage sister gave me an amazing beauty tip a few months ago: to pick the right shade of lipstick, look at your nipples or your labia. Turns out MAC Lipstick has a shade pretty close to mine, and I’ve worn it almost exclusively since.
her favorite shopping spots
Most of my clothing comes from a thrift store called Red, White & Blue close to my parents’ house in central Jersey. Otherwise I buy things from friends’ stoop sales or order stuff from brands I find on Instagram. Once or twice a year I'll go to Gap or Forever 21.
ON HER NIGHTLY ROUTINE
To me, the most important part of my nightly routine is to go to bed at the same time every day. I have to keep my physical life as free from chaos as possible to accommodate for the amount of internal chaos I tend towards. I usually get home pretty close to my bedtime, so I don’t have time to do much beyond washing my face, brushing my teeth, and going to sleep. If I have some time, I’ll write for a bit or watch an episode of something. I also recommend Nature's Bounty Melatonin.
ana's favorite books
ana's favorite movies
Embrace of the Serpent, À la folie…pas du tout, The Mask of Zorro, Call Me By Your Name
ana's favorite places
Bar: Lovers’ Rock in BedStuy. They have amazing music — reggae, dancehall, dembow and other great stuff.
Brunch: Okonomi in Williamsburg. Great Japanese-style breakfast, open every day of the week.
Park: Newtown Creek Nature Walk - It’s a park that wraps around Greenpoint’s wastewater treatment plant. It’s so peaceful there and a really cool concept.
Lunch: Guacuco in Bushwick. Such good arepas.