Meet The Team: 18 Questions with Rebecca Ott from Affiliate Relations
May 21, 2019
Our employees are what truly make Printfly/RushOrderTees a diverse and unique place to work. We have an extremely talented team of creative individuals who have a passion for what they do and we are proud to showcase them. Rebecca has been with us since March of 2016 and is a part of our Affiliate Relations team.
1. Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Virginia but went to college at Moore in Center City. After graduation, I moved back home, but all my friends had stayed in the Philadelphia area – after a lonely few years of working at a grocery store one of my friends was able to get me an interview here, so I went for it!
2. What goals do you have for the next five years?
I want to be a more physically active person – no more excuses. I’ve been running several times a week weather permitting. I’m not very athletic yet, and running is a giant pain in the butt, but I always feel better about myself once I do it. I also want to do more long-term art projects rather than just sketching all the time. Not that sketching is a bad thing – sketchbooks are so important for getting ideas down – I just haven’t done anything finished in a year or so. It can be hard to sit down to something and not get distracted, so it’s a skill I want to go back to.
3. What kind of art do you do?
My degree is in Illustration, and I definitely prefer the more fantasy/sci-fi storytelling kinds of art, like concept art or storyboarding. I love inventing creatures, characters, and unrealistic settings – basically world building of any kind. I’m very slowly working up to making a comic.
4. What do you like best about working at RushOrderTees?
I love the multi-tasking and problem solving I get to do every day. It’s extremely hard for me to get bored here because I don’t have to put all my focus on a single task. I love a challenge and this line of work is perfect for that. I also get to work with the most AMAZING team of ladies. We all work really well together, but it’s also really fulfilling to have such supportive coworkers who are strong women. I’m inspired by them constantly and feel very lucky that I get to work with them every day!
5. What new skills have you learned from working here?
I’ve learned so much about the industry, both on the production side and the business side. I admittedly didn’t know much about screen printing before I got here aside from an elective I took in college so you can imagine I know a lot more now. On the business side, I understand so much more about profit margins, negotiating, making phone calls, and crafting well-written emails – I’m still learning more every day from the number of people that I talk to and communicate with. Communication is something I’ve struggled with in the past. I have anxiety, so I remember a time when a simple phone call made my heart race, but now it comes naturally to me.
6. What advice would you give someone who wants to get into the T-shirt business?
[laughs] I don’t know that I’m qualified to dispense advice yet. But as with all business ventures, it’s a risk! If you love printing and are willing to put in the time and hard work to make a quality product, you will find a way to make it work.
7. What do you feel passionate about?
I love art, animals, and video games. I come from a whole family of artists. My grandfather was a painter. My dad is a musician – he plays a bunch of instruments and used to sing opera. My mom was involved in theatre and dance, my older sister has a degree in costume design and runs an Etsy shop, my brother works in motion graphics and design – growing up I was constantly surrounded by art of all kinds.
8. Did they encourage you to pursue the arts as well?
Absolutely! Secretly my dad wanted me to be a musician since my older siblings went into more visual arts. I was forced to take violin lessons from a young age (supposedly I asked for the lessons at age 3, but conveniently I have no memory of that). I never enjoyed it much, but my family was equally encouraging when it came to visual art. I always had art supplies and a surface to draw on, even before I knew I wanted to go to art school.
9. How would you want to be remembered?
I’m in constant need of validation, so I really need people to like me [laughs]. I don’t care as much about recognition – I’m fine being anonymous as long as the feedback is positive! I just try to be a source of good vibes where I can. Life’s tough, the world is a messed up place, but if I can inspire someone, or give other people the emotional ammunition they need to handle it, then that’s all I need.
10. If you could master one skill, what would it be?
I’m not sure I plan on ‘mastering’ it, but I got a Ukulele for my birthday last year and have been teaching myself to play. It’s sort of the perfect little instrument that I can play casually and sing along to.
11. Is there a Ukulele master that people should be aware of?
Of course Israel Kamakawiwo’ole was one of the best. I’m also greatly inspired by Rebecca Sugar’s gentle way of composing and how she makes it sound easy. Of course, it takes a lot of hard work to make a talent seem effortless – that’s what I’m working toward.
12. What’s a favorite memory that has stuck with you into your adult life?
So when I was really little my brother (who is 12 years older) would play this game with me where we would shuffle our feet on a carpeted floor, run into a dark room, and then shock each other as hard as possible. You could see the electricity if it was dark enough in the room – it was so cool to me as a little kid, even though it sounds a little nuts now that I’m older [laughs].
13. Three things about you that you think no one here knows?
1. I love bugs! I will pick up spiders with my bare hands.
2. I bake the best french bread.
3. I keep a planted aquarium with snails, Amano Shrimp, Neon Tetras, and a Betta.
14. What is your favorite restaurant and the meal you most enjoy eating when there?
My favorite restaurant is Pho Saigon in Fredericksburg, VA. I’ve had a lot of pho since moving up here, but there’s no broth as buttery or tangy in all the land… I recommend any bowl of soup there, though I tend to stick to plain ol’ Pho Tai.
15. Describe your dream vacation.
A cabin in the mountains… lots of woods everywhere and not many people around.
16. What item that you don’t have already, would you most like to own?
I don’t want for much these days, but I’m looking forward to having my own house. It would be cool to paint and decorate and not have to get permission from a landlord.
17. If you could live anywhere on the planet and take everything with you, where would you choose to live?
Iceland! I’ve never been there but the landscapes are breathtakingly gorgeous and I hear that they eat a lot of fish… I love fish.
18. Any goals for 2019?
I want to draw every day, exercise most days, cook more meals for myself instead of eating out – just, in general, I want to create healthier habits for myself and stick to them!
Thanks and nice talking with you.
You too, M!
About the Author
A graduate of the Multimedia program at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Imri Merritt is an industry veteran with over 10 years of graphic design and color separations experience in the screen printing industry.