The first time I met Julia, she was cradling a pile of shoes in one hand and directing models with the other. With a red and gold patterned jacket tied around her waist, she was superwoman, running from rack to rack styling looks for the StyleList x NMRKT fashion show.
NMRKT – pronounced In Market – is just another one of the many reasons Julia maintains her superwoman status today. The site has made eShops possible for tastemakers, and has made shopping curated items even more personal.
When Julia and I met on the Lower East Side on another cold afternoon, I was immediately struck with "where did you get that" syndrome. The volume of her fur hat, the high waist pants and converse combo – it was one of those swoon fashion girl moments I never thought I'd have. We sat down at El Rey on the Lower East Side to chat about coffee, shopping, and life's little pleasures.
Name Location Occupation
Julia Jacobson; El Rey Cafe; Cofounder and CEO of NMRKT
What makes El Rey such an inspiring spot for you?
I used to live in the Lower East Side, so I have very fond feelings towards all of the cafes and restaurants and little local places around here. I like [El Rey] because it's very minimalist. It has decor that I really find aesthetically pleasing. Cute cacti, white walls, and I'm a huge fan of neon so any place that supports neon signs is my kind of place. And it's not just your average coffee shop. They do everything from Vietnamese iced coffees to draft beers and borscht soup. So it's not just a place to sit down and have a regular old coffee. It's a place to get comfortable and have a snack – a drink even.
Tell us a little bit about NMRKT
NMRKT builds custom ecommerce shops for blogs and magazines. The brands that they love can link their ecom products to the shops and the bloggers make a commission on every sale referred.
Where do you gain your daily doses of inspiration?
Probably from our clients. We are on blogs and magazines and Youtube channels all day long perusing what they're into right now, and then figuring out how to get those brands onto their sites. We are constantly just flipping through all of our favorite blogs.
What are some of your simplest daily pleasures?
I think one of my favorite things is waking up in the morning. My boyfriend wakes up before me, and he immediately goes into the kitchen and puts on NPR. My favorite moment is going into the kitchen, having a beautiful breakfast already made for me and listening to NPR for about half an hour. It's a really nice way to start the morning.
I take ten minutes every morning – our bedroom window looks out onto a park – and look out the window and just stare at the trees. So I take a couple of minutes in the morning to kind of get into a zen space.
What's a typical day like?
Well, the NPR and my trees [laughs], about three cups of coffee before I even leave the house and then it's a mix of meeting with bloggers, meeting with magazines, meeting with brands, meeting with investors. We are a tech company so meeting with other tech companies, developers – lots of meetings all day long. And the in between is just pretty much sitting with my team, plugging away at whatever challenge is on our plate, and there's always a lot of them.
What's your coffee order?
My coffee order is a latte. I'm one of those people who drink about 50% coffee, 50% milk. I never used to like coffee when I was little. Every time someone had coffee cake or coffee flavored ice cream at their birthday party it was always kind of a bummer. But as I got older it became a necessity, and so my way to enjoy it is with a lot of milk.
What are you wearing today?
I'm wearing my moms vintage Comme des Garçons pants. I wear a lot of my moms vintage. She has really cool Japanese designers from the 90s. I'm wearing my white high top Converse, which are a daily necessity and get me all over the city. I go through like four pairs a year – they get pretty beat up. I have a handful of jewelry on at all times, so my rings are K/ller Collection spike ring, Giles & Brother nail ring, Digby & Iona ring, and a couple vintage. Oh and a big fur hat, which is also vintage.
The early afternoon light gave way to an orange glow you can only really experience on these coveted early-spring days. We sipped up the last of our lattes, watching the the bustling Stanton Street come to life before saying our goodbyes. Yes, superwoman is the only way to truly describe Julia – a super woman on a super mission.