Clay Buddies: Diana VanRooy

Sep 17, 2019 • McKenzie Toma

Clay Buddies: Diana VanRooy

Clay Buddies: Diana VanRooy

Meet, Diana. She's our EComm Director and writes code like she's jotting down a grocery list. Read more about her five favorite things.
Meet Diana. She’s our E-Commerce Director. She truly does speak in JavaScript. Like a new-age sculptor of pixels, you can catch her at her desk pounding out a seemingly chaotic mass of carets, back-slashes and consonants that turn into a stunningly balanced interface. Like baking a cake, but the ingredients are code, and the cake is a homepage, you know? Bad analogies aside, the office is now a better place with her around, and we value her sick computer skills and very cool hair. I caught up with Diana to ask her about her five favorite objects and her role at East Fork.

What do you do at East Fork?

I am the Director of ECommerce here. I am the caretaker of our lovely little corner of the internet.

And you take care of it SO well. What is your first favorite object?

My dollar store composition notebook. I write for fun. I write short stories, lists, observations. I never take myself too seriously when I'm writing and these books somehow help remind to do so frivolously. I've tried to use nicer journals and I've been gifted fancier leather bound books over the years. Nothing feels as good as cramming up pages of these. I have stacks of them everywhere. The trunk of my car, every bag and backpack, and crammed into desk drawers.

Love those notebooks. They remind me of Harriet the spy. Have you seen that film?

Harriet the spy. Whoa, that’s a blast from the past. I didn't see it in theaters, but I do remember staying home sick from school and catching it airing on tv.

Yeah, she was an idol of mine. Moving on!

My turquoise ring. I found this ring at a roadside vender in Ensenada, Mexico when I was 18. It didn't match the tables of faux turquoise and coral pieces displayed alongside the brightly painted Vihuelas and Maracas that are peddled to the turistas. It felt special, so my boyfriend at the time paid about 700 pesos for it (approx. $40 US). I have worn it faithfully almost daily since then... (16 ish years). I cracked the stone down the middle washing dishes at one of my coffee shop jobs back in my early twenties. I put a big dent in the silver setting a few years after that (being overly-animated while telling a story and whacking my hand into a door frame). I don't love it any less than the day I bought it.

I love that ring! What’s next?

Let me start this off by letting you know that I'm hat obsessed. Not obsessed with owning many hats, I'm obsessed with finding THE HAT. There is a milliner in Oregon that makes the most beautiful custom hats, dyed with natural pigments. It is my dream to have her make me a hat one day! Sorry, back to this hat. I can't currently afford a custom, hand-made, naturally dyed hat from Oregon, so I'm always on the lookout for an alternative. I was in Austin, Texas last year with my fiance (who at the time was just my friend/partner in awkward flirtation/ what are we even?). Heritage Boot Co. (amazing custom boot shop) just happened to be on the same block as our hotel. I also have a hard time resisting snazzy cowboy boots, so I popped in. They employ the most badass women in this store. The ladies working found the perfect hat for me but it was a little $$. Every single day of that trip I popped in to "visit my hat". I finally pulled the trigger and bought it on my last day in Austin. They customized the band and sized it to fit me perfectly! I love this hat and it reminds me of a pretty special trip to Austin that would end up changing the trajectory of my life.

I think I know what boot store you’re talking about and it’s truly a work of art shop. Hat looks fab. Next object?

Next is this Cook’s Champagne cork. So, a few years ago I was at UC Berkeley attending a Drupal conference (Drupal is an Open Source CMS platform) that I go to annually. I met this really interesting man who I instantly connected with over re-building classic motorcycles, how to load a dishwasher properly and agile project management. Anyway, there was an after party, and then an after-after party at the top of a mountain through the woods. As we are leaving the after party to head to the woods, a friend and I snatch a couple of bottles of Cook's to take with us up the mountain. Justin (Project Manager Man) offers to ferry said bottle in his bag up the mountain. He and I ended up sitting on a log until 3 or 4 am drinking this bottle and talking about everything from Diversity in the Tech space to our philosophies on life and our PURPOSE. Fast forward a year and half, and I get a package in California from him (in Asheville). It was a few items, a Cook's champagne cork included. It turned out to be THE Champagne cork from that night, he had hung onto it. I now live in Asheville and am engaged to Project Manager Man.

Champagne corks and open source CMS platforms <3 So romantic. When’s the wedding?

Haha yeah, nerd love to the max. We are taking our time planning this wedding (no doubt the planning will involve spreadsheets, Kanban boards and daily stand-ups.)  We get much more excited about our home renovations these days. Probably sometime next May if we don't elope on a fjord in Iceland before then :)

Um, invite me! Last up.

Last up is my molcajete. By now I think it's obvious I'm not from here. I am from San Diego, CA. I spent the majority of my life living in a border town where every aspect of life crosses languages, cuisine and culture. I love Asheville, but its been a pretty difficult transition. If I'm feeling particularly homesick, making a batch of homemade salsa or Guacamole in my Molcajete helps to ease the pain (as does eating an ENTIRE bowl of Guac in one sitting). Fun extra use: molcajete's make mixing up face masks a breeze.

Aw, San Diego sounds nice. To conclude, what do you miss most about San Diego?

I miss so much about San Diego. Things that used to drive me nuts when I was there too! The weirdest one is probably traffic. I always had time to listen to podcasts in my car while sitting on the 805 headed to work or home. I don't have time to take in my podcasts here! I miss the food, but have found new cuisines I love here in Asheville. I also miss Norteno music floating in through an open window from a passing car in my old neighborhood back home.

Sounds absolutely lovely. Thank you, Diana!

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