Route Shout-out: Kristin Wilson

Kristin Wilson in the House!

Route is full of folks from every walk of life. Every hobby, passion, skillset, and obsession is represented by the folks we call friends (and, ya know, coworkers). And if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we are grateful for every single person on our team.

This week, we’re throwing a mega shout-out to the skies for Kristin Wilson! When she’s not busy being our experiential marketing manager, she’s busy being awesome.

Just kidding, she’s always busy being awesome, so let’s find out just how awesome she is.

Say 👋 to Kristin!

I grew up in a small city called Apopka (Central Florida area) and moved out to Los Angeles after graduating from University of Central Florida a little over 10 years ago. I have a 13.5-year-old fur child named Rocky who is the goofiest, sweetest floof ever, and he’s been living his best life at home and as an office dog at some of the places I’ve worked.

Outside of work, I love to cook, travel, swim (the water is my happy place), spend time with friends, go to events/concerts (not so much right now, thanks COVID), or even just chill at home spending time outside gardening or watching movies.

I’m passionate about many things from a variety of industries, from music and art to tech to beauty or fashion, and pretty much everything between. It’s been awesome working in events and experiential marketing, which has allowed me to be a part of these industries in some way, shape, or form.FUN FACT

I used to really be into FPS (first-person shooter) video games! Halo was my jam (any game prior to Halo Reach), but I also played the Call of Duty and Gears of War games. I also loved to play Guitar Hero and Rock Band with friends, and I would even dabble in EA/Madden football games. Even though I don’t really play as much as I used to (#adulting), my husband and I still break out the Xbox One/PS4 from time to time.

How Did Route Catch Your Eye?

Route stood out from my first conversation with Steph Black (who finds the talent!). Hearing her story, the mentality and direction Route was going and people they were bringing on board, I knew I had to know more. 

Spending the better part of the past 10 years in the industry working on the agency side of experiential marketing, coming over to Route was a big departure for me. Going to the in-house or “brand” side was always something I was intrigued by, but I was always worried that it would start to feel too one-dimensional and that I’d miss the variety that I had on the agency side.

What that initial conversation with Steph sparked was the idea that I could not only work in-house for a brand, but I could also still get the chance to explore ways to work with other brands as well and find fun and unique ways to connect Route, brands, and consumers in new ways.

What Made You Come on Board?

Honestly, it was probably my first interview with more folks who shared some of the vision of where they saw Route going, and we just started diving into ideas together of different ways to explore the experiential marketing side of things and be disruptive in the market. I left feeling energized and inspired by where we could take things, and from there I just knew I needed to be a part of this team.

What’s Surprised You the Most?

The people. It’s been amazing to see not only the level of talent our executive leadership team already had when I joined, but who they continue to bring in. They all have this common thread of being really great humans who are super talented and smart—sorry in advance, you’ll probably notice this sentiment repeated.

How Have You Been Honing Your Career #Goals?

Coming from the agency side of my industry, I had never worked on the brand/in-house side of a company before, much less at a startup. Though learning to navigate a new side of what I do has been challenging at times, it’s been a truly rewarding experience and I’ve grown a lot in the short time I’ve been here.

I’ve been able to use my knowledge and experience (and addiction to the grind) in a new way, and being a part of shaping something from the beginning has been exciting.

Tell Us About Your Favorite Project

So far, my favorite project I’ve worked on at Route is our first Route Less Traveled content experience trip. It’s been something my team and I have been building concepts around for a while, but due to COVID-19, we’ve have had to postpone until recently. Being able to work closely with smaller and emerging local brands in different locations to create an experience and tell their story has been a truly special experience that I’m thankful to be a part of.

What’s Your Team Spirit Like?

My team is super close, which is crazy because most of us just started earlier this year, if not just a few weeks or months ago. Our core team is small right now, but we’re all leaders working closely together as our pieces of the larger puzzle definitely intertwine and we’re building everything together from the ground up.

I think the closeness is also another nod to our executive leadership and hiring really great people who embody team over ego and are great at what they do.

How Do You Face the Most Challenging Parts of Your Day?

The current challenge of my role is navigating the ever-changing landscape around COVID-19 and always trying to find a way to pivot our ideas in a way that can let us keep going. But that’s an external challenge. 

One of the most challenging parts of my role at Route is concepting and planning in parallel with a company that is also rapidly growing and evolving. We’re building out our Experiential Marketing plans from the ground up and they’re so closely linked to the trajectory of the app, new feature rollouts, brands, etc., so I have to constantly work with my team to ensure my concepts align to our goals and objectives and pivot those concepts as things shift with the app.

It’s been a wild year so far, but also so amazing to see things come together and evolve along with the company.

What’s the Vibe at Route?

The culture at Route is something I haven’t yet experienced anywhere else (in the best ways), and it’s only getting started as we continue to grow and expand. Some of the key words you could use to describe the culture are welcoming, inspiring/motivating, collaborative, innovative, flexible/understanding, and fun, but those are just quick buzz words to give you a sense of our company.

Honestly, Route is comprised of some of the most intelligent and talented people I’ve ever met, and on top of that, just really good people with a level of respect for everyone else, no matter what their role.

Which Route Values Resonate with You the Most?

Honestly, many values resonate with me and I think they’re so important to me not only on a company and professional level, but also personally. These values are some of the reasons I’m so happy to be working at Route and thankful for the opportunity to do what I’m doing.

For what we’re doing here at Route, we couldn’t be where we’re at or where we’re going without these things—passion, authenticity, celebration, and team over ego. It takes a passionate team to push boundaries and our product in ways we never thought.

Authenticity is the core of what we’re doing on my team and why we’re working closely with brands, creating a way for them to connect directly with consumers, and for people to experience their products in an authentic way.

Team over ego is a mentality that we strive for and allows us to not only collaborate in ways that allow everyone on the team to have a voice, but it has the ability to give us better ideas and continues to help push all of us forward together.

Then, of course, there’s celebration, not only in how we view celebrating the world’s brands and products, but also each other. We’re all pushing to do something amazing here at Route, so we also celebrate these things together.

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