Do you love banana bread? If you do, then you should definitely meet our latest featured coworker, Caitlin Makary. Originally from Massachusetts, Caitlin is the owner of Dank Brooklyn, a company that specializes in selling delicious, ‘dank’ banana bread to coffee shops and climbing gyms all over NYC. Her favorite things include rock climbing, spending time with friends, learning new things and, of course, being her own boss. Get to know more about Caitlin here!
Coworker: Caitlin Makary

What are you working on right now?

Expanding my company while keeping high quality standards and climbing more often!
Dank Banana Bread

What is your current desktop wallpaper? and why?

A photo of my sister on an oversized bicycle; someone in the street asked her to pose for this photo when she was working in Soho and it ended up on the packaging for the bike light. It’s on my desktop because she put it there and I never changed it; that was probably six years ago.

Which book has shaped your life or changed the way you think the most?

This is one of the questions that kept me from sending the survey back in a timely manner–so hard to decide. I read a lot of fantasy growing up – The Golden Compass series, the Narnia books, the Rats of Nimh. I think the ideas that life doesn’t have to make sense, adventure is a part of everyday life and that it’s possible to overcome overwhelming odds had a big impression on me.

How do you start off your day — aka what’s your morning routine?

  • Version 1: Drink a full glass of water, try to not immediately look at Instagram. Shower, coffee and breakfast if it’s not a morning where I immediately have to rush out of the door. I talk to my mom or sister on the phone a lot of mornings, too, and tidy the apartment.
  • Version 2: Wake up, pack for the day and get out the door before having a chance to eat or make coffee. Grab a coffee at Stonefruit and hop from meeting to errand to meeting until stopping for a breath around 4 or 5 p.m.

What is one thing you do to get motivated?

Someone telling me I can’t do something. For better or worse, that triggers something in me that says “Oh, you think so…? Watch this” [and then I proceed to do that thing.]

What made you smile today?

The fact that I had someone cover my baking shift last night, and baking and deliveries went off without a hitch. It’s totally normal for my team to handle things on their own; it just makes me happy to think about it. I have an amazing staff – currently Yera Torres, Del Hoyle and Colleen McDougall. I’ve had others who were great in the past too; I’ve been really lucky with the people who have worked with me at Dank.

What is something you think everyone should try at least once in their life? Or Name one skill you think everyone should have or learn?

I think everyone should know how to cook for themselves and other people. Being able to put together a meal and keep a stocked kitchen is a good skill to have.

What is one skill or hobby you’ve been meaning to learn but haven’t had time for?

Getting my pilot’s license; I’ve been wanting to for years. It’s actually the reason I got my motorcycle license–so I’d have a way to get to the airport. It will still happen. It’ll just take time. Rock climbing became the thing that took up all my free time before and now it’s the business.

List 3 simple things in life that make you really happy:

  1. Hot showers
  2. Feeling safe in my bed at night
  3. Having enough to eat every day

What is the best thing that you have done, just because you were told you can’t?

Start a business selling banana bread. My ex told me I could never do it alone (meaning he should be involved). While I would never say I did this ‘alone’ – I’ve had so many people help me along the way – I am the sole owner and the business is self-funded.

What is your favorite coworking space and why?

I do most of my computer work at my house or at Stonefruit in Bed Stuy. My kitchen, Pilotworks, is an amazing kitchen coworking space that allowed my business to grow as well 🙂

If you had the opportunity to spend a week or month in another country to be your office of the week/month, where would you go?

Tokyo, hands down.

Biggest item on your bucket list at the moment?

Learn to fly a plane

As a Digital Nomad/Entrepreneur. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you have and why?

Food, water, shelter; explanatory . Maybe substitute one of those out for a satellite phone? This is another one of those questions I can’t stop overthinking – are life’s basics covered? If so, are we trying to get off the island or is there no hope of rescue? If we are on the island forever and basics are covered, I’d probably just want three friends or family to be there with me. Not sure how psyched that would make them.

What was your first job? Has it shaped where you are today?

Babysitting, but my first real job was at a Korean dry cleaners when I was 15. I was the only employee and the owner would sing Christian hymns or listen to classical music while working all day. It was only a five-hour shift but felt so long… I worked quickly and the day drags when you don’t have anything to do. My job was to take in the clothes, separate and tag them and generate receipts for the clients. She did alterations and pressed garments. We’d eat lunch in silence at a folding table in the back. I’m sure if I was more outgoing and talked to her, should would have opened up, but I was really shy in that situation for some reason. I wanted to be a clothing designer (and I was, for 10 years), and it was the only clothing-related job in my town.

Any advice for your previous boss?

I’ve had at least 20 previous bosses; I’ve worked a lot of different jobs. Advice for any boss is to treat their employees fairly, pay well, make expectations clear, give credit and praise when it’s due, admit to your mistakes when you mess up. Try not to stress out (or more importantly, pass that stress to your employees when things go wrong (this one is hard for me). Just be understanding and create a workplace you would want to work in.

What’s your favorite part about coworking?

I like making my own schedule, even if that sometimes means the hours sometimes much longer than a normal job.

What is your go-to pump up song?

Totally depends on the mood/circumstance. It’s been anything from Die Antwoord to The Blood Brothers to Beyonce.

 

To view Caitlin’s company site, click here: