Misti Schindele is one-of-a-kind.
When she moved to New York City from Colorado a decade ago, she had an advertising job on lock and a rare, rent stabilized apartment in Chelsea to call home. Now, 10 years later, she has a successful career as an ad ops specialist, 2 successful blogs to her name, an envy-inducing social media presence, and a home at Common Kingston that allows all of her creative inclinations to flourish.
We met up with Misti at her home in Crown Heights to talk about her creative pursuits, what style means, and how coliving provides the perfect backdrop to her life in New York City.
First things first, introduce yourself.
My name is Misti Schindele and I am an ad ops specialist and a fashion and beauty blogger.
What does it mean to be a fashion and beauty blogger?
When I first started, it was all about taking random pictures of your cute outfits and posting to Tumblr. Then Instagram came along and no one knew what to do with it, and now it’s the requirement that you have to have an Instagram.
But to me, fashion blogging is showcasing plus-sized clothing and plus-sized fashion, because that’s still a very small niche in 2018. I like showing that you can be cute, edgy, nerdy, geeky, and you can still look put together, and be plus-sized. I’m all about body inclusivity and body positivity.
The beauty aspect of it is showing what I like. I don’t really like buying into trends too much, because trends fade and makeup is expensive AF. I like to show things you can buy at the drug store and good staples that you can create tons of looks from. Yes, I will go buy the occasionally cool, it item like Rihanna’s Fenty beauty because her lip paint is amazing – the perfect red for everybody.
I also have a Disney-centric blog because I’m not ashamed to say, I’m a 30-something year old woman who loves Disney and I love blogging.
So you have your day job and you have this awesome outlet on the side, how much time do you spend on your creative endeavors?
I work Monday through Friday from about 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM and that’s my day job. The blogging aspect is usually on the weekends or just a couple of hours here and there. I used to do this whole thing where I’d come home and then work til 1AM, and I would be exhausted and end up sleeping all weekend to catch up. It’s not about that anymore, I just fit in where I can, and if I don’t blog 3 times a week, I don’t blog 3 times a week.
So tell us about your journey to New York.
I moved here from Colorado. I worked for a company called Double Click at the time which was bought out by Google. I got a job with them while I was in Colorado, moved here, found a place on Craigslist in Chelsea because I didn’t know how apartment hunting worked in New York. And then I was forced to leave in May when it came to light that the landlady I was renting from was not on the up and up with the building.
Renting horror stories in New York!
Yes, I have one. And I ended up googling coliving in NYC and found Common. I liked Common’s spaces, how bright they were, the decorating. I liked the whole vibe of it, and I was super impressed that I filled out the inquiry form and got a call 5 minutes later. It was like 6:30 pm on a Thursday and I was not expecting to hear back from anybody at the very least on Friday morning. I hadn’t even had 24 hours to do my Google stalking!
I came in on a Saturday. I had never been to Brooklyn before, aside from Coney Island and driving through it to get to JFK. I was so much in my Manhattan bubble. I took the C train in and I really liked this space. When I moved here, the biggest thing I was impressed with other than the decorating was that there was a suite with a private bathroom and I was like, “done! Give me the private bathroom.”
Chelsea to Crown Heights is a big difference.
I like the bars around Crown Heights, which I’ve explored with some Common members. I do love that we’re near Target, I will say that – because you know what’s not in Manhattan? Target. Near a Trader Joe’s, and an amazing marketplace in the basement.
One of the things I like about Crown Heights is that there are still so many areas with charm. I like the fact that even this street looks like what you think of New York, that movie New York vibe.
Where do you go or what do you do to unwind?
My unwinding is watching a movie, which is usually in the basement or sometimes my room if I don’t feel like trudging down there. I always throw it on Slack that I’m going to be watching a movie downstairs if anyone wants to join. Sometimes people from this house or people from other houses will join, depending on the movie. And usually there’s a bottle of wine.
What does comfort at home mean to you?
A place where I can just be myself. When we’re having movie night, I don’t have to get dressed up or dolled up or anything. I can literally just come down in my sweats and be cool.
Why did you decide to live in Common?
Growing up in Colorado my whole life, you have neighbors and friends, people you talk to. When you move to a new city, especially a city as big as New York where you don’t know anybody, you lose that person-to-person interaction very quickly. After 9 and a half years, I found that unless I was going to a specific event, I spent most of my weekends not seeing a single person. The biggest relationship I had was with the pizza delivery guy. When the pizza guy knows your name, you’ve hit a low point in life.
So one of the biggest draws was that you could actually talk to people again. You can find people with maybe some common interests or meet all brand new people. I liked it because if you want to have an introvert moment and be by yourself, you can have that. But if you want to go and be around people and hang out, there’s always something going on. Or you can be the leader, and say “hey, let’s watch a movie or order a pizza.”
If someone came to you and said “I’m thinking about coliving, but not sure if it’s right for me.” What would you say?
I would delve into what they think it is, what those misconceptions are. If they are worried about sharing everything, you don’t really share that much except for a couple of spaces. Like if you don’t want to share a bathroom, there are options for you, or at most you’re sharing it with one other person – and it’s cleaned for you!
Common really does get rid of a lot of those nit-picky arguments that roommates always have about who used the last of the dish soap, who put the dishes in the sink but not in the dishwasher.
What does style mean to you and how do you reflect it?
Style is personal. Don’t buy into trends, don’t buy into fads. To me, style is whatever you are comfortable in and makes you feel good. Especially as you get older, you get that mentality that you don’t have to please everybody. You’re never going to please everybody in this world. You have to wear what you want to wear, and if it makes you feel good, that’s what’s important.