Employee Spotlight: Julean Boykins

Q.  Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’ve been with my wife for over 12 years and we’ve been married for going on five years. She’s wonderful and the compliment to my more serious personality (she’s super easy-going). I’m originally from Louisville, KY and attended the University of Kentucky for Mechanical Engineering. I have a 15yr. old cat named Josephine that was a rescue I nursed back to health many years ago. I originally fostered the entire litter and ended up keeping her after growing quite attached (she was the runt of her litter).

Q. You are a digital marketing whiz.  How did you get into loving digital marketing and SEO?

After several engineering internships, I began to realize that the work was pretty monotonous and not what I expected.  When I graduated, I started working at a catalog retailer called J. Peterman in a technical role. Peterman was heavy in print and were trying to evolve from being primarily a paper catalog business to being more online.  Since the company was small, and I was pretty technical and good with computers, I volunteered to help them with some of their eCommerce efforts. I had the opportunity to learn about pricing and margins, sales, emails, copywriting, and the clothing industry.  I also had the opportunity to take product photos, learn some editing in photoshop, and build product pages. Through all the varied tasks, I discovered that the digital marketing and eCommerce work was more engaging than engineering, and ever-changing, while sharing a lot of the same core concepts and processes.

Q. What is one of the hardest things you’ve ever done?

I used to work at a marketing agency that provided web development support.  One of our clients was a large apparel retailer and their website had a major bug that resulted in their product listings appearing with the wrong price (some for $0). As a result, I worked into the night to resolve their catalog issues on the production site, flag all of the customers that made it through the buying process, and resolve the core issue so it wouldn’t happen again. I also collaborated on customer communication and customer feedback on the issue to avoid any blowback about the issue. This all took place in the early hours overnight, so I was pretty exhausted but still powered through like it was a typical work day.

Q. You’ve worked at other places.  What makes working at HINGE special?

I like the camaraderie at HINGE. I’ve worked at a lot of places where we were generally pretty silo’ed. I love that at HINGE we are very collaborative, and open to people having blurred roles. The teams all have varied backgrounds, so being with a group of people that understand the whole picture, instead of a tiny slice, is welcome when it comes to strategy and larger macro ideas.

Q. Many folks at HINGE have a diverse set of talents and interests, but you definitely are a pace setter!  What are just a few of the new hobbies you’ve acquired since the start of COVID?

I’m really interested in art (Klimt and Goya are my favorites), music (I have an eclectic taste), and movies (I love Korean thrillers, anything Tarantino, and B-Horror flicks). In fact, I used to work at Blockbuster in high school through college and that really helped supplement my movie addiction as well as my love for foreign films. I really love to cook and try to make everything from scratch when possible. I’ve recently been practicing more french techniques and trying my hand at utilizing all of the mother sauces. 

Since COVID, I have really gotten into bread baking. Before the pandemic, I never thought I would be a baker, but it turns out that I love the chemistry and art of it all. I made a sourdough starter at the beginning of COVID when yeast was sold out everywhere, and I’ve been learning to bake just about everything with it ever since. I’m also into making jams, preserves, and pickling too. My next project is to try my hand as making kombucha and my own ‘scoby’.

YUM!  I look forward to trying out some of your baked goods sometime!!

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