#WFH Diaries: Matt Atkatz and Liz Marks of inside.company

As confinement continues in most parts of the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, we're checking in with creative people to see how they're faring. Here's an update from Matt Atkatz and Liz Marks of inside.company.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

We're the founders of inside.company, a strategic creative consultancy that builds brands from the inside out.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

We're at our home in Miami. It's the two of us, our two sons ages 10 and 12, and the neighborhood peacocks, butterflies and raccoons.

What's your work situation like at the moment?

Matt: We met while both working at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, fell in love, and got married. Now we run our small business together. Before we founded inside, we were already collaborating. Both of us started consulting years earlier, and because we're a couple, we'd be hammering on separate projects and asking each other for opinions, to look at things, "Hey, what do you think about this? How would you make this idea better? Who's handling bagel Monday?" So when Airbnb reached out, needing an experienced team to help position a new product, we formed the LLC. Our business growth has been very organic ever since, and not forcing it has been the key to our success.

Liz: Inside has been a remote business since day 1. For us, pants have always been optional.

Describe your socializing strategy

Matt: As remote working vets, we were pretty anti-social to begin with. I'd love to say we've had to curtail our incredibly active social lives, but we're used to being the only two workers in the office.

Liz: Miami's already pretty far from the rest of the U.S. Because most of our friends and co-workers are spread out across the country and the world, we've always worked hard to prioritize those relationships and keep them strong. The current situation isn't much different in that regard.

How are you dealing with childcare?

Matt: Since Covid, we've added homeschooling as another hat to wear while running a small business. The boys tend to finish their assigned school work by early afternoon, so to help fill the time, we've tried to augment their education. We're encouraging our kids to be creators of the future. Our older son is learning Cinema 4D, and our younger is taking up GarageBand. No finished portfolios yet. But keep your eyes peeled in the coming decade. 

Liz: Pool, bike rides, and daily doses of vitamin D. Getting the wiggles out is critical for everyone's sanity.

What are you reading?

Liz: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. You know, stories of wartime, isolation and perseverance. Normal

Matt: Guzziology by Dave Richardson, The Man Behind the Maps by James Niehues, How to Climb 5.12 by Eric J. Hörst

What are you watching?

Currently:
Rewatching The Wire. Great writing and storytelling never gets old.
The Road Warrior.
Escape From New York.

Just finished:
Tiger King (duh).
The Outsider.
A rewatch of the first Austin Powers (highly comforting).

What are you listening to?

Liz: Office Ladies podcast. The actresses who play Pam and Angela go behind-the-scenes of each episode of The Office. It's super fun, lightweight, and inspiring all at once. I'm a sucker for content that dives deep into the creation process. (That's what she said.)

Matt: I've been making mixes to keep the juices flowing in the studio. My latest is called COVID COVEN. You can listen to it here.

How are you staying fit?

Liz: Untitled Movement (with branding by inside.company).

Matt: Ever watch Oz? Pretty much that, but Jewish and skinny.

Have you taken up a hobby?

Liz: Matt is fairly obsessed with vintage motorcycles and can be found in our garage rebuilding carburetors after hours.

Matt: Liz grew up a dancer and keeps moving anytime she's AFK.

Any tips for getting necessities?

Liz: Matt retrofitted his woodshop respirator from art school into a Covid mask. He does the whole "braving the outside world" bit for the team. And we've made it a family challenge to use everything in the fridge before going out for a resupply. All our meals have been 👌.

Matt: Learn to smile with your eyes. Be nice. Say thank you to people working in supermarkets. Touch only what you buy. Buy only what you need.

An awkward moment since all this started

Teaching our parents how to Zoom.

Best work email you got since all this started

A Slack message that said, "This project's still a go!"

An aha! moment since all this started

We spent A LOT of money eating out… And damn, we save A LOT by not eating out.

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

Charmin will be the most desirable client of 2020.

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards and the founding editor of Muse by Clio.

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