Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Stephen Powell

Stephen Powell

Co-founder, Gustin

Posted in fashion, mac

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Stephen Powell, and I'm one of two founders of the menswear company Gustin. We design and manufacture premium men's clothing in SF, and use crowdsourcing to do it very efficiently - resulting in very low prices.

We're a pretty small shop - I mainly work on our platform (outsourced), fulfillment (outsourced), marketing (outsourced), community management (in-house), and I take out the trash.

What hardware do you use?

My personal technology stack is pretty standard for here in SF. My laptop is a loaded 13" MacBook Air. It's the best laptop ever, super easy to drag around everywhere with me, and more than fast enough for the Photoshop work I have to do. I use my iPhone 5s for photography (mostly Instagram), and phone calls. My Macbook is almost always with me, so I do almost no work on my phone.

I think my favorite piece of hardware we have is our table. When we first moved into our space, we were working around a large dining table. Dining tables feel pretty narrow when you've got four people working with laptops, so we decided to build our own massive table. We constructed this using some old steel legs we had, and the top is built out of Williamsburg Butcher Block Co countertops. The whole thing is about 50" x 90", which gives us plenty of room to spread out fabrics, samples, and get work done.

We also have an oldschool iron kickpress in the office. We haven't used it yet, but it's a nice accent to our space.

And what software?

I thought my answer to this was going to be pretty simple, but when I started listing it out, I realized that I rely on a lot more software than I would have thought. Roughly in order of importance, here's what helps me run my life.

Adium for chatting - we use it to stay in constant communication with the team.

Google Drive for sharing data around the team.

TextMate as my daily scratchpad.

pgAdmin3 for querying our databases - this ends up getting dumped into Excel.

GitHub for managing our codebase.

Pandora for the constant music in the office (played on our PWS).

MailChimp for our mailing list management and advertising campaigns - this is a wonderful service.

Zendesk for managing support tickets - another service that makes my life so much easier.

Pivotal Tracker for managing tasks among our four engineers.

F.Lux for keeping my eyes from burning out.

What would be your dream setup?

I'm pretty happy with my hardware/software setup these days, but feel like we're really lacking in the furniture department (given that the table and chairs is our only furniture). Here's what my dream setup would be: two Herman Miller Eames Lounge Chairs, one Herman Miller Eames LCW, one J. Rusten Orchard Slab Table, and maybe a Wells Sofa.

Unfortunately this would set us back around $15k, so I'll just keep dreaming for now.