Welcome to our first Behind the Crate of 2019! If you’re unfamiliar, Behind the Crate interviews are our chance to chat with the folks behind the scenes that help make the magic happen here at Loot Crate!
I’ve said it once, and I am quite sure I’ll say it again: We have a ton of incredibly talented people at Loot Crate. Designers and artists, engineering tech wizards, brand experts, and so much more. But you want to know what else we have a lot of? Words. There are so many stinkin’ words that need to be written, stories that need to be told across all of our product lines, on all of our web pages, inside our product inserts, in scripts and articles (much like this one!). And one of the most talented wordsmiths I’ve met is Loot Crate’s very own Natalie Hazen, who is partly responsible for the impressive volume of high-quality writing you’ll find at every turn on our website. She’s awesome, and she took time out of her busy schedule to chat with me about her work experience, and her time here at Loot Crate – give it a look!
Thanks for taking the time to chat with me, Natalie! Before we get started, why don’t you tell us who you are and what you do here at Loot Crate?
Hi, Josh! I am a copywriter here at Loot Crate, which means I help write crate inserts, product packaging, marketing materials, and anything else that requires the writing of words.
What were you doing before you joined Loot Crate?
Since graduating from NYU’s Dramatic Writing program, I’ve managed to cobble together a professional writing career through a series of varied pursuits. I’ve written for Comedy Central, Netflix, and Food Network, but I’ve also written true crime listicles for Ranker, as well as PR and editorial content for luxury interior design brands. I’ve even written a book about interior home lighting design. (I also had a brief stint working at Joann Fabrics, where I was allergic to everything in the store.)
You and I have had some insightful conversations recently about writing, but what was it that drew you to writing as your career?
I think writing is basically the only thing I can do. [Laughs.] I’m bad at numbers, and I’m too uncoordinated and asthmatic for sports, but I do love writing jokes and making people laugh. I think that’s why I like doing Educrated so much—I get to step away from my desk and just make up funny stuff for an hour, which is literally my favorite thing in the world to do.
What made you want to bring your talents to Loot Crate, and what sets it apart from other companies you’ve worked and/or written for?
I was ready to keep chugging along on the copywriter train (which I’ve found offers the most consistent paid work), but I was sick of writing about things I didn’t care about, like $10,000 jewel-encrusted faucets. Despite what I may demonstrate on Educrated, I’ve always been pretty nerdy (just about topics that don’t come up on the show…Legend of Zelda, ’90s Comedy Central, etc.). I also came out of the Nerdist/Meltdown Comics scene in Los Angeles, so I had a lot of friends who were already working for Loot Crate, and I was very familiar with the brand. It’s been much more fun working at Loot Crate writing about pop culture things I actually enjoy, surrounded by fellow creative, hardworking nerds.
Being here for over a year essentially makes you a Loot Crate veteran, and you’ve experienced quite a bit along the way, I’m sure! What’s been the most rewarding part of being at Loot Crate over the last year? The most challenging part?
It’s been really rewarding to transition into more creative direction roles on certain marketing campaigns. (I’ve felt very supported by Julie and the rest of the marketing team for letting my “freak flag” fly.) Part of the challenge of Loot Crate is working very, very quickly with limited resources, which can be stressful but fun. Major companies start working on their next campaigns a year in advance, while we sometimes need to put something together on a week’s notice or even less than that. It’s been a fun challenge to see what we can come up with and pull off in such a limited time frame.
Can you talk about any of your favorite Loot Crate projects that you’ve been a part of?
We recently went all-out for our St. Patrick’s Day campaign, creating our own tough girl “Lady Luck” leprechaun mascot (actually, another copywriter, Quinn, in disguise!). That was a real collaboration where we all pulled together and ended up with this fun, devious prankster character who got to show off her skills in some fun, quick videos (including one where she turns your beard green!). I also really enjoyed baking and decorating spooky gingerbread cookies using our Loot Fright Krampus cookie cutters for a shoot.
If there was any company or franchise, or even a specific character, that you’d love to write about or design a product for, what would it be?
I love Count Chocula and the rest of the horror cereal monsters gang so much, I would love to write anything for them. I’ve also always had a soft spot for cereal mascots like Dig ‘Em and Sugar Bear. So I think what I’m trying to say is that I just really like cereal.
And now, for my go-to final question for each of my Behind the Crate interviews: If you could create your very own product line for Loot Crate, what would it be?
If Loot Crate could somehow combine my love of souvenir pressed pennies, black hoodies, guinea pigs, embroidery, and old timey modes of transport into a single crate, the Nat Crate, that would be amazing. And it would sell exactly one. [Laughs.]