Or, perhaps Paradowski is just the most Carrie of them all? It’s always a little hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.
Paradowski had been around for 35 years before Carrie joined, but you couldn’t really call it a family until she did. Her openness and loyalty makes us all more comfortable, more dedicated. After-work events feel like reunions when Carrie does the Running Man across the room to grab one of her favorite beers: Busch or Miller High Life. And since she grows with Paradowski (we were her first design job), her ADDY award-winning work takes the temperature of our agency as a whole—and it’s muy caliente.
When Carrie clocks 100 words/minute, it’s not because her veins run with chai lattes. She is just trying to get to know you as best as she can, as quickly as she can. And she’ll do anything to get there. Want to sing karaoke at a bar, but also want to appear “too cool” to do it? Carrie will go ahead and break the ice for you as she brings sexy back. She’s happy to, and even happier to see you happy. Carrie grew up with a family whose closeness was only matched by its competitiveness, and our agency setting is the perfect place to replicate this balance.
Sounds like someone you want working on your brand, doesn’t it? At Paradowski, she is a seamless blend of wanting to win and wanting to help you win. She is one of our fiercest creative competitors, but her pull toward helping others is so strong, she’s tempted to veer into the account service lane from time to time. But this writer likes working with her too much, so, maybe in another lifetime. XO.
Carrie: I’ve always invested more in friendships than my own personal hobbies.
Me: I think building friendships could be a hobby, Carrie.
Carrie: Oh, that makes me feel better. I feel this pressure sometimes to be going to places and see people, and i’m like, do I have hobbies? Maybe that’s my hobby. People.
This will come as a real shocker to any Paradowski employee reading this:
Growing up with a father who was a computer engineer at AT&T, a Big Personality Mom and a classic perfectionist older sister, there wasn’t a lot of room for young Carrie to be loud. She’d dream up adventures with her teddy bear, Fuzzy. Slowly, she began to put on “shows” for her family. Then one day, her ability to get genuinely excited about anything turned into a voice of its own. Now, Carrie loves making noise. So much so, that she recorded herself snoring.
As for her drive to win, the basement of her childhood home played host to weekend tournaments of air hockey, pinball, ping pong, board games, Canaste, Hearts and Gin Rummy. Carrie saw her first 3am night playing Tripoley in high school. And when the basement had run its course, the Edmistons would head to the backyard for croquet, badminton and volleyball. Currently, Settlers of Catan is off-limits because “people got too pissed.”
Carrie’s enviable natural excitement lead her to explore many passions and employment opportunities. She is the only person I know who was in bell choir. She was a cheerleader. She was in theater and played soccer. And her first job was at Anne’s bra shop. “No, I did NOT fit people, but it taught me life skills. People all look different. Some are recovering from mastectomies, some are buying their first bra as a transgender woman. It taught me not to judge people and to have compassion.”
Then, Carrie made her debut as the Red Robin.
She didn’t just flip burgers; she walked the walk and squawked the squawk.
As the highest paid Red Robin, Carrie hit her quota for helping people as she was called upon to make visits to hospitals when there was a food delivery gifted to a particular patient or wing.
In college, she worked at both Chili’s and Quiznos before starting a string of positions in libraries. Again, Paradowski folks: Carrie Edmiston worked in LIBRARIES. Clearly the world knew she was destined for a more vocal vocation, because while working there, she got stuck in an elevator. For 3 hours Carrie was stuck in a frigid elevator, wondering when “it was finally time to establish a pee corner.” Firefighters had to pull her out through a little crack.
Carrie was also a Red Bull girl. Which should terrify all of us because it was during the heydey of “icing,” or forcing people to chug drinks. Carrie could down 6 or 7 Red Bulls on a shift, icing or no icing. A self-proclaimed lover of money, she also had a side business of writing friends’ school papers. Then came a beloved stint at Starbucks and a foray into the dog-eat-dog world of commission-based sales in the jeans section of Nordstrom. We’re not sure when she found the time, but from ages 18–21, Carrie also taught and judged dance competitions for Universal Dance Association. Which explains a lot of her sweet moves.
So, like, when does design come into any of this? Especially since Carrie spent almost 3 years pursuing a degree in education? Well, the lethal level of excitement in Carrie’s voice didn’t lend itself to teaching. A rigorous teacher’s test told her that her tone and delivery would hold her back, and to consider changing careers. Carrie’s mom didn’t waste any time looking back at Carrie’s life, reminding her that she spent weeks designing family cards on Microsoft Paint as a child, and would she consider graphic design? Carrie barely blinked as she started all over. Upon graduation, she took an internship at Fleishman Hillard, got hired shortly thereafter by Paradowski as a studio artist, and the rest is history.
Today, you’ll find Carrie and Paradowski to be products of each other. @Tony taught Carrie the finer points of Creative Suite and how to be efficient and clean in her files. Carrie has transformed from someone who wanted to be the dependable rollout gal to someone who wants to design beautiful things with her own two (TINY!) hands. And Paradowski is a place whose client fridge is stocked with La Croix, Chardonnay and The Champagne of Beers.