Stay Home Snaps: Roden Gray

Talking Timbaland, meditation and work-life balance with the Vancouver retailer’s staff.

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With much of the world under coronavirus quarantine, Vancouver’s Roden Gray is considering alternative methods for engaging with its community. The boutique’s physical store is closed but its website remains active, with sales and special activations, like curated playlists, offering a balm to the stressful state of the world.

Roden Gray’s staff too is finding new ways to entertain themselves and stay active, both physically and mentally. Six team members told us of their preferred self-isolation solutions, including sunlit workspaces, consistent meditation and plenty of retro tunes.


Ricky Zhang, buyer and stylist

What’s your daily routine?

Woke up and do a little stretch first thing in the morning. Ever since I bought a espresso machine last year, I spend a lot of time in the morning brewing coffee for me and my girlfriend while she makes some delicious toast for breakfast. Work follows and I tackle objectives in the afternoon.

Where in your home do you like to work?

Usually at my desk in the den. I have an iPad connected to my laptop as a secondary screen set up so when I go ham on research it’s a much better view. If I sit inside the den for too long, I’ll move to my sofa or balcony for a different vibe.

What do you wear while working from home?

Sweatpants is a must at home. Casual shirts, sweatshirts and usually some headwear since all the barbers and salons are closed. In the picture, I’m wearing a Spring/Summer 2019 Dries sweatshirt and a pair of Reigning Champ Sweatpants, underneath is a FW15 OAMC tee that fits quite well in this time we are in right now; it’s a quote from Darwin, check it out.

How do you stay in a good headspace in isolation?

Personally, I feel like as long as I eat clean and do some workouts everyday I’ll be in a good mental state. Recommending everyone to actually do your Instagram workout challenge!

What are you listening to and doing for fun?

I prefer to switch to silent mode when I work just because I get distracted easily by music [laughs]. During the rest of the day though, I found out Jesus is King is such an aspiring morning album to listen to. Lots of jazz like Moses Boyd and GoGo Penguin (new album soon!) and of course some Mandopop like classic Jay Chou, Soft Lipa.


Bronte Rea, in-house creative

Whatʼs your daily routine?

I wake up (sometimes at questionable times), shower, take a walk (sometimes multiple times throughout the day) and I get to work. In my spare time, I hang out with my mom and my dog.

Where in your home do you like to work?

My bed! I like to be comfortable when Iʼm working and also be able to nap at any given moment.

What do you wear while working from home?

Iʼm home, so of course I want to wear something comfy. Hoodies and t-shirts are what I wear to work on the daily and Iʼll pair those with some shorts. Keeping it comfy but not lazy! Shorts make me feel like Iʼm being active even if Iʼm really not.

How do you stay in a good headspace in isolation?

At the end of every week Iʼll call my friends and we show each other what weʼve been doing; we call it “Show and Tell.” We did this before quarantine but the anticipation to show what Iʼve been doing even if itʼs just a little mix I made for Soundcloud always makes me excited and happy!

What are you listening to and doing for fun?

Working on my DJing, painting, drawing, and watching sooo many movies. I just watched The Platform and Iʼm planning on watching Come and See this weekend. I went to the drive-in theater last week too!


Andrew Milligan, social media and in-house creative

What’s your daily routine?

I sleep in way too late, eat, shower, read, work, eat, work, eat, work, chill, stretch, run, stretch, sleep, repeat.

Where in your home do you like to work?

Anywhere but my bed. But most of my work is just done at my desk or on the go.

What do you wear while working from home?

Pretty much what you’d imagine: sweats and a hoodie. Sometimes denim though… Is that acceptable?

How do you stay in a good headspace in isolation?

Lately I’ve been using District Vision’s M.A.P. (Mindful Athlete Program). Basically, they’re guided audio meditations in both seated & moving formats, they’ve definitely eased my mind. Along with that I try to drink lots of water. Also, I’ve found that limiting the amount of media I consume keeps me leveled. Ain’t nothing on the news but the blues!

What are you listening to and doing for fun?

I go running and hangout with my dog, she’s pretty fun. I’ve been listening to Earth, Wind & Fire, Dean Blunt, Jacques Greene, Brent Faiyaz, and whatever my brother is playing — Baby Smoove, Rod Wave and similar artists. Mixed bag, I know.


Jomar Victoria, photographer and studio manager

What’s your daily routine?

First thing I do is write everything I need to do down. Working from home requires some discipline and structure, it’s a lot easier to do that when I begin a checklist. Oh, and turn on the kettle!

Where in your home do you like to work?

By the window, the sun is energy!

What do you wear while working from home?

It’s so important that I wear something close to what I would wear to the office. It puts me in the headspace to work, versus working in my bathrobe. A comfy sweater or hoodie with some jeans and slides will do just right.

How do you stay in a good headspace in isolation?

Meditation! It’s far too easy to let your mind wander to an unforeseeable future, so I can’t stress the importance of just bringing it right back to the present.

What are you listening to and doing for fun?

I’ve been listening to the Joe Budden Podcast and a lot of TED talks. The perfect balance between incredible knowledge and talking sh*t with the homies. I can cuss here right?

Music is often left for when I’m finished working. I’ve been learning to mix during this quarantine and it’s been so fun. I haven’t even looked up a single video or tutorial, just going off feeling. It’s just like the first time I picked up a camera.


Jacky Huang, creative director

What’s your daily routine?

Hygiene in the morning, make coffee, read, watch, listen to the news and then it’s phone or web meetings or emails. Just before noon I’ll head to the store for online orders, take lunch in the early afternoon and back home for more emails and catch-ups from the team that’s working from home.

Where in your home do you like to work?

I usually start at the table in the morning then work my way towards the couch as the day slows down. The weather is ironically getting better here when we’re forced to be stuck at home, so it’s nice to be by the windows and natural light by mid-day.

What do you wear while working from home?

Today it’s these Goodfight Jumpteam Sweatpants; they’re super clutch because I can go out in ‘em without looking too “home-bodied.” I’m usually in a white tee regardless of the circumstance but in the morning it’s a bit chilly so I’ll add a light layer on top.

How do you stay in a good headspace in isolation?

Just staying busy, trying to treat every day the same as my normal routine pre-quarantine. We’re in week 3 now over here, so I’m quite adjusted to this “lifestyle.” I know a lot of people are staying away from the news, but I think it’s important to be informed. The tough balance is to not let the news overwhelm us; we’ll find ourselves drowning in the negativity of everything if we do. Instead, I try to use that awareness to help me reflect on how good this “stay-at-home” is for things like our environment –- I think there is definitely a positive outcome with this experience.

The team helps me a lot too, I’m inspired by their motivation, resilience and creative solutions we’re all working on together. Even though we’re social distancing, we’re coming together even more as a team and consequently with our customers and community.

What are you listening to and doing for fun?

The current situation is really allowing me to slow down and appreciate the small things and the people around me a lot more. I’ve been taking the time to connect with friends and family, that previously I might not have had the space to do because of my previous busy, go-go-go lifestyle, especially in this industry. So, that’s been really nice. I also picked up Yakuza 0 on my PS4 last week and have been caving into that; honestly, it’s such a stress reliever too [laughs]. Oh and lots of good stuff on Netflix Ozark 3 anyone?

Music wise, it ranges depending on the day but the rotation right now is: Radiohead, Nicolas Jaar, Theo Parrish, Mr Fingers, Outkast, Miles Davis… quite a big range. I’ve been making a lot of playlists on my own for home workouts and recently that battle between Timbaland and Swizz Beats got me drowning in the late ’90s, early-2000s stuff.

We also started Gray Radio a few months ago on our journal, where we curate playlists by the month on Spotify. Most recently we started a Home Listening shared playlist for anyone that wants to drop in some tunes.


Hiroshi Tanaka, new media strategist

What’s your daily routine?

Wake up at 7 a.m.-ish, get changed, bathroom activities and make some coffee or tea depending on the mood. I set up the work space after that and get crackin’, my breaks are usually for lunch and to walk the doggo for some fresh air.

Where in your home do you like to work?

I have a little nook in the bedroom where I like to set up.

What do you wear while working from home?

I get changed into some casual wear, most of my clothing is baggy or loose so I’m always comfy.

How do you stay in a good headspace in isolation?

Listen to a lot of music, take a snack break and joke around with the wife. Just being goofy and doing the small things that bring you joy definitely help maintain that good headspace.

What are you listening to and doing for fun?

Listening to a lot of NTS Radio, mixes from Four Tet, Pender Street Steppers, DJ Persuasion, Changsie, Sounds On Screens — this one is dope, basically playing soundtracks, scores and sounds from different films. I also make tunes in my spare time and play video/board games.

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