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  • TheReset w/ Polly Rodriguez

Just a peek at Polly Rodriguez’s highlight reel—Unbound founder & CEO, cancer survivor, neighborhood namer, card-carrying feminist—should give you a clue as to just how cool this woman is.

She resides in “NoChe” (North Chelsea, ya dig?) and when she’s not working her ass off, building a business that caters to smart, sexually liberated women, you’ll probably find her relaxing in her very own reading nook and listening to Fleetwood Mac.

POLLY_UNBOUND

"We felt the world lacked a place to have fun, inclusive conversations around sex so we set out to create that world. Since it’s start, Unbound has gone from being a labor of love (translation: we started it in our tiny NYC apartments) to a leader in changing how feminists explore and enjoy their sex lives." - UNBOUND.COM

At Tempest, her favorite local watering hole where the owner, Joe, knows her by name, we chatted about how she chills out at home and the one thing that makes working on the weekends worthwhile.

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Photo: Lumi

When you’re “finally home” from a trip, what’s the first thing you do?
I’m one of those people who has to immediately unpack, so usually I’ll put on NPR while putting my things away so I can catch up on the news.

And when it’s time to unwind, what do you do?
Like the true 85-year-old that I am (kidding!) I like to take the New York Times from the weekend, light a candle, turn on some jazz, curl up in bed and read. Oh—and I put my phone on ‘airplane mode.’ I’ve found that last part is crucial, by the way.

Do you have any rituals or habits that are guaranteed to help
you de-stress?

Most days I journal before going to bed. I started doing this when I got cancer back in 2007 and it saved me in a lot of ways. I felt like I needed a place to put my thoughts that was just for me, a place where I could pause and reflect. We live in a world where our stream of consciousness is out on display and incessant (read: Instagram stories, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook); which leaves little time for honest, deep thinking. Journaling allows me to combat that vicious mental cycle.

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Photo: Paul Brooke Jr.

After a long day or trip, is it more relaxing for you to cook or order in?
I haven't been grocery shopping since, like, 2012. Have you been to Trader Joe's in New York City? It is the antithesis of relaxing. It's like The Hunger Games for a damn avocado! So, yeah, I order in.

Avocado_Quote

Do you have a favorite spot in your home to relax?
My wonderful roommate Trina made us a reading nook. It's under our stairs (Harry Potter-style) and filled with colorful pillows, blankets and candles. It's next to a window that looks out onto the west side of Manhattan. To me, it is nothing short of magic.

If you have an entire evening free at home, how do you spend it?
One of the best decisions I made a couple years ago was to get rid of cable. It forced me to spend my time in better ways. Sometimes it's reading, sometimes it's putting on Fleetwood Mac and dancing around the living room—it just depends on my mood.

What do you do to maintain a work-life balance you're happy with?
I’m definitely still working on that one. I got a membership at The Wing and it's made working weekends so much more enjoyable. I used to get really depressed when I'd wake up and immediately go to my desk and start working on a Saturday. (Texts from friends who were at boozy brunch did not help.) I find that being able to walk to The Wing, and be in the company of women makes me realize that I'm not the only woman trying to change the world from her laptop on a Saturday afternoon.

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Photo: Paul Brooke Jr.

And lastly, what objects or art make your place feel like you're Finally Home?
I have an entire wall filled with photos of my family that I inherited over the years. I am most fond of the pieces that remind me of my grandmothers, who were my world. One, that is an original antique print from The League of Women Voters, reads, "Let Women Vote!" It serves as a constant reminder of how far we've come -- as well as how far we have to go.

Who are two people we should interview next?
Let's see. I think you guys should talk to Ayo Jimoh, the CTO at Opternative in Chicago and an all around amazing and brilliant human. As well as Logan Ely, CEO of Square1 in St. Louis, and a global chef focused on sustainability who just started an underground dinner club in St. Louis. (Not to mention he teaches a cooking class to kids with down syndrome.

Shop Polly’s Couch
The Burrow Sofa - Crushed Gravel Four Seat High Arm
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