At Home With: Kathleen Barnea Spink, EVP

On ‘At Home With,’ we virtually visit our members and catch up on their current normal. From recommended reading and podcasts to creative recipes and wellness routines, get to know the network – and maybe even come away with a little activity inspo.

Meet Kathleen Barnea Spink, Purple's EVP. The mom of three gets real about stay-at-home life, from enjoying extra time with her little boys to delving into her beauty to-try list. Kathleen shares what she misses most about workdays at the agency's HQ, plus the destinations she has front of mind as travel opens up.

What’s your usual location, and where are you currently staying?

My usual location is NYC – I live in the Sutton Place area, and that is definitely where my heart is. These past few months though I’ve been lucky enough to go back and forth between there and my house in Quogue, NY. 

I have three young boys (Winston, 6; Otis, 4; and Quincy, 1.5) and two dogs so “room to run” has been pretty crucial throughout this process. 

Did you discover any new pastimes or creative outlets during lockdown that you’ll stick with? 

For pastimes, especially in the start of quarantine, I would make sure to take some time around lunch or at the end of the day every day with my boys to do something we affectionally referred to as “mommy recess” which was basically a walk (me) and scooter ride (them) around the neighborhood. Sounds pretty uneventful I’m sure – but was actually really nice time to spend with my boys, as well as time to clear my head. Big change from eating at my desk!

Also, weirdly for someone who works in beauty, my personal beauty routines are pretty sparse, so for the first time I started actually trying new things. I basically went down a bit of a rabbit hole of all the things on my self care “to do” list; I hope some of it sticks…

For creative outlets, I honestly feel like my job really helps tick that box in so many ways. I get to work with so many creative people and brands daily. That said, I have deepened some hobbies. I truly love to cook (luckily so does my husband who is a true grill master) and I think we have gotten better at it and more experimental – mostly out of necessity from the change of cooking 1-2 days a week to 7 days a week. Also, while we have been living in the Quogue house, we have been renovating it piece by piece so I can add an interior design feather to my cap. 

Also, I’ve been trying (mildly successfully) to hop on the Peloton here & there. Don’t follow me - its not that impressive!

Do you have any favorite podcasts, books, newsletters, etc.?

Can I just be honest here and say that if I have any downtime after working all day, then channeling my inner "domestic goddess,” then putting kids to sleep, come 9pm I watch TV/Netflix. My brain is too fried for anything else. In normal times I love books – mostly fiction – and studied literature & politics in college, but who has the time? My time to read is normally flights sans-kids – but that hasn’t happened in a while!

What do you miss most from pre-Covid life, and what’s keeping you going right now?

So many things… I miss the excitement and vibrancy of the every day. The Purple office is a pretty exciting place to be, seeing who is coming, going, meetings and above all, seeing my team every day. They are all such unique and amazing people. I also weirdly miss the routine of waking up and getting ready for work. Ya know, getting dressed for the day, makeup, fragrance, etc. Also, I miss work travel – as a mom of three, a night or two in a hotel in a different city is definitely a welcome luxury at times – do you hear me working moms?

On a personal level, while I’m lucky that many of my friends are in the Hamptons as well during this great Covid migration, many of my friends are not, and I miss them a ton. Also, we travel a lot as a family, and my husband, kids and I really miss doing that. But really what I miss the most is just living in NYC. The convenience, the energy, the vibe, the spontaneity (and the takeout options, of course).

Any fall plans? 

Spending more time in the city and hopefully resuming “normal" life. To be clear – I have been so lucky throughout this time and have loved this additional time with my amazing husband and boys, family and close friends in our little bubble, but I look forward to expanding that world a bit – as I’m sure everyone is!

As travel starts opening up, where will you be vacationing first?

Back to my home country (and where I grew up), Israel… specifically Tel Aviv, my favorite city and country. I miss my family and just being there for a lack of a better way of describing it. Also the food; I really, really miss the food. I’ve also been toying with Hawaii or something more longhaul for next new year… with the hopes that the world will be more normal by that point, and that my youngest son will be old enough to be parked for a long time with an iPad (what can I say – you do what you have to do) not to make the flight a nightmare!


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