Spotlight: Laura Mason, Director of Strategy & Insights

Apr 01, 2016

Explain your childhood obsession with Evil Knievel. 

At age 9 or 10 I, was fascinated with stuntman/daredevil Evil Knievel and wanted to be like him! I religiously watched his antics on ABCs Wide World of Sports and collected any article I could get my hands on about him (creating a mini-shrine to him in our basement) and his famous motorcycle jumps (e.g.: across Caesars Palace fountain, a 90 ft. jump over a shark tank, and even at our own Kings Island—jumping over 14 buses on his Harley). Channeling my inner “Evil” included unsuccessful jumps using my little brother’s Big Wheel over garbage cans, bushes, etc. Lucky for me, I only escaped with a few scrapes and bruises.


How did you manage to get two black eyes in a swimming competition?

As part of a synchronized swim team (that performed a series of ballet-like routines to music in the water), one of the core moves was a “sailboat” (floating on your back with one knee bent) that then transitions into a back somersault underwater; however, my less than graceful technique resulted in me hitting my nose on the bottom of the pool—not once but twice—when performing this move in various competitive meets. Needless to say, waterproof cover-up eye makeup was my BF!


What is it about interior design that and interests you? Why interior design over other forms of design?

If I were not in marketing and insights, I would be an interior designer, as I love transforming bland, outdated and inefficient spaces into irresistible places you can’t help but want to hang out in! My current project is renovating our fifteen-year old kitchen from traditional, cherry cabinetry (which I call “ugly country orange”) to a more contemporary and elegant “black bean” with a cream custom range hood (designed by me) and enhanced overall functionality. I hope to have pics to share by the end of this month!


You lived in England for three years and had the opportunity to travel to a lot of places. Which city (or town, area, whatever) did you connect with most? Why?

England is a country steeped in rich history that I was able to experience while living there (in Buckinghamshire—near Windsor, one of the Queen’s homes) in the late 90s as an expat with Hasbro. While I certainly loved the bustle of London, my favorite area was the quaint honey-colored limestone villages in the Cotswolds, like Stow-on-the-Wold and Bourton-on-the-Water. I loved exploring the off the beaten path antique shops and beautiful gardens as well as people watching, while sampling the famous scones and clotted cream.


What’s the last random Internet…thing you saw that made you laugh out loud to yourself?

Quarter Life Poetry, “Mom Talk” video:

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It’s a heartfelt, hilarious take on phone conversations Millennial daughters (in my case, my two daughters Olivia, 21, and Jenna, 19) have with their mom while sitting on the toilet, taking a walk, etc. to ask important questions like, “What is my social security number?” “What is a W9?” “What is your Netflix password?” It shows the tension they struggle with (wanting to be an adult, yet still needing mom for adviceJ).


What is your favorite movie genre?

I absolutely love romantic comedies and am frustrated that they don’t make them like they used to! All-time favs include: Pretty Woman (Richard Gere and Julia Roberts), How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson) and The Holiday (Jude Law and Cameron Diaz).


What is your favorite meal to cook for someone else?

While I am more of a baker vs. a cook, my signature dish is lasagna.


What is your favorite smell and why?

Nothing beats the warm, comforting smell of freshly baked chocolate chips cookies! It takes me back to my grandma’s house when I was a kid. I wish I could bottle that smell up and pipe it into my house on a regular basis.