Like any intrepid reporter, Carly Stern will tell you that a good pair of shoes is essential to the job … which is why she designs them herself. That’s right; somewhere between earning her undergraduate degree from Duke University, editing for the Duke Chronicle, producing podcasts for All of the Above and honing her speechwriting at West Wing Writers, Carly also finds time to design custom canvas sneakers. The perfect side hustle to channel her passion for drawing and painting, Carly sells the sneaks under her own brand, Carly’s College Kicks. You might say we get a kick out of that!
Growing up in Chappaqua, New York, as the oldest of three sisters, it’s not a surprise Carly is wildly competitive – which checks out with her childhood soccer and lacrosse careers. Though she’s had a bit of an identity crisis because she’s no longer an athlete, Carly has channeled that drive into reporting, serving as OZY’s reporting intern, editorial fellow and reporter. Fueled by 86% dark chocolate and espresso (a habit she picked up after wandering the cobblestone streets of Rome during a semester abroad), Carly likes to approach her stories through the lens of race, class and gender, firmly believing everyone is worthy of a platform. Down the road, she hopes to weave together longform stories and double down on investigative reporting, where she will be served well by her less-than-stellar sleeping habits.
By turns intrigued by law, speechwriting, politics and public policy, Carly could have honed her writing chops in many ways. We, for one, are glad she chose journalism, which she sees as both a public service and a means of connecting people who might otherwise have little in common. Carly mitigates living 3,000 miles from her family by meeting up with her parents and sisters on Martha’s Vineyard in the summer. When she’s not chasing down a story, you might see her out for a run on San Francisco’s Embarcadero, where she’ll no doubt be listening to an episode of The Daily, Longform, or Pod Save the People – and sporting a pair of colorful sneaks.