Essential Thinking with James Williams

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Essential Thinking is a series that captures the thoughts, routines and attire of unique New Yorkers.


Essential Thinking | James Williams | Community Manager | Williamsburg

Tell us a little about yourself, James.

I was born in Manhattan, raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, went to college at George Washington U in Washington, D.C. I live in Brooklyn, work in SoHo at an advertising agency named Wieden + Kennedy. I was previously working on the Equinox account, but am now on the Delta account and the WKNY Instagram account. For fun, I work out, write music, cook, and decompress with FIFA, shamelessly in that order. I spend a good amount of time at home, and in the gym if I'm not working. I'm a bit of a homebody, admittedly.

What does a typical morning look like for you?

A typical morning for me, is getting up at 7am, boiling eggs for my breakfast, washing up and getting out the door either to the gym early, or to the office before my co-workers arrive. That's a successful morning. I'm not a morning person at all, so getting up early in and of itself had been an accomplishment, now, it's routine.

After spending the first part of your career in advertising, and specifically the health and wellness space, what kind of messaging motivates people to go to the gym?

In my experience, it was the content that spoke to people's personal idiosyncrasies in relation to their workout routine that resonated most. For instance, channels are flooded with motivational memes that all sound good, but aren't really colloquial or relatable. Our group at W+K struck a balance between being motivational and relatable to a luxury-seeking audience and that's what made our content stand out. As people have become more health conscious and yearning of a fitter holistic lifestyle, the challenge has become how does a brand stand out while remaining fitness focused.

How do you see people’s habits changing over the next 10-20 years when it comes to health and fitness?

With technology that's measuring more and more about not only our body's capabilities, but how our bodies are responding to certain physical stimuli, I wouldn't be surprised to see personal training apps infused with some AI-esque technology replace actual PT's.

As a fan of Stork undershirts, when’s your favorite time and what’s your favorite place to wear one?

While it is an undershirt, it looks damn good on its own. That said, my favorite place to wear it is either to work and/or going out to happy hour thereafter.

You’re traveling for the weekend -- what essential clothing is coming with you?

If I'm going away, having a plethora of simple but clean/crisp clothing options is tantamount. Stork fits right into my suite of clothing needs, seamlessly.