Father’s Day Gift Picks: UX Designer Justin M.

Wives, kids, domestic partners: Curious what gifts and activities your Man of the Moment might enjoy this Father’s Day? (It’s June 15, by the way.) In order to discern the complex goings-on that occur behind a dad’s stoic visage, we went straight to the source, asking several real-life family men here at Nordstrom HQ to offer notes on their personal style and parenting style.

Keep reading to learn about Justin Marx—a user-experience designer, talented chef and dedicated dad—from his favorite kids’ show to the whiskey he’d like to unwrap this Father’s Day.

[Photos via Mr. Marx’s Instagram.]

Name: Justin Marx

Age: 34

Profession: I’m a User-Experience Designer. We use empirical methods to find ways to make Nordstrom.com easier, faster, and more fun to use.

Kids: Just one. He’s three years old (but he’ll tell you “almost four”).

Favorite Thing About Fatherhood: I love talking with him and hearing what the world is like from his relatively new perspective. He asks a lot of questions, and I try to answer them as honestly as I can. Every once in a while, he’ll say something so wise that you’d be surprised to hear it from a 30-year-old, let alone a 3-year-old.

Least Favorite Thing: Being a dad is awesome, hands down. No actual complaints. ButŠ I’m an extreme night owl, so the 6:30am wake-up can be tough to work with sometimes.

#1 Parenting Tip: Since he’s only three, I’m pretty new to the game and generally still trying to figure it all out. But I’ve found a lot of success with talking to him like a real person. Nobody benefits from saying things like, “Wave bye-bye to the doggy!” You know you don’t feel comfortable talking like that, and language is hard enough to learn without someone feeding you all the wrong words in the first place.

Favorite Kids’ Show: I have a lot of love for the original Muppet Show. Great music, crazy characters, legendary guests, and some really sophisticated humor.

Favorite Game/Toy: He and I spend a lot of time playing with his Brio wooden train set. We never build it the same way twice, and it’s equal parts imagination and fine motor skill. We can build these little worlds, then take them apart and build something totally different the next day. Plus, wooden toys have this great tactile quality that makes them really fun to play with.

Go-To Kid Meal to Cook: Our little guy has champagne tastes. Bleu cheese, aged balsamic, halibutŠ—the pricier it is, the more he seems to like it. But on any given day, I know I can make him really happy with some humble shrimp tacos.

Ideal Dad’s Day: Sleeping in just a little, then getting up to cook a big family breakfast that features maple syrup (my favorite). We love taking the ferries out on Puget Sound, so a day trip to the peninsula is in order—perhaps up to the mountains. Then back home to cook a leisurely dinner, just the three of us. The dishes can wait until morning.

Gift Picks:

1) A Road Warrior. When I’m packing my best weekend gear for a couple days on the road, I want a bag as stylish as the things I put in it. Plus, this Filson bag will last at least until the kid’s in college—probably longer. [Shop: Filson Medium Duffel Bag | All Bags & Wallets]


2) Leading-Man Shades. Don’t mess with a classic. These would be a welcome alternative to the Wayfarers that I wear every single day. [Shop: Ray-Ban ‘Classic Clubmaster’ | All Sunglasses]


3) A Stiff Drink. I generally prefer rye, but something sweeter can be a nice change of pace. Some folks say this is an acceptable stand-in for Pappy Van Winkle’s, which, let’s face it, requires a second mortgage to acquire. [Learn more about Maker’s 46]



{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Leanne June 8, 2014, 9:20 am

    The duffel bag is an awesome idea that I generally would not think of – thanks.

    PS: Have a great Father’s Day!

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