Dean and J. Bradley Tramer: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

The Steeple Times asks Dean and J. Bradley Tramer of lifestyle website Proper Kid Problems: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”


The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?

D: “Age is a number.  Not a barrier”:  I’ve always believed that one can do whatever they wish when their heart and mind is focused on what they love regardless of what year they were born in.


J: More than anything, the idea of “creating something that will stand the test of time” has fueled me to always take the extra step – without shortcuts. Short-term monetary gains do not hold nearly as much value as the idea of creating something iconic.


“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?

D: “We are shaped and fashioned by what we love”.


J: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do”.


Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2014?

D: Unacceptable in 2014?  Cargo shorts.  I mean, is that still a thing?


J: Wearing Timberland (or other, similar styled) boots with shorts in the summer.


Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?

D: Probably being in elementary school. I feel those five years were filled with such great memories that I never truly appreciated until now. I wish someone would have told me that snacks in the morning and naps in the afternoon don’t exactly exist in the real world.


J: More than anything, I miss my adventures throughout Scotland and Ireland from this past summer.


What might you swap all your wealth for?

D: I think I would trade everything (minus the closet of course) for the ability to travel and see the Seven Wonders of the World.  I feel it would be an absolute trip of a lifetime to see the remarkable feats accomplished by man.


J: I might swap all my wealth for the ability to travel where I want, when I want, and for however long I want without disruption.


Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the banking crisis?

D: Well, I’m probably the least qualified person to be speaking about the current banking crisis, but I will say that I feel the core of the problem is people living outside of their means. Our society (especially America) has developed this craving for “more” that is never fully satisfied. As a result, people buy things they can’t afford, create unpractical lifestyles, and amass huge amounts of debt all in the name of preserving their image.


J: I think the banking crisis can be summed up through the phrase, “New is better”. Instead of being content with what is in front of us, we throw away the old that causes us to spend what we may not have all in the pursuit of status.


What phrase or word do you most loathe?

D: “Swag”.


J: When people write “refuse to sink” next to an anchor. I can’t imagine how effective an anchor that doesn’t sink would be.


In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?

D: I think charity takes many different forms, but centres around the idea of doing something to help another individual/collective unit without the contingency of repayment. Causes that I personally support include the Red Cross and The American Cancer Association.


J: I believe that if you have the luxury to be charitable, it doesn’t matter what capacity you do it in. Personally, I’m a frequent supporter of various cancer treatment and awareness organisations having both organized and participated in events that support such causes.


The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?

D: My rule of thumb is to keep phones out of sight at the table, during formal events, or when someone else is speaking to a group of individuals or myself.


J: I believe that mobile devices have transformed into an extraordinary tool used by both individuals and businesses alike. That being said, there is certainly a time and a place for use of such devices. I go by a more blanket rule in that they shouldn’t be used or seen in any formal situation.


Dean and J. Bradley Tramer
Dean and J. Bradley Tramer

If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?

D: Difficult. Will there be a murder because that could change everything? I would probably choose an assortment of close friends as well as people from the past and present that I aspire to emulate.


J: Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie. JP Morgan and Cornelius Vanderbilt. These men were the pioneers of entrepreneurship and can be credited to helping build the foundation of our country.


If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?

D: I would probably have to pick Ad Hoc in Yountville, California. Since their menu changes daily depending on what is locally available, I could only hope that the chef would make his ever-so-popular buttermilk fried chicken.


J: My last meal would ideally be anything from the sea enjoyed from the comfort of a small sailing boat. Let’s just hope it doesn’t come down to that.


What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?

D: I say every hour should be a happy hour.


J: Going on 18 years sober.


A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?

D: A martini.


J: A cup of tea.


Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?

D: I enjoy parties that are filled with interesting people who lead interesting lives.  I like to meet my opposites – the people who make me rethink what I’m doing, where I’m going and where I want to be.


J: I really enjoy parties with my entire extended family, as this occurrence is not entirely common. All being together creates a special, worry-free atmosphere that makes me forget everything else going on outside.


Who is the most positive person you know?

D: My second grade teacher, Mrs. Jeanine Hewitt. I don’t think there’s anything in the world that could bring that woman down. I actually reached out to her last summer (trying to dig to find interesting stories of my past) to find that she was still her uplifting self. People like her really put things into perspective and show that life is too short to not be happy.


J: My rowing coach has an incredibly positive outlook on both the sport as well as life that has not only influenced myself, but my teammates. No matter how poorly we may perform or struggle with a workout, he always manages to fuel us to push on and go that extra mile.


What’s your most guilty pleasure?

D: Binge watching Netflix. A great stress reliever, but “just one more episode” usually turns into me finishing an entire season.


J: Going to concerts with friends. They can be pricey at times, but it’s exciting to see some of my favorite artists in person.


If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?

D: I don’t think there is any tattoo, word or phrase that could possibly sum me up. Bumper stickers go on cars, not bodies.


J: The J.Riley Tri-Cross Oar.


If you were a car, what marque would you be?

D: A 1957 Mercedes 300SL roadster.


J: Either a Jeep Wrangler or a Land Rover Defender. Still have yet to acquire the latter.


Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.

D: I don’t know if this is surprising or not, but in elementary school I would wear a suit and tie to class every single day. On the first day of class, I traded out my tote bag for one of my dad’s retired briefcases and walked in like it was completely normal. In retrospect, I have no idea where that confidence came from, but think it’s totally awesome.


J: I’d say that the most surprising thing about me, to others, is my age. I tend to spend time with an older group of kids and have interests that aren’t entirely aligned with those of my peers.


Dean is the founder of Proper Kid Problems and J. Bradley Tramer is the founder and designer of J. Riley. These “taste gurus” have over 50,000 followers on Twiter and formed a partnership in July 2014.


Follow Proper Kid Problems on Twitter at @ProperKidProbs.



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  1. Who on earth are this dreary couple? And why do they need to show off about their charitable nature.
    Really generous people keep silent in this area

        • I don’t mind your familiarity but why not celebrate that these young chaps are pursuing their dream and doing something they enjoy successfully? Come on – they’re not robbing shops and out their peddling drugs. Celebrate their entrepreneurial efforts. Encourage the young.

          • I do wish that we ceased using the exhortation to ‘celebrate this or that’.
            We have to ‘celebrate’ diversity and I know see that the very ugly and fatuous Jodie Kidd is a ‘celebrity’. Stop it now Reggie!

    • Peter: I know how particular you are but I must agree with Reginald when he urges you to celebrate the success of Dean and J. Bradley’s enterprise. They’ve built up a following fast not because they are trendy but because their website is informative, enjoyable and somewhat slightly eccentric. Surely all qualities you’d approve of.

  2. Very O.C. Very Hamptons. Very Nantucket. The stereotypical preppy Americans. I like their style very much and they’re very stylishly slick. Just the kind of boys I’d like to take home to my mom.

    • Could you elucidate please….is one for you and one for your mum? Personally, I found Nantucket quite awful….but there is no accounting for poor taste, I suppose

    • Eric….you wicked old fellow! Are you suggesting that you would like to get to know them in a non platonic way? You should be thoroughly ashamed of your lechery


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