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TheCoolist: Meet the team

TheCoolist is an up-and-coming community of people specialized in high-quality and on-trend cool projects and tutorials in home design, fashion, and crafts. Recognizing the value of the do-it-yourself movement of the last several years, thecoolist.com is inspired by unique yet replicable ideas.

Because everyone’s style is individual, customized pieces with a high-end look are what we’re always after.

Here are the magicians who make it possible.

TheCoolist Team - Alex Ion - Editor in ChiefALEX ION

Editor in Chief

Alex has a nose for the good life, and brings his passions to bear cultivating TheCoolist. Having taken over the project from Seamus Payne fully in 2016, he continues to steer the ship towards a rapidly evolving horizon of lifestyle cravings.

An avid traveler, Alex has been all over the world and lacks nothing for inspiration to draw from his experiences. That said, he is most content with the simple things: fresh powder on the ski slopes, a well-maintained tennis court, and dinners with friends and family showcasing his signature dishes.

Setting third-person descriptions aside, I just want to say how honored I am to bring the best of the Internet to the fore with TheCoolist. Helping our readers take action to enhance their lifestyles and the world around us is a responsibility I take very seriously.

TheCoolist Team - Diego Villena - Managing EditorDIEGO VILLENA

Managing Editor

A connoisseur of miscellany and minutiae, Diego curates TheCoolist’s content coalition as its ebullient editor. When he’s not busy poring over alliterative thesauri, he’s amassing a Tolkien book collection, building and using astronomical telescopes, planning and executing DIY projects, rules-lawyering board games, or strumming his Pomeroy mandocello on the porch.

Despite his name and birthplace of Madrid, Diego is a denizen of the Dirty South through and through–and about as culturally Spanish as Taco Bell. He enjoys arguing politics, money, and religion at the dinner table; marveling over science, technology, and human achievement; and acting as a veritable heat seeker for BIFL quality in all its many forms. His ideal of the modern renaissance man is a cross between Carl Sagan and Hank Hill.

TheCoolist Team - Kathryn Cannon - WriterKATHRYN CANNON


Kathryn Cannon is a freelance content writer for thecoolist.com. When she isn’t waxing poetic about the finer things in life, she works as a special education paraprofessional. Thanks to her background in classical studies, Kathryn offers carefully curated copy with a unique voice. She spends her remaining free time keeping up-to-date on the latest trends, and scaring herself with true crime podcasts.

TheCoolist Team - Seamus Payne - FounderSEAMUS PAYNE

Founder, Director of Visual Strategy

In 2009, Seamus Payne founded TheCoolist.com to document the world’s greatest achievements in design and technology. This “study in cool” reflects his own curiosity and passion for design, and it’s a study that never ceases.

Design is more than his obsession, it’s also his craft. Seamus works as a commercial photographer and filmmaker specializing in architecture, food and editorial photography. He’s produced award-winning documentaries and photography projects that stay true to the inspiration behind TheCoolist.com. You can learn more about his architectural photography and filmmaking at SeamusPayne.com.

When he’s not on set, Seamus serves as Chief Creative Strategist to TheCoolist’s publisher, Alex Ion. It’s a fitting partnership, as they’ve been friendly collaborators since long before TheCoolist was founded.

TheCoolist Team - M W Byrne - WriterM. W. BYRNE


A recovering website designer and technology aficionado, M. W. Byrne typically shuns the presence of people in favor of things that plug into a wall. Hailing from the mountains of Colorado where he spent far too much time on the ski slopes, his obsession with luxury goods, quality craftsmanship, and finery began with clothes and transferred over into everything he touched. A contributor to such websites as Tom’s Guide and HiConsumption, M. W. is a creature of many talents.

He currently spends his days in the Pacific Northwest, enjoying the rain as often as he can and seeking out new and exciting ways to spend money. Offering him a single malt scotch, a nice hybrid dab, or a new pocket-sized gadget will almost always grant you favors.

To get involved with TheCoolist, contact us — we’d love to hear from you!

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