August 14, 2017

An Interview with Publicist Amanda Virgillito


Public Relations is one of those things a lot of people misunderstand. PR, marketing, social media - is there a difference? I'm so glad you asked! Yes, there is a difference. I have many a well-meaning friend who think I do PR. Social media and PR are different jobs, which is why I was thrilled when I finally landed a publicist for this series.

Do you like good food? Do you eat out a lot in Nashville? Well, then you've probably eaten at one of the many restaurants today's bitch does PR for. Like all "fun" jobs, it looks fun because the bulk of the work is behind the scenes. I've seen Amanda in action and her hustle is #real. Meet today's bitch, Amanda Virgillito!


What do you do and what is the name of your business?

I own Squeaky Wheel Public Relations, and I am a publicist for local restaurants and food/drink brands in Nashville. Public relations means different things to different people, but I view myself as a conduit between my clients and the media, and ultimately the public. PR boils down to strong relationships, strategy, and timing.

When did you first learn about this field of work? How did you know it was what you wanted to do?

I went to MTSU and majored in news editorial journalism, but I was not cut out to be a reporter. I shifted gears to nonprofit arts and bugged the kind folks at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center until they gave me a job. I worked in their education and outreach department for a year, and then moved over to the communications team. I didn’t know how well suited I was for this gig until I landed in the role. I don’t really believe in fate, but finding this career makes a good case for ‘meant to be.’ I never took a single PR class.

I knew it was what I wanted to do when I found myself willingly dreaming up ideas for work outside of work hours. I’ve worked for a nonprofit, a small hospitality-focused PR agency, and now my own company, and I’ve never considered doing anything but PR.

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?

If you make a mistake, own it, fix it, and move on.

Also, make a point to send handwritten thank you notes.

Specific to my career: you have to make peace with never being in the spotlight. Publicists work behind the scenes.


Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned or that helped improve the way you work

Lesson?

There is a list of humbling moments I could share, but as I previously mentioned “own it, fix it, and move on.” I’m still learning not to dwell. I can easily fall into a place of self-inflicted guilt for mistakes, but that’s neither healthy nor productive.

Improvement?

I have to be connected to and passionate about my clients, otherwise I’m doing dishonest work. It’s all about chemistry. It’s like dating in a way. I’m a one-woman show and I work with locally owned businesses, so we have to hit it off. I know I can do the work, but am I excited about the work? I need to be. “Don’t hire a vegetarian to rep your BBQ restaurant,” is something I say to every potential client.

What would you do with 2 more hours a day?

Can they be in the middle of the day? If so, I’d get in a proper work out, take a long shower, and indulge in a midday nap.

What has been the biggest sacrifice you’ve made?

I don’t know how to answer this one. I own a company, I have a roster of clients I am passionate about, and I have a flexible schedule that allows me to take time with my kids. I’m incredibly fortunate and privileged. However, I’ve certainly made choices that have consequences.


What is your greatest success, or something you’re most proud of related to what you do?

Every client I have has come to me through recommendations from members of the media, colleagues, or other clients. That floors me and makes me pretty proud.

Do you have a morning ritual that helps you set the tone for the day?

I wake up and pick up my phone. If you say you don’t do the same you’re lying. But my necessary morning ritual is coffee. I invested in an electric milk frother that turns a basic brewed cup of coffee into something luxurious. When it’s not hot outside, I sit on my covered porch and savor that cup. I’m an early riser and it’s my quiet time before I wake up the kids and the hustle begins.

How do you decompress at night?

I can’t rest until I’ve made my daily list. Handwritten ‘to do’ lists are the way I stay sane. By the end of the day my list is scribbled on, wrinkled and messy, so I transfer the things that didn’t get done onto a fresh page and add the new tasks. I use colorful markers and crisp, white paper. I sleep well knowing my list is ready for the next day. Also, I catch up on Twitter.


What helps when you’re stuck? Do you have a motto or quote that inspires/motivates you?

A good cry. Crying is like farting. Hold it in and you’ll be full of discomfort. Let it out in private and you’ll feel much better. After I cry there’s clarity.

What does self care look like in your life?

Mental health days. A former boss taught me that ‘sick days’ can and should be for both mind and body, so occasionally I take a day to reset.

More frequently, I bake. My life tends to resemble ingredients in a blender or spaghetti thrown at the wall, so I take great comfort in the exactness of baking. It requires focus and I forget about everything for a little while. Plus, at the end there’s the reward of dessert. I love dessert so damn much.

Sleep is crucial.

Are there any women who helped pave the way for your success?

My mom was both parents. She worked two jobs. She simultaneously provided and taught me to provide for myself. I moved out and was essentially financially independent at 17. She has always said she raised her kids to be able to live without her but never want to, and she succeeded. We talk every day. I run most decisions by her but they’re ultimately my decisions.

Every boss I’ve had in my career is a woman. It is immensely inspiring to work for smart, motivated women who empower their employees. Kathleen O’Brien started out at TPAC as the public relations manager, which was the job I held there, and she’s now president and CEO. She also took the time to meet with me when I was a college senior. I realize now that she didn’t have time to do that, but she did it anyway.

My immediate supervisor at TPAC, Lori Ward, thrived in a communications career and as a single mom. I’m in that role now, and it’s no easy feat. She taught me that compassion matters in the workplace. She gave me the freedom to make my own choices; even when she saw a mistake coming, she let me make it and learn from it.

Susan Andrews founded The Andrews Agency more than 20 years ago and she’s a force. I learned a great deal from her professionally and personally, though I’m still working on achieving her level of confidence.


Lastly, and most important, what is your favorite TV show and what is your favorite snack?

Currently, I can’t get enough of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I tend to be unimpressed by comedy, but that quirky, smart writing leaves me gasping for breath from laughing. I think Titus Andromedon deserves his own show.

I never regret watching CBS Sunday Morning. I also never regret watching Real Housewives of New York City. Don’t @ me.

My favorite snack? Tortilla chips and most any dip. Cheese dip, salsa, bean dip, plain sour cream, guacamole, and any dip that uses cream cheese as a base. Those layered dips? The best. Oh! Rotel dip. Who doesn’t love dip? Now this is stuck in my head.

All photos courtesy of Amanda Virgillito

P.S. Meet last week's bitch:  YEAH! Executive Director, Sarah Bandy!

P.P.S. Full list of My Bitches here.

August 7, 2017

An Interview with YEAH! Executive Director Sarah Bandy


Welcome to the sixth installment of These My Nominated Bitches! Today's bitch was nominated by my friend, and fellow bitch, Jessica Maloan. Take it away, Jessica!

***

I met Sarah through our mutual friends from Columbia, SC, who were visiting a few summers ago. Sarah had just moved to Nashville. I instantly liked her and her warm personality. I would run into her at shows and art events in the neighborhood, and she would visit my small shop on Porter Road. One particularly shitty day, I went to Portland Brew and saw sweet Sarah working behind the counter. I guess she could tell that I was having a rough time because she comped my coffee and it turned my entire day around. That's what she does.

In the few short years that she has been a Nashville resident, she has made incredible strides with YEAH! (Youth Empowerment through Arts and Humanities) and Girls Rock Camp. Sarah is always supporting and encouraging other women. She can play a number of instruments and has incredible style. Nashville is lucky to have her. -- Jessica


What is your job title and where do you work?

I'm the Executive Director of YEAH! (Youth Empowerment through Arts and Humanities)!

When did you first learn about this field of work? How did you know it was what you wanted to do?

My first experience at Rock Camp was at Southern Girls Rock ‘n Roll Camp (SGRRC) eight summers ago. I had never picked up an instrument, never sung besides in the car, and I was convinced that making music was for my idols. For other people, for the experts, for the rock stars, but definitely not for me. I visited a friend in Murfreesboro and she convinced me to help assist in drums at SGRRC although I had never picked up sticks in my life. The first day of camp, I didn’t know anyone and felt a lot like the ten-year-olds that I was supposed to be leading – nervous and unprepared, but longing to feel a part of the palpable positivity and energy flooding the hallways. I peeked into a tiny window and saw a classroom of girls, all sizes and shapes and skin colors and gender expressions, all learning the chord progression to “I Love Rock & Roll” by Joan Jett with wide bright eyes and I finally felt like I had found an entry point to the intersection of the things that I’ve always been passionate about: community building, empowering youth to take up space, feminism, and rock and roll. I started playing music for the first time the day I got back to my hometown of Charleston, SC and worked with five other organizers to found Girls Rock Charleston, now Charleston Youth Action Project.


What is the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?

I think learning to make a budget was a huge thing for me. I was always so against getting deep into budgets because it seems like the least punk thing on the planet to worry about finances and make spreadsheets about them, but it’s actually been pretty empowering to feel like I know what’s going on financially with our non-profit (plus, lol, it’s my job). Also, someone told me once a few years ago that you’re not always going to be best friends with everyone you work with, and that’s okay, and that they are incredibly valuable to the work even if you don’t agree on some things. We have a rule at camp called, “Default to Trust,” which means that you assume the best intentions of everyone that’s making camp happen, whether you agree with them or not. I try to take that with me every day.

Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned or that helped improve the way you work?

It seems kind of basic, but I read on a silly blog somewhere the rule of, “Touch Once.” Basically it means that if you open an email, and you can answer it in three minutes or less, to just go ahead and damn answer it instead of putting it off. I’m bad about saying, “Oh, that’s quick, I’ll dig into this grant which will take hours and hours instead,” marking the email as Unread to get to later, and then having tons of Unread easy-to-tackle emails in my inbox that are hella overwhelming. The 'Touch Once' rule actually does make me work better. Also, I worked at the Notso Hostel in my hometown of Charleston, SC and we used to have to work a shift for free if we were five minutes late. It made me realize that being punctual is a sign of respect for someone else’s time and now I’m usually embarrassingly early to things, but I do think it’s made me a much better friend and worker.


What would you do with two more hours a day?

I would spend more time playing with my drone machine and loop pedal, doing watercolors, going on walks with friends, watering my plants, FaceTiming faraway besties, and meditating.

How do you decompress at the end of the work day?

I love doing yoga. I think sometimes working out feels super intimidating, especially for plus-size people like me, because people think there has to be a goal at the end. Yoga isn’t about goals for me - it’s just a way to move and breathe and be inside my body and it helps my brain sooo much. Making space to be solo and think and make mistakes and feel powerful makes me a more tender and aware person, partner, and friend, and I get that through my yoga practice.


What’s a fear that keeps you up at night?

I am always afraid that I’m not doing enough and that I’m not doing it in the best way. I hope that we continue to challenge ourselves and our youth to create a more inclusive community of music-makers and artists and have a blast doing it. I hope the youth who have participated in Rock Camp trust themselves and their personal power and value the voices of the generation after them. I hope that DIY spaces and all-ages venues crop up everywhere, from rural Shelbyville to the center of Nashville. I hope that young people remember that their reflection is only a fraction of who they are. I hope that Ladies Rock Camp participants walk into their office jobs every day holding their heads high and standing up for their inner rockstar. I hope that governmental institutions prioritize the voices of marginalized people and funnel money into the arts and local organizations that work for equity.

What is one thing everyone gets wrong about what you do?

I think that everyone thinks that YEAH begins and ends with Rock Camp. But Hailey Rowe works all year to make badass programming happen (like Ladies Rock Camp), and Jess Hawthorne is always making sure we’re all good with our taxes and brainstorming connections, and I’m writing grants and reaching out to foundations and thinking big-picture, trying to loop in new partners to what we do. We all have full-time jobs year-round making YEAH happen, it’s just our summer camps that are the most forward-facing.


What does self care look like in your life?

I think self-care for me these past few years is learning how to say no. I historically over-commit and then I do a half-ass job at a ton of things, but when I am strategic about what I bring into my life and commit to, I’m so much happier and better at what I get to do.

What helps when you’re stuck? Do you have a motto or quote that inspires/motivates you?

One of my favorite poems is “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver. My best friend and I have tattoos on our hands of wild geese, and when we put our hands together it makes a V formation.

“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”

Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese”


Are there any women who helped pave the way for your success?

Rock Camp only works because of the men, women, and gender non-conforming people that make it happen together. This community in Middle Tennessee that has been mentoring youth for fifteen years constantly blows my mind, and the new people that find a family in the positive work of mentorship inspire all of us to keep doing what we do. According to last year’s surveys, the vast majority of our volunteers are repeat volunteers (73%!), and 1 in 5 volunteers is a former camper. Creating safe spaces for women and gender non-conforming youth and adults means having difficult conversations, staying educated, looking at privilege, and facing the myriad of very real obstacles that our community navigates daily. Through Rock Camp, we see that creativity can help dissipate the fear and self-doubt that we all walk around with - and collaborating helps us feel like we aren't alone in that work. Any success I have is due to the hard work of everyone that makes our programs so badass.

Women that inspire me daily include Patti Smith, Nina Simone, Wendy Carlos, Margaret Atwood, Mary Oliver, Alice Coltrane, and my rad mailwoman.

I do want to give a shoutout to my mom here. She is the best lady I’ve ever met, loves to car-dance to “Mississippi Queen” by Mountain, makes killer french toast, and is just so good through and through. I remember when I was a freshman in college, I had a lil freakout moment second semester (ie: Who am I? Do I even want to be a Ceramics major, wtf? How the hell am I going to pay for these loans later? Is store-brand Kahlua in my coffee every morning helping or hurting me?) and she drove four hours to my tiny new-to-me college town, got a cheap motel room, bought a literal ton of Twix bars, and we watched figure skating on the busted television until we fell asleep. That meant so much to me. I don’t know if I’ve ever even told her, but I do think that that action encouraged me so much and paved the way for me to keep going through adversity. Like, there’s this beautiful current of understanding between people that is always there, even when you’re confused and upset and want to give up. I think about it a lot and seek to provide that moment for other people as much as I can.


Lastly, and most important, what is your favorite TV show and what is your favorite snack?

My deep fam knows that if I’m having a weird day or I’m sick, putting on the Ocean episodes of any David Attenborough show will get my vibe right. My other favorite show is Mr. Show with Bob and David - it’s genius. Also, I could and would eat an entire watermelon in one sitting. It’s the perfect food, in every way.

All photos courtesy of Sarah Bandy

P.S. Meet last week's bitch:  Pastry Chef, Rebekah Turshen!

P.P.S. Full list of My Bitches here.

July 24, 2017

An Interview with Pastry Chef Rebekah Turshen


So many women fantasize about getting paid to bake, that Amy Schumer made a sketch about it. Please know, I am one of these women. If I could get paid to bake chocolate chip cookies all day? Forget about it. Which is why I was excited when today's bitch agreed to answer this questionnaire. I love hearing the nitty gritty on jobs that so many of us daydream about. See also: writer, fashion designer, artist, shop owner, yoga instructor, etc.

Hands-down, my favorite restaurant in Nashville is City House. Before I even knew Rebekah, I was in love with her desserts. I'm in a years long love affair with her Tennessee Waltz cake. On my fortieth birthday, she had a peach ice-box cake that made me cry it was so good. Follow her on Instagram to find all the places you can buy her desserts. Meet today's bitch, Rebekah Turshen!


What is your job title and where do you work?

I'm the pastry chef at City House in Germantown. I also sell take-out sweets at Lazzaroli Pasta and you can usually find me with my husband Art By Harry hawking our wares at Porter Flea.

When did you first learn about this field of work? How did you know it was what you wanted to do?

I was looking for work in Oxford while attending Ole Miss a year past my allotted four and found the vegetarian bakery on the square in need of an assistant baker. My first day was all it took to be hooked. I had been meandering toward a degree in graphic design and just didn't feel made out for it. I'd been struggling and unsure about how to move forward, three classes shy of graduation. It will be 25 years baking for a living in February and thankfully no one's missed those three credits yet!

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?

Keep your head down and focus on your work.


Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned or that helped improve the way you work?

Write everything down in the moment! With recipes there is so much to keep straight! Variation in batch size, application, flavor profiles, plus the constant general tweaking towards perfection! Then the brainstorming, to do lists, order lists, who-needs-what lists! Whenever I slip up and forget to write things down, I regret it.

What would you do with 2 more hours a day?

As long as we're dreaming, I would save them all up and take a real sabbatical. If my math is right that's 30 days a year!! I would divide it between going to stage at another restaurant and taking a real vacation with my husband.

What is your greatest success, or something you’re most proud of related to what you do?

I am so grateful that my job every day is producing work that I love in a restaurant where I feel appreciated by my boss, coworkers and community. It is a too rare privilege in the world and I feel very lucky.


How do you decompress at the end of the work day?

As much as I hate to admit it, my 45 minute drive home. Flipping between 91.1, 92Q, 101 The Beat, WXNA, 102.1 The Ville, or just rolling down the windows if it was a really rough one. Also animal videos and animal squishing!

What’s a fear that keeps you up at night?

That I won't be able to fall asleep.

What is one thing everyone gets wrong about what you do?

People tend to romanticize the job.


What does self care look like in your life?

Eating yogurt every morning, remembering to take care of my hands, bike riding! And doing things I don't feel like doing when I know it will make me feel better or at least get them out of the way.

What helps when you’re stuck? Do you have a motto or quote that inspires/motivates you?

Flipping through my cookbooks, old magazines and notebooks is always good. Never stop learning!

Are there any women who helped pave the way for your success?

First off, my two grandmothers who were both very talented bakers. Iva Lee Haynes was my coconut cake, cobbler and pie grandmother. Stella Turshen was my mandelbrot, poppyseed cookie and chocolate loaf cake grandmother. Also the two bakers slash business owners I learned from and worked for early in my career, Paige Osborne at Harvest Cafe and Martha Foose at Bottletree Bakery.


Lastly, and most important, what is your favorite TV show and what is your favorite snack?

Miss Dynamite, Blankets and Better Call Saul! Definitely ice cream!

All photos courtesy of Rebekah Turshen

P.S. Meet last week's bitch:  Business Manager, Cara Jackson!

P.P.S. Full list of My Bitches here.

July 19, 2017

How to Create a Street Style Look on a Budget


I come from a long line of women with the gift of thrift. As a child, every time I opened a gift from one of my grandmothers, I would ask my mom if it was from the “big G”, meaning Goodwill. I thrift for important reasons like sustainable fashion, and I thrift for fun reasons, like knowing no one else at the art crawl will be wearing what I’m wearing. But mostly I like the challenge of recreating Instagram-worthy street style outfits for eight dollars.

Do you try thrift shopping, but can't seem to find anything worth buying? Do you score awesome finds, then get home and have no idea how to wear them? Do you get overwhelmed, hangry and end up abandoning a cart full of clothes you're too tired to try on? Is that four year old Banana Republic shirt really worth six dollars? Seriously, is there a vending machine in this building? Can a sister get a Snickers?


Good news! I can help. On July 27 Goodwill is hosting a meet-up called Style with a Purpose. Get personalized advice from seven local bloggers and shop merchandise especially selected by the experts (that's me!) to reflect our unique styles. We'll share our shopping strategies and help you put outfits together.

You guys, this is the most excited I've been in a long time. I get to pull items from Goodwill and put them on my very own clothing rack! And that's not even the best part. I get a mannequin!!! I mean, if for nothing else, come to see what I put on that mannequin.


My style is Sally Jessy Raphael goes to Brooklyn. I’m a buttoned-up Gen X-er with a passion for Bushwick street style. I am nothing if not a woman of contradictions. I'm in my forties, but don't have the disposable income to prove it. I want to be accepted, but I don't want to look like anyone else in the room.

You, too? Great! Here are some tips for creating a street style look on a budget.


How To Shop:

Pay attention to sale days. I like to shop Goodwill on the first Saturday of the month when everything is 50% off. Pro tip: follow Goodwill on Instagram for sale reminders.

Don't ignore the Men's section. Some of my favorite finds are from the Men's section: denim jackets, ironic tees, overalls, sweatshirts, etc.

Shop in the outfit you're looking to complete. If I want to buy a kimono or robe to wear as a jacket, I'll shop in the jeans and t-shirt I'm planning to wear with the kimono/robe.


How To Wear Robes:

With confidence. Also, if I'm wearing a thrifted family vacation tee under a Sears Roebuck 3XL housecoat, I'll wear designer jeans, nice shoes and a normal (ish) handbag. But this may be more of a testament to my age than my style.


Who To Follow for Street Style Inspiration:

Me!
Man Repeller
Who What Wear
New York Times Fashion
Clare Press
New York From Behind


Where To Wear:

At this point, I'm getting dressed to walk to the mailbox, but hey, I work from home. I save my craziest best street style outfits for art crawls, burlesque shows, Frist Fridays, drag shows, and going to Publix. If you're lucky, you can find me accidentally hiking in a caftan and Birkenstocks when someone forgets to tell me what to dress for on a Sunday drive.


There's no non-creepy way to say this, but if you follow me online and have never met me, come to this event! I promise, it won't be weird. Unless the fact that I've already named my mannequin Stevie Nicks is weird.


If you know you're coming, duh, go ahead and RSVP. Having a headcount helps know how many drinks and snacks to buy. I did mention there will be drinks and snacks, right? Put it on your calendar now! I'll be too busy dressing Stevie Nicks to remind you on the day of.

See you on July 27!

P.S. Now is the perfect time to get your denim jacket ready for fall!

P.P.S. A report on NYC street style trends by moi.

July 17, 2017

An Interview with Business Manager Cara Jackson


Photo cred: Heidi Ross

A fashion designer, an artist and a lawyer walk into a bar. And they all leave happy because the lawyer is Cara Jackson. Cara is the go-to for Nashville's creative community. Do you know what a lot of us who are creative entrepreneurs don't have, especially if we're women? Investors. I mean, we also don't have disposable income, but we're too busy to shop anyway. Without investors, there are no lawyers, strategists, or business managers.

Being a creative entrepreneur is surprisingly litigious. Designs get stolen, art gets damaged, contracts get breached, contracts get made with major retailers, commercial leases get signed, no one wants to pays you ever, etc. Also, we didn't go to business school. Strategy, smart growth. What's that? How great would it be if there was someone you could hire to help you, someone who was already immersed in the local fashion and art scene? Oh wait, there is, and she's today's bitch. Meet Cara Jackson!


What do you do and what is the name of your business?

I’m a recovering-intellectual-property-lawyer-turned-business-manager for fashion designers and creative entrepreneurs. The easiest way to describe what I do is I’m a part-time CEO for creative businesses.

When did you first learn about this field of work? How did you know it was what you wanted to do?

I knew that business managers existed in the music industry, but I hadn’t thought of its application to fashion until Van Tucker planted the seed in my head. I’ve always loved being around really talented, creative people, and the idea of putting my legal and business skills to work to help them manage and grow their businesses was basically how I would have described my dream job.

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?

When I was starting my business, one of my mentors told me that the strongest word in my arsenal would be “no”—no to business opportunities that would steer me off course and no to clients who are not a good fit for me (and vice versa). And, of course, he was right.

Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned or that helped improve the way you work?

To know my strengths, focus on doing what I’m good at, and then find smart people who are great at the things that I can’t or shouldn’t be doing. This might sound dramatic, but I really do believe that trying to do everything yourself is the quickest route to failure.

What would you do with 2 more hours a day?

Cook and read more. And I have a sneaking suspicion that I could easily find an extra 2 hours if I would just put down my phone on occasion (hello, Instagram)…

What has been the biggest sacrifice you’ve made?

One thing that I’ve definitely had to get used to are the ups and downs of start-up life. A steady paycheck, benefits and vacation days are a fond, distant memory, but I wouldn’t trade them for the sheer adventure of the last almost 2 years.


What is your greatest success, or something you’re most proud of related to what you do?

When one of my clients has a great sales month or lands a major account or gets fantastic press, that makes me proud. Helping other people achieve success makes me feel successful.

Do you have a morning ritual that helps you set the tone for the day?

Working out in the mornings is a priority for me because it wakes me up and gives me energy for the day. When I’m feeling stretched thin, I make extra time in the morning for meditation and journaling, and I won’t check my email or social media until those things are done. But if I wake up and am just not feeling any of that, then a good, strong cup of coffee can set the right tone.

How do you decompress at night?

Usually by catching up on industry news or watching something on Netflix with a snoring pup beside me.

What helps when you’re stuck? Do you have a motto or quote that inspires/motivates you?

I get stuck when I have too much to do, and I can’t decide where to begin. When that happens, I write down a list of everything that needs to be done, and then I pick the simplest task. Quickly knocking out that first task and crossing it off the list motivates me to keep going.

What does self care look like in your life?

Going to the gym or doing yoga, eating (mostly) healthy and getting plenty of sleep is how I do self care. I also try to find time for a massage and treat myself to a nail service or facial at Poppy & Monroe once a month.

Are there any women who helped pave the way for your success?

There are too many to name. Every woman who has worked with me, referred a client to me, graciously spent time with me over coffee and offered advice, or even just given me a small word of encouragement. You know who you are, and I am forever grateful.


Lastly, and most important, what is your favorite TV show and what is your favorite snack?

I don’t spend much time in front of the TV, but I did just binge watch Big Little Lies and LOVED it. My favorite snack right now would have to be Living Raw truffles. Any kind. They’re crazy good.

All photos courtesy of Cara Jackson

P.S. Meet last week's bitch:  Burlesque Student, Becca Kemp!

P.P.S. Full list of My Bitches here.

July 16, 2017

Friday Links


READING THIS WEEK...

My friend bitch Amanda Valentine had one of her designs stolen, which she writes about here, but read through to the end for some real talk on fast fashion.

I've loved Missy Elliot, aka Misdemeanor, since college and this article on her being the embodiment of weird femininity is great.

My obsession with Samantha Irby continues and it's only 80% because she likes my posts on Instagram sometimes.

If you are a man who accidentally ended up here, this is for you. Lindy West: Real Men Might Get Made Fun Of.

lulz...


EYES AND EARS...

You guys, I can't make myself watch anything current. Too many emotions! Instead, I'm living my best life on Hulu with Golden Girls and Beverly Hills 90210. I ain't sorry.



Are you forty-one years old and still paying off your student loan from EIGHTEEN YEARS ago? No, just me? This two-part podcast from Death Sex + Money about the shame around student loan debt is 1,000% worth the time investment. Shout-out to Mary Laura for the rec.


Stop whatever you're doing and listen to this podcast on Jay Z and Beyonce and the link between their albums, 4:44 and Lemonade. Make sure and listen to the end to get your mind blown by Jenna on the significance of the number four.

THRIFTING...


When I was in NYC a few months ago, these silky bomber jackets were in all the stores. I found one at Goodwill for 99 cents. 99 cents! Also, thanks to Louisa for the Vogue-worthy picture.

I ENDORSE...

A FB page where UPS drivers post pictures of dogs they meet on their routes.

Cherry brown butter bars.

Myself! I'm a Goodwill style blogger and I'm hosting Style With A Purpose on July 27!


July 7, 2017

Friday Links


READING THIS WEEK...

What The Latest NRA Ad Reveals About America

Celine Dion is having a moment, and I am here for it.

This whole article on Samira Wiley is great, but the last sentence about Margaret Atwood leaving a tongue emoji in an Instagram comment is hilarious.

One of the things I admire about millennials is their openness around mental health and therapy. I didn't go to therapy until I was 38 and it took awhile before I talked about it. Not this younger generation. They post selfies in their therapists' offices, and they're like, "#selfcareyall". I love it.

lulz...


EYES AND EARS...

I watched the movie 20th Century Women on Amazon and it was great! I'm still making my way through the recent season of OITNB. I just watched the Piscatella episode - OMG. Every time I watch something that gives me emotions, I have to watch a palette cleanser like The Golden Girls or The Great British Baking Show, thus my slow progress on watching anything current.

A lot of the podcasts I listen to didn't upload new episodes this week. I assume because of the 4th of July. I listened to some filler, but nothing worth noting.

THRIFTING...


This is obviously from my Instagram Story, but I keep getting requests for pictures of me wearing my thrift store finds out in the wild, so here you go. Both the robe and t-shirt are from Bellevue Goodwill.

I ENDORSE...

DJ Khaled in the NYT Fashion & Style section
Style with a Purpose
Ona Rex

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