I began writing short stories as a creative outlet after my corporate merchandising job was eliminated in the late eighties. When I was a kid, I dreamt of becoming Nancy Drew or Nancy Dickerson, the first female TV news anchor. Neither was a practical option after college. Fast forward to a career in retailing, apparel marketing and brand licensing. While employed full time, I started graduate school to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing and earned my degree in 2015. A year later, I was tapped as an Encore Fellow and initially entered the non-profit sector in marketing and operations. Today I am a marketing communications and business development consultant. My freelance writing includes business and leadership topics, personal essays and art reviews. If you need help on a consulting basis in the aforementioned areas or with a writing project, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business, Work & Leadership
I had part-time jobs starting at age fifteen, determined to gain financial independence, learn about business, and climb the corporate ladder. My first professional foray was in the tough world of retailing. I spent more than three decades in corporate and have plenty of stories about the good, the bad and the ugly. Check out my story, “Uniforms,” my reporting on a talk with Jill Abramson after she was fired from The New York Times, and a blog post about Gloria Steinem’s influence on teen girls.
Living in New York
In 1975, I stepped off the bus at Port Authority from Hazleton, Pennsylvania, carrying two suitcases and my mother’s homemade lasagna. I lived on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights, a neighborhood that felt more small town than big city. Five years later, after a stint in Washington, D.C., I moved into my first Manhattan apartment on East 11th Street. That building was recently demolished to make way for a new hotel, but my memories of ‘80s era East Village are still vivid.
I am one of six kids, second generation Italian-American. My mother ran the show after my father became ill, and juggled her roles as breadwinner, cook, gardener and financial manager. She got us public library cards, scrimped to pay for our Catholic education, and saw to it that we all went to college, though she was not able to finish high school.
Apparel played a major role in my livelihood as a buyer, merchandiser, marketing and licensing executive. I’m fascinated by the cultural, social and historical context of fashion. Dressing is a powerful form of expression and how we outfit ourselves speaks volumes.