Nancy Drew stories, the Peanuts comic strips, Mad Magazine and a stack of library books drew me into new worlds, far from my PA hometown as a girl. Fast forward to New York City and a career as a marketer and merchandiser in the retailing, apparel and media industries. While employed full time I started graduate school to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing and earned my degree in 2015. Since then I have published personal essays (with more forthcoming), art reviews, and business articles.
After leaving corporate, I started a brand consulting business. A few years later I was tapped as an Encore Fellow and entered the non-profit sector. My business building and marketing skills have generated revenue and expanded brand awareness for non-profit and for profit clients. Services include email marketing, social media strategy, website content, newsletters and annual appeal messaging. I also do event planning, webinar programming, grant writing, and select brand licensing projects. For those in need of a personal branding refresh, I create resumes, cover letters, bios, Linked In and social media profiles.
If you need help in the aforementioned areas or would like to discuss a writing assignment, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business, Work & Leadership
My part-time jobs starting at age fifteen included office clerk, sales associate, and waitress. I began my professional career climbing the ladder at Lord & Taylor and Bloomingdales. Check out my story, “Uniforms,” on two pivotal jobs, one in high school as a health care aide and my first job after college as a department store executive trainee. Other pieces about work include reporting on a talk with Jill Abramson after she was fired from The New York Times and observations about Gloria Steinem’s influence on teen girls.
Clothes played a major role in my livelihood as a buyer, merchandiser, and marketer. I’m fascinated by the cultural, social and historical context of fashion. Dressing, regardless of one’s station in life, is a powerful form of expression. I was brought up Catholic and have a fascination with ritual and the rich religious traditions. My review of the Met’s Heavenly Bodies exhibit describes Catholicism’s influence on well-known designers including Christian Dior, Jeanne Paul Gaultier and Alexander McQueen.
I am one of six kids, second generation Italian-American. After my father became ill, my mother ran the show, juggling her roles as mom, 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 herself was not able to finish high school. She inspired my own path and supported my struggles in her special way, which I share in this essay.
Living in New York
In 1975, I stepped off the bus at Port Authority from Hazleton, Pennsylvania, carrying two suitcases, my entry to New York City. 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 and learned how to become a real New Yorker. That building was demolished a few years ago to make way for an upscale hotel, but my memories of ‘80s era East Village are still vivid.