I spent the biggest chunk of my childhood in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, daydreaming on my tree swing and tearing through book after book after book (and living for Seventeen to slide into our mailbox). Before my junior year of high school, though, we moved to Hanover, New Hampshire, where an English teacher commented that I was the best writer he'd ever had in class. This inspired me to try working at the campus newspaper when I started college. Right away, I knew I'd found my thing. Following a summer internship at The Gloucester Daily Times north of Boston, I landed a coveted, full-time internship at The Boston Globe, where I earned both local and national bylines (including covering a plane crash and a hurricane). I also became the first college intern to win the New Hampshire Press Association Rookie of the Year award, beating out post-grad writers with full-time positions.
Newspapers were the best training ground, but after earning my journalism degree, I immediately took off for New York City to make all my magazine dreams come true—as one does. That journey wasn't *quite* as linear as I'd imagined: I actually started out writing headlines for Dow Jones financial newswires (hey, you gotta take what you can get!). Next, I got an associate-editor gig at a fashion trade magazine company, where I got to write approximately one million stories whilst traveling to trade shows around the world and mastering unexpected industry skills, like how to borrow and style clothing for photoshoots and wrangle a rolling rack into the trunk of an NYC cab during rush hour. At age 27, I was named editor in chief of the iconic monthly children's wear magazine Earnshaw's, managing a staff of editors, overseeing all aspects of production, and planning/hosting an annual runway show.
That job was in many ways a dream (my own office overlooking Herald Square—with a Sephora downstairs!), yet I still wanted to experience working at a big-name magazine. Thus, when I got inside scoop about a a research-editor position at Martha Stewart Living, I knew I had to go for it—despite the major bump down in title and a job description that involved zero writing (just fact-checking the work of other writers). The experience proved invaluable: There is nothing like combing through an encyclopedia of heirloom tomatoes or a definitive guide to cultivating hostas to fine-tune your attention to detail. I was low woman on the masthead, but I offered to write for free whenever the editors needed help. They eventually took me up on this, and I began to accumulate my first national magazine clips. When Martha Stewart launched Blueprint—a brilliant but short-lived publishing experiment that insiders talk about to this day, a la Sassy—I got the job of staff writer. This was the best job I've ever had. Well, except barista at The Dirt Cowboy Cafe in Hanover ... but, apples and oranges.
I would have happily continued on forever at Blueprint, but then Glamour came calling, and I learned that it's HARD to say no to Glamour. The then-executive-editor had read one of my Blueprint articles on a plane (one of my funny modern-etiquette columns) and called me into Conde Nast to interview for a beauty writer-editor position that was open. This was the big time, and I definitely didn't have the heels or manicure for the part, but I got it. Oh the things I learned in the hallowed halls of Four Times Square during the heyday of magazine journalism. Conde Nast was said to have show ponies and work horses, and I was proud to be one of the latter. Even when I was still at my desk at 8 p.m. In addition to writing and editing for the magazine, I also helped launch the brand's digital presence via one very popular beauty blog (more on that here!).
By the time I left Glamour to go freelance, I was one generously seasoned writer. Over the past decade-plus, I've gotten to write for so many more of the publications and brands I grew up admiring, and to learn about so many topics. These days, I particularly love working on health articles and home tours—nothing tells you more about a person than their home. A few years ago, I finally moved back to Maine with my husband and three kids—my current-day version of living the dream.