a cup of couture with miss peloquin


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Janna Peloquin is every bit as stylish as one would expect a fashion editor to be. As she rushes into Urban Bean coffee shop in Uptown Minneapolis, she remains cool and unruffled by the chaos around her.We begin with the basic introductions and usual small talk, and I soon learn I don't have to prod or probe Jahna for answers; the conversation feels more like a colloquial dialogue between friends than a formal interview. She speaks softly, her demeanor is gentle and welcoming, polite yet sincere. I have asked her to meet me to discuss her life as a local Twin Cities journalist, and her enthusiastic responses flow effortlessly.

It became clear to me why Ms. Peloquin has quickly become one of the most renowned freelance fashion writers in the Twin Cities, as I read her articles in L'etoile, a Minneapolis-based online fashion magazine and from following her blog, Le Petite Connaisseur de La Mode, which METRO magazine has consistently awarded "best fashion blog" for the past five years.

Much like myself, Jahna admits that she is no expert when it comes to technology, and we begin to discuss the downsides as well as the disadvantages of the new school of journalism and emerging new social media. "For me, in a lot of ways it's disappointing that basically anyone out there today can call themselves a journalist. I found that a girl I used to know is now working as a 'journalist' but never went to university and actually got a degree. That's frustrating because there's a lot of really bad writing in today's journalism world, and with more and more social media and a never-ending flow of information, I think we've lost touch with what constitutes 'good' writing," Jahna explains, "There's a definite focus on quantity over quality today."

As a college senior approaching graduation and (gasp!) the daunting "real-world", I asked Jahna what was the one piece of advice she would give someone entering this career path. "Find what you love to do. Get involved and get as much experience as you can. It can be overwhelming dealing with so much information and constant deadlines, and I can't say I'll be doing the same thing in five years, but I consider myself very lucky to have found a happy balance in my life doing what I love."

Jahna Peloquin is a contributing writer for Star Tribune's Vita.mn, the651.com, l'etoile magazine, Secrets of the City, and LOL/OMG. She has been a stylist for Juut, Vitamin Water, Minnesota Bride, MN Opera, METRO magazine, and is lead stylist for VOLTAGE: Fashion Amplified. Her blog "Le Petite Connaisseur de La Mode" has been awarded best fashion blog by METRO magazine for the last five years.

the groundswell is upon us

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I should begin by admitting that I was quite possibly born in the wrong generation. I am not a technology person, which worries me a great deal, as everyone knows it is the main component within the public relations and marketing areas (which happen to be my major fields of study). Much to my frustration, I am an old-fashioned, pen-and-paper kind of gal who tends to curl up in a ball or run away at the mention of new technology.

So I set out to do some research, and came across Groundswell, a sort of "how-to" guide from the folks at Forrester Research. I was delighted to find it was clear, concise, well-organized, and most importantly easy to grasp. Authors Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff define the groundswell as "a social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations."

In other words, today's online landscape consists mainly of people connecting with other people to find answers. Today it is people, not corporations, who determine if your business prevails or fails. The book offers an in-depth analysis of the groundswell as a threat to institutions and gives advice to marketers, novice and expert alike, on ways to use the groundswell to your advantage. Basically, the book lays out the technologies used in today's online world and tells marketers how to work with instead of against) the groundswell phenomenon.

Throughout the book, the emphasis is on the relationships rather than the technologies. After reading the book, I can't say I was any less overwhelmed by the abundance of technologies, means of communication, and information we are forced with everyday, however, I was able to get a better grasp on how communication has changed so vastly and how the emergence of new technologies has impacted human communication as a whole.

A great read for anyone -actually everyone- interested in media, communication, marketing, business and pretty much every other field.

ArtiCulture

I recently discovered a nonprofit arts education organization called ArtiCulture. It started in 2000 to address the "void" of art education programs in the Minneapolis/St. Paul areas. It began operating first out of a church basement, then out of a tiny former dental office, before relocating in 2008 to the Seward neighborhood. The art center is now comprised of a large studio space, a small art gallery, and a retail space which features local artists (some of whom are ArtiCulture members) and sells art supplies.

The organization offers interactive opportunities for all ages and skill levels, from experienced art enthusiasts to emerging new talent. The program emphasizes the importance of visual art and the creative process to stimulate members of the community to enhance their skills in other areas in their lives.

ArtiCulture has worked with other local organizations and businesses to illustrate the importance of art in local communities. Community-based mural projects have brought teens together to create public works of art to enhance the beauty in their communities. ArtSlam, a project incorporating poetry and visual art, allows teens and young adults to voice their beliefs and passions using art as an expressive channel.

"How the First Nine Months Shaped the Rest of Your Life"

Found an amazing article in Time Magazine about the study of fetal origins and the developmental origins of health and disease.

My letter to the editor:

Re: "How the First Nine Months Shape the Rest of Your Life"


I was absolutely fascinated and thrilled to read about the research on fetal origins and how motherhood and prenatal lifestyles are directly linked to the baby's life in adulthood.
As a Type 1 Diabetic, I have always wondered why, if no one in my family has a history with the disease (as is often the case) I was diagnosed. My mother has felt a lot of guilt that she possibly did something during her pregnancy to predispose me to the illness, and this article probed our interests further and raised more questions. I've always believed our mother's lifestyle habits during pregnancy have direct consequences on our mental and behavioral health, predisposition to diseases, temperament, and intelligence. The analogy of the "biological postcards from the world outside" sent from mother to baby was appropriate and illustrative of the factors which influence the fetus later in life. It was especially interesting to note that the author was herself pregnant at the time of publication. All women expecting should read this article. Thank you for providing research and evidence that solidifies my beliefs in the developmental origins of health and disease and for shedding light on such a fascinating topic.

Marie Claire's "fatties" blog

mike-and-molly-mdn.jpgOn September 25, 2010, marieclaire.com blogger Maura Kelly posted a story called "Should Fatties Get a Room? (Even on TV)". It was essentially her response to a new show on CBS called "Mike and Molly" which stars an obese couple who met at "Overeaters Anonymous". By the end of the day, livid Marie Claire readers posted over 1,000 comments on the blog and canceled their subscriptions. The story became a national news feature, with a gamut of media outlets discussing Kelly's inappropriate blog.

But rather than apologize for the distasteful blog entry and remove it, Marie Claire instead jumped to Kelly's defense, stating the beauty of "free speech", and the fact that Kelly herself had struggled with anorexia. Kelly posted a lengthy apology, saying she was sorry for offending people and never meant to "hurt anyone's feelings". Some may argue that this type of attitude is to be expected from a women's fashion magazine, but Marie Claire is renowned for it's pro-body image stance, with blogs called "Fat Girl in a Skinny World" and discussion forums online such as "The Hunger Diaries" which explores the pressures imposed by society of being thin and beautiful.

For Marie Claire not to issue a public apology reprimanding Kelly's article is both shocking and inexcusable. To make matters worse, there was in fact an editor for Kelly's entry, who also defended and justified Kelly's article. As a Marie Claire reader myself, I was definitely disappointed in the way this was handled on both a corporate and a humane scale. With personal experience involving eating disorders, I am appalled and saddened that I can no longer turn to Marie Claire to rest assured that it's my mind, not my body, that makes me who I am.

who am i?

Well hello there! I am Kate, a 22 year old journalism student at the U of M, with a focus in PR and mass communication. In addition to being a PRSSA member, I have worked in event planning and general promotion of Cliché Boutique located in Minneapolis. I am highly interested in marketing, interior design, and art history. I have also been a student tutor in a college English department. I pay meticulous attention to detail, and love anything which requires reading and writing. I also speak fluent Spanish and am fascinated with culture in general. I have a strong sense of what determines efficient communication and I excel in social environments. My family is from England and I have been fortunate to travel to several wonderful places and experience other cultures.