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Meet the Editors of Prime Publishing

Amy Finn

Amy FinnMy name is Amy. I was born and raised in the great city of Philadelphia and moved to the Chicagoland area to attend Lake Forest College in 2009. At school, I worked on the literary magazine, wrote for various websites and blogs, and was also the captain of the swim team. When I graduated in 2012 with a degree in English, I decided that Chicago was the place to be, so I stayed.

I came to Prime Publishing after working as a legal assistant for a few months after graduation. I was happy to finally be entering the publishing industry, earning the title "Editor" and being able to write about something I am passionate about: food.

My family was never a big food family, but we did eat together a lot. One summer, I took over the responsibility of cooking dinner for my parents and brothers and really got into it, finding different recipes to create. Some were great; others, not so much. That summer is when I got excited about cooking, and that excitement never really died down. I love cooking for myself now that I live on my own and am always trying new foods and recipes.

Along with working at Prime Publishing, I enjoy writing, reading, and swimming as well as generally working out. One of my lifelong goals is to travel around the world and write a book about it, much like Elizabeth Gilbert.

 

Annie Rosean

Annie RoseanMy name is Annie, and I’m a recent graduate of Allegheny College, though “recent” is becoming less applicable every day. From Allegheny, I earned a degree in English with a double minor in Psychology and Spanish. While I loved my four years spent in a tucked-away Pennsylvanian town, it’s certainly refreshing to be back in Chicagoland with my family.

After graduation I dabbled in various jobs that included assisting at a Chicago summer camp, interning at Chicago’s PBS affiliate, and interning briefly at an independent children’s book publisher. These experiences were invaluable to my post-grad education, and I’m so grateful to continue learning at Prime Publishing.

As the current editor of AllFreeSewing, I’m learning something new every day. While I come from a creative stock, the only sewing machine in my house belonged to my great-grandmother. Needless to say, I’m pretty accustomed to hand-sewing, but working with the talented contributors to AllFreeSewing has reacquainted me with the complexities of the new-fandangled sewing machine.

 

 

Arielle Matlin

Arielle MatlinHi! My name is Arielle and I’m from Glencoe, Illinois, a small village near our offices in Northbrook. I graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a degree in Political Science and Economics.

My passion for food began at an early age and continues to grow. I love experimenting in the kitchen with new techniques and ethnic dishes. Cooking gives me inspiration and helps me unwind. Now I have a job that encourages me to whip up delicious recipes, what could be better?

Outside of Prime, my life revolves around going to Blackhawks games, finding the best new restaurants in the city, and playing with my chocolate lab, Chloe.

 

Audrey Huggett

Audrey HuggettHello, all.  My name is Audrey.   I hail from Michigan, and I’m proud of it.  I ended up in Chicago after I graduated from Albion College, with a degree in English.  In the summer of 2012, I packed up my new diploma, my knitting needles, and several dozen books and trekked out to Chicago to start the next phase of my life.   I have never lived in—or even close to—a city this big before, so every day in the city brings something unexpected my way.  My favorite places in Chicago, so far, are the Harold Washington Library and the Art Institute.

Reading has been one of my favorite activities since childhood, and I love sharing my discoveries with others.  If you stand still long enough, chances are I’ll begin regaling you with the latest thing I’ve learned or some fun fact that I think is relevant to the current topic. I love discovering and learning about new worlds, or parts of this world, through books and podcasts (when I’m unable to read).  

I am a long-time knitter and maker of things.  Knitting has been my gateway drug into the crafting world (and what a potent opiate it is); I’ve expanded my skills and attention to spinning, weaving, dyeing, and sewing.   I recently adopted an English Angora Rabbit, who I named Oliver, in the hopes that I’ll be able to gather his fur to spin into my own yarn (ideally I would combine this fur with some sort of wool for added strength, durability, and longevity).   Experimenting with different fibers is something that I get really excited about.  Someday soon I hope to start designing my own knitting patterns. 

 

Blair Chavis

Blair ChavisMy name is Blair and I am originally from Highland Park, a northern suburb of Chicago not too far from Prime Publishing's home base in Northbrook, IL. Since childhood, I have loved crafting of all sorts, including drawing, painting, creating decorative crafts, sewing and making scrapbooks. As a child, my mom entered me in the children's craft section of the local art festival and I was in all my craft glory. As an adult, much of that fondness for crafting has manifested into foodie-ism. I am one of those nerdy restaurant-goers that takes pictures of my food when the dish looks spectacular. I also need photographic evidence when I bake.

Most recently, I worked as a reporter at the Chicago Tribune’s Triblocal.com, a suburban subsidiary focused on hyper-local community news and making the Web hip for newspapers. I reported on happenings in the northern suburbs of Chicago.

At 18, I stepped onto the hippie-filled sidewalks of Madison, WI, to later graduate from the University of Wisconsin in 2006 with a double degree in journalism and English. Before working for the Tribune Company, I tried my hand at broadcast journalism, first at an NBC affiliate in Madison and then moved back to Chicago to join forces with Chicago Public Radio. I have covered a broad range of stories about local and national politics, immigration, housing, the environment, health care, education and the arts. I still do freelance work for various news outlets.

When I'm not working, I blog for OyChicago.com, I enjoy watching foreign and independent films and eating dessert first. I also have a weakness for Hugh Grant movies and all things Food Network.

 

Bridget Herbig

Bridget HerbigHi there! My name is Bridget. I grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago, currently live in the west suburbs, and work in the north suburbs. On occasion I actually venture into the main city. Now all I have to do is learn about boating and I can explore Lake Michigan! I love traveling and motorcycling with my husband whenever possible. Give me the woods and nature and I’m a happy gal.

Northern Illinois University is where I graduated from with a degree in English. It was a heavy reading period for sure, but I’ve always been a bookworm so I soaked in as much as I could. After graduating, I held a couple of editing jobs. My previous job was at a book publishing company. When I’m old and gray, I can tell my grandkids all about how books were made many eons ago.

When I’m not busy working at Prime, I am usually reading, crafting, or baking. I started making things when I was kid. My mother supplied the early inspiration for my crafty side with her sewing and cross stitching talents. I learned what I could from her and then developed my own interests in embroidery, knitting, and sewing. After joining Prime, I decided to add crochet to my list of things to learn.

Baking is easier for me to do than cooking. There’s something very relaxing and rewarding about mixing together ingredients and getting something sweet in return. Nothing beats how happy you can make others with just a simple batch of brownies. If I could’ve been born in the 1940s or 50s, I think I would’ve made one awesome June Cleaver-ish housewife. I love puttering through resale shops looking for antiques and anything reminiscent of eras gone by. My favorite finds are usually kitschy decor, sewing materials, or kitchen accessories.

 

Caitlin Eaton

Caitlin EatonMy name is Caitlin and I’m from Kenosha, Wis. I’ve tried to escape several times, but that’s another story. When I‘m not frequenting record stores in Chicago, I love to absorb the culture in coffee shops while my veins absorb some caffeine. I graduated from Marquette University with a degree in journalism and am grateful for the wonderful professors that helped me hone my writing skills.

Writing is, and always will be, a passion of mine. In college, I was the Senior Feature reporter with my school’s magazine The Marquette Journal, and I also spent a year interning at Wisconsin Trails magazine, a publication devoted to the culture and history of Wisconsin. Both are quality publications, and yes, this is a shameless plug.

Narrowing down my interests is near impossible, but I do have a soft spot for any craft projects or clothing that are vintage or vintage inspired. To me, nothing is more beautiful than an object that was able to stand the test of time, like my grandmother’s pearl brooch, a black-and-white photograph, a Twinkie — well, perhaps not the latter, but you get the idea.  I also thrive on traveling and visit England frequently to see my husband's family. I’ve become nearly fluent in English slang, so if you ever need to know what it means to be shattered, what bangers and mash really are, or how many quid it takes to buy a pair of new Wellies, feel free to ask.

 

Christine Weiher

Christine WeiherHey it’s Christine, the crochet-a-holic (as of 2009). If you haven't guessed, yes, I like to crochet as I'm the editor who works on AllFreeCrochet.

On a personal note, I met my husband in 2003 and we're now parents of a baby girl who we love more than anything. I never knew love like this until she came into the world. In becoming a mom, I just can't stop crocheting baby items. I'm officially addicted. Is there a rehab for that?

I studied Journalism at Eastern Illinois University with a minor in Sociology. There I worked for the school newspaper as well as the magazine. From there I came here, to Prime. I currently work on AllFreeCrochet (as previously mentioned of course) which is where I find all my baby crochet patterns!

Before I started here I didn’t do much in the crafting world. I used to scrapbook in my high school years, but that was the extent of it. Now that I’ve been here for a while, I’ve crocheted scarves, afghans, amigurumi animals, flowers, headbands, leggings, ear warmers, cowls and hats. I'm sure I'm forgetting a few things. I’m learning new things every day while working here and I’ve come to realize that Michaels and Hobby Lobby are my two new favorite stores.

Fun facts in a nutshell: I have a terrible sweet tooth and I can't live without cookies, I love tropical vacations with palm trees, yet I'm petrified of flying, I have a shiba-husky dog who drives me insane (I'm pretty sure he's smarter than I am, yet he's scared of fans), and I love to crochet. Did I mention I love to crochet?

 

Dana Byerwalter

Dana ByerwalterMy name is Dana, and I’m a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I majored in Creative Writing and English, minored in Business. While at the U of I, I was involved with FOCUS (the Fellowship of Catholic University Students), and I also interned for one lovely semester at Common Ground Publishing. I was extremely blessed to study abroad in Prague during the summer after my junior year, and though it was only for a month, that experience has been absolutely vital to my development as a writer.

I’ve been writing for a long time, and I knew I wanted to pursue a career that would foster this creative outlet. Though I deeply aspire to write and publish a series of books (which I began working on at age 12), I am so grateful and excited for my new job in publishing.

When I’m not writing, I’m reading, drawing, playing piano, and spending time with loved ones. I love setting up little crafting get-togethers with friends and having wine and Scrabble nights with my mom. Before Prime, I worked at Michaels for well over four years. My creative passions have only grown since childhood, and I cannot wait to see where they will take me!

A few last-minute tidbits: My favorite author is William Faulkner, I don’t really like color, I am always optimistic, and people know me for my big hair.

 

Danielle Zimmerman

Oh, hello there! My name is Danielle. I just graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in December 2012 with a degree in English and a minor in Cinema Studies. As you may have already assumed, I absolutely love reading and watching movies as much as possible. In fact, I may have done more of those types of things than actual schoolwork. After graduating, I moved back home to the northwest suburbs of Chicago where I was born and raised, and then started working here at Prime Publishing in May.

The real world may have taken this girl out of the University of Illinois, but it will never take the University of Illinois out of this girl. When I was at school, the majority of my fall semesters were devoted to my beloved Illini football team. Even though I will no longer be able to attend every home game, I still plan on watching the games at home, decking myself out in all blue and orange, and cheering like crazy.

Working on TheBestDessertRecipes.com here at Prime Publishing is perfect for me. I have always loved baking and have been doing so as long as I remember. I was even a "Cookie Girl" at a well-known Chicagoland electronics store, Abt Electronics, during high school. I would just work all day in a fancy kitchen baking cookies to give away to customers. So to say that editing a website about desserts is like my calling is an understatement.

When I'm not reading, watching movies/tv, cheering on the Illini, or working, I enjoy snuggling with my big fluffy dog and writing articles for Hypable.com. It's the second most perfect job for me (behind writing about desserts all day here at Prime Publishing) because I'm a complete pop culture fanatic and I get to watch as many tv shows and movies as I'd like and blame it on having to write about them!

 

Emily Racette

Emily RacetteHey guys. My name is Emily and I am a recent graduate of Bradley University, where I studied history. When I wasn’t writing about Woodstock or narcocorridos (Mexican drug ballads) for my history classes, I was playing drums in the concert band and jazz ensemble. I was also involved in the planning of BU’s Relay for Life for four years. During my senior year, I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Paris for two weeks where I took a travel writing class. It was one of the best experiences of my life. Sightseeing, journaling, eating – that was the life.

One of my favorite things about Paris was the food. Croissants, crepes, duck confit, oh my! Everything was delicious. They take food seriously, and it shows. It’s too bad I didn’t like wine back then... I think I discovered my love for all things food around high school. I love to cook, but baking is my true passion. I’m so happy to work in an office where I can bring in my treats so I don’t eat them all myself! And that brings me to Prime.  I love being the editor of AllFreeCasseroleRecipes. Working with food all day every day is my dream job. I toyed with the idea of going to culinary school a few years ago, but decided to work with food in a different way. So, now it’s all casseroles all the time. I love going home and trying the recipes I’ve been staring at all day. Besides casseroles, I love making chocolate crack, cheesecake, and truffles.

When I’m not working or cooking, I enjoy running, reading, and browsing Pinterest. I’m obsessed with animals, and often check out the San Diego Zoo’s Panda Cam to see what their pandas are up to. If I didn’t work with food, I would definitely work with animals.

 

Emily Timmons

Emily TimmonsHi, my name’s Emily! I graduated from Augustana College in 2013 with a degree in both English and Creative Writing and a minor in Art History, and I spent a good chunk of my time in the pool playing water polo or kicking butt at swim meets.

My interest in crafting came from my grandma, who was patient enough to let me experiment with her craft supplies. I loved to paint, sculpt, and use pipe cleaners in every imaginable way. Since then, I’ve turned my love of crafting towards furniture re-dos and other painting projects. I’m always browsing thrift stores for items I can turn into something new. I also buy a lot of coffee mugs I don’t need, but that’s beside the point.

In my last year of college, I worked as a marketing intern for the Quad City Botanical Center and the Figge Art Museum, two cultural staples of the Quad City Area. What I loved most about those internships was doing work for a place that made people happy, and that’s what brought me to Prime Publishing. Working on AllFreeKidsCrafts.com gives me the chance to give people a little dose of happiness, much like my grandma did for me.  Plus, after spending seven years surrounded by kids while working at a country club pool, I think it’s safe to say I enjoy the spontaneity and energy of kids!

 

Jaclyn Holtzman

Jaclyn HoltzmanHi, all! I’m Jaclyn, DIY wedding aficionado. I graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2011 with a B.F.A in acting. After college, I spent a year out in Los Angeles (you may notice a familiar face --I won't say who-- in a few music videos, tv shows, and commercials), but my love for live theatre drove me right back to the heart of the Midwest: sweet home Chicago. As acting is a slightly unstable career (sarcasm), I stumbled upon another outlet for my creativity—blogging. After running my own blog for a year, I found myself at Prime Publishing where I could continue my quick-witted blogging for a living. Have no fear; I still act and will do so forever. I essentially have two full time jobs as I immerse myself in crafty bliss by day and wacky actor stuff by night. I am also a passionate singer and dancer, so I could never stay away from the stage for too long.

 

Jennifer Hendrix

Jennifer HendrixHi, I’m Jennifer! I received my B.A. from Lake Forest College, where I majored in English Literature. During my college days I spent most of my time reading up on philosophy, art history, photography, and literary theory. While it was hard to find one study to stick with, I have had a passion for writing for as long as I can remember.

I was born in Chicago and raised in the Northern suburbs, not far from Prime Publishing's office in Northbrook. I have been enjoying my time at Prime Publishing over the past year and am a proud member of the Craft Team. I am the editor of AllFreeHolidayCrafts.com, and love planning for every holiday and special occasion. When I’m not reading and writing, I spend my free time listening to Pearl Jam, collecting records, and adjusting to life as a newlywed.

 

Jenny Benoit

Jenny BenoitHi, I’m Jenny. I was born and raised in Wilmette, a suburb just north of Chicago. I graduated from Missouri’s School of Journalism with a Bachelor’s degree in Magazine Design and a minor in Textile & Apparel Management; I’m happy to finally be out of Cardinals territory and back in the Windy City! While at Mizzou, I worked as a contributing student writer for the Columbia Missourian daily newspaper and Vox Magazine.

Before joining the team of editors at Prime Publishing, I spent four years working in the veterinary field as a receptionist, while simultaneously freelance writing for an online shopping community to satisfy my need to write (and to shop!). Although it was a joy spending my days playing with animals, it is incredibly rewarding to finally spend my days writing.

Despite growing up just outside of Chicago, there’s a lot I don’t know about this great city of ours. I love discovering new restaurants, finding the latest and greatest fashion deals, and taking in live music wherever I can find it. I tend to also get lost in bookstores for hours on end (don’t even get me started on the recent closing of Borders); magazines have, and always will be, my literature of choice. I’m in heaven when the latest issue of Real Simple arrives in my mailbox!

Aside from the white scarf I knitted during high school and the occasional dinners I attempt to make here and there, I still remain a bit of a newbie to the crafting and food communities. I am excited to join the team at Prime Publishing, and I can’t wait to learn a thing or two about crafting and cooking!

 

Jessica Thelander

Jessica ThelanderHi, my name is Jessica. I am a recent English graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and currently reside in the suburbs of Chicago. I’m thrilled to have joined Prime Publishing to put my freshly printed degree to work!

I spent a large portion of my time in college playing piccolo in the Marching Illini. (And no, I don’t have any band camp stories.) No matter how many times I had to play the piccolo soli in John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” it will certainly go down as one of the absolute best parts of my college experience.

Aside from the marching band, I’ve kept pretty busy over the past few years, splitting my time between finishing my degree, rediscovering my love of literature, and studying abroad in Wales. When I was abroad, I was fortunate enough to travel on the cheap to France, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Scotland, England, and the Netherlands. After many coffees and even more photos, I came out the other side a somewhat well-seasoned traveler.

After years of frozen pizzas and Ramen noodles, I’m tentatively stepping into the world of cooking with mixed results. As long as I can become a functioning adult in the kitchen, I’ll be fully satisfied. In the meantime, I’m perfectly happy curling up with a good book, ordering a pizza, and looking at all of the pretty pictures on our sites instead.

 

Jordan Sward

Jordan SwardHi, I'm Jordan. For someone who has grocery shopping on her list of favorite downtime activities, working at Prime Publishing on a recipe site is like a dream come true. Of course after I buy the food, I love cooking and baking, and I am constantly trying new recipes. The most adventurous thing to come out of my kitchen is homemade pasta, which I learned (after multiple attempts) when I received a machine as a gift.

I graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a degree in News-Editorial Journalism. During college, I worked at The Daily Illini as the features editor, as well as other various newsroom jobs. I developed a passion for all things media and learned a lot about leadership, organization, and when to use “lay” vs. “lie.”

I'm originally from a small Midwestern farm town, but now call the Chicago suburbs home. The only time I've left the Midwest for more than vacation was to live in Pennsylvania for a summer. I made sure to take advantage of beautiful hiking trails before coming back to cornfields.

When I'm not cooking - or eating - I love to spend time outside, go to farmer's markets, travel, watch Netflix documentaries, and work out. You can find me in front of a TV during most Chicago sports games (Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs. In that order.)

 

Julia Litz

Julia LitzHello, my name is Julia and I am from St. Louis, although I recently moved to the Chicago suburbs. Despite my location change, I still love my St. Louis Cardinals and Rams, much to the chagrin of my friends and neighbors.

I recently graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (go Illini!) with a degree in Advertising and a minor in English.  During those four years, I was an active member of my sorority, dabbled in a variety of random activities and found my home at The Daily Illini.  I started as a copy editor at The DI and worked my way up to Copy Chief. Last year, we were even named the top student newspaper in the state by the Illinois Collegiate Press Association!   Despite the ridiculous hours (5 p.m. to about midnight three nights a week, 2 p.m. to about midnight on Sundays and 5 p.m. to 7:30 on Thursdays), it was a great experience and taught me a lot about time management, organization and the value of black coffee.

I love to travel, especially overseas.  Some of my favorite trips have been to Italy, Greece and Israel.  I would love to go to Africa and see elephants (my favorite animal) in their natural habitat.  When I'm not on the go, I love just sitting on my couch and watching reality shows on Bravo for hours at a time.

 

Julia Wiatr

Julia WiatrHi, I’m Julia! I’m from the Chicago suburbs. I graduated from Northwestern University (Go ‘Cats!) with an English degree and a Spanish minor, so languages and linguistics are huge loves of mine. I’m also 100% Polish, so you can imagine all those languages bouncing around my head all day. I’ve actually managed to slip Spanish words into a conversation with my Polish grandmother once, and she’ll never let me live it down.

For a few years after graduating, I bounced around between various temp and contract jobs in educational publishing until I became a part of Prime Publishing - and I couldn’t be happier! I’m always looking over and editing various assignments and papers for friends, so being an editor seemed like a natural choice. I craft only slightly better than I cook (which is really not at all), so it’s a good thing I’m on the Craft Team. My mom is incredibly crafty, and because of her I can crochet, knit (sort of), and sew (... very basic patterns). Thanks, mom!

Fun facts: I will always drop money on a great concert/musical/comedy show/Lollapalooza. I love to read but always pick out the longest books to get into. I’m a TV junkie, and if my Hulu+ queue gets into the double digits, I get seriously stressed out. I love my Xbox, and I love to play online with my friends. I’m forever a loyal NU Football fan and generally get season tickets every year. Hockey makes me really happy, and my Blackhawks are the tops. I have a soft spot for John Wayne westerns, and David Bowie is the best musician of all time.

 

Julie DaMario

Julie DaMarioHi I’m Julie! I was born, raised, and currently reside in the lovely town of Evanston. For all you Tina Fey fans out there, it’s also the setting of the cinematic masterpiece, Mean Girls. I’m a big fan of Chicago sports teams, especially the Bulls and the Blackhawks.

I recently graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Advertising and a minor in Communication.  My favorite classes were always my copy writing and graphic design classes. I loved figuring out how to make a roll of toilet paper look glamorous or how to convince someone to wear Crocs (you shouldn’t, by the way) through cleverly spun words and images.

While I was in school, I spent a semester abroad in Rome, Italy. Not only was it an amazing experience because I was able to walk the same streets that my great grandparents did, I was able to write about it along the way. I blogged about every little mishap, mouth-watering meal, and overnight train ride – sometimes forgetting that my parents were my only readers.

I’ve always had a little bit of a crafty side. My mother was an artist for some time, so my childhood was full of broken crayons, dried out markers, and paint-splattered carpets. In grade school, my classmates used to commission me to finish their art projects for them – a task I was more than willing to complete. I still appreciate art and continue to take classes today, making Prime a perfect fit for my writing and crafting interests.

 

Julie Sammarco

Julie SammarcoHi, I’m Julie. I’m a city girl – born and raised - from Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhood. For those who don’t know, Little Italy in Chicago is tiny, so in a lot of ways, I feel like I grew up in a small town. And when you come from tightly knit friends and family, as many of us know and know well, there’s a lot of food and classic recipes. And I ate it all. No food allergies, no fears. I know my food … and I love to eat it. But maybe that’s just the Italian side of me.

I graduated from DePaul University in 2010 with a master’s degree in Journalism. While I was still in school, I started working as an editor at a magazine publishing house on the glorious Magnificent Mile. As fancy and romantic as the city was, it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to be writing about. I mean, how many times can a gal write about an electric hand drill? C’mon.

So I found myself here at Prime Publishing, writing about one of my favorite passions – eating healthy food. I’m a big believer in taking care of your mind and body for feeling great all around and leading a happy life. But maybe that’s just the dancer side of me. For the better half of my life, I’ve been a dancer. I still teach Latin dance classes in Chicago’s West Loop and love that I can do that part-time.

So, as you might imagine, I have small obsessions for So You Think You Can Dance, Giada DeLaurentis, and ice cream. Maybe that last one isn’t so obvious … but it’s so true.

 

Kaitlin Weiler

Kaitlin WeilerMy name is Kaitlin and I am a recent graduate from Augustana College, where I majored in English and history while also minoring in Spanish and Women's and Gender Studies.

I get a love of knitting from my mom and a love of cooking from my dad. Because I have enjoyed crafting and making a mess in the kitchen for years, working at Prime Publishing seemed like a natural fit. Being able to come to work and share my passion with others as the editor of FaveSouthernRecipes and Cheap Eats and Thrifty Crafts is a wonderful experience.

When I am not at work, I am most likely to be voraciously reading young adult novels, writing obsessively in my journal, shouting at a tennis match, running, watching too much TV, or consuming an inadvisable amount of caffeine.

 

Laura Plack

Laura PlackHi! My name is Laura, and I am from Glenview, Illinois, very close by our offices in Northbrook. I am a graduate of Saint Louis University, where I studied English and Film Studies. After going to school in St. Louis, I lived there for a little over two more years, and worked at a television station and a book distribution company.

While those experiences were invaluable, and I met some great people along the way, I am excited to be back in the Chicagoland area and close to my family. I am also very happy to be a member of the editorial staff at Prime. Though I am not much of a crafter or chef (yet), I get to learn something new here every day!

As the current editor of AllFreeJewelryMaking, I absolutely love learning about all of the new styles and trends and getting to write about beautiful homemade jewelry pieces. Outside of my newfound interest in jewelry making, I love watching/talking about movies (my brain works like IMDB), reading all different genres of books, and watching addictive dramatic TV shows.

 

Liz Abderholden

Liz AbderholdenHi everyone, I'm Liz! I'm a Midwestern girl at heart – born and raised in Libertyville, graduating from Lake Forest College, and now working in Northbrook (it's like I'm stuck in a 10 mile bubble). For me, college is a blur of books, movies, and music. Like a lot of other editors here at prime I was an English major and Cinema Studies minor. In my spare time, I was a DJ for WMXM Radio where I interviewed musicians, put together hours-upon-hours of playlists, and camped out on the 70's style couch downloading band after band after band.

After a few odd jobs and internships, I ended up here at Prime! Although a newcomer to the crafting world (shamefully, I did not know the difference between knitting and crocheting before I started here), I love being surrounded by a swirl of creativity and learning more about all the facets of the craft world.

If you don't see me reading, writing, watching movies or lip-syncing to Beyoncé songs, you'll probably find me roaming through Chicago in search of new restaurants, fun art shows, newly re-stocked thrift shops, and underground concerts. Of course, this is all if you can break me away from a HGTV House Hunters International marathon.

Beyond my yellow lab, my biggest passion is travel, and I've been fortunate to do this a lot. What's not to love about experiencing a new culture and meeting new people? In short, I'm a superhero-loving, Jane Austen aficionado, with a major travel obsession (its borderline unhealthy) and an unyielding hatred of the strings on oranges.

Melissa Conner

Melissa ConnerAs those who are close to me know, I love cupcakes, little things, fluffy dogs, DIY projects, and Johnny Depp…and not necessarily in that order!

Hi! I’m Melissa and I’m so happy to be part of the Prime Publishing team! I am a lover of all things creative, from scrapbooking to cake decorating, knitting to origami. I love finding new ways to use old things and coming up with cost effective ways to decorate my little Chicago apartment.

Prior to working at Prime, I spent four years in book publishing, where I specialized in craft and puzzle books…so I feel right at home here! I have always tried to surround myself with creative people, and I think I hit the jackpot at Prime!

I am a graduate of Northern Michigan University, where I majored in English Literature and minored in public relations and Native American Studies. While in college I did some freelance writing for various on and off campus publications, including the NMU alumni magazine and a local Native American newspaper.

When I’m not working, crafting, or baking, I’m browsing old book stores, watching Mad Men, or fostering my love of creativity on my personal blog, The Hob-bee Hive. I dream of one day opening my own bookstore/coffee shop/bakery combo...or starring in a movie with Alan Rickman…whichever comes first! 

Mollyhall Seeley

Mollyhall SeeleyHi! My name is Mollyhall, and I hail from all over the place--I was born in New Jersey, raised between Virginia and D.C., and recently graduated from New York University with a degree in Comparative Literature and Anthropology. I've always been a bit of a "jump first, ask questions later," kind of person. My favorite thing in the whole world is traveling, and I've been lucky enough to do a lot of it. My move to Chicago and to Prime Publishing has definitely been an adventure.

I grew up as the child of two Jacks-of-all-trades, with a teacher/writer/musician/athlete for a father and a mother who ran a horse ranch before deciding to become a real estate guru.  As you can imagine, those kinds of influences have made my interests varied and random, which is why working at a place like Prime, with so many branches, is very exciting.

In my free time, I write about hockey for The Pink Puck and play music--the guitar, the flute, the piano, and the Appalachian dulcimer.

 

Nicola Trumbull

Nicola TrumbullHi, I’m Nicola (think of the singing Swiss men in the Ricola cough drops commercials and you’ll get the idea). I recently received my B.A. from Augustana College (IL) where I majored in both English and Creative Writing with a minor in Art. I spent my college days playing clarinet in the Augustana Symphonic Band, competing on the Augustana Equestrian Team, and tutoring fellow students in the Reading/Writing Center.

I’m proud to say that I’m the first female to major in Creative Writing at Augustana and that I paved the way for future writers at Augie. For the entirety of my senior year, I began writing what will hopefully be my first published creative non-fiction novel.

I’m now back in the suburbs of Chicago and enjoying my time at Prime Publishing. A proud member of the Craft Team, I’m the editor of AllFreeCrochetAfghanPatterns and love all things craft. I spend my free time dabbling in photography, making jewelry, crocheting, and drawing. Between my love for horses, music, art, and writing - I’m a pretty creative gal and I feel right at home with the crafty editors at Prime.

 

Nina Hoffman

Nina HoffmanHi, I'm Nina! Born and raised in suburban Chicagoland, it's hard to imagine living anywhere else. From time to time, my husband and I fantasize about retiring to Colorado, but that is a long way away. I spend most of my free time with my children, who are 7 years and 5 years old. I love to cook and bake, and so do they, so it's pretty much a daily family affair at our house. I grew up in a house where both my parents cooked, and not just the usual meat and potatoes fare...from a very young age, my siblings and I were exposed to more eclectic meals including Indian curry, Spanish paella, homemade Chinese food, and more. I credit my parents with instilling in me a love of not only eating food, but making it as well.

Given that I have two small children who love to craft, my family room is overrun with various crafting supplies, and their artwork adorns much of our house. Since I definitely consider myself a foodie, and have discovered a love of crafting as well, working here at Prime Pubishing is a natural fit for me.

Rachel Kallison

Rachel BernsteinAs an avid scrapbooker and a baking enthusiast, I feel like I'm right at home working at Prime Publishing. How many people can say they spend their days immersed in amazingly creative craft projects and mouth-watering recipes? I am so excited to call this my job.

I’m a true Midwestern girl. I grew up in St. Louis and have lived in the Chicagoland area since college. I graduated with a journalism degree from Northwestern University (go Wildcats!) and I have a love of all things media. I’ve worked for newspapers, magazines, an advertising agency and a TV production company. I guess you could call me a Jill of all trades. Before coming to Prime, I produced documentaries for the History Channel, Discovery Channel and Biography Channel. They tended to mostly be about crime, so if you’re curious about biker gangs or mafia kingpins, I'm your girl.

Some of my favorite things in life are travel, chocolate, trashy TV shows (I'm not afraid to admit it!), trying out new restaurants, and puppies. Anytime I see a dog in my neighborhood, I have to stop and pet it. My friends think I'm slightly obsessed, but I just can't resist the cuteness. Now that I work at Prime, I get excited whenever I come across dog sweater patterns, because what's cuter than a puppy in knitwear?

I love discovering new and exciting recipes and sharing them with fellow food lovers, especially when they involve Nutella, so prepare to be inundated with chocolate-hazelnut goodness.  You're welcome!

Simone Collins

Simone CollinsI'm Simone, a craft and cooking fanatic. I live in the big city of Chicago with my two big dogs and two favorite guys who are often the subjects of my craft projects and recipes. Although I studied theater in college, crafting has always been a big part of me. My very first scrapbook was in 1985 and featured my favorite topic of that year, all things Michael Jackson. Besides paper crafting, I also enjoy sewing and crocheting in my spare time.

Cooking is not just a necessity in my house, but a challenge. Living with a teen and a vegetarian really challenges my culinary skill level. I love baking or grilling and we own an insane amount of spices, so everything on our table is always flavorful.

When I am not creating projects or recipes, you can find me spending countless hours online both professionally and personally, tweeting, blogging, or pinning crazy content on Pinterest.

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