Fresh Faces :: Julia Sherman

Today we welcome August, and with it, a brand new Fresh Faces – a very, very special one at that.

You know how every so often you hear about those 80-year-old women who have been friends since childhood, and you find yourself wishing that you had that kind of amazing connection with someone? My August Fresh Face, Julia Sherman, IS that someone for me.  Thirteen years ago, we met in our 6th grade English class (would you believe our friendship began over an extremely heated argument about which one of us would be Aaron Carter’s girlfriend?!), and Julia’s been my soul sister ever since.

If it wasn’t instantly understood by the aforementioned argument, Julia has a penchant for drama. So it seems only fitting that after high school she moved to New York City to study theater at NYU’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, and is now making her way in the big city as a writer and actress.

I don’t get to see her as often I would like anymore, but Julia is doing some really freakin’ cool things with her life and is so very deserving of everything that her talent and awesomeness is bringing her way (and I’m hoping that saying this will one day make me deserving of that guest ticket to the Emmy’s…).

Julia took some time to answer my questions about how she got into the business and what’s in her future. Even if you don’t have an interest in acting or writing, this is worth a read because, if anything, this chica can provide a good laugh. Fresh Faces, Julia Sherman

Tell us about your background in the industry. When did you start acting and why?
I was in the first grade when I did my first play at a local theater in Stafford,Texas but that probably had less to do with me wanting to be in a play, and more with my parents recognizing an opportunity to get me out of the house. But they instilled in me a real genuine love of the arts, so as I grew older, I think acting became my key into that community. The theater was my escape from a lot of that teenage angst stuff– it’s a place where individuality is applauded and vulnerability is encouraged, and I was (am) a weird kid with a loud voice and a lot of opinions, so I really thrived in that environment. It taught me that nobody could ever laugh at me if I was already laughing at myself.

How did you get into writing?
I started writing sketch comedy with some NYU buddies, originally as part of a friend’s senior project. It wasn’t until a year or so out of college that I started considering writing as a career path, though. My ego is way too fragile for the audition scene, and I was growing weary of waiting for roles that fit me. It made a lot more sense to utilize the friends and resources that I already had in place to create my own work than it did to keep waiting.

What are some projects you’ve worked on recently?
My biggest project lately has been developing my web series “Drunk Girls In Heels” into a full length show with my writing partner, Nora Fullmoon, and Richard Abate and Olivia Gerke from 3 Arts Entertainment. It’s been a very exciting introduction to the industry, and I’m excited to see where it goes. We started writing a second season of the web series with Keely Flaherty, and we’re aiming to go into production this fall.  We also developed three new web series’ with our fellow 3 Arts buddy Matt Wood, and I’d love to see one of them get produced this year. It’s been a lot of conceptual work lately, so I’m really looking forward to getting back into production mode.

We’ve talked before about Drunk Girls In Heels – can you talk a little bit more about what that experience was like?
It was like what I imagine getting in really great shape must feel like, but minus any of the health benefits.  I put a lot of work and time into the show, and I got a beautiful final product as a result of that. Experiencing that transformed everything about my life. Plus, there were literally 30 other brilliant minds collaborating on that thing. I don’t think it’s possible to walk away from something like that unchanged.

When you were 10 years old, was this what you thought you would be doing?
No. If 10-year-old Julia met me today, she would probably be disappointed that I haven’t married Leonardo DiCaprio or won an Oscar yet, and would be absolutely mortified to learn that I wrote a show about drunk people. She would, however, think it’s very cool that I write comedy in New York and have a good haircut.

Do you see this being your future? If not, what do you see yourself doing 5 years down the line?
Absolutely. I enjoy watching tv way too much to not make some kind of career out of it. I would like to do a little more of it out on the west coast in the coming years, though.

What is your favorite part about show writing and/or acting, directing, etc.?
My favorite part of being a writer is that it gives me an excuse to seek out stories and ask way too many questions. And sometimes that means having an in-depth conversation with a stranger about lost love on the subway, but sometimes it’s just seeing someone walking down the street and wondering about where they’re coming from or going to. And comedy writing is really just taking your own shit and synthesizing it through different characters, so everything I experience– good, bad, mundane– has meaning.

Are there any other up and coming writers/actors/directors that we should be paying closer attention to?
This is a tough one because I think all of my friends are going to be famous. Everyone who worked on Drunk Girls In Heels is doing incredible work in the industry, and you can access all their information and personal links on our web site. It’s a really exciting time for television right now, especially for young writers. All those Viacom networks– MTV, Comedy Central, VH1– have young comedians on their writing staff.

This can be a hard industry to be involved in. What keeps you motivated?
I have an extremely supportive family, and I couldn’t do it without them. My mom calls me almost weekly with her sitcom pitches. Being surrounded by other artists and their art is important, too. Whenever I hit a slump, it’s usually because I haven’t been seeking out art that excites me.

What advice do you have to give to anyone looking to get into the industry?
Make stuff that matters to you and then keep making it. If it doesn’t matter to you, then it won’t matter to anyone else, and you’ll burn out.

DGIH5

Fresh Faces, Julia Sherman

If you’re interested in keeping up with everything Julia has going on in her career, you can keep up with her at her website. Or, as I imagine is the more likely scenario, you are interested in becoming best friends with this amazing human being…well, too bad. While I understand why you would want the role, it’s already occupied…by me. So get in line, but plan to wait awhile because, as I already mentioned, we’ll be those 80-year-olds that you and your friend wish you were.

Fresh Faces :: Hannah Robbins

Somewhere in the last 30 days, June happened. But it happened quick, y’all – I feel like I was anxiously awaiting the start of the summer, and just like that one-third of it disappeared before I even had time to realize that it was happening. I blame the general busyness of being an adult, and also some big changes happening in my personal life, but that’s a post for another day.

While the start of a new month may leave me sad for a quickly disappearing summer, it also means that it’s time for a new Fresh Faces. Today, we’re focusing our attention on Hannah Robbins, July’s Fresh Face and an all around awesome gal. I met Hannah several years ago when she joined my sorority in college. Despite being three years younger than me, Hannah has always served as something of a style-inspiration for me (this girl has stinkin’ cute style, y’all), and that inspiration quickly expanded to jewelry when Hannah opened her handmade jewelry shop, Hannah Claire Designs. And you know what’s also cool – Hannah calls our June Fresh Face one of her best friends (you’ll notice a lot of Hannah’s jewelry in Cara’s pictures).

I chatted with Hannah about her Etsy shop, her inspiration for designing jewelry, and what it’s like to have such a creative hobby:

Hannah Claire Designs, July Fresh Faces

Hannah setting up shop at Austin’s 787 event.

When and why did you get started making jewelry? What about Hannah Claire Designs?
I grew up with a mother who would look at everything and say, “Well, I could make that.” So naturally, every piece of jewelry she liked, she attempted to make. It wasn’t long before she was teaching me how to bead and wire wrap. My desire to make my own jewelry developed while I was working a jewelry store throughout high school and college. Hannah Claire Designs was born a little over a year ago when I decided to open an Etsy shop and officially start selling my designs!

Tell us a little bit about the business.
My business is small, and runs on creativity. I am all about inspiration – constantly taking photographs of everything that inspires me. My jewelry is my take on things, so everything has a unique spin on it. I do a lot of business through Etsy, but the majority of my business comes from trunk shows and events.

What is your favorite part about making jewelry?
There is something about making jewelry that allows me to easily get lost in what I am doing. Making jewelry allows me to relax while putting my creativity to work. On top of that, jewelry will never go out of style, which will challenge me to always come up with fresh, original and unique ideas.

Was this what you thought you would be doing when you were 10 years old? 
When I was a little girl I knew I wanted to do something creative but I just wasn’t sure what. I come from a very entrepreneurial and creative family, so I knew I wanted to start my own business selling my creations (whatever those creations may be).

Do you see this being your future? If not, what do you see yourself doing in 5 years?
I currently work full time for a real estate firm, but you can bet that I am making jewelry in all of my spare time. If my future allows, I would love to continue making jewelry whether it be full time or on the side. 

What’s your favorite part about being a part of the Etsy community?
Etsy has allowed me to expand my business more than I could have ever imagined! Because of Etsy, I have sold to customers in over 15 different states and sold to customers that I have never met. I now have a whole new customer database that I wouldn’t have been able to reach otherwise. 

What about jewelry brands – who is a must buy for you (besides Hannah Claire Designs, of course)?
Having worked at a jewelry store for 6+ years, my jewelry designer rolodex is only growing. Some of my favorite jewelry brands include- Zoe Chicco, Rebecca Lankford, Jamie Joseph and Jennifer Fisher.

What advice do you have to give to anyone looking to get into jewelry making, or looking to start their own business?
Do what YOU love to do, do not make it about others. The only way to truly be successful is to be happy with what you are doing. On a more technical level – make sure you do your fair share of research when it comes to buying materials, creating designs and starting a business.

Hannah Claire Designs, July Fresh Faces

Hannah working on her jewelry, photo credit: Miriam Rousseau

Hannah Claire Designs, July Fresh Faces

A few of Hannah’s pieces

Let me guess – you want more of Hannah and her infectious personality…and her jewelry, of course.  Follow Hannah Claire Designs on Facebook or Instagram to see all her amazing jewelry and receive constant style inspiration. Or go pick a piece out for your own collection at Hannah’s Etsy shop.

Fresh Faces :: Cara Greenstein

Well, if you can believe it, I’m back! I know it’s been a whopping two months since my last post, and I know in said last post I spent the first few paragraphs with a similar apologetic start, but as I’m sure you all know sometimes life gets in the way of doing what you want. If only there were a few extra hours in the day…or I didn’t need to sleep, ever…

But until then, you’ll have to (hopefully) be understanding and know that even when I’m not writing on One Fine Day, I’m thinking about it. So at least there’s that.

And also, I’m coming back with an exciting new series called Fresh Faces. Over the last several years, I’ve gotten to know so many young twenty-somethings doing all these amazing things both in their professional and personal lives that deserve a little extra attention. Each month, I’ll be introducing you to another Fresh Face in their respective area. Some are my friends. Some are people I’ve admired greatly. All are awesome.

With that, I’m beyond thrilled to introduce y’all to my very first Fresh Face, Cara Greenstein. I met Cara four years ago when she joined my sorority as a freshman at UT. While in school Cara began her blog, Caramelized, which has become a wildly successful food blog (Caramelized was recently selected as one of the top Austin food blogs by the Austin Chronicle), and one of my go-tos for eye-catching recipes or unique culinary hot spots.

I talked to Cara about her blog, her experience in the food scene, and her plans for the future:

Cara Greenstein Caramelized

When and why did you get started writing Caramelized?
I launched Caramelized (a play-on word of my name) on Thanksgiving Day 2012 as a creative outlet for my passions of writing and all things food. Since I was a student at the time, an introductory public relations course introduced me to the world of blogging — I was hooked from that moment on.
 
Tell us a little bit about the blog.
Caramelized celebrates and elevates everyday foodie experiences in a personable and approachable fashion. Whether a review of my favorite Paris restaurant, a conversation with a Hollywood actress on her foodieness, or a crafted recipe in my apartment, there is always a story to share in a relaxed, engaging style. Additionally, the new layout of the blog is a metaphor for a fresh breath of air with clean lines, vivid photographs and easy-to-access categories. I have loved turning Caramelized into a true reflection of my positive self expression while simultaneously engaging a supportive audience!
 
Was this what you thought you would be doing when you were 10 years old?
Blogging? Not exactly. Cooking? Absolutely. As the first child, I took babysitting my younger siblings to a whole new level — we would play “pretend cooking show” in the kitchen with a few Rachael Ray and Emeril phrases thrown around here and there. Food Network was my channel of choice from a very early age.
 
Do you see this being your future? If not, what do you see yourself doing in 5 years?
I say yes, simply because the food scene is so fascinating. From online to television to print, food is being celebrated constantly in so many forms and fashions. My dream jobs vary between my own food public relations firm (since I now have a PR degree under my belt) and my own Food Network show. Crossing off my go-to restaurant list for the rest of my life would be ideal, too. Who knows where Caramelized will take me; but in the meantime, I am very content writing about and sharing my passions with those around me.
 
What’s one can’t miss Austin restaurant?
NO VA Kitchen + Bar. The new hot spot has quickly become the icon of the whimsical and authentic Rainey Street. Chef Sorenson’s brilliance and boldness in the kitchen shows through every single dish, from tamale-style gnocchi to a unique ABC flatbread pizza (ABC = avocado, house bacon, and chicken confit). The craft cocktails cannot be beat, and the vibe is perfect for a large party gathering, happy hour on the patio with friends, or an intimate date night.
 
What advice do you have to give to anyone looking to get into food blogging, or blogging of any other kind?
While this does not pertain strictly to blogging, connections are everything, especially in the food scene. Introduce yourself and your blog to every single foodie, chef, hostess, or fellow diner who sees you snapping away photos with your iPhone from across the bar. Don’t be afraid! These natural encounters — though intimidating at first — will quickly lead you to momentous opportunities that will teach you how to distinguish your voice while simultaneously complementing others’. On that note, I also believe collaboration is key to increasing both the scope and audience of your blog. Whether a shared social media campaign for a local restaurant or a creative series with a California food stylist, the possibilities are absolutely endless. And it doesn’t hurt to try. So what if one person unfollows you on Twitter — you’ve gained a new tool that will guide you further in the long run!
Cara Greenstein Caramelized
If you want more of Cara, I encourage you to follow her blog Caramelized – you’ll quickly understand why I love her and her blog so much.