Monthly Archives: April 2014

meet jillian: milwaukee biker biz lady and more

Jillian at the Moxie booth

Michelle, the Bellas’ program manager, says, “It’s very empowering to be a woman and to be cycling and sort of making a niche for ourselves in a very male-dominated sport.” Jillian cuts in—“A male-dominated world, too!” Here, Jillian poses with Moxie gear.

“I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up,” says Jillian Imilkowski, 41. How many of us feel that way, at age 20, 40, 60?

Jillian has had a colorful, really cool career path (including AmeriCorps, helping run Turner Hall, a popular local venue, and more!), and today’s chapter of her story begins rather recently: She did wine sales for 10 years, but then the company closed in December 2013. “I’ve been fun-employed for the past 4 months, and I am happier than I have been in a long time.” Jillian now spends her time nurturing the Bella Donnas, a biking group she created in 2007 that exists to empower women—among other jobs. “I like the flexibility of doing what I want to do. I’m not making nearly as much money as I used to, but it’s ok.”

People with Panache: Happiness is so worth it! Who are the Bella Donnas?

Jillian Imilkowski: The Bella Donnas formed because there was nothing like us around. Continue reading

meet elyse, kamille and nickclette: actors in milwaukee (part 3)

Meet the Rep interns!

Elyse and I bonded over crying… and it was hilarious. She hadn’t cried for seven years before acting school, and now she’s the best insta-crier ever. Me too, except I never took a seven-year break. Oops…

“In Native American tradition, people live their day for the sun,” says Elyse Edelman. “It’s born in the morning and dies at night, so you enjoy it as much as possible. I’m living my day for the sun.” We ended last week talking about Elyse’s wake-up routine (which finally made me rethink the hit-snooze-until-I’m-late rut I’ve been in). It really is so refreshing, along with so much Elyse, Kamille Dawkins and Nickclette Izuegbu had to say.

People with Panache: How did you get over that fear that often comes with following your dreams?

Elyse Edelman: I had a teacher once who told me you don’t have to have your whole life planned out. You don’t even have to have a certain trajectory in your head. Just make the most interesting choice. Continue reading

meet elyse, kamille and nickclette: actors in milwaukee (part 2)

We left off last week talking about embracing who we are with three wonderful women: Elyse Edelman, Nickclette Izuegbu and Kamille Dawkins, three of 12 interns at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Now back to the actresses! (They’re so awesome, aren’t they?)

I think about half of the interview time was spent with us laughing. It was so fun getting a glimpse into their world and all the crazy little things that come with it.

I think about half of the interview time was spent with us laughing. It was so fun getting a glimpse into their world and all the crazy little things that come with it. (left to right: Nickclette Izuegbu, Elyse Edelman, Kamille Dawkins)

Continue reading

meet elyse, kamille and nickclette: actors in milwaukee (part 1)

Kamille Dawkins on People With Panache

Kamille was recently in “CBGB,” with Alan Rickman (Snape!) and Malin Akerman.

“I consider this my residency year,” says Nickclette Izuegbu, 26. Nickclette and 11 others are current acting interns at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Every day, they get up and go to their dream job—acting. They don’t make sets. They don’t make costumes. And they definitely don’t make coffee (except maybe for themselves. Sleep is hard to come by!). All day every day, they’re surrounded by professionals, honing their craft and having a blast. Talking to them made me want to be an actor, or at least be in a play—they work incredibly hard and have a ton of fun. That’s our kind of job!

I got to meet with Nickclette Izuegbu (26) from Houston, Elyse Edelman (24) originally from Milwaukee, who had been living in Minneapolis, and Kamille Dawkins (23) from Savannah, Ga., originally from Jamaica. Continue reading

meet rachel: chicago cartoonist and illustrator

Rachel Foss at SmallBar, People with Panache

“I’m so thankful to know her now,” says Rachel of Lucy Knisley, her comic inspiration. Rachel actually got to know Lucy through another famous comic artist Sarah Becan. Sarah and Rachel just so happened to be neighbors in Logan Square and luckily met at the local bar (pictured) where Rachel drew her entire first book Empty Bed.

“I’ve worn every hat. I can literally do anything.” Whoa—she really can. Since graduating from college, Rachel Foss has been a manager at Glazed and Infused doughnut shop, a nanny, and a kids’ art class teacher at Lindsey Meyers’ gallery, Beauty and Brawn—among other things. Rachel is a lover of sustainable farming and gardening and believes you should only do things that make you happy. Now, she is first and foremost a cartoonist and illustrator, so on the heels of her first gallery showing in Chicago at Beauty and Brawn, I got to chat with her about all of the things she can do and what she’s doing now.  

During our conversation, Rachel opened my eyes to the world of graphic novels and comics like never before (and I say this as the daughter of a man with his own Fortress of Solitude, a.k.a. the garage, stacked floor to ceiling with Superman and Archie comics). The words “comic” or even “graphic novel” often evoke images of these fictional characters. But to Rachel, they’re completely different and so much more. Continue reading