Concierge of Chic: Caitlin Burke: Hearst Editor

Caitlin Burke Caitlin Burke is an editor for Hearst Magazines International, hails as the only Wheel of Fortune contestant to solve a seven word puzzle with just one letter, and in her spare time is the author of the blog Dream and Dress - her chronicle of creative projects mixed with fashion. Her upbeat energy mixed with her candid thoughts on life are infectious. She has such a keen understanding of herself and the power of a positive outlook on life. Basically Caitlin is just purely awesome. Cannon Lewis: Tell me about your role at Hearst Magazines. Caitlin Burke: I work for Hearst Magazines International as their fashion editor, so I work with all the international editions of Hearst's titles (Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Seventeen, O, & Good Housekeeping). The international editions are basically made up of three parts - US material that is translated, their own locally produced material, and then we come in for the third part, to kind of bridge the gap, shooting celebrity, fashion and beauty editorials for all of the editions to use, based on their specific needs and markets. For example, if Beyonce is performing in Malaysia and one of our Malaysian editions would like to feature her on the cover, Beyonce might not be able to make it over there for a shoot and the editors may not have the budget to fly to the US, so we will shoot her for them, and while we have her we will also try to shoot her for our other titles (styled according to the specific magazine brands) making these photos available for multiple editions to use. CL: What is your most memorable experience with your current job? CB: This year I went to Paris for the shows. Going to a Chanel or Louis Vuitton show was always a dream, and I was lucky enough to attend both this year. All the productions over there are so powerful. It's crazy, after spending years dreaming about one day going to these shows and looking at photos of these impeccably dressed women strolling through the Tuileries-to actually be there in that environment, and then to actually see these shows in person-it was incredible. It's so much more than just clothes walking down a runway - in Paris the shows are like performance art that you really feel.   CL: What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into your industry? CB: You should be a silent storm - you should know as much as you can but not be jaded. You should be eager. I knew I wanted to work on the editorial side of magazines, but the first job I took was at Cosmo on the advertising side. I had no internship experience, and I was just so happy to be there, I would do anything. People had told me that once you're on the advertising side it's impossible to cross over to the edit side, but I felt like that was too big of a generalization, and I believed that I could make the switch if I worked hard enough at it. I took every opportunity I could to just try and learn as much as I could about the industry and ask a lot of questions. You should be eager to better yourself before you expect people to do it for you. Study everything you can and start building an encyclopedic knowledge of the industry. Just be as educated as possible, and when it is your time to speak up, you will have that bit of genius to offer and people will recognize it. That's what I mean by being a silent storm. CL: Lets talk about this - you won Wheel of Fortune with just one letter? CB: I am very optimistic and I had watched that show for as long as I could remember, so I really believed that I was going to do well. In my 6th grade class, we had to write down our life goals and while most of the class had dreams of being a veterinarian or doctor, my only goal was to be on Wheel of Fortune-so it was a long time in the making. CL: There seem to be a common thread in all that you do - a mental decision to keep a positive outlook. In what other areas of your life have you applied this? CB: I was always thin growing up but I gained a lot of weight in college, and I struggled to get the weight off all through school and after graduating. I think whatever size you are if you are happy with it, that is great, but for me, I constantly felt bad about myself. I would go back and forth between super strict diets when I wanted to loose weight for something and eating everything in sight after feeling deprived. The turning point happened when I finally realized it was less about being on a diet and constantly worried about food, and more about having a healthy mind set and treating myself well. I realized I wanted to loose weight, but it was still in my head as something I felt like would never happen or wouldn't be permanent. If you are not in a healthy mindset weight loss isn't possible - you are trying to do one thing but beating yourself down the next second. It's like having a bad friend that is always telling you these horrible things but the friend is yourself - it's horrible how cruel we are to ourselves. Once I felt like I was happy with myself, I didn't really have to think about dieting, the better eating and exercise just came with it. CL: What prompted you to write the blog, and how is your blog different from the myriads of others out there? CB: Although I do fashion as my professional job, I've always liked doing crafts and all sorts of other creative side projects. I design t-shirts when I go to concerts, I make special personalized cards for friends, and I am really into theme parties and creating things that don't necessarily have to do with fashion. Fashion is definitely a large part of the blog as well, but not in the same vein as the fashion I deal with at work.  My blog covers fashion-and everything else, really-in a very approachable, hands-on kind of way. I wanted to inspire people to be creative, and starting the blog was a way of keeping kind of a visual record of these projects and ideas. CL: What is your favorite do it yourself (DIY) project featured on your blog? CB: One of my favorites was probably the old mannequin I made over-I get to look at it everyday and I'm still obsessed. I like some of the jewelry DIYs as well, like the rock crystal earrings and nail polish-painted necklaces, which were super easy and I still wear. CL: What things are sentimental to you? CB: All of my jewelry - each piece tells a different story. I have a necklace that my aunt gave all of my cousins and me when my grandfather passed away, which I wear almost everyday.  My grandmother has recently started passing down some of her jewelry as well and I cherish every piece. Photos are also very sentimental to me, along with mementos from important events or trips that I keep in a box. I have the tickets from every Eminem show I've been to (11 so far) and invitations to some of the bigger fashion shows, nice thank you cards I've received-I hope to turn them all into some sort of collage art one day.   CL: Who are your style influences? CB: I prefer real girls' style to celebrities. I love all the street style stars, like Joanna Hillman from US Bazaar and Taylor Tomasi Hill, also Olivia Palermo and The Glamourai are big ones. CL: What is your favorite piece of Cannon Lewis jewelry? CB: That's a tough one - probably the long sliced shell necklace. It's hard to find a long necklace with organic elements. It's beachy, glamorous, casual, upscale and elegant. To view Caitlin's blog, Dream and Dress click here. To view Caitlin on Wheel of Fortune, click here.


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Did You Know?

This Tree Ring is the perfect ring for every day. I love how it fits flat on the finger, the sparkle of the cognac diamond, and the subtle bark texture. The fact that the ring carries a the hidden word "FLY" amongst the branches is pretty cool too.


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Did You Know?

One of my all time favorites. You can wear this Window Necklace 3 ways. Each panel is a different story. It reminds us to LOOK INSIDE. There are layers to everything we see and who we are - sometimes we have to look deeper than what we see on the surface. If not, we may miss something wonderful.


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Stubbs & Wooten Shoes : Must Have

  When I lived in NYC I walked by the STUBBS & WOOTEN store on Madison every few days and I am forever smitten! At first glance they may seem a bit like something your great aunt might wear, (and she just might) but I think they are a great alternative to the ballet flat, but still stylish, chic and classic. You can pair these with black pants and a blazer for an instant style update - complete it with your favorite Cannon Lewis piece and you have an instant outfit with a balance of style and whimsy. You can choose from their velvet and needlepoint options or spend hours designing your own on their website. If you love this idea but your bank account does not, I found these from Steve Madden and that give the same effect for a steal at about $85!


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Did You Know?

This Grow Necklace is beautiful. I like the loose stones inside. I like the hidden word "Grow" and the vine motif. I'm so glad I designed it. I would have a void in my life without it.


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Meet the Press: Spark & Hustle Daring Doer Profile

I'm just getting around to posting this. Earlier this summer I was honored to be interviewed by Spark & Hustle for their Daring Doer profile. You can read the full interview here: http://sparkandhustle.com/daring-doers/daring-doer-cannon-lewis/


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Must Have: Ariane Lespire Winter Hat

I bought a hat by Ariane Lespire from Takashimaya in New York City two years ago and I was literally stopped daily with inquires about my fabulous hat. Takashimaya closed (very sad day) and I tracked down this designer, met her when she came to NYC and placed an order. This is the first time I am selling something on my website that is not my jewelry, so I have very limited quantities for this test run, and I think they will go fast. These hats are a work of art - all handmade and very fine quality soft wool and will be your favorite winter accessory. I don't know of anyone else in the US that carries these, so you will be tres chic! You can view the collection here.


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Did You Know?

I sketched this necklace while listening to Eva Cassidy's version of "Fields of Gold." I now hear the song every time I see this piece. You'll remember me when the west wind moves Among the fields of barley You can tell the sun in his jealous sky When we walked in fields of gold So she took her love for to gaze awhile Among the fields of barley In his arms she fell as her hair came down Among the fields of gold Will you stay with me will you be my love Among the fields of barley And you can tell the sun in his jealous sky When we walked in fields of gold I never made promises lightly And there have been some that I've broken But I swear in the days still left We will walk in fields of gold We'll walk in fields of gold I never made promises lightly And there have been some that I've broken But I swear in the days still left We will walk in fields of gold We'll walk in fields of gold Many years have passed since those summer days Among the fields of barley See the children run as the sun goes down As you lie in fields of gold You'll remember me when the west wind moves Among the fields of barley You can tell the sun in his jealous sky When we walked in fields of gold When we walked in fields of gold When we walked in fields of gold ...


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Did You Know?

This is the least complicated version of LIFE there is going to be. This carved LIFE necklace looks like a simple pendant you can wear daily, but hidden in the carving is the word LIFE. LIFE is a strong word - one of those words that is deeply personal with an immediate emotional response. Thats why I love this necklace. It says so many things while hardly saying anything at all.


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Did You Know?

This Loving Spoon is becoming a bestseller. It makes the perfect baby gift. It is at once a classic sentiment and modern design. But not too modern - the next generation will be using this sterling silver spoon too.


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