Friday, October 4, 2013

Amazing Women No. 8: Julie Ferriot

A conversation withJulie Ferriot....
I met Julie Ferriot 22 years ago at the University of Washington. We joined the same sorority and we officially met on Presentation Night, the ceremony where we were presented to the world as Tridelts! Kind of cheesy I know, but I made some wonderful friends in the sorority who are my "sisters" for life. My mom actually spotted Julie in the presentation line-up and she instantly knew Julie was an amazing, classy woman and that we should be friends. She was right! Moms usually are! 

Our friendship has grown and deepened over the years even though we haven’t lived in the same city since college. Julie is a deep, caring, loving person who loves to connect via long phone conversations, beautiful handwritten cards, fun experiences, and thoughtfully chosen gifts. She also loves to celebrate life’s big and small moments as much as I do – maybe more! She turned 40 in August but she officially rang in this milestone birthday in New Orleans last weekend surrounded by close friends. And she has a smile that lights up the world!

In this post, Julie shares more about herself, her love of adventure and gives us a sneak peak at the book she’s writing. She even inspired me to think about starting a champagne glass collection!

Without further ado, please meet Julie (aka Jules), whom I love and adore. I think you’ll agree she’s one amazing woman!  

Q. First things first, what is your favorite color and why?!
A. It seems to change often for me, but right now my favorite color is Tiffany blue. I find it invigorating and calming at the same time.

Q. You have a full life in San Francisco. Tell us a bit about your day job.
A.  I love my job! I work for a leading global PR agency, and develop and manage all of our internal CSR (corporate social responsibility) programs. This includes managing our pro bono partnerships for our non-profit clients, creating employee volunteer programs at the local and global level, and working with our 70+ offices around the world to ensure we are operating as efficiently as possible, meaning we find ways to treat the environment with respect.

Q. What do you like to do in your free time?
A. I’m crazy about live music and am pretty much willing to see any type of band, any day of the week - preferably in an intimate setting. You’ll usually find me right up front at the stage so I can take it all in. I also enjoy trying new things and signing up for classes that challenge me. Recently a writing workshop and painting class inspired me to push myself creatively.

Q. You've lived in some great places... San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington, D.C., New York and now San Francisco. What is your favorite city in the world and why?
A. Right now, I wouldn't want to live anywhere besides San Francisco. It’s the perfect home for me. It’s the right mix of “city-living” but California-style. I’ve been living in SF for more than 8 years, and it still feels new. So much to see and do! The diversity and creativity oozing from the city are important elements to me too. And being a foodie city, there are always great restaurants to try.

Q. Why do you call New Orleans your "happy place?" 
A. Ever since my first trip to New Orleans 14 years ago, it has had a very strong hold on my heart and soul. Of course there is the great music, food and culture – but for me it goes much deeper. It’s a place that embraces life and holds onto traditions that go back hundreds of years. It has a complicated history with influence from Europe, Africa and the Caribbean, giving it a distinct energy unlike anywhere else in the U.S. For those who only know Bourbon Street, I invite you to get under the city’s surface – I guarantee you’ll be hooked as well.

Sea goddess for a day at Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Q. Can you share a few of your favorite New Orleans haunts with us? 
A. I try and get back to NOLA at least 2-3 times a year. I have a list of my favorite spots I return to every visit, but then I also make sure I check out new places as well. The city is changing so much post-Katrina and it is rebuilding stronger than ever. My favorites include Bacchanal, Sylvain’s, Coop’s, Cane & Table and Petit Grocery for dining – and Maple Leaf, Vaughn’s and D.B.A for music.

Q. Can you tell us a bit about the book you're writing? Don't give it all away, but a sneak peak would be great!
A. I had a very unique experience when I was living in NY during 9/11 that I feel compelled to share with others. As crazy as it sounds, I was touched by the spirit of a woman who had jumped from my apartment window shortly before I moved in. She delivered messages to me from beyond that dramatically changed my belief system and put me on a different path. She gave me a newfound perspective on life, relationships and our connectedness to each other. Growing up, I only believed in things I could experience with the five senses, so her presence evoked a major shift in perception that remains with me today.

Q. What advice do you have for others who are thinking about writing a book?
A. The book it isn’t going to write itself, as much as I sometimes wish that were the case! You really have to put the work into it every day or at least get into some sort of committed routine.  I was really inspired by Anne Lamott’s book “Bird by Bird.” Essentially, her brother who was ten years old at the time was trying to get to a report on birds that he'd had three months to write, which was due the next day. Close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead, their father sat down beside him and said, "Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”

Q. Do you have a mantra or favorite quote?  
A. “Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.” I lectured at a university last week and this was the theme I spoke to as it relates to my chosen field of communications. I believe there are great opportunities to use the power of communication for good and to ultimately bring about positive world change.

Q. Anything else you would like to share with us? 
A. At 40, I just started my first collection and I am having so much fun with it! As one who believes in celebrating life as often as possible, I’m acquiring champagne glasses in as many shapes and colors as I can. I don’t need to find them in a pair, and they don’t need to be in perfect condition – just special and unique, like each of us. I’m off to look at some antique shops in the French Quarter today with hopes of bringing one or more home with me!

Thank you Jules for sharing yourself with us. Cheers to good friends and amazing women!

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