If someone were to tell me that the summer before my senior year of college I would have both an internship at a local newspaper and a position at a local millinery shop, Studio St. Marie, I would have thought they were crazy.
I had a wonderful time working with the West Life this summer and I feel truly blessed that I was able to have this opportunity. Each week I looked forward to seeing the entire staff at the weekly meetings, and they were always willing to share their knowledge with me to help me learn the ropes of a community newspaper. Each person enhanced my internship experience because they were always willing to lend a helping hand. They certainly went out of their way to provide me with opportunities and teach me aspects of journalism that I would not have learned otherwise.
In between working on the three stories I had each week for the West Life, I worked with Lee St. Marie of Studio St. Marie in Rocky River. St. Marie opened her modern millinery and accessory shop last April and took me under her wing this summer to learn the basics of how to make a hat and the nuts and bolts of how to run a small business. I never would have imagined that I would be working in a millinery shop, but I had a blast working with St. Marie. I can honestly say that she has changed my sense of style for the better, and I can’t wait to wear my hat that she taught me how to make!
St. Marie, who has always had a passion for fashion, began making hats four years ago after her husband, Denis St. Marie, surprised her with millinery classes for her birthday. Wherever St. Marie travels, such as New York City or downtown Los Angeles, she searches out fabric shops as well as millinery supply shops. She is always on the lookout for fun items that she can envision on either a hat or a fascinator, which is a hair decoration used as an alternative to a hat and usually has elaborate trimmings.
“I think a hat finishes off your outfit, and for many people they carry themselves differently and they receive a positive response from other people,” said St. Marie. “Wearing hats or headwear is a great ice breaker. You will receive positive comments and compliments.”
I truly appreciate everything that everyone I have met this summer has done for me. I have learned a great deal this summer that I believe will benefit me when I join the real world next May. I have met a great number of wonderful people through West Life, and I am forever grateful for the opportunities that both the people at West Life as well as St. Marie have given me over the past few months.