Tuesday, March 31, 2009

CLEVELANDER OF THE MONTH: APRIL



ITS THAT TIME OF THE MONTH AGAIN....DOLLHOUSE PRESENTS TO YOU OUR APRIL CLEVELANDER, MS. ROBIN MONIQUE, OF POLISHED CLEVELAND!

Who and/or what inspired you to start Polished Cleveland? Give us some background info on Polished Cleveland and who Robin Monique really is.

Polished Cleveland Magazine was inspired by my personal experience as a recent college graduate learning to live in Cleveland as an adult. I initially bought into the perception that Cleveland did not have a strong young professional culture. My partner Christine Taylor and I spent a good six months reacquainting ourselves with Cleveland and learned that the city has a lot to offer any young professionals who want to be socially and civically engaged in the city. We wanted to provide a resource for our peers to help them create a productive and fulfilling life here and Polished Cleveland was born.
Helping 20somethings lay the foundation for adult life is a cause that’s very close to my heart. Prior to starting Polished, I went through a very difficult spell of depression which was spurred by “quarterlife crisis” issues. I had the degree, the apartment and the “good job,” but I wasn’t fulfilled because I had put together the life I was “supposed” to want rather than the life that would best fit Robin. So Polished is part of my overall mission to reach out to people like me who are just trying to get a handle on this grown up thing.

Has writing always been a preferred career choice for you?

I’ve been writing since I was nine years old! I’ve had jobs in higher education since graduating college, but no matter what I do from 9-5, I’m a writer first.

What would you say about your online magazine that makes it unique from other sites?

What makes Polished different from other sites is that we cater to the total person. We are going to tell you where to party, but we’re also going to tell you where to sign up for community service, where to see a good art exhibition, how to manage your finances and how politics affect your life. We want to help our readers become as well-rounded as possible.

What are your favorite 3 magazines (print or online) to read?

My all-time favorite print magazine is/was Honey Magazine. I hate that it’s out of print, because it spoke to hip, intelligent, sexy young women in a way that no other magazine has since. I also like Vibe and Giant Magazines.

Outside of Polished Cleveland, what else can we find on your plate of things to do?

I have my personal blog, The Life & Times of Robin Monique which features editorials on hip-hop, politics, relationships, pop culture, and my personal observations on life. I also blog for a site called Ladies Run the City, where I discuss my experiences overcoming major depressive disorder. I write fiction short stories and am developing ideas for a fiction novel, as well as working on my memoirs. I was recently added to the blog network at The Fresh Xpress, so my work will be featured there soon as well.

Who is your favorite writer of all time and why?

My favorite writer is Joan Morgan. She wrote one book, “When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: My Life as a Hip-Hop Feminist” that blew me away because it showed me that there were intellectual women who loved hip-hop as much as I did. Morgan’s writing style was sassy, educated and wise and it definitely inspired me as an aspiring writer.

What advice would you give to young aspiring/ existing entrepreneurs?

I really encourage people find their business style and be true to it. As popular as the concept of a “hustler” may be, everyone is not a hustler and you don’t have to be in order to run a successful business. It’s better to build your business in a way that allows you to be you, than to imitate someone else’s model because it worked for them.

What resources did you use to help launch Polished Cleveland, leading to its success?

The most important resource in launching Polished Cleveland has been my network. I have been blessed to meet so many focused, positive people and their support and advice has contributed greatly to our success thus far at Polished. The internet helped me tremendously because I have come across so many like-minded individuals via social networking who have come on as writers (shout out to Dollhouse’s own Monisa Mason and Charron Hunter!). On top of that, I have the most awesome business partner in the world in Christine Taylor. We’ve been a team since our communications classes at Wilberforce University and our creative chemistry is off the chain.

If you had to use one sentence to convince a reader to check out Polished Cleveland, what would it be?

Polished Cleveland Magazine is the voice Cleveland’s new generation of movers and shakers, appealing to this audience’s youthful energy and maturing tastes.

Finish the following sentence: “When I write, I……….”

When I write, I speak my truth in hopes that my words encourage my readers to find and live their truth

WELL THERE YOU HAVE IT LADIES AND GENTS....ANOTHER CLEVELAND MOVER AND SHAKER THAT DOLLHOUSE IS GIVING A MAJOR KUDOS TO! CHECK MS. ROBIN MONIQUE AT WWW.POLISHEDCLEVELAND.COM. REMEMBER THAT YOU TOO CAN BE A LOCAL MOVER AND SHAKER. THE EQUATION IS A DREAM + SOME GOALS + A PLAN + ALOT OF ACTION=SUCCESS!

BY MONISA

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