Our member of the week is Jennifer Bruni. Jennifer is a writer, and though you've probably read her work, you haven't seen her byline: she helps create and edit written content for businesses, both online and in print. Jennifer has worked for major corporations such as Citigroup and Fidelity Investments, who come to her when they want to push a new product, disperse information in a brochure, or simply draw people to their services. You can see some of their feedback on Jennifer’s work on her website, and see more of her clients on her profile. Also check out our short interview with Jennifer to learn more about her life as a freelancer.
1. What has been your most interesting project?
That’s a tough one. I loved working with the Tannery on their website content, owners of two very popular stores here in Cambridge & Boston, because I love fashion. I had to come up with 5 fashion prototypes and describe them in just 7 words each – kind of a fashion haiku, if you will – along with a quiz for the Personal Stylist section of their website. So visitors to the site would sign up, answer a series of questions and then the senior buyer would hand-pick an outfit for just for them…something that’s never been done before. The Tannery & their vendors were very excited about it. I also love to do feature writing, which is both highly creative and allows me to meet some really interesting and inspiring people who I would never meet otherwise. But that doesn’t pay the bills, so I can only dabble in that right now.
**2. Why did you decide to go freelance? **
Well, I have to be honest with you – I decided to take the plunge into freelancing because I really despised both my boss and my job, which was working for an undisclosed major banking outfit in NYC (I’m sure you can figure it out!). Sept. 11 had just happened, and two months after that I gave birth to my son, so those events also acted as a catalyst to get my butt out of Corporate America for good. Out of all that trauma and grief and also intense joy, all those clichés hit home for me: life is short and that I needed to do what I loved and enjoyed for a living in order to be really happy and successful as well – and also to live in integrity and thus be a good example to my son.
3. What tip would you give to a new freelancer or someone who is considering going freelance?
Stash that cash! SAVE save save your money – I would say the ideal is to have a year’s salary under the proverbial mattress -- because you don’t know how long it will take to a) get momentum going with your business and b) cover your ass during those slow periods. Cash flow is probably my biggest drama as a freelancer. And since I am also a single mother, I don’t have the luxury of leaning on a significant other to cover the lean times, which are inevitable.
4. What is your favorite spot in the city in which you live?
I would have to say the beach – I am scheming to eventually move back into a more urban area, but after 16 yrs in NYC, right now I live in the house where I grew up – how crazy is that – which is in a little town in between Boston and Cape Cod. It’s really beautiful here but it’s also too conservative and kind of lacking in energy and hustle which I tend to crave as a writer.
5. What is your inspiration?
My son. Everything I do is for him. Walking around where I live and being in nature – on the beach and in the woods; there is a lot of conservation land where I live, which is a blessing. Many of my friends have told me I am inspiring to them, which is kind of crazy to hear but nice just the same. Without getting all Oprah-ish on you, I finally feel that after 5 years as a freelancer, I can say that I am living my dream, following my heart and being true to myself. So no matter what happens, I really can’t ask for much more than that.