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By Florence Rosenstein 


Every so often, Fashionlines features one of our staff members for our readers to meet.  This month we spotlight Florence Rosenstein, our wonderfully talented Interactive Designer whose light, swift touch  at the computer screen and a bubbly spirit makes us happy in the darkest days of winter. 

Sunnyvale, California-May 2, 1981,  I was born into a family of Soviet Jewish immigrants with a lineage of suffering, hardship, tragedy, holocaust and war stories—heavy stuff, right? So from, day one, you can guess how lucky I was made to feel that I wasn’t hungry or deprived or made fun of because my last name was Rosenstein. I was raised with virtues of hard work, loyalty, honesty, and oh yeah, hard work. My parents worked through mine and my sister’s childhoods—they had no choice.  They came to America in November of 1979 with nothing, and in order to give us opportunity, they had to succeed as well. So my childhood was a pretty independent one (at least till my mom and dad came home from work) Go to school, come home, finish my homework—what’s next? Something had to fill my time after school and my countless summer days without a soccer mom to give me a ride to my friend’s house.  Before I can remember knowing how to spell "dog," I was drawing one.  I do not remember myself without some sort of coloring utensil in my left hand. Scribbling, drawing, play dough, finger paint, a box of 72 shiny, waxy, heavenly Crayola crayons--these were the things that filled my time and put a huge smile on my face.


As I got older and developed my skills, my family was proud, yet unencouraging.  Florence, don’t waste your brains on art school” was a phrase I heard from my dad at least once a month when I started to shine in my high school art class. Don’t ask me why, but my dad’s dream for me was to be a programmer. I tried it out, did great because I've always been a math pro, but felt totally dry, like I was studying for somebody else’s career.  I never understood why I had to be in the land of opportunity if I wasn’t using it to follow my passion. So, about a year into my computer science studies at Santa Clara University, I decided to go “waste” my lifetime 4.0 brains on art school.  It was time to make my own choice. All my best friends, including my sister thought I was crazy, but to my surprise, my parents were my strongest supporters. I think, finally, they were just proud of me for finding my own way, like they did by coming to this country.


So I packed my bags, moved to the most inspiring city in North America (San Francisco, of course) and followed my natural creative calling.  I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer arts from the Academy of Art University, while interning at a Fortune 500 company. I began my career with a bang.  I started out designing movie theater ads for hundreds of companies, big and small.  I got a little bored with doing the same type of design all the time, so I looked elsewhere. By chance, I stumbled on an ad, “looking for a graphic designer for a world famous online fashion magazine.” What girl on this planet wouldn’t pay attention to that?  I met Christine Suppes, and we instantly clicked.  I saw awesome potential in being on the Fashionlines team and got on board.  Here I am—I hope you all like the site!




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