Leslie McAllisterLeslie McAllister

Barbie – that was the beginning for me. Then, at age 10, my style guru and grandmother, Noni, introduced me to Elsa Klensch's CNN Style on Saturdays. I think it was just a ploy to plop me in front of the tele so she could apply her makeup.

She then graduated me to the style bible W, and I was hooked.

Although I started playing the piano at age 7 and worked very hard to hone my craft, I was always distracted by colors, prints, shoes, jewels, so I began living a double life between fashion and music, never knowing which one I loved more. I mean, the keys were just so black and white!

Even while attending Berklee College of Music, I worked for Anthropologie and people always commented on my style even my songwriting teacher, which was a feat because he was beyond obsessed with The Beatles and he never looked up from transcribing "Come Together."

After a lucid dream about shoes, vintage clothes, a cart, a warehouse, and free reign to take whatever I wanted I, called my mom. "I think I need to study fashion," I told her.

I decided to come back to Erie and attend Mercyhurst University's fashion program in 2004. Upon graduating, I started writing for Erie Life Magazine, then Lake Erie Lifestyle, and now the Erie Reader. I never thought I would be a writer; I was certain I would move to LA and give Rachel Zoe a friendly challenge. I thought I would be drowning in vintage couture, dressing the elite, and styling editorial. But now I work at PNC Bank as an administrative assistant in the Institutional Investments Group, and run my own vintage and retro clothing business – Shop Juju's on Etsy – and I write a little blog. I guess the universe had other plans for me, but I couldn't be happier!

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