Community Member Spotlight: Our Beloved Writer/Editor

By Catherine Baldi, Principal, Arana Craftsman Painters

Longtime readers of our print newsletter may have noticed that not all of our articles are about paint or painting (fun topic for us, but maybe too repetitive for you) and that most of our articles are written by me or Julie Feinstein Adams — plus the occasional featured guest, or reprints from the blogosphere.

This month, we give you a behind the scenes peek at our newsletter creation process, putting the spotlight on our writer and editor and her contributions — who she is and how she is not only one of the loveliest people you will ever meet but also how she makes the “magic” of words happen for us, every issue.    

Julie Feinstein Adams’s first professional writing job was as a freelance writer for the Daily Californian in 1989, and she performed her first autobiographical solo show in 1992 — both of which marked the start of a wide-ranging career encompassing journalism, theater arts, public relations, and marketing content and consulting. Julie Feinstein Adams has spent decades telling stories — others’ and her own.

BNI BGN group photoBusiness Growth Network, a BNI Chapter where Catherine and Julie met

Her current projects include working on her memoir — in the forms of both a one-woman show and a book — about her marriage to a person who transitioned genders. (View an early version/short performance, here:

She also volunteers with, hosting an online support group meeting for Partners of Trans People.

Julie and I first met in a local business networking group in 2008 and we immediately bonded. Since I have always been a wannabe writer, of course, I was drawn to her! She is a storyteller with a passion for the way that stories connect people; I am all about building community connections; it was a match!

For me, this newsletter is my form of craftsmanship. Why do Arana’s painters get to have all the fun, engaging their craft? With Julie, I get to take to my little soapbox/sandbox and do the otherwise ordinary task of writing a newsletter, my way. Arana is a painting business, yes, but we also love sharing about different aspects of the Bay Area and the things that are meaningful to us — and hopefully, this benefits you as well.

Action Theater Ensemble 2003

Above: Julie performing in the Action Theater Ensemble in 2003.

How It All Works:

In our monthly brainstorming meetings, Julie and I bounce ideas off of each other and take notes, which then become drafts. Sometimes we compile resources on a topic and that becomes a how-to article, other times we interview a community member or highlight an industry partner. These interviews become profiles, or we edit the material into guest posts, thus giving voice to, or ghostwriting for, those colleagues and friends.

As I’ve said many times in this space, and as inscribed in Arana’s mission, I deeply value community, especially community health and beautification. So, by spotlighting my colleagues and friends, as well as the cool things we find out about, and the recipes we love, this is me being of service, aligning my work with my heart-of-hearts wish for all of us — that we all thrive, prosper, and enjoy life!

The Thing About Julie:

Julie is not only a writer and performer, but she is also a coach, specializing in both business coaching and dating coaching. (Yes, dating coaching is a thing; that’s what I love about living here; there is help for everything!)

Julie explains: “As I was working with my clients — whether producing marketing content or content for dating profiles — I recognized that I was helping people clarify and articulate who they are and what they have to offer, and how their stories, the things they care about, connect them to others. So, in 2011, I became a coach.

“Whether I am working as a coach or as a writer, I am seeing beauty, or you could call it ‘essence,’ and putting a frame around that. I’m listening for that underlying thread, perceiving what is wanting to emerge, and helping my clients to recognize it in themselves and be empowered by it."

Julie’s writing is a kind of coaching for me. It does something. It gives my thoughts form and content and helps to grease the wheels of expression. When Julie and I do this newsletter together every month, the idea generation doesn’t even take that long; it’s effortless. She’s like my own personal Blarney Stone! I get on a call with her and the ideas just start rolling in. Everyone needs a Julie!

Bawdy 2018 copyJulie onstage at Bawdy Storytelling in 2018.

From soup to nuts, newsletter production is a cottage industry: our in-house process includes Kristina Islas ( who handles the graphic design aspect; Courtney Montecino, our Assistant to the Customer Account Manager (and whom many of you talk to when you schedule your site visits), who is our proofreader, plus my daughter Sofia who does the folding and stuffs the envelopes for our print edition!

Julie offers life, business, relationship, and writing coaching, as well as group workshops on memoir writing and business blogging. If you are an aspiring writer — this is for you! Learn more at:

By Catherine Baldi (with Julie Feinstein Adams)

Tags: Arana Craftsman Painters, Member Spotlight, Behind the Scenes

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