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Who Makes What - Profiles

Holly Ridings of Elite Modeling Agency

Pierre Colorado of Blake Standard Clothing

Renee Delemore, Chicago Con Edison meter reader

Holly Ridings, 22
Pierre Colorado, 37
Renee Delemore, 41
Model, Elite Chicago
Hours per week:
24 to 32
Time at current job: Three years with Elite
Annual vacation allotment: About two weeks (in August, modeling’s off-season)
First job: Waitressing in Rockford, age 15, $5.15 an hour, plus tips
Fantasy job: “I always kind of wanted to be on CNN. Or something artistic. Or working at a magazine.”
Creative director, Blake Standard clothing design
Hours per week: 55
Time at current job: One and a half years
Annual vacation allotment: Three to four weeks
First job: Assistant designer for a women’s clothing company, age 22, $24,000 a year
Fantasy job: “Historian—seriously”
Meter reader, ComEd
Hours per week: 40 on average, occasionally 48
Time at current job: 16 years
Annual vacation allotment: 24 days
First job: Salesclerk for a clothing boutique, age 18, $3.35 an hour (the minimum wage)
Fantasy job: Home remodeling

Julie Michaels, Chicago dog groomer

Bert Gieseman, Chicago entertainment lawyer

Ryan Tsang, Chicago web applications developer

Julie Michaels, 34
Bert Gieseman, 51
Ryan Tsang, 24
Dog groomer, Barking Lot
Hours per week:
72 on average
Time at current job: One year
Annual vacation allotment: One week
First job: Dog bather, age 16, $6 an hour
Fantasy job: Veterinarian
Self-employed entertainment lawyer
Hours per week: “Not enough”
Time at current job: Two and a half years
Annual vacation allotment: None
Other job: “Musician, but it doesn’t pay.”
First job: Paperboy, age 11, $12 a month
Fantasy job: Buddhist monk or professional surfer
Web application developer/analyst, Technology Services Group
Hours per week:
Time at current job: One year and seven months
Annual vacation allotment: Two weeks, plus comp time for overtime hours
First job: Clerk at health foods store, age 14, $6.25 an hour
Fantasy job: Geneticist

Emmett Miller of Chicago's Windy City Wizard

Melinda Rodriguez owner of Roque Salon Chicago

Shivani Saigal, Chicago art and marketing specialist

Emmett Miller, 45
Melinda Rodriguez, 34
Shivani Saigal, 26
Magician/CEO, Windy City Wizard Productions
Hours per week:
40 to 50

Time at current job: First paid gig was 31 years ago; full-time for about five years
Annual vacation allotment: 30 days, usually a working vacation
Other jobs: Father and husband (“I have a colorful past: I’ve been everything from a social worker to a network engineer.”)
First paid magic show: age 14, $50; first hourly job: theatre usher, age 16, $3.50 an hour
Fantasy job: Insurance or real estate
Owner/master stylist, Roque Salon
Hours per week:
50 to 60
Time at current job: Six years in August
Annual vacation allotment: About three weeks
Other job: Owner of The Lashe Spot, a mini-salon specializing in eyelash extensions
First job: Apprenticeship at Vidal Sassoon, age 19, $4 an hour
Fantasy job: “If I couldn’t do hair, I would be teaching, in fashion design, or I’d own another business.”
Art and marketing specialist, ColorBurst,
a screen-printing company
Hours per week:
Time at current job: Three years
Annual vacation allotment: Three weeks
Other job: Graphic designer/owner of Envision Eight, a graphic and Web design firm (earning about $20,000 for 15 to 20 hours a week)
First job: Perfume sales associate in a mall, age 17, $7 an hour plus commission
Fantasy job: “I don’t see myself doing anything besides graphic art.”

Cinda K. Lester, Chicago architect

Lon Thomas, Chicago handyman

Mariah Sheriff

Cinda K. Lester, 33
Lon Thomas, 50
Mariah Sheriff, 22
Architect, 12/12 Architects & Planners
Hours per week:
Time at current job: Three years and eight months
Annual vacation allotment: Four weeks
Other job: Instructor of computer-aided design and interior design at Westwood College’s DuPage campus (making $32,000 for 25 hours a week)
First job: Planner for Illinois Tollway, age 22, $10 an hour
Fantasy job: Kindergarten teacher
Handyman/owner, Ask Lon!, a handyman-for-hire business
Hours per week:
Time at current job: 16 months (after 20 years in the health care industry)
Annual vacation allotment: “My goal is two weeks.”
First job: Gas station attendant, age 13 or 14, $2.25 an hour
Fantasy job: “I have a permanent smile slapped across my face; I’m doing exactly what I love.”

Middle-school teacher at Ariel Community Academy, a Chicago public school
Hours per week:
Time at current job: Eight months
Annual vacation allotment: 12 weeks
First job: Receptionist at doctor’s office, age 16, $8.50 an hour
Fantasy job: College professor

*includes grant for Teach for America

Jim Matson, Chicago Zen Buddhist priest

Michael Tootelian, Chicago personal trainer

Miss Foozie, Chicago female impersonator

Jim Matson, 61
Michael Tootelian, 49
Miss Foozie, 48
Zen Buddhist priest, Zen Buddhist Temple of Chicago
Hours per week:
Time at current job: Four years
Annual vacation allotment: None—he volunteers
Other job: Owner of Chicago Railroad Supply, a Bridgeview-based company that sells equipment to railroads
First job: Golf caddy, age 15, $5 for 18 holes
Fantasy job: College professor
Personal trainer/owner, 1 on 1 Fitness Training
Hours per week: 15 to 20
Time at current job: Opened own studio 18 months ago; in the business 20-plus years
Annual vacation allotment: Whatever he wants, usually two to four weeks
Other job: Real-estate broker
First job: Burger King employee, age 15, $2 an hour
Fantasy job: Real-estate builder
Self-employed female impersonator
Hours per week:
Six on average
Time at current job: Ten years
Annual vacation allotment: Miss Foozie takes working vacations roughly every other month to cities including New York and Washington, D.C.
Other job: Miss Foozie’s alter ego works full-time at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.
First paid gig: The weekly stage show Miss Foozie and Her Floozies, age 37, $30 per show
Fantasy job: To be Miss Foozie full-time

Reasearch by Megan Lovejoy, Alexis Mattera, Carrie Napolilli, Nora O'Donnell, Corina Quinn, Brendan Shea, Pauline Shih, Brigid Sweeney, and Jennifer Wehunt

Photography by Kevin Banna. Photo assistant: Steve Rischow, Digital tech: Mike Shimer, Styling: Leslie Pace, Hair and makeup: Angela Brasington, Hair and makeup (Holly only): Cindy Adams/Elite Chicago


Who Makes What - Salaries List

Who Makes What - Profiles

Who Makes What - Comparisons

Who Will Do Better?

The $18-Million Headache

Where Does It All Go?

The Bucks Start Here

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