April 16, 2007

HauteSpot Interview: Riki Altman, Freelance Journalist

Riki Altman - Jet-setting Journalist
Freelance Journalist and President, Wordstar Ink.
Offices in Chicago & Fort Lauderdale / Miami

Riki Altman, talk about one serious hautemomma, has not only graduated from one of the top journalism schools in the nation, Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, but she has worked as the editor of many affluent luxury lifestyle magazines and on America Online's City Guide. She is currently working with the Atlanta Peach magazine, which also publishes Ocean Drive and the soon to be published Michigan Ave., debut Summer 2007.

Ms. Altman is attending the Lexington Foundation Derby Ball this year with Hautemommastuff's Jen and Gretchen for her article in the Atlanta Peach specific to Derby 2007.

Read on to find out more about this accomplished, empowered and stylish hautemomma!


Favorite vacation Spot?
I’ve been to Turks & Caicos twice and just loved it. The water there is electric blue, the sand is soft, and the conch yield without a fight when I jam them into a bowl with lime juice, onions and Tabasco.

Favorite restaurant?
That’s a tough one since I’ve made it a point to eat my way around the world. But I guess it has to be Camille’s in Key West. It not only has an ever-changing breakfast menu but it’s also the only place I’ll eat Key lime pie.

Style Icon?
My heart broke when Gianni Versace was killed. He really understood how to dress a woman with the perfect combination of daring, sexiness and elegance. But I guess I’d choose Sarah Jessica Parker—not in the role of “Carrie”—if I wanted to emulate a modern gal.

Favorite gift to give?
I’m a fan of anything homemade. Baking cookies, gluing a photo collage, or making personalized bars of soap say, “I may go to the mall to shop for me, but I actually made an effort to create something for you.”

What's in your beauty bag?
I swear by that Burt’s Bees’ Peppermint Coconut Oil foot goo. It smells and feels like utopia. I’m sure it tastes good, too, but I’m not going there. Oh, and thanks to my dermatologist for introducing me to the Obagi skin care line. The products cost as much as my rent, but I’ve cut my concealer consumption in half since beginning the regimen.

Favorite hotel?
I’m a sucker for a Westin. I slept so good on one of those “Heavenly Beds” that I don’t even remember what city I was in.

Cocktail of choice?
I’m not a drinker, but if I was forced to slug down a gallon of something it would have to be a mojito.

Style advice?
Please, for the love of G-d, don’t let your belly fat/spare tire hang out. Michael Stars makes nice, long shirts to cover all that. [If my mom were to contribute, she’d say a lady should always spend her money on her hairstyle, makeup and skin products. You can always find a pair of Choos on sale, but bargain basement foundation is a no-no.]

What is style?
To me, style equals confidence. One can have crazy hair like Betsey Johnson or dress totally off-the-wall like Patricia Fields, but if a gal holds her head high, she’s got flair.

What is at the top of your style / wardrobe wish list?
Sigh. If only I had enough spare change to buy a daring Roberto Cavalli or a funky Etro patchwork dress…

Favorite Mantra?
“I eat. Therefore, I am.” Nah, really I like Nike’s “Just do it” slogan taken one step beyond: “Just do it NOW.” Perfect for a journalist who likes to creep her way toward deadlines. I’m actually procrastinating right this instant.

What do you like best about being a Journalist?
Seriously, I’m convinced I have the best job on the planet. I get to travel, attend amazing parties and fashion shows, and meet interesting people. But my favorite aspect of the job is knowing what’s going on in the world before anyone else.

What is your most memorable / exciting moment as a journalist?
I was planning to write a story about stargazing for a February/Valentine’s issue of a magazine, and when I interviewed an astronomy professor at the local university he told me about his campaign to get a new observatory for the students. The school wouldn’t put forth a dime. I sensed there was more of a story in that, so I changed the angle of the piece.
Just the other day, he e-mailed to tell me that someone saw my article and agreed to donate the money. Yea! I get to have fun and get paid while helping people at the same time.

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