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Conversations with the Inspiring Jeanne Fratello

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeanne Fratello.

Jeanne, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started out writing about healthy and fun foods for kids and families – which I still do – but I found myself getting increasingly attracted to anything wacky, bizarre, unique and/or iconic. When I post about food or destinations on my Instagram, I try to imagine what I’d want a friend to tell me about – whether it’s “This is the coolest thing! You’re going to love it!” or “You HAVE to try this new place!” or even “I tried this so you didn’t have to.”

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I feel like, I’ve been on Twitter forever, but I was a latecomer to Instagram. On Twitter, you can tweet something and if it goes unnoticed, it’s kind of like, “Oh, well.” But if you post something on Instagram and you get crickets, it feels like you’re standing out there naked. I had to learn to edit myself – to pick only one or maybe two great shots and to keep my feed stylistically and thematically consistent. I also spent a lot of time looking and learning at what other people were doing and tried to be both interactive and encouraging – and in Instagram, as with most things, the more you give, the more you get back in return.

what should we know about Jolly Tomato? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I started my career as a journalist and writer, so the writing is what drives almost everything I do. After I started my food blog (, I got incredibly inspired by farm or factory tours and learning about where our food comes from. Most of my writing is driven by my need to tell a story or to dig deeper into the process, the personalities, and the product. I also get really excited about nerdy statistics, historical facts and local oddities. Above all, I promised myself that I would only ever keep doing it if it continued to be fun. And I *am* still having fun – so I hope that comes across in every post.

For good reason, society often focuses more on the problems rather than the opportunities that exist, because the problems need to be solved. However, we’d probably also benefit from looking for and recognizing the opportunities that women are better positioned to capitalize on. Have you discovered such opportunities?
The amazing thing about social media and the blogosphere is that there’s room for absolutely anyone, and you don’t have to punch a clock or be in a certain place at a certain time to participate. So, whether you’re toiling away at a 60-hour-per-week job or at home trying to manage two toddlers and a baby, there’s a place for you to say whatever you want to say. It’s great to see so many amazing women find their voice and have a platform to express themselves.

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