Get to Know: Digital Marketing Specialist Belle Du Chene
Start off by telling everyone about yourself:
Even though I’m a native Iowan, I’ve worked and lived in a few big cities, so I’m a complicated mix of metropolitan vigor and small town nice.
My father is 90% left-brained and my mother is 90% right, so the mashup explains my widespread and sometimes contradicting skillset.
I tend to speak in hashtags, which just confuses everyone in my family above the age of 35. #animallove #tennis #francais #desmoinesista #cheese #photography
What is your professional background?
My undergraduate degrees in textiles and French took me to New York City, where I started my career working as an intern for a fashion production company, ultimately working my way up to the title of fashion show producer.
After that I worked for a modeling agency booking talent and maintaining our website and social media presence before relocating to Chicago to work as a producer for a talent agency.
Eventually I started my own production company but put the business on hold to attend graduate school, where I studied communications with an emphasis in public relations. For the last few years I’ve worked in publishing and new media and have absolutely loved it.
What have you enjoyed about Visionary so far?
It boggles my mind to be under one roof with so many brilliantly forward-minded people. I may be gushing, but I’m not over exaggerating, when I say that options feel truly endless with a team like this. I can't wait to tell everyone all about the innovation that is born here. Our president, David Safris, is the Steve Jobs of Des Moines. Really.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
I volunteer as much as humanly possible while still maintaining time for photography, tennis and playing with my “kids,” a delightfully sassy six-year-old Ragdoll cat named Minouche and an incorrigibly naughty two-year-old Animal Rescue League mutt named Wynnston. They overrun both my apartment and my Instagram account.
Where is your favorite place to eat in Des Moines?
I’ve never found just one place to call my favorite, though I do have my go-tos for certain dishes. I love the guacamole at Dos Rios, the Centro salad at Centro, the cava at Table 128, the #4 wood-fired pizza at Eatery A and pretty much anything served at The Cheese Shop. If it's a Tuesday, you'll probably see me eating oysters at Django.
I won’t be able to name a favorite until I’ve tried them all!
Best book or blog you've read lately?
“How to be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style and Bad Habits.” After having spent a bit of time living in France during my formative years, this book reminds me of many of my European girlfriends and predictably myself, too.
What is one thing you could not live a day without?
Coffee beans. Coffee. Café. Java. Cuppa Joe. Cappuc!
It’s a bit of a joke in my family that I have a coffee maker, espresso machine, French press (both the glass version for the home and a plastic one for when you’re on-the-go), milk frother, single cup brew machine, a percolator and even some instant coffee on-hand at all times, just in case.
As if that weren’t bad enough, each item has its own set of accessories like mugs, demitasse cups, spoons, etc.
Maybe I should switch to tea.
What are your words to live by?
“Throw spaghettis at the wall and see what sticks.”
It reminds me that many ideas, both good and bad, all take part in the development of truly great concepts and that you just have to start somewhere. Spaghetti and Brie are also my two favorite foods, but you wouldn't want to throw cheese at the wall.
What are you loving at the moment?
I am currently fixated on the Live Photos feature on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus because it compounds my last obsession with cinemagraphs, which I think bring all websites and social media platforms to life. It’s a great time to be a visual person in a tech world!