Miss A Columnist

Rochelle Robinson grew up in the Pacific Northwest immersed in the performance, musical, and fine arts, as well as athletics – from skiing in the water to skiing in the sleet and snow, to cycling around the velodrome. While studying fine art and the musical genre of jazz at the University of Washington she put both her passion for and experience in the arts into helping to create the Washington State Academic Achievement Standards for the Arts by serving on both the Arts and Standards Revision committees. She later completed a Master of Arts in Teaching at The University of Puget Sound and Master of Arts in Liberal Arts at St. John's College Graduate Institute. As an aspiring artist, as well as an educator, she is still intrigued by the creative process and what ensues as a result. Currently, she is developing a poetry blog called A Writer's Space and has co-written both a children's picture book and pilot for a children's TV show. Rochelle also works as an elementary school librarian and advanced reading teacher for a small private school in the valley. She is in the midst of developing a new business named Watercolor Weddings by Rochelle and is developing a series of paintings and conceptual artworks, the first of which is currently on display at Henson Recording Studios in Hollywood. She hopes to inspire Miss A readers to explore, experience and get involved, as she sets out to bring a touch of the literary, fine and performing arts that are happening here in Los Angeles to our readers.

Recap: Mimi & Hy Boutique Host Author Anne Kemp To Benefit Lupus LA

Mimi & Hy, one of my favorite all-time specialty boutiques in Studio City, hosted new novelist Anne Kemp for a book signing of her first book, Rum Punch Regrets, complete with rum punch cocktails and a signature charm bracelet sale that benefited Lupus LA on August 4.

Mimi & Hy Logo

(Photo Credit: Mimi & Hy)

Mimi & Hy is a great little shop filled with unique and delicate jewelry, lingerie, candles, PJs, cute t-s, flowing scarves and more. Each item in the shop is discovered and coveted by the pair of sisters who conceived of, own and run the boutique.

Leah and Allison Moss, owners of Mimi & Hy

(Photo Credit: Mimi & Hy)

Leah and Allison Moss make it a rule that they only buy what they love for Mimi & Hy. And it proves to be a great mode of operation. Now the sisters and all of their valley customers can find the perfect specialty items for gifts and their own indulgences right at home, rather than taking that long, slow traffic-packed drive over the hill to the west side that they otherwise found themselves enduring all to often. Every time I’ve walked into their shop I’ve had to cut myself short on time, just so I don’t “gaffle up” all the goods that catch my eye. There are always many! And August 4 was no different.

Rum Punch Regrets by Anne Kemp and Signature Charm Bracelets displayed at Mimi & Hy

(Photo Credit: Rochelle Robinson)

The store was abuzz with people shopping, chatting and sipping freshly made Rum Punch drinks – a cocktail that Anne Kemp’s protagonist, Abby George, takes a particular liking to during her adventurous growth spurt while in the Caribbean in Rum Punch Regrets. After taking a few sips of this concoction of tropical juices, rum and sprinkles of nutmeg, I now know why. You can too, if you read Anne’s book.

In the back you’ll be graced with a menu for a Caribbean meal, so you can savor delicious flavors of the islands while you savor the moments you will have witnessed while reading her engaging novel. It was hard to let go of the characters upon completing it. I could hear their voices, understand their sensibilities and feel the love within the community that Anne created.

Vonnie Brown, Anne Kemp, and Kenny Brown

Vonnie Brown, Anne Kemp, and Kenny Brown (Photo Credit: Karen Docksteader)

Perhaps her ability to transfer character and story so well can be partially attributed to the fact that Rum Punch Regrets is semi-autobiographical. For like Abby George, Miss Kemp took some time out in the Caribbean to re-direct her life after a series of losses. Thankfully for us, she has emerged as a writer! And thankfully, her novels will continue. Anne has signed a six-book deal for her Abby George Series. So, you can indulge in the charismatic lives, tribulations and elations of the growing community in Abby George’s developing life for summers to come!

What I find wonderful about our new author, Anne Kemp, is that she is a woman with high integrity and warmth, conveys a witty sense of humor and has a lot of love to give back to her community. After learning that her dear friend was diagnosed with Lupus, Anne decided that she wanted to bring further awareness of this often debilitating autoimmune disease by becoming involved in the work of Lupus LA. She has found that her book signings are a perfect way to raise funds for this important organization.

Megan Hatch (Special Events Coordinator of Lupus LA), Kim Fertman and Kanaika Harrigan (long time supporters of Lupus LA)

Megan Hatch, Kim Fertman and Kanaika Harrigan (Photo Credit: Karen Docksteader)

Ten percent of the day’s sales of books, charm bracelets, as well as every Mimi & Hi specialty item sold went to Lupus LA. Miss Kemp is also involved in the upcoming annual fundraising event, Get Lucky for Lupus LA, a glamorous night of poker at the Peterson Automotive Museum that will help to continue and further their research, awareness and education programs, as well as propel their partnership with Lupus Research Institute to research, prevent, treat and ultimately cure this complex disease that effects 1.5 million Americans to date.

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