Throwback to one of my first photoshoots- Anj back in 2011!
When I think of Andrea, I think of a smart, determined, savvy, beautiful, driven girl- and someone I’ve always admired. Her confidence, loyalty, and self-awareness have made her successful in so many facets of her life- her job, friendships, achievements… dreams.
I met Andrea when she was 9 and I was 12. She and my sister Brit are the same age and we were all at a beach in Winnetka one day when Brit and I walked up to her and asked her to be in our play. And from there on out, she and her three siblings spent many afternoons in our basement constructing theater and creating dances, and forging a friendship between our two families.
I remember moments where I copied Andrea. I loved her clothing. I still do… She was always a little fashion inspiration for me. I loved moments where we would go shopping and she would pick out a sweater and I would purchase the exact same one…. Her mom used to go to the Rummage Sale in Winnetka and pick out jeans for Brit and me while she was shopping for her kids. It was awesome. I think Andrea’s sense of style comes from her mother…
Another moment of imitation happened when Andrea had her room painted green one year and added white shelving to match her furniture. I was getting ready to makeover my room too. After seeing Andrea’s, I asked for mine to be painted the same green. I also got white shelving to hang up on the walls and after the makeover, we had pretty similar spaces. Gorgeous, nonetheless ;) #copycatwins
Clearly the age gap didn’t matter much in our friendship. I think I only really noticed it while at the end of high school and in my early days of college. But Andrea has always seemed older than her age.
She originally went to Denver University with the goal of pursuing the Restaurant Business and Hospitality. Shortly in, she realized it wasn’t for her and told us that she was switching gears to finance and would rather manage money. I remember looking at her and thinking, really? (Not my forte whatsoever). I’ve always known Andrea to be street smart and confident, but I had no idea she was one for the books too… Not until that moment and forward when she made this new dream a reality.
What’s really kind of funny and also awesome is that Eric considers Andrea just as close of a friend as I do. “She’s like a guy friend,” he tells his buddies… Super chill..can talk business ;)
A few years ago Andrea casually invited Eric, my parents, and me over for some appetizers. My parents had mentioned that they wanted to check out her new apartment. So we brought over cheese and wine and hung out in her kitchen. Talked about life. I thought it was so funny. I’m not sure why. The comfort level? The role reversal? The ease? But it seems that Andrea fits right into our family. When she’s in Denver, she’ll often catch up with my brother. Now that Brit lives in Chicago and Lili is frequently home, they’ll all go out together. Or she’ll come over and hang at my parents apartment with us. It’s so much fun.
Although I’m a few years her senior, I have always looked up to Andrea. What I love so much about her is her loyalty. To her friends & family. And to herself. And what I admire most is that she truly doesn’t care what people think of her. She says how she feels, works hard for what she wants, follows her gut, and doesn’t sweat the small stuff. We don’t talk every day. Or even every week. But we don’t need to. We always pick up where we left off.
Cheers to you, Anj! Thanks for always, faithfully, being YOU.