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Few people can say that they do what they truly love. Most, live their life in a perpetual haze, rushing from one small job to the next without even beginning to think… or feel, let alone enjoy what they do. Iota Ultsch is remarkable, not only because she is among the few who enjoys her work but also because she has a boundless supply of super-charged energy. In real life she is a highly successful fashion designer, industrial designer and interior architect (among other things) and in SL, well…she is a highly successful fashion designer, architect and furniture designer.

I was fortunate to meet Iota this week and talk with her about her success. Our meeting began much like any other, but ended with me getting a sense of the real Iota; a wonderfully kind, funny and spiritually generous person.

Harriet Gausman: How did you hear about Second Life and what made you venture forth?

Iota Ultsch: I heard about Second Life about four years ago and avoided it like the plague because I knew it would be far too much fun and a major distraction from my architectural studies. Needless to say, I was right!

I took a well-earned break last year after I graduated and have been an active content creator in Second Life in the fields of architecture, furniture and fashion ever since.

Harriet Gausman: How quickly did you begin designing? Do you remember what your very first in-world design was?

Iota Ultsch: I started designing immediately. My first design was a chandelier I created from a photograph of a painting I was commissioned to do in RL. It was soon followed by my first building, an art gallery located where “très jolie!” is currently.

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Milady’s Fancy isn’t just your ordinary clothing store. If you dream of knights on white horses and damsels in distress, then this is the place to go – but you may find a few slinky short numbers too. The lesson here is expect the unexpected.

Harriet Gausman: So, Rachel, have you been a member of Second Life for long? What made you venture into this great big world, many of us now call home?

Rachel Darling: I’ve been a resident of Second Life since about June of 2006; so for a while, I guess you could say. Why did I come to Second Life? Well, I’d been a player of an older fantasy MMORPG game called Ultima Online for about 5 years and I felt I needed something newer and more up to date. I did a lot of “decorating” and custom home building in UO, but when I heard about the content creation tools in SL, I just had to try it. I guess you could say that my gaming is my creative outlet, and so far, there’s no other Online world with so many options to create.

Harriet Gausman: Were you very productive in your first few months? It always amazes me when designer after designer tells me they began designing two weeks after rezzing.

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If you love beautiful, feminine gowns that ooze innocence and gentility, then you must be familiar with the designs of Constanza Volare. Alchemy’s front woman and real life graphic designer, talked to Friday Feature about real life, friendship, and Godiva Chocolates… I’m all ears!

Harriet Gausman: I always like to start by asking how long my interviewees have been in SL and when they began their business; for the benefit of those who do not already know. So, do tell.

Constanza Volare: Well, officially I joined in November 2006 but didn’t actually log in until January 2007. I probably started designing around April of the same year… I must confess it took me a while to get the hang of it (the whole SL experience and making clothes)!

Harriet Gausman: I have to say that your store has the most impressive selection of gowns and dresses – what made you choose to specialize in formal wear?

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Elisne Allen isn’t just a beautiful face; besides stunning and enigmatic, she is also highly intelligent and deeply philosophical. This week’s Friday Feature had a chat with her about her work and recent accomplishment in SL Miss Universe where she was placed 2nd. She also talked about how it felt to be mistakenly announced as the winner.

Harriet Gausman: So, Elisne, how long have you been a part of this grand thing we call Second Life?

Elisne Allen: I joined Second Life in the end of June, taking part in this community was one of my best choices in life. People on here have actually made me a better person in real life.

Harriet Gausman: What did you do before you became a model and how long have you been modelling?

Elisne Allen: Well the first thing I did when I joined Second Life was to get my avatar looking as good as it could. I have always been interested in photography, so before I became involved in modelling I spent some time taking pictures, capturing second life.

Harriet Gausman: For those who dream of following in your footsteps, but are unsure of taking that first step, how difficult was it to get started and make a name for yourself in the business? What did you do to get where you are?

Elisne Allen: I don’t believe in following someone’s footsteps. Your life is planned in front of you. It’s just up to you to follow the path. As you walk along that path be sure to be you and treat everyone with respect and compassion. Everything I do in Second Life are things that I enjoy doing and I simply shared my passion for fashion, photography and modelling.

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Harriet Gausman: It must have been thrilling and touching too, when you were chosen to represent Israel in the SL Miss Universe. Do you originate from Israel or is it that you feel a connection with the country?

Elisne Allen: It was both thrilling and touching indeed. A few months ago I met a very interesting man. He is the owner of the city Ir shalom, which is Second Life’s first Jewish city. As I am a Jew myself, I felt this bond between me and the city and all of its inhabitants. It was my honour to represent such a beautiful country like Israel.

Harriet Gausman: Over a thousand women submitted pictures and applications for SL Miss Universe, what made you enter the contest initially and did you feel you would reach the final?

Elisne Allen: I was shocked when I won the Miss Ir shalom contest. It was one of my proudest moments and made me a finalist directly. So I knew for some time I was one of the misses in the contest. It has truly been the best experience of my Second Life and when I made it to the final I was stunned and could not breathe. I cannot describe the breathtaking feeling going through your body.

Harriet Gausman: How long did it take to prepare for the pageant and what did the preparation entail?

Elisne Allen: As soon as all the finalists were announced I started working on my outfits. I looked everywhere for inspiration and I found the store International House of Style. Oryx Tempel makes the most amazing national costumes I have ever seen. When I went searching for a gown I knew exactly what I wanted. Indyra Siego’s design turned out fabulous, she is a truly talented designer.

Harriet Gausman: The first part of the pageant was the introduction of the contestants wearing ensembles that were re-creations of clothing from the countries being represented. Tell us a little about the creation you wore.

Elisne Allen: My national costume was Israeli silks with pearls, a belt and a necklace. On the belt was the Star of David. Oryx Tempel and I spent hours talking over how it should look. And we agreed on the colour white, as it was the best colour for my skin. I also used the shoes from Rebel Hope’s Cleopatra outfit, as I believe they matched the dress perfectly.

Harriet Gausman: Did you have any say in the design? I would think that the gowns were created to both represent the country and also to express the personality of the wearer; is that the case?

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Elisne Allen: Well of course I had a say in the design. Both of the designers of my costume and gown are two people I trust a lot. When designing the gown I thought about what colours would fit and how it would reflect my personality. Indyra Seigo performed a fantastic job and I could not be more pleased. I felt honoured to have a dress named after me.

Harriet Gausman: It must have been particularly nerve-wracking during the question time as some of the most accomplished people in SL were sitting on the panel and you were surrounded by reporters, television crews, not to mention a large audience. Had you thought about the sort of questions you might be asked or did you just say the first thing that came to you at that moment?

Elisne Allen: I always speak by heart and everything I say is what I believe in. When they told me I was one of the 5 finalists, I actually took a run to the kitchen and got myself 5 glasses of ice cold water. It was nerve-wracking at first, but I cooled down. I thought to myself to take the time I needed. I was lucky to have my best friend calming me down in IM, telling me to relax and that I was over the initial hurdle of being in the 5 finalists and to say what I truly believed in.

Harriet Gausman: During the final announcement there was a sim crash. Do you think this helped cause the confusion that led to you being mistakenly announced as the winner?

Elisne Allen: Announcing me as a winner was a media mistake, which was caused by the sim crash. I can’t hold anyone responsible and I will admit, I was a little shocked at everyone congratulating me on winning (upon returning and waiting in the neighbouring sim border). It all happened so quickly and I was in a state of shock to be honest. When the official announcement was made, I was disappointed like anyone would expext, but I didn’t get too down as I had my friends there regardless of whether I won or lost and their support was tremendous at that time. Overall, it was a memorable night and I ran through the whole gamut of emotions and I believe it has made me grow as a person.

Harriet Gausman: You were quoted in the AvaStar as saying “It’s all about focusing on the positive things in your life. I didn’t win the house or the money, but I didn’t go home empty-handed. It’s all good” How did you really feel?

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Elisne Allen: “It’s all about focusing on the positive things in your life. I didn’t win the house or the money, but I didn’t go home empty-handed. It’s all good” Those words are from me. I believe that what happens is meant to happen, so this was meant to be like this. I am truly happy for Babyhoney. By not going home empty handed, I want everyone to know that I meant I got the chance a lot of people dream of (by being involved in this pageant) and in doing so, I was able to meet many amazing people. I also solidified existing friendships, in that I had my friends there in the crowd cheering me on. So in the end, I move away from this experience a better person, which is all anybody can ever ask from any experience they have in their life.

Harriet Gausman: It was a great accomplishment and you must be so proud. What can we expect from you in the future?

Elisne Allen: Thank you! It was one of my proudest moments, something I will always remember. You will see me doing what I enjoy doing, taking my passions to the next levels.

Harriet Gausman: Finally, any tips for those wishing to follow in your footsteps?

Elisne Allen: Be yourself and don’t give up. Remember, the brain makes the person.

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 Callie Cline is not only a fashion icon in SL. As a designer, business women, photographer and model, it seems her talents are endless. We caught up with Callie this week to find out about this busy lady’s past, present and upcoming projects.

Harriet Gausman: For those who do not know, how long have you been in SL and when did your business begin?

Callie Cline: My rez day is (looks on profile) 7-10-2005. I began business in an informal way as a photographer for the owner of the black library, wandering yaffle, he was my first SL friend, and I think I bothered him so much, he sent me out to take photos. Haha. He encouraged me early on to build, and make stuff and tried to teach me. After 5 minutes, I told him, NO WAY I am gonna ever make stuff. He’s an amazing person and also was the person who encouraged Nicky Ree and Ace Albion of Aces Spaces.

My “clothing” biz began quietly in I think April of 2006 with one wall in Kiana Dulce’s shop. My first things were tables, candles and rugs, all with skulls on them. I thought it’d be fun to have an all skull themed shop, so my first outfit was “skullicious”… and I made about 12 skull outfits… then sorta thought, hmmm, I’m bored with skulls on to glitter… and so on… (before I did clothing, I did photography, logo design and was a decorator too).

Harriet Gausman: What inspires your designs?

Callie Cline: Everything from objects in my home, collections of fabric I own, music, nature, my imagination, childhood memories of my favorite clothing and what I did to them with scissors, beads, leather, often to the horror of my mother.

Harriet Gausman: Five words to describe the brand values of Callie?

Callie Cline: Passion, excellence (meaning the best I can do, not perfection), Inspired, Integrity, Servant Leadership.

Harriet Gausman: You were the brains behind Motorati Girlz, tell us a little more about this?

Callie Cline: It was a way to engage women in the Motorati community in a fun and light way. Sort of cheerleaders for the various events.

Harriet Gausman: Have your efforts to attract more women to the world of cars in SL paid off?

Callie Cline: Yes I think so! Perhaps not in a “get under the hood” sort of way, but in fun ways, and working with people on Motorati like “ask patty” and being able to send women to her I think helped.

Harriet Gausman: It must have been thrilling to be picked for the Maxim Hot 100.

Callie Cline: It was very thrilling although equally hard to believe. Still is. I often open the mag to see if my photo is really there or has been “logged out”. They recently added a link on their site to the motorati girlz blog, it was supposed to be my blog, so that will be changed, but that was surprising to me to see “learn more about caLLie here” on the Maxim site.

Harriet Gausman: How did this come about?

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