We thought it was time to introduce you to another partner of ours, Zhenya Hutson. Similar to Suruchi, we’ve been partnering with Zhenya for a couple years now. It’s been fun getting to know her both via her online community, and in person during a visit to Cameron’s headquarters!
Where did you grow up, and where do you live now?
I grew up in a town called Vladimir, Russia. It’s about a 3 hour drive from Moscow and is a part of what is known as the Golden Ring – a group of ancient cities that have historical sites protected by Unesco dating back to the 9th century!
I first came to the US in 2006 on a work visa to do a summer work and travel program. Those were really popular 10 years ago (not sure if they are anymore). I ended up coming to Minnesota and spending 3 months working as a camp counselor in a small town called Spicer. That was the summer I met Sam, little did I know we would fall in love and get married in 2011.
We’ve been married for almost 8 years now, and have lived in 3 different states (MN, where we both went to school; WI, where we moved for my job at Kohl’s; and IL, where we moved because Sam asked for a transfer, Milwaukee wasn’t big enough for him) and now we’re in Chicago, IL.
What do you do for work, and what do you like about it?
I work for Walgreens at their corporate headquarters. I am on the project management team. My work requires a lot of communication and problem solving, which I love. I always say I am 90% detective! I get to work with a lot of different teams and see how what we do impacts the rest of the company and the stores.
When did you first start blogging and what has been your favorite brand to partner with?
I started blogging back in 2009, but didn’t fully commit to it until 2010. I have changed the frequency of how often I post over the years due to different life events and changes in trends with social media, but it’s been a constant in my life for almost 10 years! One of my favorite brands to work with has been Cameron’s of course – I used to live in Minneapolis and am proud to partner and support a MN based company. Through the years I have also been able to partner with Goodwill, another favorite, back when living in MN and again currently while living in Chicago. I am a huge advocate for sustainable fashion and conscious consumption, so thrifting and vintage shopping are a big part of my life and what I stand for as a person.
When did you first try Cameron’s?
Right when we first started our partnership about 2 years ago!
What’s your favorite Cameron’s Coffee, and how do you like to brew it?
My current favorite is French Roast and my favorite way to brew my coffee is to French press it. However, I just came back from Italy where I learned how to brew coffee in the Moka Maker, so I am planning on asking for a Bialetti Moka Stovetop Maker for my Birthday, which is coming up! I have also recently received all of the new fpr 2019 Cameron’s coffee flavors and I am confident one of them will become my new favorite flavor!
Where do you like to enjoy your first cup of coffee?
On weekdays it’s in my kitchen as I pack my lunch, transitioning into my bathroom as I do my hair and makeup. I wrote a whole blog post about it! If I could bring my coffee into the shower with me, I would, but I currently don’t have anywhere to set the mug! On weekends, I like to enjoy it in my living room, or in bed!
What does your ideal Saturday morning look like?
Waking up around 8 am, and a run along Lake Michigan. Coffee and breakfast to follow, preferably with friends!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love exploring Chicago, there is so much to do in the city, especially in the summer! I also love to do yoga and workout, the Sweat app is my new favorite, especially because I rarely make it to the gym these days. I also travel a bit and am busy planning my next trips to France, Asia (China and Taiwan), Spain and Portugal! I also go thrifting almost every weekend, I am currently looking for unique art, home décor, and books.
I am also a huge home body, I love spending time reading a good book or watching a movie! Currently I’m reading The Witch Elm by Tana French.
Based on your blog and Instagram, you’re clearly very into fashion and beauty, what first got you interested in it? What product can you not live without?
My interest in fashion came from my Grandma, she was one of the most stylish people I know! I loved playing dress up with her clothes and shoes when I was younger and as soon as I could fit into some of her vintage shoes and clothes (think from the 70s) I started wearing them to school! She also had the coolest accessories, and I was able to bring a lot of them to the US with me!
My interest in beauty started out early. I always struggled with acne, and when I was in my early 20s I started to see an aesthetician on a regular basis. I have also worked at a Clinique counter for a hot minute and learned more about what went into the skincare development and creation. I started writing reviews on products and it took off! My skin care routine may seem a bit unconventional to some people, I use about 7-10 different products in the morning and 5-10 at night. The number of products highly depends on the condition of my skin and what my skin needs. There are so many products I want to recommend, but I am going to keep it down to 3 – the ABCs of skin care: A – retinol – I like PCA overnight retinol treatment, B – broad spectrum sunscreen – make sure it’s mineral vs chemical, the main ingredient to look for is Zinc and Vitamin C – I like PCA skin C&E advanced and Image Skincare Vitamin C, in that order!
I have also always been very interested in makeup, when I was in junior high I was known as the colored mascara girl, because I would wear teal, purple, gold mascara. I do, however, believe that skincare is more important, once I got my skin to the point of where I am confident and comfortable, I reduced the amount of makeup products I use to a bare minimum!
What’s your favorite place to grab food or drink, when you’re not making it yourself?
There are so many great places in Chicago! I love burgers and fries and my favorite spot for that is Good Stuff Eatery on Wabash! For pizza and/or pierogi I like Flo & Santos in South Loop. For Asian food I always go to Chinatown (luckily I live close enough to walk and within the delivery area). When it comes to drinks, I love Barrio’s palomas.