Gathering Threads – Amy Segreti ‘05, English

Amy Segreti
Shortly after graduating from UMBC, Amy Segreti ‘05, English, packed up her belongings and her journalistic ambitions and started driving west. San Francisco was her destination, but she got sidelined by an auto accident in Colorado. By the time she had recovered from her minor injuries, the aspiring writer had fallen in love with life in the highest state.

“I feel like I came alive in Colorado,” Segreti says – and particularly in the free-spirited, diverse and progressive culture of Boulder, where she eventually settled. But after five years undertaking a variety of writing and editing work (as well as becoming a semi-professional salsa dancer), Segreti says that part of her still felt unfulfilled.

“I realized I would never find a job that nourished all these parts of myself, especially writing, which is my total soul passion,” she says.

So Segreti decided to create her own job by founding Twine – a quarterly publication exploring the intersection of play and purpose (www.twinemagazine.com). “Each issue addresses three things: pleasure, or connecting with self, nature, and the spiritual, “she says. “There’s the palate – not just food and wine but also sustainable agriculture – and place, both home and travel.”

Launching a magazine these days is not for the faint of heart, and Segreti credits her experience at The Weekly Retriever for confidence and skills it took to create Twine. She started as a staff writer in her freshman year, writing some of her stories while working the front desk at Chesapeake Hall.  Eventually she worked her way up to managing editor.

“Working at the Retriever was where I found my zone,” she says. “The understanding that I could really submerge myself in the process of gathering information and talking to people, and synthesize all those threads into a coherent whole.”

Twine is dedicated to the notion of wholeness, and intertwining the seemingly disparate threads of life into one’s own unique and passionate purpose. Amy found many like-minded souls – writers, artists and designers – around Boulder who wanted to contribute. “This is such a great community of people just wanting to create,” she says.

Segreti economized at the outset by working out of coffee shops rather than renting office space. She also taught herself to sell ads.  “I was thrilled when I finally started to break even on production costs,” Amy recalls, “But I also really wanted to pay my writers.”

As much as she loves print journalism, Segreti realized that producing Twine on paper was actually counterproductive to its mission. “I want to inspire people to intertwine play and purpose, but I wasn’t doing this for myself,” she says.  So after a year of producing Twine as a print publication, Segreti recently repositioned it as an online-only entity.

The most recent edition was released as a PDF, but Segreti intends to present future issues via the magazine’s website to generate more page views and advertising revenue. “While I’m sad to go out of print, there have also been some unanticipated benefits,” she says. “Now we have subscribers all over the world: Brazil, Honolulu, San Francisco, New York.” She’s also created a personal site to complement Twine called Live All of You (liveallofyou.com).

Segreti observes that while she graduated at a time when journalism was in upheaval, its new frontiers offer plenty of opportunity to explore. “What I hope others can take from my experience is how important it is to follow your passion when it comes to the work you choose,” she says. “Even if the field you’re interested in is changing almost every day.”

– Michelle Gienow

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