WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2016

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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plays on words, but that was mostly done between trips to fetch coffee for the creative directors." Soon thereafter, she worked for an HR con- sulting firm in both its Chicago and San Francisco offices. "Writing about benefits definitely wasn't as creative, but it was a great job, and it really helped me refine my writing skills," she said. After getting married, moving to Wellesley, and having her first child, Keri decided to stay home. A three-sport college athlete, she soon started to train for triathlons and went on to compete for seven years at the half- and full-Ironman distance, eventually becoming a nationally ranked competitor. During that time, she decided she wanted to some- how blend her love of writing with her love of sport and started a blog called The Tri-ing Life, which chronicled the realities of balancing fam- ily life with an endurance sport. "I wanted to blog about the craziness of balancing racing and family life. For example, in one post, I told the story of trying to 'lean down' so as to be at optimal race weight for a National Championship. After weeks of really strict eating, I blew it all by hiding from my kids in a corner of the house and binging on my then three-year-old's Halloween candy. While I wasn't really putting the blog out there, it still received a strong following, I think, because it was self-deprecating, honest, and very imperfect." A fellow runner and mom of three, Michelle O'Brien of Needham, began reading Keri's blog just as Keri decided to step away from train- ing and racing. Michelle also happened to handle, and still does, the digital marketing at Teddy the Dog Apparel in Needham, a quirky company that sells T-shirts, hoodies, towels, blankets, and other gifts featuring the irreverent and witty Teddy the Dog character. While Teddy's image had attracted 14,000 followers in 2013, Michelle knew that to grow the company, Teddy really needed a personality and a voice. She knew exactly who to call. A few weeks later, Keri joined the company to not only create a voice for Teddy but to handle his social media platforms too. First order of business was to create a blog from his point of view. Next, Keri began "talking" to Teddy's fans on social media as Teddy—never breaking character. Said Keri, "In what other job can you get away with telling a 182 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 6 books "unique personality and funny take on life" C O U R T E S Y O F K E R I C L A I B O R N E B O Y L E left: Keri reads to her son, Nolan; right: Teddy appears front and center on the cover of this picture book for kids ages four through eight

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