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Reader Spotlight 


Every month we'll highlight a reader in the Great Lakes Bay region and learn more about them, their work, and their reading life. We'll also discuss books and share a conversation about their journey.

Read on to learn more about the creation of MadeUp Media and Kathleen's passions. 

Who do you consider your family and human/furry kids?

My sweet husband Sean, my darling child Charlie, my little baby dog Teddy, my big orange cat Nova, and my caring mother Tonya. This is my household family. We all live together, as of two years ago. 


What inspired you to start MadeUp Media?

The problems of the world felt too big for me. I couldn’t do everything, be everything, and worry about everything. I could, however, harness my creative energy to support the causes to which I’m particularly connected. I realized there are amazing innovators and entrepreneurs making meaningful changes right within our community. I saw a lot of businesses doing incredible work, yet struggling against a mountain of tasks and new technology, especially when it came to marketing, graphic design, and developing a unified and consistent presence online. These are essential elements in the future of enterprise. So I decided to build a company aligned with my skills, passions, and the needs of our community. MadeUp Media was formed to provide branding, graphic design, social media and website support to local businesses and organizations that are improving wellbeing, protecting nature, making art, telling stories, and creating a more welcoming community. There’s something so gratifying and tangible about supporting local growth, development, and improvement. The problems of the world became more manageable through that lens. I’m so excited about the future of MadeUp Media. 

How did you land on the name of your business? 

With this business, I felt like I was “making it up” as I went along. Additionally, as a reader, I generally enjoy and believe in the power of “made up” stories. I want to share, tell, and make up stories that would lead our community toward a healthier and happier future. “Media” is the most inclusive category I could find for the type of work I want to create - graphics, photos, videos, social media, and copywriting. 

What interesting things have you discovered in your exploration of the Great Lakes Bay area? 

I’ve discovered a lot of incredible public art. I’ve seen a lot of businesses embracing sustainability in different ways. From a coffee shop that finds second hand t-shirts and sweatshirts and turns them into merchandise, to a yoga studio using washcloths and refillable, non-toxic cleaners, and to a company creating affordable products out of recycled material. 

You've been a great supporter of local businesses including Leopard Print Books. Thank you! What is something that you'd like readers to know about small businesses? 

The money you spend at small, local businesses is reinvested in your community, benefitting you in a way that purchases at large chains do not. 

What was your favorite book of 2023? Why?

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee was my favorite book because it gives a historical, four-generation-long perspective into life before, during, and after WW2 from the East (specifically Korea and Japan). It was eye-opening, refreshingly honest, and the characters were conflicted and compelling.

What are you most looking forward to in 2024?

In 2024, I’m most looking forward to creating work for clients, practicing digital illustration, reading lots of books, connecting with people in the community around shared interests, and enjoying special moments with my loved ones.

You can find MadeUp Media on Facebook and Instagram and reach out to Kathleen via email at

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