Your Style: Julie Schimelpfenig

Kiana Maushemo in her St. Charles home Tuesday afternoon February 23, 2016.

Motto:I always try to be dressed well no matter where I am going.

When Julie Schimelpfenig thinks about her life, she wants to say, "Pinch me!"

Schimelpfenig, who is part of the Mayo Clinic Department of Development, says, "I can't imagine doing anything else. Raising money for Mayo is for the patient's benefit. I am privileged to represent Mayo and help our community grow as well."

A Rochester native and Mayo High School graduate, Schimelpfenig, 42, left for college in the Twin Cities and a merchandising career with Target there. "I said I would never move back," she admits, adding that it was with marriage to husband Brock Peterson and her Mayo position that she happily returned.

Please tell us a bit about your style.


For me, style has always been a cornerstone. I can remember being outside raking and my mom would come out and say, "You are in your school clothes or other good clothes and you need to change." And I would think, "Hmmm, am I supposed to look bad?"

Other key influences, including people and places?

My Aunt Geri, who always took me to Dayton's when I was young. That was in the days when Esprit, Guess and Coke were big brands. When my sister moved to New York City for college, I saw her style completely change, becoming much more creative. When I went to visit her, she took me shopping and it was a sensory overload. I saw that fashion can help you rise up to your potential.

Are there fashion icons you have looked to or embrace?

Generally, I would have to say those icons and celebrity stylists who do a really good job of making the average person know what they should wear to feel good. I admire Nina Garcia of "Project Runway," Rachel Zoe (a fashion editor and designer), style author Betty Halbreich. And I like Zach Posen and Calvin Klein — but not the mass marketed Calvin Klein.

What are the key components of your style foundation?

A classic black suit that you feel really good in. A classic, well-made handbag. Classic shoes It's all about leather and construction with shoes. And a good trenchcoat.

Are there handbags and shoes that identify you?


For handbags, it's Gucci. The design is classic and they last forever. For shoes, I like Cole Hahn; J. Crew — the most comfort for the value; Jimmy Choo — for special occasions with a fun flair; Stuart Weitzman — you can't go wrong with the boots. I am usually in higher, skinny heels. I am short ( just over 5 feet) and so they give me height.

How does your casual style differ from your professional?

I really feel like I don't have a personal style, in the sense that I always try to be dressed well no matter where I am going. I feel better when I am dressed for the day. My mother always said that we need to get out of our pajamas in the morning. That tells your body it's time to be productive. Then when you are done with your day, it's time to get back in your pajamas. What you are wearing is a signal to your body.

Have to ask, what do you wear to exercise or work out?

I wear Lululemon. The fabric is fantastic. It makes the clothes fit and work right.

Also have to ask if your home decor reflects your style?

Yes, I think so. My husband and I love Room & Board because the pieces are very simple, classic pieces made out of good materials, and made in the U.S. and Minnesota.

Parting words?


Know your assets and liabilities, your likes and dislikes, and have someone who will be honest with you when you ask for fashion advice. For me, this is my sister.

Anne Murphy is a Rochester freelance writer who has been a professional journalist for more than 30 years.

Do you know somebody who's got special style? Send nominations to or call Life section editor Jeff Pieters at 507-285-7748.

What To Read Next
Get Local