Valerie grew up in a little village called Balsam Lake in northwestern Wisconsin. She got an early start in home remodeling helping her parents build an addition on to the family home when she was 14. She spent her summers working as a soda jerk at the local drugstore flirting with the boys from the big cities who came to town to fish at the local resorts.
After studying illustration/graphic design at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, she moved to Minneapolis 35 years ago with her husband, Jeff, when he took a job as a photojournalist for KARE-TV. Valerie stayed home for a few years, getting Alexander, Samuel, and Eliza off to kindergarten.
She went back to work as a seamstress for the Singer Home Sewing Library and transitioned into working as a carpenter for the Black and Decker Home Improvement Books at a publishing company for five years. Valerie enjoyed using her “heritage skills” for the next decade as a tailor/seamstress for The Minnesota Opera and Guthrie Theater.
As her youngest went off to college, she went back to school herself to fulfill a lifelong dream of studying architectural drafting and design. When she is not spoiling her grandson, Hank, she can be found splitting hostas and picking raspberries in her backyard.