Extended Weekend? Time to hit Napa + Calistoga…

Napa seemed like the natural choice for a girlfriends getaway; especially for two career-focused friends who enjoyed wine and could benefit from a work break and a bit of pampering.

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Elevate NYC Outakes: Be Authentically You…and Other Rockstar Branding Advice

Our expert panel at Elevate NYC really rocked it. For those who were there, and need a refresher…or if you didn’t make it and could use some quick “rock your brand” advice…here ya go:


For Mummies with Style, Visit The Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo, Sicily

Yeah, these mummies in the catacombs in Palermo, Sicily were so spooky-cool-fascinating…and some of the outfits they were wearing, like ascots and gloves, just proves how seriously the Italians take their commitment to style.

Check it out if you dare…




8 Amazing Minutes with Dr. Maya Angelou


I just wanted to sit at Maya Angelou’s feet…sipping wine and listening to her effortlessly share history and wisdom.

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Six Boss Bottles that Spirit Lovers Should Buy Now

By: Jetta Vasilatos

There is nothing better than a great bottle of something smooth and tasty to celebrate special moments in life…or just enjoy after a long day. For those who love spirits, or are looking to treat someone in their life that enjoys a quality sip, these are absolutely worth a try:



Auchentoshan Three Wood (average price, $65.00)

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Chicago Welcomes HBO’s Insecure Premier



Awkward, insecure, and passive aggressive are far from what HBO’s new series Insecure will cause you to feel this season. Created by media mogul in the making Issa Rae, this series will be sure to bring some relatable comedic moments that most of us know all too well.  Issa and Molly are two women trying to figure out how this thing called life works, all while juggling relationships, careers, and most of all, the conflicts in and outside of black culture.


I had the pleasure of attending HBO’s private screening at the Chicago Cultural Center to get a sneak peak of what the season holds. I took a brief moment to catch up with the creator herself to chat it up a bit and get the inside scoop on what’s next for her whole also revealing one of her favorite destinations visit.

Q:  With the success of your web series and book, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, along with your new HBO series Insecure, you are now considered as one of the new media moguls along with Shonda Rhimes and Ava Duvernay.  What are the new exciting things you look forward to working on next?

“Um, I want to tackle everything. I want to do film. I want to do a podcast. I want to collaborate with other diverse underserved voices.  At the end of the day, I want to have a studio. That’s my biggest goal and that’s when I’ll be like, ok, I’ve made it. I made a goal.”

Q: As a part of Jettasetting, we believe that travel and experiencing new things is one of the best things you can do for yourself. With that being said, what’s your favorite place to travel and why?

“My favorite destination…it’s definitely Dakar, Senegal. That’s where my dad is from, that’s where my family is from. I always have a great time there. I want to explore more of Africa, but that’s definitely when I feel I’ll be back with my roots.”

Issa Rae has definitely made a name for herself in the media space and I can’t wait to see what else she has in store in her future projects.  Make sure you catch the season premier of Insecure on HBO October 9th at 10:30 pm.



A profound sense of breathless possibility undergirds Jetta Bates Vasilatos’ approach to life, love and business.

Jetta masterfully curates the best ideas and trends, marrying them with strategically astute branding, public relations and marketing campaigns that take businesses and individuals from good to great. Jetta has brought her talents to a broad range of national and international business initiatives from fashion and film to retail, tourism and nonprofits.

Past clients include Coca-Cola, The Nielsen Company, Unilever, BP, The Embassy of France, Unilever and Daewoo. Co-author of “The Entrepreneur Within,” Jetta has been a featured speaker at SXSW, Social Media Week Chicago and Ad Week, New York.

An avid “curator of cool,” the star of Bravo’s “Tour Group” can also be found sharing unique shopping, dining, travel and entertainment experiences to consume and enjoy at media outlets such as Choose Chicago, ESSENCE Magazine, iHeartRadio, WCIU-TV and BuzzFeed Comm.


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Jettasetting Cocktail Convo with Ketel One’s Carl Nolet Jr.

“Whatever you do, do with passion and integrity…

—Carl Nolet Jr.

We had a great family dinner experience with Ketel One’s CEO Carl Nolet Jr. at Frontier in Chicago to celebrate 325 Years of Nolet Family Distilling.


Carl gave us the scoop on doing business well, the creativity that goes into creating his spirit brands, and best places to sip. Check out the interview below:

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Gelato World Tour Brings Artisan Deliciousness to Chicago



Before you hit the Beyoncé concert this weekend, stop by Millennium Park (Chase Promenade South – Millennium Park 188 E Monroe St.) and check out the Gelato World Tour; a tasty festival which includes a competition traveling worldwide to determine the world’s best gelato.

This weekend’s event, which is free and open to the public from 12:00 PM noon until 8:00 PM, runs from May 27-29, and will feature gelato produced from artisans across North and South America (and yes, Chicago is representing). If looking at the gelato is not enough, you can purchase a $10 ticket (CLICK HERE) that will allow you to taste eight selections and vote on your favorite. The top three winners go on to complete globally at the Grand Finale of the Gelato World Tour in Italy.

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Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” and the Corporate Experience

I love “Lemonade”. Love. It. 

It speaks to me far beyond the Bey/Jay/male/female dynamic. As a matter of fact, I didn’t think about their relationship, or ANY romantic relationship, while watching. What married folks do is SO their business. As I experienced “Lemonade”, here’s what was going through my head:


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Photo: HBO

When Beyoncé walked down the street using “hot sauce” to smash windows, I thought about breaking through glass ceilings.

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Inside Look: Hammam Spa at JW Marriott Chicago

There is nothing better than some spa time after a long journey (or just a super hard day). Jeff and I arrived into Morocco from a multi-leg flight from Chicago as part of the cast for Bravo’s “Tour Group”. Between packing, no sleep, and last-minute running, we were exhausted.

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8 Quick Tips: How to Rock Out Your Personal Brand

Talking about personal branding at Northwestern University’s  “Personal Branding and Network Management” immersive two-day workshop was super fun! It was nice to present to people who were serious about managing their brands; they were on top of taking those notes.

For those who were not able to make it; here are a few quick personal branding tips to tide you over until the next event.


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Surprise!! Personal branding is not all about self promotion. It is about what you can do for others.



Control your narrative. Tell your story before someone else tells it for you.

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Tasty Sips: Auchentoshan Single Malt Scotch Whisky


Those who partied with us over the holidays had the chance to taste Auchentoshan Single Malt Scotch Whisky – and people are still texting me asking how to drink it…or for cocktail ideas.  Auchentoshan triple distills every single drop (which is unique) – and there is no wrong way to enjoy it.

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How to Leverage Big Mistakes…(Lessons Learned from the Steve Harvey/Miss Universe “Situation” )

By: Jetta Bates Vasilatos


Steve Harvey’s slip-up at the Miss Universe pageant was super awkward for him and the beautiful contestants. But as a communications and branding strategist, I couldn’t help but appreciate how he took responsibility right off….and kudos to the ladies – as they handled it the best they could. For those who may have mixed feelings about Steve Harvey (like I sometimes do), he showed strength of character when he stepped up and owned his global gaffe. He really let the world know what he is truly made of, and may have won some new fans in the process.

Moving forward, here’s some additional advice I’d share with him:

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Curly Girls Night Out: Cool Styles + Hot Hair Trends

Nothing better than Jettasetting with a room full of curly girls at an event – it is a rare experience. Creme of Nature’s Hair Color Crush Meetup in Chicago gave me precious time with other lovers of beauty PLUS I scored some hair care tips and trend insight from top hair bloggers.  

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Valuable Takeaways from TechWeek Chicago – even if YOU are NOT a TECHIE.

By: Cle Andrea Hayden

Packed with exhibitors and a schedule full of workshops, panel discussions and sponsored parties, TechWeek Chicago proved to be a valuable experience for techies, entrepreneurs and those who just like to be “in the know” of the tech world. Check this list of tips that I gained during my first TechWeek experience:

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Tasty Night Out Chicago: Tocco In Wicker Park

There is nothing like enjoying fresh Italian in a modern, sexy space.  Chef Bruno Abate is as authentically Italian as his food; he has lived and tasted his way across Italy.

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Cocktails, Celebs, Stogies and More: THIS is New Orleans

From ESSENCE Music Festival, to bacon bourbon, to baller trucks (and everything in between), New Orleans has fun covered…and Jettasetting has the pics to prove it.

Photos of notables were taken by celebrity photographer Bennett Raglin of BP Photography who travels the world taking sizzling pics that can be seen in media outlets like  Rolling Stone, Elle Magazine, People Magazine…and now, Jettasetting!

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Jettasetting’s Wine Wednesday: Wine Enthusiast’s Red & White Bash Chicago


THIS is how you start the weekend right: Wine Enthusiast’s Red and White Bash Chicago

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Let there Be Snow: Jerusalem

NYC and Chicago, you are not alone in the battle of snow.  December also gave Jerusalem some snow shade – and my fave Israel tour guide and history sherpa Ofir Jacobson, PhD, sent me some pics of the “once-in-a-century” storm, deemed thusly by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  Interesting how snow can be both fun and fraught with drama.

Currently, Jerusalem is back up to 40+ degrees – but winter CLEARLY is a fickle mistress…so they may want to keep their gloves and shovels handy.  Trust.  I threw in some Chi and NYC pics in the slide show as we are snow sister cities…

Icy kisses!


Jettasetting Weekend: Chicago Gourmet, presented by Bon Appétit, Sept. 27-29 (yes, there are still tickets, but..)

This is going to be super YUMMY!

A true foodie fête, Chicago Gourmet, presented by Bon Appétit, is a true celebration of food and wine showcasing more than 100 of Chicago’s finest restaurants and chefs, as well as hundreds of renowned vintners, spirit makers, and premium breweries from around the world.

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What is Jettasetting?
We are advocating for people to have more fun; both in business and during personal time. Jettasetting is your resource for quality experiences, global adventure, and insider industry information vetted for hotness and accuracy by an experienced consumer products/lifestyle professional…and a few of her talented tastemaker friends.

Who is it for?
You, my lovely!

Flush with disposable income? Seeking luxe for less? Somewhere in between? Just bring your open mind, an appreciation for fun and next-level experiences, and comfortable shoes (as we are going global cool hunting).

Jettasetting Backstory…

Creator: Jetta Bates
Working hard is woven into my DNA. My excellence ethic was planted early by my family, who take pride in an honest day’s work for an honest day’s play, then nurtured by teachers and mentors who were C-suite executives and professionals groomed by Oprah, Cosby and other greats.

This melding of working-class focus and global socialization, coupled with a strong network and exposure to a world full of possibilities, allows me to excel aggressively; win business development awards, design and lead PR and social media campaigns for global brands like Coca-Cola, BP, The Embassy of France, Miller, BMW, French handbag designer Dognin; and resulted in an assistant vice-presidency by my early 30s.

But working hard without playtime sucks! Early in life I was taught life should include fun and adventure. Reading postcards sent by my grandmother during her travels to Japan and Germany, and sitting at my uncle’s feet listening to tales of the beautiful women he romanced in Europe and South America kicked open the door to my mind and created a love for learning and an aversion to a standard/staid way of thinking.

Ever notice how those who were both successful AND happy took time out for laughter, exploration and sharing fun times with family and friends (even when life gets “special”)? This inspired me to find the fun in both my personal and corporate life no matter what…and it is my mission to help you do the same.

Hence the birth of Jettasetting Lifestyle Communications, a labor of love created to make sure every day of your life is a special occasion.

Chose happy.


Bio: Jetta Bates – Vasilatos

Unconventional. Passionate. Innovative. Collaborative. Whirlwind. Results-Oriented.

Jetta knows doing business in today’s competitive environment requires more than adhering to traditional corporate orthodoxies. The action, attention, sales and profits go to individuals who are agile, fresh and offer products and messages imbued with authenticity. At Twist, Jetta services a variety of national and international clients in film, fashion, beverage, retail, entertainment, tourism and nonprofits. These clients benefit from original, fully integrated strategic approaches that make a sincere connection to the marketplace.

Jetta’s extensive client roll call includes:  The French Trade Commission,  Coca-Cola, Mercedes Benz, Miller, Tyson Foods, BP; Euro Chicago and Beaman Inc. She consulted with Daewoo and traveled to Korea to assist the company’s entry into the U.S. marketplace.  She served as a designated spokesperson and was interviewed by Korean and U.S. media.

In government, Jetta lead community and government relations for the Chicago Transit Authority’s $530 million Brown Line rail renovation. She was then selected to direct and create the advertising and public outreach campaign for the Illinois Department of Transportation’s $1 billion renovation of the Dan Ryan and Kingery Expressway.

Through her unique vision and consistent record of success linking organizations to their targets inextricably, Jetta has also successfully managed national publicity efforts around Wal-Mart/ Time Warner’s Voices of Color initiative. She designed and led the global visibility campaign for the corresponding award-winning documentary “Will to Survive.”

Jetta has used formal training plus a naturally occurring DNA for integrated marketing coupled with her gift of relationship building and innate likeability to forge beneficial alliances and develop visibility strategies. As such, she has garnered an impressive array of awards, including Executive of the Year, Windy City Woman Trailblazer Award, two President’s Clubs and the Gold SIAA award for public relations excellence. Moreover, her innovative and strategic thinking earned Wal-Mart six Telly honors and an International Cinema award.

Jetta earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the School of Communications at Columbia College.  She is a multi-media storyteller who focuses on luxury and culturally experiential tourism, lifestyle, sustainability, and personal finance (how to be chic yet savvy). Jetta serves as an on-air correspondent and subject matter expert and has appeared on stations such as WCIU-TV, KBS-TV(Korea), ABC-7, CLTV and KBC-TV (Kenya), and writes for national print publications.  She is currently a featured writer in the June Essence.

She is a board member of the Sinfonietta, American Women in Media Chicago Alliance, and Power: Opening Doors for Women and serves as an engaging speaker and panelist for national events.