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New COURIER classified manager brings deep Claremont roots

Working for the community newspaper feels like the logical next step for Rachel Fagg, the COURIER’s new classified manager.

She grew up in town, attending Sycamore, El Roble Intermediate and Claremont High School. Ms. Fagg has worked at a number of Village shops over the years, both at the register and in social media promotion. These include the Green Gypsie, Aromatique, Maple Boutique, Last Drop Café—her drink of choice is an iced latte with coconut milk—and Vom Fass.

The daughter of Bob Fagg and Sonja Stump, owners of Sonja Stump Photography, Ms. Fagg has also put in time working for the family business. The Claremont studio has been going strong for 38 years, 18 of them located squarely in the Village. Many members of the city’s business community have walked through the doors over the years.

Ms. Fagg has also met myriad local professionals and business owners through her family’s tradition of volunteerism, which she has taken up with zest.

It started in fourth grade when she began helping her dad, a longtime Kiwani, serve food at the service organization’s concession stand during concerts in the park. Four years ago she began volunteering with the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, one of her mom and dad’s pet projects.

For the past six years Ms. Fagg has joined her parents in volunteering with the Village Marketing Group (VMG). The group, comprised of local business owners, aims to “enhance business and community in the Claremont Village.” Signature VMG events include the Wine Walk, the Claremont Blues and Brews craft beer walk and the Claremont Pie Festival.

Ms. Fagg has increasingly focused on social media, lending her millenial acumen to the VMG and its membership. She is especially savvy with Instagram, a photo-sharing app popular with young people. She has seen its power firsthand.

When she got involved in 2013 with Claremont Blues and Brews, the barley-and-hops extravaganza was proving less popular than its VMG organizers had hoped.

With the VMG considering scrapping the event, Ms. Fagg got busy publicizing the beer walk via Instagram. She also helped refine the event’s flavor by placing a greater emphasis on craft beer. There was significant legwork, and sampling, involved in reaching out to a large variety of brewers to ensure more varied fare. “I went from never drinking beer to trying habanero ale,” she laughed.

The first year of her involvement, ticket sales more than doubled from the previous year. In fact, the event sold out and has continued to do so.

With all the moving and shaking she has done in local circles since she was a kid, Ms. Fagg is acquainted with a veritable who’s who of Claremonters. This familiarity will help her as she works to maintain and grow the newspaper’s classified section. Since her arrival on June 20, Ms. Fagg has discovered she already knows a dozen regular COURIER advertisers.

Her main duty is to sell and coordinate ad space in the classified section, which includes service and real estate ads as well as the inside scoop on rental opportunities, job openings and even the occasional coyote sighting. She’s comfortable in the milieu.

“The [newspaper] is something I’ve looked forward to getting as long as I can remember. The first things I read are the police blotter and classified ads. I love seeing great deals on rental properties,” Ms. Fagg said. “I always refer my friends to the COURIER.”

Considering she majored in English during her time at APU and UC Davis, earning her degree at the latter, she also likes the articles. “Writing has always been a passion. I’ve kept a journal from the time I could write and I love reading,” she said.

Much of Ms. Fagg’s writing nowadays includes helping clients craft ad copy. It’s a job she finds rewarding because she knows how hard clients work to make ends meet. “Growing up, my family’s business was our only source of income,” she explained.

She’s also begun making Instagram posts for the COURIER, which gives her a chance to highlight her hometown.

“I’m passionate about showcasing Claremont, showing so many aspects of what makes Claremont unique. It’s such a little gem,” she said. “I love that that it’s a close-knit community and that it’s so supportive of small business.”

When she’s not at work or singing the praises of the City of Trees, digitally speaking, Ms. Fagg likes to dote on her cats, two feline sisters named Chloe and Scout, and get out to the Press or the Back Abbey once in a while. She is fond of the local theater scene and hopes to take in the upcoming production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream presented by Ophelia’s Jump as part of its Midsummer Shakespeare Festival.

Ms. Fagg’s older sister Gretchen lives in London, where she’s pursuing her PhD. She recently returned stateside to pay a visit to Claremont and the ladies took in the monthly art walk. They also had a blast at the city’s celebration for the Fourth of July, which Ms. Fagg said is their favorite holiday.

“When I was in Davis, I attended the Fourth of July celebration there and I missed Claremont desperately. It’s such a great tradition. You don’t see many communities coming together like that for the whole day,” she said.

Ms. Fagg admits to being “a creative,” the kind of person for whom the idea of a whole, structured day, 9 to 5, at an office “sounds like torture.”

She’s coming to see the charm, however, of life at this particular office.

“I love that every week is different. And I feel like [my co-workers] are my people, other smart people with personalities. It’s an office, but it’s not rigid,” Ms. Fagg said. “Working at the COURIER feels right to me because of how much I love Claremont.”

For information on placing a classified add, Ms. Fagg can be reached at (909) 621-4761 or by email at classified@claremont-courier.com.

—Sarah Torribio

storribio@claremont-courier.com

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