As a child, I clearly remember my mother saying 2 things when it came to work:
1. Work smarter, not harder.
2. Find something you enjoy doing and you’ll never work a day in your life.
Isn’t it funny that as children and teenagers, these sage tidbits annoy us as we hear them repeatedly… And then one day, you realize how brilliant and meaningful they are!
I unintentionally began my career as a hairstylist 17 years ago. I had originally wanted to go to photography school. My parents explained that, while they thought it was a nice idea and that I should pursue my dreams, they were also realists and firmly suggested that I attend trade school so I could learn a skill and be able to carry it with me through life. To be honest, I hated this idea but they were my parents so I had to oblige. My mother asked me to pick two programs to apply to, so I picked a culinary program and cosmetology. She decided cosmetology was best for me.
I never intended to make it a career, but with the guidance of amazing mentors taking me under their wings, I ended up with years of training that prepared me to be confident, skilled and capable of making a successful career. Some years later, I was recruited to Charleston to work at an amazing salon downtown. Five years later, I bought that salon and made it my own. I love my career and what I do; I love that it affords me flexibility in my personal life and the ability to make a profitable and good living.
But sometimes, no matter how much we enjoy something, we get bored…right?! Have you ever felt like that? I decided that I needed a creative outlet, to offer me an avenue to decompress and to bring some fun into my life. So, I started a food blog. I had never read a blog before in my entire life so I didn’t really even know what I was doing. But what did I have to lose? I wanted (and, more importantly, needed) a new hobby and I had always loved food and taking pictures, so it seemed natural.
Fast forward one year from the time I began my food blog on April 6th, 2015. I am sitting on a airplane as I type this, on my way to the Cayman Islands to feature a food festival with 2 award winning chefs. All expense paid. I will be spending 5 days showcasing the culinary scene on Grand Cayman. I’M HEADED TO PARADISE TO EAT, TAKE PICTURES AND HAVE FUN!!! (Don’t pinch me…I don’t want to wake up if this is a dream!)
My job (which I love more than ever) offered me the flexibility to be able to accept the invitation to go on this trip. My love for good food lead to creating a new hobby, and my new hobby lead to the creation of my blog which organically grew over a year and developed an amazing following along the way. I get to do it all… great job, fun hobby, travel, meet new people and explore! I decided several months ago that I was ready to step down from the stress of managing a business. I want to continue to do hair because I still love it, but I’ve reached a point in my life where I want more time with my family, friends and hobbies, and less time changing light bulbs and training new employees. Everyone asked if I was going to be sad to go to work for someone else. My answer is simply: Not a bit! I want to lessen my stress and embrace the things I am enjoying. I don’t find my identity in being the person who has her name on a door. My priorities have changed and so have I. It looks like my mother was right after all; isn’t it amazing how things in life come full circle? Thanks, Mom…XO.