I’ve been wanting to make this announcement for awhile (as in since late last year), but wanted to make sure I had the right words to tell you all. I think I’ve finally found the words…so here we go…
Before we delve into the how or why, I want to give you a bit of a background story. I started this blog in 2011 while I was working the front desk of a financial firm as a creative outlet. I would finish my daily work in about 2-3 hours and had a lot of time to browse Pinterest when I wasn’t doing homework (I was still in college classes). I wanted to share the things I found, and the DIY’s I tried (albeit those early posts are embarassing), and Champagne Lifestyle was born. When I started this blog I had no idea you could make money doing this, or that this was some people’s full time job. I just truly loved creating content and interacting with people (that’s you!). The blog became my hobby, and my creative escape.
How did I end up working the front desk of a financial firm, you ask? Let’s rewind back to the beginning. For as long as I can remember, I wanted a career in interior design or fashion. I grew up designing each of my bedrooms (from choosing the paint color to the furniture), and always liked to test the waters with new fashion trends (I was that girl that wore heels in high school). My loving parents had the best intentions when they steered me towards a business degree (because in their words “you can’t make money in fashion or interior design”). I get it… they come from a generation where a college degree was enough. A college degree meant you got a secure, high paying job that would carry you throughout your career. Times have changed, and it’s not that simple. I found myself getting a business degree (marketing to be exact) and jumping straight into the corporate world…because that’s what you’re “supposed” to do.
I started working the front desk of that financial firm I mentioned earlier, and before I knew it I was climbing my way up the ladder. They asked me to get all of my licenses, so I did (I passed each one with flying colors – a huge confidence builder). After 5 years and two different firms in the finance world, I learned a few things…
- I was not thriving in this job. I told my mom before I made the jump “I feel like a square peg trying to fit in a round hole”. I found myself daydreaming about all of the things I wanted to do for my blog when I got home, and every free second I had off work was dedicated to my blog, not reading finance books or watching CNN Money. My friends and family were not coming to me for advice in finance, but they were coming to me for advice in interior design and fashion. (All. the. time.) I was doing free interior design work while I was working in finance… FREE. Because I loved it. I realized the reason why people came to me for advice in interior design and fashion was because I had a passion for it…and it showed. While I did love finance (I LOVED helping people, and I do think personal finance is hugely important), I never felt the same passion for it.
- A 9-5 desk job is not for everyone. I didn’t even realize it wasn’t for me until I left. The first two weeks after leaving my job, Jesse said I was a much happier person… after only two weeks! I didn’t realize it, but being in an office all day with no sunlight, practically chained to my desk was really starting to wear on me. I’d come home in a bad mood, and inevitably take it out on my loved ones. While that type of structure works really well for some people, it didn’t work well for me.
- I’m not the best employee. What do I mean by that? I have a lot of ideas, I like to take charge, and I cannot stand sitting idly by watching something go a certain way, when I know I have ideas that can make them better. It might just be that the people I was working underneath don’t like change… but I felt I had all these ideas that could make things run more smoothly and increase opportunity, only to be shut down. I’m a highly self-motivated person and my own biggest critic, and I think I simply operate best when I’m in charge of myself.
So up until late last year, my life consisted of this: Wake up around 5AM, work from 6:30-3:30PM, work out, come home, take blog photos, edit blog photos, write blog post, schedule blog/social posts, respond to emails, go to bed. My weekends consisted of 16 plus hours of class for yet another credential in finance, and I would come home and study for that (sometimes I wouldn’t sleep). In the midst of all that I was also doing freelance interior design work for people. I don’t mean to come off as complaining– I chose this schedule and this life for myself, but I was barely holding on by a thread and I knew eventually something would have to give.
I started to feel like all of the work and effort I was putting into my financial career wasn’t panning out to my favor. (A long story, but I’m sure other young females in finance understand where I’m coming from). I’d come home almost every day in tears. I finally watched this video, that changed my life.
(I’ll give you a second to watch that video… I think it’s necessary.)
After that it clicked. I want to do interior design. I want to continue blogging. I would do both of those things for free (and had been doing so for years), so why not do it with every bit of passion I’ve got, and see what comes of it?
To the horror of some family members (not all!), I chose that path. I’ll tell you it hasn’t been the easiest, but it has made me the happiest… and I think that’s what matters the most. I wake up every day knowing I’m going to do whatever it takes to make my dream happen, so that I don’t have to go back to working a desk job I hate.
I’m sure if you’ve been following me for awhile (also on Snapchat) you’ve noticed since late last year my days have transitioned from working in a stark, blank corporate office, to working in my house, to now working in my very own office where my official interior design business is planting its roots. I can’t even believe I’m typing that!
The past 6 months or so have been dedicated to launching my interior design business, Spruce Interiors with my mom and business partner. My mom was a huge inspiration in making this leap. She went back to school for interior design after all of us kids were grown up, and has been working for various design firms since. It just made all the sense in the world that we would join forces to build our own business. We’ve spent our whole lives bouncing interior design ideas off of each other.
So there it is… my big announcement. I’m certainly no life expert, but I can say that if you are thinking about changing careers, I fully support making the switch to doing something you absolutely love… even if that means starting from square one. I believe in you, and we’re in this together!
If you read this far… kudos! And thank you for being apart of my journey.