Recently, I had a moment to catch up with the editors at Refinery29. I am passionate in sharing how I chose to forego the corporate life in exchange for the unexpected cross country creative journey I am on... I continue to share my story with the genuine intention of inspiring you to infuse a little more curiosity and creativity in your day to day. As most of you know, following my cancer diagnosis, I decided to do away with excel spreadsheets, sales quotas, long hours in the operating room, and the heavy medical device spine sets to ultimately pick up a camera. And since then, my photography business and The New Southern were born.
When I resigned from my job in spine device sales, three things happened: 1. A cancer diagnosis 2. Purchased my first camera 3. I read the camera manual. Teaching myself my craft and the entire learning experience was catharthic; for over a decade in the corporate world, I had put my creativity in a box.... and honestly, I didn't even think of myself as creative. I was focused on surviving in a male dominated highly competitive world rather than being focused on doing something that I love. Now, I can’t imagine going back to that old life.
Daily, I'm blown away by how quickly The New Southern movement has become recognized and understood, and I believe its success, and my own for that matter, is based upon two reasons. First, I hustle hard. Although it's exhausting, my constant urge to build new relationships, travel across the nation, and create beautiful and meaningful content was the basis for my success. But second, as soon as I recognized that I had a community of like-minded and aesthetic-obsessed creatives building me up and supporting one another, a totally new and exciting path began to take shape.
It's so encouraging to be surrounded by this collective, forward-thinking group of designers, artisans, creatives, and entrepreneurs who have forged this community. Together, we're changing what it means to be stylish or beautiful or accepted. We've done away with the fussiness, the heaviness, the strict adherence to the past. Our new aesthetic is imperfect. It's organic. It's bright and it's the perfect balance of collected and new. Through our imagery, our styling, and the stories our projects tell, we're making waves in contemporary design. Follow along, you'll see!!!
I am grateful to have the opportunity to continue to share my journey with Refinery29... with each interview, I am more gaining more comfort in opening up and sharing more vulnerable moments from my past experiencing and how they have shaped my approach today. Sending you all Love and Light.