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 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. When you lean into your creativity, you lean into your light… and when you lean into your light, you start to discover your purpose. Cancer was my catalyst… What is yours?
Following my diagnosis, I decided to do away with long hours in cold operating rooms and heavy medical device spine sets to ultimately pick up a camera and lean into my creative spirit. 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 total Thyroidectomy 2. Purchased my first camera 3. Healing to result in living my most authentic life. 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 having a life without color and passion.
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 this community, 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 a creative entrepreneur, our own ideas of beauty and self-acceptance.. We've done away with perfection, the heaviness of rules, and the strict adherence to the past. Our new form is imperfect. It's organic. It's bright and it is giving life to a deep exhale of collected and new. Through our life pivots, sentimental memories attached to objects we use with styling, and the stories our projects tell, we're making waves in contemporary design and culture. 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.