Growing up in a small town in Washington, I always knew there was more to the world and couldn’t wait to get out and pave my own way. I had a lot of plans over the years of what that might be but if there was one thing my eyes were always on the future. I graduated from high school with my Associates of Arts degree and was the first in my family to attend a university. I cruised through my Journalism courses at University of Oregon, worked at the student newspaper, participated in industry clubs, joined planning committees, and worked at our student newspaper. If I had a free window in my schedule, I was determined to fill it with something that was going to help me land my dream job in the future.
My last quarter of college, I moved to Portland, Oregon to participate in my school’s premier internship program, the Senior Experience. Everything to that point had mostly gone to “plan” until it didn’t. I graduated from college in 2009, right in the middle of the recession, and while my eyes were bright, actual career prospects were grim. I was the only person in my program to graduate with a job offer. It wasn't a job at a big fancy office, but it was a foot in the door of the public relations industry and I was determined to make the most of the experience.
A year later, my boss decided to open a New York City office and offered me an opportunity to come along. I had only been to NYC once before, but decided to take a chance and give it a shot. It definitely wasn't apart of my "plan" but it seemed like a good move for my career and that was my top priority at the time. A month later, I boarded a flight with a one-way ticket to move 2500+ miles away to an apartment that I had never seen before (that was double my rent and half the size), with a roommate I had never met before. Sometimes I look back and think about how crazy that could have turned out but somehow it all worked out.
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At the time, I only planned on staying a year but year 2, 3, 4 and then 5 very quick though. I had made some really great friends. I was growing in my career, managing the agency’s social media department and repping big name clients. I was making a decent salary that allowed me to have my own solo apartment – it may have been less that 400 square feet but it was all mine. Plus I was getting some really great opportunities through my blog and expanding my design skills.
By the time 2015 rolled around being so far away from family started to weigh on me and I yearned for a career that allowed me more flexibility to spend more time on the west coast. I couldn’t find an opportunity that fit the bill, so instead I decided to create one. Later that year Mallory Musante and I founded Bold & Pop -- a social media, branding and web design collective that supports small businesses and bloggers. I was able to spend more time in Washington that first year than the last 6 years combined and it was the game changer I had been looking for.
Being a business owner is a wild journey and I’m pretty positive it’s the toughest personal development challenge you can take on. It’s a journey with a lot of highs and lows and it has a way of helping you put your priorities in check. By the summer of 2017, I decided after 10 years of living in a different state than my family it was time to move back full-time. So I packed up my belongings, hired cross-country movers and booked another one-way plane ticket -- this time to Washington.
Today, I live in Tacoma, Washington with my trusty senior pup Scooter and continue to grow Bold & Pop (now bi-coastally) with my business bestie. These days, my free time is filled with more time outdoors – hiking, kayaking and gardening, family dinners and day trips rediscovering all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. I’ve learned that life can be one heck of a journey and be messy at times but as long as you’re learning and moving forward, things are going to be just fine. This blog is my platform to give a really honest look at the lessons I learn, adventures I go on and everything in between on this wild ride we call life.