Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blue Sunflower Interiors and Design

As I announced in yesterday's post, I have officially started my own company!!! WOAH... Who would have thought that at 24 I would have my own company?? I certainly didn't... So how did I get to this point?  It was quite the process with many months of being extremely unhappy.
    It's not been much of a secret that I don't like my current job, and haven't really liked it since I started 2.5 years ago.  I began to panic, wondering if this was what the Interior Design world was really like, rather than the glamorous version I had experienced in college.  I thought, well crap, if this is what it is really like then I don't want to do this for the rest of my life!  So I started researching possibly switching careers, going into something completely different.  Being able to land a job that had benefits, actually made a difference in someone's life, could feel like I had actually done something of meaning.  I was devastated to think that I was turning my back on Interior Design after pursing it for 6 years now! Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a quitter and yet I felt stuck, utterly trapped. 
   My poor friend Sabrina, listened to me brainstorming all these different options, being full supportive of whatever I decided to do.  The one field that I kept getting drawn towards was nursing.  My sister is a nurse and certainly has no problem finding a job, I'd like to think I'd be a really good nurse... not to toot my own horn or anything! ;)  So I decided I was going to go back to school and I was going to become a nurse.  I thought once I had made my decision I would feel relieved, but that wasn't the case, at all... The more and more I looked into it, the more I realized I'd be in school for at the very least another 3-4 years, especially since I didn't really need a lot of science classes as an Interior Design major!  I'm very financially aware and like to make sure that I can support myself, I consider myself frugal... some people might call it cheap... anyways, the thought of going into debt and moving back home didn't make the decision any easier for me.  My parents, being ever supportive, constantly were telling me that it's the perfect time for me to go back to school because I have no debt, no car payments and that I have them to fall back on for support, so why not just take the leap.  So my decision was made, but there was no relief to my anxious feelings.
     I called my sister Katie of ModlyChic, who lives in Boston to fill her in on the big change I was making in my life.  She was very blunt and said to me, "I didn't know you were the type of person that just gives up when it gets hard."  Let's just say I didn't respond well to that and our conversation ended shortly after that.  I was FURIOUS - how could she say that to me?!  So we didn't talk for a while... a few weeks later she sent me a link to a blog called Life After College.  I quickly opened up the blog, and the post that I read was all about how this girl was unhappy at her job and how it wasn't where she saw herself when she had graduated college and how she decided to take a leap of faith and start her own business.  So I'm sitting at my desk, crying, the tension of trying to figure out what to do finally got to me and I couldn't help but cry.  I texted my sister, telling her thanks so much for making me cry at work.  She quickly responded saying that that wasn't her goal, but that she thought the blog might be an inspiration to me.  Well... it was!  I spent the rest of the afternoon thinking of what my original goals were and where I originally saw myself after graduating. 
    My original goals were:
        1. Land an awesome job for a few years to gain experience
        2. Take my NCIDQ Exam - the licensing exam for Interior Designers
        3. One day have my own company
        4. Basically just loving life

   I cried even harder when I realized that I hadn't met a single goal of mine.  Somehow along the way of the "real" world, I lost sight of what I truly wanted to do!  How is that possible???  Truthfully, it's incredibly easy, just getting wrapped up in trying to make ends meet, being grateful for having a job when the economy is what it is. 
    So I sat there and started brainstorming on how I could possibly meet my goals, when I suddenly realized I could kill three of goals with one move!  So it dawned on me - it was time to start my own company!  A co-worker of mine and great friend and I would go back and forth all the time about starting a company together, but ultimately we are in two totally different stages in our life and it just never panned out.   Both of us are "recent" graduates, but I'm in my 20's and she is in her 50's - I know what an unlikely pair!  So once I had made this decision, I shot my Dad an email saying that I wanted to dinner with him and my Mom and that we had to go out because I had something important I wanted to discuss with them and I knew that if we just did dinner at home with my 6 younger siblings, I would never be able to get out what I wanted to tell them.  I think my Dad was intrigued!

   We met for dinner on a Friday night, and I have never been so nervous in my entire life!  I probably put a little too much store by what my parents think, but I knew that if I was ever going to be able to pull off having my own company I truly needed my parents support!  So I sat there barely eating - of course which my mom commented on - and wringing my hands trying to tell them how I got to the decision and that No I was not going to go back to school, unless it was to take a few classes here and there to improve my Interior Design skills.  I got my entire speech out and suddenly my parents started talking about something completely different, like I had mentioned the weather!  I looked back and forth at my parents not believing their reaction!  So I stopped them and asked them if they could rewind and go back to the reason for the dinner because I would like to know what their thoughts on the subject were... My mom being the practical woman that she is, just asked me about the logistics and how I was going to go about doing this, once that was explained she told me that she thought it was the right move! Woahhh... one down, one to go!  Now Dad,  his response probably shocked me more than my mom's.  He told me that he knew I was going to tell them this and that he knew I didn't really want to go back to school.  That I am talented at Interior Design and that it would be a shame to throw away that gift/talent.  He also said that the same reasons it would be a good idea for me to go to school are the same reasons it is a good time for me to try my hand at owning a company!  What do I have to loose?  He then asked what I needed from them, how much money to get me started?  Umm... what?!  I laughed and said that all I wanted was their support and to know that I am not 100% crazy!  He assured me that I more than had their support and that he was so proud of me for making this decision.

    Once this decision was made and my parents were on board I felt this pressure lift off of my shoulders! Now, don't get me wrong, starting my own company is terrifying but somehow it feels like it is the right decision, I'm so much happier!  I am insanely busy now between working at my job and trying to build a client base and get this company up and running, but I can honestly say I KNOW I made the right decision!  Whether or not I am extremely successful at this or not, remains to be seen, but I know that I will learn so much about the field, about myself and about business in general.

   Thank you all for your support along the way, it means so much to me!  Don't forget to like my facebook page: Blue Sunflower Interiors and Design

Monday, December 12, 2011

Woah Life! - New Happenings

Hello Everyone!!!  It has been a dreadfully long time since I posted anything and I am sorry!  So much has been happening in my life that I haven't had a chance to breathe let alone write a blog post! Sheesh!  So... I think some updates are in order!  Let's rewind a few months...
    August - I went to Spain as a chaperone for WYD -  the most incredible experience of my life!  To see that many people was unbelievable and I sincerely hope that all of the girls that I took had some life changing experiences!  Basically it was 3 million Catholics from all over the world embracing their beliefs and learning so many things from people from all over the world!  We met people from Ireland, Spain, Italy, Alaska, Haiti and many more countries!  The weather was unbelieveably hot and we did our best not to get dehydrated!  Thankfully we didn't have any run-ins with the medical tents set up all over the place.  We also got to make day trips to Toledo and Segovia!  Me, being such a fan of architecture and history absolutely loved Toledo!!! 
Toldeo Architecture!
    With Architecture like this how could I not love it!  Look at the details!! Incredible!!

September and October completely blew by!!! October brought a HUGE change to my family though... my brother, Peter decided to join the Marines.  So we decided to throw him a going away party, which we dubbed a Patriotic Halloween!  It was ALOT of fun and temporarily took our mind off of the fact that he was leaving us. 

From Left to Right: Peter - Marine-in-training, Colton - Bear's fan, Monica - Wonder Woman, Joe - Army Soldier, Mom - Statue of Liberty, Sam - Captain America, Dad - Supreme Court Justice, Amanda - Miss America, Tom - GI Joe, Nick - Uncle Sam, Me - Rosie the Rivetor
We certainly know how to have a good time, and since Halloween is my Mom's favorite Holiday, she really got into the party!  We probably had close to 50+ people that came to celebrate and wish Peter good luck!  He left for bootcamp on Halloween, it was a very emotional goodbye considering we are a VERY close  family and it is a very unusual thing for us to go so long without talking to each other.  He is gone for 3months and can only receive letters!  CRAZY!  We've heard from him a few times, and he was definitely having a rough time in the beginning but he sounds in better spirits now than when he first started thank goodness.  From the sound of his letters it sounds like it feels like Christmas every time they finally get their mail.  Each of the siblings have picked a specific day to send him a letter, so that theoretically he would get a letter daily... However, they don't actually get their mail daily, for whatever reason they hold onto it for a little bit... His last letter he said that they had finally passed out the mail and he had 28 letters!!!  Apparently we are really good at writing letters or they really have held onto the letters for a LONG time!  We are looking forward to Christmas because he might get to call home for 5minutes!  It will be nice to hear his voice!

   November - was a whirlwind month as well!  Where does the time go!?  Throw work and the Thanksgiving holiday into the mix and it was insanely busy!  I ran the Hot Chocolate race - had a blast and I must say, the after party with the amazing Chocolate was incredible!  It was awesome!
We DEFINITELY run for Chocolate!
It was a really fun experience but man was it cold!  Later on in the month I also did a cafe crawl with my tri-team, we run from place to place, such as Einstein Bagles, Jamba Juice and Panera, and run a 10K in the process!  It's a great way to get in some exercise, eat some yummy food and hang out with friends!  

   I also, finally, made an appointtment with an allergist! Thank goodness.  It is quite the process to figure out what you are allergic to! Have any of you ever done it?  They start by marking your arms with lines, counting from 1 all the way up to 50 and then they prick your arms 50 times with different things, such as dog, cat, ragweed, trees, etc.  The second the nurse pricked me with the one for cat I wanted to scratch my arm off! It itched so bad!!!  After they put the 50 items on your skin you have to sit there for 20 minutes without scrathching!  Do you have any idea how hard that is when you can tell you are clearly allergic to alot of the things that are now on your arms?!  If you are allergic, your skin reacts like it has a mosquito bite and then it gets red all around it.  About 10-15 minutes into it, the nurse comes back in and looks at my arms and smiles.  Then she asked if the Dr. had been in to see me, when I responded that no he hadn't she said that she would go find him because I was having such significant reactions that she didn't think we needed to wait the full 20 minutes!  I'm still not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing!  So Dr. Miller came in and looked at my arms and laughed and goes, WOW, You are clearly allergic to just about everything!  Great... just what I wanted to hear... Apparently I am allergic to everything outside from the start of Spring all the way until the first frost! I am allergic to dogs, cats, dust mites, ragweed, trees, grass, and the list goes on and on.  Then we did a breathing test followed with another round of allergy tests.  These tests are actually tiny shots, really going into the skin!  Thankfully needles don't really bother me - I think it's because my sister is a Nurse and would practice IVs, etc on us!  So we are in the process of getting it all under control for me, YAY!!! Hopefully this mean that I will really be able to blow some of my previous race times out of the water now that I will be able to breathe!  But being allergic to all of those outdoor things make complete sense as to why my first trail run was HORRIBLE this summer!  No wonder I couldn't breathe or get my heartrate under control!
    Thanksgiving week is always a blur - we celebrated with my Dad's side of the family at my parents house on Thanksgiving day, followed by my Mom's side of the family on the Friday after Thanksgiving!  It was super busy and exhausting but so much fun to be able to hang out with the family!
    December - Woah, is it really december already?!  Time really does fly when you are having fun... or I guess really busy!  The end of November/beginning of December brought my sister Katie into town.  It's always exciting when she gets to come in, since she lives in Boston and we get to see her about every 6months!  She came into town to visit but to also teach a few classes at our old HS and help out with a fundraiser called Schoolhouse Swap!  It was an awesome event, where girls could pay $12 and bring a bag of gently used old clothes to then swap.  There were vendors that were set-up to sell a variety of items to the people that were waiting to get into the swap.  My sister and I had a booth for our etsy store: BambooBlue - we sell Hobo Sling Bags, basically amazing purses! Just sayin... Once the swap room is set up you get to rummage through all of the other items that were brough in and you get to take as many or as little items as you want!  It was a lot of fun!
Amanda and I looking at the swap items!!

Posing for the camera at the swap!
It was a great event, and it was entirely profit for the school, it was a little smaller than I think they were hoping for the first event but hopefully it will catch on and it will become a regular event!  Who doesn't like new clothes and helping out a good cause?!  While Katie was in town, it just so happened that the 5K Santa run was the same weekend!  It became quite the event!!  It was our sister Amanda's first ever race, and what a race it was!  Just by registering you get a 5-piece Santa suit to run in!  Let me just say... it's quite the site to see thousands of people walking/running down the streets in Santa suits!  It was by far the most fun race I have ever participated in!
We decided to write on the backs of our Santa suits... Mine said, "Meet me under the Mistletoe" My back is actually in the official race photos... haha so fun!
    We all survived the race and I think we have a new runner in the family!  Amanda had a blast but told me I wasn't allowed to pick up the pace because she wanted to stay together with us all!  Our cousins ended up coming out from the city to run it with us!  We had 7 runners all sporting our awesome new Santa suits!
The family of Runners!!! Way to go everyone!!
That night I had my second annual Tacky Christmas Sweater party!!! It was a blast and let me just say there were some pretty tacky sweaters in the mix!  I was excited to be able to have Katie be able to come this year, although we missed Pete this time around!

Look at those sweaters!!
WOW... no words can even describe the beauty of these sweaters!
That essentially bring us up to date with what has happened in my life... well actually... I didn't mention the biggest change in my life, mainly because it deserves an entire blog entry in and of itself... but I will let you in on it a little bit before I blog about it... drumroll please...
    I have officially started my very own INTERIOR DESIGN business!!! More on that in tomorrow's post!  It is called Blue Sunflower Interiors and Design, like it on facebook, here.