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


  1. awesome inspiration emily!!!!! I would love to follow in your footsteps someday. (wait a minute... I'm a slower runner than you so I already do follow in some of your footsteps already!!!!)


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