Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Living a Better Story

The reason this blog is being submitted at the very last minute is ... the concept of this seminar scares me. The idea of sending this in brings to life the reality that if I did win a trip to the conference, I'd be held accountable for following through with my dream ... or my "story." I can't think of anything more terrifying.

Well here goes nothing:

I like Junk!

My heart beats faster just at the sight of a worn and stained chair sitting in someones garbage. I love the idea of bringing life back to an object that's been discarded or forgotten about. What others may see as a garage sale reject, I see as beauty.

My home is a collaboration of random items that, I believe, have a story of their own. Once lost .. now found. Some of these items only call for a splash of new paint, some call for new fabrics, some maintain their original condition, while others may require a full overhaul. All are considered precious to me. For instance: my headboard is made of an old fireplace mantel I found in a junkyard, my favorite necklace is one I made out of a spoon, and the place mats in my kitchen are vintage scrabble boards. I love them.

I've been collecting and redesigning "junk" since I was a kid. The mixture of growing up without a lot of money and having an extremely creative mother meant that thrift store shopping typically served as substitutes for mall visits (this made for some very 'interesting' outfits as a child). Early on, I developed a love for all things vintage and a knack for the excitement that goes behind the "find" of an object. Throughout the years, my lovely obsession was something I kept contained to the four walls of my house (or so I thought). I've always been nervous to show others what I've done, because I figured people would think I was weird. I suppose the reveal of artwork is way harder then the creative process behind it.

I'm pretty sure I drive my roommates nuts on a regular basis. They never know what I will be walking through the door with next. A few weeks ago it was a 1950's refrigerator that I found on craigslist for $20 and of course I needed their help carrying it inside. However, I must say the interior of the fridge does make for a lovely bookshelf!

By the grace of God, I've been surrounded by people who have seen my potential and have encouraged me to do what I love. A year ago, I gave up a high paying job at a well-established company to pursue my love of "the find" and freelance my design work. Now I'm doing a good portion of what I love but when you're scraping by to pay bills and eat it leaves you to question if it's the right decision. But now I find a woman more at peace with herself and connected to who God created her to be. I know I have a gift. It may seem like an odd gift ... but he's given it to me and it's uniquely mine.

The dream would be to own a store with my mom and a few close creative friends. I'd call it "Lost and Found." In my head, the shop is filled with all my favorite styles of junk, funky jewelry that my mom has made, and all types of goodies. I even know the scent of the candle I'd want to have burning throughout the store. Even imagining the tissue paper right now! ... I even have my price tags dreamt up.

The prep step to the full blown store would be renting a small space in a local shop. You pay a nominal fee, take advantage of all your 35 sq feet of space, and try to make a few bucks. I've thought about it several times but never pulled the trigger.

So what holds me back?


I'm nervous. I'm nervous because I don't know the first thing about running a business. I'm nervous because the idea of committing to something seems like a freedom killer to me (even if it's my dream). I'm nervous that if I make a living out of something I'm passionate about, I'll wake up one day and resent it. I'm nervous that I'd be successful. Because success, again, means commitment.

If I get the chance to make it to Portland for the "Living a Better Story" seminar, I'm hoping it will help ease my fears and anxieties or that it would actually give tangible advice on how to overcome them. It would probably be refreshing to sit in a room full of people who understand where I'm coming from, who have a passion, but are too gun-shy to pursue it out of fear of failure (or success).
So here I go, I'm pressing ''publish post'' after some editing attempts and seeing what happens.

(All the pictures posted are of objects from my personal collection)


Living a Better Story Seminar from All Things Converge Podcast on Vimeo.


  1. I can help with a place to stay while you're in Portland! Make it happen lady!

  2. you did it after all! I'm proud of you!!