It all started when I was about to graduate college from Arizona State University and I was at a cross roads, either go back to school in LA at Fashion Institute Design Management, FIDM, or continue my education in psychology. Both options were realistic and appealing to me. My boyfriend at the time (he is now my husband) pointed out that I have always been interested in fashion and after much deliberation I decided on FIDM. I graduated with a degree in Merchandise and Product Development and then got a job designing for a women’s clothing line. After a few years in LA, Steve and I were at a cross roads in our life – we knew we wanted to spend our lives together but we were very far away from my family in Maryland and his family in Chicago. After much deliberation, we chose to move back to Maryland. I had a design job at a boutique all lined up and we were excited for our new adventure on the East Coast. Unfortunately, the job I had secured did not pan out and I was left to figure out what to do. This was probably one of the more difficult things I have been through. I questioned basically every decision we had made and then had to move on and figure out what I was going to do.
That is how my blog was born! I wanted to create something for myself where I could be creative, do whatever I wanted and share my love of fashion with anyone who was willing to read it, knowing no one could take it away from me. I decided to work at Nordstrom to make ends meet then moved on to work at South Moon Under. After a few years of retail I couldn’t take the hours anymore so I decided to move on to a desk job where it was a 9-5 Mon-Fri routine schedule. At that time I did not realize it but it was a good decision because when I had nothing to do they were fine with me bringing my laptop and working on my own endeavors. In the morning before work, after work and on the weekends, basically whenever I could, I would have Steve take photos of me. Then at work I would edit my photos, write my blog posts, engage on social media and share my outfits! I was at that job for about two years and by that point I was plain bored (do you sense a trend?). I stayed at that job while on the hunt for something else with more flexibility and went to many different interviews but was unable to find anything that was good fit. A friend posted on Facebook that there were job openings at the social media company she was working for so I reached out to hear more about it. Literally that same day I was at the office talking to her boss to hear more about the company. After a month of going back and forth with them, figuring out all the little details, convincing Steve it was the best next step and making sure it was the move I wanted to make, I told my current bosses it was time to move on. As sad as I was to leave the security and the easy job where I could still do my own thing I was ready to move forward. I took on a job as a Social Media Manager as well as a Review Responder. I was able to have more flexibility in my new job and I learned so much in a short period of time that, after just a few months, I was starting a new division with my boss with a handful of people under me. We created a great department and are currently using the system I implemented for some amazing projects we are currently working on.
While all of this was happening, I was consistently posting new looks on my Instagram, blogging them with links to purchase and growing my own personal business. That has always been a huge priority for me so, no matter what, I made it happen. A few weeks ago, I sat down with my boss and explained to him that I am craving more time blogging and less time in the office. I have been getting some great offers and to take them on I need to be able to make my own schedule. I am so lucky that my boss is an entrepreneur and understands this feeling. At one point he was at a cross roads with his own business and full-time job and he ultimately decided to move forward with his own passions and the rest is history. He pushed me to follow my dreams but instead of me having to totally walk away he suggested that I become a vendor instead of a salary employee to still make money with the company but have the time to pursue my passions. I could not be more grateful for him working with me and being a guiding light at a time when I am totally terrified to make the leap. My husband is someone who thrives in a corporate atmosphere and I am the complete opposite so talking to him about making the move was long and difficult. He couldn’t understand why I wanted to leave a good and steady job because, in his eyes, that is all anyone could want. But in my eyes it is restricting and not totally fulfilling. I have so many things I want to do and my blog has been a much-needed outlet for me. I can get out in the community and work with others while creating interesting and fun content, take on the projects I want to take on and always stay inspired. Currently I am freelancing for the social media company, doing collaborations and projects on my blog and blogging for other companies while figuring out more ways to create revenue, make ends meet and continue to fulfill my love of being creative with fashion and blogging.
It has been a long road getting to this point and this is exactly what I have wanted to do for so long now. I think everything I have gone through has taught me many valuable life lessons and it has brought me to the point where I have the confidence in myself to make this dream come true. It is not going to be easy and I have had a lot of anxiety about this career move but I feel lucky that my husband is 100% on board with this change (finally!) and is super supportive of it. I have a boss who has helped me in so many ways and continues to be there for me when I need him. I have family and friends who are more supportive than I could ever ask for. The best part is that I feel free, free to be myself and take on new challenges, free to make my own schedule and dip my hand in more than one pot and I feel free to live the life I have always wanted. I know I am going to succeed because I finally know what I want, I can see the path I need to take to get to where I want to be and, best of all, I am happier then I have ever been. The future is looking bright both personally and professionally and when I am down and discouraged I just think about all of the jobs I had that I was not happy in, all of the frustrating feelings I had, all of the times I cried because I felt lost and alone and all of the failed plans that I had so much invested in to remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I have the power, the drive, the determination and the heart to get MYSELF to where I want to be. My mom always reminds me that it is the journey not the destination that matters so I need to take every experience I have and live in the moment. The money will come as long as I work hard and be myself and I remind myself of that every single day. The journey is not close to being over and I am so excited to see what is to come!
If I could give anyone advice on how to get to where they want to be it would be to write your goal at the top of a piece of paper then write every step on how to achieve that goal. This will give you a better idea of what needs to be done to get there. Every move made should be because it will get you closer to what you want, nothing happens overnight and persistence is necessary. Visualize and believe in your goal every day. There are going to be set backs but there is a lesson in everything so take the time to learn exactly what went wrong and what you would do next time to get it right. There are so many resources at our fingertips these days so get creative when trying to make something happen, we don’t always have all the money we want, or all the knowledge we need but there are always ways to figure it out! Don’t forget to always believe in yourself!
Holly Batton Murphy is a fashion blogger and social media manager. She is obsessed with sharing her looks that range from every day to events and work.