This is a post I wrote for Pasties & Petticoats a couple of years ago, but it felt like it might be a good fit here too, so I’ve updated it just for you.
It’s a post about following my heart and taking the leap to turn my dreams into reality. Life by design. I very much hope that this will inspire you and make you feel that the impossible is rarely so.
It was 2011. I’d been working for the Council for 11 years, as well as running a part time photography business. I had big love for wedding blogs, and felt Cornwall really needed one of its own. Being a pretty gung-ho kinda gal, I bought a domain, created a logo, set up a website and off I went. On the 8th January 2012 I hit the ‘go live’ button and published my first post. Pasties & Petticoats was born!
Over the next few years, Pasties & Petticoats was essentially a hobby – sharing beautiful real weddings, working with gorgeous photographs by talented local photographers, learning about the wedding industry and writing advice and inspiration articles. What’s not to love?! It fit in with my Council job and part time photography work.
But as time passed, I became increasingly dissatisfied with my local government life. Constant budget cuts, restructuring, bureaucracy…it was sucking the soul from me. I’ve always had a somewhat entrepreneurial spirit and longed to work for myself. To run my own business and be the master of my own destiny.
With a supportive husband cheering me on, last spring I took redundancy from the Council. After 14 years of working for the Council I was terrified and excited in equal measure. No more office drudgery, but likewise no more regular income! With a small photography studio still operational and Pasties & Petticoats ticking away, I threw myself into my two businesses.
Ahhh but the path of true love never does run smooth.
I was somewhat taken aback to find some months into my freedom of self-employment, that once again I felt dissatisfied. Was I being ungrateful, had I just slipped into my new normal, or was it something else? Perhaps I just hadn’t given it enough time? Having been so certain that I was living my dream, it was confusing to feel this way.
Being prone to over thinking things was on this occasion a blessing. I soon realised my discontent came from my feeling of ‘plate spinning’. With two businesses on the go I wasn’t doing either of them as well as I felt I could. I felt conflicted in relation to how I spent my time and had begun to really loathe photography work – and *that* was the moment I knew what I needed to do.
With photography studio closed and camera reinstated as something I use for fun not work, by autumn 2015 I had finally taken the real big leap. Pasties & Petticoats… I’m coming to get you! I’ve always loved writing, I felt so at home in the wedding industry, like I’d found my people, it all suddenly felt so obvious.
By that Christmas I’d invested heavily in rebranding and a new website, and in January 2016 relaunched Pasties & Petticoats.
The past couple of years has seen the business go from hobby to successful business and I couldn’t be more proud of what I’ve achieved or thankful for the support I’ve had along the way.
Couples invest so much in their wedding day – not just financially, or in terms of the planning process itself, but emotionally too. It’s a huge step to publicly (and legally) declare your love and dedication to one another, and the wedding is such an important part of marking the occasion. So many times I find myself wiping away a tear as I write up a real wedding story, or with a huge grin on my face as I see the love and happiness in the images that capture a couple’s real wedding day.
Every love story is special, and unique, and I love nothing more than a good wedding!
I guess really the moral of my story is this:
It turns out, following your bliss really isn’t the easy option – who knew? It’ll involve big decisions, tough times, there will be ups and downs and the route won’t always be clear cut. But it’s so worth it.
What’s your bliss? Take some time to figure it out and consider how you can make it a reality. What are the hurdles and how can you overcome them? Can you make short term loss for long term gain? Consider the real impact of sacrifices you may need to make to live your dream. What’s the risk involved and are you prepared to take that on? If not, are there things you can do to put yourself in a better position so that you can take the risk?
Go for it!!