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Never Give Up On Your Dreams

I was recently interviewed by British interior designer and author Kelly Hoppen since she featured a week of inspirational posts from business owners who, like me, are in the design world and have had lots of struggles but have still managed to keep going forward and fight the tide. I was honored that she approached me and so I wrote a huge and quite candid essay on her blog HERE if you’d like to read it. There is an excerpt below…

Kelly Hoppen

Imagine this. You are in a career you sort of enjoy but definitely do not love, and you’ve been at it for around 8 years and one day you just have a mini breakdown on the job. That’s what happened to me. I was typing yet another action item into a massive Excel spreadsheet when I felt this wave of emotion hit me. I have no idea, looking back, where it came from but this wave was massive and I felt like I was going to break out in tears. I lifted myself quietly from my chair, walked swiftly to the nearest conference room, and with overwhelming relief, I shut the door and turned the lock. With a typical all-beige and chrome corporate décor surrounding me, I sunk down on my heels, then to the floor where I laid and cried for what felt like days. I remember wishing I could click my heels and know what I wanted to do with my life. Laying on a conference room floor…. READ THE REST HERE.

So now it’s YOUR turn… After you read my essay on Kelly’s blog, why don’t you return and tell me YOUR STORY. I could use the encouragement like all of you, to keep going forward, and I find that by pulling together and sharing our stories we become stronger somehow.

Can’t wait to hear from you in the comments below. :)

(image: kelly hoppen)

Posted by decor8 in real talk on November 16, 2012

Your comments...

  1. Amy - Pride of Place commented
    November 16th, 2012 at 5:29pm

    Wow – what an inspiring story, it makes me want to keep going.

    I went to design school at the age of 19 and lost my way after that. I had a job I loved for a few years that was at least slightly creative but I was made redundant. I then had a couple of jobs where I too was glued to spreadsheets and not at all happy.

    I was in a temporary job that I didn’t like and had been in for 3 years, and my boss called me in to say it was between me and a new girl for a permanent role, she was taking great pleasure in making us jump through hoops for a job I didn’t even like or want. I bit the bullet and left, which during a recession is nuts but I was so unhappy.

    There was no work where I live (the west of Ireland) so I decided to just do what I love and see what happens. I am not making money from my blog or selling my crafts, I am lucky that my husband can support us but I have to admit, it would be nice to be able to contribute once more. I don’t regret my choices and reading how you started out has inspired me to just dig down, work hard and keep going – so thanks.
    Amy – Pride of Place´s last blog post ..My Scrapbook: Copper and Mint

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  2. Sofie commented
    November 16th, 2012 at 5:54pm

    Hey!

    Just wanted to say thank you for the story :)
    It really inspired me and gave me something to think about.
    its all about following your dreams – and it makes med smile, that you followed your dream and did it! It makes me feel that I can do it to :)
    thank you :)

    - a happy reader

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  3. Chelsea @ Riding Escalators commented
    November 16th, 2012 at 6:11pm

    Holly – this is powerful. And inspirational. I think I’m going to go home and check out the latest offerings at my community college – I desperately need a dose of creativity in my life! AND I’ve signed up on the mailing list for your next Decor8 EClass!

    Keep up the fantastic work and a smile on your face!
    Chelsea @ Riding Escalators´s last blog post ..… And then I met Nora Roberts

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  4. Iva Y commented
    November 16th, 2012 at 6:14pm

    Thank you for sharing this with us! You cannot imagine how many people can relate to your story and how many people wish to have this happy end (well, for you it’s just the beginning really).
    I graduated from architecture school 9 months ago. Such a bad time to be an architecture graduate in this economy. It’s been incredibly hard for me to continue fighting and I’ve been questioning my career choice ever since. It’s strange, because I do love architecture and I do love design and everything creative, but I feel like there’s a niche that was specially designed for me and I just haven’t found it yet. Your wonderful essay has given me hope that my weekly breakdowns might not be in vain. So thank you!

    p.s. I never realized, but if you started writing here in 2006 then I must have been following you pretty much since the beginning. It’s funny because I always knew your blog was “the big thing” :)

    Have a wonderful weekend, Holly!

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  5. Keith commented
    November 16th, 2012 at 6:14pm

    Wow! So inspirational. Loved the article. From trying business in UK.
    Keith´s last blog post ..Oak Dining Tables For Christmas

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  6. Lindsey commented
    November 16th, 2012 at 6:28pm

    Great story! That is so inspiring. As someone who is still at a so-so job with no idea what I want to do with my life, hearing your story inspires me. You make me feel like its possible to do what you love; it just takes a lot of work. :)
    Lindsey´s last blog post ..On my Happiness Project…

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  7. Astrid Mueller commented
    November 16th, 2012 at 6:34pm

    Heyyy Holly – wow, you just warmed my heart. Your story was such an inspiring insight, and full of really valuable life teachings. Thank you so much for sharing such a candid view into your life, Holly! I’m an entrepreneur myself, and am passionate about helping other business women reach their goals and live their dreams through branding and design. Your story is a wonderful inspiration and energy-booster for all of us. I can’t thank you enough!

    And I’m SO HAPPY for you and proud of you that you got up from that office floor years ago and kept following your dream!!! And that despite your amazing success, you’re giving back so much, by being a teacher and supporter for other dreamers. Kudos, big thanks, and congratulations!

    Big big virtual hug – from a designer & dreamer who has walked up a few flights on the staircase, but still has many steps ahead of her. Thank you for your inspiration to keep going!

    Warmly, Astrid
    from AstridMueller.com and AtelierGiselle.com and possibilityjewelry.com …
    Astrid Mueller´s last blog post ..Charmed by a chandelier – by artist Jonquil LeMaster

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  8. Rosa Paula commented
    November 16th, 2012 at 7:00pm

    Thank you for sharing such an inspiring story. I wish I could tell something as inspiring as well but… I’m still in that turning point. Maybe I’ll come back in a year and let you how it turned out…

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  9. Caroline @trend-daily commented
    November 16th, 2012 at 7:14pm

    It was really interesting to read the stories behind the faces over on kelly’s blog-how hard everyone has to work to reach a goal and just how much people put their live on the line to achieve a dream.

    Before meeting you at 100% Design last year I had no idea how much the design world had moved on and barely new about blogs! After 10 years in interior design and learning to be a Mum, I jumped head first into blogging to get me back into the world of styling. Your course absolutely consumed me, working till beyond midnight for 2 months to learn and then finally being brave enough to go live in March.

    My very small blog has made me feel more confident about approaching old clients and Made me feel like me again! One idea leads on to the next and using the DSLR isn’t quite as frightening as it used to be. It’s a great way to connect with so many amazingly talented people all over the world and make genuine friends-it’s a lot of fun given and me my first big editorial feature in 5 years, so Im really happy.
    Thanks so much for the encouragement Holly and thanks a million to all the Incredibly supportive new friends and readers I’ve made along the way :-)
    Caroline @trend-daily´s last blog post ..Moodboards…

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  10. Kelly commented
    November 16th, 2012 at 7:25pm

    Holly, this essay is the reason why I think you inspire so many people. Behind all of the beautiful ideas and creativity is a beautiful person. Loved this part: “The reward of the climb is that you are stronger than you were when you began…”

    I am on the stairway now, too. In 2009 (partly inspired by you sharing that conference room story), I decided to leave my job as a video game producer and pursue my dream of designing fabric and craft books. It has been a long climb. I have experienced more rejection in the past 3 years than the rest of my life combined! My first trip to Quilt Market was so nerve wracking, I think I spent more time crying in the bathroom than actually presenting my portfolio to art directors. But this year I celebrated my first fabric line + next Spring my book will come out. I won’t say that everything in life is worth sacrifice, because it’s possible to pursue a goal that is just not right for you — but sometimes in your heart of hearts you just know, “I’m not supposed to quit.” I think of all the people I’ve met on this journey, and it keeps me moving forward. I want others to know, if you’ll keep going even when the road is hard, you really can do it. XO, Kelly
    Kelly´s last blog post ..Last-Minute Thanksgiving Decor

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  11. Kate commented
    November 16th, 2012 at 7:32pm

    Holly, I absolutely loved reading your article on Kelly’s site. There are so many golden nuggets of advice – I found the Steve Martin quote especially helpful as I have been ‘messing’ with my blog and business for a year now but it’s definitely time to turn pro and start to take it more seriously.

    I took part in the advanced byw course this year and you continue to be an amazing inspiration. I hope that one day I can do the same for others too. xo
    Kate´s last blog post ..The Red Shoes

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  12. Gabrielle Treanor commented
    November 16th, 2012 at 7:41pm

    What a fantastic story, Holly, I’m so glad you wrote it. I find it’s so easy to forget the long path people have struggled along to reach their success, when you’ve only seen them as successful. I’m terrible at comparing myself to others and thinking that I’ll never be a success and so why don’t I just throw in the towel now?! I’ve only been running my business for a couple of years and I haven’t quit yet because the memory of feeling dread and unhappiness and misery at having to travel with all the suits on a train before dawn to a huge city to work in an office with a boss who had zero respect for me, is still very fresh! I worry enormously about whether I’m doing the right thing, whether I’ll ever be successful enough to support my family, I even worry about why (as far as I know) no-one has tried to copy my ideas or steal my designs yet! But what I worry about more than anything else is that one day I will have to give up on pursuing my dream and return to an unhappy, unfulfilled working life and that fear is what drives me forwards all the time. Your story is inspirational and I will never give up on my dream.

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  13. Lauren Rizzo commented
    November 16th, 2012 at 7:54pm

    Hi Holly;

    Your story really resonated with me. Thanks for writing about this…

    Last year I found myself about halfway through a career that never really took off. A few years here, a few years there, a few years off trying other things or being home with my son… It was easy to convince myself that outside circumstances or just bad fits were the source of my constant discontentment with my work. But I had just landed a “great job” with great benefits, a mission I could completely get behind, good pay, and a real step up the ladder. It seemed like the beginning of a new direction for me.

    But from my very first day at the new job, I was a walking anxiety attack. It wasn’t that the work itself was too actually much for me to do — it just all felt completely beyond me to really care about doing it. The slightest bit of effort to get a project going or solve a problem made me feel like I was walking through mud. I dreamed horrible dreams about my job every night and dreaded going in every morning. The only part of I liked was lunch time, when I’d go sit by the riverfront and watch the bridges go up and down and wonder how long it would last this time.

    I quit seven months in, to start my own business making needlework kits. I work seven days a week, I deal with crazy problems that require far more effort and patience to solve than anything I ever had to do in another job. I wake up every morning with a huge to-do list… and I can’t wait to get started.

    I’m not making much money yet. I may never make much money. I may have to take another job eventually, and run my business part. But there was a day while I was at that “great” job that I just stopped what I was doing and finally admitted to myself that I could never care as much about other people’s priorities and do other people’s work with the commitment that I needed to have in order to be truly successful. I just want to do what makes sense to ME. I may not be a huge success on my own, but I’m learning what it’s like to really care about my work. It’s great. I feel lucky every day.

    Thanks again for your essay. I hope there’s a way to combine personal success and financial success for me… and for all the others who feel the same way.

    Best of luck to us all!

    LaurenR

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  14. Magda commented
    November 16th, 2012 at 9:38pm

    Dear Holly,

    your story is so inspirational that I printed it out and hung next to my inspirational board.

    At some point of time, back in 2008-2009 I also had this conference roome like experience. Right now I am still at the very beginning of the stairs (but who knows, maybe way further than I think?), wanting to give up 1000 times and not sure what the future will bring. But I go on, I started writing a interior-design blog, read a lot, study home by reading other blogs and websites.

    For the first time in my life I feel that I am doing the right thing and I really want to make interior design/interior photography to my career. I know the road is hard, but hey, if I had stayed in my old job, it would be even harder! I just do not want to wake up when I am old and look back and think ‘if I had only done this or that…’ knowing, that I have no more time to change my life. I think it is worth the price.

    Thank you for sharing your story!
    Magda

    PS. Check your email please regarding the workshop in December :).
    Magda´s last blog post ..Moda na wnętrza – Ralph Lauren na wybiegu i w domu

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  15. Anastasia commented
    November 16th, 2012 at 9:43pm

    Holly! Thank you so much for your true story! Sometimes it really needs to understand the whole path of success! I’m still wondering – do you have 48 hrs per day?) I’m sure that you don’t even sleep at all!
    You’re great! Thank you!
    I’ll realize all my dreams!

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  16. tracy porter commented
    November 16th, 2012 at 10:05pm

    Holly~
    Rock on! Great, great honest..heartfelt lovely story. Incredibly important and so very good to share in these economic times. Everyone thinks ” everyone else” has it all figured out, the perfect game plan.. all the rules…all the money ..all the team etc. and yes…it can all fall apart, and yes…a person can too.
    One of my favorite quotes which you can relate to is..” strength shows not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Your willingness to share will help others shine and help them pull themselves up off the floor..because we all know it happens and not just one in a lifetime or career , but usually several times…and its so dam hard and so dam humbling…but so dam good when you strap on a ” set” and keep on keepin’ on. You go girl…we love you for making it..over and over! Cheers and love to you..and to all of you that have had to start over and over and over….keep going!!
    xx
    Tracy

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  17. HansensGasse commented
    November 16th, 2012 at 11:01pm

    Thank you so much for sharing! I always find it very inspiring and encouraging to learn how others made their way!
    Just the other day I was wondering if I was on the right way with what I´m doing – or not doing.
    I always loved the stories of others who had that one very special talent, who always knew what they wanted to do, those, for whom it was so very clear what they liked and were talented for. In fact, I always liked several things, I don´t have that one very special, but several “medium” talents.

    And then I had the light bulb moment that I am exactly doing what I always wanted to do: Working self employed as a consultant on one hand, which has a lot to do with spreadsheets and numbers but also with people, which makes me travel a lot a n d on the other hand being creative in a business I own and work in together with my husband, so it doesn´t take all my time but leaves enough space for my “other life” in the consulting world. This family business has to do with beautiful textiles, dinnerware, silverware, decoration, almost with everything you need to create a beautiful home.

    Since I realized that doing two things doesn’t mean you’re not doing the right thing, I enjoy everything I´m doing even more.
    Even if it sometimes means I have to decide which comes first (having a consulting job while I would really love to do the christmas decoration in the shop is a hard decision, but then again, being able to pack my suitcase and fly elsewhere where people honour the expertise I have in my consulting business is very rewarding, too!)

    So in my case, I found out that not doing one thing for 100% in my case means that I’m being myself for 100% – and that seems even better to me!
    This is my story of how I made (make!) my way – making a living out of what I really love to do, either this way or the other.

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  18. Kimberly Jones commented
    November 16th, 2012 at 11:24pm

    Holly, I love your generous heart and your humble spirit! I truly appreciate how you share your authentic voice on your blog, your obvious desire to inspire others, and your honesty. I’ve participated in 2 sessions of Blogging Your Way, and learned so much in both of them! Your story is so inspiring, and it’s wonderful to get a peek behind the curtain of a successful blogger, and see that you too have faced many challenges, but kept on moving forward, and ultimately rose above them.
    My story is very simple. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl, I’m obsessed with discovering vintage treasures, and I am passionate about making handmade books. I’ve been fusing all these elements together on my blog, and with the encouragement I received in BYW, I was able to fulfill my dream of having one of my projects published in a magazine! My ultimate dream is to write and publish a book sharing my love of transforming vintage finds into art.
    Thanks for sharing your story, and for being a catalyst in helping me reach some of my own goals!
    Kimberly Jones´s last blog post ..{michelle & kimberly’s artful adventures} citrasolv magic

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  19. Jessica commented
    November 16th, 2012 at 11:55pm

    Wow! What an incredible and inspiring story. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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  20. kalanicut commented
    November 17th, 2012 at 12:05am

    Lovely Holly. Just the inspiration I needed as I just started a new venture. I had my magic moment of knowing what I should do, did my homework for the past 8 months, did a ton of work to establish everything and now I’m a little bit “deer in the headlights” wondering if this is going to really take off and how I make it happen. Thank you for sharing this and the insights you shared in BYW Boot Camp. I have to say I have been “on the floor in the conference room” or close to it a few different times in my life. I hope I’m getting a little wiser to listen to that call before it gets as serious as it has before. No more ghost in the mirror I hope. :)

    I love what you said about not being too frustrated by copy cats. I have always felt they can never be me no matter how hard they try. I have tried to share that with others who are upset by copy cats. No matter what they do, they can never be you or take away all the great ideas you will yet bring to fruition. They are not creators, they are imitators. There is a big difference.
    kalanicut´s last blog post ..Thankful November 2012: Day 16

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  21. Super Mom - No Cape! commented
    November 17th, 2012 at 12:45am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this and the rest of the story over at Kelly Hoppen. I so needed to hear this tonight.

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  22. Gingham Red commented
    November 17th, 2012 at 3:15am

    Thank you for the inspiration and congratulations to you for all your achievements! When people succeed like you, people often think it must have been easy when the reality is that it has been quite challenging and difficult at times.

    I am sad to read that when you started other bloggers and magazine editors were not supportive of you and worse still copied your ideas and used it as their own. I don’t understand why this happens when we know there is enough in the universe for everyone to share. Changing your life from a job you were not inspired by to creating Decor8 is amazingly brave and courageous.

    I wish I had as much courage and believed in myself as much as you do and did. Fear of failure and the unknown is keeping me in a “safe” job and in the same place. You have however inspired me to think about everything again. Thank you for sharing.

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  23. Elizabeth commented
    November 17th, 2012 at 3:58am

    Hello Holly,

    I loved your story when I heard it last year in my first BYW class and I enjoyed it even more today. You inspired me then as you do today with your positive outlook, your success and your ability to make everyone that visits your blog, reads your books, or attends your classes believe that they to can achieve their dream and make a difference in their life and be happy with both the journey and the outcome.

    Thank you! Have a beautiful weekend, Elizabeth
    Elizabeth´s last blog post ..Eat Feed Autumn Winter by Anne Bramley

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  24. ketaki commented
    November 17th, 2012 at 5:36am

    Dear Holly, I cant tell you how overwhelmed i am, reading this article. Its such a inspiring story and i can soo relate to it.
    I hope some day i could also reach a 10 percent of mental and emotional satisfaction i can see reading the blog. The happiness and peace you earn out of spending just some time reading these lovely blogs cannot be defined in words. Artnlight and decor8 being my favourites.
    Thankyou!! You make and build small moments for lot of people around the world through your blog
    ketaki´s last blog post ..Artnlight blog for the day

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  25. EmmaMT commented
    November 17th, 2012 at 5:49am

    Wowee Holly, what a story!
    So inspirational and so true. I’ve loved reading your story and books (I’ve just recieved the new workshop book yay!) Its always so good to hear stories of how sucessful people have turned a bad situation into a success story.
    I’ve had a blog for a couple of years (nearly) and its so true. When you keep at it – even when you’re shattered by your day/grown up job and you start to see results or your hits going higher and higher you are just spurred on.

    Your story is such an inspiration as is your blog. Thanks for sharing.

    EmmaMT

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  26. aphrochic commented
    November 17th, 2012 at 6:36am

    You know Holly, these days I hardly ever really stop and read a blog post, but I am so glad I read your essay on Kelly’s blog. Absolutely inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I think there is a divine purpose for all of us. So many of us who go along that creative journey have to have faith in our dreams. Obstacles have come my way as well, but I know I’m going in the right direction when another door opens. I go through that door, until another one opens, and then see what’s behind the next one. Your journey is part of your divine purpose, and I am so happy that you discovered something that truly makes you happy. I have too, and like you, I have never looked back to those board room days. xo

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  27. Viviane commented
    November 17th, 2012 at 7:49am

    Dear Holly,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story, Holly – it’s overwhelming!

    Well, I wasn’t really in a career (had been before I had my three kids), but I turned forty and aksed myself what I want to do with my next 40 years: going back to marketing in the financial industry? Writing guides for families (what I did quite successfully for the past 6 years)? Becoming an interior designer (this was my dream since I was a girl)? And then, in May 2011, I went to a customer event of my carpenter where he presented his super cool collection of independent-just-plug-in kitchen cubes NOMAD. I asked him: “How do you sell them?”. “Not at all!”, was his smiling answer. I thought those are such great products, those kitchen cubes have to get out there, we have to present them to the world. And I crossed other craftsmen, designers etc. who produce such beautiful things, but don’t have the marketing tools to promote them. And what is the easiest way to get out there? Where is space unlimited? Where do you don’t pay thousands of Euros rent? In the World Wide Web. My idea was born. I wanted to create an online platform for craftsmen, designers and small manufacturers to sell their locally produced products nationally or even internationally. And so my company was born (qip=quality interior products). A platform where people can find quirky, unique furniture and home accessories from selected (=curated) sellers. Well, at least the idea was born and the URL was blocked. But since then I had to go a long way, until I could finally go online in September this year. Since then I got some really cool sellers on board, yet there is still a long way a ahead to get where I want to be: providing a cool Online Concept Store with an eclectic product mix of new, upcycled and vintage furniture and home accessories.

    During the past 1 1/2 year I wanted to give up about a hundred, asked myself why I’ve chosen to make my life so complicated when I could have just continued writing by best-selling Family Guide. But then I get the approval from cool designers, quirky new products are uploaded, and I get such nice comments on my facebook page and then I know, it was worth it to go this way. Even though my whole family has to take over sacrifices (luckily my husband is an IT guy and helps me out a lot and my three boys see me more often in front of the computer than watching with them a movie. However, my eldest son already says he wants to become an entrepreneur, so maybe I’m kind of a role model? And if I don’t make it, maybe he will one day?)

    So far my story.

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  28. Fatou commented
    November 17th, 2012 at 8:03am

    Reading your story, felt like a wonderful reassurance in the steps I’ve taken in the last year.

    It can be so scary to leave something secure for the unknown, especially with a family and two little ones to care for. Like you, I was at a job that I was utterly miserable in, I had many nights that I cried myself to sleep, because I was dreading the next morning. Spending most of my day at a places that I so hated. I was going to school, but could only go part time and with all my responsibilities. I didn’t feel like I was committing to my work the way I wanted or needed to. The end of last year I finally made a leap, and left my job. Months before that I had made another bold decision for me – I started my blog, after 2 years of sitting on the idea.

    I still have days where I’m a little scared, but never do I doubt my decision. It hasn’t been easy, we’ve had to make a lot of adjustments in our family, but through it all I’ve not once regretted giving my dreams a chance.
    Fatou´s last blog post ..Tonight

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  29. Corinne Korda commented
    November 17th, 2012 at 8:17am

    Hi Holly,

    It is this so very human voice of yours that inspires others so much – just love it. I’m so happy you have the success you truly deserve!

    Regards

    Corinne
    Corinne Korda´s last blog post ..PLAYFUL SATURDAY

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  30. Bettina commented
    November 17th, 2012 at 9:27am

    Hi Holly, thank you for sharing your story. I am German and moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2008. When we moved here I left everything behind – my friends, family, professional career in public relations and started a radical career change enrolling myself in the International School of Colour and Design to study towards a CERT IV in Colour and Design and later on a Colour Design Diploma. I quickly realised that this is what I was always looking for and what I really love to do in my life! And now I can even capitalize from my former professional experience in Public Relations. That is a fantastic feeling and makes me very proud of what I have achieved so far in my life. And it made me think of a speech from Steve Jobs at Stanford University in 2005 where he encouraged the students never ever to give up chasing their dreams and looking for what they really want to do in their lives. And if you do that you will eventually come to a stage where all the dots connect and bring you a step further to your goal.

    This is what I am feeling now – all the dots from my past start connecting and form something exciting and new!

    I now run my own colour and styling business and have lots of plans and ideas for the future. It is challenging and exciting at the same time, but this is what I love to do and I am persistent and keep on going. And never give up my dream!
    Bettina´s last blog post ..What every homeowner ought to know when choosing paint colours

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  31. Jiah commented
    November 17th, 2012 at 9:34am

    Thank you Holly! I am always touched and inspired by your honesty.

    My name is Jiah and I am currently in the midst of trying to launch myself as a freelance textile and product designer.

    I have my first baby on the way in February and I can’t bear the thought of putting her in child care full time just so that I can pay the bills. So my dream is to be able to work creatively from home.

    I studied textile design at University with the intention of moving to a bigger city that has a textile industry. But of course, I met a cute boy, fell in love and got married. My husbands job means that we will stay living in our home town for a while yet, so since I graduated I have been working in jobs that although they are design related, are just not ticking all the boxes.

    So I have made the decision that if the industry is not here in my little city then I will bring it to me. Some days I feel like I can conquer the world and some days I feel like I’m attempting the impossible.

    Hearing your story gives me hope and confidence that I do have the drive and determination to make this work. So thank you again.

    Jiah x

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  32. Tracy A. commented
    November 17th, 2012 at 12:23pm

    A wonderful article – and so timely. I have just shared it with a friend who will connect with your words after she has read it.
    Tracy A.´s last blog post .."One cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs–but it is amazing how many eggs one can break without making a decent omelette." ~ Professor Charles P. Issawi

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  33. Sette Design commented
    November 17th, 2012 at 12:34pm

    Holly,

    I am impressed by your honesty and clarity. I think it is easier to tell the story when you can look back and feel that you did it.

    I am still immersed in the constant struggle. I have a business painting interiors and furniture. I am an American single mom raising my two girls in Italy. All the pressure is on my shoulders. Just imagine homework in Italian! Think of the shock on the men’s faces when I show up on the job site. There are walls and glass ceilings that I don’t even see or get.

    Yet I have some kind of stupid optimism that pulls me up again and again. Recently I started a blog about faux painting because I feel like I am too isolated from a creative community. I am having so much fun with it. This is what you have done for us Holly. I thank you.
    Cheers Natalie

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  34. Alexandra commented
    November 17th, 2012 at 5:06pm

    I can read your story again and again, it always lifts me up! That picture of you, doing book signings with the dolls and teddies, makes me almost cry. Life sometimes writes the best stories. And it’s really the difficulties you faced that make your story extra special. I love that you are so grateful for your success and still very much down to earth!

    This series of Kelly Hoppen is awesome! It is such a mistake (and yet so easy) to think that succesfull people made it from zero to hero without any diffuculties.

    I’m glad I read your story and the one of Bodie and Fou today (thank you Kelly Hoppen!). I opened a small online shop myself two days ago. Since years I was dreaming of having my own little shop. But somehow, instead of being totally happy, I so fear that I will loose this dream to failure. How stupid but probably very human. But you reminded me again, that there is no failure unless you give up dreaming, learning and working. And even if you do, you can start again. Thank you Holly!
    Alexandra´s last blog post ..mercipapier.com

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  35. G.E. commented
    November 17th, 2012 at 7:21pm

    Hi Holly,
    This year, I left a job that I loved but, had outgrown to pursue my aspirations in interior design. As I type this, I am in the process of leaving that dream opportunity on rather unfortunate terms. I knew, two weeks in that it was going to be a battle and I tried, I tried so very hard to be a fit. The reality of the way this particular business ran and the barrage of emotional and mental abuse drove me to exhaustion. Like another reader, I felt like even the smallest tasks were like walking in deep mud. Nothing I did was ever good enough. I lived in a constant state of anxiety and fear. As I would drive to work, all I could think about what would go wrong today and that I’d rather get hit by a car than have to go back. In an effort to keep up, I did things I’m not proud of when the complete and utter lack of communication in the office caused delays. I was barraged with other things that were “more important” and I would let one of the many balls drop. I wasn’t brave enough to say, hey, you asked me to follow through with this. Let’s get it off the table. I was just digging a hole and drowning. Such painful negativity. I never clicked as part of the team. I was in the BYW Bootcamp last month blogging for this business and in my heart, I felt like I was being dishonest because I couldn’t be genuine which is such a cardinal rule in blogging, I think. I couldn’t bear to connect with my fellow classmates out of fear that I was a fraud…because really, I was. My heart was not in it and I couldn’t get my head to stay focused either. I really hated that I wasn’t doing this for my own blog. Because I can totally do this. I began looking for another job.

    Then, after a particularly bad week and a flurry of small mistakes and miscommunications, there was an awkward mutual acknowledgement that I was not a fit. The thing is? That’s not me. Most people would describe me as organized, detail oriented and hard working. Pardon my grammar but, I ain’t no slouch. However, I was told was not ready for industry, not ready for the job and must just not care. I was asked what I thought I was capable of doing without totally bringing everyone else down and the length of time I would be allowed to remain while seeing other circumstances would be considered. It felt sort of degrading and it made me angry. I am ready, I am fit, I am creative and given the right circumstances, I will be awesome. Right now, I’m still in meltdown mode. I’m scared, I feel like a failure and I’m angry at myself and the situation. A huge part of me is ready to cut the cord and just move on, come what may. It wasn’t part of the plan for this to happen and maybe this is the place I had to go to find the path I need.

    Anyway, thanks for the reminder. I needed it.

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  36. Pilar Giménez Almalé commented
    November 17th, 2012 at 7:41pm

    Wow! that’s a beautiful story, thank you for sharing! :) well, it makes me feel so good to hear that you had 15 readers and you were so happy! I have 29 and I am so ambitious that I just feel I need to have more. But thinking it, the comments thwy write on my blog are really what makes me feel so happy!
    Anyway, I am 19 and I study art at university and music in the conservatory, it’s very hard because is exhausting, sometimes I have 12 hours of class and when I get home I am….. imagine! I just get into bed and forget to eat! Sometimes I want to give up, but I seriously wouldn’t be able to live without music or art, they are 2 basic parts of my life, or they are my life, I’m not sure, that’s why I work so much everyday for them. It really helps me to see that there’s is so many people as you, some work and live from what they really love: you love to decorate and you work with that and seem so happy and proud! My dream is to keep going: to live my life doing what I love: painting, or decorating, or writing music, or everything at the same time! But yeah, sometimes is hard and tiring… but let’s just drink delicious teas and working on it! The most important thing to do in life is what make us happy!
    love,
    Pili.
    Pilar Giménez Almalé´s last blog post ..English grey-patterned dress!

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  37. G.E. commented
    November 17th, 2012 at 8:15pm

    @Lauren Rizzo: I know exactly where you were coming from where you talked about trudging through mud. I am right there now actually. Best of luck to you and congrats on taking control :)

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  38. Glorien commented
    November 17th, 2012 at 9:17pm

    Wow!
    What you says about the conference room happened to me on Thursday. I work in a PR company and I had to organize with a partner the launchment of a new product of a client. We had 13 magazines confirmed but they only attended six, but top ones. Our client was very sad, dissapointed and very angry. When we were coming back from the event, my partner and me started to cry and we said the more you work the more you don’t get things.
    I love PR&Communication industry but there’s too much work and less hours to do all you have to do. I remember when I use to create things, painting, decorating as well and creative things but I don’t have time. This post means a lot for me, it means I’m not alone, that people feel like this sometimes and encourage me to start a creative blog in the following days.

    Thanks Holly for be so modest! Kindest regards from Barcelona :)

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  39. LorB commented
    November 17th, 2012 at 9:27pm

    I’m also stuck and trying to decide what my next move will be. I am writing again which I love, but apart from that my creativity hasn’t moved forward. I’m sure eventually it’ll come to me… Thanks for the inspiration… It’s never too late to start..

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  40. Amy Johnson commented
    November 18th, 2012 at 4:13am

    Holly – I think that I may have been one of your first readers. Your beautiful and insightful work has always brought me peace even on my hardest days. Reading your blog is like pulling on a soft cashmere sweater while sipping a chai tea latte. I had a complicated pregnancy in 2004-2005 and was on bedrest for 27 weeks out of 31. Our boys were born 9 weeks early in March of 2005 and we endured a lot of heartache in those early years. The boys are now doing well, but my one son struggles with the challenges of autism. It was during the boys’ first year or two of life that I began regularly reading design blogs, yours in particular was one my early on favorites. I had another setback in September of 2009 when I broke my back after crashing through the attic ceiling over our garage. Again I spent a lot of time reading as I began my healing process. Your blog was a part of that. I have always loved whimsy, pretty interiors and exteriors. I was raised in a home where creativity was encouraged. My brother and I received new watercolor paint sets and other art supplies every Christmas. I have many fond memories of walking along side my parents into dusty antique stores located in obscure small Ohio towns. My kitchen windowsill is crowded with overgrown purple petunias from two seasons gone by, a Hallmark angel with broken off wings and a pale beige pumpkin patch misshaped gourd with a drawn in smiling mommy alien face and body. I returned to work two years ago to an office job with a long commute. I miss my family, and my back doesn’t always cooperate during those long sometimes 2 hour car rides. I often think about how much I would love to become a writer, or even go back to school to earn a PsyD and work as a part time psychologist. I say out loud that money is holding me back, but I think that fear plays as much of a role. I am nearing the end of my 30s and sometimes feel that it is too late to start anew. And then I think of everything else on my plate and put those aspirations aside. Perhaps I should re-read your article. Your words resonated with me in a way that I don’t yet understand. But in the meantime I thought that I would share a little about me, my love of design, and the important part that your work has played in my life over the last 7 years. Looking forward to tomorrow’s post…Best – Amy

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  41. Michelle commented
    November 18th, 2012 at 6:24am

    Wow, what a great inspirational piece you have written. I started my own interior design business back in March after completing a cert 4 in design. I am so passionate about this career move and I can’t wait to see where this journey will take me. I read your piece through Jen Bishop’s Interior Addicts blog and felt I had to make a comment which I usually don’t. I’ll be following you and I look forward to being inspired by your future posts. Michelle x

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  42. Kate @ Songs Kate Sang commented
    November 18th, 2012 at 6:39am

    I still have the “Where Women Create” where I first read your story. I had a very, very similar experience and when I read your story, I cried… I cried tears of sadness and hope. I have followed your blog every day since.

    Years later and just five weeks ago, I left my day job to be a proper photographer. You have inspired me so much! Thank you.
    Kate @ Songs Kate Sang´s last blog post ..Insta-Friday…

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  43. Dee commented
    November 18th, 2012 at 9:47am

    wow, an inspiring story, I found your blog via a story in the Independent today.

    I love browsing blogs for inspiration – my own style is modern shabby chic – I like mixing up old & new things that go together & my daughter encouraged me to start a blog with my ideas. I am a very keen amateur photographer so it is the perfect place to combine my love of decorating, table settings (another passion) and my own photography & musings …

    I am a great fan of Kelly Hoppen’s neutral colours; I will be stopping by your blog regularly too for inspiration.

    Dee at the Carlton
    Dee´s last blog post ..All wrapped up …

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  44. mundart commented
    November 18th, 2012 at 2:10pm

    Oh Holly!

    T
    H
    A
    N
    K
    S

    Thank you so so much for telling your story.
    I was laughing and a little bit crying while reading.
    Your journey is great and so powerful.
    Some day I will do it. Some day I will be brave and achieve my dream.
    I know it.
    I only need a little bit of time.
    But I know it.

    So, never give up on your dreams!

    Thanks a lot and lovely lovely greetings from Germany, Berlin.
    Marie

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  45. Joanne commented
    November 18th, 2012 at 9:03pm

    Thanks for this! Just what I needed. I was the little girl moving furniture and drawing floor plans too. I decided 3 weeks ago that if I don’t try and do this now, I never will. So here goes…!
    Joanne´s last blog post ..A monkey, a dragonfly and a teacup

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  46. Inge commented
    November 18th, 2012 at 10:15pm

    Like you were stuck in your job, I am too. Stuck in a boring job that I like, but not love.
    But maybe I just made the same click as you did. I wanted to do something more creative, study something, make my brain work, just anything to make me feel more alive than being that boring grumpy girl I have turned into. I’m so serious lately, I am nothing anymore compared to the funny girl I once was a few years ago.
    When I started crying in front of my best friend who came to visit me a few months ago, she told me: I know you want to move back to your family, I know you’re not happy here, but in the meantime you can try to look for something better and keep yourself busy. Maybe you’ll get happier by doing something you love?
    And by going back to school on Thursday evenings, I just got that little sparkle again… Taking these colour & interior design lessons makes me feel alive again. Talking to my teacher, who is just recovering from cancer and building up her professional life again, inspires me. Her story, and yours made me think that I too can change my life. Call me strange or stupid, but I really believe something is giving me “signs” that this is the way, this is the change that is coming…
    I too said last week out loud that one year from now I will quit this job, move to another home, because something inside of me just knows that better times are ahead.
    You reminded me I should go after it myself. Change the things I am not happy about. So thanks Holly… Thanks for telling your own story, for being so real and honest. I never realized you too were a girl who wanted to quit, who also struggled in getting there, so I thank you for that. It shows that you can get there, if only you truly believe and want it!
    I think my change is also on the way, I only have to start believing more in myself. You’re absolutely right when you said: the only person that is holding you back is the one that is staring back at you in the mirror. So true.

    You’re my source of inspiration Holly and I really hope I get to meet you once in real life! Thanks so much!
    Inge´s last blog post ..Your Spot is Hot: warm white interior

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  47. sherri commented
    November 18th, 2012 at 10:24pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. Mine is slightly similar. I have been refinishing furniture since I was a teenager. Growing up a military brat has its limits when establishing roots- so moving from one rented house to another didn’t really allow me to express myself fully- but I managed, black and white worked for me in my teen years.
    I went to school for something I thought I liked but once in the work force I discovered that I truly disliked it- but on the good side I have met friends that I will keep for life.
    So after doing a job I truly disliked for a few years- I got married and had my first child. I figured out when she was about 8 months that I wanted to return to school and take design and decor- which I did.
    Then…my husband accepted a job offer in Warsaw, Poland. And we went. Here is where my life changed. Instead of going back to a job that I disliked I started working in the design field- fitting out houses from a shell and core state. I really loved this but it can take a toll on a person. It is a lot of work. I did this for about 5 years before deciding I wanted to go back to the furniture refinishing business. So I found some cheap retail space in Warsaw and opened a shop where I refinish and sell old furniture as well as paint furniture that clients already have….and I design kitchens.
    My shop has just been open for about a year with overwhelming success. There is nothing similar in Warsaw so I have a good client base- so much so that this month I have just moved to a larger space.
    I am thrilled to be doing this. I am thrilled that people are genuinely interested in what I do.
    I am thrilled that clients come to me instead of me spending half a day in my car sourcing materials.
    I am happy that my Polish has gotten better..(this language is so difficult- and my husband and kids are fluently bilingual).
    I am thrilled that the internet has made the world a smaller place and that it is possible to change careers instead of working in a job that is hated and counting the days till retirement.
    The cliche is true- if you like what you do it doesn’t feel like work.
    sherri´s last blog post ..The restyle of the restyle

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  48. Alpha commented
    November 19th, 2012 at 12:09am

    Hi Holly, thank you for such an inspiring story. I am also restructuring my career now. I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interior Design but never really joined a design firm when I graduated. I worked in a magazine instead helping set up the sets and tagging along with the photographers and models. I did that for a while and then I got married and had children. I decided to be a stay-at-home mum and raise my two boys. Like you, I relocated and moved to another country. I have been living in Australia for 8 years now. I am now 41 years old and at the point where I’m finding myself again. I never really stopped being creative. I have a blog which I am constantly changing and I am also a demonstrator for a stamp company. I also do classes for children during the school holidays. I dream of having a brick and mortar place of my own one day so that I can have more space – a studio with lots of tables for budding creative paper crafters. I dream of decorating it to be a cosy, stylish place with a cafe perhaps ( I love a good coffee). You are right, there is no elevator to success. It is so hard and I find myself struggling all the time. It’s a long hard road for me and I stumble all the time. I’ll get there. Just have to keep soldiering on and thanks for the advice on the blog. It’s true what your teacher said. Thanks again Holly for being an inspiration to so many people. Cheers and have a good day!

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  49. Christa Sorauf commented
    November 19th, 2012 at 12:37am

    I couldn’t agree more! When you’re not aligned with your true purpose in life your soul dies a little more every day, but when you pursue your calling passionately, everything seems to fall in place, eventually. I left my job as a creative director at an ad agency to start my own stationery company. I had no idea what I was doing so I just pretended for the first year. Apparently, it was my calling because my first card line went into Target and I eventually sold my company to DesignDesign and am licensed artist. Work is no longer work but a reason to bound out of bed every day so I can create. I have been blessed more than I could ever have imagined and I deeply believe it’s because I pursued my true purpose . So glad you found yours, you’re incredibly talented and your blog is so beautiful. Keep inspiring!

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  50. Ella commented
    November 19th, 2012 at 2:55am

    Holly,
    Thank you for being authentic! I find it interesting that my somehow my Dad talked me out of art school and I went the business path. I guess the starving artist syndrome scared me, but what scared me more, was maybe he didn’t think I was talented enough. I graduated from college, married a sailor and have moved a lot. Blogging is helping me become who I was meant to be. I am going to try after being published a bit, to see if maybe I can teach some classes. I still lurk in doubt, but I am trying to shake that outfit. I’m working on new items to put in my shop. I think fear has shrouded me. It felt like my Dad didn’t believe in me and now I hear my husband saying things, like him. I have unique ideas, that I have submitted to magazines that haven’t been published. I do not doubt my talent, just perhaps it was the wrong publication. Simple seems to be what they want and I’m a bit more complex. Taking your class BYW has helped, but I still have a long road ahead. Being a military spouse and working here and there, well it has made the career path difficult. I have moved 17x in 27 yrs.
    I still need to narrow my focus, but know in my heart I’m on the right path-I just need to push through and pave my way. I have had illness n’ death detour my journey, but I won’t give up. If I do, I won’t be me. I am at a place, where if you aren’t going to embrace who I am, than I will find people who do. I was chosen recently, by an author online as a blog they would miss, if I stopped blogging. He is working on his third book. I know I have an unique voice and just need to keep onward and learn more of your lessons from class!

    Thank you for being you! @>———-
    Ella´s last blog post ..Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest

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  51. sharon commented
    November 19th, 2012 at 5:19am

    Inspirational. This is why I save your blog entries for reading last. I love to read what you write because not only do you write about beautiful design, you inspire at the same time. The questions you pose at the end of your blog posts feel so relevant, and after reading others’ comments, it’s apparent that they are relevant to a whole community of people. Thank you for sharing your story. 7 years ago, I went back to school for graphic design at my local community college. After graduation, I went to work for a small firm, and a year and a half later, myself and two co-workers started our own firm. Despite this, I am still struggling, in many ways, to figure out how I want to be creative for a career. So reading your story at this time was very serendipitous for me.

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  52. Eleanor commented
    November 19th, 2012 at 10:01am

    @Viviane: Thanks so much for your story. I just went to your site, amazing! bookmarked!
    LG,
    Eleanor

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  53. Eleanor commented
    November 19th, 2012 at 10:29am

    What serendipity. I really needed this post this morning!

    I was working myself crazy at a corporate job for years and feeling creatively dead. A surprise heart surgery on a business trip launched the process of soul-searching and figuring out an exit strategy to finally quit a couple of years later. It’s a long story but if anyone wants to read it, it’s here: http://empapers.com/de/how-and-why-i-quit-my-day-job

    Striking out on your own is so rewarding but it is also very hard. There are such highs and lows! I’m in a bit of a slump right now, and feeling really discouraged but reading your post (and all the comments and stories here) really reminded me that the struggle is worth it!

    I especially loved these passages:

    “Oftentimes we need to hit rock bottom in order to stop for a moment and look back up again towards the light.”

    “I was the one who nearly gave up a million times ever since. I was told many times to give up. I’ve been copied. I’ve been used and tossed aside by people looking to become my friend only for my brand or my audience. There has been a lot of uphill climbing.” – It’s really helpful to know that everyone has felt like giving up at some time or another!

    and finally, this:

    “It has been said, “There is no elevator to success, only a staircase”, and that is so true. The reward of the climb is that you are stronger than you were when you began and you feel so good about yourself. And with each success, you are driven to keep succeeding, to continue climbing and to also enjoy the journey as you go – and also to stop now and then and relax and appreciate what you have TODAY. ”

    I’m going to paste that list bit to my bulletin board!

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  54. Siren commented
    November 19th, 2012 at 12:18pm

    Thank you for your honesty and words of frankness. I really needed to know other people lose their heads in conference rooms as well!

    Now to just move on and get myself sorted in an area I really truly want to feel fulfilled by what I do, rather than just whatever pays the bills.

    Thanks again.

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  55. Margarita Lorenzo commented
    November 19th, 2012 at 3:07pm

    Hello Holly, I read the article over at the blog last week, thanks for sharing your own story behind your life and business. Giving up my dreams is the last thing I will ever do. I am still in London after nearly 15 years, several badly paid jobs, (my starting salary as a waitress was £3,60, working an average of 13 hours per day) and many days of crying due to how hard life can be in this city and the misserable weather, etc…Despite being away from my family, now hot boyfriend, good weather, food, the sun and beach, I am still here because of my dream of becoming a good designer and have my own business seems to be still very relevant in my life and top in my priorities.

    I am very happy as I can see how things are finally happening, and I get to do what I love, earning a decent income to provide with a conformable life. I still work as a freelance graphic designer (which I like and it is ok), to pay for the household bills, food for a greedy cat and myself, but mainly work at chocolate creative.

    I still have a long way to go, and I don’t know what life will bring me in the next few years, but I hope to be doing this, perhaps from Gran Canaria or both here and there. I have been blessed with the support of a lot of people, bloggers such as yourself, (I hope you know how much you have helped in spreading the word about chocolate, and for that I forever thanks you), and a very determined personality that has allowed me to see beyond my countless fears, low days and difficult moments, form here I want to tell anyone who is considering a similar path, DO IT! don’t delay the decision anymore, days gone by days you have missed on great opportunities, Believe in your talent, passion and determination, and go for it. Marga

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  56. Melissa de la Fuente commented
    November 19th, 2012 at 4:36pm

    SO inspiring, as always hunnie! I got tears in my eyes, just thinking about how far you have come and how much you have accomplished. You should be so very proud of yourself. It truly is AMAZING.
    xoxo
    Melis
    Melissa de la Fuente´s last blog post ..Little things & little moments ( on a friday)

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  57. Kika commented
    November 19th, 2012 at 5:42pm

    Thank you for sharing your story:) I have 3 kids and homeschool but decided last January to return to school p/t to study holistic nutrition – didn’t make sense logically but I am just ready. I struggle with the decision fairly regularly b/c I don’t want to neglect my family as I pursue this ‘new’ dream (really I’ve been studying on my own for several years, just not formally) and b/c I am now 41 years old and it feels strange to be building a new career at this stage of life. In my 20′s I studied to be a teacher and do believe I am a teacher… just not one meant to spend my days in a classroom full of children. Much of the resistance I meet is internal but I have this ”knowing” that I need to push through; that this is so much about the process and that the final result (as in what I end up doing with this) is less important than pushing through my fears, pushing through the challenge of harder material and creating a business plan, and so forth. I so desperately desire the growth.

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  58. Nicola commented
    November 20th, 2012 at 4:09am

    I was sat here at my laptop and having a little panic… Because today I gave my notice in to my tedious office job to pursue a creative career, hopefully encompassing visual merchandising or interior styling. And… quite weirdly came across your blog and this post. Panic gone!

    I had a similar breakdown a few months ago, after years of doing what is”right” and what is “expected”. I had to go to a counsellor for a bit of support and she told me I needed to do some dreaming. Dream I did and now I’m starting afresh.

    I actually feel like I’ve emerged from wherever I’ve been hiding for the last year. I used to decorate my family home as well and have been obsessed with House Beautiful since I was 10. Why I have tried to channel myself into a different direction, I don’t know. Reading about your story is like reading a blog post I wrote the other day.

    2013 is going to my year of self belief and you’ve just made me believe in myself even more. Thank you!

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  59. Jana commented
    November 20th, 2012 at 1:46pm

    Dear Holly, I have read your article on Kelly’s blog with tears in my eyes and smile on my face. My story is, that I have decided to quit my job at an insurance company (and yes, those huge excel files as well :-) and become an interior designer. And I also started my blog, as someone told me it’s good for business. And now I love blogging even more than designing. And as all the great digital magazines appeared like Rue or Lonny, I started dreaming of my own czech digital magazine like that. I took all the courage to contact great bloggers around the czech internet and ask them to make a magazine. What the surprise they all agreed! And today, we publish Bohemia Living. It will take a long way and a lot of work to take the magazine to advertisers so as it brings us also some money, so I could say “I make a magazine for living”. But I do not give up, and even if I sometimes feel like give it up, the readers keep me going. By the way, there are both Kelly Hoppen’s books (she’s been one of the first designers I have learned about and a great source of inspiration) in my bookcase as well as brand new czech version of Decorate – so excited that it has been published in czech language, too. :-). Thank you for all your inspiration on your blog, in your books and thanks for sharing your story with us! Jana
    Jana´s last blog post ..Švédský interiér s chytrými nápady

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  60. Genevieve commented
    November 21st, 2012 at 2:34am

    Thank you so much for sharing your truth and giving us all hope! The little excerpt about the melt down sounds EXACTLY like me. And now I”m in interior design school! Fancy that! And more recently entered the world of blogging, so I guess I “exist” now. I so understand how this platform fuels your creativity. I absolutely love school, love design, love blogging! I hope I can be half of what you’ve become.

    Dream big, stay humble, trudge on!

    Thanks again!

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  61. Jennifer Elizabeth Crone commented
    November 21st, 2012 at 4:35am

    Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us, your fans. I am currently the girl on the floor of the conference room, knowing I need to make a change in order to be happy but unsure what to do. I am an event planner and designer and writer (food, travel, design) and am currently unemployed. I just started out again after moving across country and am trying to figure out what to do and how to make ends meet until that happens. Your words have given me more oomph when lately all I want to do is give up, so thank you again.
    Jennifer Elizabeth Crone´s last blog post ..Quiet Like a Flower

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  62. Kelli commented
    November 21st, 2012 at 1:30pm

    Great story Holly! I started my career path back in 2000 in Corporate America, stayed there for a few years, but was not happy. I became a marketing teacher after that. I loved the students and the feeling of making a difference, but it still wasn’t right. About a year and a half ago I had my “ephinany”..,that’s when I took the plunge and began working to start my own photography company. It was an intense journey and continues to be a lot of work….but I love every minute of it. I love the business side of things and I love that I finally have a creative output. It can be scary to take the plunge, but rewarding in so many ways.
    Kelli´s last blog post ..Talk About it Tuesday – Salon Apryl

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  63. Melody commented
    November 22nd, 2012 at 7:32am

    Loved your sharing! I’ve had many of your “conference room” moments!

    5 years ago I quit my super boring insurance company job to pursue graphic design and it was one heck of an adventure trying to earn my living and study at the same time. The worst moment was when the rent is due and I don’t have enough money to pay! Thank God those days were over!

    Worked for a couple of years in an advertising agency in Melbourne but had to leave when my visa expired. So I guess it’s time for a new adventure!

    Keep up the great work! Cheers!
    Melody´s last blog post ..BYE MELBOURNE

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  64. Vilma commented
    November 24th, 2012 at 8:58pm

    Thank you so much!
    I’m an interior designer, and I LOVE it since I remember! I’m not in the spot that I dream of, but I’m not online, so I probably don’t exist! My promise today is: Change it!

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  65. Stephanie Fig commented
    November 25th, 2012 at 8:02am

    WOW! I try every day to do what I love and what I feel is beautiful. I hope to pass this on to my children. Thank you for your story. I love to hear about people who follow their dreams and dream big!

    Stephanie at The Enchanted Fig Tree Online Vintage Boutique

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  66. Genelle commented
    November 26th, 2012 at 12:36am

    What a great essay! I learned more about you and feel more inspired than ever. I’m at a point in my life where I want to make the most of my craft skills and lose the 8-5 administrative job. I just outlined my next year and hoped to be a full-time crafter by the end of 2013! Thank you for keeping me inspired and motivated!

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  67. Nina commented
    November 28th, 2012 at 10:09am

    Holly, you are a true shinning star!
    I will just say (as you said it in the essay): Isn’t it funny how the Universe works?
    I am sending you lots of love, as you did the same for me and so many of your readers…

    Now I have to scoop back through so many of beautiful and inspiring comments of your lovely readers!

    Love, Nina
    Nina´s last blog post ..i wish, i wish, i wish…

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  68. Sarah commented
    November 29th, 2012 at 4:36am

    Thank you for your inspiring essay!
    I work in a creative field (music) although it’s strange that sometimes it feels like punching a time clock.
    Sarah´s last blog post ..Time for You

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  69. Rachel H commented
    December 1st, 2012 at 5:31am

    Thank you for sharing your story so honestly. I had my meltdown moment in my job this year and after crying often and dreading going to work, I reduced my job from 5 days to 3 days per week. I’ve lived more frugally and spent to the extra 2 days researching my career change. It’s been a challenging process but 6 months later I’ve learn heaps and am moving towards a more people focused and caring profession. I feel alive again.
    Rachel H´s last blog post ..Thoughts On Feeling Shiny Again

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  70. Katja commented
    December 11th, 2012 at 9:46am

    This is such an inspirational essay!! I’m saving it to my favorites so I can read now and then, every time I have my little breakdowns. I always wanted to do something creative but unfortunately life led me into opposite direction (due to the certain circumstances) and I often feel like I let down teenage enthusiast I`ve been. Then 10 years ago I have finished 1 year interior design course and was feeling very happy fulfilling part of my dream. Again, unfortunately I parted away from design day by day which led me into some kind of depression ( OK, not the real one). So, I totally understand what you are talking about Holly. Now, I know and I want so strong something creative to do more than ever. I say something because I still feel lost and don`t know where to start from. The economy in Croatia is so bad and design is something last on the list what people will afford although it is a undeveloped area over here. Till then I’m so happy I accidentally found out about decor8 ( wish it was before) and at least I can connect through your stories. Thank you Holly.

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