Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Connecting the Dots, and Big Dreams.

Standing on the edge of big things. That's where I am. Now if only I were wearing such cute shoes! I find myself living in flip flops these days, though I certainly won't complain about that. I have been sitting on some ideas about where I would like to take my creative business, and really working on dreaming big. I am going to take a leap and mention some of the things that are running around in my head these days. I have only told a handful of people, and I'm thinking now is the time to put it out there for all to hear.

As you know, I'm an interior designer, and have been for 15 years. At the tail end of working for a large company which was about 5 years ago, I got really burned out. I wasn't getting satisfaction from my job anymore. The emphasis had become more about turn and burn...budget over good design, and about piling on as many clients/projects on me as possible. The truth is, I was miserable. I began my own design business, but the burn out and all of the anguish I was feeling as a result of the prior few years, was ruling my life. As a result, I have sort of thrown the baby out with the bath water, as far as seeing myself as a designer. I feel myself missing it more and more. This is part of the puzzle.

During this time, I began making my rings, doing a little soul searching, realizing that I had put my identity as an artist into a box, and exploring the things that make me really happy. Things that make my soul feel good. Part of this is getting back to painting. You see, when I was doing a lot of design work, that is when I was most happy...when I was procuring art, framing art and art prints, pulling people's art together into collections, etc. There has been this artcentric thing happening with me the whole time. Another part of the puzzle.

I also, over the last few years (really, a lot longer but that's story for another time) have dreamed of having a little lifestyle shop. One where I offer flea market and vintage finds for the home (and including a rack or two of vintage clothing), artwork, jewelry, as well as some specially selected items. Also, part of the puzzle.

Along with all of that, I have always had the feeling that in this lifetime, my work is to encourage / empower girls and women. What that would look like...I haven't been too sure. I really want to make a difference. I want to give back, and be a part of something that is bigger than me. Another puzzle piece.

I have this thing for connecting the dots...that's how I ended up going to design school in the first place. There is something to be said for looking back - all the way to childhood. There are answers there. I looked at everything that I've ever wanted to do, and thought about whether there was any kind of common thread. And in those things, I discovered that everything I had ever wanted to do was about how the physical space involved would look - the reason why I enrolled in school to study design. Lately, I have been connecting the dots again. And when I look back, there was a common thread of bringing women together. Gathering women in spaces that feel good, that light the soul, spaces that are uplifting.

A couple of months ago, I woke up out of sleep and had this stream of thoughts running through my head. A sort of connecting of the dots, or putting together of the puzzle pieces. Leading up to this night, I had been thinking that I would like to use my design skills to create spaces for women in transition.

On this particular night, here is what my stream of thoughts looked like...I could donate my time to design spaces for women who are going through some sort of life change, and need a boost. Would I need to form a non profit? Would I get people / companies to donate furniture, etc? I could use my love for vintage, and flea market finds to source some of the things that would go into these spaces. Oh, I could have a little shop that I set up to house and sell those items, and maybe that would help me raise money to design the spaces! What if that store could grow into a larger space, that could act as both a shop and a place to gather? I could use art from the artists / photographers that inspire me in the spaces (and maybe some of my own!). The larger space could have workshops taught by other creative women (and maybe a few by me), to help women explore and get in touch with their creativity. Classes / workshops in things like mixed media art, writing, painting, knitting, photography, jewelry making, etc. It could be a little safe haven for women to come and play, shop, commune, and grow. Maybe there would be specific classes that have a class going on at the same time for little ones, so that Moms that don't have baby sitters can still come and have time to create. And of course...conveniently, it could have a little cafe next door so everyone could hang and eat yummy healthy food. All of this supporting me designing these spaces, full of fabulous things, and art that is both beautiful and has positive meaning. Your space is a reflection of you and who you are; it's so important to have your surroundings reflect the real you...not the chaos, or drama or whatever may be going on in your life. That's what I would love to help achieve.

I let myself go even bigger and farther than what I've written above...I will do a part two soon. There is a lot to this, and I have been feeling a little overwhelmed and unsure of how this could work. I have also been feeling a sense of excitement and wonder at it all. This is what's really been going on in my head these days. I thought that this may just be the best place to start...putting it out there into the universe. Saying some prayers. Practicing a little magical thinking. And allowing myself to be seen and heard.

If you have thoughts, insights, are somehow part of how the universe is going to help me make this happen, or just want to write me a love note, please do in my comments. Or you can send me an email at - olive and hope {at} gmail {dot} com

{photo via sfgirlbybay} and it's for sale too : )


  1. I love that you posted this. I love that you are feeling safe to talk about it and moving into that direction. D -- I adore you and your love for people will make them feel so warm and wonderful. You know what you want to do now and I truly believe that the doors will start opening and your path will start lighting up.

  2. before i read anymore...your first paragraph reads exactly like my previous life! interior designer, 10 years commercial designer with a glass ceiling on where to go combined with complete burn-out lead to a complete reinvention of myself as an acupuncturist. and i've never looked back.

    ok, back to reading...

  3. and boy do i love your vision! you can do's got a great community feel and i think you're onto something great. i think the first part, of having a little shop to raise money for your dream could be a good way to start - you've got the love of flea market/vintage and your design background...there's a lot of things to consider and it's very exciting.

  4. thanks Jess. Your support means the world. xo

    Kristen I think the design/reinventing thing is part of the reason Dar thought we should meet. So freaking cute that you posted first, and went back to reading. Love that. And thank you for your encouraging words about my vision. There is definitely a lot to consider. yikes!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing your Big Dreams with us! I know how scary that it, but it's so so inspiring. Can't wait to see how your dreams unfold!

  6. Be in the impossibilty of everything being possible...

  7. Ok so as I'm connecting my own dots, you make it crystal clear why you are my right people:

    "Along with all of that, I have always had the feeling that in this lifetime, my work is to encourage / empower girls and women. What that would look like...I haven't been too sure. I really want to make a difference. I want to give back, and be a part of something that is bigger than me."

    I want to give back, and be a part of something that is bigger than me, TOO!!! I've envisioned a sports/homework/scholarship camp for girls for're inspiring me to talk about it more, with the intent of actually making it happen.

    Your words here today, my dear, are awe-inspiring, and I'm right here beside you (maybe a little north of you 'o)) cheering you and your passion and your excitement on!! You're a hero to some little girl, to some woman who doesn't quite know it yet....

  8. Michelle thanks for your encouragement, it means the world! xo

    Nic your words are soooo true, and are going to be written in my journal. Thanks for the link btw..amazing beauty!

    Dian, yes please join me in talking about your vision. It is such a beautiful one. You are pure authentical goodness, and I heart you.

  9. i so love that you posted all this and you know that i think it is all doable and beautiful ... i think the first steps on the journey as so telling and these first steps of yours ~ so beautiful xoxox

  10. I'm looking forward to the gathering place, you know I'll be there!!!


you are lovely. thanks for taking the time to comment.