A couple of weeks ago, on my dear friends Kat and Em's site The Refined Woman, I had the pleasure of doing an interview about everything from how I launched my career to my biggest challenges. I always think sharing your story is a very powerful thing. Although my story is not perfect, it's mine. I have to say... I have loved the ride so far. The interview is below. Be sure to check out more uplifting and wonderfully authentic stories like this on The Refined Woman.
Growing up I really wanted to be
A mix between Meriwether Lewis and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Women. A strong, exploring woman!
My most-used emojiis are
The pizza and red heart because of my overwhelming love for pizza.
My go-to order at a coffee shop is
A decaf black coffee. I’ve been off caffeine for about 2 years now. I would like to think I’m a little less cray because of it.
I don’t know how I ever lived without
My husband. He makes a mean breakfast (lol)!
One thing people don’t know about me is
I’m the distant relative of Meriwether Lewis (Chief explorer of the Lewis and Clark Expedition). I also cannot blow a bubble with gum for the life of me.
My real life hero is
My mother, who has been with me through everything. She started an organization to help cancer patients and helped launch an after-school club to provide a safe place for students to play and learn. She also supports a center which serves kids in need. If I can make half the difference in the world as she has, I’ll be blessed. Go mom!
What I love about my work is
I love the flexibility to travel and work with my husband. There are days or sometimes weeks when we hardly get to see each other, but other times, we can tackle large-scale projects together. We have so much fun. I love creating lifelong memories with him!
The hardest thing about my work is
There is no set stopping point. I am always working on the go. It’s hard to know when to truly decompress. Tech breaks are a must. I cherish those electronic-free moments.
How I got started with my current career
I was working in corporate fashion. The intensity and bottom-line mentality was stressful. I realized it was no place for me. I wanted to try to make a go of it on my own.
Luckily, I had some great people to mentor me and help me grow and expand. I had already created Being Elliott. Styling and consulting came as a natural extension of my blog.
I’ve always been a very visual person. I feel blessed to work in a very visual field. My work is not always a picnic, however, I often have to power through stressful moments. I tell anyone interested in freelance the first years can be tough. It’s important to have a strong foundation and support system.
The dumbest thing I did when I was starting out
I said yes to too many projects at once. The result: I felt like an inexperienced court jester trying to juggle fire. We all know how that turns out!
My typical day looks like
I always start my day with a power smoothie! You can’t go wrong with kale, spinach, water and a wide assortment of healthy add-ins!
I might be on location styling. I might have my own photo shoot. I may even have to style and shoot right in my own home.
My biggest interruptions are unexpected delays. I live and work in New York, where life is dependent on subways, cabs, walking, and, of course weather! That can get crazy!
Everything is deadline oriented. That can be frightening. An unexpected call, someone arriving late… it’s like watching dominoes fall. I have to be creative to stop the avalanche!
I used to think success meant
Like every little girl, I looked at magazines and thought flawless beauty, perfect clothes and lots of money spelled success! Of course, I also thought you had to add New York living to the mix!
My current definition of success is
I believe success is finding beauty in imperfection, celebrating unique qualities and, most importantly, sharing love.
An example of when I had to push through my insecurities/fear of taking risks was when
I don’t always have the best self-confidence. When facing big projects, that negative voice in my head screams at me. I try to remember God gave me a gift to use. In any job, you’ve got to be open to failure. Don’t let that paralyze you. It’s OK to make mistakes. I’ve made my share. It isn’t the end of the world.
I know my work/life balance is out of sync when
I’m crabby! I need to stop, pray, eat a healthy snack (My go-to snacks are almonds, kale chips, or fruit) and focus on others.
The last time I created something I was proud of was
My husband Aaron and I created a short film which was featured at Cannes. I also just created and directed a unique handbag commercial which not only featured handbags, but also the strength, dignity and beauty of women. It’s something I’m really proud of.
I wish I could tell my younger self
Don’t be so worried about tomorrow. Focus outward. Everyone is dealing with their own struggles. Help others feel better. In the end – you will feel better.
The legacy I hope to leave is
My mom says she wants her tombstone to read “She loved God…and it showed.” I’m with my mother. I hope people are able to see how much I love them.