Today I am out of the office so I’m coming to you from my alma mater, the University of Florida (Go Gators!). It’s been a fun weekend at a sorority reunion so it’s a good time to remind you that it’s important as your company continues to mature and evolve to look back at where you came from and what got you here. So today I’m sharing a bit about my story. 

I left Louisville Kentucky, vowing never to return, in the summer of 1991 for Gainesville, Florida. I chose UF after promising to myself when I was about 10 years old that I would get out Kentucky and go to school with my summer camp friends. If you know me at all, you know that test-taking has never been a strong suit of mine, so I entered the school through the art school, with an intended major of graphic design. It took one semester of three-hour long classes analyzing what the blue square in a painting on a wall in the museum represented before determining I should switch into the liberal arts school and determine my major “undecided.” A few years later I found the world of Public Relations and decided to become a student of the UF School of Journalism and Communications and major in P.R. I loved the creativity that came with that field, but more through words than through visual art. 

I spent two summers in Washington, DC, volunteering at a few organizations and eventually getting a for-credit internship at a small agency that handled P.R. for people like F. Lee Bailey, among a list of other tasks. Through that position I learned about association management and that planning the logistics behind conventions and tradeshows was an actual career. This is a very short version of the story about how I ended up in Chicago after graduation working at a large association management company, planning tradeshows and conventions for all types of groups. I wound my way through the event/meeting planning world, eventually finishing out that career in NYC after my engagement to my now husband. 

We made the decision in 2002 to move back to my hometown (sometimes I kick myself that we actually made this decision and sometimes I’m really grateful we did so… depends on the day). We were thinking about starting a family so flying off to Vegas at a moment’s notice was no longer an option (my husband’s job schedule required one of us be the constant, default parent, and that was going to be me). 

I went through several iterations of being my own boss. I started with a gift basket company (Complete Basketcase) and moved onto to an online website I owned with a friend where we featured fun gifts. When that business wound down I enjoyed working with those gift manufacturers so much I started repping their products to local businesses, where I became friends with a customer who needed help with his company’s Facebook page. From there, this part of the business was born and I’ve never regretted it. 

It’s fun to  think about where I came from – and to think about where I’m going. For the moment, though, I’m just enjoying the time we had this weekend as a bunch of 50-ish-year-old women pretended they were still in a sorority and spent all weekend laughing. 

In Judaism we used the phrase “L’dor v’dor” which means “from generation to generation.” Today I’ll be going on a tour of UF with my son, a prospective student. I don’t know if Gainesville will be the right fit for him, but it’s fun to see it through his eyes as he considers his future and all that is before him. 

So this week, I encourage you to also take a minute, take a break. Look back through those old pictures and those old plans. I’m currently in the midst of plans for my new brand (launching soon!) so we are having fun building those timelines and comparing all the options. As we look back, we can’t help but also look forward. 

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
(502) 533-1328