“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”
– Maya Angelou
Today, I’m going to introduce you to two courageous women who understand the phrase “follow your dream.” These ladies were working hard in their jobs, but something wasn’t quite right. They each had different circumstances, and when faced with family choices and job downsizing, they were forced to reflect on their lives, what they wanted and didn’t want, and what they refused to tolerate. There circumstances may have been different, but they both discovered what it means to follow your dream! Here are their stories.
Lorrie Robertson– Lorrie Robertson Fine Art
It’s hard to even describe this woman. She is sweet, funny, intelligent, a great cook, with an absolutely infectious laugh and talent that courses through her veins and oozes out of her fingertips onto paper or canvas. Her talent is incredible! When you peruse her Lorrie Robertson Fine Art Instagram page, have a look at some of the comments people make~ mind-blowing, spectacular, magnificent, mesmerizing, magic and it goes on and on.
Overcoming Childhood Trauma
Lorrie’s talent wasn’t always forefront in her mind though; she once worked at an office job as a supervisor in what she describes as a “toxic environment” with people who didn’t value her and “resorted to bullying in order to deflect from their own failures.” She says that when she was a child, she didn’t have the most exemplary role models, and as a result, she just accepted and adapted to “uncomfortable situations” internalizing blame, and she found it difficult to properly cope with stress.
When you’re treated poorly as a child, especially by family, not only does that affect your self-esteem, but you tend to find relationships or accept relationships (personal or professi0nal) that are similar in nature. It’s not because you want that same unhealthy relationship. It’s because that’s what you know. It feels familiar. It’s hard work to heal yourself from these damaging patterns. Lorrie has done some work on this. I dug a little deeper on the subject of this in past blogs titled Do You Value Yourself? and When You’ve Been Hurt.
“Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
Follow Your Dream, Lorrie~
A few years ago, she was laid off from her job; truly a blessing in disguise. There were a lot of emotions to work through, and she used her love of art to express and comfort herself. It was as she says “cathartic.” She realized that she had let her artwork take a backseat due to stress. Lorrie learned to put herself first, practicing self-care and self-love. She began to improve and honed her skills to the point where she now does commissioned, custom work, selling to people all over Canada, the U.S. and internationally.
Lorrie has grown from having a difficult time even accepting a compliment for her astounding pieces, to “hoping they will like it”, to being confident in her ability to sell and promote her pieces. Honestly, I’ve seen so much of her work and commissioned one for myself and I can tell you honestly, she does not need to sell her work. Her work sells itself.
Lorrie says “I have a new sense of self-worth and I’m ready for so much more!”
Do yourself a great favour, and check out Lorrie’s Instagram and Facebook pages. Her talent, creativity and attention to detail boggles my mind. I have said this as have many others…Lorrie Robertson’s drawings and paintings often look better than an actual photograph.
Thank you Lorrie. You will encourage many other women and young girls simply by sharing your story and your incredible talent. The courage you show by following your dream is inspiring!
“Everyone has talent. What’s rare is the courage to follow it to the dark places where it leads.”
― Erica Jong
Christina Tischler- Christina Tischler Handstamped Jewelry
Talk about a career change! Christina originally went to school to become a police officer and graduated top of her class. A young woman, top of her Police Foundations class!
Can You Have It All?
Christina eventually settled into security work because it worked for her family situation, but she often wondered “what if” she had chosen to further her career into policing and if she made the right decision. As women, we often feel we need to choose between career or family, or if we want a family, we feel we need a job that allows for a 9-5 work day so we can be home for them. We really do want it all, don’t we ladies? Some people say you can’t do it, you simply can’t have it all. I call bullshit. You can have and do what you want in your career, you may just have to get creative in figuring out how to have it all.
Even though Christina “wanted to be a cop”, she also knew that if she had to choose, her preference was to be a stay-at-home mom when she had kids; the goal being to be home with them at least until they went off to school. She questioned how she could make it happen financially speaking. We all have to make money, right? Well, she got creative. She figured it out! Christina shares her thoughts in this video by defiantsheep.com. Sound on to watch! Motherhood and Entrepreneurship Don’t Have To Compete.
Use Your Talent
When I asked Christina if she had always been creative, she said guessed she had always been creative, but just didn’t really realize how creative she actually was and never really “made use of it”. So, what was the turning point? When did she realize that she was in fact very creative and very good at what she created? When her youngest daughter was born, Christina made a gift for her doula to thank her.
The doula loved the piece that Christina made and asked her if she’d ever thought about selling her jewellery. She was encouraged by her doula’s comments and suggestion that she attend a small show and bring samples of her pieces to sell. One show turned into more shows, and it just snowballed from there. While Christina had never before imagined selling her hand-crafted jewellery, and never before thought of herself as becoming a business owner, she said she just “let it flow, letting it happen organically (in a natural way, unaffected by meddling-*educalingo.com).
Follow Your Dream, Christina~
In the beginning, she worked with items she found around the house, such as actual metal washers. She would find the best ones, hand polish them to get them into the best possible condition for her creations. It was a way to make her pieces without having to purchase the raw materials. With her husband working full time, it afforded Christina the time and freedom to work on her craft as her kids got a bit older and were in school.
“The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it. ”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
She started small and with very little expense. She says her first tool set cost her $35.00. As her business has grown, she now has sets that cost up to $1,000. That’s growth, from hard work. Now, Christina tries to work smarter, not harder. Where she used to gather scrap pieces of metal, and grind and hand polish, she can now afford to buy metal that is pre-polished, giving her more time to spend on the creative aspect of her craft.
When customers ask for a certain style or a custom piece, she does her research and creates just the perfect piece. My family members and friends have purchased several of Christina’s stamped metal jewellery and everyone is wowed by her work and touched by personal messaged, quotes etc. Go to Christina’s Instagram page to view some of her work.
When I asked her about the pros, cons and challenges she experiences, Christina said that working for herself gives her more freedom to live her life her way. When she needs or wants more family time, she is able to adjust her schedule to have it. Family time is very important to Christina so she takes the summers to be with her kids and husband, and can have a longer Christmas break for instance. Her schedule is “ever evolving” she says, with her work hours fluctuating with the seasons, as certain times of the year are busier than others, especially Mother’s Day and pre-Christmas. She usually works 8-12 hours per day when she has lots of orders, or upcoming shows.
I can tell you that I have often seen her hard at work in her studio at 3 a.m! This woman is a hard worker. Another benefit of owning her own business is that she determines her income by how many pieces she sells. She finds that she is able to afford extras for her kids, such a sports, trampolines and other big-ticket items that they may not have otherwise been able to afford.
One of the challenges she faces is social media marketing, keeping up with regular posting. She mentioned to me that every time she posts on Instagram, she receives an influx of orders. That’s the bonus. The challenge is to keep up with orders, while showcasing her work on social media and then fulfilling those orders, and preparing for shows, or craft sales. Like I said, she’s a busy lady. Another challenge when she’s in a busy season is to keep a healthy work/life balance. When you work from home, sometimes you work too many hours.
Throw Convention Away!
At times, she says, she has pondered working at a “conventional” job where she would have stability, benefits etc., but when she does, it causes her anxiety because she values the freedom of her schedule, and being home with her kids when necessary.
For now, Christina is very happy making jewellery. Watch this video for a glimpse into her world. This video also created by defiantsheep.com.
Thank you, Christina for being an example of courage to so many women. You are a sweet, gentle soul, a fabulous mom and a great neighbour! You inspire me, and now you will be an inspiration to all who read this blog.
Thanks for reading. Check back next Sunday for another post in Parts Of Ourselves~