"Long Time Coming..."


Five years ago, seeking a creative outlet, I simultaneously launched a blog and business driven by my desire to create a beautiful home on a modest budget.  Things began with friends and associates requesting my help sprucing up their homes and grew from there.

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Looking to learn as much as possible in the area, I made the decision to enroll in a well-regarded, local residential design program and began chipping away at the coursework for the 36-credit hour program.  You can read more about that decision HERE.


It sounded simple enough but working a full-time career, going to school and managing a business in its infancy was no small feat.  I quickly realized that my weekends, evenings and even most weekday lunch breaks were no longer my own.  It was a huge sacrifice but the more I worked, the better I became and the more I learned.




I started to consume every little morsel of design info and inspiration I could find; attending conferences, reading designer's blogs, studying the great's work.
Design Bloggers Conference 2015
The days, months and years passed and the client list began to spill over.  I quickly had to come to grips with the fact that there was NO way I could manage multiple clients, work full-time and be a straight "A" student and thus the waiting list was born.  At the same time, much to my amazement, I started to get emails from magazine editors about features in local and eventually national publications.

 

 
While the thought was terrifying, it wasn't long before I began to imagine life as a full-time interior designer.


After a little soul searching and prayer, in January 2014 I instituted Project 36.  It was my 36-month plan to transition to full-time entrepreneurship; essentially my exit strategy.  I knew that putting a time limit to things would slowly make the decision more and more real.  It would also hold me accountable to doing what I needed to do to make it possible.  Three years sounded like an eternity, that is until it was 24 months and then 12, 10, 8, and 6.  Yikes!  There's something about setting a goal that makes me work just a little harder and this one was no exception.


With the 3-month mark approaching I began to craft my resignation letter, reviewing the details carefully with my mentor and setting the date for my critical conversation with the boss. I spent the entire week leading up to D-day gorging on motivational videos and podcasts.  Here's my favorite playlist if you're interested.   By the time the day arrived to submit my resignation, I was more than ready.  I was pumped!  It all went off without a hitch and I couldn't have been more grateful.  I offered to work a three month notice, explaining that my final day would be Friday, December 30th.


It was DONE.  I'd actually done it.  I QUIT MY JOB!  Say what?  I thought for sure I'd wake up the next morning in a cold sweat, filled with regret....

I was wrong.  I had a strange peace about it; a good sign that I'd done the right thing.

All that was left to do was inform the parents. THIS, I thought, was by far the largest hurdle.  I decided to wait until the Thanksgiving holiday to tell them face-to-face.  For starters, I knew I needed to wait until there was no turning back or they'd totally influence my decision, even if inadvertently. Secondly, I needed to make sure all of my ducks were in a row so they'd worry just a little bit less.  I'm happy to report that the conversation with smoothly and they were super supportive and totally in my corner. And with that, the goal had finally come to fruition.

To say that this has been an amazing journey would be a gross understatement.  When I launched my business and blog with this post on January 1, 2012, I never dreamt I would be where I am today.  It's kind of crazy to think all of the connections I've made, the people I've met, the opportunities I've had and the fabulous clients I've worked with.  It has been an absolute dream come true.

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I'm often asked by social media followers and aspiring designers how I've been able to do it.  I've written a couple of posts about the subject but it really boils down to two things- Faith and Hard Work.  You see, I believe this is my purpose, but I can't see how it's all going to unfold.  However, I trust that things will work out just as He intends.  Knowing what you need to do and doing it however, are two very different things.  Making my dream a reality has involved some sacrifices-mostly time, money, energy and a little sleep.  The sacrifices didn't seem so bad however, when I weighted them against what I had to gain.  It's what kept me moving in the direction of my goals. 

I'm forever grateful to those who have supported and encouraged me along the way. There were many.  I'm also beyond grateful to those clients who took a chance on me very early on. They were willing to be my guinea pigs and I appreciate them trusting me in the process.  For those that came later, they validated my ability as a new designer and I'm appreciative of them as well.  To the folks who read my blog and follow along on social media, they inspire and encourage me to keep sharing my gift with the world.  It makes the journey so much more fun when you know you've got people cheering you on.

It's been a long time coming and I'm so elated and proud of what I've been able to accomplish.  I stand with tip-toed anticipation of what lies ahead.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the best is yet to come.  And for those who might need an interior designer, On January 2, 2017, we are officially FULL ON...
To God be the Glory for the GREAT things He has done.

23 Comments - Click here to join the conversation!:

Lisa Mende said... Reply To This Comment

Congrats! You have worked hard and earned this!!! So proud of you!

Toni Dixon said... Reply To This Comment

I salute you for following and fulfilling your passion! A huge congrats and Thank you for being the inspiration that you are!!

Eric Ross said... Reply To This Comment

Cheryl- this is awesome!! I love your determination and drive! I know that you won't regret it! Yes, it'll be a roller coaster ride at times but God is SO faithful and will bring you clients and work that is just what you need at just the right time!! Ruthann Ross

Shelly said... Reply To This Comment

Congratulations Cheryl. So excited for you and all the goodness that awaits you.

Anonymous said... Reply To This Comment

Congratulations!!! To God be the Glory!!!

Constance Scott

Lauren Borchert said... Reply To This Comment

We are so excited for you, Cheryl! Congratulations! You have worked very hard for this and it shows! Thanks for trusting us enough to assist you in showing off your magnificent work! -Steve & Lauren

Susie said... Reply To This Comment

Love you Cheryl! And thrilled to hear this great news!! You are fulfilling your destiny in Christ... bless you for your faithfulness. Susie from The Chelsea Project

Veronica Solomon said... Reply To This Comment

I love reading your story Cheryl. It reminds me so much about mine. I am so happy that you worked hard and remained faithful and faith filled and now you are embarking on this next exciting chapter of your life and business. May God continue to bless you as you seek to fulfill His purpose for your life. Praying for you. So glad I got to meet a remarkable woman like you

Angella Domise said... Reply To This Comment

So proud of you. Amazing

Liah Anderson said... Reply To This Comment

So inspiring! Thanks for sharing how God led you to full time entrepreneurship.

Anonymous said... Reply To This Comment

Well done and Congratulations!

Barbara Conn said... Reply To This Comment

Your journey fills my heart with joy. You are going to be wildly successful and I'm so happy for you.

April Morton said... Reply To This Comment

Way to go, Cheryl!!! I am thrilled for you and have been waiting to hear when you were going to make it official! You have definitely worked, earned and created this wonderful opportunity and career. I wish you all the best, as I always have and will. Contact me anytime!

Cam Richards Photography said... Reply To This Comment

Congrats Cheryl! Awesome news! Continued blessings to you.

Shelley Towery said... Reply To This Comment

Praying for this exciting new journey for you! I follow along on Instagram and I love your work and most importantly, your heart for The Lord!! Congratulations, Cheryl! May God continue to bless you!!
Shelley Towery

Mary Etta McCurdy said... Reply To This Comment

Cheryl,
Wow. I have only met you once. But I feel as if I know you. Congratulations on your decision and continued success.

Natmcrich Style said... Reply To This Comment

Congrats my Sister well deserved, your determination to follow your passion is very inspiring. Continued Blessings and much success, and I agree with you the best is yet to come.

Brenda said... Reply To This Comment

I am proud of you! What a role model you are. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Now take a deep breath and enjoy all that you've accomplished. God' s richest blessings on you.

Renee said... Reply To This Comment

Hi Cheryl! Congratulations! I've been following your journey for a year or two now, and I've been so inspired by you. Your work ethic, your faith, your creativity is so impressive. I'm glad I'm local to you, I hope I get to meet you and work with you some time! Congrats again!

Kathleen said... Reply To This Comment

Cheryl!!! I am cheering you on. Congratulations!! It has been great following you and seeing you reach HERE!!! Continued blessings to you. I am excited to watch you spread your wings.

Jamala Wallace said... Reply To This Comment

Congrats to you!!God bless you and keep inspiring!

Sherill Turner said... Reply To This Comment

You truly inspire me. God bless you.

Alison said... Reply To This Comment

Congratulations Cheryl!! I'm so happy you are living your dream and wish you all the best!! God bless you!

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