To give some background information and tell you who I am: I graduated from Cedarville University (located east of Dayton, close to Xenia and Springfield, OH) in May of 2008. As you may recall, especially since we are still somewhat in the thick of it, this was around the time that the downturn in the economy was surfacing within companies--saying it straight, not many companies were hiring. This posed an interesting situation for many students coming out of university at the time. I had always just figured that getting a great job coming fresh out of college was my right--it should be guaranteed to me! (Naive, wasn't I!?) So I spent a very little bit of my free time during my last year in college looking for that perfect job/career path (not as much as I should have obviously, I mean this is something that will just come knocking on my door, right??). When May rolled around and there was nothing even on the horizon within this career path of mine, I got nervous. Those next few months were AWFUL because not only was I job searching, interviewing, applying everywhere I could and getting rejection letters left and right, I was ALSO tying up loose ends before my wedding in July.
The first week of July, I got a call from a local Starbucks store asking me to come in for an interview, which I did, and which I'm thankful for because I got a job there that turned out to be really fun, although not the "great job" I had expected to come with that college diploma in my hand. After being with the company (Starbucks) for about 8 or 9 months, I started getting anxious for what was next...I mean I didn't want to spend all of my twenties making lattes and earning tips! I looked into getting certified to teach Pilates, which I had started practicing a couple years prior to that point. I only knew about mat classes and I did those about once a week, originally to cross-train for the Flying Pig half marathon. I didn't even KNOW what a reformer was. What the heck is that? I remember googling it after I talked to someone on the phone from Pendleton Pilates about their teacher training program.
Once I figured out the reformer wasn't some crazy torturing machine, I signed myself up for the three month course under Stacy Sims and Heather Sommer, two amazing women who have a ton of combined knowledge and who truly inspire me and so many others.
I graduated from the training program in August 2009, and started teaching one night a week, which grew into teaching about 10 classes each week about a month after I got certified. I was still working at Starbucks, where I now had more responsibility, and with a little bit more money coming into each paycheck.
Around Christmas of 2009, I thought about quitting at Starbucks because my sweet husband, Patrick, had gotten a job at University Hospital in Cincinnati (he is in nursing school right now!), and he was offered health benefits for both of us, even though he is only working 24 hours a week. I believe this was God's providence, allowing Patrick to get this job, because it freed me up to quit at Starbucks since we didn't need the insurance through them anymore. SO, I gave my two weeks notice in January, and haven't looked back since! Hence the first sentence in this post--January was a fresh start for me and this year poses a world of opportunities with the changes going on in my life.
Now, where does my etsy shop come into play in all that?? I have always loved to make pretty things for friends and family. For Christmas this year, I made some monogrammed notecards for my mother-in-law, Sally, and created some other notecards for my mom, my sister Michelle, and my best friend Megan. I received the nicest compliments from all of them, and then this idea started swirling around in my head--maybe I can sell these!?
So that's where I am at now. I am now teaching about 20 hours of pilates a week. I love doing that. I know that everyone anywhere can benefit from practicing pilates and I think everyone should try it at least once--you will be hooked!! Aside from that, I am busily trying to sell off my "sweet, handmade" notecards to people like you! Check out my etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/bellacardco
Thank you and keep checking back in. I'll be here!!