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I have been asked this question a few times over the years and so I thought I would use this blog post to answer it fully.
As a Child I was always fascinated with two things - Photography and Make Up and so from about the age of 8 I always thought I would grow up to be either a Photographer or a Make Up Artist. In my teenage years I had my future set on becoming a Make Up Artist, I was always doing Friends and Famiy member's make up and they always said I was really good at it and I loved doing it! I think this goal was also set due to my experience with Vitiligo and always having to cover it up and 'hide' myself from the world, so it got to the point where I was seeing the Careers Advisor at school and to be honest they weren't very helpful at all! They informed me that the best route to becoming a Make Up Artist was to join a Beauty Therapy course at College and so, I enrolled to do just that.
After enrolling on the course and really understanding what was involved - waxing, manicues and pedicures, tinting etc etc I realised that make up only made up a tiny percentage of this course and I was not interested in doing anything other than make up, so I quit!
After spending so many years determined to do a Make Up course I was really stuck on where to go next and there wasn't much available for me back then with regards to doing just make up. The courses I found I would have to pay for, so I gave up on the Make Up 'dream' and went towards my second passion in life which was Photography.
I completed my two year Photography course, although again I struggled with enjoying alot of the course because it focused on films and dark rooms and as much as I loved them, the world was becoming more and more digital and digital cameras were the thing (and what I was used to.) I did however discover through this course that my passions in photography were Portrait, Fashion and landscape Photography and so these were the themes I continued with when leaving college.
For some reason I always used to struggle with my confidence in Photography, I never felt my photography was good enough and was highly critical of my work. (it doesn't help when your teachers are ridiculously critical of your work too!!) I always felt people wouldn't like or pay for my work and so I did the thing most people I knew did and got a 'proper' job in an office. I still did my photography alot on the side, but as more of a hobby rather than a business. I have since found my confidence again and I now do Photography freelance part time as a job which is great! but back then I just didn't have that confidence. You may be thinking "but if you're a Photographer then how did Gemz By Emz come about?"... I will get to that part shortly.
After working a few years in various jobs and quitting quite alot of them, it was pretty evident I just wasn't destined to work for other people, haha. I never found any passion in any of the work I was doing, I really didn't care about paperwork or answering calls, I absolutely hated waking up early and I was always late because a) I didn't want to go and b) the jobs caused me such severe anxiety that I wasn't sleeping well. I always found these jobs stressful and pressurised and repetitive and that I wasn't making anyone happy because you never received any praise, thanks or appreciation for the work.
I loved jewellery and so I decided to start learning to make jewellery, it worked well as a distraction from the stress in my life and it kept my mind busy. I started out on Twitter and quickly started to gain interest in my items, which led to sales! I was so surprised that peope actually wanted to buy from me, as I had only intended to do it as a hobby. The years went by and I had Celebs buying my items, my jewellery had been featured on TV and in Magazines and I had grown a huge following online, however my passion for the style of jewellery I was making had changed, I had grown up alot and I was no longer wearing those items and I wasn't in love with them anymore.
I decided to go back to my passion of Photography and bring it into my current business. I did this by creating engraved photo jewellery, photo canvasses and photo cushions because alongside taking photos I absolutely love editing photos and seeing them brought to life on my various products. This is how my business has been for the past 5 years and I am so happy with my business, products and customers now, It has really grown alot in 2018 and I can't wait to see the results that happen in 2019.
Two things that I have brought away from my business journey are:
I personally believe that we can plan all we like in life but life is so unpredicatable and such a rollercoaster that we don't always end up where we thought we would. I certainly didn't think I would end up as Business Owner back in School and I actually have zero interest in make up at all now. I rarely wear make up, rarely buy it and I don't experiment with make up anymore, I think this happened when i started to love and accept myself for who I am, Vitiligo and all. I just lost all passion and joy for make up, so it's a good thing I didn't go down that route in the end, because I probably wouldn't have stuck to it anyway.
I also believe that our struggles are the biggest strengths we can have and are where we really find out what we want to do in life, so if you're young and don't have your life figured out yet don't worry! Life always has a way of working out.
If you have any questions you'd like me to answer, feel free to leave them in the comments below.