Each January and February I tend to get quite reflective. I’m the philosophical type, definitely an over thinker. 2015 was a tough one for me, probably the toughest of my life so far. It was my first full year working full time in my business which was a huge challenge on both a personal and professional level. I struggled with a lot of doubt, and I had to learn A LOT.
A few months into the year I was hit with the worst bout of anxiety that I have ever had. I knew it had been brewing under the surface for most of my life but it all just seemed to come to a head. I was emotionally and physically spent. I couldn’t just keep going through the motions of life. The decision to follow my dream and work for myself had forced me to take a long hard look at what I truly valued in life and who my authentic self actually was.
The journey to finding my creative calling has been an interesting one! I have been a creative at heart as far back as I can remember but I didn’t acknowledge this for a very long time. Instead, a carved out a career in finance and pretended that everything would be ok if I just kept following that path. But anyone who has that creative fire burning inside them knows that sooner or later, it takes over and you’ve just gotta give in! For me, “giving in” took the form of night time study in the field of interior design. Over the course of about four years, I would work full time, renovate our home, study at night and craft on the weekend. This kept me sane but it was totally exhausting.
In 2013 my husband and I decided to study abroad. I took some extended leave and enrolled myself in a design course in Paris. This was a major turning point in my life. After returning home from that trip, I knew that I needed to leave my finance days behind and take a leap into the entrepreneurial world and mid-way through 2014, I took that leap - Gorjo Designs, a consultancy specialising in interior, event and graphic design solutions, was born.
The first 18 months in business has been a total whirlwind and I feel like I am only just now finding my feet. I’m getting used to wearing the many entrepreneurial hats - blogger, creator, maker, administrator, finance officer, marketer and visionary and am learning a lot about self-discipline! Despite last year being extremely trying, It was also very valuable. I have a wonderful support network and a very strong will and this combination helped me push through my mental barriers. The fact that I didn’t give up meant that the second half of 2015 was actually very rewarding. I accomplished things that I had dreamt of doing but had not previously had the courage to try. One of those things was holding my very first in person craft workshop which I enjoyed immensely. I had the privilege of working with some of the loveliest clients ever and I worked on some really awesome projects.
So as I prepare to move forward in 2016, I take with me the notion to never ever give up. Maybe you could do the same. I have created a free desktop wallpaper for you to act as a constant reminder. Best wishes for the year ahead and may you create, prosper and do many wonderful things!
Zoe Strawbridge is inspired by: people who love their work, art, nature, heritage buildings and homes that tell stories. She love shop windows, science, the streets of Paris and sunny days spent in cafes. Her style is modern industrial/contemporary, clean lines with Scandinavian influence, earthy and monochromatic tones, pastels, texture and woods. Her favourite summer (ever) was spent in Paris studying interior design while my husband studied photography. That summer changed my life as I realised me and design were in it together forever. When she's not designing she's dreaming about design (really). You can find her on Facebook or Instagram