My 4 Year Journey

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it."

– Steve Jobs

ashley biess artistrie co.

When I walked into work exactly 4 years ago, I had no intention of quitting my marketing position. I went about my normal morning tasks until I got pulled into a meeting with my boss. That's when I was presented with an unexpected ultimatum. I had to chose between the following options: 1) continue working for that company, but give up my entire photography business, website and clients, or 2) quit my job right then and there. The decision was surprisingly simple, and within minutes, I found myself quitting my job.

The thing you need to know is that I never planned to be a professional wedding photographer. I studied business, art and music, and had always pursued a career in marketing or advertising. I was on track to where I thought I was going, and suddenly everything I had been working towards derailed. The truth is I had been thinking about quitting my job for a few months, but every time I told myself I was going to do it, a resume-boosting opportunity presented itself, and I decided to stay. Meanwhile, my wedding photography business had just began to boom, and I spent most of my days just wishing I had more time to dedicate to it. I was in a weird place between doing what I thought I was suppose to be and doing what made my heart happy. Although I'm sure my boss hadn't intended it, him asking me to chose between marketing and photography was the push I needed to follow my heart.

And as soon as I voiced my decision, I went into complete panic mode. My heart was beating fast; my whole body began to shake; and in total embarrassment I began crying right there in the office. In my head I was thinking "What did I just do?". It set in that I really did quit my job, and without even really thinking about it. I left my office building not knowing where to go or what to do. I ended up spending the afternoon sitting on a park bench in total silence. While collecting my thoughts, I remember a seed fell from the tree above, hit me on top my head and landed in my lap. Upon seeing this little seed in my hands, I couldn't help but laugh at the timing.  I think life throws us signs when we need them most. I took a deep breath and smiled. As terrified as I was, I had just been given the opportunity for a new beginning. It was my chance to grow something and make it mine.

I put in a few more weeks at the marketing job to train my replacement, and when my last day finally came, I was thrilled to start building what would eventually become Artistrie Co. The last 4 years have been a crazy adventure, but I have no doubt in my mind that I'm exactly where I was always suppose to be. I look forward to seeing the directions where this little photography studio will take me. Thank you to every single one of you who have been a part of this journey. I am so blessed to have you all in my life! Here's to another 4 years, and hopefully many more to come. :)