As I approach my mid-forties, I have been pondering recently on the purpose of my life--why am I here, where am I headed, what have I accomplished, how do I know if I even have a purpose? Unlike most, I haven’t followed the path of marriage and parenthood (not that I am opposed…just has not been in the cards at this point in my life). I have had a great life … some disappointments along the way, but I have been blessed with a wonderful family, an amazing group of friends, and opportunities that have paved the way to where I am today.
Something just seemed to be missing until I read two quotes that put everything into perspective:
· “Passion never fails” -- Paul Chen
· “Purpose is the reason for your journey. Passion is the fire that lights your way -- Author unknown
Looking back on my life I have realized that family, friendships, and a love for fashion and travel have been consistent since I was a little girl. Not only do I have a very large, extended family but a family that has always encouraged each of us to follow our dream, to be adventurous and independent. My friends, like my family, are like sisters to me; some of whom I have known for 35-plus years. My family and friends are my support system, my cheerleaders; they have given me that boost I need at times to let go of my fears, follow my instincts, listen to my heart and experience life in a way that makes me happy, and opened up doors to fulfilling those dreams.
One of the best things I could have ever experienced, and a little scary at first, was committing to a semester abroad in France during my junior year in college. I had always loved my French classes (and my teachers, because they were all so eclectic). I thought French was fancy. If it wasn’t for my high school French teacher informing me that I had a special gift in learning and understanding the language, I would have never gone on to taking anymore classes in college. I was going to be an orthodontist--why would I need French?
Well, after my first year I realized that becoming a doctor wasn’t creative enough for me, so I decided to continue with my French and see where it lead me. Two years later I was living in the south of France with a wonderful family, going to school, and traveling to as many places that I could because I didn’t know if I would ever have the opportunity again in my life.
When I returned to the States, I was afforded the opportunity to teach at a local private school while I was finishing my degree. Through the school I took a group of students on an educational trip to the northern part of France. The company who organized our travel and excursions ended up offering me a job in sales and marketing right before I graduated. At the age of 23 I was traveling (sometimes first-class) to Europe on business and also living out of state. If I hadn’t listened to my high school teacher and ultimately my family’s encouragements, I would not have had any of these opportunities. The passion I had for the language, the culture, and the adventure made me see life completely different.
And then there’s the fashion part! I’m fairly certain I drove my parents crazy as a child. I loved playing dress up and would change outfits until it was just right (even had to be in charge of what my baby brother would wear each day), but I also started buying my own clothes when I was about 10 years old. My parents didn’t dare buy me anything because ultimately I would end up not wearing what they chose. I would save my babysitting money all summer and go on a big shopping spree for clothing, jewelry and yes, my favorite, shoes!
I have always loved fabric--anything with texture or a fabulous print. My friends couldn’t understand how I could so easily put together the most eclectic outfits and pull it off. My parents had wished I was a little more preppy, but that never worked out for them. There were a lot of arguments over my outfits as a teenager, to say the least. As time went on I decided to study fashion marketing while I was working in marketing and event planning. My favorite part of the event planning was choosing the linens. So many colors, textures, patterns--I was in fabric heaven.
It is there that I fell in love with table top design and met Creative Coverings. I even had the chance to bond with Creative Coverings president Robin Brockelsby, while organizing and producing a local large fundraiser. She saw my passion for marketing and design and later offered me the opportunity of a lifetime!
My love of fabric, fashion, and travel lead me to where I am today. It was this passion that has added to my overall purpose. I truly know this is my dream job! Not only do I travel the country looking for trendy fabrics to dress event tables, but I spend a lot of time researching current and future trends in fashion and textiles. From there, it’s runway to tabletop!
I truly enjoy working with so many talented event professionals to offer them fabulous fabrics to help make their events shine. It’s very rewarding to hear positive feedback and to know that our linens are a special part of their overall design process.
The pieces of my life puzzle are all fitting together now; my passions in my life have been my purpose. It’s the journey I have been on and the people who love and support me who make it all worthwhile. I have always lived by “everything happens for a reason” and count my blessings each day for the gifts I have been given, and look forward to future adventures and endeavors, all while nurturing the special relationships I have with so many incredible people.
So, is your passion feeding your purpose? I would love to hear your comments.
Nancy Stoltz serves as director of marketing and design for Sparks, Nev.-based linen company Creative Coverings, overseeing product development, marketing, design, and fashion and fabric trend research.
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