So this is happening and I couldn't be more excited! It's been some time now that I have been thinking and talking about holding workshops and now that it's finally happening, I'm happy, excited - and scared. I'm taking the step, putting myself out there and saying 'I can do this' which is, well, quite a big deal for me. It's not only about openly saying that yes, I can style and that's what I do for a living (along with my photography) without worrying about sounding big-headed, it's also about saying that I can do this and no, I don't have a Master's degree in the subject, but I'm good at it. It's about saying 'I'm confident I have something worthy of sharing'. That, for me, is a big thing.
It all somewhat goes back to when (and where) I partly grew up and later started entering the working world. At that time (and it probably still is in that place), it was all about the official qualifications. It didn't matter if you were good or very passionate about something, all that people would ask for was your CV with proof that you'd studied the subject. Don't get me wrong, of course I expect a surgeon, a structural engineer or a pilot to have all the necessary qualifications, but I don't think that the same thing should always apply for creative fields. You might have a degree in creative writing, but somehow your heart isn't in it and it will show. The same can be said for many other professions in the arts: somebody might know the subject inside out, have all the theoretical knowledge that apparently needs to be applied, but the work lacks emotion because they're begin overshadowed by studied rules.
I wish I had recognised all that earlier. I didn't have the conviction or self-confidence back then to pursue my dreams professionally - after all, I had no qualification - and I didn't have the guts to tell people I can do this without a degree. Blogging didn't exist which meant I wasn't really able to put my work out there the way I can now. So I carried on with various jobs, 'styling' and constantly rearranging my own homes and helping friends with their little decorating dilemmas. I always knew I had it in me and I could do it, but I didn't know how to go about convincing others. It took me a very long time, practice, moving countries and cities, blogging, taking my own photos, and the encouragement and support of Monsieur to convince me to finally pursue my passion in a professional manner.
So yes, I'm now working in my dream field and whilst I'll probably never be rich, I couldn't be happier. Do I wish I had been blessed with the self-confidence and belief in myself all those years ago? Well, yes, of course I do. I also sometimes wish I was one of these super-confident people who don't care about actually being able to do the job, but are happy to - ahem - BS their way to "success". But I'm not. I like to be able to back up my claims with actual experience. Maybe there's a reason why it's taken me so long: had it all happened back when I was much younger or through simply being overly convinced of my own greatness, I might not have appreciated it as much as I do now. It's precisely because it's been such a long road to get to where I am now, because I've always been full of self-doubt, I believe I appreciate it more than I would have back then.
Anyway, I now feel ready to share some of my knowledge. Well, when I say 'feel ready' I mean I'm doing it despite freaking out about it - in a good way. I feel ready yet at the same time I don't. As it so often happens in life, coincidence and a chance meeting has played a big part in this. It is just such a chance meeting that has lead to the help and support of lovely Tip from Apartment Diet who convinced me I could do this. And as it also often happens - at least to me - I start to believe that I can do something once somebody else believes it too. So I will be holding my very first Styling & Photography Workshop in Utrecht on the 10th July from 09.45am until 2.45pm. The emphasis will be on vignettes, flat lays and basic photography skills. You know, the things I do on a daily basis, that I get paid to do and that I therefore know about. I can't wait to meet a group of lovely people and share my knowledge with them. 9 out of the 10 available spaces have already been booked, so if you're interested and you live in the Netherlands, you might need to hurry just a little.
UPDATE: This workshop is now sold out.
And there's something else I'm very happy and excited about: it's to have the support and sponsorship of some lovely companies for my new venture: NomLiving who work directly with artisans in Vietnam and Cambodia and sell gorgeous home accessories, Lindt Chocolates UK who have some fantastic Swiss-made chocolates, JING Tea who are based in London and have the best green tea I have ever tasted and my favourite florist The Fresh Flower Company. Their support and trust means a lot to me and I hugely appreciate it. Please click on their links in the images to find out more about them.