Dear 25 year old Dorothy,
Let’s start by telling you something you don’t tell yourself enough, I am so proud of you. After spending four years in college in Dallas, attempting a career as a wrangler in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and a non-profit career in Washington, D.C., you finally realized South Carolina and family were calling, AND were so important to you. Sure, you may have lost a horse or two along the way, taken the wrong bus to work in D.C., gotten politely fired from a job and sobbed about each scenario, but you survived.
You survived the worst and hardest parts of your twenties. Each experience was merely placed in your path to ignite the creative fire inside of you, teach you your purpose on this planet, help you realize the importance of an unshakable support system and mold you into your almost 30-year-old self.
You took the first step with the support of friends and family. You rented your first studio at Redux Contemporary Art Center in Charleston, South Carolina! You got past the intimidation, the feeling of the unknown and simply got to work. You babysat your tush off, taught art camps, did freelance work and started to paint again. Hallelujah!
You are never going to believe me when I tell you this BUT your commitment to showing up to do the work, networking and your faith in yourself paid off. You are still doing it!!! We have officially hit the FIVE year mark of running a small business. Holy shit. You moved to your hometown (which you said you would never do) and it all just fell right into place.
You completed an art fellowship here and upgraded studios four times!!! You hired a team, experienced transition, and realized that a business does not run smoothly and successfully without the right people in place (business coach, attorney, accountant, framer, printer, graphic designer, copyrighter)....the list goes on. You also realized that being supported and surrounded by a cheer squad of friends, family, boyfriend and more was SUCH a gift to pay thanks to on the daily.
Prepare to pinch yourself…dream projects are going to get placed in your path. Your paintings of bikinis will be brought to life in an actual swimwear line sold at Anthropologie, you will have the chance to complete a piece of art for actress, Mindy Kaling, you will have phone calls and lunches with dream mentors, your art will be turned into products…scarves, stationary and more! Most importantly, you will learn how to give back through your business. You will learn how to raise significant funds for causes that are near and dear to your heart. You will learn that giving back is what is most important.
The biggest pieces of advice I have for you at the age of 25? Stop worrying what other people think and STOP comparing. You gotta do you. Stay true to it and good things will happen. Trust your gut. Stop and celebrate (this is hard for you)!! READ, READ, READ. Books change lives!!! Put family first. Be yourself and embrace the quirks. Pursue your interests and ideas! Be curious and willing to learn. Grow a backbone and stand up for yourself. Save your money to TRAVEL, forever and for always! Keep dreaming BIG!
Last couple of things, don’t freak out BUT your dream of having a french bulldog came true!!! Her name is Lucy and she rules the studio. She snores loud enough to keep the neighbors awake. You get to see your amazing and supportive parents on the daily, your all-star sister and her family often, a boyfriend who also serves as a cheerleader and the best friends a girl could ask for.
So, today it is important to pause, appreciate, reflect, eat cake and drink champagne!! Here’s to the next FIVE years!!!!!
Over & Out,
The 2019 version of yourself