From Army Wife to Wedding Planner

Or ... "Better an Oops than a What if” – Anonymous

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Big City Sparkles ...

I'm a girl who loves big cities, fashion, beauty, things that sparkle, good food and even better drinks. NYC was the place for me! It's truly the city of endless opportunities. In what felt like the blink of an eye, I had a merchandising degree, multiple internships, and was working for a billion dollar company (LBrands). Fast forward to eight years later and I was truly living my dream in this amazing city. 

 

Wedding Bells for an Army Wife ...

Then I got engaged and married my high school sweetheart, Brian, a U.S. Army officer.

So now this “city girl” became an “Army Wife.” I moved from NYC to Tacoma, WA. Once there, I was unemployed for three months. Finally, a job opened up at Nordstrom Corporate in their Product Development Department. Dream job, right?!

 
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Passion Fizzle ...

Well.. long story short, my commute was over three hours a day. My work-life balance was non-existent. My passion meter was slowly dropping and I had no idea how to fix it.  To complicate things even further, we found out we were moving again. 

The Shaw House , built circa 1820, in Southern Pines, NC. Photocredit: Moore County Historical Association

The Shaw House, built circa 1820, in Southern Pines, NC. Photocredit: Moore County Historical Association

Small Town Girl. Me? ...

And this time, we were downsizing to a village. Yep, you read that right. A village. Pinehurst, North Carolina. Population 15,945. Even though it's home to some world-famous golf courses, a village can't quite compare to my good old NYC. 

The anxiety and panic started to set in… I am not a small town girl! Sure, I was happy to be headed back to the East Coast and closer to family and friends. But what was I going to do?

It took me three months to find a job in Tacoma. There was no Nordstrom or LBrands in Pinehurst (there's not even a Target). How was I going to translate my big city skillset into enough dollars and cents to keep myself on track?

At first? I didn't. Another three months of unemployment kicked in (I think three months is my breaking point!)

 
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The Pivot Point ...

But it made me take a long hard look at my life and decide what this Army wife was going to do.

I decided to take my passion and turn it into a business. I love to design and create things that are beautiful and meaningful to people – i.e. WEDDINGS AND DIAMONDS! 

 

Being an “Army wife” means more to me than just being married to a man in a uniform.

It means being pushed outside my comfort zone.

It means that on more than one occasion I am going to have to reinvent myself. 

It means that my life will constantly be changing.

And it means that I will always be surrounded by a strong support system. 

 
 
 
 
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And this village thing?

Well, for a city girl, I learned pretty quickly that this small town lifestyle was amazing. My village (yes, it's mine now just like NYC will always be mine too) of Pinehurst and it's next door neighbor Southern Pines is filled with the most genuine, hardworking and supportive group of people I have ever known.

I truly can't imagine myself anywhere else. If you ask me where home is, without hesitation, I'll say Pinehurst.

 
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The Journey So Far ...

Starting Alex Austin Events & Design has been a journey. Has it been scary? Absolutely. Has it driven me beyond what I even knew I was capable of? Definitely. Could I still fail? Sure. Somewhere along the way, I picked up the saying that I'd rather be an oops than a what if and it's stuck with me. So yes, I'd rather put everything on the line, be passionate and creative, and do what I love, even if it means landing in a giant oops. I never want to look back and wonder what if.

And to all my clients (past, present, and future), may you too have wonderful oops not what-if lives.

XOXO,

Alex