It’s been five years since I graduated from college, and I’ve changed my mind about my career nearly as many times. First I wanted to be a news producer, but a stint at a local network full of fluffy, pandering segments soured me on that. Next I began a year-long stint as a book editor, which was rewarding when I found a great new title; depleting in every other way. Careers in PR, marketing, and at various trade publications followed and failed. I had no idea what I should be doing—I was redefining my professional self on a weekly basis.
One thing did remain constant, though. It was something that I was never proud of; something to keep hidden and speak of in hushed tones. I was always—and still am, obsessed with shopping. At every job, I had a bookmark folder full of shopping links. I’d set up email alerts when sales were on and send out digests to my friends about the best deals, new sites, the best new jacket for spring. I perfected the art of quickly minimizing Shopbop.com; of simultaneously browsing stores while answering emails and writing articles.
Looking back, my “true calling” was always obvious, but I never thought of shopping—or even fashion—as a legitimate career path. Horror stories from friends at fashion magazine internships turned me off. My family also was never really the fashionable sort, and they thought a smart career could only begin with law school or a PhD. So my shopping expertise (obsession, really) remained a guilty pleasure.
One day, while I was robotically writing articles for a magazine about cafeteria food (really), I got an email from a friend about a new website about shopping. The site was called storeadore.com, and it was the web-manifestation of everything I loved—reviews of the best stores around the country (and of course, online), sales and special discounts, free giveaways and a blog about trends and cool new products—basically the ultimate guide to shopping.
Fast forward some months and I’m working at Store Adore as the New York editor. In addition to being the first to see all the cool features on this site (I know about sales and discounts before anyone else, and I always know where to shop when I visit a new city), I’m thrilled to be working in a field I am fascinated by. It’s so great to work with the other writers who are as passionate about shopping as I am; who spend their weekends exploring out-of-the way streets to find the coolest “insider” boutiques to share with other members on the site. We all love to be doing the kind of work we’d just as easily do for fun.
Storeadore.com is the first job I’ve had where I’ve never—not once—watched the clock. When I think back to all those years of trial and error, I wish I had just gone after what I knew I loved instead of focusing on what other people thought! If you find yourself really drawn to something, even if you think it might be silly or impractical, you owe it to yourself to explore the possibilities. And if you love shopping as much as I do, send me a message at Store Adore and let’s talk shop!