Wednesday, February 15, 2012

leap of faith: mackenzie from design darling

We all know her. 

We all love her.

I don't think she needs much of an intro, but today I bring you Mackenzie from Design Darling to share her Leap of Faith story. I stalk her blog regularly for inspiration, and I'm beyond excited for her e-Commerce site to launch in March. Her ambition and courage is extremely admirable, and I know she will be successful at whatever she does. 

What did you major in in college / what was your first job out of college?
I studied French language and literature at Bucknell University. I haven't spoken a lick of French since I graduated but it was important to me to study something I loved. A week after graduation this past May, I moved to San Francisco to intern for Rue Magazine. At the end of the summer, I moved back home to work for a PR firm in New York.

How long did it take to realize it wasn't for you? What were the initial signs of "help, get me out of here!"?
I left both positions around the two month mark but truthfully I knew in my gut much earlier that I wasn't happy (Rue because I was so far away from my family and friends, PR because I was working long hours doing something I hated). Steve Jobs said, "For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'no' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something."

What was the first thing you did after you left your job? Scream?
Honestly I had a hard time believing that I'd actually done it! There were a lot of late night conversations with my parents and my boyfriend about what to do next. Once I decided that an online boutique would be my dream come true, I got to work and haven't looked back!

What sort of "homework" did you do before turning your passion into a career? 
I emailed my favorite bloggers, explained what I was thinking, and asked for advice. It was comforting and inspiring to know that so many of them were in the same boat, getting ready to launch businesses in tandem with the personal brands they had developed online. It has been such a blessing to bounce ideas off one another and cheer each other on from one milestone to the next!

How long have you been working for yourself?
I became self-employed in November, founded Design Darling LLC in December, and will launch my e-commerce boutique on March 1!

What is the scariest thing about doing what you did?
Not knowing whether it will pay off! But the support of fellow bloggers and readers has been exceptional. I wouldn't have the courage to be launching a business this early in my career without their daily encouragement!

Do you ever regret leaving your day job?
In all honesty, not for a second. That's not to say that it's all been smooth sailing but I'll take adventure over stability any day. Life is meant to be lived!

What is your #1 piece of advice to people scared to follow their dreams in fear of failure?
Start a blog to hone your aesthetic and connect with like-minded people. Reach out to people you admire — I think you'll be surprised at how many of them are willing to help. Surround yourself with people who have your best interests in mind, whether that's family and friends or an online community. And most importantly, do what you love and love what you do!


I'm inspired by bloggers, books, coffee, color, entrepreneurs, fashion, flowers, good handwriting,  interiors, magazines, and more! Thank you, Julia, for having me! xx


Holy gorgeous. Isn't that spread beautiful?? Thanks for the inspiring story Mackenzie! I know you will be a HUGE success.

24 comments:

Caitlin said...

So encouraging to be reminded me of these things. I'm currently a Communication/PR major in college and I have ZIPPO desire to enter that field when I graduate, and don't plan to. It's hard to motivate myself to care about classes that I feel like won't have any relevance after I graduate.

Anyway, lovely post ladies :) Thanks for sharing!

-Caitlin @ Reverie to Reality

Alex {Things That Sparkle} said...

So proud of Mackenzie!!!! I absolutely cannot wait to for Design Darling to open!!! My credit card however is not quite as excited.

Liz {Sequins And Stripes} said...

Yay Mackenzie! So proud of all that she has accomplished in such a short time, she is a rockstar.

GiGi Reed said...

I absolutely adore her! Thank you so much for sharing this interview. Can't WAIT to shop her shop. :)

Viviana said...

Mackenzie is such a sweetheart and I can't wait for the launch of her site! I'm so proud/excited for her!

Jess // Curating Style said...

I adore Mackenzie's blog, and this was such an inspiring post. I can't wait to see what the e-commerce site has to hold!

(Also, I'm excited to say that I really like The Urban Slant and I'm going to check out more of your posts tonight!)

Mackenzie {Design Darling} said...

You guys! I am blushing over here. Thank you Julia for that lovely introduction. You all are making my day! xx

Ashley {styleash} said...

She's such an inspiration! I've been out of college for 8 months and the job I have now is not what I love to do. Hopefully some day soon I'll be able to make the leap into something else just like Mackenzie.

Natalie said...

She's so, so inspiring! Love her inspiration and I can't wait for the launch of her boutique!

Sam [The Peak of Tres Chic] said...

I am so inspired to read Mackenzie's story. Sometimes it seems that all these girls are perfect, but knowing they are human and had fears about launching their own companies is comforting. So inspired by this series, Julia! :)

XO,

Sam
www.ThePeakofTresChic.com

One Stylish Day at a Time said...

Mackenzie, you are such an inspiration, especially at such a young age. Anxiously awaiting your boutique opening in March! You're going to accomplish so much in your life - I can feel it!

Drew {Coral Cafe} said...

This is just so inspiring! I love Mackenzie and the leap of faith she took to make her dreams come true!!
So excited about the March launch!

Natalie Cottrell said...

So inspiring! Loving this series, especially as a follower of Design Darling and seeing the fruits of her labor. It's neat to know the background and remember what faith and boldness it takes to get there. Thanks, ladies!

Lisa @ Elembee, Etc said...

So inspired by her story! I didn't have the guts to admit I wasn't doing what I loved at that age, let alone do something about it. Can't wait for the boutique to open!

K said...

great post. really inspiring!

Sheri Ann {Sprinkles and Style} said...

This series is so wonderful and inspiring! Great to hear Mackenzie's story and what she has accomplished so far! Can't wait for the boutique to open!

The Now said...

I love Mackenzie!!! I am so proud of her and cannot wait for the store to open!!!!!! xoxo elizabeth

Sarah Roads said...

Love this interview, so great to get the back story on her journey! Excited to shop her boutique, I know its going to be fabulous.

Taylor said...

I can't wait for the shop to open! Love her blog!
itsthelittlethingsblog.blogspot.com/

Evann said...

Mackenzie is adorable! Gotta love a fearless redhead...but maybe I'm just biased. :) This series is so inspirational.

evannclingan.blogspot.com

Carly {a simple affair} said...

Of course I love her! So many amazing things left to come for her! Xo

Karla said...

I love reading about mackenzie outside of her blog, I always get to know her a lot better! I loved the part about steve jobs! I know I will love many things from her boutique! so i am ready!

Kate of All things.. said...

A wonderful and inspiring interview, thanks so much for posting it

Kelly Keating said...

Just finding this article now, but what an inspiration it still is today! Great interview!