Career, Education

Kat’s Winding Journey Through Higher Education

Finding My Path Through Inspiration

I have always wanted to be a writer, ever since I was a child. I don’t know why I always limited that dream to being a book author but as I grew up my interest in writing took a backseat as I became fascinated with media. I was the kid watching The Gap Store commercials knowing that somewhere inside me lived the potential to create fun, powerful, and colorful marketing material. I had no idea what path to take that would lead me to place where I got to be creative for a living.

As a young adult I could see the great potential in social media. At this point I got a DSLR camera and a mobile phone with a pretty amazing camera and began experimenting. I made the decision that I wanted an art degree but I also wanted some practical application.

The Web Design and Interactive Media Program at the Art Institute checked 98% of the boxes. It was a wonderful program that taught me a lot of art skills and I also learned how to use the Adobe Suite to create so many different types of content. I really enjoyed all of it.



After I had completed my classes in web design and interactive media, I felt confident enough to continue to pursue my Bachelors in a computer program. I chose to study Computer Information Systems. I had never felt confident with computers until I completed my Web Design program. The programs do a wonderful job at teaching skills step by step and building your confidence to take on new challenges.

Here is where I veer of course slightly. It’s been awhile, I know. I was quite the model student in this decade! So during my senior year my amazing laptop’s hard drive fried and I lost most of my portfolio work. I lost my websites, my animation of my baby girl flying like superman, my fancy photo galleries built from scratch. I love google docs as a backup now but back then if you didn’t physically back things up you were playing with fire. I definitely got burned.

I lost countless PDFs talking about design and color theory. I lost the puzzle app I made of a family photo. Anyway I was devastated. Not only had I lost my portfolio but I had lost the adobe suite that was on the computer as well. Now they sold the adobe suite as a monthly package and as a poor student I could not afford it. I wan’t using Adobe for my CIS program though so I buckled down and moved past my disappointment.



I graduated in 2016 with a 3.8 GPA Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems and I was elated. The only thing raining on my parade was the fact that I had the most boring portfolio ever. I had pieced together what I could salvage and I wasn’t impressed. Paired with the fact that I was only finding basic programming and IT jobs I ended up asking around to see what kind of jobs were available.

I found a job that was close to home. It was flexible, low stress, and paid the bills. I was comfortable so I put chasing my dream on the back burner for a little bit. I was busy raising kids and taking photos of them and sharing on social media was satisfying enough for awhile. I’ve been studying social media and marketing in my free time since I graduated.

In the last 6 months I got really serious about learning how to market a business with zero money because that is the budget I had to spend on a business. Kids are expensive and I now had three lovely energetic children taking all my money. My youngest was about 6 months old when I moved that plan from research to action.

You can probably imagine I had little time to spare with a job, a 6 month old, and three other people that need attention in my direct family. I also have other family who need assistance pretty regularly, so I didn’t have a lot of “free” time to work with. I spent probably less than 2 hours a week focusing on my business goals.

Here were my goals, so you can see what I was aiming for. I was going to market my Avon online because I didn’t feel I had enough time to create enough opportunities to sell products in person. Avon is a nice company because you are allowed to sell other companies’ products too but they ask that you use separate pages for other products.

Marketing

The benefit of honoring Avon’s brand wishes was that I created social media pages and accounts that had real focus. I really do have fun creating marketing materials and experimenting with what draws people in.

I also am a writer by nature, it drives me crazy when I see an empty caption space next to a promotional post. It’s such a wasted opportunity to connect with others. Back on topic, my need to write about the things I encounter in my daily life led me to also create CraftingGlow.

That brand was intended to be a less-focused creative place for me to throw down whatever I felt was inspirational, helpful, and/or relatable. I want to share stories about raising children and painting my red poppies. It gives me so much more inspiration to do projects when I can share the joy and also some of the stumbling blocks along the way.

My goal with the CraftingGlow page is to share valuable heartwarming content to grow an audience. I truly want to make content that is going to help people. It doesn’t have to be something complex and sophisticated to make me happy, although I do enjoy challenges as well. I’m pretty flexible in that I like the small tasks just as much as I like the extreme challenges.

I’d like to inspire people who “think they can’t” to take “one baby step at a time”. Do this long enough and you will see improvement! Something magic happens when your brain switches from the “I can’t” mode to “I can”. It breathes new energy into us and we can take on more responsibility and build towards our goals. People have so much potential to make amazing things happen. If we believe in something enough to put in the daily work, resources find us and that is when the real progress takes place.



Thank You For Spending Time With Me

My goal is to create a website that is organized, easy, and fun to use! Please let me know if you find anything that isn’t working properly.

I truly hope you find my content helpful, inspiring, and humorous. It makes me so happy to be part of a supportive and creative community. Thank you everyone for all of your support! Check out my portfolio and blog and please share my work if you know someone who would enjoy it. Don’t forget to join our mailing list or connect with me on your favorite social platform!

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