Bear with me whilst i'm just processing..
How is this even real? I feel totally undeserving of such an opportunity, but also feel so grateful that Lindsey, the journalist who wrote this amazing article got in touch with me earlier this year and asked if I would be interested in a feature.
When I first saw her message, part of me didn't believe it to be true and for a moment though it was spam! But I quickly realised it was a legitimate message and I was filled with excitement, and confusion - why me?
Whilst i'm not a complete novice in the magazine industry, I kinda' always felt like featured articles were reserved for those with thriving, established businesses that have been at it for years and years. My business is entirely in its infancy, so I had all sorts of imposter syndrome haul over me.
I've always been ambitious and one of my mottos in my twenties was always (and still is) 'if they can do it, so can I' so, I didn't let imposter syndrome take up too much of my conscious. I let it have its moment, and then kicked it to the curb. This was an incredible opportunity that has been given to me, there was absolutely no way I was passing it up!
Just to sidetrack for a paragraph or two - when doing my vision boards during my interior design training, I'd put on there that a dream would be to get featured at least once in my top three favourite interior magazines and potentially one day be able to guest write too. I've always loved writing, and back when I was at uni, I'd considered quitting my degree half way through my first year and reapply to do my undergrad and postgrad in journalism, but you know, life happened.
So, it feels even more special to me that not only have I made my mark on a magazine so early on in my career, it feels, mmm I can't quite think of the right world, but it feels lovely to see ASI featured, and I hope that one day I will be able to also write my name at the bottom of an article in an interior design magazine too.
Anyway back to it, so, a few weeks later, Katie from Katie Hayward Photography worked her magic behind the lens to shoot the photos for the article. When it comes to getting in front of the camera, I have no issue chatting on stories, or snapping a silly selfie or just generally taking the mick out of myself, but actually having to take serious photos was quite nerve-wracking! It was also MEGA hot - remember that epic summer long heatwave of 2022? Yeah - it was a sweaty day, but Katie was great and the photos came out really good. Maybe because we we're full of Dr Pepper?
I am honestly still quite shocked it's happened, but actually I feel really blessed that I have this to look back on from the very start of my career. It's reinforced that mindset that anything really is possible whether it's an opportunity that's come your way, or a goal you've got that you're determined to achieve. At the end of the day, it's up to us to find the courage to take a leap of faith and lean into it, or be fiercely brave enough to put ourselves out there and go out and get it.
I'm also going to leave you with this: (and a few behind the scenes shots).
Oh, p.s, if you want to read a copy of the September 2022 issue featuring yours truly, it's probably easier to read it online. You can get it on their website - just sign up for free! I'd love to know what you think! Or if you're based in Essex, you can find it and most major news outlets.
Notice the reality of styling on a shoot - stacks of pieces in corners, out of sight, that you can play with to get the vignettes right. These are just a few of my iPhone pics I snapped in between. There's a reel on my Instagram if you're interested!
Some of Katies shots: