BLK Sheep Creative. You know it as the name of my business, but I wanted to share more with you about why I chose it. To do so, you’ll have to come on a journey with me, and it’s a deep one (probably why I haven’t shared it until now). Stick with me though, the ending is so worth it. I want to preface this backstory by saying I am sharing this to empower those who have been through similar.
To the woman who feels she isn’t good enough, to the woman who feels she doesn’t fit in, to the woman who feels she won’t ever belong, this is for you.
I’ve never felt completely a part of any group. All the way through my schooling I never understood why cliques formed and made friendships with people across the board. The beauty in this was how well it expanded my view of the world and it grew my love for all people regardless of where they came from. The downside? I never felt like I really belonged.
Fast forward and I had graduated high school without a clear direction of where I wanted to go. Though I always loved art I thought it was a dead end. Surely not a way to make money. Right? But because art had been the only thing I was every really passionate about, I wasn’t ready to pick a major. I actually got into a school for mechanical engineering of all things (cheers to those summer nights trying to help my dad with his cars), but when I saw the price tag that wasn’t going to happen. So, I went to a community college at first to take my preliminary courses without having to commit yet.
When I finally grew the courage to go to school for art and declare an art major, I applied to a local college well known for its art programs – Skidmore. I applied with a 4.0, I had loads of volunteering experience, I wrote several strong essays. I didn’t get in. I was heartbroken and I took it as a very clear sign that yet again, art wasn’t the path I was supposed to be on. I didn’t belong, again.
I worked my way up through to management at a Forever 21 at my local mall where I built incredible friendships that I am so grateful for, but even there, there were those who didn’t like me. No matter how hard I tried, they still didn’t like me – and openly so.
After a year or so I decided to finish up my college time online so I could work a full-time job to help support my family from home. This decision was seen by some as not good enough. I was “stunted” still living with my parents through and after college. I was called a “hermit” once because I worked full-time during the day and went to college full-time at night. Talk about isolation and not feeling like I belonged. I graduated with the highest honors with a bachelor’s in Entrepreneurship & Small Business Marketing.
Finally I had landed comfortably in my corporate job. I was surrounded by so many people that I loved and admired. While I hated the job, I never wanted to leave the friends that I had made there. But soon the longing for creative freedom and the need to build my own dreams took over. With the support of my family and my work family, I made the leap to start my own business and move to Cincinnati Ohio to be with my long distance partner.
So, why BLK Sheep Creative?
Because I have always felt like the black sheep. Some of it was because of how others treated me. Some of it was self inflicted through my own insecurities. All of it pushed me to thrive in my personal live, and my new business. Starting my own business is the best decision I ever made. Despite never feeling like I belonged, I have been able to build a successful business with a strong community of women who support each other endlessly.
I created BLK Sheep Creative for all of the other black sheep out there. The women who grew tired of working for someone else. The women who had the courage to fight for their dreams. The women who spend their days building others up. The women who don’t shy away from the hustle. The women to refuse to accept that there is a ceiling and will break through any barrier placed in their way. The women who may not feel like they quite belong anywhere else. I hear you, I see you, I am so proud of you.
You will ALWAYS belong here, but don’t ever be afraid to stand out. This business is my love letter to you.
My business mantra: A modern branding, web design, and education boutique. Empowering women in business to stand out from the flock.