Friday, April 22, 2011


A year ago or so I was interviewed by Julia Moulden for her new book," RIPE: Rich, Rewarding Work After 50", the title of which I didn't know at the time. This week the book came out, and I was surprised to see a fairly large chunk of the interview, and was interested to see if I might have re-stated anything were I to be interviewed again today. Instead of writing a post this week, I am going to lift the interview straight from the book, because the truth of a year ago is the truth of today. Nice.

"I went to art school and became a clothing designer for large manufacturers. In the late '80's, when retailers realized they needed to start designing their own clothing, I launched an in-house design department for Eddie Bauer. I was there for 14 years and, by the end, was overseeing a huge team of designers (NOTE, the interviewer got this a little wrong, I was overseeing a huge marketing team when I left)

And then it all blew up. Business was terrible, I knew I was on the way out. I was 49, the sole breadwinner in our family, with a son in his junior year of high school and a daughter in the eighth grade.

I was recruited for two very different positions and chose the smaller firm. We moved our family from Seattle to California - from our dream home to half the house for twice the money. I went from running a department of 130 people to working for a company with 100 people in total. I turned 50 and hit menopause. Throughout, I was hell-bent on proving I could do it all.

The year I turned 55 brought more changes. I took an exit package, and my marriage began to unravel. I gave myself a year off. I'd been working since I was 19. Now, with no kids at home, no marriage and no job, I hit a wall. If a move title could sum up that year of my life, it would be "It's Complicated Up In The Air".

I went into therapy and began training for a three-day breast cancer fundraising walk that one of my best friends had long wanted me to do but I was always too busy working (to do). The group of women I trained with became an important part of my life.

All the soul searching made me realize I could seize my life - or drown. I told myself, "This is who I am, and I can't live with a fake version any longer".

I was recruited to this new role as CEO of Artful Home, an online company that sells artist-made decor and jewelry, and I'm the happiest I've ever been. I've come full-circle - it brings together my training as an artist and my experience in retail. And I feel like I'm just hitting my stride"

Yep, still true, and only getting better.

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