Can you start by telling the readers a little about yourself?
I am currently living in my dream one-bedroom apartment in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with my husband Alex and puppy, River! I'm a high school teacher by day and growing my own photography business with my husband by night (Say Hello, Story).
You are a high school teacher, correct? What drew you to that career?
I had amazing English teachers growing up that really empowered me to voice my own opinions and opened my eyes to a lot of global issues. They really fostered a sense of empathy in me and I wanted to be able to do the same for other teenagers.
You also have a blog. How did that get started?
When we first started dating, Alex and I discovered that we both have a huge passion for storytelling and photography and we both wanted to make that into our careers. So we decided to start the blog as a way to start photographing and telling people's stories. We then took this platform to also create our own photography business. Now the blog is a place for us to showcase our photography and to tell the stories behind the photos.
What is something you have learned from being a blogger and a teacher?
Ooo. This is a tough question. I think that patience is everything. What you want isn't going to happen right away. You just have to keep working on it and not give up. For blogging, it's not giving up on growing your audience and to telling genuine stories. For teaching, it's not giving up on kids and knowing that they are all worth every inch of your love.
We are never really done growing up. What do you hope to do in the future?
My goal for the next year is to start doing photography full-time. Whenever I'm not photographing, I'm dreaming about photographing and it would truly be a dream to do that for a living. So, I'm going to do it!
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Being excited about the future. I'm so blessed right now to be surrounded by loving and supportive people. My husband is always pushing me to follow my dreams and to make those dreams happen. So I'm always inspired to get up and to get working!
Do you have advice for girls growing up today?
Trust your own voice. There will be times in your life where people will try to silence you and tell you that you are not worthy. You. Are. Worthy. You will always be worthy and nothing will ever change that. Your ideas, emotions and dreams are all valid. Anyone that tells you otherwise is trying to bring you down. Don't let them. You are worthy of the purest love. You are worthy of your wildest dreams.
Do you have any female figures that you look up to?
My mother is my ultimate role model. She has always taught me to have my own opinions and to work hard for my dreams. She's taught me that hard work and dedication are so important and that my voice is worth hearing. She's really empowered me both as a woman and as a leader. I love her dearly and am so thankful every day to have a mother like her.
Why do you think it is important to tell our stories?
Empathy is the most powerful thing in the world. And especially in the world today, we need it more than ever. Through telling our stories, we can create an understanding. That understanding can get rid of fear and ultimately hate. If we listen to each other and learn where we all came from, this world would be a better place.
What is something in life that you are most proud of?
I'm proud of my ability to work hard and to not give up. If I have an idea or a project I'm working on that I'm passionate about, I will work my butt off and give it my all until I'm happy with the outcome.
A few favorites:
Book: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Band/Song/Music Genre: I truly love all music so this is a tough one. I love folk music, rap, pop, and musicals
Quote: I've read too many books, I can't just pick one!
What is your life motto?
You are worthy.