What work have you done in the past?
I worked in the services industry – recently in fine food and wine – I worked as a sommelier / bartender in various restaurants with Michelin stars.
What are you doing now?
I opened my nature-inspired online art store, OMA (Organic Minimalist Arts), at the beginning of the plague.
I am currently also studying sound design, a new passion that is underway, and I am in the process of launching my second business, Wine Knot.
My new business provides private macrame lessons with Somalia treasure treasure wine. I found it fits in with my love of crafts and wine, without the disadvantages of full service.
How did you feel at work before you decided to make the change?
I felt exhausted, depressed, and as if there was no way out.
I had no experience with anything else that would yield the same level of income.
I drank too much, smoked, and neither did I sleep or slept excessively in any chance I had.
Work-life balance was something I could only dream of.
Why did you change?
I knew that the way my life was going and my depression was not sustainable.
Waking up every day and afraid to get into work (for so many different reasons) I got tired to the point where I thought I was going to break down.
When was the moment when you decided to make the change?
I just underwent high-dose psilocybin therapy and gained a new outlook on life.
Then, the plague struck and everything closed, including my work.
Instead of drinking heavily and being self-destructive, as I used to be, I immediately made the decision to take advantage of all my new time to invest in myself.
I knew that the only thing that kept me from true happiness in life was me.
How did you choose your new career?
I searched within myself for what I had always loved to do.
Now that I had the time and space to really think and decide, it became clear to me that making art was what I was supposed to do.
Are you happy with the change?
I am pleased with my change.
I feel like a whole new person right now. Happier and healthier.
My artistic side has been closed for so many years due to physical and mental exhaustion, unhealthy life choices related to my career and lack of self-care.
I am now exploring different art forms and mediums, and it has helped me reconnect with who I am in my heart.
Why do you miss and why do you not miss?
I miss the connections I had with others in my industry.
We were ‘in the trenches’ together and built a relationship unlike any other.
What I do not miss is almost everything else.
How did you make the transition?
I filmed in the background all my life, so I felt I should start with that.
I just started taking pictures: flowers, textures, trees – just things outside my apartment.
I had experience in graphic design from college, so I used it in conjunction with my photography. This led to me selling prints for the first time.
Then, as time went on and I was able to explore different niches like botanical colors, I branched out and started producing and selling more items, such as bouquets of pink-painted wooden beads and other items for home decor.
How have you developed (or transferred) the skills you need for your new job?
Fortunately, being anal about organizing and scheduling is very helpful when starting a business!
These are two qualities I am proud of. Keeping things organized allows me to be more able to move from one project to another.
I took classes at my local community college, online courses and virtual seminars to better understand how to run a business.
What did not go well? What wrong inquiries did you make?
I do not think I made the wrong requests to leave the industry given the circumstances; However, I gained a lot from setting up my business.
One thing I have learned is that compulsion is not a good thing in running a business. This is something that was completely new to me!
How did you handle your finances to enable your shift?
Well, sure I saved a lot of money on alcohol!
I lowered a lot of my expenses simply by not leaving the house due to closure, and then when I was able to get out more, I put all the free money I could into my art supplies and business.
I also left my apartment and moved in with my partner.
What was the hardest thing about the change?
The change in my schedule has been very difficult for me for a while.
For so long, I had a routine where I went to bed late when I got home from work, and usually painted a ‘dinner’ at 10pm. I had a hard time training my body from that.
What help did you get?
Financially I financed the business myself with the help of my partner.
As for other sources of help, I took courses on how to run a business, and received treatment.
What resources would you recommend to others?
I highly recommend taking online courses.
There are lots of low cost courses, do it whenever you want, specializing in things like setting up an online store, copywriting, Instagram marketing, SEO and more and more.
I did not know how much I did not know until I started a business.
What did you learn in the process?
I pushed myself further than I thought possible, only to realize I had a lot more to go.
I learned a lot about myself in particular – what I really like and what I do not, what I am capable of and how strong my urge to learn.
I also learned a lot about what does not work, and what not to do!
What would you advise others to do in that situation?
You only have one chance to write your story.
Start writing it the way you want it written.
For more information on Felicia’s business, visit www.wineknotevents.com.
What lessons can you learn from the story of Felicia to use to change your career? Tell us in the comments below.