Make a Leap: February’s Instagram Inspiration

February 26, 2016

In honor of this leap year, we asked you, our nearest and dearest, to share a snap-and-story about times in your lives when you took a major leap. The response was nothing short of amazing—so many awe-inspiring tales of courageous changes, heart-following journeys and bold, take-the-plunge decisions. In case you missed the #MakeALeap buzz, here are excerpts from some of our favorite big moments.

Leap of Career / @urbanismdesigns
I wasn’t always an interior designer. I always loved design but I grew up in Silicon Valley and my first internship was in high tech, so naturally I went down that path. Eventually I landed a great job at a really great company and I really thought that was it for me. After my daughters were born, I became increasingly unhappy with my job. I realized that if a job is going to keep me away from my babies, it should at least be something that I enjoy. I didn’t want my daughters to see me depressed and stressed. Change was necessary and I don’t want to make it dramatic, but it really was a now or never kind of situation. My daughters gave me the courage to take a big leap of faith and I resigned from my job to pursue my passion. Most people thought I was crazy or doubted my decision—heck, even I did. It was one of the hardest, most agonizing decisions I’ve ever made but amazingly I haven’t looked back since. The studio is small but it’s not a business to me, it’s a dream come true and I’m grateful. I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to do what I love and still be able to make time for my kids. I believe good things will happen if you follow your heart. It happened to me twice: when I became a wife and when I became a mom.

Leap of Charity / @siestasforfiestas
We had always talked about running away and living in another country. Last year we decided to #makealeap and move to Cancun, Mexico. We quit our safe jobs, left the only city we’d ever known to follow our dream of being beach bums. Little did we know that we’d be introduced to a project that provides Christmas meals for families living in poverty. Our hearts were filled with the desire to help and Siestas for Fiestas was born. We are so thankful we went against all logic and made the leap!

Leap of Passion / @tebellateacompany
Although I’ve loved tea since I was a little girl, owning a tea shop wasn’t always my plan. I studied history and biology at Mount Holyoke and had plans to pursue veterinary medicine. At one point I worked as a whale trainer at the Mystic Aquarium, and worked a series of other jobs before finally turning my lifelong passion for tea into a business. What I’ve always loved about tea is the ritual aspect of it. The process of making tea is an art form, even in the every day. You choose your tea, a favorite cup, something sweet to eat with your drink—it is a respite from the frantic pace of daily life. To bring that love of tea to other people, and teach them about the complexities and nuances of loose leaf tea, has been a dream. With support from friends and family, I opened TeBella Tea five years ago despite having no real background in business. I had no idea what I was doing or where it would take me, but since then, I’ve visited Japan and India on tea-buying trips, and have learned so much from the farmers and tea tasters I’ve met in each country. On the home front, TeBella Tea has grown from one small shop to three locations in two cities and a thriving wholesale business. I couldn’t imagine my life unfolding in any other way that would be as fulfilling as this one.

Leap of Personal Discovery / @findernotkeeper
After raising four sons, I set sail on a journey of self-discovery. The seas can be pretty choppy but I’ve got my ballast water in the form of kids and husband backing me up. In selling instant pop-up collections of vintage and antiques, something unexpected happened. I enjoy finding old things but I love writing about them even more. So now it’s time to set my compass to a new course.

Leap of Career / @deannart
In 2004, I took a major leap of faith. I traded in my corporate high heels and a steady paycheck for paint brushes and boots, and for the past 12 years have had an open working art studio located inside a once-abandoned stove-and-mattress factory in Franklin, TN, just south of Nashville. I started out doing art festivals on the weekends, and a lot of “sweat equity” was put into those early years….it has truly been a journey, and hasn’t always been easy, but one I would never trade. It has taken a lot of trust, and knowing deep down this is what I was meant to be doing. And, the funny thing is, when you find the work you are truly meant to do, I’m learning that everything seems to fall into place just as it should. I have the words “Trust the Journey” written on an old door inside my studio as a daily reminder.

Leap of Beauty / @marispiker
“I’ve always gravitated toward the artful—environments full of color, fashion and celebration—so I started experimenting with creating beautiful scenes at parties, in photographs and through other outlets. Then, in 2015, I took the leap and began styling professionally. In the past year, I’ve worked with amazing clothing lines, fitness companies and talented photographers. And to kick off 2016 right, we moved our little family to NYC, where the opportunity to recognize and create beauty is unparalleled.”

Leap of Why-Not / @moonshapes
“I emailed a local restaurant out of the blue to ask if I could schedule an art show…with absolutely nothing made, and no idea what kind of art I wanted to create. A frantic, yet inspired, two months later, I hung a collection of hand-sewn, abstract quilt squares—and I discovered my passion in the process.”

Don’t miss a postfollow us on Instagram today!