Ep. 33: Christine Llewellyn Takes a Bold Leap and Founds Christine Joy Design
"I thought, 'no one that looks like me is really doing this.' Had I seen other black women designers at an early age, I would have been much more likely to have pursued this sooner."
"I didn't want to work to work. I wanted to do something I was passionate about."
Raised in a strict Caribbean household where art was not considered a career, Christine pushed her longstanding artistic passion to the sidelines. When she met designers making a living through art, Christine took a leap of faith and left her financial services career behind. Her mother's bold move to Africa when Christine was a child gave Christine the courage to do it, and now Christine's designs are sold by major retailers like Crate & Barrel and West Elm.
In this episode, we discuss Christine's winding career path to entrepreneurship, the catalyst that caused her to leave her corporate job at American Express, growing up in a traditional Caribbean home where creative careers weren't encouraged, finding time to do creative things while working a day job you may not be passionate about, the courageous example her mother set for her, why women often take the safe path rather than the path they truly want to be on, how every step in her path including her background in business helped her succeed in art, getting her business off the ground with two young children, how her race and gender have affected her career, the lack of black women designers she saw as role models, how she manages her busy life, and why she encourages everyone to talk to as many people as possible.
"You don't have to be a starving artist. If you love art, there are many ways that you can still do art and be creative and make good money."
In this episode, you'll learn:
"Especially when I think about that stint at AmEx, where it just felt like 'this is not at all what I want to be doing, it's taking me off course', it couldn't have been a more perfect transition role. Had I not been on that project, I might not be where I am now."
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