When I was in high school, I didn't know what I wanted to do for a living. I knew that I loved to draw and create. Graphics design was fun, and creating digital works of art to convey a message was something I really enjoyed. My boyfriend Bret suggested I go into marketing. I, being the teenager that I was, scrunched up my nose and told him "Why would I want to do that?"
To me, marketing meant lying to people. It meant tricking people into buying things they didn't need. It meant taking advantage of people to make money. I didn't want to be a part of that. I wanted to do something important.
So I went to college for Graphic Design and Interactive 3D technology --- the kind of stuff you do for computer animations and video games. But I still felt so unsure of what I wanted to do. At this point, I was married with a home, so I started to look for work part-time to help with expenses.
My dad told me about a friend of his, John Harrison, the guy that helped found MakeICT and made those Friendship Lamps that my dad had. I didn't really "get" the lamps, but I thought they were neat. John was hiring, 'cause he needed people to help assemble lamps. I asked him if he could pass my resumé along to John.
So he did. John reached out to me and let me know that the position probably wasn't something I'd be interested in, with my studies in art and design. I insisted that I liked working with my hands (true) and setup a time to come visit.
I got the job and started making Friendship Lamps in the morning before zipping across town to go to class in the evenings. The semester came and went, and I ended up not continuing school. I started working more, and I enjoyed it. I liked my coworkers, I liked what I did, and I got to listen to music which I worked. I was content.
One Sunday, I get a call from John. He asked me if I might be interested in helping with Customer Service, and I say yes. So I got a chromebook and a filimin.com email address and learned a lot more about how Friendship Lamps work.
I started to talk to customers, and my heart went out to them. They were emailing me because their Friendship Lamp didn't work, and they desperately wanted to be connected to the people they loved. I wanted them to be connected, too. I did my best to help them, and overall I found our customers to be kind, patient, and understanding with me.
I worked in Customer Service for a while, until John came to me and asked if I was interested in Social Media. He said our Facebook page existed, but we didn't really do anything with it. So I started to post and talked to some more customers. I saw all the people who told us what a difference their lamps made. I heard stories of those who were sick, disabled or alone, all reaching out to communicate with those they loved. I even got a few hand-written messages from customers thanking me for my help.
I started to see what John wanted when he created them. Then I started to make videos, like this one. It took a lot of time to make, and I am pretty proud of it. "Finally I get to do graphic design again!" I thought.
Now I'm the head of marketing.
Oops, I ended up in Marketing on accident. After I started doing social media, things just kept moving forward until I was so invested in it that I took ownership over our marketing.
When someone asked me what I did for a living, I would excitedly tell them about Friendship Lamps and how cool they were. I told people about the connections, about the stories we'd received. I told people about our amazing company, and all the beauty we bring to the world by working with WIN and the IRC.
I told people about my new Filimin Family; and I really do mean family. My coworkers became my best friends and the company Christmas party was the one I looked forward to the most during the holidays.
And then I would sheepishly mention I did marketing.
Because to me, "marketing" still meant lying to people for money "marketing" was a dirty word to me. But that wasn't really the case anymore, was it? marketing meant I was telling people about something I believed in. It meant being creative and making videos. It meant sharing peoples stories and learning constantly. marketing meant more sales, which meant that I could keep my Filimin Family together. I wanted people to know about us and about connection, and being in marketing helps me do that.
So I work in marketing. I avoided it since high school, but it ended up being the perfect fit for me. Lucky me, my husband never said "I told you so." Sure, there are parts about my job that I don't like, but I work with people I love, and I get to spend my whole day trying to tell more people about something I think is beautiful. Isn't that beautiful?