It’s been an interesting few months…

You probably know (or maybe you don’t) that I recently lost/left my corporate job at Bebe Stores. Yup, I’m currently “retired” as Rob likes to call it. I debated making a post about this or not, but I feel like it’s something I need to get out.

First of all, I’ve had a job since I was 15. I’ve always worked and made my own money. I like being financially independent and hate having to rely on anyone else. I’m super stubborn that way (and in many others).

I worked a few other fashion based jobs before landing at Bebe, but I was with them in total for about 4.5 years. I started as an Assistant Jewelry Buyer, and worked my ass off to get up to the level I was at when I left- Merchant- Jewelry & Accessories. In short, I was responsible for the entire Jewelry and Accessories assortments for all US stores.

There were aspects I LOVED.

  • My co-workers & my assistant- who I am still close to, and will be probably forever.
  • Being super creative- I did a ton of product development and design, which was amazing. Working with vendors to develop the Christmas Gift Box items, putting together gorgeous jewelry capsules each month, etc.
  • Traveling- I was in New York City about 4-6 times per year, and as tiring those trips were, I really miss them. I feel so lucky to have been able to experience them.
  • Networking- I made so many incredible connections with people in the fashion industry and I’ll take those with me wherever I go. Not only business partners, but true friendships.

And there were of course things I didn’t love. I got to be very burnt out. I was working long hours, my incredible team was whittled down from 11 people to only 4 due to lay offs in 2016, I was busting my ass to keep my businesses afloat. And to be very blunt, I was fucking over it.

My burn out impacted everyone around me, especially Rob. I was an absent minded girlfriend for a very long time. I was negative, tired, cranky, and downright bitchy sometimes (ok, maybe a lot of the time). He was always patient with me, and was super supportive through the entire process. We basically got together when I started at Bebe, so he’s been on the rollercoaster since day one. Bless him, seriously. That man deserves a medal or some sort of boyfriend of the year award. He’s a saint.

I would come home and try to work on Worship Worthy from 7 to midnight, but was often times to exhausted to do anything but make dinner and go to freaking bed. I didn’t make time to work out, I wasn’t eating healthy anymore, I was drinking way too many nights of the week (a glass of wine was my bff). I felt so off. And my family and friends noticed it too. I couldn’t drag myself out of it, no matter how hard I tried.

I was a constant ball of stress and anxiety. …Ok, I think you get my drift. (P.S. Anxiety post is coming soon…)

Rob and I had discussed for a long time what my exit strategy was going to be. He encouraged me to leave the company to save my sanity, and to focus my time on Worship Worthy, launching my shop, and doing what I really love.

For whatever reason, I wasn’t able to pull the trigger. Be it financial based fears, career based fears, etc, I kept chickening out. Well, the decision was about to be made for me…whether I was ready or not.

Back in March, we received notice from bebe, that it would be shutting it’s doors, was being bought by a larger parent company and focusing it’s efforts online only. This meant closing all of the brick and motor stores (about 127), and massive lay offs. It was awful, and surprising. We knew business was tough, as most brick and motor stores are these days, but we didn’t expect this to happen.

It was a scary time for everyone, and very unknown. For many weeks, we didn’t know who was going to stay on with the new company and who was going to be laid off. Everyday was a mystery and you didn’t know what to expect when you walked into the office.

Necklaces- Top | Middle | Bottom

Long story short, May 12th was my last day with Bebe. That day was bittersweet. I was relived that the rollercoaster ride was essentially over and I’d be able to take some time off and chill, but it hit me that I would never be working with my team again, I would never be back in the office, etc, etc.

I’m pretty sure I came home and cried in Rob’s arms- both tears of joy and sadness. Again, thank god for him.ย 

So…here we are now. In the last few weeks I have been able to take some time for myself and really do some soul searching (and some traveling). I also have learned thatย relaxing is not my forte.ย But more importantly, I’ve realized that working in a corporate environment (right now) just isn’t for me. I’d much rather focus my time and attention on my own business, Worship Worthy, and use this time as a much needed grounding experience. Getting back to my center, if you will.

As weird (and somewhat unexpected) as this change in my life has been, I realize how how much happier I am now. The weight has finally been lifted and I feel like I’m getting back to being myself. I’m more positive, I have more energy, I’m working out, and I’m feeling creative and inspired again.

Wow, this has turned into a bit of a novel, but I feel like this chapter in my life was worth sharing. As I am trying to be more personal with my blog and my brand, this pivotal time has taught me a lot. And I want to just offer some advice to anyone who’s going through something like this now, or maybe encounters this in the future– you WILL be okay.

Trust your gut, follow your heart, and work your ass off to make your dreams come true. When you’re 80 and look back on your life, will you be proud of what you accomplished, or will you be regretful of the things you didn’t do? I know that when I am 80, I will be SO proud that I launched Worship Worthy and became my own boss. Even if I end up falling flat on my face, I TRIED it.

What’s that saying- “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”. That is 100% true, my friends. If you HATE your current job, the city you live in, the friends you have, or whatever, then change it. Little by little, make the change and put YOUR happiness first. Because if you don’t, who will?

Thanks for reading all of this (anyone still there?), you’re awesome!

XO, Ali

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All photos by: Stefanie Marie Photography
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