I am a creative, a photographer and marketer. But I do not thrive on art alone. I crave organization and a passionate drive.
Home schooled since preschool, I have always lived an unconventional lifestyle. Growing up, my parents prohibited TV in the house and encouraged me to work on constructive projects instead. At age thirteen, my father gave me the book, The $100 Dollar Startup, by Chris Guillebeau, $100 in a bank account, and my first debit card for business purchases. He introduced me to the magical world of entrepreneurship. Upon completing the book, I opened an online crafting store, The Cinnamon Butterfly, on Zibbet. Through middle school and high school I started a branded dog-walking business, directed two plays, and planned a party for over 60 people. No matter my age or stage in my life, I have always been goal-driven desiring a challenge.
Entering my home school high school program freshman year, I was timid and terrified of public speaking. Mentally I still have a crystal clear picture of my first speech competition - heart pounding, I blurted out my speech as quickly as I could glancing up only once from my folder, before hastily retreating to my notes after making eye contact with an audience member. However, I realized I had to force myself in to those uncomfortable situations if I ever wanted the fear to subside. So that is what I did. Year after year I got more comfortable with public speaking until I it became my favorite subject!
Junior year, sitting in front of the audience, classmates, and judges, I smiled. It was moments before my impromptu speech during the final round of the upperclassmen debate competition. I felt only eagerness and confidence. I left the program as a two time debate tournament winner, winner of second place in the speech contest, and lead actress in the high school plays for three consecutive years. In fact, debate season was my favorite semester. It demanded the weeks of preparation and acquired knowledge, but also the ability to think quickly on my feet to creatively respond to and question the opponents - the art of persuasion in its purest form.
As the years flew by, I began pondering career options. Due to my love for creativity and my enjoyment of organization, I decided running my own photography business was a viable and appealing option. In tenth grade, I initiated my first photography internship along with shadowing opportunities and created my first website. Upon reading the book, Designing Your Life by Dave Evans and Bill Burnett, the following year I initiated another internship, coordinated many prototyping interviews, and shot several senior sessions. I cold emailed local photographers requesting to meet up to chat about the ins and outs of photography as a career. I persisted until I met with ten different photographers which has lead to two internships and shadowing opportunities.
At seventeen, I negotiated a program to graduate early. After hammering out the legal requirements and details, I began the proposed program with no accountability but my own drive and graduated by the target date.
I now work in outreach at Kimberton Whole Foods, while continuing my photography business, Kayla Cher Photography (kaylacher.com). I am also enrolled in Praxis and Udacity pursuing marketing. I believe life should be pursued with creativity, curiosity, and drive!