So let me just start off by saying that I do not write blogs. I am not a blog writer. So just hold on to something while I navigate my way through my first ever because at this point in time I have no clue if this will be interesting, but let's hit it.
Also, I give you many kudos if you make it to the end.
Where to begin? Well - hi! - I'm Kayla, the owner & sole employee of Darling Digitals. I started this online business about five months ago & I can say that I have never been so motivated and passionate about work in my entire life! 😂 After many attempts at finding my creative outlet, I have finally found something to fuel my fire. But I'll start from the beginning.
I am 30 years old and living in good ol' New Jersey with my fiancé and two fur children.
HOLD UP: I'd like to mention that I live in the southern part of New Jersey where we talk like we're from Philly & tell people we're from Philly because we so badly want to be a part of Philly but really we are from New Jersey. NOT to be confused with North Jersey where they talk like they're from New York City and tell people they're from NYC because they so badly want to be from NYC but they are really from New Jersey. I thoroughly enjoy North Jersey peeps - not throwing shade. Just simply stating that my heart is with South Jersey forever. 💚
Moving on ..
Obviously since this business is so new + still developing, it is not currently my main gig.
In 2015 I graduated from a Diagnostic Imaging program and landed a job at a local Level I Trauma hospital as an X-Ray tech. Since then, I have moved up and I am now a Lead Technologist on the evening shift. I adore my co-workers, many of my which are also my best friends, so it makes the job entertaining on the not-so-great days. Although I enjoy my career, there has always been this nagging feeling that I'm not digging deep into my full potential as a human. I'll explain what I mean.
In x-ray school, a lot of my classmates would comment on how organized I was, how they admire my skills and also said "I should be someone's executive assistant" .. LOL. Now let me just say that the thought of grabbing someone coffee in the morning, answering all of their phone calls and scheduling a zillion meetings does not sound like the best way to utilize my creative + organizational skill set. I'm sure there are a lot of people who enjoy doing this and more power to you. My specific characteristics don't allow me to enjoy this type of work. I'm not a desk worker & I never have been, hence my chosen career field! BUT - it has always been in the back of my mind that maybe there was something else out there for me. Between finishing x-ray school, subsequently working towards my Bachelor's degree and moving forward with my career, I never quite found the time to explore my options. Maybe I wasn't planning my days well enough, or maybe the motivation just wasn't there. The truth is, I probably just had literally no idea where to begin.
Over the next few years, I tried my hand at a couple different "side gigs" based around hobbies. Things I enjoy?
So here's what I did - I became a Beach Body Coach.
Lord above.. WHY?
I ask myself this probably once a week. My passion for fitness got the best of me and I'll be honest, I thought I could make some quick cash while maybe helping a few people. Well let me tell you, sweetie - I was so far from wrong. I will spare the details but let's just say after a couple months, I was done.
Next up? Knitting. I do enjoy it, and I used to knit all the time before I started x-ray school. It's a great hobby & my creative side was basically begging me for an outlet, so I went to Michael's and stocked up on this super thick chunky yarn and began finger-knitting big chunky blankets. My passion was back - I began knitting scarves and hats - I even started up an Etsy shop called Cozy Stitch Studio. I made a bunch of beanies as gifts for Christmas and fulfilled some online orders. It went really well for a couple months, but it started to dawn on me how seasonal this business would be.. and how time consuming. One beanie from start to finish took about 5 hours. Now, don’t get me wrong - I could just be a super slow knitter, which is probably the case. Regardless, that was an extensive period of time to spend on one beanie which only brought me about $15 in actual profit. My interest slowly began to fade and Cozy Stitch Studio closed its doors. But I'll show you guys some pics anyway because it actually was really cute while it lasted.
Now - before I move on - I have to tell you that my biggest inspiration to jump into the world of design has been my fiancé. In the past 8 years, he has gone quickly from a freelance designer to a graphic designer for two major businesses, and was recently promoted to Creative Director at his current company. He is so talented, hard-working and passionate about his job that it made me want to WANT to be passionate about what I do as well.
Okay, done with the mushy :)
This past January I got into the nitty-gritty of planning for our destination wedding in Mexico, which included making my own wedding signs - the unplugged ceremony sign, the seating chart, the signature drinks, etc etc. I refused to pay for someone else to make these for me when I was living with a graphic designer who
was going to help me whether he liked it or not! ☺️ After coming up with the designs for our signs and sending them off to my wedding coordinator, I was legitimately SAD that I was done designing! I wanted to make more and more and more - and I wanted other people to see them! And so my adventure began - Darling Digitals was created and my goodness was my brain ON FIRE. I had so many ideas and creations I wanted to try, so I downloaded the Good Notes 5 app to use as a daily brain dump. I wasn't thrilled with the notebook templates that they had available, and I kind of wanted something that resembled a calendar as well. I jumped over into the Adobe suite and got to work. Before I knew it, I was in deep and this planner was turning out so much better than I had ever expected!! I. WAS. HYPE.
Creativity? - Check.
Design? - Check.
Organization? - CHECK.
This was it. THIS WAS MY BUSINESS!
And here we are - on a blog on my website that sells MY PLANNERS. And it couldn't feel more surreal. So long are the days off spent watching television for endless hours or aimlessly scrolling social media. Now I have a plan - and a mission - and a goal and I am so ready to conquer it ALL.