An Inner Calling Inspires New Beginnings & a Passion to Pursue First Rate Living
In July of 2017, my husband and I packed up what little we had left after selling almost everything we owned and took a long trek across the western side of the United States. Stopping only for gas and food, we were leaving our life in Texas behind and were “all in” on our decision to move to Los Angeles, CA. This decision did not come easy or without opposition (including the twice-a-day reiteration from friends and family about how expensive it is to live there). Through a combination of tears, prayers, guidance, fear, and A LOT of faith, we felt called to make this life-changing transition.
It all started with a couple of trips out to California back in 2015. For obvious reasons, we fell in love with Los Angeles.
But it was much more than that. We love Venice, Italy too, but this was different. Through the interactions we had and the sense of community we experienced, it felt like home almost instantly. We began to pray and ask for guidance because we knew there were many unknowns we would have to face in order for us to make this move. In 2015, neither one of us had jobs that would allow our drastic change of venue. We would be starting over completely. So, we sold most of our belongings, finished out our lease in Dallas, and moved in with family while we worked on a plan. One of the hardest things to do while you “figure it out” is live with family who have a million questions that you don’t have the answers to yet, but we felt strongly where God was leading us, and even though we felt like we were on the edge of a cliff, we knew we had to jump. It was the biggest test of our faith that we have ever experienced.
My relationship with First Rate started back in 2012. I worked in the Marketing department alongside Emily Traxler, who is now First Rate’s Chief Marketing Officer. However, I wasn’t very passionate about the role I was in at that time, and I took a job elsewhere. By 2016, I was open to where God was leading me, and I felt strongly that He was leading me back to First Rate. There had been many changes in the leadership of the team since I left, and I felt that the current vision of First Rate and my passions were finally aligned. I truly believed that together we were going to do great things, and this ended up being a huge turning point in my life.
As stressful and challenging as starting a new job and moving halfway across the country was, the past two years have turned out to be very significant and impactful in my personal growth in ways that I didn’t expect. Not only do my values align with First Rate’s (Love, Give, Serve & Enjoy), but I also am very fortunate to be a part of a team of three bold, fearless, and empowering women who give each other the freedom to be ourselves, share ideas, and push each other toward greatness in and outside of business. I feel fortunate to have the freedom to be innovative and creative as well as trust that my team and my company supports growth and change.
That empowerment has been instrumental in my transition into living in a big city like Los Angeles, and it inspired me to get involved in my passions in the community out here. Building a sense of community in a city with a reputation for being a bit self-indulgent has its challenges, but we’ve come to realize that there is a significant appreciation for genuine connection and relationships.
My husband and I are still in the beginning of our journey here in Los Angeles. We are working on creating a platform for open and honest conversation that allows people to feel free to be vulnerable, create deep connections, and help them find their true calling. After the initial shock of learning how to prepare for earthquakes, adjusting to inflation at a speed we’ve never experienced before, and traffic that makes you wonder what you are doing with your life, we’ve realized what trusting God really looks like, and the connections you can make along the way when you allow Him to be your guiding hand.
Julie Windom, Marketing’s Digital Media Associate, joined the First Rate team in 2017. In her current role, Windom develops creative and dynamic content to support the growth strategies implemented by the First Rate Marketing team.