I’ve gotten a few questions about my business and career path lately, so I figured I would take the time to share more in depth. The simple look at my careers goes something like this: high school > college > entry level job in my field > mid-level job in my field.
But then you have to salt and pepper the story with the entrepreneurial pieces! I tried to weave those in as best as I could. Those parts of my career are so much harder to put on paper.
In 2011, I graduated high school and headed off to play collegiate soccer at a small private school. I went into my first semester as a pre-med, biology major. I wanted to become a dietician. Well, that didn’t last long.
A few months in, I was miserable, and my soccer coach knew it. He suggested I switch my major to business, so I did. Second semester, I became a BSBA student studying marketing. It was the perfect fit.
Marketing Was my Jam
I flourished in the business school, while playing soccer, leading my sorority as recruitment chair, working three part-time jobs, and experimenting in the marketing field by completeling four internships. In three short years, I had enough to credits to graduate early.
Two months prior to graduation, I had a job lined up in Indianapolis, Indiana as a digital marketing specialist making a solid $32,000/year.
If you have student loans, you know that you get 6 months post-graduation before the payments kick in. After my first payment hit, I went to my boss and asked for a raise. I had a job offer on the table from a tech start up for $38,000, so I could walk if they said no. They said yes.
Going to Graduate School
Around that same time, I started applying to graduate school to get my MBA. I always knew I wanted an advance degree and it made sense to get it done before getting married, having kids etc.
I took the GMAT and passed with the MINIMUM score to get into Ball State University’s program. My company paid for 50% of that degree.
In my spare time (while working full-time, going to school full-time and flipping a house) I tried starting like nine different blogs. There was one called “X-perience Digital.” One about dogs. One about my faith.
The Company I Worked for Sold
A year after starting my MBA program, the company I worked for announced that it was being sold to a Canadian enterprise. While most people sat around biting their fingernails, I immediately started interviewing for a new job.
You know the movies when they fire a bunch of people and they all sulk out of their offices with an envelope and a card board box containing their family photos? Well, that was REAL for me. I watched it happen.
Thankfully, I had a job lined up so I could turn down the offer with the new, incoming company and move on to something bigger and better. This was how I ended up in my current marketing role.
Experimenting with Instagram
The 6 months prior to this shift, I had been experimenting with different niches on Instagram. I knew I wanted to grow a business and community online, I just didn’t know what kind.
Key takeaway: Don’t be afraid to experiment! There were many niches I tried to play in (and failed) before I landed on vintage/home decor.
I started my online, vintage, home goods shop during the week I was in-between these two jobs. I was sitting on the sofa one night and the name “Thoughtfully Thrifted” popped into my head. I ran upstairs and instantly bought the domain.
I launched my new website and Instagram profile in January of 2017, just days before I started my new job. A business was born! The online shop started doing very well.
I had to learn quickly: How to price, sell online, manage inventory, and ship product. It was chaos, but I found myself completely entrenched in styling and photographing the items that were for sale.
Life Got in the Way (Shocker)
Just as the online shop was heating up and I was starting to settle into my new marketing role, life got in the way. My then fiancé called off our wedding. We had JUST bought and moved into our current house. He didn’t want to keep it in the split, and I couldn’t afford it alone, so it went up for sale.
Reevaluating My Business
When you sell physical products online, you have to have somewhere to keep your inventory! That wasn’t going to work for me in an 800 square foot apartment, so I had to reevaluate my business. The solution, get rid of ALL inventory besides my vintage rugs. I purposely rented a 2 bedroom so I would have somewhere to store them.
That summer, I participated with my rugs in a lot of local vintage markets. Business was good. I was happy. Of course, life threw me another curveball, and I fell in love with my now husband who, at the time, lived 5 hours away in Michigan. It quickly became apparent that I would be moving again.
Another Shot at Blogging
While we were long distance, I started blogging again! I was going through so many emotions, and I wanted a place to share them. At that time, the blog was hosted on the Thoughtfully Thrifted website (where my rugs were for sale).
As my Instagram following and blog traffic grew, new opportunities started arising. I was receiving sponsorships and collaboration opportunities to create content for brands. It was all so exciting.
My Digital Marketing Agency
My husband and I started dating in June and by the end of the year, I was moving in with him in Michigan. I had tried finding a full-time marketing position there with absolutely no luck, so I went to my company and asked them if I could temporarily work remote. It took them months to come to a decision, but they finally said yes.
Around that same time of year, I saw a Facebook post from an acquaintance that said, “Anyone know someone who does digital marketing?” I commented below and said, “Yes! I do.”
That’s literally how my marketing consulting business started. It quickly grew into a full-service digital agency that offered social media management, copywriting, email marketing and website design. In 6 months, I had over 13 retainer clients. I crashed and burned HARD. I fired most of my clients and took 2 months off to reflect on the future of the business.
If I wanted to keep growing, I couldn’t grow alone. In November of that year (2018), I hired my assistant. My business would NOT be where it is today without her! She practically runs the dang thing.
Building a Personal Brand
In my heart, I knew I wanted to build a lifestyle blog and personal brand, so I started making the shift. I expanded my Instagram posts to include more than home decor and accepted collaborations outside of that space. Early 2019, I transitioned my blog off of Thoughtfully Thrifted and on to www.mirandaschroeder.com. I haven’t looked back since!
My Marketing Career Today
I’m still working full-time as a marketing manager, but I’m also running my digital marketing agency (much more hands off than ever before), and last, but not least growing my personal brand and blog. It’s A LOT. Someday, I hope to run my businesses full-time, but we have a lot of financial goals we want to hit before I take the leap!