We had the good fortune of connecting with Shelly Mullin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shelly, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Work life balance is so incredibly important to me. I’ve grown up with an intense work ethic as far back as I can remember, and held my first real job as a lifeguard at age 15. From there I enlisted in the Marines at age 17 and learned even more about commitment, sacrifice and selflessness. I settled down in a few long term corporate jobs after that, the most recent being a Marketing Director for a local CRE firm and found something was severely lacking after about 7 1/2 years. I worked tirelessly with my team to help them achieve their goals yet the balance became very one sided. Work started to consume my energy and time. Monetary reciprocity wasn’t exactly a driving force any more or equal to the amount of effort I was putting into the job. I began to examine my level of happiness and quickly found I was using my talents in the wrong manner. I determined these talents and skills were given to me to HELP OTHERS, hence the formation of Shellz Dezign, Photography & Dogs, LLC.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve always been a creative person, fascinated by using my talents to help others and make an impact. I developed a serious interested interest in design when I left the Marine Corps and decided to obtain my degree in Graphic Design in 2011 from the Art Institute. From there my artistic interests branched out into photography. It wasn’t until I decided to get sober in 2013 that my love and experimentation with photography blossomed, as did my existing spiritual connection with nature. I began taking a lot of solo camping trips to National parks and anywhere I could with my dog and my camera. I began to realize that the way I saw things was unique, as was my post processing. This led to a burning desire to share the beauty I saw with as many people as I could. I continued doing graphic design and photography through the years gaining both experience and relationships but always felt one piece of the puzzle was missing – my extreme love for dogs. Throughout my time designing, I was also dog sitting on the side. Gotta pay those student loans off somehow right? 🙂 Eventually 2020 arrived and I concluded THIS WAS IT. THESE were the 3 things in life i was most passionate about. Doing any one of them on any given day was for me, ultimate happiness. By designing I could help others create their dreams, whether it be a logo, website or brochure. Through photography, I could help inspire others to see all the beauty around them they might not have the opportunity to experience for themselves. By watching and walking dogs or mixing in pet photography, I could provide a service that would help improve the happiness and lives of many dogs and give their owners special keepsakes and moment to remember. Throughout this journey, I’ve learned that money while needed to pay bills, should never be a motivating factor in life. You can’t take it with you when you die but your soul will live on with all the memories and moments in between. I’ve also learned a great deal of self worth and that we are all put on this earth to contribute our special talents and skill sets in a manner that should be shared in efforts to help one another. For me that is where gratitude and fulfillment lie. Shellz Dezign, Photography & Dogs is built on a principle of exactly that. HELPING OTHERS, being of service and making a difference. Those are the core values of my brand and what I strive to offer and execute with each assignment I am given.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When people come to visit, I’m most inclined to take them to both touristy and great hiking spots in San Diego. Places like Balboa Park, Coronado, Old Town, Sunset Cliffs any one of our spectacular beaches would be some of my favorites. For hiking spots, Mt. Soledad, Torrey Pines, and anywhere in my home of beautiful Ramona!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Looking back, I’d have to credit my mom for instilling in me a “never give up” and “follow your heart attitude.” She’s also responsible for my worth ethic and drive in life. Additionally I’d have to credit the Marines, for giving me the tool and knowledge to adapt and overcome any situation with relentless mental and physical strength. My dedication to AA, and all those within this powerful transformative program. Lastly, my high school Field Hockey coach. She is one of the most inspiring women I know and has helped mentor me throughout my youth up until today.
Photo 1 Stairway to Heaven – Angels Landing | Zion National Park by Shellz Dezign, Photography & Dogs Photo 2 Website Design for Cafe Virtuoso by Shellz Dezign, Photography & Dogs Photo 3 Horsetail Firefall V | Yosemite National Park by Shellz Dezign, Photography & Dogs Photo 4 Me and my Dog Walking Client Bare Photo 5 My Dogter Yosemite and a boarding Client named Milo by Shellz Dezign, Photography & Dogs Photo 6 Just me Photo 7 Pet Photography Photoshoot at Solana Beach with Mary Perez, Ronald, Luna and Phoenix