We had the good fortune of connecting with Tarah Brinkerhoff and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tarah, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
I was told multiple times growing up that I shouldn’t make a career out of a hobby. Reason being, you then wouldn’t have anything enjoyable to do in your downtime and your way to de-stress was now the cause of said stress. That piece of advice impacted so many decisions I made throughout my teenage and adult life so far. Although I don’t regret the choices and shifts I made because I learned from those experiences, I know it’s a huge reason why I didn’t take risks and pursue what I really wanted to do with my career earlier on. Since I was young, I loved painting as well as playing with hair and makeup on myself and others, but those were frankly not things I was encouraged to make a living doing by people I respected. It’s surprisingly way more difficult I’m finding to run a business doing something that many don’t value as highly as being an engineer or a marketing manager (both paths I pursued heavily in one way or another), but I’ve truly never felt more like where I was meant to be than now. I feel pretty confident that turning a hobby of mine into a career was absolutely what I should have been doing all along. I not only get paid to do something I love, but I also have never hurt for more hobbies or ways to decompress – turns out I like to do a lot of things! Even though I know their intentions were good, it was one of the worst pieces of career advice I’ve ever gotten. I say, discover exactly what you love doing and find a way to make it your career.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have had a disjointed work life to get me to where I am now. I thought all through high school I would be an engineer so worked extremely hard to get into Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for structural engineering only to discover I hated it toward the end of my freshman year. It’s a unique school in that you have to declare a major going in with the benefit of learning early on whether it’s a good fit or not, but it makes it even more difficult to switch majors. With the help of a career counsellor and finally sitting with my own thoughts, I switched to marketing and graphic communications – thank God Cal Poly had a great business school too! I dived right in working toward the next big goal of someday becoming a marketing director or executive. I had many both tumultuous and rewarding years working in marketing and advertising for small, privately owned to large corporate companies, but it never felt like home. My sister knew how much I loved doing hair and makeup on people when we were younger and she herself started getting into it too, so suggested we go to makeup school to get certified and start our own business doing it on the side. We loved the work and I even more so, was finding my business background and desire for a change was leading me to quit my “safe” full-time job as a digital marketing manager to operate blushedbybrink full-time. Of course, I had no idea that COVID-19 would soon wreak havoc on our lives and economy. It’s truly been rough, but I’ve been reminded in the work I do meeting beautiful brides inside and out and the love and encouragement of my family and friends, that I am right where I should be.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
San Diego is so great! What makes it unique is definitely the combination of beautiful weather almost all year long, the convenience of a downtown city feel only minutes from beautiful open beaches and hiking trails, and delicious places to eat. I’ve never had a bad meal when visiting or working! I live in Orange County, but since my sister lives in San Diego, we are often working weddings there and I’m visiting all the time. So in a way, I think it makes it even more telling the places I have to go to when I’m down there. Some of my favorite things are breakfast at The Cottage in La Jolla, drinks and nightlife in Gaslamp (especially duelling piano bars!), pretty much any restaurant in Little Italy (love trying a new one each time), hiking in Torrey Pines, tours on the USS Midway (my mom is now a docent there!), and more eating and shopping at One Paseo and Liberty Station.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband! Andrew is the best partner in life, love and business I could have asked for. He’s supported me emotionally and frankly, financially, as the impacts of a world-wide pandemic definitely have made working in the wedding industry even more difficult. He’s never once made me feel like what I was doing wasn’t important or exactly where I should be.
Clara Wang photo, Fun Loving Camera, Paris Karsh Photography, Jessica Jaccarino Photography, Justin Gilbert Weddings