We had the good fortune of connecting with Shauna Mooney and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shauna, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think of risk like I think of haircuts: If you don’t like it, it will always grow back. There may be some amount of healing time during the growth- but there are a lot of ‘scary’ decisions that can seem like forever choices when in fact they might just be a season of life. I’ve hopped in a car and moved clear across the country a number of times now. From Massachusetts to Georgia for college. (Note: I had never been on a plane, or really out of New England, until I was 19!) To California for a relationship (spoiler alert: we’re married) and then back again for work. Each time you take a risk you learn new ways to navigate and build a safety net- there’s a certain confidence you earn when you take risks that pay off! And although the word ‘risk’ inherently holds this glamour, like you’re a movie character with a dramatic soundtrack playing as you drive off into your new life…it’s the boring stuff that’s really made a difference. Learning to pare down belongings so it’s easier to move/travel. Budgeting so that you always have the money available to take off. Networking so that you’re able to make new friends, move forward in your career. And every time you do it, it gets easier and less scary. Plus, what if you LOVE that haircut!?
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve described myself as a “chronic assistant” or “muse type person” because I think my best work is really done for other people. As a creative it’s often hard to embrace the inability to condense what you DO into a concise elevator pitch. Decor? Marketing? Life coaching? Brand design? Styling? Yes. Sure. Absolutely, I do all that, and I’m also a recovering wedding photographer too. One of the important lessons I’ve learned is that your life’s work isn’t always what you get paid for, nor is your job title always the work you do. With independent businesses there’s always an element of playing therapist, and I think a lot of the people I’ve worked with value my listening and feedback just as much as my skills or work ethic.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First I’d check to see what’s HAPPENING while they’re in town, as there’s always something fun going on in Atlanta and the metro area. I live in a sweet historic town south of the city where they film The Walking Dead. Our Main Street has some great festivals, and we can walk to Senoia Coffee and Cafe! It’s always tempting to do ‘touristy’ things in the city, but I’d get started with a personalized walking tour– the host of Archive Atlanta podcast is a huge wealth of information. She can route past historic landmarks in the civil rights movement, through the Beltline walking trail (where all the popular brunching spots are) and we could end at Oakland Cemetery. This sprawling city park is filled with so much gorgeous landscaping and sculptural grave markers…plus they host a fun music festival yearly, Tunes from the Tombs! For nightlife I think my three must-do’s would be: catching a Broadway show at the Fabulous Fox Theatre (built in 1929 and truly dazzling inside), doing a tiki cocktail tour (SOS in Decatur and the O.G. Trader Vic’s are the best) and seeing the next drag superstars at Lips! The queens there are insanely talented, and yes Season 7 Drag Race winner Violet Chachki is among their famous alums. And of course we’d have to spend some time in the mountains. You wouldn’t suspect it, but North Georgia is home to some truly fabulous wineries- just an hour’s drive from Atlanta. The views from Wolf Mountain, Frogtown, and Yonah are unparalleled and the wine is delicious and award winning. This barely scratches the surface…next time let’s do two weeks! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
How could I not Shoutout my BFF that nominated me for this series? Amy from Paperfinch Design and I have been friends and business buddies since before we were married, had kids, any of that! I love being a sounding board for her as she’s grown from a successful Etsy shop to a brand of art and home decor for adventurous people that’s in stores nationwide. Whether helping her style outfits for her brand’s first appearance at the National Stationery Show, to merchandising her wholesale display at the America’s Mart, or just playing around with fonts on new designs, she’s always so much fun to work with. And she embraces my ever-changing repertoire of job titles!