kendi and bryan’s dream report: week one

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Discovering the Obvious

Do you want to know what I’ve learned in my 26 years of life? That life is weird. It will take you on many paths where some make sense and others do not. Some paths lead you down roads where you are able to make connections, discoveries, and plans. Other paths are dead-ends that make no sense whatsoever. But both are essential in living a fulfilled life. Without the dead-ends, you wouldn’t recognize the right path.

Bryan and I didn’t recognize our right path for some time, even though we were on it. In 2008, Bryan and I moved back to his hometown. We both took very good jobs and moved from the city to a small town. Bryan’s job had us traveling almost every weekend for about two years, so our foundation was never really laid. In turn, when we were in town, we didn’t have much community. And the minute we started to create one, we were on the go again. We never understood why we were destined to be lonely in our town. We didn’t understand that until now.

Out of our boredom and need for creativity, Bryan picked up a camera and decided to learn digital photography, as he shot film only for years. Turns out, his talent transferred from film to digital beautifully. In the meantime, I started a style blog called Kendi Everyday. At the beginning, I took my own shots with a tripod or had Bryan snap a few of me after work. But one day I asked him to actually shoot me, like a photo shoot in a catalog. And he did. And it worked. And while we look back at some of our shots and ideas and laugh, it was start. That day everything started. Of course, I didn’t see that. I just saw a pretty picture that my husband took.

Bryan continued to create beautiful photographs for my blog and I continued to write. Then one day Bryan thought, “I should start a photography business.” And so he did, albeit blindly. (Sorry, love.) He did what many people do — he found a few people to shoot, got some loose advice and was well on his way to creating a second job side business (he’ll explain this later). We spent spring and summer shooting families, couples and weddings. And by we I mean Bryan shot families, couples, and weddings. I tagged along for the wedding crashing and equipment hauling.

And that was it. He had created a side business that he never really knew. His blind ambition lead him to start a business that he didn’t recognize. He didn’t know what he wanted to sell, he didn’t know his customer, he didn’t know his brand. He was stuck. I on the other hand had begun the downward spiral of “I hate my job. Now what?” Details spared, I quit my job to blog full-time and help my dad with his consulting business. I also pledged to help Bryan with his photography business, when he needed me. Turns out, he didn’t need me. (Yet.) And my dream of going full-time was running low.  I knew that there was more to be achieved in my life. Yet another bend in our curvy road.

So let’s back up — here I am on my path. I’ve found a niche that I love — writing about style and life backed by my husband’s photography. We made a great team; yet another discovery along our long, winding path. My husband has a full-time job plus his photography on the side. There we were, both walking and discovering our paths separately. Until one day, they crossed. (Figuratively speaking of course, we’ve been married this entire time.)

Then it happened. Bryan asked for my help on his business. And while the heavens did not open up and light did not shine down, it was a step. He stepped right into my road, creating a block that I’m thankful for. We began to talk about everything we had been ignoring. What he wanted out of his business, what his dreams are. We talked about my dreams and aspirations. And for the very first time ever we were walking together on what seemed to be our path. Not his, not mine, but ours.

After many, many, many conversations later we had our epiphany. Are you ready for the most obvious epiphany ever? We want to go into business together. Not only do we want to go into business together, we want to create a wedding photography business like no other. We want to take exactly what we do on my blog every single day and create that for someone else. We want to collaborate and create a styled shoot for an engaged couple, a married couple, a bride on her day. And we want to do it together. That was the key. This business would not just be Bryan’s business or Kendi’s blog, it would be ours.

It took us almost three years of marriage, living in the smallest town I’ve ever lived in, heavy doses of loneliness and sheer boredom to figure out where this long path was taking us. But now we know. And while it might be obvious now, sometimes the most obvious dream is the hardest to find. We are told that dreams are supposed to be out of your reach, so it’s even more intimidating to find it sitting in your lap, waiting to be achieved. But if this is where our path is taking us, I think I’ll stay on for a few more miles.

And one more thing. If you find yourself in the middle of a hard, weird, lonely or depressing situation, you are there for a reason. Jess wrote a great post on this a while back about being in the dark but so desperately wanting to turn a light on. If you are in the dark, start feeling around and you’ll find your way out. If not out, at least you’ll find a flash light or a lamp. Achieving a dream is not easy or without sacrifice. But I’m willing to put all of my hard-earned chips in to bet that it will be worth it.


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  1. Annie

    what wonderful insight into what it can be like to “blindly” follow your passion. i can’t wait to see where the path takes you on your journey together… i can tell i’m going to love your weekly updates!

  2. Kendi

    Thanks Annie for the sweet comment. I often wonder if most people first go at their passion blindly. I hope so anyways — it makes us feel a lot better!

  3. Kelly

    What a great post! It takes a strong person to be able to leave something stable and step into the unknown. How great for you and your husband that you can do this together!

  4. Jill

    I am so excited to hear more! Congrats to you Kendi and Bryan for putting yourselves out there and following your dream!

    My personality is much more “jump in” and so I am excited to hear your progress and adventures!

  5. Sara

    First of all – great post, Kendi, and thanks to Jess for hosting this series! I’m really looking forward to it. Now, my favorite line was “sometimes the most obvious dream is the hardest to find” – Kendi, put that in your lil photo and smoke it. (wait, don’t smoke it.) It’s terribly true, however, and I think many of us live our lives with some side passion that’s not being given a full opportunity just because we’re scared of what could happen if we just took a chance. My man and I have toyed with the idea of starting our own food business, but honestly the leap from security to insecurity is a hard thing to swallow. (We also actually like our jobs, which is another reason we haven’t made the jump.) It’s nice to read such stories about people pursuing their passions! 🙂

  6. Gina

    Well done Kendi and Bryan!

    I was stuck in a soul-sucking job for the past two years and just quit in November. I have had a small handmade accessories business + blog for the past year and now it is my FT job. It is still small, but it’s growing.

    I agree that if you are in a miserable situation, it is there for a reason. If I never took the crap job for good money, I would have never needed a creative outlet. My husband would have never said “I have never seen you so miserable, just quit; we’ll live with less money.”

    In the next few years, I hope that my husband can work with me {well, for me because I like to control things} and we can fulfill even more dreams.

    So happy you guys are the new dream reporters…can’t wait to read more of your posts :).

  7. Lauren

    Very excited to see where this path that you guys are discovering step by step will take you. Given how much I love your blog and your husband’s photography, I can only imagine that it is going to go to some awesome places :). Kudos for you both being courageous enough to take these first few steps!

  8. Lisa D.

    What great news, Kendi! Best of luck to you and Bryan as you get your business off the ground. With your knack for style and his photography skills, you’re destined to succeed! Interested in visiting Virginia Beach? Because I’ll be calling you up in no time if I ever find myself with an engagement ring on my finger! 🙂

  9. What a wonderful and inspiring read. Good luck with all your future endeavors! I know Bryan and you will do great.

  10. nmaha

    I can really relate to this. The difference being that the techie and I knew we wanted to be in business together, but we didn’t know how. So we decided to spend the first three years of our marriage getting to know each other and stocking-up pon our skill sets. We finally started our business two years back (and had our first child at the same time).

    If you’re interested in working with your spouse in the future (or are already doing so today), check this out:

    It’s not easy, but I love it.

  11. Genny

    I’m a HUGE fan of Kendi Everyday and am excited for both of you for your new (work) journey together! Good luck!!!

  12. Kelly

    I love the photos and the quotes…so inspiring! I’m excited to read about your journey : )

  13. Betsy

    Thank you for a little beam of hope.
    “If you find yourself in the middle of a hard, weird, lonely or depressing situation, you are there for a reason. “

  14. Caton

    I love Kendi’s blog and am so excited they are sharing this process! I can’t wait to see what develops

  15. Alexa

    I’ve been going through a lot of ups and downs lately in my life. It hasn’t been easy accepting where I am or what I’m doing, especially because I really don’t like my job. But reading this post has given me great hope. Thanks Kendi & Bryan for being so inspiring and I can’t wait to watch your business become a success 🙂

  16. Jen

    Great post Kendi! I’m looking forward to reading more about what you are up to!

  17. kelsey

    you are blessed! i think God is using you and your lives for something great. it totally works that you live in a small town so you’re maybe not as distracted so you could figure this out and make it possible. so cool! good luck on your journey. can’t wait to keep up with what you’re doing!

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