why i started this blog

[originally posted October, 14th 2009]


A few weeks ago I realized that I haven’t ever clearly explained why I started MakeunderMyLife. People have asked me about it in person, but I’ve never taken the time to share the background here. Which is a pretty sad reality, considering that you might be interested to know.

Planting the Seed

In college, I had a huge realization that my best self was laying dormant beneath a pile of “stuff” (read: clothes, junk, head junk, candy bars, fat from said candy bars, and illusions of perfection). At that moment, I realized that my purpose, my vocation, is to share and inspire others to makeunder their lives.

Charting a Path


At the same time as this epiphany, I had an extraordinary mentor named Mary who completely believed that I could become and do anything that I wanted. So I started to research how other women have shared their personal visions (namely, Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey). In Martha’s case, the path to her success was clear. After starting a successful catering business, she wrote a book called Entertaining. This book became extremely popular. In many ways it launched her media empire.

After reading about her success, I decided to do the same. I wrote attempted to write a proposal for a book called Makeunder Your Life. But the process was overwhelming and I was concerned about content and authority. Who was I, as a junior in college, to tell people of all ages what they should do with their stuff? Taking a step back, I realized I was a green banana, unripe without any post-grad experience to share. So I let the project marinate in my head.

1.5 Years Post-Grad Later


As you may know, I moved to Chicago after college and started Jess LC full-time. I envisioned a point in my life where I could juggle the jewelry and writing the book. But starting the business took all my attention the first year and a half. I barely had a moment to consider Makeunder Your Life and put it in the back of my mind.

January 1, 2009

In my new year’s intentions, I decided to revisit the book concept. I had been reading blogs for a month by that point, so the natural step was to start a blog to collect personal content for Makeunder Your Life. This way I could improve my writing, gather new ideas for the book, and start my vocation a bit early.

I never imagined anyone would read it.

But lo and behold, it did find an audience (Jess LC customers clicked the link to the blog and started reading) and here I write today. I have realized that since Martha’s Entertaining was published, things have changed quite a bit. I don’t need to have a book to start helping people all over the world. I just need a small corner of the internet to publish my thoughts and learn from readers as I go along.

Who knows where this blog will take me or Makeunder Your Life. But one thing is for sure: ever since I’ve discovered and pursued my purpose, some amazing opportunities have come my way. And if you are fortunate enough to know your own vocation, I urge you to follow it and see where it leads.

For those who are still finding your calling, it never hurts to makeunder and see what’s beneath your “stuff.” You might even find your life’s work.

And hey, it doesn’t hurt to blog along the way.

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  1. Jill

    I love your self-realization that you were a “green banana” – I know I personally put a lot of “value” on action, in that I feel like if I’m not DOING something that I am not succeeding or accomplishing. But sometimes just letting the idea live with you (in an active way) and start naturally evolving THROUGH you – you can still accomplish your goal. It’s all part of the process! I think it takes more stamina, maturity and the ability to be in it for the long haul that makes it a success naturally. Great thoughts!

  2. Anna

    Thanks for sharing your story, Jess. How did you know that your best self was lying dormant? Was there a moment in your life where you felt a lot of pain? I am just curious because some people really do not dig deep into their lives unless they have a tragic or painful event. I know I did not start excavating my life until a major heartbreak happened to me. It sounded like you had a true breakthrough about your purpose in life and at such a young age!

    Like Jill, I feel if I am just thinking about ideas, I am not doing and therefore my dreams get delayed. I am the type of person who likes instant gratification and likes to do things right away without letting ideas marinate in my head. It is a fear that I have that someone else will take my idea.

    Thanks again for such an engaging and thought provoking post.

  3. Erin Prais-Hintz

    Green bananas are my favorite! Just another reason why I like you!
    Thanks for sharing your background and raison d’etre…your reason for being. I have a similarly charted course. I never thought anyone would read my blog. And just a bit over a year later I have 250 followers (yesterday I had 247…where did these three people come from?). I know that is only a drop in the bucket (there are more people that read me who aren’t ‘followers’) but it makes me pretty proud. And my goal has never been about selling my one of a kind jewelry designs through my blog… rather I decided early on that my goal was to encourage people to tap into their inner creative wells (and manifest that in whatever way they would like) with the idea that Inspiration is Everywhere.
    You are a wonderful role model, Miss Jess. As a business woman, entrepreneur and chaser of dreams. Thank you for your inspiration today.
    Enjoy the day!

  4. Mary-Ann Petraitis

    A friend of mine referred me to your site a couple of days ago. I LOVE it! For the past couple of years ago I have wanted to rid my life of things that are draining and that are preventing me to live my life to the fullest. There are so many areas that I would like to improve…being more active, eating better, decluttering, getting rid of those people in my life who are draining, etc. I tend to be the all or nothing type, so the entire process seems too overwhelming, that I just start something but then don’t continue. What I love about you is that you suggest doing it piece by piece. Thank you. You have made me realize that each little change counts and over time, your entire life can change. Baby steps…. Thank you!

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