One of the most asked questions that I get is: “How did you go from being a private investigator to a DIY blogger?” I agree that they are pretty different and it seems like an odd jump…right? Here is how it happened.
So, I have always been creative, but never thought that I could have a creative career. I went to an art High School and even took college classes at Atlanta College of Art. Unfortunately, I had the practical voice in my head that insisted on getting a degree in something not related to art. I have always been pretty detailed and love logistics. Sexy huh? I put that to use and graduated with a psychology degree and a minor in sociology from Appalachian State University (Both are not the most profitable degree choices either).
As a lot of college graduates discover there are slim career opportunities for new graduates with no experience. I fell back onto what I knew and became a nanny for a lady who owned a Private Investigative firm. She ran a tight ship at home as well as work . I had to document everything, outings.. feedings..play times…diaper activity etc. I did it, and I did it well. After a couple of years of being her nanny, I left to work at residential treatment facility for troubled kids . I learned a lot about behavior health and navigating the system. The lady that I had been a nanny for called me up and asked if I would consider becoming a private investigator that specialized in legal cases…. primarily homicide defense. (Those years of diaper documentation actually paid off.) I thought about it and for a while and decided that becoming a P.I. would be the next step on my journey. I could use my behavior health experience that I gained at the children center.
In North Carolina is takes some effort and a lot of supervised hours to obtain a license to become a Private Investigator. I started off locating witnesses for cases, obtaining behavior health records on clients and learning exactly what a legal investigator does. In the private investigative world a woman, much less a young woman is an automatic underdog. I think I had to work a little harder to be taken seriously. I consciously put away my creative side at work. With experience, I started working on big and sometimes very public cases. I loved interviewing witnesses and piecing together a case. I think my creative way of thinking helped me be a better investigator. I spent a lot of days in the jail meeting with my clients and a lot of days interviewing people in really shady places. I have seen some bizarre and hilarious things while working in the field…..Maybe I will share some of those stories in another post.
After having my first child I was more cautious of being in potential dangerous situations. I remember one day after work, I was afraid to hold Knox because I had interviewed a witness who clearly just smoked meth and the stench was in my clothes. I was also racking up daycare late fees because it was hard to stop in the middle of an interview. During this time my husband gave up his design business and joined forces with corporate America. This provided more family financial stability .
When I was 3 weeks away from delivering my 2nd son, my younger brother tragically passed away. He wasn’t a victim of foul play, but it was unexpected and shook up my world. My brother and I were close and he was also very creative. I had a moment of clarity, and decided that I did not want my days to involve death, drugs,and the dark side anymore. That’s not too much to ask right? I also longed to spend more time with my kids. I was done.
I think that I used grief as a motivator to plan for my blog. Writing a blog has been a secret goal of mine for a few years. To get my creative juices flowing I started substitute teaching at a community art center. I would devour articles about blogging and secretly write articles that no one would ever see. My brother was a writer and had always been the more outgoing of the two of us. I used him as inspiration to “put myself out there”. Last Fall I finally felt like I was ready and asked my husband to design my site.
DIY Craft Blogger
So, I launched Paper & Fox early November 2013. I have never looked back. I love sharing projects and ideas and building relationships with other bloggers and readers. I am doing what I am supposed to be doing at this moment. It was an unusual, but seamless transition. The organization that it takes to be a blogger is similar to the organization it takes to prepare a case. I tend to write tutorials which follow a similar format as an investigative report. Paper & Fox has nothing to do with the “dark-side”, drugs or death. It is full of glorious DIY, Home Decor, Fashion, Food and Up-cycles.
I left my life I Spent in courtroom to a new life in my craft room and I couldn’t be happier. I think that it takes a certain person to be an investigator and a certain person to be a blogger. In my case, it was the same person…me.