How did I go from being a Private Investigator to a DIY Blogger?

Hi Friends!

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).

The Most Asked Question of Paper & Fox

After College

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.. 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.

Private Investigations

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.

What Changed?

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.



21 Responses to How did I go from being a Private Investigator to a DIY Blogger?

  1. Alli September 30, 2014 at 8:34 am #

    After years of watching the glamorized PI’s on TV and solving those crimes faster than they did, I dreamed of becoming a PI. Too bad it’s not like that in real life, huh?

    I’m so glad you became a blogger because I always enjoy reading your posts. And I really enjoyed learning more about you.

    So, so sorry about your younger brother.

    • carmody September 30, 2014 at 11:00 am #

      Thanks so much Alli! It is not as glamorous as it is in on TV, but it was a learning experience.

  2. mybigfathappylife September 30, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    My mom always says to me, What would you do if you could not fail? Now go do it. Life is really short and we should do what makes us happy. Great job getting back to your creativeness! I love your blog :)

    • carmody September 30, 2014 at 11:02 am #

      I like how your Mom thinks! Thank you so much.

  3. MsYBBG September 30, 2014 at 11:48 am #

    Fantastic sojourn into blogging! My decision to write/blog is somewhat similar. And I’m in NC! I’m an attorney by day and writer by life’s happenstance! :)

    Southern Girl Blog Group sent me!

    • carmody September 30, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

      You are the 2nd NC Atty who I know that goes undercover as a blogger. I am so glad that you stopped by.

  4. MrsTee September 30, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

    What an amazing journey of careers. It is funny how life can take us in so many directions. I used to want to do something in law enforcement or investigation but I am such a scaredie cat…I don’t think that was meant to be for me.

    • carmody September 30, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

      Thanks so much Mrs. Tee. It is amazing where life takes us.

  5. Kristin @ A Mom on the Run September 30, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

    I really enjoyed reading your story — thanks so much for sharing it!

    I can definitely see how becoming a mom would make you re-think your career choices. I thought about changing careers after my son was born, but it would have meant a lot of late nights, working weekends and holidays, and I just wasn’t okay with missing out on Christmas morning and soccer games. Being a mom really does change everything :)

    • carmody September 30, 2014 at 8:27 pm #

      Thanks so much Kristin! Being available as a mom is the best gift I could have given my self and my family.

  6. Megan September 30, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

    First of all, totally off topic…i LOVE that flamingo dress! Second, It’s so cool that you were a PI! Always wanted to meet one:)

    • carmody September 30, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

      Megan, the Dress is from Eshakti they have super cute dresses. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. lulubushman September 30, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

    Such a change between careers. Glad you are happy with your job and getting to spend time with your kids. :) I lost a brother, too. It’s hard. I’m glad you have writing and crafting as an outlet for you. Hugs. -Leia

  8. Heather Smith {Woods of Bell Trees} September 30, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

    Do you know how awesome your blog journey story is? Totally awesome! I enjoyed reading it!

    • carmody October 1, 2014 at 7:04 am #

      Thank you Heather!

  9. Jillian @ JST Design October 1, 2014 at 10:03 am #

    What an inspiring story Carmody. Thank you for sharing that, I think it is exactky what I needed to read today!

    • carmody October 2, 2014 at 7:08 pm #

      Thanks so much Jillian! Your comment made my day.

  10. Emmy October 2, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    I enjoyed reading this blog post. You have done more in your life than I’ve done in one year. Amazing. This post makes me want to get off my butt and pursue my dreams.

    • carmody October 2, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

      Thanks so much Emmy!!!

  11. Selwa Luke October 2, 2014 at 5:24 pm #

    What a great story! I didn’t know you were a private investigator. Really interesting switch but it makes sense. When I was in college, I majored in chemistry for 2 years with hopes of becoming a forensic chemist. A year away from graduating, I decided to major in English. It was a crazy leap but it worked out, I guess… Once an aspiring forensic chemist, I’m now a work-at-home mom who loves to blog in her free time. So, this post definitely resonated with me. Thanks for sharing! :)

  12. Karen Goodman October 12, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    It takes a lot of courage to make such a huge change in direction. Good for you for following your heart.

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