We had the good fortune of connecting with Shay Newell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shay, why did you pursue a creative career?
Growing up I was identified as a “talented and gifted” student. By the 2nd grade I was grading papers and tutoring my peers. My parent were told to transfer me to a neighboring magnet school to challenge me. Amazingly that school had a rich arts program as well and I fell in love with paper mache, painting, clay, and so many more mediums. When I left that school my focus turned to academia and the arts were left behind. I performed well and did everything a “smart” student should do: graduated high school early, received 3 degrees, etc. but none of those accomplishments allowed me to be creative. In October 2022 I was diagnosed with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). Prior to that I struggled with severe anxiety and depression. My diagnosis ignited my creative passions again. I realized that I was not giving myself the opportunity to shine in an area that I am truly gifted at. While I love my left brain and all that is has afforded me, I am beyond excited to give my right brain the light it deserves.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I create custom press on nails that are created by my clients when they RSVP or sign up for my month & bi-monthly subscription plans. I love my subscription plan model because it makes it affordable to wear fantastic looking nails on a consistent basis and it’s cheaper than going to the salon but the quality is great! We also do one time custom set orders for our bridal clients or other special events.
Throughout the process of building my business I realized how much I loved learning how to be passionate about something that will bring me income. I became a certified life and career coach last year and now I plan to coach other small business owners and their teams to find their purpose and write their manifesto. This journey has taught me that being happy with what I’m doing means the most to me. I used to be an educator and administrator so I love connecting with others and assisting them with evolving in any way that I can.
After I was diagnosed with PMDD I was laid off about a month later. Without the support of my family, friends, and antidepressants it would have been difficult to give up. I decided to use the opportunity to #PressOn and bet on myself. I know what I am capable of achieving for others’ dreams so I know what I can do with mine. My current outlook on life includes a strong support system, meditating, and a lot of self care. While I know this is just the beginning of my journey I am already so proud of myself..
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Ohhh I love this! I am all about the eats and a great time so Atlantic Station would be on my list. YardHouse has some of the best food and service in the country! For a more local vibe, downtown Douglasville has some great local owned spots: Kuumba Coffee, The Vine, Gritz, Sew Me Crazy Creations & Boutique and more. There is also a cool artist collective I’ve been meaning to check out. Sweetwater State Park is great place to hike and take pictures and then we could reward ourselves with Slutty Vegan!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My wonderful fiancé, Aubrey Lemon. The last 3 years have been full of life lessons and support from the world’s most amazing person. Aubrey was key in my mental health diagnosis and treatment. When I lost my job he didn’t hesitate to reassure me in pressing forward with my creative business goals. I could not have done this without him. Thank you, FAA.