Presented Without Context: Heather Gallagher

11. Who is the most ‘successful’ person you know? What do you think makes them successful?
Does it sound awful to say myself?! Here's the thing: I don't measure success by how much money or fame one has, I measure it by how inline you are with who you want to be. I am 100% truly living my passion and fulfilling my childhood dreams of being a professional photographer, shooting exactly what I want, making a good living and I have a beautiful family. How incredible is that?! Far more talented people than me don't get to make their passion their life and I know rare and special this is.

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Chelsea Francis
Letter to My 8 Year Old Self

OK. I’m about to say an unpopular word. ANGER. Yes, anger. You have it. You know you do. It confuses you and makes you feel ashamed sometimes. You’ll see therapists and tell them, “I’m here because of anger that I don’t know what to do with.” But here’s the thing.. It’s a righteous anger, and it’s an anger that will allow you to know yourself. For you to gauge when and where you need to check in and notice an injustice. An imbalance. Anger isn’t a look that people will celebrate -- especially on a ‘lady’ -- but it is a GIFT. A tool. Lady Justice is a celebrated deity because she got it. Gets it, even. Let that anger be the fire in your belly that awakens you to what is without equality, and bring the Balance.

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Chelsea Francis
Why I Quit Blogging

Over the years, my blog changed and evolved along with me. I wrote about my outfits, random thoughts on trends and fashion tragedies, and what was happening in my life. My blog was an escape and a sanctuary from work, where I always felt like I was putting on a costume and playing a part that never felt right for me. Blog posts were reflections of my real self, where I could say what I wanted and initiate conversations that I wanted to be a part of. Though fashion was the overarching theme, the blog was never really about the clothes.

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Chelsea Francis
Presented Without Context: Amanda Witucki

4. What does your morning routine look like? 
Wake up, drink iced coffee in the shower because I just can't wait, make my banana peanut butter smoothie and take a bunch of vitamins, then ride my bike to work. I need to get better at making time for some self care. Someday I'll get up 30 minutes early to meditate, or read, or just sit outside and stare at the sky. I wish I was that person, but I. AM. NOT.

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Chelsea Francis
'No, I'm Not Fine. Thanks For Asking.'

I began leaning into my truth of the moment, even though it meant going against everything I was taught about how I was supposed to behave and act professionally. The truth gave people around me some context and forced me to be honest with myself simultaneously. It was freeing in a way that helped me realize that other things were still happening to me (hello meetings, conference calls, etc.) and that lying about everything was fine was really just to sidestep any awkwardness and how it would make the other person feel. I had to remind myself, and this is a lesson to anyone feeling emotionally bereft, that putting myself first was literally helping me move forward. It’s one of those things that seems so obvious but isn’t until someone else says so.

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Chelsea Francis
Presented Without Context: Archer and Olive

If you’re comfortable, would you mind sharing one failure from the six months?

Yes! I was told my products would be arriving on a Monday. So I promised my customers their products would be shipping by Wednesday. The products did not arrive until Friday. I had to send out over 500 apology emails. Everyone was super understanding, but it was a huge embarrassment, and cause so much stress.

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Chelsea Francis
Who Knew Adopting a Dog Would Show the Stagnancy Stability Can Bring

A little over two weeks ago, I adopted a beagle-dachshund puppy with tiny brown eyebrows and fat little paws named Jasper. I had been researching about owning, training, and loving a dog for over a year, so I felt prepared when the opportunity to take him home from Austin Pets Alive! came up. What I’ve come to realize though, is that there was no amount of Reddit threads that could have prepared me for the emotional upheaval I’m going through.

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Chelsea Francis
Sitting in the Messy Middle

Can we all just admit that change is scary AF? We often want it to be over with so that we can share our lessons learned and head back into our busy lives—prioritizing ourselves as a human doing rather than a human being. We’ve become accustomed to seeing personal transformation stories happening in tidy, 60-minute packages, and we think that our process must be similarly linear and pristinely presented.

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Chelsea Francis
Embracing Lateral Contentment

And at every stage of my life, I’ve never questioned this. I’ve always been able to clearly see the next rung on the ladder and had every ambition to get there. First a good college, then grad school, then my first job, and from there coordinator, specialist, manager – each step made sense. The next step was always staring at me, and I was always eager and motivated to plant my foot on it. Until now.

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Chelsea Francis
An Open Letter to Creatives Living with Mental Illness

I won’t bore you with the long list of famous people who have achieved great success with mental illness. You’ve been told countless times, maybe Googled that list yourself. I also won’t patronize you and tell you there’s some hack, a way to get back to the beginning. I’ll always be sick, just by varying degrees. What I can tell you, are a few things that have helped me and kept me thriving through almost four years of running an environmental magazine:


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Chelsea Francis
Presented Without Context: Lauren Murray

My relationship to success is very parallel to my fear of failure. While I am a very driven person, I do get scared of success pretty often & then here comes the anxiety. This is something I am actively working on trying to cope with though, because I don’t want to regret not chasing an opportunity because I was scared of success.

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Chelsea Francis
How to Scale a Business and Embrace What Comes Next

Scaling a business is not for the thin-skinned, the easily overwhelmed, or the faint of heart. There are moments of complete frustration, days when  “what the ___?!?” is your mantra, and times when you just might find yourself crying and curled up in the fetal position (or maybe that’s just me). It requires patience, flexibility, commitment, sacrifice, humility, and heart. But wait … isn’t that what most great things require? 

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Chelsea Francis
Dear Friends: Fail Smarter!

So I say FAIL SMARTER because these moments in life are inevitable. Life ebbs and flos and success come with LETTING GO of the expectation that we should be in that feel good zone 24/7. So let’s just think of it as a perspective shift. Guiding us away from a situation that wasn’t meant for us in the first place. It’s like an unlikely tour guide in LIFE. So these moments, these TOUGH TEMPORARY MOMENTS are actually opportunities for growth, to move us to towards something that is for us, we just need to start looking at them with the correct pair of lenses.

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Chelsea Francis
Presented Without Context: Jane Claire Hervey

During the first few months of me living in Austin, TX a new friend of mine invited me to this event on Facebook called #bossbabesatx. It was supposed to be a small meetup at a local coffee shop for women. On a warm afternoon I remember getting out of my car, and walking to the back patio of a coffee shop where around 150 women were already gathered. I was about 20 minutes early to the event. Shortly after a woman, who I had never met before, stood on a chair in a shirt that said ‘babe as fuck’ and introduced herself as Jane Hervey, the founder of #bossbabesatx. I left that meet up with 10 new friends, around 29 mosquito bites, and a love and admiration for Jane.

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Chelsea Francis
How to Land an Internship That You Love

But, despite the amount I do enjoy visits home, I always find myself restless after too much time there - and I knew I wanted to gain some industry experience while I had the time to focus on it and wanted to do my first internship in Austin where I’m most comfortable before applying out in NYC.

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Chelsea Francis
Money Matters: To All The Businesses I've Started Before

Presented by Freshbooks //

I have always been an entrepreneur. When I was 12 years old I made customized picture frames by collaging mattes in cheap frames from Walmart. That business, which was named Framed of course, earned me around $1000 from my best estimates. A few years later at the ripe age of 16, and when I was in High School, I started selling jewelry for a multi level marketing jewelry company, and I made around $1800 dollars hosting parties for the ladies at my church. Eventually I decided I didn’t enjoy the jewelry game and I got a job at a pharmacy.

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Chelsea Francis
Failing at Feminism

I had always assumed my feminism sprouted because of the Spice Girls, I was touting girl power and peace signs in mini-skirts and platform heels in elementary school. I always preferred them over the boybands. There was something fierce and wild about that group of 5 girls that resonated with me as a kid. But, after a lot of introspection I’m realizing my story isn’t about my admiration of Baby Spice, it’s much much deeper than that.

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Chelsea Francis