DREAMER OF THE MONTH: LESLIE SCHIPPER

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Not everyone can handle doing a regular 9 to 5 job. Leslie Schipper thought she could do what she called a “sustainable, reliable, big girl job” and attempted working in an office but could not handle the schedule. After taking break by backpacking through Australia and traveling to Indonesia, she tested out the work schedule again by working in digital marketing for three years and then in account management. But her heart just was not in it.

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As a “multi-passionate creative,” Leslie studied public relations and communications at Hawaii Pacific University. After realizing her lack of interest in a typical 9 to 5 job, she found herself reviving old passions in photography and writing from childhood. The creative recently transition out of her account management position into a full-time freelancer, focusing on photography and writing as well as modeling occasionally. Based out of Seattle, her work has influenced by the outdoors as she enjoys adventure and outdoor photography. Leslie also wants to start focusing on small business owners and entrepreneurs, specifically women in the creative space, to help support and promote the work that they do.

When she first started her career as a freelancer, Leslie reached out to a lot of photographers who she looked up to and followed, asking them to go out for coffee so she could ask for advice. “I knew it was going to be hard.” She started working on side projects during her 9 to 5 job and ask the people there if she could pick up any more assignments or if they could refer her services to others. “I just wanted to get my name out there.”    

Leslie received her first camera as a child and always brought one with her wherever she went and took photos all the time. “It’s a really fun thing to do to express creativity,” she shared. With her writing, the freelancer focuses on health and wellness as well as personal development. She currently writes for a health and fitness coach and also writes about travel including travel guides and outdoor adventures.

“Travel, outdoors, and health and wellness. Those are my grounding, three guiding values.”

“The outdoors is the space where I feel most free and most humbled. I feel very connected and I'm reminded of how small I am and how little of a space I take up in this world. I like that feeling of being small. As a freelancer or someone with a lot of commitments, sometimes you’re just going going going, and you don’t really stop to take in anything. If you live in the city, you’re surrounded by concrete. It’s just getting into fresh air, greenery, and mountains that make me feel so small. I also appreciate the silence; it’s a one big meditation for me.”

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Leslie grew up doing a lot of activities and became athletic as she enjoys moving and having a lot of energy. She enjoys backpacking as it feels like carrying one’s home with them. “With backpacking you’re getting deeper into the country and far away from the city and technology. It's the best way to be present.” She even met her husband while hiking the Olomana Trail with a friend. This creative eventually got into yoga and felt that yoga holds the holistic interest in which health and wellness came from. Once she started practicing yoga, she found a whole new appreciation for the body.

Originally from a small town in California called Hollister, Leslie attended junior college in San Jose playing volleyball for the school. Her coach eventually received a coach position at Hawaii Pacific University and gave her a scholarship to attend school in Hawaii. She moved and eventually met Tiare at Tiki’s Bar and Grill where they both worked as hosts. Tiare helped her get involved in modeling and even offered her an opportunity to model in a fashion show. When Tiare did her first workshop at the Fresh Cafe, Leslie attended to support her friend and enjoyed it.  

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“With Tiare, she asks great questions and she has been doing it for a while that she has extra insight and understanding. When you are in her presence, she asks you questions and she is probing, challenging, encouraging you. I think that’s the major difference between working with her and working on your own. I’m glad that I took her workshop and have worked with her one on one because it is something that has stayed with me. It’s still a practice that I do and is still ingrained in me.”

“One thing that has been helpful for me is that I like to write out a couple intentions first or something that I want to focus on before opening some magazines. I feel that imagery is really powerful and that if you don’t have it in your mind of what you exactly want, and you start opening things, you question if that is what you really want or if it just looks pretty.”

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Since her experiences working with Tiare, Leslie has manifested the following:

  1. “I took this picture out of a magazine of a guy sitting in front of a bus and working on his computer. He looks like my husband and right when we started dating, he bought a bus. When I looked back on the picture, I thought, oh my gosh, that looked like Jared.”

  2. Meditation that came into fruition after she cut up a dao meditation. Her yoga instructor got Leslie a yoga teacher to come to Hawaii to do a meditation initiation.

  3. Become her own boss. She put a home office and camera on her dreamboard and surely enough, Leslie’s guest bedroom became her office and she finally got the camera and lens she dreamed of.

“It’s so fun to look back at what I put on my board and the intentions I set, and see how it does actually work, and how it all comes into fruition.”

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Now, Leslie wants to focus more on her business and make it sustainable. She wants to focus on uploading and helping promote women entrepreneurs, women creatives and freelancers, anyone going outside of the 9 to 5 work schedule and trying to make something out for their own. “I know how hard it is. I want to help everybody, especially women in particular. I feel like we have a lot to offer and I want to help them get the word out, whether it be their talents, business or gifts.”  

Check out Leslie’s work here: https://www.lesliecarvitto.com/

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