Today we’d like to introduce you to Beth Light.
Beth, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’m a New York native (Syracuse) and came out to California as a travel nurse. I traveled to so many places but California just felt right and I would always come back – there’s something about the weather, palm trees and way of life that I can’t get enough of! I’ve been a nurse for almost 18 years. I’m so grateful every single day that I realized I should change my major in college. I found my passion for caring for others and it has made a huge impact on my life. I spent several years at Rady Children’s Hospital as an RN in the NICU. I met my now husband, got married and bought our first home together. I was ready for a challenge professionally, so I applied and was offered the educator/supervisor position within the NICU. A master’s degree in nursing was a requirement to continue in the position, so I began my graduate school journey at the University of San Diego.
Fortunately, I was offered several scholarships to offset the cost of tuition. I worked full-time while pursuing my MSN and finished in 2 years and had my first baby. Along the way, I was asked if I would like to continue in a brand new program that bridged BSN prepared nurses to obtain their Ph.D. in Nursing. It seemed super overwhelming to think about but I couldn’t say no! It was an amazing opportunity. My research/dissertation centered around women’s maternal health and premature birth – two areas I am very passionate about. After 4 years of finishing my doctorate, a new teaching job and second baby my plate was very full.
When I graduated a few years ago, I felt a huge sense of pride and accomplishment. I also felt like it was time to find something for me. I had spent 6 years juggling family life, school work, and my job and was I totally burned out. Our new home we had purchased sat as is until I could carve out time to really put our touches on it. Renovating, designing and DIY projects have always been something that has fulfilled me creatively. When I finished my Ph.D., we decided it was time to give our builder grade home a refresh. I couldn’t wait to start with the kitchen and begin the design process. I wanted to share the progress with our friends and family and my husband suggested I post it on Instagram.
When I made my profile name, I thought of my grandma who I was very close with and her apartment number that was 1111. Our lucky number is 11 for several reasons, so I created 1111 Light Lane for my profile name and hit publish. I thought it would be the perfect place to capture and share our home renovation and diy projects. I never imagined there would be this amazing group of design and home decor enthusiasts that all shared similar passions for transforming a house into a home. After about a year of sharing on IG, I realized that I had an opportunity to share more beyond the squares. I found an amazing marketing person and is now someone I call a friend – Tana @yourmarketingbff she helped me launch my blog in July 2016.
Since organically and authentically growing my Instagram and blog, I have had some amazing opportunities come my way. I am super grateful for each one of them and the connections I have made with my readers and followers. One of the most recent highlights was being chosen to tour the HGTV Dream Home this past January in Gig Harbor, WA. I was one of 11 bloggers chosen and had the opportunity to meet the designer behind the home – Brian Patrick Flynn. It was a pinch me experience for sure! Juggling my career as a nursing professor, wife, mom, and blogger can be tricky but the reward of inspiring others makes it so worth it! I am fortunate to be able to live out my passion for nursing, teaching, home design and blogging even though they are very different I feel really lucky and grateful for being able to live a life I truly love.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Some of my life mottos: Believe in yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Always stay humble and be kind. Take care of you and manage your time wisely.
Anytime you add something new to your plate, there are definitely going to be struggles and bumpy roads. I encountered this when I began teaching – academia is an entirely different world than working at a hospital. I think to recognize that there will be a learning curve, ups and down (as with anything in life) it can better prepare you for the struggles and the unexpected. Keeping an open mind and perspective is important. I had to learn about blogging – the technical side, marketing, and business aspects. So different than what I was used to and I’m still learning so much! I always recommend connecting with someone who is knowledgeable in the area you are venturing into – it makes a huge difference to have someone to mentor and help you. I have found that over the years in my nursing and teaching career and it’s been instrumental in how I have grown professionally. Find that person or those key people and make connections, hold onto them tightly and thank them often for their support! I found that many people don’t understand what it means to be a blogger or influencer. I didn’t initially understand what it meant either when I began this journey, so I can empathize with the misunderstandings many people have when it comes to this business.
Sometimes, when you put yourself out there, your home, projects and your work, you really don’t know how you will be received. It can be scary and it’s humbling. When you realize that what you are sharing is helpful, inspiring and can have a positive impact it allows you to push those fears aside. It’s also important to know that you won’t appeal to everyone – who you are, your work, what you share – just remember that’s ok! We are all different and have unique gifts to offer and those who will gravitate and appreciate you for who you are should always be your focus. This has truly become more than a hobby and an actual business for me. With that being said I think it’s important to recognize how you want your business to run. How you are portraying yourself is important. My priority has always been to share in a way that’s true to who I am, that is authentic, professional yet relatable. One struggle I encountered was recognizing the boundaries of what I share and when I share. These priorities will be different for everyone depending on who you are and what you are sharing but I think it’s important to really be intentional about how you see yourself and how your choices can and will impact your journey.
Please tell us about 1111 Light Lane.
What work looks like for me – juggling many different hats! I have the incredible opportunity to teach the next generation of nurses. I absolutely love what I do and my students are amazing! When I’m not teaching my other work consists of curating blog content, completing home projects or sharing on Instagram. Some may not understand this but this has become my other “work” and it’s some of the best most creative work and I love it! I currently teach on a part-time basis so I can spend more time with my family and also focus on my blog. I’m known for my kitchen designs and renovation, our recent playhouse hack, sharing Trader Joe’s hauls, recipes, and real life. I love being able to collaborate with brands and small businesses. I especially love supporting small businesses run by women and mamas! It’s truly an honor to represent and promote these businesses sharing why I love them with my readers. I’m proud of pushing myself out of my comfort zone to pursue another passion and making a business out of it. I’m most proud of the fact that I successfully juggled have my 2 daughters, working and completing my Master’s in Nursing and Ph.D. in Nursing over the course of 6 years. The journey wasn’t easy but I did it and I’m grateful for the support and encouragement of my husband, family, professors and friends along the way. I couldn’t have done it without them!
There’s a wealth of academic research that suggests that lack of mentors and networking opportunities for women has materially affected the number of women in leadership roles. Smart organizations and industry leaders are working to change this, but in the meantime, do you have any advice for finding a mentor and building a network?
Always do your research! Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for a variety of opinions. Always look at several different options. Don’t just take one person’s opinion – listen to different sides and make your own conclusions. I think it’s important to ask for honest, genuine feedback. Be grateful for constructive feedback so you can grow professionally. I have been so fortunate to be able to network with so many wonderful women in nursing and from Instagram and the blogging world. The connections I have made have been instrumental in my success.
- Website: https://1111lightlane.com/
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/1111lightlane/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/1111lighlane/
Beth Light, Amira Gray Photography