What if I told you my first art gallery was in the bathroom at Trader Joe’s? Well, it actually was! In today’s episode, I’m sharing all about my love and obsession with Trader Joe’s, and it’s not just because of their snacks! The relationships I built with co-workers, customers, and more during the 6 years I worked there truly impacted the trajectory of my business.
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Happy people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.
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Happy people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything. This is a quote for the week that is absolutely relatable to today’s topic, and I just can’t wait to dive into this. Welcome to Quianna Marie weekly, a podcast for creatives who love to celebrate wins big or small. By dancing in the kitchen photographers who are excited to serve their clients and friends who are ready to chase really, really big dreams. You can find all the resources mentioned in this episode, quiannamarie.com/podcast. Join me as I share weekly motivation and chat about growing themes, finding genuine connection and celebrating your wins through the lens
of a photographer at heart. Come join me for a dance party. Ready? Oh, let’s go. So would you believe if I told you that my very first Art Gallery was in the bathroom at Trader Joe’s and honestly, I can’t make this up. So to go back technically, I had some spinals in school at my college that I was able to share some you know, art finals and some photos. But out in the real world out in the wild. My very very first Art Gallery was in the bathroom at Trader Joe’s. Now, Trader Joe’s played a significant role in my life and still does today. I’m not talking about my favorite orange chicken. The affordable flowers are my favorite chocolate covered pretzels. I’m talking about the friendships and opportunities that still impact my life today. Way back in the day, I worked for Trader Joe’s for a total of six years. It was just a part time role. And I absolutely enjoyed it. During that time of my life, I was still attending college I had a load of about 12 to 15 units per semester. So I was an absolute full time student working for Trader Joe’s also working for my city as a recreation leader. And in between those I was babysitting, trying to earn extra cash on the side.
And on top of all of that I was still building my business. So I want to share my heart and love for Trader Joe’s Okay, so we go way back, and it’s incredible the relationships and the friendships that I have made. While working the cheese while dancing down the frozen aisle and getting to meet some of the incredible customers and crew members that are still a part of my life today. I can tell you and I probably should have actually calculated this out. But I have shot over 10 Trader Joe’s weddings. And a couple of them actually crew members marry crew members, right. But that doesn’t mean that they married each other. They just at one point had worked for Trader Joe’s, I have shot over hundreds of families through Trader Joe’s whether that be mini sessions, photograph baby showers, became such a tight family where I would go to graduations, and soccer games for crew members we’ve got Trader Joe’s become a very tight knit family, they really are an extended family.
And I could not be more grateful. For those beginning years of my business when I started at Trader Joe’s were these crew members and these friends took a chance on me, you should see some of the pictures that I started with. And I laugh because I know they’re there. They’re so like heirloom pieces now like there’s still so special to my friends that trusted me back then. But it just kind of makes me cringe and makes me want to retake them for them. Because I’ve improved so much since then, right? Like we we all have a beginning. And we all start somewhere. So I wanted to take this lesson about making the best out of everything and kind of explain to you how it started and how my images actually ended up in the bathroom.
Okay, so if you’ve noticed when you shop at your local Trader Joe’s, they try really hard to embody and to really be a local supermarket. So they will incorporate history from the town there and they often will post pictures of local football teams and really try to be a part of the community it’s so important for Trader Joe’s to feel like they’re not just any other supermarket in your neighborhood. But they really embody the history and the culture of each neighborhood right like each small town that that they are planted in. And it was really important when I worked at the at the Alma den store that we incorporated images of the rolling hills and of the kind of like terrain that is around the store. So this is how it happened. So one of my managers asked me if all my time I could go out and take some photos of New Almaden, which has a lot of history way out, and it’s really close to the Almaden store. Still, when I was out there taking those pictures, of course, you know me, I don’t just go out there and just slap it together and take photos, I really took time to actually take nice landscape portraits.
And the whole point of that was that I can take it back to the sign team, which are the artists, they’re the ones that they do everything, right. I mean, if you notice, at Trader Joe’s, they don’t have just like generic print out prices for every single item and the beautiful signs and the beautiful artwork everywhere. That is all directly hand like hand painted hand drawn with love from the sign team. So they needed these images to kind of just share kind of like a muse for the artists to paint the walls around the store. So like I said, I stepped it up a notch, and I created high quality images. And I just kind of printed a couple out to give them so that the science team can reference. Well, my boss, of course, saw these photos and thought, Oh my gosh, key, these are incredible. We need to showcase these somehow, like, yes, we need the science team to use these for inspiration for the murals and the stuff around around the store. That’s great. That’s what these are for. But we need to showcase these. And I literally looked at him like okay, maybe we can put them in the back room. Maybe we could put them in the break room. And he laughed and said, No, we need the customers to see these. We should put them in the bathroom. And I just started, like I looked at him. And it was so funny because if you know me, well, you know that I’m a critical thinker, which is just a very nice way that my godmother explains that I’m a very slow thinker. So sometimes I’ll hear something and then just kind of, you know, I think about it later. And then I’m like, Oh, wait, that would dim it.
So anyway, my first initial reaction was okay, that’s great. And then a friend of mine sitting right next to me, looked at me and started laughing, just like you really want your pictures in the bathroom. And that right there is a perfect, perfect example of my personality and how I view the world. And I literally thought it was a great idea. So that is exactly how my images, and how the very, very first art gallery of my career literally ended up in the bathroom at Trader Joe’s. So I wanted to just share that little piece of advice or kind of like this little lesson jam packed with love to remind you that sometimes something may sound goofy or insignificant, or not something that maybe is like the best case scenario. But if we can look at it from a different perspective and think, Oh my gosh, like, yes, this is a great idea, or this is a great opportunity for brand awareness. Because my boss is so supportive of me at the time. And he made sure I signed every single one of those images that went in the bathroom. And of course, I wish I had them This was pre social media, this was way pre Snapchat and Instagram. So I don’t even think I’d have to like actually find the physical photos of these that were taken. And it’s just a reminder that we can absolutely make the best out of everything. So to circle back to our quote, happy people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.
This is something that I’m just so so grateful for for my Trader Joe’s perspective, before I leave you I want to leave you with one more lesson. Because I keep saying this all the time. I one more thing, one more thing. And I just want to remind you that if you are in the process of building a business, marketing yourself trying something new, I encourage you to go work at Trader Joe’s get out there and maybe not specifically Trader Joe’s. But I totally encourage you to find a job that gets you on your feet connected with an incredible team of employees, what our crew members because I love my crew members that really and of course having all that action and all of those new faces of customers that come in with their own stories, and just kind of kind of create an opportunity to shake up the universe and to help you meet new people and to make genuine connections and genuine friendships. I know we are in the pandemic stages where a lot of us are working remotely. But if you have the health and if you have the just the like the umph to get out there and meet people I highly encourage you to consider working somewhere like Trader Joe’s somewhere like Starbucks that really puts you in front of new people every single day. I can attest that because I had put that time and energy into Trader Joe’s they poured into me and I gave them what I could during that time. I know I’m the photographer with the connections I have an all the practice way back then that has led me to where I am today.
Please please if you are building something knew and you need to make those connections. Don’t just hide behind your desk, okay? Don’t just hide behind, you know working remotely if that means you have to get up and go to a coffee shop to meet new people, do it get out. So that is today’s quote and love for the day and I cannot wait to see you. And if you are listening, please, please share an Instagram share your favorite Trader Joe’s product. If you’ve ever worked there, I’d love to get this conversation going on social media. Thank you so much and I wish you have an incredible week. That’s a wrap on another episode of Quianna Mar weekly. Thank you so much for your listenership and support. You can find the resources and Show Notes for this episode and more at Kiana murray.com slash podcast. I’d be honored and so grateful if you showed your support by leaving a review and rating on your favorite podcast app. Until next time, keep on dancing.