Welcome to Sparks of Magic! Here I share my journey to being a part of the Disney Magic. I started this blog to inspire others in finding magic after my journey of working for The Walt Disney Company. Working for Disney Baby was my destiny, and I am forever grateful for the experience! I realize that while my story hasn’t ended, just that chapter, it is important to share my journey along the way.
When Love Finds you
Right before my Junior year of high school our family relocated from Los Angeles to Stockton. It was total culture shock; total change. I retreated into music, more daydreaming, thoughts of pursuing my college education and future career back in Los Angeles. I could not wait to move back home.
As eager as I was to get back to LA, a funny and beautiful thing happened. I met the love of my life up here. We started a family, had five kiddos, and settled in Northern CA. All the while, happy and in love, a part of my heart had always longed to return to LA. Dreams of working for the Company that has set the bar on entertainment slowly faded as time passed, or so I thought, and I settled with the fact that I’ll always have Disneyland to go to, even if I can’t work for the Mouse.
Re-entry to College
In 2000 when we started our family, I stopped going to school. I briefly went back in 2002 after our second daughter focused on graphic design, but a quick back to back pregancy and sickness had me tapping out. By 25 years old, I had five kids. I re-entered college after experiencing the loss of my Auntie Neng. She was an inspiration and advocate for education in my life.
I went to San Joaquin Delta College and was submerged in the fashion and entertainment culture, learning a lot about myself and the world. Happily, I found out what I had a passion for outside of my family life as wife and mommy. I am business minded, I liked running things, organizing, creating and bringing people together. I thrive in fast paced environments, heck I’ve got five kids, and wouldn’t have it any other way! My brain somehow works better in chaos and I’ve honed my skills to work in noise and under pressure.
Exploring my options
I was a Fashion Merchandise Marketing major, with big goals and dreams. It’s a different path, starting your family and then going back to school and beginning a career. However, I grew up a lot after having my kids. I realized it is NEVER too late to follow a dream or find your place in this world. Jeff and I have always want to empower our kids and be examples. We seek to live and pursue careers and a life that make us truly happy.
While I was working on my degrees, my mind and my heart started to bubble with excitement with the career possibilities. I dabbled with the idea of applying at Disney, yet the idea of relocating my family just to pursue this dream seemed somewhat silly at the time. I mean, really, would it be worth it? Of course! There’s always a risk when it comes to matters of the heart. I’ve ALWAYS loved the Disney brand. In fact, to simply say that I am a Disney fan would be somewhat inaccurate. It’s more than that. I’m pretty hardcore.
In May 2011, just a few months shy of my 30th birthday, I graduated from San Joaquin Delta College. A year later – June 2012, I threw my cap from FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) in Los Angeles. I had absolutely no idea where I was going next, what I was going to do, or how I would get there.
I bleed the magic.
Growing up in Southern CA and with Disneyland practically in my backyard, I found it to be a place that has always given me fond memories… a true happy place and I have graciously passed on the love of Disney to my five kids and even rubbed some sparkle off onto my husband, haha.
When the Magic finds you
I was given an amazing opportunity to help open the very first Disney Baby store, in Glendale, CA, in August 2012. It was a very unique situation for my family and myself, as this meant I would be commuting almost 6 hours one way, every couple of weeks to live in LA. I’m so grateful and blessed to have a supportive family and friends, because it was a growing experience for all of us during that time. It also was one of the most AMAZING experiences of my life.
I learned so much, met some of the sweetest people and was privileged to work for and alongside some of the top Disney executives in the Company. I also had celebrity regulars shop with me and got meet some really cool humans.
Should I Leave the Magic?
Sadly everything at Disney did not work out how I hoped. While I was living the dream, it wasn’t the same without my family. The separation proved to be tougher than we thought. Opportunities to transfer to other areas within the Company never panned out and I needed a Bachelor’s degree. Working a retail hourly salary was not going to relocate my family to LA. I made the permanent move back to Northern CA to seek out opportunities that would allow me to work and be with my family. It was definitely a hard decision.
I left part of my heart in LA at 15 years old, over 20 years ago, and then again in 2013, which was like ripping a bandaid off a scab. My heart was broken. I love my family dearly, yet I also loved my job and the Company I worked for. Dammit. Can’t a girl have her cake and eat it, too! 🙂
I made the best decision when I took the job. If I never left to work there I might not have met my best friend, Sarah. Likewise, the decision to leave was also the best. Knowing that I needed a Bachelor’s degree to work on the Corporate side of the Company, I pursued my next degree. If I never left, that might not have happened. There are no regrets. They were both appropriate at the time. I learned throughout the journey and I continue to learn.
I know that one day, hopefully sooner than later, I’ll rejoin the magical cast in one way or another, but until then, I have a ton of wonderful memories that I’ll cherish for a lifetime. More stories to come, and I tell myself they will come faster than I could ever dream. Stay tuned. 🙂