Throughout her life, Charlsie Etheredge ’18 let high expectations keep her from her passion. Now graduated, married and a little more sure of her path, she’s finally pursuing what she loves by investing in herself.
As a blogger and a makeup artist, Etheredge is utilizing her journalism degree and creativity skills to brand and market herself as her own company. On her blog, readers can get an inside peek at her life, her job and her faith.
“My degree is broad in itself and that’s where I got to experience the marketing side,” said Etheridge. “I learned how to market myself and I’m continuing to learn how to do this, because at the end of the day, it’s about owning my own business,” Etheredge said. “It’s so thrilling and exciting to hear myself say that — like, who would do that at 21 years old?”
Through her career shift, Etheredge was nervous about what others may say.
“Sure, people can say I’m just a makeup artist and a blogger, but it’s so much more than that,” Etheredge said. “There are skills that come from learning how to write, post on social media and gathering data and analytics to see how well a post is performing.”
Makeup has always been a constant in her life, from putting on lipstick at a young age, to being the go-to girl for every homecoming and prom. But she never thought she could make it a career. Now, she’s the preferred makeup artist Plume, a salon in Opelika,where she’s been known to be booked for months at a time. It’s wedding she loves to work the most — not just for the consistency — but for the magic that surrounds them.
“I love brides. Maybe its because I was one,” she laughed. “It’s so fun to see this woman who has this whole idea of how she wants her day to go, and then to make it all come true and be a part of their big day? Nothing is more rewarding.”
It’s the brides first look when they see themselves in full makeup, hair, and gown—when that perfect moment finally comes together. It’s the look Etheredge says she’ll never tire of.
Not only is she a makeup artist and a blogger, but she also works as a marketing associate for the online boutique Chic Soul. But before all of this, and before she finally settled into herself, Etheredge was feeling how many postgrads do—a little lost and a little confused.
“It’s so easy for the fears of life to take over when you’re newly married, unemployed and supposed to be financially independent all within one month,” Etheredge said.
May was an eventful month for her as she walked across not only the graduation stage but also down the aisle. As a new bride and a recent graduate, she was excited for this new chapter of life, but she found it difficult to meet the expectations she had set for herself.
For her speech as valedictorian of her high school, she encouraged her peers to pursue their passions and follow their dreams — advice she found hard to follow herself. As she entered Auburn, she had one goal in mind—to be a reporter. She was on the right track by majoring in journalism and developing connections with her peers and professors.
But it wasn’t until she joined Eagle Eye TV when she set her eyes on a new path: broadcasting. She immersed herself in her new role as on-air talent, covering local news and features in both broadcast and print form. Etheridge was the host for political debates, live events and talk shows while also anchoring for a special election show “Eye on the White House.”
Through all her hard work, she still didn’t feel that pull of excitement and love for what she was doing. Through the journalism program, she was learning various transferable skills and decided to dip her toe into the public relations side of writing. She landed an internship with Auburn University’s Campus Dining program and once again changed directions.
The connections she made at that internship eventually led her to accept the Marketing Manager position at Aramark where she oversaw 32 restaurants on Auburn’s campus.
“Long story short, I took the job that screamed ‘success’ as the world would define it. A nice title, a corporate company, and dollar signs were offered to me in a time of fear and desperation, that it only seemed right for me to say yes,” she writes on her blog. “It didn’t take long for me though to realize that it was not the future God had in mind for me. If I hadn’t walked through those doors, however, I wouldn’t be where I am today: a place of humility, faith, and gratitude.”
Etheredge knew that she would be doing herself a disservice to stay at a job that didn’t bring her any kind of happiness or fulfillment, it began to drain her. After months of doubt and wondering what path she should go down she decided, along with the support of her husband and family, to finally pursue what she always wanted to do.
It’s important to do what makes you happy; no job is worth sacrificing that Etheredge says.
“Dreams can change. Your passions start to look a little different than what you expected, and I’m learning that that’s okay.”