In The News
So, so grateful to be featured as WOW Magazine’s Cover Story! I was lucky to be interviewed by the Trinidad Guardian Newspaper publication and shared many personal details about my life and career journey so far.
Naturally, nerves come into play when touching on such personal life choices and risks, but I hope my story can resonate with some of you and even inspire you in some little way.
Salt and Shimmer Magazine Cover Story: Transcribed
Interview for WOW Magazine, a Guardian Media publication
“Better to be busy than bored”
WOW reporter, Kaelanne Jordan shares Rachelle’s story.
I must admit; I had no idea who Rachelle Hay was prior to our interview. Sure, she’s our Caribbean girl behind a life and style blog called www.SaltandShimmer.com, which follows her personal journey of style and travel. But, unbeknownst to some, she once took a huge risk and left a stable corporate job to pursue her passion. Today, Rachelle wears many hats – she is a blogger, one of the many television hosts of Caribbean Passport, social media manager and a businesswoman growing the Salt and Shimmer brand.
WOW: Tell us about your earlier career in Finance.
RH: Before working in Finance, I also spent some time as an intern at CNC3, which was my first foray into Broadcasting and Television and sparked my interest in the field. Following this, I was fortunate to work for a Video Production Company, JCD & Associates Ltd. There I was exposed to all aspects of production, from start to finish, and I eventually earned my way in front of the camera. This experience really hit home for me and I discovered my passion for the industry. I’m very lucky to have worked with these companies and learned so much from them.
My career in finance came along a lot later in my job path and was largely propelled by achieving a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). I also worked for a global investment firm in Canada. The opportunities for growth and learning were incredible – I was sent to London and South Africa for training and returned to the office to help build a new arm of the company from the ground up.
However after a few years I realised there were elements of past jobs, which I sorely missed. I came to the harsh realisation that my future did not fully fit into the Finance industry and this career path no longer brought me the happiness and fulfillment I was seeking. I wanted to contribute to the world through different means. After a long period of tedious deliberation, I did one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever done and resigned from that job.
WOW: Taking the leap and shifting your career from finance to a creative field is a huge step. At what point did you realise that you had enough?
RH: This move was undoubtedly one of the scariest things I’ve done. Some may call me crazy for choosing to leave a stable job with good growth prospects. At times I even called myself crazy! It went against my rational better judgment. In retrospect, I believe it was the right choice. It wasn’t something I necessarily planned, rather something that became evident as I realised my current situation was not the right fit. The blog arose from me wanting to connect with people and inspire them with beautiful imagery and stories centered on travel and lifestyle content and also sharing my personal style. With regards to nature and scenery, we are blessed with so much in the Caribbean and I badly wanted to showcase the sites and natural beauty we have in this region. There is so much right in our backyard and so I chose to feature this in my little corner of the Internet to add a positive spin amidst the somber and harsh issues pervading daily life.
WOW: Ok, so you discovered your true passion, how did you go about accomplishing your dream?
RH: I certainly don’t consider my dreams accomplished. I think I’ve made progress towards forging a new path for myself but there’s still so much to be achieved.
Creating www.SaltandShimmer.com was a labour of love. Without any previous website-building experience, it took me countless hours of ploughing through technical jargon I didn’t understand, and many failed attempts before getting things closer to where I wanted them to be. I’m still learning and evolving as I go. I don’t think I will ever be ‘finished’ and I’m okay with that. I don’t ever want to become complacent; my goal is to keep evolving.
WOW: Did you see it then that this would be something you’d be doing full time?
RH: Well, I like to say it’s better to be busy than bored, and I’m currently pursuing a number of interests in addition to Salt and Shimmer. For instance, I intend to hone my on-camera skills so I can better communicate stories and connect with audiences. I generally split my time between Trinidad and Vancouver as Vancouver is a hub for the Film and TV Industry. I’m always on the lookout for on-air TV and film opportunities in both Vancouver and Trinidad. The industry in Vancouver is booming and so there is a wealth of resources available. I’ve started acting classes to take advantage of this and to further my skills. Why not learn from the best? Embracing what the industry has to offer, I’ve been an extra on TV shows such as The Flash, Arrow, Lucifer and Second Chance, and a few movies as well. See if you can spot me in Season 2, Episode 5 of The Flash.
WOW: What has some of the feedback been since launching the website?
RH: I often focus on visual story telling on www.SaltandShimmer.com and narrate via photos with supporting text. I’ve gotten feedback that the photography has a lovely aesthetic. On the other hand, some have found that there isn’t enough text so I’m still striving to create the right balance.
WOW: What are some of your current projects?
RH: I’m currently working on collaborations with a handbag company based in Los Angeles called Nicole Lee, a high fashion jewellery house based in New York called Mirina Collections and another women’s accessory company out of Los Angeles called Urban Expressions that is focused on animal-friendly practices. I’m also happy to provide my readers with discount codes for some of these companies, so feel free to check that out on www.SaltandShimmer.com by signing up for my mailing list.
I’ve also been fortunate to work with local Trinbagonian talent such as designer Adrian Foster (wearing signature pieces such as his wrap trousers), featured the We Dream in Colour brand of jewellery by Jade Gedeon (showcasing her recognizable vintage and antique influenced pieces), provided scenic Trinbago photos for ESPjr (a design studio specialising in Caribbean-themed content for children) and shot with photographer Damian Luk Pat who is as devoted as I in capturing the perfect Tobago sunset image.
WOW: How can people follow you?
RH: Instagram: @rachellehay