Two Roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down as far I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.
Then took the other, just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this one day nigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence;
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
— Robert Frost
Discovering my True Potential with Creativity
Ah, the beauty of looking back, seeing the paths one went down, the roads taken and not taken, and how all those choices led up to today. There is NO doubt that Art and Artistic Expression saved me from an unfulfilled life of monotonous, dead-end roads, where I never would have discovered my true potential. I’ve always needed to find some form of creative expression within each and every project, and along every road I’ve traveled, those vast creative needs always pushed me to a higher purpose and even greater growth. They are a powerful life force that holds the keys to unlocking dreams and unleashing infinite imagination—and they ultimately charted my course.
Here’s where my journey has taken me…
Road 1: While all my friends took Spanish in junior high, my mother suggested I take French. French classes led to an opportunity for me to study in Paris and my mother championed the cause. She wholeheartedly believed that living in Paris and absorbing its culture would have an enormous effect and influence on me and would set my course for life.
Lesson Learned: She was right, naturellement. Paris had an effect unlike anything I’ve ever known. I became obsessed with anything and everything a la Francais and still am to this day.
Road 2: I decided to pursue an elementary teaching credential mainly because I really liked making elaborate learning centers! (For my final project I staged a puppet show with a cast of 10 that was part Cirque de Soleil and part CATS, the Broadway play.)
Lesson Learned: I had creative needs that had to be expressed and could not be ignored!
Road 3: While substitute teaching I came up with the idea to launch a Bed & Breakfast Inn in a restored Victorian mansion. I decided to furnish the Inn with antiques and accessories that were offered for sale because antiquing and styling were passionate hobbies of mine.
Lesson Learned: The challenges and enormous responsibilities of starting a business, operating and growing it.
Road 4/Final Destination: It was inevitable that I would open an antique shop as buying and selling antiques was always a huge part of my life. What it morphed into has finally brought all of my lifelong passions under one roof. The shop Vignettes is my French-inspired, creative outlet, dream lab—where the furnishings, accessories, and décor all have a unique French twist—Merci Beaucoup Mon Mere! The icing on the gateau is that I’m surrounded with the most creative, talented artisans and designers in the business and being brought together in an inspiring environment has made us all better at what we do. Creative expression and collaboration run rampant, ideas are brainstormed and built on, and the sum total truly is, even greater than its parts.
Lesson Learned: The adage “Let what you love, be what you do” says it all.
To learn more about Lori Chandler, visit vignettesantiques.blogspot.com.