What is The Stiles Files? Better yet, who is The Stiles Files?
This small slice of the Internet has served as my springboard for creativity, for relationship building, and more importantly, for growth. It all started nearly six years ago. Having just moved down to Arizona after graduating from the University of Iowa, I knew very little of the area. Exploring the valley and documenting my unique treasures, great escapes, and delicious finds allowed me to meet fellow creatives while also building onto my newfound interest in photography. From there, I was able to work with a handful of reputable businesses in both collaborative partnerships, as well as brand representations. It also led me to an architecture and design studio known as Bar Napkin Productions. Within this role, I was able to harness my expertise and passion for digital platform management, copywriting and editing, and consumer content development.
It was just ten months later that my fiancé, Andrew, received a promotion, which brought us back up to Iowa. Between planning a wedding, reconnecting with friends and family, searching for an apartment, and finding a job, there was certainly some excitement in the air, but more than anything, there was anxiety. So much of this space was tethered to my experiences in the Southwest. Who was I without that? Could I still meet people? What about my small business features and weekend travels? It felt as though I was stuck in quicksand with no way of getting out.
Of course, bit by bit, I did. We only lived in Iowa for a mere four months before Andrew was offered a different job across the river in Illinois, but it was during that brief period I did some soul-searching. If I could change, so could The Stiles Files, and change it most definitely did.
Life got busier, posts became fewer, and this blog shifted from discovering things to discovering me.
Once Andrew and I settled in the city, it was back on the job hunt. Not long after, I comfortably landed at Northwestern Medicine. Initially, I was charged with a system-wide reputation project, but like most things happening at the time, that quickly moved to the back-burner: enter social media. There was a need within the Marketing Department to roll certain responsibilities in-house, develop a strategy, and expand our content. I happily took on those initiatives as a one-woman-show and have never looked back. Three years later, we’re five strong and counting.
I’m in awe of the work that’s been accomplished in what truly feels like the blink of an eye. We’re thought-leaders, we’re creators, we’re doers, and above all else, we’re a team. There are few things I’m more proud of. Amidst paving my career path, I also paved who I am as an individual.
Is this blog the same as when it started? Clearly not, but if I’m being honest, neither am I and that’s okay. I’ve since married an incredible man who supports me in all that I do. We also bought a house in April and love renovating every square inch of it. I’ve traveled abroad for the first time and have no intentions of stopping. My husband and I even made a new set of friends who happen to share our obsession for cats and craft beers and I’m falling head-over-heels for Chicago with each passing day; all the boutiques, all the restaurants, all the breweries, all the coffee shops.
What has stayed the same is my adaptability. Just like this blog, I’m not afraid of change. I enjoy meeting new people and fostering positive exchanges. When I see great work, I recognize it. As a result, I’m constantly looking for ways to improve myself. I enjoy speaking in front of others and if I’m not speaking, I’m writing, I’m taking photos, or I’m doing both. That inspiration – what you see splashed all across this page – stems from everything and everyone around me. This is a roadmap guiding me through my personal brand. Where it’ll take me next, I haven’t a clue.
So, who will The Stiles Files be a year from now? I guess you’ll just have to follow along to find out!