A Love for Old Things – How My Career Path Came Full Circle

A Young Girl with an Old Soul

In 4th grade my elementary class took a field trip to the Kittitas County History Museum and the Old Shoudy Mansion… thus began my obsession with Kittitas County history and architecture from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. After the field trip that day I came home and told my mom I wanted to be an architect, so that I could build new homes to look like they used to. I didn’t (and still don’t) understand why architects and contractors traded in the old fashioned detailed woodwork and high quality craftsmanship for the aesthetically lacking things that gets built today.

But let me back up…

For as long as I can remember I have had a love for old things. As a little girl I liked watching black and white shows such as I Love Lucy, Leave It to Beaver, and the Beverly Hillbillies. I jumped on an opportunity to thumb through old family photos with Grandma every chance I could, and visiting the antique market in Thorp was one of my favorite weekend outings.

Growing up my mom and aunt were both avid antique dealers, always out on the hunt for things other people might consider “out dated junk”.

So… I suppose you could say that I came by my love for old treasures naturally.

Things Work Out

My passion for antiques, historic architecture, and “cool old stuff” is still a very large part of who I am today as I enter my years as a young professional.

After spending an afternoon digging antiques out of the old barn and cellar on the farm, my boyfriend’s dad Craig said it best, “Faith I think you were born a century too late.” I think he is right!

As it turns out I didn’t end up pursing a degree in construction management or architecture (the math wasn’t gonna happen for me). Instead I went down the path of Public Relations and Non-Profit Management.

However,  I am pleased to say that it all worked out… because today I work for an organization, where I can put my degree to good use, and ALSO get to work preserving and revitalizing the historic district right here in my home town.

A Young Preservationist – Happy in Her Career Choice

Anyone who knows me, knows that I live preservation in my everyday life. My home is full of vintage and antique furniture, quilts, and home decor. I am currently in the process of upcycling an old 5 panel door into a headboard for our master bedroom. The things many others would consider junk, I consider treasures.

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As a part of my job working for the Ellensburg Downtown Association (which is powered by the Washington Main Street Program and the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation) I was given the opportunity to plan and attend the 2017 RevitalizeWA conference. RevitalizeWA is an annual three day summit put on by the Washington Main Street Program, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Department of Archeology & Historic Preservation.

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Attending this conference was a HUGE opportunity for me. It was so inspiring to spend three days surrounded by people who have the same interests and passions as myself. Being around like minded people who are fired up about preserving and rehabilitating pieces of our past helped relight a fire in me, and made me realize that I am right where I belong, in my career with the EDA.

Take Away

It amazes me how things come full circle. Life has lead me down a bumpy path, I have changed career goals and majors a countless number of times. I might not be an architect, and I might not be in the social work realm (like I was planning just three short years ago).

Instead of recreating history I am preserving it. Instead of helping the lives of the marginalized, I am helping the lives of small business owners, by encouraging community pride, and a thriving downtown historic district.