Everyone has a story

And mine begins in Stone Mountain, Georgia and the year was 1991. I was born to a single mother at 19, but it definitely took a village to raise me. I come from a long line of storytellers. Stories kept my family together. Through the power of storytelling, the memories of those who had passed came alive again, we could travel anywhere in time, but above all stories kept us laughing - even through times when we would have rather cried.

 

Growing up, I lived with my great-grandparents in Stone Mountain Village. Being a child of the 90's I found many ways to entertain myself when I grew bored. I've always loved books even before I knew how to read. I would look at the pictures and create my own stories to share aloud. My great-grandparents always encouraged this curiosity. I remember sitting on my Papi's lap as he told me stories of "en aquel tiempo" and of our island, Puerto Rico. Though in that time I had never seen it for my eyes, I could see it in my heart. From an early age, I had an affinity for the arts. Most young children do, until they are made to focus on a hobby deemed more useful. 

In High School I fell in love with the stage, and not just with performing, but with the friendships I made through every show. Beginning in my sophomore year, I had the privilege to attend Firespark! every summer. The friendships and connections I made through this camp are still close to me today.

After graduating high school, I moved from Loganville, Georgia to Atlanta for college at Kennesaw State University. By the end of my first year, I declared myself a Theatre and Performance Studies major. I was so hesitant, because I was afraid I would be wasting my time and scholarship on a useless arts education. Everyday I spent as an undeclared major taking my general ed courses, I woke up with a longing so deep, I just couldn't shake it. 

Eventually, the fear of never knowing what I could be outweighed the fear that I would fail. 

During that first year, I lost my Papi. I found myself riddled with grief, and I would talk non-stop about him and what he meant to me. And all of the stories he shared with me as a girl came flooding back. It was like he breathed a second life through the stories he left behind.

Then I found the KSU Tellers, and I learned how to mold and transform my personal narratives into something digestible and tangible. I learned to craft something larger than myself. 

I graduated KSU magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in 2015. I was able to travel. I quickly found a steady job in marketing. I thought my fun was over, I needed to build a career because telling stories was NOT going to pay off my student loan debt. 

But after over a decade of committing myself to theatre and the arts, I was able to find myself in the world and live life without a script. I married Kyle, a fellow teller and my long-term partner in crime. We gave life to a beautiful daughter. We moved to South Carolina to help my mother run her staffing business. Things have been pretty apple pie.

But then I had an epiphany, why must I choose between a steady life or a life in the arts? Who said it must be one or the other? While managing our family business, I came to realize our major selling points were not about our skills, but our story as a company. I was utilizing what I learned as a storyteller to achieve our goals, and it was working?! 

So I felt like I was sitting on a secret, and I'm no good at keeping secrets. I made the choice to devote myself back to sharing my stories and building a new brand for myself - a brand that weaves both sides of my life together. Starting September 2019, I will be continuing my education at Harvard Business School Online where I will begin my next journey in achieving a Master's of Business Administration. This is where I hope to hone my craft of "storyselling" even further. 

And I want to help you find your story, too.

877-731-1345 ext. 2317

©2019 by Laura Egelhoff, Storytelling Entrepreneur.