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My DreamJob was in the Cards

Nicole Ritterstein is the founder and creative director behind Avant Card Studio.Com. Turns out, her path to her DreamJob was kicked off by applying for a DreamJobbing opportunity. Nicole gives her top 5 pieces of advice for turning a challenge into a DreamJob.

1.) Always Keep Your Eyes Open

I saw that there was an opportunity with DreamJobbing to go to Norway for two weeks as a photojournalist. This sounded incredible! I love photography and I love travel. So I made my video application and I submitted! The next step for me was to get votes. I needed a lot of votes. So I thought, “How can I grab people's attention, everyday, without being obnoxious?" I wanted to remind people that they could vote once a day, every day.

2.) Don't Be Intimidated

I emailed everyone that I knew, but I really had to step up my social media game and spread the word, something I was totally unfamiliar with. I started posting on Facebook and Instagram. I joined Twitter and had to learn all about tweeting. I tried to figure out the best way to ask people to vote, remind them that they could vote every single day, and tell them how many days they had left to vote, while also showcasing my talents and abilities so that they would actually want to vote for me!

3.) Think Around Barriers and Get Creative

Twitter only allows you to tweet a limited amount of characters, so putting all the info on a photo allowed me to get more info across to people with less text. I had to be creative to get votes from people I didn't know via Twitter and Instagram. I learned how to use hashtags, what to hashtag, when to post, how much to post, who to follow, etc. I started tweeting coffee photos with my info to people who liked coffee, scuba diving photos to dive companies, food photos to foodies, wine photos to wineries, and on and on!

I started taking photos differently and looking at my photos differently. I would make sure to frame a picture with enough space to add text. What's the best photo to share to get my point across?

I really loved doing all of this and I was getting great feedback!

4.) One Door Closes & Another Opens

I didn't end up going to Norway, but I learned so much and I had so much fun! I fell in love with photography all over again, and I fell in love with MY photography. I was so proud of my work and I was really enjoying myself. I started printing my photos and displaying them at home and I wanted to share my work with other people.

I found a printing company that prints cards, and I thought it was a great idea, greeting cards! I printed some for myself and loved them. I love that they're printed on 100% recycled card stock, I love the texture, and I love that they are sharable. I'm realizing that a lot of people still use cards, and I love the surprise factor of handing someone an envelope, and seeing their face when they see what's inside, and then again when they find out that I made it.

5.) Your DreamJob is Where You Least Expect It

I decided I wanted to start selling my cards, so I came up with a name, worked my butt off, and made my own website! It was super challenging, fun and rewarding all at the same time. I come up with new card ideas every day. I started off wanting to share the beauty of photography, but everyday my ideas are changing and growing. I love sharing my photography, and I also love making people laugh, so I figured out a way to combine the two on my 'Sassy' cards.

Get Nicole's cards here on her website.

Follow her on Instagram for more of her photography!

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