We had the good fortune of connecting with UniquelyRochelles and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi UniquelyRochelles, what role has risk played in your life or career?
The first real risk I took in my life was deciding that my career was going to be becoming a professional ballet dancer. I risked not going to college and auditioning for Ballet Arizona at age 15. I was accepted into the company at 15 and had to learn very quickly, the professional world. After 10 years of dancing in the company and it becoming really all I knew and everything I have trained for my entire life, I decided to take another risk and retire from ballet at age 25 and become my own brand by booking out my 1950’s house for film and photography and being an influencer for different businesses. I am a huge supporter of taking risks because I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t take risks.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
During my professional ballet career, I also was a dedicated vintage collector. While collecting, I discovered more about myself and what era really spoke to me and I narrowed it down to being the 1950’s. I love the design, furniture, fashion and cosmetics. When I met my husband, I told him that my dream was to own a 50’s house and only decorate it with 50’s decor. After 3 years of marriage, we bought a 1957 James G Hart home in Sunnyslope and you better believe that everything in the house is from the 50’s. We even cook on pink 50s GE appliances and watch tv off of a 50s tv. While building up my social media, I started having people contact me about shooting in our home and the demand got so large that I decided to make booking out our home, my business. I’ve been so grateful to meet so many amazing creative artists through this journey and I love being a part of their art. I’ve hosted music videos, film, clothing brand ads, photoshoots and much more. This experience allowed me to make this my full time business. But it hasn’t all been butterflies and rainbows. Being that our house if filled with only antiques, you can’t easily replace things. I’ve run into a couple bookings where people don’t understand the respect antiques deserve. But I hope I can share awareness of how special antiques really are. Thankfully I get many more great bookings compared to the not so great ones. My rule list started as just a sentence in the beginning and is now a whole page full. Haha. I want everyone to have a good experience when they are here but it’s sometimes silly seeing what some people try and pull off. Was it easy quitting my full time ballet career for this? I had always imagined myself dancing until retirement age which is around 40. But after 10 years, my time had come. And I knew that in my heart. Ballet is a beautiful art form but sometimes the behind the scenes is disheartening. I came to the realization that my soul and well being wanted more than being told who I was supposed to be as a dancer. I wanted to be fully in charge of telling myself who I am as an artist and a person. I hope that if you get anything out of reading this that you feel encouraged that your imagination and goals should never be suppressed and you should celebrate your creativity with hard work and dedication. Yes, it has it’s days, like all work has, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. My next goal is to own multiple locations with different themes for everyone to enjoy. It may never happen, but it’s always nice having dreams and sharing them with others.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My favorite spots that I definitely would have to take anyone visiting me is Sugar Bowl for lunch and ice cream, shopping at Brass Armadillo, dinner at Century Grand and drinks at Platform 18 and Undertow.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give a special thanks to my parents and my husband. My parents never second guessed my career choices and my mom would even drive me an hour away every day just for ballet classes. My husband has also been so supportive of all my choices. Even me stopping my career to create a business of my own.
The one photo of me with the mailbox is by https://instagram.com/knoxblvd.photo?utm_medium=copy_link