Mint Sweater Girl Interview Series- Allison Ewing
The Mint Sweater Girl Interview Series is a series where we interview Mint Sweater Girls in our community to showcase their empowering stories and influence to inspire other women by giving them a peek into the everyday lives of a Mint Sweater Girl.
Today, our series continues with our dear friend, Allison Ewing.
Allison Ewing is a wedding & lifestyle photographer in the Cleveland & Akron area. She is a wife and a dog mom. A friend, redhead, and part-time yoga instructor.
But to us, she is one of the sweetest and gracious women we have met.
Allison is the friend who is willing to provide a helping hand when you’re in need. She’s a true representation of hospitality, her warmth and gentleness are always welcoming and comforting towards others. She’s selfless.
Her story, which you’ll read below as she shares a peek into her world, is moving and inspiring in the way it has shaped her into the women she is today.
We’ve admired Allison and the way she carries herself, the heart she puts into her career, and the positive influence she leaves on others in her life and through her work. From capturing moments in time through her photography to inspiring wellness through her yoga classes, Allison is uplifting and encouraging lives every day and today we wanted to share interview with you to allow her to do the same for you today.
What does a day in the life of Allison Ewing look like?
That’s a great question and it honestly just depends on the day! During the week, I’m usually in my home office working during the day. This could be anything from responding to emails, editing photos and chatting with brides about their upcoming wedding. I shoot engagement and family sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and the rest I try to spend with my husband! We like to go to the gym, ride bikes or go on hikes with our chocolate lab, Bogart. Weekends looked different because they are reserved for weddings!
What is one thing you do every day that makes you happy?
There’s two things! One is have a cup of coffee in the morning before I open my laptop for the day. I really like to sit on the couch and watch Good Morning America without distractions the first half hour. It really sets the tone for my day! The second thing is I always call my mom. We chat at least once a day, if not more. But talking to her on the phone makes me really happy!
What do you believe your purpose in life is?
I’ve always known that my purpose in life was to help others. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized what that looked like. For me, that’s taking photos for my wedding clients on the happiest day of their lives, capturing the pure joy that comes with marrying your best friend. It’s also getting to document the perfectly un-perfect moments of everyday life that my lifestyle clients will cherish for generations to come. Plus, through teaching yoga, I get to help others feel their best and provide them with tips on living a more mindful life.
What made you choose the path of becoming your own business owner?
When I think about it, I’ve always known the entrepreneur lifestyle. My dad owns his own law office and has worked for himself since I was little and my mom is his secretary. I’m also the type of person that loves having flexibility in life and I love being able to create my own schedule. I truly believe that life is short and you have one shot at it. I don’t want to look back on my life and see the things I missed out on and regret anything. Plus, there’s nothing better than having a business that is all yours. It’s hard but it’s also so rewarding!
Plus, I’m the only one accountable for my success or failure. And that’s so powerful to me.
All that to say, I think the entrepreneur life chose me!
When was the moment you knew you wanted to be a photographer? How did you know that this was what you wanted to do, what did you feel when you realized, “yes, this is it!”
I started scrapbooking in high school and it all started there. I was the girl that would bring multiple disposable cameras to school dances and events and in my mind, I would know beforehand what shots I needed for my scrapbook. At the end of my junior year, my parents bought me what I called my first “big camera.” I took that thing everywhere! I know for a fact that my group of best friends finally gave in to the fact that I would always have it with me and that no matter what we were doing, I was going to be there documenting it! Fast forward to a few years after high school and I received the news that one of my best friends had passed away in a motorcycle accident. Before we went to his calling hours, the rest of our group of friends got together to reminisce and just spend time together like we had done so many times before.
As we were talking about all the fun times we shared, another friend looked at me and said “you know, if it wasn’t for you always having your camera, we wouldn’t have all of these memories documented like this.”
That hit me like a ton of bricks. It was the first time that I realized that the photos I captured, the 4 by 6 images that went into a scrapbook that was currently collecting dust on a shelf in my parent’s house, were all that we had left of our friend. After that day, I knew that taking photos, something I already loved to do for myself, could actually leave a powerful legacy for others. I started shooting sessions for close friends and family and it all started from there!
What would you say to the girl who doesn’t know what she wants yet? The one who is searching for that feeling of “this is what I want to spend the rest of my life doing?”
I would absolutely tell her that it’s ok to not know what you want to be when you grow up! I went to college and graduated with a degree in public relations. And while I’m so thankful for my education, I knew that after working for six years in a job that left me unfulfilled, that there had to be more out there for me. I needed a job that brought me joy and happiness instead of stress and anxiety. I would tell her that if there’s something that sets your soul on fire, something that makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning, chase after that with your whole heart. It won’t always be easy, but it will always be worth it.
You are also a yoga teacher, what made you get into yoga?
The short answer is that I’ve suffered from anxiety most of my life. It wasn’t until I was planning my own wedding that I began having panic attacks and struggling daily with my anxious feelings. A friend had suggested that I try a yoga class because it was supposed to be great for people with anxiety. I was skeptical (like most people are before they actually try yoga) but I decided that it was worth a shot and I had nothing to lose. After the first class, I felt a sense of calm that I hadn’t felt in a long time. I decided to sign up for another class, and then another and the rest you could say is history. After several years of practicing yoga regularly, I made the decision to become a teacher knowing that if I could help just one person find relief from their anxiety through yoga, that it would be worth it. I signed up for a teacher training not knowing what the experience was going to be like. It’s hard to put into words the transformation I went through during that time, but I can say that it forever changed my life. I now have three yoga certifications: my 200-hour RYT in Power Yoga, Certified Strala Yoga Guide and Silver Sneakers Yoga.
What words of encouragement do you have for those who have always wanted to try yoga, but still hesitate to step on to the mat for the first time?
I would say that it’s ok to feel awkward and nervous during your first few classes. That’s completely normal! Everyone, and I mean everyone, had to start somewhere. I always tell people that everyone was a beginner at yoga at one point, but you just have to get past that to discover the amazing benefits it can create! I would definitely suggest starting out with a beginners class or a beginners series, that way you and the rest of the yogis there are starting in the same place. It’s a great way to learn about the mind, body and breath connection and you learn the poses and what you can expect in other classes. Definitely don’t get discouraged if there’s a pose that you find you either can’t do or if it’s uncomfortable. I just went to a yoga class myself this week after taking a few weeks off and there were certain poses that didn’t feel good and borderline hurt, so I just didn’t do them. I always tell my students- it’s not about getting into a certain pose, or getting into an “advanced” pose. Yoga is about how you can sync your breath and your movement and move your body in a way that will serve you best both on and off your mat.
What was one fear you faced when chasing after your dreams and how did you overcome that fear?
I could write a novel with this question! But I would say my number on fear was quitting my full-time job in order to pursue being a full-time photographer and business owner. I honestly can’t tell you that I’ve completely overcome that fear because it’s been almost a year since I left my 9-5 job and there’s days where I’m still fearful. But I think that comes with the territory of being a creative entrepreneur.
What would you say to the girl who is struggling to overcome her fears, unable to chase after her dreams?
I love the saying “do one thing a day that scares you.” With that mindset, it’s easier to start to peel back the layers of fear and move past them to something bigger. Chasing after your dreams is really scary! I’m still scared today. But I can wholeheartedly say that I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. If you have the opportunity to chase after a dream, I think anyone should jump at the chance because you never know when it’ll be too late.
Bonus Question: If you looked back on your journey and thought about the hardest day you went through, what would you, now, say to that girl?
There will be days where you want to give up and throw in the towel. And there will always be hard days, no matter what. But know that even on the hardest of days, chasing after your dream, that thing that lights your soul on fire, is always going to be worth it.
We would like to take a moment to thank Allison for taking the time to share her thoughts, life, and inspiration. Allison continues to be an encouragement to us and the women in our community and we are so grateful for her and the inspiration she continues to spread.
To learn more about Allison and to receive daily inspiration from her you can find her via the links below:
Allison Ewing: http://www.allisonewingphotography.com/
Allison’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/allisonewingphotography/
To read our previous interviews with Laura Quintero and Hannah Ashton or view our complete list of Mint Sweater Girl interviews from the Mint Sweater Girl Interview Series head on over to our blog via the links.