I have loved interior design since I was a little girl. I would spend hours rearranging and redecorating my room to give it a new look and feel. When I was in high school my parents bought a fixer upper beach house “down the shore” (local lingo for the New Jersey beaches) and I fell in love with the process of transforming the ‘70s style home into a modern bright and colorful coastal escape.
At the time social media didn’t exist so I had no visibility into what a career could look like in a more creative realm like interior design. While design remained something that I enjoyed and was very interested in, I decided to go down a more traditional career path and got a degree and job in public relations.
I began my career in New York City working for a PR firm in their beauty department. I worked really hard, made great relationships, and rose up the ranks quickly. After 5 years grinding in the city, I craved a healthier, more balanced lifestyle. I envied the LA lifestyle…people worked hard, but they seem to enjoy their time off equally. I made the decision to move to LA and was hired by my former client, Jouer Cosmetics, to be their Director of Public Relations.
I’m going to fast-forward through the next seven years in LA, so bear with me. Following Jouer, I became the Director of PR for Kate Somerville Skincare (a role I had for 4 years); I met and married my husband; had my first daughter, Riley; returned from my three-month maternity leave and found out two weeks later that I was pregnant again (with Emmy); and decided to start my own PR agency, Meg Young Media Group, when I was 7 months pregnant with baby #2. WHEW!
My PR business was thriving. I was so thankful for the business, but I wasn’t excited about how much it was growing and that felt wrong. I felt like I was accelerating in a career that I was good at but not a career that I wanted to continue in. I started this career at 22 years old, and since then I had changed quite a bit as a person (don’t we all?!).
(Photoshoot I did for Gray Malin’s blog in 2018 with my girls for Meg Young Media Group)
I had two babies at home, 12 months apart, and that changed a lot as well. I started to really reflect on the time I was spending away from them. I craved a career that excited me and brought me joy and one that would allow me to also bring some of the personal charitable work I was doing into it.
I spent months, and months, and months, thinking, discussing and praying about what to do.
I went back and forth so many times about whether to stay on my stable PR career path or make the change…and, if I did make a change, what was that change?!
The idea for Cailini Coastal came from a personal desire for me as a consumer. I’ve always loved finding unique, quality pieces for my home. Things that you don’t find everywhere or see all over social media. As such, I often shop local boutiques and design stores. Friends of mine from New York would ask where I purchased something and they wouldn’t be able to shop for it because it wasn’t accessible nationally. I wondered why nothing like this existed online and that’s how the idea came to me!
I decided to create that online destination, which allowed me to exercise my love for design through curating a shop of quality and unique accents and décor. I decided to only sell items that I would personally want in my own home and focus on that specific coastal style.
Philanthropy has always been important to me personally, and I knew from the beginning that I wanted this business to be used to help others. While I was figuring out the details of my ecomm business, I was simultaneously researching charities. I discovered Family Promise, a national non-profit that helps low-income families and families experiencing homelessness achieve sustainable independence. As a mother myself, I am particularly passionate about helping children and ensuring that their and their families’ basic needs—food, shelter—are met. I chose to partner with Family Promise because I vehemently share their vision of a nation in which every family has a home, a livelihood, and the chance to build a better future. Family Promise is an ongoing partner of ours. Due to the urgent need, we will be maximizing our impact by donating 100% of our profits for the first six months of business to help support their families most impacted by COVID-19.
Credit: Family Promise
I decided to pause my PR business in January of 2020 to focus on bringing Cailini Coastal to life. It was terrifying and exciting all at once (it still is!). It has been a massive learning experience and loads of work, but I am having so much fun learning something new and doing something that excites me. I have never felt happier or more fulfilled in my entire professional career.
I hope that my excitement and passion for what I’m creating is shared by others and that this business will bring joy into many families’ lives! If my story resonates with you and you are able to take a risk to try something new, I hope this inspires you to follow your gut and DO IT!
DM me @CailiniCoastal…I’d love to hear from you and give you some encouragement!
Thank you for taking the time to read my story and for being a part of this journey with me!