In partnership with Stylebee
Debbie Pacheco - Community Manager at StyleBee
As a little girl, I was around animals a lot. I liked their presence, their love, and the way they needed care. Because I wanted to be around animals all day, I thought I might want to be a veterinarian. I wanted to care for things. In high school that changed. I realized that caring for animals could be more emotionally demanding than I expected. I saw that animals suffered and it broke my heart. I got into something that engaged my mind, rather than my heart: computers—specifically web design and graphic design.
After high school, I went to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, where I studied Fashion Product Development. In so doing, I think I combined my desire to care for people—or at least to design and develop products that better-allowed people to care for themselves—with my interest in tech and design. I loved it. While I felt secure in my interests, Sacramento was stifling. I moved to San Francisco and got a job at a startup, which embodied many stereotypes about startup life. Workdays were twelve hours long and work seemed to follow me home. The job was killing me.
Luckily, I’ve since transitioned to StyleBee, where I’ve found a healthier balance of work and life. Although I still work too much, I’ve learned to take time for self-care. I’ve learned that the traditional nine-to-five workday doesn’t work for me; by the end of the day, I’d be exhausted. Instead, I split up my day into parts: I check emails early in the morning, workout, go to the office for eight hours, come home and eat supper and relax, and then look at more emails. I still work a lot, but for me, this is a healthy, balanced workday.
Working at StyleBee, as a woman, has been wonderful. At the other startup I worked at, I encountered scenarios that were as predictable as they were frustrating. My work didn’t always feel valued because I was a woman. There was also this sense that women could only do easy work—so if I was working in tech, it must be easy. The work was hard—really hard—so that was hard to hear. I’m lucky to be working at StyleBee, where I feel valued and respected for my contributions.
Switching jobs was, for me, an act of self-care, which is cool: it means that the skills I had as a child—for caring for people and animals—has stayed with me, and includes caring for myself. I practice other methods of self-care: I wear all-black because it makes me feel good and make sure to buy beauty products that help me look my best (Vintner’s Daughter anytime serum, if you’re asking). I think it really comes down to ignoring all the pressure people put on you. Instead, listen to yourself, be true to yourself, and care for yourself.
Written by Josiah Nelson
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