Bold Beautiful Perfect: Amy
Bold Beautiful Perfect: Amy
“I know that my inner beauty comes from becoming the woman God made me to be.”
Tell us about yourself, Amy!
Born and raised in Hancock County, I grew up loving our community with its beautiful beaches and friendly people. I studied Polymer Science at Southern Miss and took a job at Port Bienville right out of college. Just as Katrina was brewing, my company was acquired and it was decided that I would relocate to their Atlanta office. Mardi Gras Day 2006 with a car loaded to the gills, I left home. Ten years and a few jobs later with a car just as full, I drove back home. Within the year I was engaged to my now-husband Rob and started my vacation rental business in Waveland. I took a temporary position, which I left this July, at Stennis to manage an engineering team while I continued to pursue my new passion for real estate. Rob and I now live in the Bay where we run Amy’s Beach Life, LLC rental business and Thibodaux Home Remodeling and Design, LLC remodeling company, we kicked off our first renovation project of a gorgeous 1930’s cottage in Waveland, and I have joined Coldwell Banker Alfonso Realty as a REALTOR®. We certainly stay busy, but it is absolutely wonderful to be self-employed and we love spending time with our friends and family. Rob and I are members of St. Rose de Lima Catholic Church and the Bay St Louis Rotary Satellite Club.
How did you come to understand your beauty?
Growing up on a farm with a dirt pit that put even the best sand box to shame, I have to say I was a late bloomer when it came to understanding my beauty – both outer and inner! My parents Elbert and Darnell Cuevas were huge promoters of sports and church. My brother and I grew up understanding hard work pays off, and service to others is the best way to serve our God. We were confident and rather self-disciplined, independent little people!
But to explain how I became to understand inner beauty, I will have to tell you about my experience at The Dance Company, owned by Kim Mahony. I joined around 13 at a time when I was incredibly tom-boyish compared to the other girls in class. With Mrs. Kim, that all disappeared as soon as class began. She kept us focused on learning the skills and techniques of dance while instilling in us a love for the movement, ourselves, and each other. The combination of her approach gave us super powers as women. I felt absolutely beautiful when I was dancing – even if I was in a tutu! I was never the best, skinniest, or prettiest performer, but many sweet people would tell me how my presence would light up the stage and make them feel happy when watching me perform. I always thought it was my giant, toothy smile but years later, I understand that Mrs. Kim had taught me all about my inner beauty. I absolutely loved to dance. I felt great both inside and out when performing, and it showed.
All women are unique and I understand each one of us may find our inner beauty in different ways. I know that my inner beauty comes from me staying focused on becoming the woman God made me to be, respecting that to get there I have to put in the work and love myself, my beautiful journey, and those around me. It’s the times when I let outside forces control my path and I see nothing but my many flaws and failures that my inner beauty just seems to fade away and I lose my special light.
This project is all about inspiring women to see their beauty. What parts of your story can you share to help women to understand their own beauty?
I am a woman with an off-the-charts bossy, type-A, red lion leader personality. Hilarious stories my parents tell of me even as a baby show that I was simply born that way! When I moved to Atlanta, I left behind my support group and my cheer squad. It didn’t take long for me to direct all focus on the job. I can’t recall how many times I changed holiday plans, missed personal events, or spent entire visits obsessing over the work project du jour. I left Atlanta for a new job in Philly and got to the same place in a very short time. I was surrounded by wonderful people, but I still managed to feel alone. I was disappointed in myself for not learning my lesson in Atlanta, but I just didn’t quite know how to change. I was working non-stop, winning new business, not sleeping, and still always feeling that I could do better. I also realized that I had been having panic attacks for quite some time. I felt in my heart that if I didn’t do something drastic, I would be stuck forever in this unfulfilling cycle. So, I did the opposite of what most people my age would do in their career: I decided to take a step back by quitting my job to move home to Mississippi and start my own business.
Back on the coast, it didn’t take long for me to rediscover the old, carefree Amy. It’s hard to explain, but I became light and chatty, my sense of humor returned, and I loved nothing more than to just sit on the beach. I felt pretty again. I started dating my now husband. And, I worked with a coach to learn more about myself and how I can better maintain control of my life’s path. I find myself slipping back into the old, comfortable me, but I am much quicker at pulling myself out now!
For women such as myself, it is equally critical that we have people in our life who provide balance and that we become comfortable setting personal boundaries at a young age. Work, organizations, family and friends will quickly pick up on your passion and intentionally or not, figure out how to drive you to perform to their maximum benefit. I believe this is true for both men and women, but as women we tend to be highly receptive to feedback and uncomfortable with the concept of saying no thank you.
What did the shoot mean to you? What did it feel like to be selected?
I was excited to be selected for the shoot, but I also felt a tinge of guilt thinking there were so many more deserving women out there. Now after having the experience, I realize just how much I needed this day and I am so blessed to have been able to partake in this experience.
The best way I can describe the photoshoot is to take your favorite church service, your absolute best spa day, coffee with that friend you adore but haven’t seen in ages, business coaching and marriage counseling and put it all together in one day. I laughed and cried, and laughed and cried some more. I left feeling completely inspired to be my best possible self, and I left feeling gorgeous.
You are beautiful and worth celebrating!
To book your own fabulous Portrait Session, contact us through the inquiry form below.
International Award-Winning Portrait Photographer
Brandi Stage is an international award-winning portrait photographer based in Bay St. Louis, MS. She creates an exceptional magazine-style photo shoot and timeless heirloom portraits for women, men, children and pets in her studio or on location.