One of Revelry’s newest team members, Laura (Alabed) Olsson discovered her passion for writing at age 13, thanks to an eighth grade English teacher at Baton Rouge’s McKinley Middle. Each day she entered Mrs. O’Rourke’s classroom, Laura knew she’d find three topics written on the chalkboard, and that she and her classmates were to choose one and spend 10 minutes journaling about it. There were no expectations for style or length, just space and encouragement to explore. Mrs. O’s class quickly became one Laura looked forward to each day – something any parent will tell you doesn’t happen often in the academic life of a teenager.
Five years later, and still passionate about writing, Laura made the decision to study journalism at the University of Alabama. Four-ish years after that, she accepted her first “real job” with a newspaper in Texas and promptly realized she’d made a huge mistake. Yes, she wanted to write for a living, but, no, she didn’t want to spend her days editing obits and chasing ambulances. This realization led to roles with two PR firms and two non-profits, and ultimately led Laura to a career in marketing – a career she says brings joy and fulfillment most (if not all) days.
“It took me a while to learn that it isn’t about having the ‘right’ major or following a linear career path; it’s about understanding (or discovering) what makes you tick; finding a way to pay your bills doing it; and, ultimately, creating a well-rounded life that brings you happiness, opportunities for growth, and a community you want to lean into.
“I am so freaking fortunate to get to spend my days doing something I love. Whether I’m creating content for Revelry or jotting down notes for the novel I know I have in me, what a gift!”
Today, Laura serves Revelry as Director of Marketing. Based in Nashville, she says what she loves most about being a part of the organization is the collaborative spirit, the “Let’s do this!” mentality, and, of course, the required trips to New Orleans (despite being an Alabama fan deep in LSU territory). “Roll Tide!”
Okay, now for some quick questions!
Tell me about one wild or wacky job you held? I was a hostess at a Ryan’s Steakhouse (all you can eat buffet) back in the day. It was both interesting and entertaining…the over indulgence…the waste…the creative means people came up with for sneaking food out of the restaurant.
What non-digital product could you not live without? My yoga mat. I teach and practice, and my mat plays a huge role in keeping me sane in an otherwise busy life.
How would your best friend describe you? My friends often say I’m empowering. While I appreciate the sentiment, it is a reminder of how difficult it can be for people to see the potential in themselves. Why can we see so easily in others what we can’t see when we look in the mirror?
What’s the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it? Monday Night Football. I’m a die-hard football and hockey fan. Our TV isn’t on often, but when it is, it’s for a game.
What do you enjoy in your free time? Traveling (Off-the-beaten-path is my preferred approach.); kayaking the many rivers and lakes in Middle Tennessee; and visiting craft breweries (I’m a sucker for a good dark ale.).