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I recently had the pleasure of creating elevated editorial photos for Desha Peacock's personal lifeSTYLE brand. When we first met Desha expressed a desire to upgrade her life and business. In her words the new feel for the photography should be "lux", a word she defines as a feeling not a price tag. In this interview Desha shares insight into her personal goals, new direction for her brand Sweet Spot Style, and gives you a window into her virtual photoshoot experience.
Welcome Desha! Tell us about yourself.
Hi, I’m Desha, you say it like this Deh-SHAY. My last name is Peacock. People often ask if Desha Peacock is my given name and the answer is yes and no my parents weren’t hippies. In fact they were born and bred in the conservative bible belt of southern Arkansas. My mom wanted both of her children to have a biblical name, family name and a unique name, so legally my first name is Rebecca (which is also my mom’s first name) and my middle name is Desha, but I’ve always gone by Desha and I feel it fits who I am to the core.
Just as my name is different, so was my desire to avoid mediocrity. From an early age I knew my career would be tied to my identity and I struggled with that for most of my life until I invented my career as a LifeSTYLE Design / Small Biz Coach. I work with motivated female small biz owners to grow their business according to their personality, core desired feelings and lifeSTYLE goals.
I love helping women make money, but it’s not just about making money. It’s about making money doing work you love. Living up to your full potential. This work is my Sweet Spot.
Where Do You Live? Where would you love to live? Why?
I live in southern Vermont and it’s the most beautiful place in the summer. The winter is also pretty, but it’s too long and cold for me. So I’ve been going to warmer climates every winter for the past 10+ yrs. Most often to Mexico. My trips vary anywhere from a few weeks to 6 months. One day I’d like to own a home in Mexico and spend Jan-March there every winter.
Do you know your human design type and/or astrological sign?
Sure do! I’m a Manifesting Generator. Aries Sun. Gemini Moon.
Tell us about what you do and why this is your passion.
Iyana Vanzant once said, “Your greatest test is your greatest testimony”. I’m not built for the 9-5 lifestyle, nor am I meant to do one thing. After much trial and error, I finally found my calling as my own boss. I know part of my purpose is to help multi-passionate ladies find a way to create financial freedom by doing work they love. Because I struggled so much with that myself, this work feels meaningful.
I’m not built for the 9-5 lifestyle, nor am I meant to do one thing. After much trial and error, I finally found my calling as my own boss.
Were your parents entrepreneurs? Were you encouraged to follow your passions and dreams growing up or did you have to discover this path for yourself?
My father was a risk-taking dreamer with an entrepreneurial spirit, although it was more dream than action. My mother took up the slack and worked hard to provide for our family. She is practical and risk-averse. I’m a mix of the two, a dreamer who takes action and it's a good combo. My parents always complimented me. They never criticized or judged me, which I’m sure gave me confidence as an adult to discover my own path.
I’m a mix of the two, a dreamer who takes action and it's a good combo.
You’ve recently made some changes/additions to your offers, tell us about that.
From the beginning my goal was to create a business that serves a lot of people, but it’s clear to me (at least right now) that I enjoy working with a small group of ideal clients at a very deep level. So I’m honing in on my gifts and what has been profitable, enjoyable and impactful. That’s primarily 1-1 mentoring / coaching with a few wonderfully gorgeous retreats sprinkled in.
Speaking of the new focus for your brand, I loved working together to create new images to support your new focus. I would love to talk about our planning call to create the concept for the shoot. Ready to jump into it?
While working on the moodboard together you shared reflections on who you are and how you wanted that to come through in the photos. Words that came to mind were boho, lux, cowgirl, a little badass, playful, and nature. Tell me more about the meaning behind these words.
Yes, I think the word “authentic” is overused, but reflecting on my roots and who I am, there’s sweetness and also a bit of grit that comes from growing up in the south. My dad was a cowboy. He grew up on a ranch. He always wore cowboy boots, so I like to channel that in - although my boots have heels and fringe.
The lux part comes from my desire to upgrade my life, business and surroundings. Upgrading my life is about personal growth. For my business it’s honing in on my strengths. As for surroundings, lux to me is very personal. It’s not about being expensive, it’s more about a feeling. You can tell when a space has been lovingly curated.
And nature. Having spent the majority of my time in Arkansas (or the natural state) and Vermont (the green mountain state), I’m very drawn to the woods and water. I’m also drawn to cactus and succulents, influenced by my time in Mexico. It’s a dichotomy for sure. Must be the gemini side of me that likes opposites.
As for surroundings, lux to me is very personal. It’s not about being expensive, it’s more about a feeling. You can tell when a space has been lovingly curated.
Regardless of its form, nature is soothing and healing. It reminds me that I’m not interested in filling my time or being part of the “busy culture”. I require LOTS of down time and wanted to add elements of the natural world into my brand photos to reflect those values.
Photo credit Lisa Haukom, Goldenbrand Photography Studio.
We came up with three concepts for your editorial shoot to encompass these ideas; portraits, lifestyle and wanderlust with the goal of creating images that fit seamlessly into your current brand, while showing a slightly different side — a little out of your comfort zone. How do you feel the final photos turned out?
Being a very visual person who loves design, I’m naturally drawn to long shots in interesting settings with movement. The lifestyle shots really capture this. For the wanderlust bit, I normally have photos taken on my travels, so it was very different for me to have a shoot in my own living room and front porch. Adding my trusty vintage suitcase and camera felt natural and fun. The portraits were the hardest for me- trying to be natural within a pose or finding a pose that feels natural, but the mood board and your direction were very helpful and I love the result.
The portraits were the hardest for me- trying to be natural within a pose or finding a pose that feels natural, but the mood board and your direction were very helpful and I love the result.
Were you nervous/excited? Were there any poses you found challenging?
Did any part of it surprise you? Did you surprise yourself?
I came into the experience quite open, but I was surprised to see how many shots (as well as the variety of shots) we got in just a couple of hours.
How was it different from previous photoshoots you’ve done?
This was my first virtual shoot so that’s very different. Each photographer brings their own personality and style. You have a gentle spirit, an easy way about you. It makes working with you feel light and playful. You’re lovely to work with.
You have a gentle spirit, an easy way about you. It makes working with you feel light and playful. You’re lovely to work with.
What advice would you give to someone planning a virtual photoshoot?
Work with Lisa and you’ll be prompted to think about everything! Maybe consider upgrading to the best iphone if you have an old one. Consider printing out your moodboard if you want to try new poses so you can see them during the shoot.
Desha thank you for sharing your experience with us. I have a few more questions for you.
What are you most proud of? (personal, professional or other)
I’m most proud that I’ve figured out how to make a living doing work that I’m meant to do.
Where do you find inspiration and motivation on the days you are not feeling it?
If and when I can, travel both inspires and motivates me. If I can’t get on a plane, just getting out of the house can help. A hot mocha in a cute cafe with a timer works wonders.
Favorite book, podcast or music recommendations?
Fav album: Margo Price, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter
Books for helping you with career clarity: Firestarter Sessions & The Desire Map both by Danielle Laporte.
Podcast: Chill & Prosper with Denise Duffield Thomas is a fun one.
Best advice for someone struggling to trust themselves?
It’s better to trust yourself than someone else. Who knows you better than you do?
Desha Peacock is a published author, lifeSTYLE design coach & retreat leader. With a background in career development & intuitive sense of style, Desha helps women create their Sweet Spot: a self-defined place of success and beauty.
Her first book Create the Style you Crave, was listed by the Huffington Post as one of the best books to buy your girlfriend & has sold over 10,000 copies. Her second book, Your Creative Work Space can be found in bookstores around the nation and online. Desha holds a Master’s degree from The School for International Training, is a certified Global Career Development Facilitator & leads retreats across the globe. She’s been quoted or featured in Origins Magazine, Design Sponge, Flea Market Décor Magazine, The Jungalow, ABC.News, The Huffington Post, The Houston Chronicle, YahooNews.com, Career Rookie, US News Money, Where Women Create and many more.
This interview has been edited for clarity.