Photos taken with permission of Julieta Franco, owner of Once Upon a Dream….

As I strolled the beautiful streets of Lisbon (really, it’s beautiful) I still had it that question in the back of my mind about whether I would be able to do something that makes me so joyful I don’t want to do anything else. The weather was warm, sunny and perfect. I was wondering a bit aimlessly when this lovely doll caught my attention —–>

I wandered in because there was something so playful I couldn’t resist. I found myself surrounded by the most amazing scene of dolls and characters. Bright colors, happy, fun! After joyfully admiring the store, I began a conversation with the owner, Julieta Franco that took my breath away.

Julieta told me that 20 years ago she quit her job as a secretary because she didn’t feel passionate about it. What she did enjoy was making dolls. So, she made a few and started selling them as local fairs. Over the years, her popularity grew, and she now has her own store. And she said to me words that made me shiver:

“I love what I do every day. Each day is an adventure. I create things that last a lifetime and the delight of my clients brings me joy.

I was speechless. Here was proof that you can take something you love, and love doing it, and want to do it every day. Exactly the proof I am looking for right now. Again, I feel like someone is watching over me and guiding me where I need to be. Something I was not feeling trying to stay still in New York.

I’m looking for the thing that makes me look and feel as lit up as Julieta – emotionally, physically and mentally engaged with what I do. And now I have just one more delightful model to remember along my journey.

And, I want to give a shout out to Julieta, thank her for the inspiration and she even writes kids books around the characters she creates! Check out her work!

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