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After she left the Bush administration, Smith started a designer wedding-garter business, the Garter Girl (thegartergirl.com). Garey started a blog about wedding stationery, Oh So Beautiful Paper (ohsobeautifulpaper.com), while she was a Somalia desk officer for the State Department. The Florida native finally quit her job this July to blog full time.
Smith said their similar backgrounds made the two women click.
But not everyone “got” their venture. Smith and Garey had a hard time telling their husbands and co-workers they were leaving secure jobs to blog.
“All of them sort of tilted their heads and looked at me and said, ‘Are you sure you know what you’re doing?’” Garey said. “It was funny because you could see the difference in generations in terms of reactions. The 35-and-under crowd wanted to know how I did it, but the older crowd thought I was crazy.”
Smith and Garey admit to missing water-cooler chatter and knowing how many hours they will work in a week. But their current jobs satisfy them in a way that government work didn’t.
“I do miss the rat race and the craziness. I miss having co-workers and an office,” Smith said. “But by the time I left, I was ready for something different. And this is definitely different.”