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People of Barkley:
Shelby Haydon

People of Barkley:<br> Shelby Haydon

Shelby Haydon | Growth Director

In moments of reflection, I like to write my thoughts down to help me process what I am feeling. There is no system or format; most the time, these reflections are captured in deleted word docs, notes on my phone or scraps of paper. I’m not a writer. These words aren’t meant to last or even to be looked at again. But there is one note that I revisit time and time again: I am at the intersection of wanting to rule the world and being run over by the world.

For as long as I remember, I have always felt I lived in a space of intersection –  much like the moon vs the sun.

As a toddler, I was told I had a fiery spirit that my mother self-proclaimed never tried to tame, but at the same time, I was raised in a family with traditional values and I had an innate nature to be obedient and meet people’s expectations. This set the tone that, to this day, I still sit between – a pull to the wild, unconventional and free-spirited and push to tame and traditional.

Growing up, I wanted to be an artist. I loved it all. Eventually, this translated to my passion for curating the spaces around me and with my parents’ support, we painted more bedroom walls than either would like to admit. But as I aged into college, the practical and more traditional worldview set in with the almighty question of how the hell am I going to make a living?

As a member of the Growth team, I love digging into the details and organization and process; the how and why, and asking how something we can improve and evolve – I thrive in my left brain – I take my work seriously.

At the other intersection – I don’t take myself too seriously – I’m not the life of the party but I’m definitely at that party. I love imagining, curating and creating different realities and emotions with my surroundings, and helping others envision the possibility with theirs. The silver-lining of COVID was the time and energy I was given to really dedicate and flex this passion for interior design and create an outlet for this internal pull to surface – I spent my days working and my nights creating. 

Five Questions with Shelby Haydon

What is one thing you can’t live without? 

Breakfast. I live by the fact that it’s the most important meal of the day and quite honestly, I always have. When I was working from home, I got in the habit of taking the time I used to take to get ready and commute to work into preparing gourmet breakfast for my husband and I. And now, as I start to be more in between the home and the office, it is something I can’t compromise on. *Savory only and all the time*

What’s one belief or mantra you wished everyone held? 

I believe this so much I even have a T-shirt – Work Hard and Be Kind. I know people who work hard and are not kind, and I know people who are kind and don’t work hard, and as simple as it is, it’s more valuable than people give credit.  I firmly believe in meeting and leading people with empathy. 

What's an unpopular opinion you feel strongly about?

Pineapple on pizza. FOREVER. 

Who or what is your creative muse? 

My mom. She always told me the pioneers get the arrows because she learned first-hand. She was one of first female insurance adjusters in the state of Georgia (in the 80s). To this day, she swears she could have sold tickets to neighbors as she got on her little collapsible ladder (many months pregnant) to inspect roofs in South Georgia after a hurricane. Not to mention the time she was the only *employee to get maternity leave (*only female) and a male worker complained and she replied, “Well, if you pushed a bowling ball out of your ass, I’d give you 6 weeks too.” 

What is something you never thought you'd be able to do, until you actually did it?

Push-ups, holy crap. I was coming off of one of the most *mentally* hardest times of life leading into quarantine and I was so anxious, like everyone, what the future held. I double-downed on health and really learned the connection of physical health to mental health for myself. I started making more intention to move my body and made a personal vendetta to be able to do push-ups. 

For more on the People of Barkley, check us out on Instagram: @barkleyus.


Barkley US

Dec 06, 2021

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People of Barkley

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