How often is it that we aim for one career and land in another? You go to college to be a painter and you end up a graphic designer, or you study philosophy and end up a lawyer. For most of us, we’re lucky if we can do work we love on nights and weekends. Finding meaning in your work and the opportunity to express yourself – and get paid – is the career path less traveled.

Christiaan’s guests on this edition of Out to Lunch Acadiana both thrive in careers that are perhaps only slightly different than the ones they imagined for themselves. The basic elements of their ambitions and skills are in place — artfulness, creativity, compassion and taste.

Picking A Career Path

Virginia Goetting cuts hair and listens, aka art therapy

Virginia Goetting

Virginia Goetting wanted to be an art therapist. She got her degree in fine arts but left school a nomad. She hitched a ride to a brief career in Louisiana’s film industry but ultimately landed in cosmetology and has worked in aesthetics for the last 10 years.  For every client in her chair at Salon NV in Downtown Lafayette, she gets to sculpt new looks and lend a sympathetic ear. Sounds like art therapy, wouldn’t you agree?

Mia Sanberg, when your husband gives you flowers, start a business

Mia Sandberg

Mia Sandberg got her start in interior design, but she didn’t find her calling till her husband bought her flowers. The arrangement was a funky little thing, unusual and earthy. It spoke to her. When they landed back in Lafayette, Mia needed a new gig. “Why not flowers?” she thought.

Mia launched Root Floral Design in a shack behind her parents’ house in Carencro. The firm has grown into an in-demand florist for weddings and big events. Mia has a knack for unconventional arrangements with rich textures and unusual blossoms. This is interior design with living, breathing materials. And business is growing.

Virginia Goetting, Mia Sanberg, Christiaan Mader at Spoonbill

Virginia Goetting, Mia Sandberg, Christiaan Mader

This edition of Out to Lunch Acadiana was recorded at Spoonbill Watering Hole and Restaurant in downtown Lafayette.

Photos by Lucius Fontenot.

Find a very different perspective on happiness and the wedding flower business, here.

Christiaan Mader, host of Out to Lunch Acadiana

Christiaan Mader