What’s the point of working yourself stiff if you can’t take it with you when you go?
Younger folks in the American workforce get it. Maybe wealth and power aren’t what they’re cracked up to be if we’re all gonna give it up when we cross into the great beyond.
If Baby Boomers were work-a-holics, and Gen-Ex’ers the slacker generation, then Millennials and the generations after them have become the work/life balance generations. And that can mean leaving the runaround of a steady job. Quitting can be rewarding: if it means spending more time with your family.
Seth Coldren left his job offshore to spend more time with his three-year-old son and chart a new career in the arts with his wife Jana. In 2021, they launched Aaron Grey Co., a Louisiana themed custom engraving, woodwork and design brand.
They built a shop in their backyard and packed it with woodworking equipment and a laser engraver. Jana makes the designs, while Seth churns out the products. And they can make just about anything out of wood, acrylic and leather, specializing in custom gifts. Their hottest seller is a handmade cocktail smoker made with wood chips from white oak barrels used to age Wildcat Brothers rum.
One career change can be a big enough challenge for a family, what about two?
Deanna Saizon left a career with a good company to pursue her passion for interior design. After 12 years at the Lemoine Company, she opened Saizon Designs in August 2021. That same year, her husband Alex lost his full-time job and turned to his thriving side-hustle for a new career.
Alex had launched Sirop Trading Company in 2019, a brand for his homemade simple syrup. When it was just a part-time gig, he managed to get his syrup in 120 stores. So when Adam Smith’s invisible hand closed the door on his last job, it opened a window for entrepreneurship. Sirop Trading Company blew up. Today, Alex’s syrups are sold in 350 stores spread across California, Texas, Florida, Indiana and Louisiana including big name brands like Costco and Total Wines.
Out to Lunch Acadiana was recorded live over lunch at Sunday’s Soda Fountain in downtown Lafayette. Photos by Astor Morgan.