Today we’d like to introduce you to Lacey Tezino.
Lacey, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was a young, black girl – adopted by a gay, white male, who passed away when I was young, living with his parents to raise me. I had a fun childhood, with lots of love and positivity fed into me daily. Even though this was not my blood family, the way they showed up and remained in my life has been my strong foundation. I met my birth mother when I was 18 years old, even though I was told she was dead all of my life. Our struggles of navigating a relationship filled with guilt, resentment, and shame were trumped by the beautiful reality that we needed and wanted each other. I breezed through college with more to learn about this world and maturity than those biology books could teach me, but I had an amazing undergrad experience. After graduation, I took off to South Korea as fast as I could – chasing adventure and running from any serious choices back home. I landed an awesome career at Cerner Corporation in Kansas City, which has given me global opportunities to digitize healthcare and make real change happen within hospitals and clinics. From Vidor, Texas all the way to 21 different passport stamps and a beautiful glimpse at why culture, travel and true exploration are pivotal to our understanding about this world – my life has been full! I am now growing my own tribe and filling my household with passion, compassion and more love than our walls can hold.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been emotional. Passport Journeys came from great loss and sadness. Watching others grow closer to their loved ones has been a beautiful thing, and I am proud to be on this path. The biggest struggle has been figuring out how to keep the experience relatable and appealing to people from all walks of life, Another struggle has been finding the time to squeeze in Passport Journeys with a fulltime corporate job, a toddler, caregiving for my grandmother, loving on my husband and growing my second human at the same time.
Passport Journeys – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Passport Journeys rose out of a dark year, after losing my mother to a battle with stage 4 lung cancer. The terminal illness lit a fire under both of us to become extremely intentional about how we spent our days together. We held each other accountable for being present during all interactions and carved out special time for us to truly bond. After she passed, I reflected on why it took a terminal illness to motivate our road to a beautiful connection, forgiveness, honesty, and healing. I had 9 months with my mother from the day the diagnosis was given until the end. I thought – how can I help mothers and daughters draw closer together, without the terminal illness? How could I create a product or experience that held mother/daughter pairs accountable for investing time into one another and making it fun? I came up with a one-year activity book that promotes intentional bonding by serving as a tangible tracker for completing one activity per month together.
After the initial success and the obvious impact of the first passport, I created a 12-month journey for lovers. My husband and I recently had a new baby, our grandmother moved in with us after hurricane Harvey and both working 2 jobs. Life became hectic, to say the least. The Lover Passport came from a yearning to stay connected with my husband, even though our robust schedules and demanding priorities. Every relationship is a journey, my goal has been to help people enjoy the ride.
I am most proud of the life-changing experience that some of my customers are experiencing.
These 12-month activity books bring unique experiences that allow for a collection of memories that you can keep forever. That sets us apart from some of the other gifts.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest moment was while I was hosting my second MOM + ME workshop, My grandmother walked in the door, smiling from ear to ear, as she carried a Houston Chronicle newspaper article with my picture and a full page feature on Mother’s Day.
- MOM + ME Passport Book – $30
- LOVER + ME Passport Book – $30
- Website: www.shoppassportjourneys.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Lacey.Tezino