Words of Wisdom: It's Not All About The Benjamins For R29's Christie Craft

Have you been checking out our offerings of bite-sized sagacity inspired by Esteé Lauder's Drops of Advice campaign? We hope so, because a cavalcade of stylists, designers, bloggers, and, yes, Refinery29 staff all stars have been handing out the nuggets of wisdom that got them where they are today. In this installment, we hear from our own Managing Editor, Christie Craft. Barely a word of R29 content hits the web before this vet of SEED magazine, Nerve, and more eyeballs it. But how did she score such a solid position? It wasn't by following the dollar signs, that's for sure.
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Christie Craft, Managing Editor, Refinery29
"Though most everyone’s starting points are much more humble than their finish lines, some are certainly more modest than others. The words of advice I keep most handy are seeded in my Granddad’s own trip down that mountain — literally — and are rather surprising: 'Never do anything for money.' Born deep in the hills of Appalachia in rural southeastern Kentucky, a depressed, sometimes lawless, yet magical place that's dotted by cabins and coal mines where my family’s roots predate the Revolutionary War, my grandfather took the first opportunity presented to leave. By sheer ingenuity and the entrepreneurial independence so characteristic of the isolated people of Appalachia, my grandfather developed a love of all things mechanical into a colorful career as a race-car driver in the 1950s followed by a lifetime of owning and running a successful auto-repair business, always reiterating to never take a fatter paycheck over true happiness.
This wisdom has held exceptional gravity for me as I navigate the fast-paced and oftentimes materialistic, steely landscapes of New York City, and anchors me to my own Southern origins. And if ever I find myself dizzied and lost in this city, I think back on my Granddad’s words and root myself in their simple truth and honesty: 'I never did anything in my life for money. My children had shoes and we didn’t want for anything.'"
Photos: Photographed by Erin Yamagata, Courtesy of Christie Craft