Keara Polich graduated from Summit High School in 2002. After taking two years off to work in Summit County, she left Colorado to attend the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She graduated in 2008 with a degree in fine arts and was hired by Williams Sonoma, Inc., where she now works as a buyer for Pottery Barn.
Polich grew up in Silverthorne and fondly remembers her time on the snowboarding team in middle and high school. She visits her parents, still Silverthorne residents, at least once a year. While she loves living and working in San Francisco, she is often found riding the slopes at Tahoe.
"If I can't snowboard, I'll go crazy," she said.
Though now she's happy to be working at her dream job, it wasn't an easy journey. Her parents helped with the initial step - moving from Summit County to California.
"The big accomplishment was moving from a small town, that whole atmosphere and just literally picking a city and just going," Polich said. "I was really lucky to have (my parents) kick me in the butt, and say, 'All right, you want to do it, go.'"
After a slightly rocky start, Polich fell in love with San Francisco, the city that she has now called home for 10 years.
"I absolutely love it. It's got the art and music culture. It's a small city but there's so much here. I go out to a lot of music, I go to a lot of art events."
Polich studied hard and went through her university's five to six year program in just four years. It was there that she discovered her passion for merchandising and home furnishing. When she was first hired by Williams Sonoma, she worked in recruiting for three years before finally succeeding in getting the job she really wanted, the one she does now - finding and choosing the products to be sold in the stores.
"It's a sought-after role," she explained. "It's hard to get into."
She's only been doing it for eight months, but she's hooked, and looking forward to further down the line when she'll get to travel the world to seek out new products.
"You will travel for inspiration and just take trips all over. ... You work with your product development team or you go to build vendor relationships with your sourcing team," she said, mentioning destinations such as Singapore, Dubai and Australia. "We're global now, so there's all this opportunity to go everywhere. It's a good job if you want to travel."
It took a lot of hard work to get to where she is and there's a lot hanging on the horizon, but it's clear Polich is happy with her situation.
"It all fell into place," she said.