An inspiring Gen X-er is changing the lifestyle game by incorporating her lived experiences into her platform. Her goal– to “help people cook better, host better, style better, and lead their most elegant and elevated lives.”
Heather Joy Thompson of “Perfectly Curated Life” started the “international lifestyle platform” twelve years ago to – in her words – “to document my travels and adventures.”
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The “forever 27-year-old” (in other words–mind your business) and gorgeous attorney from Southfield, Michigan, was living abroad and began to journal her trips at the advice of an elder.
“It started as a blog – a place keeper and a living journal of things that I thought were interesting, quirky, or beautiful. At the time, I lived in Johannesburg, South Africa and had the time of my life. An older colleague, who was also a good friend, told me, ‘This is your Camelot.’”
“And he was correct – I was young, I had a coterie of friends from the United States, throughout the African diaspora – Kenya, Zimbabwe, The Bahamas, the UK, Namibia, Memphis, Houston…we are all there together.”
By the time the brilliant student had made it to South Africa, Thompson’s passport had boasted an impressive number of stamps from various countries, including Italy, Burkina Faso, Greece, Swaziland and Germany.
She studied international and European Union Law, art history and Italian while living abroad.
Heather’s love for the world and all it offered morphed into her becoming the consummate hostess, cook and connoisseur of the good life. She also mentioned that she learned the art of entertaining guests from her parents– calling them “prolific hosts.”
“I have always loved to host and cook – my parents were prolific hosts, and I learned a lot from my mom about how to prepare for and receive guests. Rule number one: Wash, polish, and iron the day before entertaining.”
Heather thanked her mom for her affinity for creating culinary delights. The worldly esquire also gave a nod to Mom Duke’s southern roots and lineage for making her the woman she is today.
“It started in my hometown of Southfield, Michigan, where my mom taught me the basics. She is an accomplished cook, gardener, and hostess. She also had friends from all over the world, though her sensibilities about life are firmly rooted in Alabama, where she was born and raised.”
She added, “She grew up on a farm with her parents, maternal grandmother, and 12 siblings. They had vegetables, cows, horses, the whole nine yards. And like many other farm families, the children contributed to the daily operations according to their age and ability. My grandparents, affectionately called Flutz and Mudear, were quite a pair. They had complementary skill sets in and around the kitchen.”
Heather views food as the connection to understanding life, culture and people. It also serves as the perfect setup for “The Perfectly Curated Life.”
“I am always tuned into food: who’s preparing it, what’s being used, where it comes from. Food is essential, not only to sustain life but also to understand people, culture and environment,” she explained.
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Heather’s experiences abroad also taught her humility. She recounted a time where she lived in Burkina Faso, and a “shower” wasn’t like the comforting spray of hot water she was accustomed to.
“When I was in Burkina, I lived in a small village called Loropeni,” Heather recalled.
“I had a simple two-room house, with a bedroom, a kitchen area, and a tiny “shower” area, which had a small partition and hole in the exterior wall so the water could flow outside,” the attorney explained. “Don’t let the word “shower” give you the wrong impression. I had no water, no electricity, no telephone. I heated up gallons of water on my propane-powered hot plate and took bucket baths every single day.”
On what moves the influencer outside of cooking and traveling, she enjoys spending time with family and friends. Heather is also an auntie to her three nephews and two godsons.
“I am not a mother, but I have three nephews and two godsons, and I see them every chance I get.”
Even though cooking, traveling and entertaining are her loves, so is self-care. A significant component of Heather’s work is contingent on her taking time to relax and center herself. The attorney also likes to stimulate herself mentally.
“I am a deeply spiritual person, and I believe I am on a path of exploration, discovery, and growth that will not cease until my dying day. I try to stay fit, but the pandemic has disrupted my flow and made it challenging to follow my routine,” she said.
“I am definitely a spa and skincare girl. Give me a facial and a massage, and I’m in the zone. I subscribe to the NYT crossword, which I try to complete daily. I am also a fan of Spelling Bee – my day just isn’t quite right unless I can reach ‘genius’ level.”
Heather has a vision for the platform in terms of where she sees “Perfectly Curated Life” going.
“I would like to use my talents and share my passion, perspectives, and skills. In five years, I will be sharing “Perfectly Curated Life” with a broad global audience through television, my website, and social media. I believe that “Perfectly Curated Life” will be an influential and lucrative international multimedia enterprise – a place where people will flock to learn to cook better, host better, style better, and lead their most elegant and elevated lives.”
We can’t wait to see more from Heather!