Faces of Friday: Anna Hefko
The purpose of Faces of Friday:
Faces of Friday is an interview-based series that I launched to provide readers with insight into the lives of some of the unique, inspiring, & influential people I have had the honor of meeting/ knowing. Life can take you to unexpected places and the people you will meet throughout the series are willing to share with you where their lives have taken them.
I believe that one of the most important things in this life is the connection we share with one another. Identifying with another human being is an amazing gift, and it can inspire you to learn, grow, create, and open your eyes to what the world has to offer. We are not alone in this crazy thing called life. Life is a beautiful thing filled with beautiful people, and not everyone gets the opportunity to share their story. I want to provide others the opportunity to share their story and I want to give you the chance to hear it, learn from it, and maybe, just maybe, identify with it. I believe wholeheartedly that we were all meant for incredible things. I hope you enjoy reading these stories, and I hope that they touch you in some way. We are all learning to navigate life’s murky waters, why not learn from each other along the way?
Anna and I have been through a lot together. We met in high school and just became instant best friends. We saw each other through our adolescence and I wouldn't have wanted to do it with anyone else by my side. We went through high school together, lived together across the country, and tried navigating adulthood together in Minneapolis. Anna has seen me at my lowest points and has always been there to pick me up off the ground. She is wise beyond her years and is so insightful and introspective, she has shaped the woman I am today. She is such an incredible human being that would do anything for anyone. She is not only a friend but has become part of my family.
Where are you from?
I am originally from Weston, Wisconsin
Where do you live currently?
I currently reside in the Warehouse District of Minneapolis, MN
Did you pursue higher education? What did you study?
I bounced around during the first two years working on my Associate’s degree between Minneapolis and Phoenix. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
What do you do for a living? Is this always what you had planned to be doing?
I currently run a shop in the North Loop of Minneapolis called Wilson & Willy’s. It’s filled with beautiful, thoughtful American-made home goods, men’s and women’s apparel, accessories, etc. Outside of that, I do some freelance Social Media and Photo Styling.
I had never really known exactly what I’ve wanted to do, unlike so many other lucky people! When I was teenager, and even through college I struggled with this because I thought people just found something that they excelled at naturally and enjoyed finding a career with that talent or skill.
Fortunately, my thing has always been connecting with people – whether that is through networking, sharing stories, and listening. Once I found some confidence in that everything kind of took off. That’s my long-winded way of saying that I still plan and want to do more with my career. However, if was able to visit my adolescent self about what I do today- I know I’d be really proud of myself and I think that’s important to remember.
What are your hobbies?
A lot of what I love to do can be enveloped into my career description, but that is a lame answer. One thing I really love to do for myself is go to Hot Yoga classes. There’s always something that I learn about myself when I step onto my yoga mat – whether it’s about my physical posture or about learning to control my emotions.
What are you the most passionate about?
Love. I can get up on a soapbox about a lot of different things that I’m passionate about, but get me talking about love and I am mush. I’ve always loved the idea of being in love, and always envied it because it just didn’t seem possible for me. After I met Dave, I realized that being in love is even more than I wanted it to be and it’s something to learn and grow from every day. It really just takes the cake.
What/who inspires you and why?
I find a lot of inspiration with my friends. As of late, I’m most inspired by my girl friends because they just kick so much ass and are total girl bosses in the best way possible. It’s a hard world out there, you’ve got to make sure you’re surrounded by people that keep your hustle game on point. For me, outsideof my relationship and my family, my gal friends are always such an inspiration of positivity and strength in their personal and professional lives.
I also find a good amount of my inspiration through music. Music reminds me to stop and feel something about what I’m doing, and my best ideas have come from those moments.
What is your personal mantra?
Has life taken unexpected turns? And if so what were they?
Life tends to always take me through unexpected turns! I’m pretty sure I’ve texted Dave, my boyfriend, ‘I could just cry right now…’ a million times this week. Hard turns, exciting turns, and really (really) stupid turns – the hard ones are really the ones that shape us, they have for me anyways. I’ve had the majority of my really hard turns happen when I was a kid, which I hope has helped me remain relatively even keeled when they happen in present day. In the last year alone I’ve walked out to go to work and found my car was nearly totaled while it was parked on the street, left my wallet in a rental car while trying to catch an international flight, I’ve watched so many of my wonderful friends get married or have babies, and just this past month we signed a lease on a new apartment that we move into in seven days. Sometimes I can just power through them, and other times (like yesterday) I just tried to carry a much needed 6 pack of beer up the steps to my brownstone while trying to balance moving boxes. Unexpectedly, the paper bag that held the six-pack gave out and the bottles fell to their shattered finish on the ground. In that moment, I sobbed like a child and just let every bit of frustration I’d been saving up release. But the good turns? Or the great turns? Those are the ones that make every possible awful or tragic turn feel even an inch more manageable.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
If you could give advice to your younger self, what would it be?
My younger self would NOT have listened or believed any of the advice I have. But I would definitely tell her to give herself more credit and cherish the people that make you feel like the best version of yourself. But most importantly, I encourage her to embrace any opportunity to be brave.