Starting Over: Annalysa Wareham challenged herself to pursue new goals
By Kristine Thomas
Annalysa Anderson Wareham could have stayed on the path she was following.
She owned a successful dog grooming business in Silverton, had the support of her family and friends, and was doing fine.
But fine wasn’t enough.
She knew something was missing in her life and she wasn’t living up to her potential.
When she graduated from Silverton High School in 2001, she took a job as the assistant and bookkeeper for a dog groomer in Wilsonville. She quickly realized the dog groomers were making more money than she was plus they had more flexible hours and fun. She asked to be trained as a groomer.
At 20, she opened her own grooming business. By year seven, she knew she needed a change.
“I knew I needed a challenge,” she said. “I was feeling I wasn’t living up to my potential. There were other things I wanted to do but I was fearful to take the step.”
At 28, Annalysa said it seemed everything in her personal and professional life came to a head. She knew she had to make a change.
“I wasn’t happy and there was something inside me telling me it was time to do something else,” Annalysa said. “I decided it was time to write my own story.”
She regretted not earning a college degree. So, she began by making a list of how many credits she would need to graduate from Oregon State. Class-by-class she began crossing them off, taking online courses while continuing her business.
Then she saw a high school friend running and called to ask if she could join her. She realized running was one more way to challenge herself and provide focus and the mindset to tackle her goals.
“Running helped me realize I had areas in my life I needed to address,” Annalysa said. She continues to run. “Running has been my way of working out ideas and solving problems.”
While she loved both her business and her clients, the work was becoming too physically demanding. “There is a personal gratification when you challenge yourself to do more and you reach your goal,” she said.
Friends introduced her to Eric Wareham five years ago. When Eric took a job as a candidate’s campaign manager in Montana, Annalysa again had to decide what she wanted. While he went ahead to Montana, she continued pursuing goals, selling her shop. She also graduated from OSU in 2014 focus on Art History and Social Aesthetics. The couple were married last October.
Upon moving to Montana she took three months off to care for her elderly dog and spend time thinking and planning.
“Ever since I was in high school, I have always worked,” she said. “This was the first time I had time for myself.”
After her dog passed, she and Eric realized it was time for her to find a job – which she did in a jewelry store. Annalysa learned everything she could from the owners and enjoyed being a part of her customers’ special memories.
She and Eric thought the next move in their lives would be going to Washington, D.C., but before moving again they returned to Silverton to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family in 2014.
The couple weren’t 100 percent certain Eric’s D.C. position was the right fit. After talking it over with her parents, Laura and Paul Anderson, they realized it wasn’t the right move.
By December, they both had new jobs, with Annalysa working at Packouz Jewelers, founded in 1917 and known as a prestigious independently owned jewelry store in Oregon.
Working at Packouz was a fulfilling for Annalysa and ultimately it gave her the confidence to start her own jewelery store, Silverton Jewelers. She continued her education at the Gemological Institute of America.
Annalysa shares her story because she knows there are other people in a similiar situtation: staying on a path that is taking their life in the opposite direction from where they should be heading.
“I want to share with people who are unhappy that only they can make the effort to change,” she said. “It’s hard to change. But it’s easier to change when you see and know the changes are for the better.”
The support she received from her husband and parents was important, too.
She has learned the way to address challenges is by addressing them one-by-one. Procrastinating doesn’t help.
“Every day you let go by without doing something is one more day you go without reaching for your best, so you might as well start today,” she said.
“I walk around a little taller because I did what I needed to do to make things right,” she said.
“I go to bed each night knowing I am on the right path.”