$1 SHIPPING THROUGH DEC. 25th | #BEAHOLIDAYHERO

A LITTLE PIECE OF LIFE

A Piece of Lauren's Story

Meet Lauren! A 22-year-old originally from Pittsburg, PA. She now lives in New York City and is thriving there! She is a recent graduate of the University of Richmond, with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Journalism. 

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF! 
I am currently working in media planning in NYC and run my blog, My Life as Lauren, on the side!

WHAT ARE YOUR FOUR TRAITS AND WHY? 
FRIENDLY: I love meeting new people and helping people feel happy every day. Also, when there is ever an awkward situation, I try to help people feel relaxed and comfortable.

LEADER: I feel like I’ve had this trait since a very young age. I would always be the one making up the talent show dances or taking the lead in group projects. I think because I am outspoken and organized, it just lead me to be a leader.

DETERMINED: When I take on a project, I always try my hardest and see it through until the end. I like to set goals for myself and work until I can reach those.

OUTGOING: Similar to friendly, I love to meet people and can hold a conversation with just about anyone. I’ve been told I have a bubbly personality… and I don’t even drink coffee, ha!

YOU ARE A LEADER, HOW DO YOU FEEL THIS HAS HELPED YOU GET WHERE YOU ARE TODAY? 
I feel like being a leader has allowed me to experience things that I might not have otherwise. For example, when I first started my blog, I would pitch companies that I was interested in working with. Having this “leader” mentality helped me to decide how to pitch and schedule out the steps of the process.

SO YOU OUTGOING, HOW DO YOU FEEL THIS HAS ATTRIBUTED TO YOUR SUCCESS?
I felt comfortable living in NYC for two summer internships without having many friends here. Being outgoing has led me to feel more comfortable being independent and allowed me to meet new people too.

WHAT’S A PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WISH SOMEBODY WOULD HAVE TOLD YOU?  
A piece of advice that I tell people and also try to live by is to not compare yourself to others. Being an influencer, it can be hard to not compare yourselves to other people online and on Instagram. I try to stay true to myself and post about things that I truly do like! I am a firm believer in collaboration over competition, and love meeting other bloggers and creatives. 

CHECK OUT MORE FROM LAUREN BELOW!

A Piece of Carli's Story

Meet Carli! An adventurous, 19-year-old who desires adventure and living life to the fullest. Carli is constantly moving and traveling, trying to become the become the best version of herself. Thank you for giving us some insight into your life, Carli! 

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF! 
Currently, I am settling into my new “home”. I say ”home” because I am over 2,000 miles from my whole world (which is a tiny town in Upper Michigan called Calumet) but God called me to my next adventure in life. A little background on me: I graduated in ‘16, and since I’ve graduated, I moved 6 hours from home to a town in Wisconsin called LaCrosse to work as a CNA for 10 months and absolutely loved it. I formed so many relationships, and I was going to go to college for nursing. But realized in that time that college wasn’t for me quite yet. Because I believe with every fiber of my being I was called for something larger in life than spending $30,000 dollars for something that I wasn’t completely passionate and in love with. In the time of being in Wisconsin, I became the person I’ve been searching and trying to be for my whole life. I am a passionate photographer, writer, wannabe dancer/model. My grandma is my best friend, and I meet 70% of my friends from social media.

WHAT ARE YOUR FOUR TRAITS AND WHY? 
PASSIONATEEverything I do in life I [always try to] put 110% passion behind it. If it’s not passion-fueled, I'm not doing it. The quote “Do it with passion or don’t do it at all” is what I live by. Loving someone, driving, writing, talking, smiling, skipping rocks, watching sunsets. I love life with a passion and it loves me back.

QUIRKYI say this word describes me because there’s a lot to me that people don’t know about. Most of my friends know ladybugs freak me out, or 90% of my clothes are from Goodwill or my grandma... But there are other things in my personality and life that the only word that comes to mind is “quirky”.

CONFIDENT: It took me a long time to be this word. I am confident because I am made by the Creator of the world who made ME in His image. I wear the clothes I want to wear because I have finally accepted my body type isn’t like everyone else's. I am unique, and not meant to be like anyone else. I think, actually I KNOW from past experience that once you see someone who is confident enough to not let words bother them, in real life or behind a screen, life is different. Everything is so much better. I’m never going back.

ADVENTUROUS: Ha. If I tell you I put over 20,000 miles on my car in under 6 months does that give you an idea of how “adventurous” I am? I am a very spontaneous person, hence the moving to Portland to become a nanny, or LaCrosse to do CNA work, or driving 7 hours to Chicago to meet a girl from Instagram. People ask me why/how I travel so much. There’s a couple answers to this question. 1.) Why not? Honestly, I feel like a bug in a jar if I'm not traveling somewhere. There is SO MUCH to see on this planet!! It blows my mind how someone could say “no thanks” to that. 2.) GOD. His creation. I crave it. 3.) I have the ability to do so. I have eyes that see, ears that hear, hands that can feel, and legs that can dance in every airport I fly to or every new field I frolick in. 

YOU ARE CONFIDENT, HOW DO YOU FEEL THIS HELPS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE? 
My outlook on life is different. When I see someone else wearing a funky outfit, or taking pictures of something, the little bit of courage they had to do that inspires me to step back and reevaluate where I could improve that in my own life. Confidence is contagious.


SO YOU ARE ADVENTUROUS, WHAT MAKES YOU KEEP GOING, AND KEEPS YOU INSPIRED? 
People. Money doesn’t matter, memories are priceless. There’s nothing in life that gives me more life than to see a human doing something they love, and being in love with life. No matter if they’re a hobo in Hawaii, a model in LA, a garbage truck driver from who knows where… Curiosity is what keeps me inspired. I haven’t been everywhere, and I haven’t met everyone, but I aspire to inspire before I expire. Cliche, but you never know when your last breath will be, and I refuse to accept mediocrity and be 80 years old wishing I would’ve spent my younger years doing something worthwhile. LIVE NOW.

WHAT’S A PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WISH SOMEBODY WOULD HAVE TOLD YOU? 
I tell everyone this and I mean it. Buy a journal. My grandma has been writing every single day for 64 years, so cheers to her for sparking my interest. Write about your favorite moments, your least favorite moments, ideas, lists, people you’ve met, strangers you’ve walked by, favorite quotes, what the sky looked like tonight, new songs, places you have been or want to go, write about your passions, how you feel in this exact moment, sketch the mountains, or scribble cuss words when you’re angry. When that gets full, get a new one, and in 2 or 20 years when you need a good laugh, when you’re crying, you need to remember these moments in your life. They are so important. 

CHECK OUT MORE FROM CARLI BELOW! 

A Piece of Jana's Story

Meet Jana, a 32-year-old, thriving fashion and style blogger from the Midwest. She began her blog after finding her passion of helping find an outfit that makes an individual feel exceptionally beautiful in. Thank you for sharing your story with us, Jana! 

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF! 
Hi! I’m Jana!, I am a style blogger and fashion stylist living in the Midwest with my husband Nick and our pup named Lola! I have been working in the retail & fashion industry for about 10 years. I’m the former Regional Director of Fashion Group International – Kansas City , I’ve been actively involved with Kansas City Fashion Week, a member of Style Collective, and have had opportunities to style and write for several websites and magazine publications such as Herlife Magazine, Spaces Magazine, Lifestyle Publications, and KCWeddings.com  as a fashion contributor. I started my blog (www.janastyleblog.com) in 2012 after I graduated college and was having a hard time finding a job outside of the retail world. My blog became a place for me to share my knowledge of the fashion industry, my personal style, and my growing involvement in the Kansas City fashion scene. It has been one of the biggest blessings in my life providing me with an outlet to share my love for fashion and also a launching point to work with several brands such as Macys, Nike, Lee Jeans, Charming Charlie, JCPenney, Maggy London, Maurices, and Who What Wear, just to name a few.

WHAT ARE YOUR FOUR TRAITS AND WHY?
LOVING: Caring, considerate, friendly, faithful, generous, and appreciative are all things I try to be every day. I think the world is really, really, hard and I’d rather be living my life with Love for others and myself than anything else. You just never know what other people are dealing with or going through, so why not be just a little bit more loving ☺

DRIVEN/HARD WORKING: Working hard is something that was instilled in me at a very young age. I come from a family of small business owners and entrepreneurs. My mom and grandfather both owned their own businesses while I was growing up so I was always taught by my parents to work hard for what you wanted and never give up.

FRIENDLY: I love making new friends and supporting my fellow blogging gal pals! I’ve made some of my best friends through my blog. It means more to me than anything to see the friends around me succeed and follow their dreams. I also just really love making new friends! Send me a DM, let me know what you are working on, or share your latest blog post with me!

PASSIONATE: I’m such a passionate person when it comes to working hard, my goals & dreams, and building my brand and blog. I also have a huge passion for my family and friends – they are so important to me and I don’t know what I would do without them!

SO YOU ARE PASSIONATE, HOW DO YOU SHOW THAT IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE?
Anyone who really knows me, would say that I always do things to the best of my ability. I never want to let anyone down, and I do things whole-heartedly or not at all.

DRIVEN IS ONE OF FOUR TRAITS, WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE IN A COUPLE YEARS? WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST ASPIRATIONS?
In a couple of years I hope to continue growing my brand/blog and also hope to start a family with my husband. I hope to be a great Mother, but also that I am able to continue my business and be an amazing Boss Mama! I want to have balance in both areas of my life personally and professionally.

WHAT’S A PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WISH SOMEBODY WOULD HAVE TOLD YOU?
“If you keep comparing your life to someone else’s you will never be happy.” – The blogging world can be really tough. It’s easy to get caught in the comparison game, but if you want to be successful don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. You have to stay true to yourself and your own creativity.

CHECK OUT MORE FROM JANA BELOW! 

Our Big Launch!

WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY CAME UP... HOW COULD I SAY NO?

This summer, a beautiful office space became available for rent in our same building. This was right before my wedding, so as you can imagine it was a big decision. At the time it was the question whether or not to make the investment in the new space or not. I kept telling myself in 6-8 months from now I'm sure I'll be telling myself, that was the best decision I could've made.

Now only 3 months later I can already say with confidence that this was a great decision. Our team is loving the new space and we're so excited to share it with you.

This puts us in a position where we can really grow. We can easily add additional space for inventory/fulfillment, and even additional team members!

Check it out below!

THE CELEBRATION!

Our launch party last week was a great success! On Tuesday September 12th we had a lot to celebrate. Our new office space, a new website launch, and the launch of our new silver cuff line as well as an entirely new product collection, necklaces! We opened our space to the public in the evening after work for a first insiders look at the new collection, great conversation and some great food and drinks.

When planning this event we decided to name it WE'RE HERE. We wanted to show the West Michigan community, more specifically Holland that "we're here" to build support locally as we push to grow Pieces of Me to a national brand. It's important to embrace the local community, I think holding an event like this was a great way to showcase who we are and what we're doing.

As you can see, it was a wonderful evening. We had a great turn out, and a full room the entire evening. I truly enjoyed talking with everyone who came through our door , and I hope to continue to garnish support from the community going forward! We even had many unanticipated sales and orders of our products right there on the spot, which was fantastic!

Overall I'm grateful to all of those who've supported and helped make this possible. Thank you to my loving husband who continues to work by my side as my number one teammate! To Cassie McAllister, our new sales coordinator, Susie Crawford and Lindsay Flood our fabulous interns, Brooke Corbin with SURGE and our event sponsor Start Garden in Grand Rapids.

 

 -Elsa Vos, Pieces of Me Founder

 

Meet our Interns, Susie & Lindsay

Meet Susie!

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF!  WHAT ARE YOUR PASSIONS, HOBBIES, ETC.

I’m a senior this year at Grand Valley, which is super exciting and also extremely scary! Although I am anxious to begin a career and enter this new stage of my life, I’m going to miss the craziness of college and taking on each new day with my best friends. My favorite place in the world is my lake house on Torch Lake, where I spend most of my summer. You can catch me on the boat reading a romantic/mystery novel, jetskiing, sailing, or exploring the many quaint cities in Northern Michigan. In my opinion, traveling is the best way to spend your money. If I have a free weekend, you can bet I’ve planned a getaway to somewhere new with beautiful views and delicious food! 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT GRAND VALLEY?

I think GVSU has been the absolute perfect fit for me. Aside from the small class sizes and beautiful campus, I love the location of the school. Being 20 minutes from the city or beach has been so fun for quick study breaks or weekends spent exploring West Michigan. 

WHAT MADE YOU MOST INTERESTED IN INTERNING FOR PIECES OF ME THIS FALL?

After hearing about the possibility of an internship with Pieces of Me through a friend, I immediately did all the research (and social media stalking) possible! When I read on POM’s website how Elsa started the company in her early twenties, soon after graduating college, I felt so inspired and knew she was someone I could learn a lot from in my last semester of school. Fashion and accessorizing has also always been one of my passions for as long as I can remember, so having the opportunity to intern for a company that produces trendy jewelry, while promoting individuality, sounded like the ideal match!

WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST DREAMS OR ASPIRATIONS?

If you know me, you know that my biggest dream in life is to become an anchor for E! News- I’m a tad obsessed with this network and show! Realistically, I have no idea where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing after graduation. I’d love to move to Nashville, TN for a few years and maybe pursue a career in marketing in the country music or fashion industry, but ultimately I just want to create a life of happiness. I hope to work hard in everything I do, follow my heart, and become the best version of me, all while enjoying the ride and accepting each new turn and direction life takes me.

TELL US ONE INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOURSELF.

I come from a big family with three sisters and two brothers. Each of them, and my parents, are my best friends and biggest support system. I couldn’t do life without them. Oh, and Mexican food is the key to my heart :)

YOU'RE ADVENTUROUS, COMPASSIONATE, HARD-WORKING, AND SASSY. TELL US HOW YOU REFLECT THOSE TRAITS.

ADVENTUROUS: Being in one place all the time seriously bores me and has me itching for something new and exciting. Ask any of my friends and they’ll tell you that on the weekends I rarely stay in Grand Rapids. I’m always on the search for fun getaways, concerts, or activities to do with my family or friends.

COMPASSIONATE: I attribute inheriting this trait to my mom. I’ve always been an incredibly sensitive person, and I think that this has assisted me in being understanding and sympathetic towards others. One of my favorite quotes from Dalai Lama is, “love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive”.

HARD-WORKING: Although I tend to procrastinate, I know what needs to be done. When I focus on something I give it my all, and although my siblings and I are not competitive with one another, I’ve used their successes to push me a little harder in everything I do.

SASSY: I would definitely say that I have some sass in me. I’m bold and usually say how I feel or what I think. My favorite moments in life are those when I’m being silly with my friends and family- and I’m never afraid to throw in some quick remarks ;) I am all about adding as much zest to life as possible!

Meet Lindsay!

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF!  WHAT ARE YOUR PASSIONS, HOBBIES, ETC. 

I am a senior at Grand Valley State University, majoring in health communications, and minoring in advertising and public relations. I am a compassionate, driven, and optimistic 21 year old who has always desired success. Hoping that one day my OCD & perfectionist ways will come in handy, and keeps me busy from color coordinating my closet! My absolute favorite place to be is Up North at my cottage in Elk Rapids, Michigan with all of my family, my dogs, and my best friends. However, on a more serious note, I like to consider myself a golden retriever enthusiast and definitely a strong coffee advocate.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT GRAND VALLEY?

My favorite thing about Grand Valley is definitely the overall culture. The campus culture is a lot different than other campuses, and it’s hard to explain other than the overall 'vibe'. I love the smaller class sizes and getting to know my classmates and professors well. I feel that GV has amazing professors, especially within my program, that want nothing but the best for each and every student and truly care about your success and future.

WHAT MADE YOU MOST INTERESTED IN INTERNING FOR PIECES OF ME THIS FALL?

After learning about Pieces of Me, I was immediately interested because of their marketing and public relations strategies/techniques. From interning at a non-profit organization before, and switching to this, the strategies are completely different and I wanted to widen my knowledge and experience within the field. POM’s team takes a different, more hip and modern approach which I can see eventually the PR field may shift to. However, more importantly, I love what Pieces of Me stands for- individuality and self-love. Something that society sometimes lacks in.

WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST DREAMS OR ASPIRATIONS?

My dream job would be one of these two: a successful health administrator at a well-known hospital, or working within the PR field, specifically with beauty influencers of a big makeup brand. Thinking about my future, I hope to be thriving in my job and enjoying every second. I hope to be able to have that healthy balance between work, family, happiness, and my overall well-being. As my mom always likes to remind me, it's important to create a life you love.

TELL US ONE INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOURSELF.

I am an avid youtube fan, who is obsessed with beauty related and lifestyle videos. I have always wanted to start my own youtube channel, and just never had the chance to do so! I think that type of work lifestyle is a setting I would thrive in. Inspiring others, traveling, sharing my life and all the things I love, and also showing my creativity through the editing of the videos. Who knows- maybe I will give it a try!

YOU'RE LOYAL, DRIVEN, COMPASSIONATE, AND HONEST.  TELL US HOW YOU REFLECT THOSE TRAITS.


LOYAL: If you asked any of my friends to describe me they typically would include the word loyal. This is something that I aim to do in my everyday life; be true to myself and be a loyal friend to others! Being loyal is incredibly important to me, because of all the amazing friends that I have. My true friends have been nothing but loyal and selfless to me, and I admire that about each and every one of them!

DRIVEN: All of my life, I have always been driven in whatever it may be. I typically know what I want, and I don’t stop until I have achieved it. This is definitely something I have gotten through my mom, who successfully works two full-time jobs, has a social life, and was the absolute best darn mom out there. I hope to be half the person my mom is when I am older!

COMPASSIONATE: Something that I also aspire to be every day is compassionate and selfless. This is something that I feel I have acquired from my dad, who is the most selfless and loving person I know. He bends over backward for everyone and anyone, and I hope I exude that trait as much as he does!

HONEST: I have always believed honesty is the best policy, as I just don’t have the conscience for not being honest and true to myself. Ask any of my family or friends, I have a hard time not telling you my honest opinion and I am not afraid to speak up when I need to!