A Little Piece of Life

Meet The Team- All Beautifully Unique!

Meet The Team- All Beautifully Unique!

Formally introducing this kick butt team for Summer of 2019! These girls are nothing short of amazing, and each hold a very special place in my heart.

I've never worked with such a talented, hard-working and passionate group of women who all inspire me to be the best I can be each and every-day. 

I feel extremely privileged to have the opportunity to work with all of this summer, and want all of them to stick around forever, but I guess I'll let a few of them go back and finish school up first :) 

This week we've officially launched our #beautifullyunique campaign. This is my passion and true motivation for growing this brand each and everyday. We are all beautifully unique, and

I want every individual to know their value and that they have something special to offer this world. 

The world we live in with the constant stream of social media makes it difficult for us to focus on what really matters, who we are  not just what we look like, what kind of car we drive, what size we wear, what kind of brands we have, what kind of house we live in and the list goes on. 

I encourage each and everyone of you reading this blog to do two things: 

1) Think about what you love about yourself. What are those traits that you know you have, and are proud of! Are you adventurous and always willing to step out and try something new? Are you ambitious and driven, working so dang hard to reach those huge goals for yourself? Are you loving and compassionate, always wanting to help others? Whatever it is, embrace it, know it, and celebrate it. Pick a piece of jewelry out, a cuff bracelet, or necklace that you can wear each day to remind you that you are VALUED, and have something powerful to offer the world. 

2) Check out our brand new Beautifully Unique Apparel that we launched this week! We have shirts and hats available- help us create a movement and join this community of women. Stand up and say "I am Beautifully Unique" and encourage other women around you to do the same. 

I've seen too many amazing women doubt themselves, their abilities and their worth. Too many women walk around feeling insecure about the way they look and are unhappy in their own skin. It's time for a change.

You are beautiful, and it's time you knew it. 

So what are you waiting for? Figure out what makes you beautifully unique and take a stand today!

Check out this AMAZING KICK BUTT team below. 

xo

-Elsa Vos 

 

Sarah Hardenburg

What's your hometown and what are you studying?

I’m from Grand Blanc, Michigan and I am studying at Hope College. I am working towards a major in Business as well as a minor in Accounting. 

What’s your position on the team?

I am the business operations intern. I assist with day-to-day operations as well as ensuring that new product launches run smoothly. 

How did you find out about Pieces of Me and why did you choose to work here? 

I am involved in various entrepreneurial groups in the Holland and Grand Rapids areas. I had heard a lot about Pieces of Me through those groups and I was eventually introduced to Elsa and offered this position. I chose to work here because I love what Pieces of Me stands for, and being interested in entrepreneurship, I was inspired by Elsa and wanted to learn as much as I could. 

What do you love about Pieces of Me?

Iove what the brand stands for at its core. Pieces of Me is all about recognizing what makes you unique and having a little reminder of that each and every day. It is hard sometimes to realize what these traits are in ourselves, so I love that through Pieces of Me we all get to praise ourselves. I also love the effort that goes into each and every piece of jewelry. Every cuff, necklace, and charm is made with the best quality products so you know what you are wearing will last forever. 

What are your 4 traits and what do they mean to you?: 

My traits are determined, ambitious, honest, and compassionate. I have always hoped that I could make a huge impact on the world and these traits help keep me focused on ways that I can do that. 

What’s something fun we should know about you?: 

A fun fact about me is that I was sponsored by Red Bull!

 

Kassidy Brouwer

What’s your hometown, where you do you go to school and what are you studying?

I’m from Zeeland, Michigan and recently graduated from Calvin College with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication.  

What’s your position on the team?

I am the Sales Coordinator! I get to manage and assist in the growth of wholesale accounts and develop positive relationships with new and existing accounts.  

How did you find out about Pieces of Me and why did you choose to work here?

I initially found out about Pieces of Me after receiving one of the compassionate cuffs as a gift. Three years later and as a senior in college, I found myself as a sales coordinator intern for the brand.  The internship wasn't enough for me, I loved what I did, and was so passionate about the brand that after graduation I chose to stay and work for Pieces of Me full time!  

What do you love about Pieces of me?

I believe brands like Pieces of Me are few -  I love Pieces of Me because it brings us back to what’s important in life. Pieces of Me fosters genuine relationships, brings light to good thinking & reminds women of their worth- something that I think is much harder to do now with social media being so prevalent.

What are your 4 traits and what do they mean to you?

My 4 traits are: driven, compassionate, loyal, and easygoing. These traits truly are a representation of who I am. They resemble what's important to me and describe how I do life. I love hard, dream big, prioritize friendships and always go with the flow. 

What’s something fun we should know about you?

A fun fact about me is that I lived with a woman in Spain for 4 months, she did not know English and I Spanish. I spent communicating almost every need through charades.

 



Katherine Irwin 

What’s your hometown, where you do you go to school and what are you studying?

I’m from Rochester, MI and I currently attend Grand Valley State University studying Studio Arts with an emphasis in Graphic Design.

What’s your position on the team?

I am the Graphic Design Intern at Pieces of Me!

How did you find out about Pieces of Me and why did you choose to work here? 

I found out about Pieces of Me through a friend who was a past intern. She loved it and would post about it all the time. I chose to work here because I was drawn to the mission at Pieces of Me. I also admire Elsa’s story and knew I would learn a lot through her mentoring me.

What do you love about Pieces of me?

I love Pieces of Me because I hold tight to authenticity and owning who you are, which is what this brand encourages. It goes deeper than the jewelry, it encourages and affirms women. 

 What are your 4 traits and what do they mean to you?

My 4 traits are: loyal, compassionate, determined, and driven. The combination of traits listed here are important to me, because it’s common to see people who are driven and determined lack compassion and loyalty. I strive to work hard for the things that I want, but I also hold tight to spreading kindness. I’m proud of these traits I exhibit and love seeing myself continue to grow in these areas.  

 What’s something fun we should know about you?

 A fun fact about me is that Matty B Raps follows me on twitter.

 

Isabelle Beaupre

What’s your hometown, where you do you go to school and what are you studying? 

I’m from Edina, Minnesota and I go to school at the University of Missouri School of Journalism studying Strategic Communications & Digital Strategy.

What’s your position on the team?

 I’m a marketing intern working closely with Alycia this summer! We do social media, write blogs, and create content. Working with Alycia makes every day fun!

How did you find out about Pieces of Me and why did you choose to work here?

I was a brand rep in 2017 and continued to love and follow the brand.  When I saw the summer intern application, I knew I needed to apply to get the chance to work with such a genuine brand!

What do you love about Pieces of me?

I love that Pieces of Me genuinely supports and empowers women, and how I’ve seen that transfer into the work environment here.

What are your 4 traits and what do they mean to you?

My traits are Driven, Sassy, Confident, and Friendly. Driven is the trait I wear and to me is about my work ethic and how I pursue things in work and life in general. Knowing that driven is considered a description of me lets me know that I do have the ability to push through a hard day or a tough project.

What’s something fun we should know about you?

Something fun about me is that I’ve only lived in states that start with MI! (Minnesota, Missouri, and Michigan!)

Alycia McKellar

What’s your hometown, where you do you go to school and what are you studying?

 I’m from Hudsonville, Michigan and am attending school at Grand Valley State University. I am a double major in Marketing and Management with a minor in marketing logistics.

What’s your position on the team?

At Pieces of Me Headquarters I am the digital marketing intern working side-by-side with the amazing Isabelle on all of our marketing strategies/plans to get the Pieces of Me name out there. 

How did you find out about Pieces of Me and why did you choose to work here?

I’ve actually heard about Pieces of Me through social media. Every time I saw someone post something about wearing Pieces of Me or talking about the company I was always intrigued to see more. This company is so cute and the values this business holds aligns extremely well with my own, so I decided it’d be a perfect fit for me to intern over the summer!

What do you love about Pieces of Me?

I love what the brand stands for and the authenticity behind each and every piece. It truly is something that not only will last a long time in quality aspects, but in heart. It represents something you or someone else loves about your personality and that is something a person can treasure - always.

What are your 4 traits and what do they mean to you?

I’m Compassionate, Driven, Confident, and Hard-working. These traits mean the world to me because they’re a description of all the great attributes that make me who I am. These are the kind of things that we all need to celebrate in a world that can be so judgemental.

What’s something fun we should know about you?

Something fun about me is that I’ve been barefoot waterskiing since I was nine!

Five Under 50: Best Bridesmaid Gifts 2019

Five Under 50: Best Bridesmaid Gifts 2019

Some of the best bridesmaids gifts ever received aren’t always the ones that cost the most, but they’re the ones gifted with the most thought. Women’s favorite bridesmaid gifts are unique, practical, and sentimental, and  bridesmaids gifts that aren’t cheesy.

You’re busy as can be, Planning a wedding can be stressful, like really really stressful. Not just picking out your venue and selecting flowers- that’s the fun part! I’m talking about ALL those appointments that no one ever tells you about. A ton of different food tastings, cake tastings, floral shops, endless trips, meeting with your officiant, the DJ and of course endless trips to Hobby Lobby. Oh and on top of that you’re supposed to still keep going to work, or school, or both and keep up your booming social life.

 We get it. Planning a wedding isn’t easy.

Now let’s talk about your bridesmaids, your friends from near and far. You’ve picked them all for good reasons from all different parts of your life, they’re your best friends and those you hold closest to you. However, let’s be honest, sometimes they can be a real pain, and some of them really have no idea how much goes into wedding planning because they’ve either a) never been in a wedding before or b) they’ve never gotten married, or maybe even both! Check out our full blog on the biggest struggles with bridesmaids.

That being said, at the end of the day we can share from experience that it will mean so much to have them standing by your side and with you getting ready on your special day.
 

Bridesmaid’s gifts are often that one thing on your to-do list that keeps getting pushed back and you end up just going to your local store or ordering something with rush shipping on Etsy.

It can be difficult to show your bridesmaids how much they mean to you, and to thank them with a special gift. You want to do something special, not cliche or overdone like everyone else.  It may be an obvious statement but SO many options out there do not understand this concept. You want your gift to be something they’ll actually use after your wedding. Why should you spend your hard earned money on some tacky pouch or robe that says “bridesmaid” or “matron of honor” which is really only cute for that one day. It’s not like weddings aren’t already expensive as they are, and the last thing you want to do is say ‘thank you’ with a gift that they won’t use. Where can we meet in the middle of sincerity, budget friendly, and style?

Instead, we’ve curated a list some of this year’s most on-trend, personal, and creative items for the best bridesmaid’s gifts on the market, that they’ll actually want to use after your wedding! From trendy colors to personalized pieces, These items will be sure to please all your bridesmaids, that they’ll cherish for years to come!

 No reason to wait, check this one of your to-do list early and shop all these great gifts below! Keep them in your bridal closet, and feel good about getting this task done and off your list!

 For the Big Day- A Classic Robe

A classic gift, but an almost necessary one. There’s something about wearing something new for a special event, and you and your maids will make getting ready feel extra special with one of these beautiful robes.

Not only classic, but essential for those cute getting-ready-together photo ops you’ve seen on Pinterest for months. Be careful though, remember how we talked about making sure these gifts would be something they’d want to use after your wedding day? We suggest using your bridesmaids first name or initials, or even leave it blank by selecting a beautiful color that your girls will love to hang in their bathroom and use for years to come.

Something they Won’t Forget- Meaningful Jewelry

Next on the list is Pieces of Me jewelry. Now this isn't your average jewelry line. Instead of just something with their name or monogram, these pieces will directly remind them of their brightest shining qualities and exactly why you love them for who they are! 

Each of your bridesmaids are likely from different parts of your life, and all hold a  different place in your heart. Let them know what traits you appreciate about each of them by selecting high quality metal cuff bracelets or simple dainty necklaces. All of the bridal packages come in the cutest packaging that include a gold-foiled card that says "to my beautiful bridesmaid" a gorgeous white snap pouch and your choice of blush, navy or light grey ribbon, all completely ready to gift to make your life a little easier!

Oh and did we mention, the entire bridal collection is BUY 3 GET ONE FREE! Use promo code: BRIDEBOGO at checkout!

Pieces of Me's bridal collection is something they’ll actually want to wear after your special day that they'll cherish for years to come. It’ll remind them of how much you appreciate them and the special bond you share as friends no matter where life takes either of you.

 A Little Something Extra- Personalized Tumbler

Let’s talk rose gold. Rose gold is yet to go out of style, and is also complementary to Pantone’s Spring 2019 trends. You really can’t go wrong with this color. 

You and your girls will have cute personalized tumbler to sip your mimosas from in the morning while you get ready for the big day!

With almost endless customization options from cup and lid color to font color, you’ll be sure to get the combination you’ve been looking for. Beyond the big day, your girls can use them on hot summer days by the pool, on the boat, and on the beach for years to come with this high-quality cup.

 

For The Day After - A Dreamy Sleep Mask

An item that everyone wants, but would never buy themselves. perfect for that long post-wedding festivities nap and beyond. Your bridesmaids have been with you through the entire planning process and have helped your day run smoothly, time for everyone to get some good rest, before and after your wedding day!
 
This soft satin sleep mask from ModParty comes with the choice of name personalization in four thread colors, and three choices of fabric colors, sure to match the theme of your wedding. We prefer the classic white or pink, especially regarding this seasons top trends! The simplicity of these colors are sure to look pleasing in your specially curated box of goodies.
 
Oh and as the bride, you should probably treat yourself to one of these too. You deserve some sleep after all. We suggest personalizing yours with the word “wifey,” or Mrs., since you’ll be taking on those new titles!
 

The Gift that Keeps Giving - A Hand Poured Candle

Next on the list, a travel candle! Who doesn’t love a good smelling candle? This is an item you wouldn’t typically buy for yourself, but is always appreciated.
 
Not just any ordinary candle, this is Simply Curated’s travel candle. The candles from Simply Curated are hand poured in Grand Rapids, Michigan with soy wax grown in the United States, and topped with a beautiful wooden wick sourced in the U.S..

The travel candles come a long list of beautifully unique scents:

Each candle comes in a beautiful gold tin, and the best part- they can each burn for up to 15 hours!

The most important part of your bridesmaids gifts is that they feel special. No matter how much you spend, they’ll appreciate the time you took to do something for them in the midst of some of the busiest times of your life!

Whether you’ll use all or some of these gifts, your bridesmaids will surely to appreciate the thought and effort you put into making this day memorable for you but also for the women who stood by your side.

Pieces of Me: How a College Project Evolved Into a Unique Jewelry Brand

Pieces of Me: How a College Project Evolved Into a Unique Jewelry Brand

Elsa went from simply putting together her senior graphic design portfolio, to cultivating a business idea and presenting it to an audience of over 2,000 through the BGSU HATCH. So, where is she now? After entertaining endless applications, Pieces of Me found its niche: jewelry. Elsa's idea of bringing our inner personalities outward has become the mission behind the brand, inspiring our tagline, Wear Who You Are.

Tell us how Pieces of Me Began:

"It all started in a graphic design theory class. The project was constructed around design thinking, and working through a problem without fully understanding what form the visual would be in the end. For my project, I challenged myself to determine my own personality through the lens of friends and family. The idea spiraled until I had received responses from just about everyone I knew. After the results were tabulated, the next step was to figure out how to show the world who I was. That was my lightbulb moment. The first Pieces of Me product was brought to life, using icons representing each trait, patterned across fabric and transformed into a full dress. When I stepped back to look at it, I was impacted by the visual representation that was me!

Perspective can be life changing. Having that visual reminder of what other people saw in me truly helped me not only create a mosaic that represented my personality traits for that design project, it helped me discover and embrace who I truly was. It made me feel strong in my identity and showed me how unique I am. I felt a sense of freedom.  

Professor Gene Poor at BGSU always talked about having the "entrepreneurial spirit" and explained that it's something you either have, or you don't. That always stuck with me. 

Looking back on my life, I realize I've always had that internal entrepreneurial drive, so naturally after completing that project and realizing how impactful it was for me, I knew I wanted to share that experience somehow so others could feel it too." 

The experience at the Hatch- what did that mean for you?

"My senior year at BGSU I participated in the annual entrepreneurial program, the Hatch, which at the time was in its third year. I would describe my Hatch experience as a complete whirlwind. I took the process very seriously the entire time and worked my tail off. At the same time, I was finishing up my senior graphic design portfolio, working through my final senior thesis project and then  developing my business plan. It was a lot of sleepless nights and a ton of work, but going into the Hatch pitch made it all worth it. I'm introverted by nature ,so getting up in front of a couple thousand people at the Stroh Center was not exactly easy. I honestly refer to it as an out of body experience. I was so nervous, but I had prepared and did everything I could to get ready for that day. Watch the full Hatch pitch here.

Ultimately I look at the Hatch as an opportunity that gave me a crash course in entrepreneurship. That was the stepping stone that really gave me the confidence to go out and chase down this "dream" after college and become and entrepreneur. It gave me the confidence to say, 'Yeah. I can do this.'

My pitch resonated with the investor panel, and after the pitch was over they told me that this is only the beginning and that I needed to go prove the concept first. Just like everything else, I took that advice quite seriously and haven't looked back since!"

The icon designs- how'd you come up with those?

"Don't let their simplicity fool you. All of the icons are derived from a careful process of research and design. Each personality trait design was chosen from multiple rounds of market research and surveys. Myself and another design created over 900 different sketches and iterations, making hundreds of decisions to arrive at what the designs are today! 

What really makes them special is that behind each design is a different experience and meaning that can't be replicated by another. 

There's no doubt that each icon is one-of-a-kind. This uniqueness extends itself to our personalities and individuality. Sure, a cute artist's palette charm might say 'I like painting', but that little metal board fails to tell others that creativity extends beyond the canvas, into someone's job at a marketing agency."

How'd you come up with your first product? Tell us about that process.

"This is actually something I believe that makes my story different from other jewelry designers. Remember how I mentioned that the first product I created from my class project was a dress? Well, that was actually more along the lines of my original concept. I envisioned an app that would take personality trait icons and create a custom pattern for each customer that would be printed on wearable merchandise and accessories. 

I realized how restrictive the custom apparel business was, and thought, 'I need to get these designs into the world to create brand awareness.' I actually remember my first thought being 'What about keychains?'

From there I arrived at jewelry, looked at the competitive landscape, and learned everything I could about jewelry making, metals, materials, processes- literally everything I could. Before I started this process I knew absolutely nothing about jewelry making. Many jewelry designers say things like 'I've been making jewelry on a table in my basement and tinkering around since I was twelve,' or something along those lines. Not in my case! It turns out jewelry is just the best vehicle for this visual communication and concept. 

What started as just a proof of concept became a full concept that a scale-able business could be built around: a jewelry line!"

What makes you so passionate about encouraging others to know their value and embrace what makes them unique?

"This is important to me because I believe it's something that we all struggle with at one point in our lives. Who am I? What makes me different? What is my true identity? There are a lot of pressures in society, and social media has made it even easier to play the comparison game. This leaves a lot of us to feel inadequate. Whether it be we need to dress better, decorate our house better, our children need to be more put together, or we need to look and act a certain way. Instead, I want to give people a little piece of positivity among all of those pressures to remember that they have strengths and a UNIQUE personality that they need to remember and embrace. When our pieces are given as a gift, it's a direct reminder that shows exactly why you love and cherish someone for exactly who they are. 

This brand started out as my journey and my business concept, but it has already had an impact greater than I had ever imagined. I hear customer experiences about how our pieces have made an impact in their lives, and that really is what keeps me motivated each day."

We have to ask, what traits stand out to you or how would you describe your personality?

Ambitious:

"I think this is one of my most dominant traits. I think every entrepreneur has to be ambitious. They have to be hungry and driven to keep striving for the best and to reach that next goal. Building a business is hard, it takes everything you and more and I like to describe it as an absolute roller coaster. I feel like if I wasn't as ambitious as I am it would be difficult for me to stay motivated to work towards building the business every single day."

Determined:

"I've been told that I'm extremely tenacious and determined and I couldn't agree more. Others may say I'm stubborn, and yes, they couldn't be more right. While being stubborn and determined can be seen as a negative quality, it is also the exact character trait that keeps me on this entrepreneurial path. When I want something I go after it and stay extremely determined until I meet whatever goal it is I set my mind to."

Creative:

"I've always been creative, since I was very young. When I was a little girl I always wanted to grow up and be an artist, then in high school I knew I wanted to to into Graphic Design and that's exactly what I did. I believe that being creative isn't always necessarily what it means in the traditional sense of the word. I think it runs much deeper than that and is about observation. I'm an introverted person, and observer. I take in the world around me, and have a natural curiosity about things, I think I'm creative in the way that I problem solve and approach a challenge. Being a creative individual is at the very center of who I am."

What are some major milestones you've accomplished to date?

"We've made a couple of moves/upgrades in offices spaces since we started. A small cubby of an office with just myself, to a beautiful 600 sq. foot studio space on 8th St. downtown Holland, to a full size 1800 sq. foot industrial suite in Grand Rapids. We moved to the new location this past December which allowed us to put our office, fulfillment, and production all under one roof- a huge milestone. A couple other milestones we've accomplished include on-boarding 40 retailers primarily in the Midwest with a couple scattered across the US. We launched an additional product line of necklaces in 2017 and a full bridal collection last year. Our products have never been better than they are today and we've recently started a new lifetime guarantee for all our customers as well!"

Goals for the future? Where do you see Pieces of Me in 5 years?

"My goals for the future are to continue to expand the jewelry collection, with plans of launching new products this year. I want to grow Pieces of Me to be a nationally recognized brand that transforms lives across the globe. I see our jewelry in every corner of the US, and maybe even in a larger retailers such as Nordstrom. After building up the brand around the jewelry collection, I see Pieces of Me adding additional product lines that all revolve around the same concept of representing in individual's personalities and giving unique positive experiences to all our customers and beyond." 

Every Brides Nightmare: The Worst Bridesmaid Behaviors

Every Brides Nightmare: The Worst Bridesmaid Behaviors

You meet some of them in college, some are your coworkers and of course there is always the chance you have no clue who they are... (your grooms super close cousin) 

A mix of emotions come to mind when ANY bride thinks of her bridesmaids.

I mean come on, there was a whole movie made about how awful bridesmaids can be.

So how much damage can your 5 best friends really do on the most wonderful day of your life?

1) The excuses are endless

You find their dress, the perfect dress. The colors match the flowers perfectly, somehow fits each girl like a glove. Its a real sisterhood of the traveling dress… and yet one of the girls didn’t order it in time. After 3 months of reminding her.. texting, calling, creating a fb group.. she never bought it. Now the dress is out of stock and everyone is out the money and back to square one. Nice going Lauren.

2) Phantom bridesmaid

Life can be crazy, there is no doubting that. However when one bridesmaid isn’t going to go wedding dress shopping, brunches, or even attend the bachelorette party- what is she even doing there? Inviting someone to be apart of your bridal party is a big ask, but it’s also an honor- its very important to understand if YOU are capable of being a good bridesmaid before you accept that invitation!

3) Ms. Know it all

We’ve all seen those episodes of Say Yes to The Dress where that one friend voices her opinion WAY too much. That straight out tells you “that dress doesn't make you look good...” Or that second guesses all of your decisions, your venue, your flowers and is just the resident “naysayer”. STOP IT. It’s. not. your. wedding! There’s absolutely no reason to make this about you.. you'll have your turn, but for now it's mine!

 4) No cares given

“Do you like this flower arrangement? Or this one” “uhm does it matter?" OK yes it does matter Rebekka, its my wedding! It is thoughtful of them to not want to control your wedding day, but with 16 million choices to make before the big day, a bride is thinking about her special day all the time, so at least act like you care! Your bride is your friend, how about you start acting like it!

5) Green with envy

This balance is tough, the constant reminder from  Sarah that “well if it were my wedding, I’d do pink and gold.”, “honestly Brian should be proposing soon.. and I guess after your experience i’ll know not to use this vendor.” How can a bride put up with this without wanting to pull their hair out? It’s impossible. Again, not your turn, and this isn't about you!

5) Inconsolable Sob Sister

We don't really know why Jessie is crying in the corner, but it keeps happening. Be prepared for the breakdown after four shots of tequila in Vegas. Sometimes weddings are just too emotional, and you just can’t hold it in. But learn how to, because no one wants to deal with a bawling bridesmaid on the big day!

A lesson for both sides!

It's hard to be a bride, everyone knows that but it can be hard to be a bridesmaid too. The chaotic mix of wanting your friend to have the best day possible but also living your own life- is a delicate one.

Consider this a lesson, if you are taking on the task of becoming a bridesmaid.

Please, just be attentive to your bride, be sensitive to how important this day is to her, and the honor that she wanted to share this with you. SHE wanted YOU to be apart of her special day, that means you must be pretty special too.

Brides, just because Sally can’t make your last minute brunch three cities away doesn’t mean she isn’t honored. Or because Janet is struggling financially makes it hard for her to participate in everything that’s planned. Your bridesmaids are going through a lot too, try to understand things from their point of view, too.

Ask your girls for help, ask your groom, ask your family. It is impossible to plan a wedding all by yourself- so don't even try!

Here are some tips and tricks to help get you to your wedding day:

1) DELEGATE. DELEGATE. DELEGATE.

Is your mom a strong bull when it comes to talking to vendors? Some moms have that natural talent for not wavering no matter what a price these people are trying to get from you? This would be such a valuable asset in maintaining a budget. 

2) Wedding planning websites, apps, and checklists are all available online.

Whether you’re just starting to plan your wedding, or down to the last details- there is an app for everything. Don't JUST read blogs for inspiration take advantage of apps like WeddingWire that has over 200,000 listings and reviews from real brides. Carats & Cake is a application that will help you find those flowers and decorations in all the Instagram photos you see!

3) Show your appreciation.

You’re going to be stressed out to the max, you won’t even be able to comprehend that Becky answers your phone call at 1am every time even though she works at 6am every morning. Or that Jane has been waiting for Adam to propose for 10 years and is fighting through the jealousy to make this the best day for you.

Now this doesn’t mean that your bridesmaids are the victim of this punishment you call your wedding. They are beyond thankful to be included in your special day, but you should show them that this feeling is reciprocated.

Give your bridesmaids a gift that they will want to wear long after your special day!

Pieces of Me offers a complete bridal collection with cuffs and necklaces all designed with your best friends in mind. A line comprised of traits made to target all types of women. Women who are strong, passionate, loving… (etc).

This is a gift that tells your friends that not only do you care about them- but you truly know them and appreciate them for who they are. 

Your bridesmaids are all unique and your friendship with each of them is too. A gift like this is all about who they are and they can wear it everyday to remind them of that special friendship they share with you. 

Show them that while this wedding has consumed you for a couple months, you love them for who they are and are grateful for all they do for you!

Mom n' Pop Appreciation Day | A Closer Look at Some of Our Retail Partners

Mom n' Pop Appreciation Day | A Closer Look at Some of Our Retail Partners

Today is National Mom n' Pop Business Owners Day, and we want to take a moment to say a special thanks to all our wonderful retail partners across the US! It takes a lot of work to run your own business, and these retailers curate beautiful collections of wonderful products season after season-- all to bring you access to the best products and gifts for you and your loved ones.

Today, we recognize just a few of our retailers and share their stories! 

Small Favors

Owners of Small Favors, Kasey and Betsey, specialize in all things gifts. They take pride in in their ability to give personalized customer service and gift consulting. Spending the time to make sure all their customers are able to give quality gifts to those they care about.

They are currently located in beautiful Grosse Pointe, Michigan. They made a decision to move to a larger location in order to accommodate their loyal customers.

"We don't want anything you'll find in Target or Bed, Bath & Beyond…We don't want mass market. We're trying to keep that boutique-y small town, smaller feel," Kasey said in a 2014 article

Small Favors is a one stop shop for all birthdays, Christmas, “just because” and corporate gifts.

Jb & Me

JB & Me made their debut in 1997, and since then it has been a thriving mother and daughter establishment. Particularly unique to JB & Me is the ability to house designer fashion that appeals to women of all ages. Without missing a beat, owners and employees find a way to connect their coined phrase “friendship through fashion” with customers.

As they note on their website, “We give [women] an outfit that they feel good in, which gives them the confidence to do life, which equals empowerment.”

While focusing primarily on fashion, they also have a beautiful selection of home goods, jewelry, and vintage finds.  

“The fact that Pieces of Me is local has always been a huge selling point! Once a customer was overjoyed about the fact that we had something that had ‘athletic’ on it, but was still classy- she was so happy! When I am selling to customers I love telling them that each one has meaning, and how fun they are to layer with other jewelry!” 

SuperCute

SuperCute, is just what it says. They are a super cute boutique located in Freeland Michigan. Ran by #girlboss Kara, their products include home decor, speciality items, and gifts.

“I love giving and receiving gifts with meaning- they mean so much more! Plus, I love that Pieces of Me is a Michigan company and is all made in the USA. I enjoy watching my customers take the Pieces of Me personality quiz and see how spot on the results are!”

This isn’t just a boutique to treat yourself and find gifts for those you care about, but also hosts events like upcoming Ladies Nights.

FiddleStix

Jenelle and Daniel Calvery are more than husband and wife- they are also owners of successful FiddleStix boutique, aka “ the invitation destination”. In November 2007, they opened their first retail location. Since then, Fiddlestix has grown to house many world class designers.

Acting as a one-stop shop for invitations, gifts, and personal shopping, FiddleStix has gifts for special occasions, personalization materials, and stationary. They also have incorporated a special layout of beautiful clothing, jewelry, and handbags. Designers include Vera Bradley, Cotton Colors by Laura Johnson, Mud Pie, Bourbon & Boweties, Spartina 449, and many more!

Sparrow Boutique

With a background in all things marketing, business, and fashion buying, Kristi Kettler found the perfect way to balance her love of fashion and passion for personalized customer service. Opening Sparrow Boutique in 2013, she offers the community current trends and classic styles at “unpretentious prices,” with a well-rounded wardrobe and accessories for modern working women.

"What do you love about having Pieces of Me in your boutique?"

“I love that the jewelry is specific to me and my character traits and that the design is classic, simple, and perfect for wearing every day yet also looks great layered with my other jewelry. These are so gift-able! They are personalized, and so universal. Any age, any style, anywhere would like these!”

D'Vine Design

D’Vine Design, located in Milan, OH is more than just a creative name, but it is also a cute little boutique where you can get all your accessories. Owner Taline runs a fabulous establishment housed with handbags, bracelets, rings, and the kinds gifts that will show your appreciation for the people in your life. More than just a one-stop shop for accessories, D’vine also has cute paintings, wall decor, and body care such as perfumes and lotions.  

Hazyl Boutique

Hazyl Boutique, located in Elmhurst, IL is the second business endeavor that Nancy Resing has taken on. After spending her whole life knowing she wanted to go into fashion merchandising/buying, she originally opened a boutique with her friend. After making a personal choice to not only be a girl boss, but mom boss, she decided to sell her portion of that business to start her family. Without missing too many beats, she came back to the fashion world by opening Hazyl Boutique.

“What I love about Pieces of Me is it can also be a daily reminder, which is what I use mine as. I wear confident, NOT because I am over-confident, but because I want to remember to be confident: Confident in myself, confident as a store owner and my decision making... Confident as a mom, sister, wife, daughter. All aspects of my life.”

This boutique gives women a chance to express who they are and two they want to be through fashion.