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A Little Piece of Life

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.

Spring Cleaning Blog: Transition from Clutter to Calm

Spring Cleaning Blog: Transition from Clutter to Calm

It's that time of year again. Closets are overflowing, and to-do lists are getting out of hand. But the sun is rising in the sky and the snow is melting off the ground. This is the time of the year where we all need to push past that seasonal depression and get ready for the best season yet!

Pack your puffy parkas into a box and pray that you have a decent amount of time dancing in the sun before you have to bust them out again due to the frigid temperatures.

It’s time to donate all those items that sit in your closet unworn and to find a new home for the jewelry that has dust accumulating on it in your jewelry box. Time for a fresh start!

Alright time to get to it, put spring cleaning on the top of your to-do list, and follow the steps below to ensure success!

To start spring cleaning you’ll need a couple things:

1) Music and/or your favorite TV show

Important to make sure this is a background TV show. You can’t organize 12 months of living while crying at the Grey’s Anatomy theme song.

2) BOXES, or Plastic Bins

3) Cleaning supplies

4) A friend… if possible

When you’re unsure, look at the upcoming trends to help inform you on which items to donate, and which ones you should definitely keep in your closet.

Acid wash is back in, crop tops are dying, and simplicity is key. Remember to keep the pieces that bring you joy. Just because magazines and blogs say that it's in or out does not mean you have to follow. Make sure to have your own voice, and stay true to who you are!

So even if your red and blue polka dot dress doesn’t fit in with the Spring 2019 trending styles but it makes you smile thinking of the memories you had in it- KEEP IT.

By all means let the things that make you smile, the things that brighten your day, keep you in high spirits and make you feel confident, wear until the seams burst and you have to purchase an exact replica or something close to it!

Cleaning out the Wardrobe

Remember those boxes and plastic bins I mentioned earlier? They are going to be super important during this big overhaul. Sort into three different bins/boxes and label them, TRASH, DONATE, and STORAGE.

This is where having a friend definitely comes in handy. While you go through all your clothes, they’ll make it much easier to decide where each piece belongs!

There are major benefits to opening up space in your wardrobe, read all about the Konmari Method. Which talks about how having fewer things that you truly love, makes you appreciate them much more and forces you to take care of them.

Oh, and freeing up space and hangers means it’s time for another shopping spree, and who doesn’t want to go out and get some fresh new items, that of course bring you joy!

Time to clean out the Jewelry Box

You don’t need statement jewelry to make a statement. You don’t need accessories that clang when you walk or that sparkle in a dangerous gleam under normal lighting.

It is all about finding pieces that work with all your outfits, that adds a special final touch to the outfit, but doesn’t overpower it- and more importantly doesn’t overpower you!

The small dainty necklace collection and cuff bracelets from Pieces of Me are a great place to start. This jewelry is subtle and sophisticated, allowing you to wear it with anything. Date night, and dressed to the nines, or when you’re running errands in leggings and a hoodie, Pieces of Me will give it that extra touch.

Pieces of Me doesn’t just add to style but oh so much more. This brilliant  concept allows you to take a quiz to discover who YOU are, or allows you to identify the places in which you want to improve and wear it as a daily reminder - who you aspire to be.

Do you constantly make your friends laugh, or always provide them with support? Maybe you need a friendly or passionate cuff to remind yourself of these great qualities you possess. Maybe you wish you weren’t so shy, or could command a room like you can in your head- get a confident cuff to remind yourself daily of who you want to be!

According to Elle online magazine, every complete wardrobe needs at least one seamless, delicate fine piece of jewelry.

It’s time to invest in jewelry that means something to you, but is also high-quality and will withstand the test of time. Pieces of Me cuff bracelets have a thick plating of 14K gold, and Sterling Silver with an anti-tarnish coating. The necklaces are made of 14K gold filled, and sterling silver, the chain, the disc, the jumpring, everything! That means no flaking, no peeling- something that will last forever with proper care.

Oh, and I should mention it was just released that Pieces of Me now has a Lifetime Guarantee Program on all their pieces, you just have to register within 60 days after purchase.

However you can’t place all that responsibility on your jewelry itself, you must invest the time and responsibility into caring for your pieces, if you want them to last a long time.

How to best take care of your jewelry

1. Take off your jewelry before performing any sports, showering or sleeping 

2. Every time you clean your jewelry use a soft, clean cloth to maintain its shine.

3. For more expensive and delicate pieces- ask your local jeweler to check your pieces on a regular basis!

4. Use a silver dip cleaner for cleaning silver jewelry.

  •  regularly polishes your platinum and silver jewelry to avoid tarnishing (to do this you can use a simple Polishing Cloth and keep in your jewelry box) 

5. Very IMPORTANT: keep your chains clasped at all times to keep them from getting tangled.

Other Spring Cleaning Tips

1. Take it room by room. Start with one that wont take too long but will give you the motivation you need to tackle the rest of your house/apartment

2. Always work from Top to Bottom. Start with dusting your ceilings or cleaning the blinds before mopping the floor

3. It is time to switch out the pumpkin spice and mahogany teakwood candles from Bath and Body works and build a new fruit fresh scent. Walking into a clean home with a powerful scent that lifts your spirits will certainly make all the cleanly worth while.

4. Make a schedule, don’t get lost going down memory lane sitting on the floor surrounded by a disorganized mess. (we’ve all been there, am I right?)

5. Some things are easier to get rid of than others. To force you to keep yourself accountable place your hangers facing the opposite way and then after you wear them at least once put it back the right way. If you have any hangers facing the wrong way after a year- its time to donate.

6. Do not purchase anything unless you can picture three separate ways to wear/use it. Make the most of your money.

Spring is here! Make the most of it and start with a fresh, clean, organized space you call home. Donate the things that hold you back so you can free up space to grow.

The season is changing, which gives us the opportunity to make personal changes. Take advantage of it, the summer will be here before we know it!

Adventurous: Ashley, The Solo Traveler

Adventurous: Ashley, The Solo Traveler

Meet Ashley, or also known as @ohdarlingletsseetheworld. By day she is a wife and dog mom to three cuties, as well as a walking motivation to all women to get outside of their comfort zone. She has labeled herself as a Solo Female Traveler, and that is just what she is! Her Instagram is filled with fun-filtered, and adventurous photos. You’ll leave her page being nothing short of inspired! Check it out here:  Our only question is- who takes these awesome photos on these solo trips? Or did we just find the world’s best selfie taker!?


Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hello! My name is Ashley, and I’m a young at heart thirty-year old from Michigan… Born and raised! I now live with my husband of five years and our three Miniature Dachshunds. I love my little family so dearly, and I’m truly a home body at heart. That is, a home body who loves to travel!! A few years ago, I had my first solo trip… By accident!! My girlfriend and I were going on a magical girl’s trip to Disney World when she got terribly sick and had to cancel. Well, I was already down in Florida, so there wasn’t really much else I could do, besides make the most of it. And I’m so glad I did! It was one of the best times of my life!! And that is what sparked my solo female travel adventure!!

What are some of your hobbies/ passions?

My first and foremost passion would, of course, be traveling! I specifically gravitate towards destinations where I can be outdoors. So… Exploring on an African safari, snorkeling with sea turtles in Hawaii, or kayaking sea caves in Portugal are my types of places and activities! I love being outdoors when I’m at home too, and Michigan is such a glorious place to live for this!

 

What are some of your favorite places you've traveled to!

So far, they’ve all been in the United States! The United States has so many various places to travel, and I’m always encouraging others to take advantage of this beautiful country!

Hawaii 

with my favorite activity being swimming with sea turtles in the ocean.

Joshua Tree 

with my favorite activity being hiking and climbing among the various rock formations.

Oregon 

with my favorite activity being white water rafting.


Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years? What are some dreams you have for yourself?

My dream is to be a full-time travel blogger!! I want to show the women of this world that traveling by yourself is an option and it can be so beneficial for you! And within this niche, I want to focus heavily on finding those amazingly unique experiences for women to partake in! Women, often times, feel very overwhelmed with the idea of traveling solo. So, with this in mind, I also am developing my own solo female travel coaching business, where I will help women conquer their fears and travel the world!

What trait(s) do you wear and why?

-Adventurous because I am always up to travel and try new experiences. The world was meant to be explored!

-Independent because without my independence, I would be nothing. My freedom and independence are what drives everything I do in life.

-Dreamer because what is life without a little dreaming? If I didn’t dream, my life would have no color and I would not be where I am today.

How has Pieces of Me made an impact on you?

It serves as a constant reminder to me that I am loved and am an amazing person.

I am different than every single person on this earth and that needs to be valued.

Most importantly, I need to always remember to value myself and appreciate my unique characteristics and personality. These bangles help remind me of this every single day.

Who/what inspires or motivates you?

This life, and that it is the only life I have to live. One aspect that I love in life is engaging and having conversations with the elderly population. And I always ask them the same question, “If you could give the younger generation one piece of advice, what would it be?” And they all say around the same type of answer… “Live your life because it passes you by so quickly”. This is why I challenge myself to live every day to the fullest, travel as much as I can, and have no regrets.

Any words of wisdom you would like to share with others?

There never seems to be a time in life where it’s the “perfect” time to do something. There can always be restrictions and excuses. But then you’re left with the “what ifs” of life… And those will always stay with you. What if I told that person I loved them? What if I took that trip to Africa? What if I took that job interview?

Don’t let the “what ifs” take the joy away from life. Take a chance. Give in to that spontaneous feeling. Live life to the fullest. Always.