Monday, January 12, 2015

Stella & Dot | My Story

This is not just about Stella & Dot's story but my story with Stella & Dot.
(Because, let's be honest: this video makes me wish I could become a stylist all over.)

If you aren't familiar with the company, Stella & Dot is a boutique-style jewelry and accessories line. But more than that, Stella is a social selling company that creates flexible entrepreneurial opportunities for women.

I had only heard the name Stella & Dot in passing before it suddenly became part of my life. On May 30th, I learned that I needed surgery and that the surgery would be taking place on July 23rd - not even two months later. As a graduate student without sick-time or vacation days, I immediately began panicking at the costs of flying to New York and taking off of work for four to eight weeks. At the same time, my friend Maralyn approached me with an offer to host a Stella & Dot trunk show for my benefit. Of course I said yes.

Not only did she host a trunk show, she coordinate our business-owner friends - my tribe - to turn it into a giant celebration of and fundraiser for, me. Not only did the event cover the costs of my travel and my expenses in New York, it was one of the best nights of my life. (You guys, my brain surgery made the news.)

Maralyn could have stopped there but she didn't. Instead, she gifted me a necklace engraved with a 2.0 - an emblem of my surgery - and my new life after - that I couldn't wait to wear. As soon as I got out of my neck brace, that is.

Fast forward eight weeks. It was the day before my 23rd birthday and like most days before a milestone (a birthday, a new year, a new semester), I was feeling contemplative about the year that had passed and excited about the year that was to come. Amidst feelings of thankfulness for the support I had received in my 22nd year, and feelings of frustration at missing 'fun' during month of being sick, Maralyn reached out to me about joining Stella & Dot.

My first thought was.. well, no. And then, I realized that Stella & Dot had given Maralyn the opportunity to help me when I needed it most and perhaps I could use Stella & Dot to pay that forward. (Spoiler Alert: I have. And will continue to. It's my favorite part of this 'job'.)

I joined Stella & Dot three and a half months ago on a whim. I didn't realize at the time that I was finding yet another tribe - a tribe of women passionate about jewelry, about entrepreneurship and about women. I've been able to contribute to my favorite cause, to earn a new accessories wardrobe, to meet new people, and to pass on the gift of entrepreneurship to other women.

While having brain surgery may have been the best decision I made in 2014. Joining Stella & Dot was definitely my favorite decision of the year.

Monday, January 5, 2015

One Little Word | 2015

The beginning of the year tends to bring new goals, new motivations, and new energy. Some use this time to make resolutions for the year to come. Others undertake new projects like 365 days of photos or a Project Life album. And yet others begin their year's with a single word, a single intention.

In retrospect, my word for 2014 would have been 'live'. It was the end of 2013 when I became very sick and through 2014, the day to day was hard. My goal for each day was to get to the next.

Now, five months after my brain and spine surgery, I want to do more than just live. I want to thrive this year.

I want my health to thrive as I begin physical therapy and continue on a path of healing. I want to thrive in my classes as I begin a second master's program. I want to thrive as a photographer and as a Stella & Dot stylist. I want to thrive in my new internship. I want to thrive in my new opportunity as a member of the Project Life Creative Team.

This is my first time choosing 'one little word' for the year ahead and I cannot wait to see how this intention helps me grow in the months to come.

One Little Word is a workshop taught by Ali Edwards. According to Ali, One Little Word is a word "to focus on, meditate on, and reflect upon," a word to live with and invite into your life. You can read all of my One Little Word posts here.

Monday, December 29, 2014

2015 Creative Team

It is no secret that I am terrible with secrets.. so, I am relieved to finally share with you that I was chosen to be a member of the 2015 Project Life Creative Team. (I'm still pinching myself.)

I began using Project Life this year as a way to document the months that my doctors insisted I wouldn't remember. For 2014, I kept a 12x12 album of our day-to-do and created a 6x8 mini-album to cover my surgery and month of recovery in Pennsylvania. Before beginning my album, and while I worked on it during the year, I followed the creative efforts of the Creative Team; falling in love with the work of members like Rachel, Donya, and Annette along the way.

Throughout 2014, I switched between documenting each week as a spread to documenting monthly, and back again. I used a lot of Bebas and Aleo. I used the Midnight Core Kit, stamps from Kellie Stamps, and a subscription from Studio Calico and I bound it all in a black leather album. I haven't put much thought in to my 2015 plans but I will share them with you when I do.

So tell me, what are your plans for Project Life this upcoming year? 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Find Me On | Becky's Blog

I can't believe I am saying this but today, you can find my 6x8 surgery album on Becky's Blog! To say that having one of my Project Life albums featured is a dream come true wouldn't be a stretch. If I'm being honest, it is hard to wrap my mind around the fact that the creator of Project Life herself would be a fan of this little project.

If you have found this blog from Becky's post - welcome! I relaunched my blog in September under a new title with entirely new content; unfortunately, I developed some post-operative complications that have prevented me from being here as much as I would like. That being said, I hope to retroactively share my 2014 album in the coming weeks.

And one last thing? The scarf? It's Stella & Dot. (And for every one sold this month, Stella & Dot will give a gift to a Servicewoman or a military family member. You're welcome.)