Last week I did a thing for the first time. I spoke at a public event as an entrepreneur for the first time. It was huge for me. I just recently started seeing myself as an entrepreneur and embracing my journey with my business.
The experience was amazing, I came home buzzing with energy, love, and excitement. Spending just 2 hours in a room with other strong, driven, kind women truly gave me a jumpstart.
The conversation was infectious. The kind of conversation you never want to end because it's speaking directly to your soul.
The moderator asked some really insightful questions but two really stuck with me and reminded me of the importance of sharing our stories -
How did you get started with your business?
Leo and Lynn Jewelry will be two years old in November but it really started long before now. My entrepreneurial journey can be traced back to almost 10 years ago when I had my first child.
After having Emerson, I realized a few things - I didn't know how to be a working mom, I needed to ask for help, and I needed to be true to myself to be the best mom I could be for her. At home on maternity leave, I struggled with post partum anxiety and luckily have a very supportive partner who guided me through asking for help. As I returned to work I didn't know how to be a working mom and now reflecting back I didn't realize how lonely I was. I didn't have any friends in a similar life stage.
How could I raise my daughter to be all these things that I wasn't allowing myself to be? I needed to believe that I could pursue my dreams, listen to my heart, raise a family, have career success with my own definition, and be a good partner.
When starting Leo and Lynn Jewelry I took all of that belief in myself and channeled it into creating jewelry that would make women feel the same way. I believe in the magic of everyday. The magic that happens when we live with our purpose everyday. I wanted to create jewelry that worked as hard as the women who wear it. Jewelry that when someone says "I love your earrings", you can respond "thanks, my friend made them". To share my love with you in the best way I know how - handmade jewelry.
I shared with the panel last week that it's really not just about the jewelry. The jewelry is a vessel. It's about learning to believe in myself and support women. To honor our journeys, no matter how different they may be.
I'm so excited for the journey that Leo and Lynn Jewelry is on. Next week I will launch a passion project with The Solid Brand Sessions that has been in the works for many months. A project that will elevate the stories of moms, support organizations advocating for maternal mental health, and bring together women. While the project has been very exciting and the jewelry design is one of my favorites - it's more than that. The most exciting part has been connecting with women, hearing your stories, and knowing that we are stronger together.
What lesson would you share with the younger generation of women?
I love this question so much. I knew my answer right away when the moderator asked and of course I have two answers. If you know me in person, you know that I'm quite chatty.
First, be kind. Kind to others and KIND TO YOURSELF!
Everyday when the kids come home from school I ask them what acts of kindness they saw or did. I don't ask about test scores or academic performance first, I need to know about the people.
Now before you envision this like a Pinterest perfect daily activity, it's not. Some days they don't have anything to share, or sometimes I get great stories of kindness like this one from Emerson - "I saw a pencil on the floor and I returned it to my friend. It was really sparkly, I wanted to keep it, but I used my willpower and returned it. I sort of regret not keeping it, it was really sparkly".
She's obviously my child - distracted by sparkly things.
My second piece of advice is something I've been thinking a lot about lately. We only get one truly permanent relationship in our lives - and that is with ourselves. I don't mean this in a selfish way of only looking out for yourself - rather an invest in yourself and your relationship with yourself way. I would tell younger generations of women and girls to make yourself proud. We spend the most time with ourselves and we need to honor that relationship. Be gentle to ourselves, listen to our hearts and guts, believe ourselves, stand up for ourselves, surround ourselves with people who make us better, set boundaries and demand respect for those boundaries, and ultimately live our best life.
I'd love to hear your advice for a younger generation in the comments!