The first time I went to a model casting call was such a nerve wrecking and emotionally exhausting experience. I was surrounded by smiling, equally stunning , full of life, much younger people and I couldn't help but think to myself; what am I doing here? All I wanted was to see someone my age in the crowd, so all of this what I was doing could make sense. What is a 30 something, mom of two trying to prove? Now when I look back to that moment, I know for a fact that there is no 'right' age to pursue your goals or dreams. Your age should not define you and restrict you. I am glad I stayed that day and faced my fears and self doubts. With no regrets in sight, it was worth giving it a go. I did not have any expectations for myself when I just started out, mostly fears of failing. Over the time, with work and dedication, there was less and less hesitation, and more steps forward. I cannot claim professional success, but I can claim a personal one. I never expected fame and glory, but this road led me to fun modeling opportunities, and to acquaintances with many inspirational individuals. My life will continue to take me where it may, I cannot escape my destiny. I can however take the rains and guide myself to self-growth and personal fulfillment as best as I can, and with all of my might.
This post, however, is not a story about me, but a story of why age should NEVER be a determining factor in pursuing your dreams. It is a story of following your instinct and persisting in showing the world that you have what it takes. It gives me such pleasure to introduce you to a lovely and amazing Claire, a creator and designer behind custom jewelry 212 west. Claire, a teen maker and a beautiful young woman, has with the help of her family succeeded in making a dream to start a jewelry company into a reality.
What is 212 west about:
It is basically bringing the spoken word to life in form of unique necklaces and bracelets that are customized by you to fit your lifestyle. Brand offers interchangeable word pendants that you can piece together to tell your story. Whether it's motivational, patriotic or spiritual, there is something for everyone. Jewelry is 100% customized, meaning that you choose your pieces from start to finish in the following matter:
For Necklaces - 1. CHOOSE A CHAIN 2. CHOOSE A STEM 3. SELECT WORDS
For Bracelets - 1. SELECT A LEATHER BRACELET 2. SELECT WORDS
I asked Claire to answer few questions to help me better understand her brand and motivation behind it. She graciously agreed.
When did the idea originate?
"I've had the idea of starting business for as long as I remember. I've always loved the idea of creating something from my own mind and making it a reality to share with the world. I got serious about this, however, when I was 13. The very start of 212west began when I showed my parents a drawing of the necklace. We officially launched in 2015, many prototypes and color swatches later, when I was 15 years old"
What was your motivation behind it?
"I've always loved self expression and embracing your true self and what you're passionate about. I think that in just a few words you can show the world a bit about who you are and what you're about, and I think that's very cool. The necklaces and bracelets really promote the idea that you can and should speak for yourself and that your journey is uniquely yours"
Any advice you would give to people pursuing their creative dream?
" I would tell anyone who wanted to pursue their creative dream to never let their motivation go. The process of creating anything is long and strenuous, but it makes it all the more rewarding when success is reached. Keep finding inspiration and use it to keep creating"
Few days ago I was walking through Herberger's and just couldn't wait to get out of the mall and the craziness. Suddenly, at the corner of my eye I got a glimpse of Minnesota fashioned table display. There, among other local merchandise, was a section displaying 212 WEST. It made me smile and feel so happy and proud of Claire and her accomplishment. I had to stop and take a picture of course. In my writing, I often encourage my readers to support local and shop small, this is no exception. Sometimes it helps to know where merchandise you buy comes from, and who are some of the creative people behind it. It makes it that much more special to own it.
Recently 212 west launched one of their new heart shaped charms that can be combined with other hearts or paired with words. They are super cute and perfect for any occasion, especially now in holiday season. When I shop for presents, I try to find something that's personal and unique for the person I'm gifting. Per their website, the heart charms are in limited quantity through the month of December. Since I didn't want to miss out, I secured my own gift and now I am a proud owner of a fun word scramble that is dear to my heart. When I think of my life and my family, this is exactly how I see it. It comes in a super cute packaging perfect for gifting. To Claire and her team, thank you for the opportunity to wear such a lovely piece.
I really do hope you enjoyed this week's edition. If you wish to own any of the above beautiful pieces yourself, or wish to gift them to someone instead, you can use my personal discount code (blogger15). This entitles you to a 15% off saving. Here is a link to their page 212west.com
For any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to let me know. If you wish to give my blog some love as well, do feel free to comment below. In the meantime, keep reaching high and don't settle for any version of yourself but the best.