Growing into my shoes

A month ago I was asked by University of Western Ontario, my alma mater, to give a Ted-style talk—my first of this kind—for its entrepreneur week.

My first thoughts were:

Who, me? For real? What do I have to offer? I’m just a startup, often taking wrong turns and backtracking. I mean, I never even had a business plan—unless you count writing “I will create a globally recognized brand that will inspire my community” on a piece of paper and putting it inside my intention pyramid.

And then I sat with the request for a little bit. Since I made the conscious decision to live my life by example (this quote by James A. Baldwin inspired me: “Children have never been good at listening to grown-ups, but they have never failed to imitate them”), I realized that THIS opportunity is exactly what I need to open myself up to in order to realize more growth.


Coincidently (by the way, I don’t believe in coincidence), I have been really feeling the pull to “step into my role” recently—maybe it’s the year coming to an end and wanting to look back with a full heart while reflecting on what I was able to accomplish.

But here is how I look at this opportunity: what I have to say and what I bring to the table cannot be delivered by anyone else. I am the only one who can accomplish what I am here to do. I am not superior to anyone, and there is no one who is superior to me. We are all in this together, and we all have a reason and a purpose.

My purpose in creating and designing jewelry is to help you realize your significance. Just like the one-of-a-kind stones I use in the ROCKING VIBE pieces, each and every one of us is unique. Every time I send off a piece to its new owner, I truly believe that the particular stone has chosen the soul to serve.

So in two days I’ll be stepping out of my comfort zone and onto the stage to share my talk, which I spent the last month preparing for. I will be layering BIA, my newest power pieces, around my neck—which I dreamed up just before this opportunity presented itself.

I don’t have my full speech finalized, but I will leave you with my opening paragraph:


“I was 14 years old when, with a single suitcase in hand, I left my whole life behind to start a new one across the world. Everyone (besides my grandmother, mother and sister) I have ever known, I would never see again. I would need to make new friends, learn a new language, get used to a new culture and figure out a way to thrive after being plucked from my native environment. What did that teach me? ...”


On a separate note, ROCKING VIBE has been nominated for “startup of the year” by Notable in Toronto.

This is an incredible honour and opportunity for me to impact people on a larger scale. I would be so grateful if you would take a moment to vote for me.