They say your best idea's come to you while you are asleep at night. For me, it came in the form of a penny on the ground.
I find pennies everywhere. When I say everywhere, I truly mean everywhere. It's not like I go on a hunt to find them laying around, they just appear in plain site out of nowhere. I could be in Canada and find an American penny lying on the ground (true story, that actually happened one time). I never thought too much of it, until one particular instance back in 2013.
I was a sophomore in college and experienced what one would refer to as a mental breakdown. Life was changing at an extreme pace and so many feelings and emotions I kept hidden for too long came to the surface It was the beginning of an extremely rocky road for me and I was scared. One night when I was being admitted to a hospital around 1:30 am, I looked down at the floor, ashamed of where I was and what was happening to me. I kid you not, less than two feet away from my feet was a penny, heads up nonetheless.
Being stripped of my belongings and unable to be in possession of anything but the clothes on my back, you better believe I picked up that penny. I hid it in my shirt and held onto it tighter than ever. After that moment, I knew these pennies were not being placed in front of me by accident.
I went on to take a semester off of school that year at which point I needed to find every possible way to stay busy. I decided to take a penny, make two holes on either side of it, and attach it to a piece of string. I wore the bracelet around as if it was a new purchase, interested to see who would inquire about my new Wish Bracelet.
The rest was history. I started a Limited Liability Company called Heads Up For Charity, a retail company in which a portion of every sale was donated to charity. What began as a complete fluke turned into a small, unexpected, empire. My bracelets were seen on fashion bloggers and celebrities such as Leandra Medine of Man Repeller, Danielle Bernstein of WeWoreWhat, and RedFoo of LMFAO just to name a few. The company was published in over 15 publications, including Elle and I even won the I Am A Husky Award at Northeastern University. Then came television interviews and partnership opportunities, not to mention the brand ambassadors at 10 universities across America.
Even typing this out leaves me in awe of what I created. Unfortunately, with all of the success came the lack of time as I was still a full time college student and not at all expecting to run a full time business as a side hustle. Many years have gone by and I've been pondering rebranding my pride and joy of a brand. All I needed was that spark of inspiration, a fire lit under me, to get going again.
In reality, all it took was making a bracelet on one Friday night to bring the creative juices flowing right back. I made a gold beaded bracelet with 8 colored beads on it to accompany a color beaded bracelet with one gold bead.
“There are nearly 8 billion people in the world. It takes one person to change it.”
I cannot begin to express my excitement as I embark on this new adventure with all of you. The next time you're debating making a purchase that may seem unnecessary, remember that every purchase from Eight By One is one that gives back.
Time to make some magic happen.