We have all had times where we need a little ray of sunshine to brighten our day. That is where our friend Ansley comes into play. Through her blog, she wants to be the sunbeam that reminds us of the goodness in the world. Her blog, Braided Bliss, “is a fashion blog featuring causes and organizations. It’s dedicated to raising awareness in hopes that more people will join the movement by taking steps toward helping each other.” She is incredibly inspiring and such a beauty - inside and out! We just had to know more about her Bravelets story!
How did you first hear about Bravelets?
I actually came across Bravelets through an Internet search. I was looking into more causes to feature on Braided Bliss and was so excited when it showed up in my search. When I read the story behind it, I knew I had to help out and spread the word. It’s such a beautiful company and spreads so much light to the world.
What cause do you wear your Bravelet for and why?
The week before Memorial Day, I was searching for causes that were helping anyone involved in the military or anyone who was affected by it. Bravelets came up in the search and I immediately fell in love with it. The particular bracelet that I was looking at said it supported the American Widow Project. They believe that no military widow should feel alone in her grief. They provide peer-to-peer, emotional, and educational support in order to maximize healing and hope for a brighter future. Although I don’t personally have a connection with this cause, it’s something that truly touched my heart. I love that they’re creating a community for women who need a shoulder to lean on and an encouraging voice to be comforted with.
Who inspires you to be brave?
For me, it’s hard to pin inspiration on one person because there are so many people in this world that demonstrate courage and bravery every day. But I’d have to say that my three main sources of inspiration are my mother, women on a mission, and my daily sunbeams.
My mother has always motivated and inspired me to be brave. She’s raised me to know that I deserve to surround myself with positive people, places, and experiences and has taught me to be strong when that means being brave enough to walk away from the negative. Although it’s never easy taking the path less traveled, I’ve learned that it’s always worth it. It’s a mentality I’ve carried with me my whole life and I believe every person deserves to live by it.
I’m also inspired by the women who have taken a risk in order to better the world; women who stand up for what they know is right or take a chance against all odds. Women like Malala turned a traumatic experience into a movement to empower women and change the world despite backlash. Eryn Eddy of So Worth Loving turned a Tumblr into an amazing mission to have every woman know that she is worthy, beautiful and loved. Sara Blakely fought for her idea of Spanx and how she wanted to change women’s lives. The founder of Bravelets took a beautiful act of compassion and turned it into a support system for everyone in the world who needs a reminder to be brave. These are only a few, but they are among the group of women who are movers, world changers, and dream-makers.
My daily sunbeams are my friends, and even strangers, who constantly remind me of the goodness in the world and that even one second of bravery can make the biggest difference in someone’s life. After I started Braided Bliss, I’ve met so many women who are forging their own paths or taking risks to follow their dreams. These ladies constantly remind me to keep going, follow my heart, and never listen to anyone who tells you otherwise.
Tell us about yourself! What is the most brave/daring/exciting thing you have ever done?
I think my biggest journey of bravery and excitement started last September. I graduated from the University of Georgia in July of 2013. After two years of being in an emotionally abusive relationship, I decided to shut the door (literally) on it and move out when I received a marketing internship in September. I packed all of my belongings into my car to the point where it probably wasn’t safe to be driving. The only place I could see out was straight ahead, but that’s the only direction I wanted to be looking. I drove two hours to Atlanta to room with someone I had never met before, but it turned out that it was someone who would create a positive impact on my life when I needed it most.
Two months into the internship, I was offered a social media position at a digital agency in Solana Beach, CA. I always wanted to live in California ever since my first trip there to visit relatives. My parents and brother had moved there so I was the last one left on the East coast. It was another big leap into the unknown, but it’s where I knew I wanted to be. I decided to take the leap and road trip out West. The job turned out to be a very negative environment that my soul just couldn’t take. There was no passion and no happiness. So after six months I took another chance and followed my heart: I quit. I was very fortunate to have my parents’ support and it actually led me to start Braided Bliss shortly after. Currently, it’s a fashion blog that features charitable businesses and causes to help raise awareness. I’m working on some merchandise ideas right now because I would love to turn it into a lifestyle brand about spreading bliss and kindness, empowering women, and how small acts can create a large impact. It’s been one of my favorite adventures so far.
What got you started blogging?
I started Braided Bliss as a side project while I was job searching. I was looking for a job that would fulfill my passion of helping people while utilizing my social media marketing skills in order to reach and help people I wouldn’t normally be able to. Nothing was available at the time so I created Braided Bliss as a way to fulfill both of those passions. I was craving an outlet for creating change and actually helping people. Not only has it been one of the most rewarding experiences, but it’s also allowed me to surround myself with the most uplifting and encouraging people I’ve ever met.
To learn more about Ansley and her Bravelet story, check out her feature on Braided Bliss.
Ansley is wearing our black adjustable Bravelet supporting the American Widow Project.
All photos by Braided Bliss.
All photos by Braided Bliss.