Traci Barrett: Mind, Body, Spirit: Behind the Design

We have had the privilege of knowing and working with the talented Traci Barrett. She is a hair and makeup artist out of Los Angeles, who works in commercial, editorial and with celebrities and musicians. She is also the designer behind our Triangle Necklace

Here is her story in her own words: 

My career started at a salon. When I was 16, I worked at Toni&Guy in Phoenix, Arizona. 
I wasn't happy in Arizona. I had been doing hair in a salon for 2 years. I was 20 years old, nearly 21. I lived in an art commune in downtown Phoenix. I was pretty involved in the art scene. I co-founded a clothing boutique, did marketing and event planning, curated multiple art shows, built runways by hand and walked them, painted girls in latex, the list goes on. But, somehow I still wasnt finding myself or my happiness. Despite my efforts, I was a broke ass artist. I read a great quote that said something to the effect of "You can only truly find your truth when you learn to question everything you've ever been told." 

That was it, I was out. In 2005, I moved to Los Angeles to pursue the business outside of the salon. I packed all of my belongings in my car and at 8 oclock at night drove to Los Angeles. I arrived at 2am with nowhere official to live and no job. I'll let you imagine how much money wasnt in my bank account, either. Luckily, I did have a couple friends that were generous enough to offer up their couches. I stayed. I struggled. I struggled for a very long time. My cosmetology license that I had in Arizona wouldn't transfer to California at the time. I really wanted to work in the business so I refused to go get a jobby job because I was worried that it would make me unavailable to freelance if a job called. I was a slave to it. I waited. I hustled. And when I say hustled, thats an understatement. I planned shoots, I knocked on doors, I cold called, I got people coffee, I cleaned dog shit out of Fendi bags. Literally. I was scared shitless. (no pun intended.) But, I was never too scared to give up. I couldn't. 

And I made it. It's been almost 9 years to the day. I've done, seen, and been through some crazy stuff. But I would never take any of it back. It has 100% made me who I am. I thought that I was looking for a certain person in myself. I thought that I would move to LA and just magically find who I was. Like once I got here this other girl would just be waiting and say, "This is who you really are; welcome." Little did I know that I was moving to LA to make that girl. 

 

What message do you want to share with the world?
Never be afraid of what you want. What is waiting for you on the other side is greater than you can even imagine.
Tell us about your concept behind the design of the Triangle necklace.
The concept for the necklace comes from the heart. Its a reminder to always expand your mind, nurture your body, and stay in touch with your spirit, even when the fight gets hard. Read a book, take a walk, do yoga. Remembering to work on yourself everyday makes life's daily challenges easier to manage. No one will ever take care of you the way you do. You are your number one and you always have to remember that. Know your truth and nurture it, no matter the cost or what others have to say. You wont regret it. Mind. Body. Spirit. by Traci Barrett 

Thank you Traci, you are an inspiration with such a refreshing story, we love you!

Fallow Traci on Instagram and check out her work here.

Photos from Heart Yourself and Traci Barrett.

3,000 Donations Made!

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We have had over 3,000 orders which means over 3,000 donations! This is a huge deal and we want to celebrate by offering free shipping through this week on all orders. Just use the FREE-SHIPPING in the coupon code box. 

Don't forget there are only a few days left to order your Curve Bar to help support Silas Jacobsen and his family. And, the hand stamped Sterling Silver Heart necklaces are on sale, get them while they last!

Shine On

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It's true. When you are in a good mood you pass your good mood on to others.  Good thoughts will make you smile and smiling makes your entire face light up (what's the song? You're never fully dressed with out a smile?) According to  Psychology Today smiling will make you prettier :

 

"You’re actually better looking when you smile – and I’m not just trying to butter you up. When you smile, people treat you differently. You’re viewed as attractive, reliable, relaxed and sincere. A study published in the journal Neuropsychologia reported that seeing an attractive smiling face activates your orbitofrontal cortex, the region in your brain that process sensory rewards. This suggests that when you view a person smiling, you actually feel rewarded."

 

See? It's science. So start your Tuesday with an arsenal of good thoughts, if you've had a rough Monday maybe sit down to make a list of things to be happy about. Carry the thoughts throughout the week and not only will you become more attractive but you will pass on your cheerfulness because happiness is contagious, so shine on!

Photo from Babble

Help Support Silas Jacobsen

We are just over the halfway point in June, that means you only have 2 more weeks to help support this courageous little guy! Little Si is the perfect example of what our curve bar stands for. Life threw him a huge curve at birth with his chromosomal abnormality but this little dude not only keeps on fighting but he does so with a smile. Okay, he is a baby, I'm sure he isn't all smiles but check out his Facebook page, Mighty Si, and his little face will light up your day. Help us support his family in caring for him by ordering a curve bar for yourself, a great reminder to keep fighting for what you want, even through the curves life sends your way, just like Silas has done from the start of his young life. We will donate $10 from every bar sold to his family, just use the code mightysi in the coupon code box.

Check out Go Shout Love for more ways to help Silas and his family.

 

photo from Mighty Si

Show us your necklaces!

Hey ladies, we want to see your heart yourself fashion. Snap a photo of you in your favorite Heart Yourself necklace, tag us and use #projectheartyourself so we can see you and feature you on our page. Share those beautiful faces with us!

Mighty Si

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We were recently contacted by the ladies at Go Shout Love about an adorable little boy that is struggling with a rare gentic disorder. Little Si was born with a genetic abnormality that is so rare it doesn’t even have a name, you can read more about him on his facebook page Small Dude.

We are honored to be able to help Si’s family by donating $10 from every curve bar sold through the month of June directly to his family to help pay for Si’s care. Just enter the code mightysi at checkout.

photo taken from Small Dude

Summer Love

Summer might just be the best season of the year. Sun kissed skin, iced coffee and blow up pools in the yard speak for themselves. Another perk- updating your summer wardrobe- add some gold or silver shimmer with Heart Yourself necklaces this season they go with everything and are light and cool enough that they won't make sweaty but will still make you glisten. 

Memorial Day

While Memorial Day is supposed to be about remembering our nations lost soldiers we know the reality is it's a day filled with cookouts and pool parties. The holiday kick off to the summer and swimsuit season makes some women cringe but we say embrace you and own the skin you are in. 

Luckily the trends for swimsuits this summer are all about covering up our insecurities- using more fabric than I've seen in years but don't be afraid to be bold. If you feel good in that swimsuit you wear it even if it's a string bikini or a burka! I don't want to post any photos here of skinny models looking hot and airbrushed in swimsuits so that you can end up admiring the suits and comparing yourself to them but I encourage you to look for the suit that is unique, your style and feels good then wear it all summer until you can't wear it anymore. There are so many fun choices out there for everyone just be true to you, your fit and your comfort and you will feel awesome I promise. Be comfortable being you and have a great Memorial Day and summer. 

 

 print from  Joss & Main

print from Joss & Main

Red Balloons for Ryan Update

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It is truly touching and humbling to see our online community come together to help a family. It’s only been two weeks since we learned of Ryan passing and already we have raised over $2,000 to help his family. This is huge and not only shows what huge hearts this community online has but it is also a testament that even online we are a village, able to reach out to a family when they are suffering through the worst loss imaginable.

We want to thank all of our customers and continue to encourage you to send others our way as they admire your new curve bar. The month is only half over, which means we still have 2 more weeks to support the Saldana family through the purchase of a curve bar.

We encourage you to wear your curve bar, talk about Ryan, and tell others how that bright red hair caught your attention quickly. We may not be able to give Ryan’s parents Jacqui and Dan hugs or the right words of comfort but we can remember their boy and help ease the monetary stress that funerals and grief create.

Thank you all for helping support this family; please continue to send positive thoughts to the Saldana family.

Please hashtag us #projectheartyourself and #redballonsforryan to show and spread your support.

Read more about this beautiful family here.

#heartyourself

What makes you heart yourself? Finishing that project at work? Being brave enough to wear red lipstick? Managing to cook your kids breakfast even though you were awake all night with a teething baby?

 

We know how great you are but want you to share. Help us remind and show other women how important, beautiful and powerful we all are. Go to Instagram or Twitter and take a photo with your hands in the shape of a heart, tag us and use #heartyourself telling us your story. We love seeing all the ways women have to celebrate themselves, tag your friends and asking them why they heart themselves. We will be looking for and sharing your beautiful faces and stories because we want to celebrate you with you! 

Go ahead, treat yourself

 Whether you are a mother or not take this weekend to pamper yourself because you deserve it. Here are a few ideas to get you started.    1. Take a spa bath: get some  soft fluffy towels  put on a  mud mask  and drop a few drops of  lavender  for ultimate relaxation at home.   2. Buy yourself a diamond: diamonds are a girl’s best friend after all. Check out our  Bliss Bar  to add a little sparkle to you.  3. Cookies and cocktails: Indulge your sweet tooth. We love the flavors from  Whimsy & Spice  with flavors like Earl Gray and Chocolate Chipotle Caramel and this simple  watermelon-cucumber cooler .  4. Polish and lipstick: no better way to give yourself a quick pick me up than putting a little color on your  lips  and  finger-tips . 

Whether you are a mother or not take this weekend to pamper yourself because you deserve it. Here are a few ideas to get you started. 

 1. Take a spa bath: get some soft fluffy towels put on a mud mask and drop a few drops of lavender for ultimate relaxation at home.

 2. Buy yourself a diamond: diamonds are a girl’s best friend after all. Check out our Bliss Bar to add a little sparkle to you.

3. Cookies and cocktails: Indulge your sweet tooth. We love the flavors from Whimsy & Spice with flavors like Earl Gray and Chocolate Chipotle Caramel and this simple watermelon-cucumber cooler.

4. Polish and lipstick: no better way to give yourself a quick pick me up than putting a little color on your lips and finger-tips

Red Ballons for Ryan

Life is full of ups, downs and curves but the worst experience to go through would be the loss of a child. After seeing a couple photos of a beautiful red, curly haired boy who was so tragically lost last Friday after running into the street after a Frisbee we knew we needed to help his family any way we could.  We will be donating 100% of the proceeds of our curve bar to Jacqui from Baby Boy Bakery and Dan Saldana to cover anything they might need after losing their little boy Ryan much too soon.

Wear your curve in memory of Ryan and to know that if you are at the bottom of a curve things will look up again. 

Read the story here and visit Jacqui's Instagram #redballoonsforryan

 

 

Sterling Silver Heart

So happy to introduce our new Sterling Silver Heart Yourself Hearts. These are one of a kind and are made of 100% sterling silver. This unique heart is the center of our company, and exactly why our company got started. We wanted to create meaningful jewelry for every women to have constant reminders that they are loved and beautiful. 

Each heart is carefully made and casted by our Goldsmith that is located locally in Tempe, AZ at the family owned and operated jewelry store called The Jewel Smith. So when you buy jewelry from us, not only are you supporting our charity of choice Fresh Start, you are supporting an American made company. 

So wear our delicate sterling silver heart everyday for a constant reminder to "Heart Yourself."

Let Your Mind Soar

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Imagine and believe. Let your mind SOAR with our sterling silver airplanes. Wear our delicate charms as a daily reminder to believe in yourself and let your creative mind soar. 

These necklaces come in 16inch and 18inch chains and retail for $48. Feel good when you are buying a piece of jewelry from us, as portions of our proceeds go to charity. 

10% OFF UNTIL FRIDAY

    To celebrate our fourth month in business, we are offering 10% off of all orders until this Friday. All you have to do is enter HEARTYOU at the check out for 10% off. We heart you, and thanks for you business and support! 

 

To celebrate our fourth month in business, we are offering 10% off of all orders until this Friday. All you have to do is enter HEARTYOU at the check out for 10% off. We heart you, and thanks for you business and support! 

Curve Bars

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 When life throws you a  curve,  fight for what you want.     Curve bars are very special to me. They symbolize that when the path you've been on sudden curves instead of going straight forward, that you just need to fight for what you want and go for your dreams. I've personally had a lot of experiences where  I've been thrown curves and this piece is very special to me.  These delicate pieces of jewelry  retail for $48 dollars and come in your choice of sterling silver or gold filled. You have the choice of wearing your curve on a 16inch or a 18inch chain.  Wear your curve daily as a reminder that you can get through whatever life has thrown your way.

When life throws you a curve, fight for what you want.

 

Curve bars are very special to me. They symbolize that when the path you've been on sudden curves instead of going straight forward, that you just need to fight for what you want and go for your dreams. I've personally had a lot of experiences where  I've been thrown curves and this piece is very special to me.

These delicate pieces of jewelry  retail for $48 dollars and come in your choice of sterling silver or gold filled. You have the choice of wearing your curve on a 16inch or a 18inch chain.

Wear your curve daily as a reminder that you can get through whatever life has thrown your way.

Bliss Bars

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Get the perfect balance of happiness with our Bliss Bars. 

I've been wearing my bliss bar non-stop! This is definitely our best seller and can be worn with any other piece of jewelry whether it be ours or other statement pieces. Above are a few examples of how you can rock your bliss bars. 

We have large Bliss Bars or mini's and even some with a little diamond for you ladies out there that like a little bling. 

Don't forget to Heart Yourself today and remember that a portion of our proceeds go to Fresh Start Women's organization. <3

Love, Lies and Lessons learned

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My 28th birthday. A day that should have been spent celebrating by having lunch with co-workers and going to the drive-in movies with friends turned out to be one of the most horrific days of my life. 

As I was getting ready to leave his apartment for work on the morning of May 14, 2003 my ex-boyfriend told me he had a surprise for me for my birthday. (Yes, I said “ex” - you can read more about the story in my memoir.)

 I immediately felt guilty. I had ignored him on his birthday, and yet even while on house arrest and in the midst of more emotional turmoil than I could imagine, he found a way to get me a surprise for my birthday.     

I must have looked anxious because Nick suddenly blurted out, “Are you ready for your surprise?”  

 “I guess”, I replied, “but you really didn’t have to do anything for me.”  

“Ok, well turn around and close your eyes,” Nick said this in the same way that an older brother might say, “close your eyes and I’ve got a big surprise,” just before pouring something nasty over your head.  This wasn’t new for Nick - he was the master of surprises, some fun, and many surprisingly romantic and sweet. I wasn’t sure which way he’d go this time.  

I obeyed him and turned around, closing my eyes.   

“Now, no peeking.”  

  “Ok!” I responded.  

  “I mean it!  Keep your eyes closed!” 

  “OK!”    

I was looking forward to a fresh start of a new year without Nick in my life.  I felt guilty for these thoughts, anxious as I was to leave, but still curious about the surprise. I couldn’t help it though. I’d had enough of him, his mood swings, and the flip-flopping between nice guy and flake.  Whatever emotional hold he had on me would finally be broken.  He would be in jail and I would be a free woman – able to start my 28th year with a clean slate.  

“Ok”, he was directly standing behind me now, “are you ready for your surprise?”  

Yet before I even had a chance to respond, there came an enormous, painful blow to the back of my head. It resonated throughout my body with such great force that I didn’t know what hit me. (I later learned from police it was a hammer.) I was forced forward by the blow but before I could even let out a scream, Nick grabbed me in a choke hold from behind. This had to be an accident of some sort, I immediately thought. Surely, he’d lovingly lift me to my feet and set things right. 

  I was dead wrong. The next thing I remember was the two of us falling to the floor, me on my back, and Nick on top. Both of his hands were wrapped tightly around my throat.  

  I lay on the floor, completely in shock of the horror unfolding before me. Nick was straddling me, squeezing my throat with an ever-increasing fury with one hand, and silencing me with the other over my mouth.  I felt pressure building in my head. My eyes pulsated and my temples throbbed. I gasped for air, trying in vain to suck in what little precious oxygen I could.   

Hysteria overtook me as my instincts kicked in. I kicked and thrashed my legs and arms, reaching out to hit, claw and tear at any part of Nick I could reach.  I violently thrust my head from left to right, trying to loosen Nick’s hold. I saw a black liquid spreading out on the carpet from behind my head, and with a sickening realization I knew it was my own blood. 

  With a frenzied terror overcoming me, I knew I was fighting for my life.  My screams remained silent, unable to escape past Nick’s hand holding my face and mouth firmly to the ground. I knew I would die if something didn’t happen soon.

I was losing oxygen fast and began panicking, wondering if I would ever breathe air again. I could not believe this was happening to me. This was not how I was supposed to go. What coldhearted irony to think that I was going to die on my birthday.  I would never see my family again. I wouldn’t get to see my nephews and niece grow up. I would never get married, have a husband and a family of my own.  

And it pissed me off.  

From somewhere deep inside me came a ravishing anger that fueled me to keep fighting. I had to do something, or this insane man was going to kill me on my 28th birthday. Why? Why was he doing this to me on my birthday?  

Suddenly my world grew dark and in a fleeting second it came to me. The police report. His first victim. What had she done to escape from this same attempt on her life?  In the report, she had said she faked losing consciousness so that he would think she was dead and let her go. I ultimately realized this was my only chance and as tears were streaming down my face, I didn’t have to pretend. I was spiraling down a deep, dark tunnel; my life as I knew it was over. I felt myself fading to black and then….I was gone.  

  Later that day, my ex committed suicide in a hotel room by putting a bullet through his head.    

In the months that followed, I continually asked , “Why Me?”  This was not something that was supposed to happen to a girl like me. I should have known better.  I was a good Christian girl from the midwest with a masters in business and a job with a Fortune 500 company, Unfortunately my attacker, an ex-boyfriend, did not see it the same way.  

 I searched for anything to help me work through this dark time of my life. I was fortunate enough to have a very strong support system with my friends in Phoenix and my family in Nebraska. My mother and one of my sisters flew into Phoenix from Nebraska the same day of the attack to be with me. I took time off work and spent it between Nebraska and Arizona, searching for answers and a reason for why this insane, traumatic occurrence had happened to me. I didn’t know how I was ever supposed to function normally again, as each day was just a grim reminder of what had happened.  

 I was not just suffering from domestic violence, but from a traumatic, isolated incident - all the while dealing with the death of a person I once loved. It appeared that I didn’t fit the mold of a typical domestic violence victim. The more I searched for help, and the more empty handed I came up, it ultimately became clear to me: there is no “typical” domestic violence victim. Each of our stories is unique; and each needs to be told to help others.  

  As I slowly healed, pulling my shattered life together with the help of a group at my church and through intense counseling (I was seeing a therapist AND a psychologist at the same time), I realized I did have a purpose and that I could make something good out of this evil, traumatic attack on my life: I was saved to help others. I wrote mymemoir, a book that was born from the ashes of tragedy, the culmination of a promise made to myself, and of a commitment to make a difference. And if only one person is spared the horror and tragedy I went through, then my efforts were not in vain.  

 

Michelle Oeltjen is a freelance writer living in Scottsdale, AZ. She loves traveling the world, reading, writing, sipping wine and cheering on her beloved Huskers. Her book, “Love, Lies & Lessons  Learned” can be found on Amazon.comBarnes&Noble.comand just about anywhere else e-books are sold! You can follow her on Facebook by clicking here.  

 

Michelle Oeltjen

 

Mary's Journey

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I've decided that I want Heart Yourself Blog be all about powerful women stories. Todays guest writer is a friend of ours named Mary. This is her journey on what loving herself means.

As a young girl I was always very self-conscious. My family was very poor, so I didn't have the best clothes. I had gappy teeth, glasses, and acne-riddled skin. I was lanky and unsure of myself. I never felt good enough. I wasn't smart enough, pretty enough, athletic enough, funny enough. I felt like I didn't deserve friends, I didn't deserve a boyfriend, I didn't deserve love and laughter.

It has been a long and hard journey to move away from that place of sadness and anger. My journey started when I decided to drop out of college and join the Air Force. Basic training showed me that I was more capable than I was giving myself credit for. I had the ability to be strong and confident. Then I met my husband and had my children. Parenting brought a new wave of second-guessing and doubts. Am I patient enough? Kind enough? Loving enough? Am I good enough for my children?

After my second son was born, I decided that I needed to take control of my own life. I started running and lifting weights. I started writing poetry again. I started reading more than just parenting books. I found things that are important to me and I now make a conscious effort to make time for myself.

So what does it mean to be empowered? What does it mean to love yourself? Loving yourself means letting go of all the things that have ever held you back. It means finding things that make you happy and embracing them. It means not being ashamed of making yourself a priority. Empowered is that feeling when you cross the finish line of your first half marathon. Empowered means having the confidence to walk into a weight room full of muscular guys and not feeling embarrassed, but proud.

Loving yourself does not mean that you won't have moments of insecurity or self-doubt. It just means that you'll be able to overcome those thoughts and allow yourself to continue to grow and be happy with who you are and who you're becoming. -Mary

Project Heart Yourself

Heart yourself first and everything else will fall into place.

Large sterling silver heart, with a small gold vermeil heart. This delicate love heart has "yourself" engraved on the back to help remind you to "heart yourself" daily.

Heart yourself blog is going to be a place where women can share their inspirational stories about what ever they want to share. Let it be a place where we are all equals. Lets encourage each other instead of discouraging each other. I'm going to start this blog space off by sharing my own journey launching project Heart Yourself.

There's a million reasons why I wanted to launch Heart Yourself. It completely happened organically and I couldn't be prouder of my new venture. I have a hair blog called Confessions of a Hairstylist where I teach and inspire the everyday women about how to do their own hair. I believe I encourage women to look and feel their best through good hair.

So, with me having an online presence, I got to thinking that I really wanted to take advantage of being on the world wide web.  I got to brainstorming and knew I wanted to do something charity related, but wasn't exactly sure what. 

The other week while I was on the elliptical at the gym, I started glancing around at everyone and started noticing the women who walk with their heads down as they are ashamed or not overly confident in their own bodies. It really got me thinking on how cool it was that through great hair, you can instill confidence in the everyday women, but there has to be something more that I could do. Then I suddenly got the idea that women just need to love them selves no matter what. That's when Heart Yourself was born. I thought, how cool would it be to have a daily reminder to have women empowerment and love yourself each and everyday from a special piece of jewelry.

I immediately called my Mother in Law Sue who is a jeweler. She owns the most unusual Jewelry store in Arizona called the Jewelsmith in Tempe, and has been in the business since the 70's. She loved my idea and we quickly started making up some samples of some delicate yet trendy jewelry pieces. I then decided that my Charity of choice was going to be Fresh Start which is not only local, but it's right up my alley on trying to encourage women empowerment.

Fresh Start is a non-profit organization dedicated to help empower women through the services of the Jewell McFarland Lewis-Fresh Start Women’s Resource Center. It is the first comprehensive self-help center for women in the country helping women and empowering them. Fresh Start has different types of neat mentoring programs, self- esteem services and much more! I felt like it's a great fit for what I'm trying to achieve and really hits home.

 I got the best design gal in the business Melanie from My Billie Designs to start on my branding. And then Heart Yourself was brought to life. I can't tell you how good it feels to be doing this. You know when you're not sure where you are going, but you just know its the right path? That's how I'm feeling right now. 

Women empowerment is so close to my heart. It is what drives me to be a better mom, wife, person, hairstylist each and everyday. I know not everyone has the courage to go for their dreams, so I'm hoping that everyone knows that they are able to do anything that they want in life, as long as they continue to reach for it. 

Now, the jewelry I've created won't give anyone magically power, but I hope that the pieces can be a reminder to heart yourself, pick yourself up from a bad situation or have the courage to aim high.

Struggling with self esteem and body image issues my whole life, putting myself on the web has been a personal journey that I've really struggled with.  I started filming my YouTube channel when I was 6 months pregnant and still have some baby weight to lose. But through this personal and professional journey of my own, as funny as it sounds, it has given me a lot of confidence. And I really owe that to my viewers and fans that come back every week and leave the sweetest comments for me. I have finally accepted all of my flaws and have been really loving myself lately.

Call it narcissistic if you will, but I call it one of my biggest accomplishments. So going through what I have in the past (which is for another post), having my new found confidence and truly learning to love myself, I feel that everything is falling into place. 

I hope everyone is liking the inspirational jewelry we have created and If you want to keep up with monthly deals follow Heart Yourself on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.