Nearly every woman has some sort of relationship with jewelry. Maybe you hate it. Maybe you love it. Whatever our affinity for ornamental trinkets, the ultimate benefit is that jewelry makes us feel beautiful—on our own terms. While it’s divine to be gifted something sparkly from your beau, there’s definitely something to be said for a woman procuring her own dang jewelry. After all, it’s empowering to gift yourself a jewelry treat to mark a special occasion, and there’s nothing like selecting some new bling when you need a pick-me-up. Whether you’re donning a treasured heirloom necklace from your grandmother or simply rockin’ some glitzy rhinestones, today is all about shining on!
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 94 Percent
Here at On The Dot, we’ve featured some pretty amazing women who travel the world, and just like purchasing your own jewelry, globetrotting can be one heck of an empowering experience, especially for women in business. According to a recent travel report, 94 percent of American business leaders firmly believe that if you want to have a competitive advantage in the workplace or as an entrepreneur, travel experience is essential. One of our advisory board members, the esteemed Rhonda Vetere of Estée Lauder, told me that very thing, and that traveling keeps her in tune with what’s happening in the world and in the sphere of international business. Any female entrepreneurs out there need an excuse to plan a getaway? Sign me up!
WOMAN TO WATCH: Aine Breen, Founder and Creative Director of Liwu Jewellery
At this point, you probably want to either buy some new glittery accessories or cash in your miles for a plane ticket to some exotic location. Today’s Woman to Watch is sure to inspire you to do both. Aine Breen is the creative mind behind Liwu Jewellery, which she launched after relocating from Ireland to China. As Aine likes to say, “It all started with one little word with a huge meaning: love.”
A former accountant, Aine made the move from her native Ireland to China in 2011 to be with her husband. It was quite the life change, but Aine was more than happy to embrace the Chinese culture, and before long, was honing her creative skills in a Chinese calligraphy course.
There’s no doubt about the mesmerizing beauty of Chinese calligraphy, and Aine was immediately taken by its unique artistic qualities. As she learned more about the craft, an idea began to percolate amid her newfound creativity. Her favorite piece of jewelry had always been a necklace that said “love” in English. When she discovered the Chinese character for “love,” one that embodies the idea of “life to the heart, grace to the body,” she knew creating a necklace with this Chinese character would allow her to express herself in a more subtle and meaningful manner. After perfecting her Chinese calligraphy skills and enrolling in a few silversmithing classes, she was on her way to making her dream necklace a reality. And before long, Liwu Jewellery was born.
Named for the Chinese word for “gift,” Liwu Jewellery features a collection of delicate pieces inspired by Chinese wishes, beliefs and simple yet powerful words. Designed and crafted in Ireland, each Liwu piece signifies a special feeling or idea, such as happiness, love, luck or unity. There’s her classic gold-plated Three Lucky Stars necklace, which signifies prosperity, luck and longevity, and my favorite, the striking United Eternity sterling-silver bracelet.
For Aine, Chinese characters extend far beyond language and into philosophical realms that inspired a new way of life. When Aine allowed herself to genuinely reflect on her life and career, she found great clarity—even if it took experiencing a new life continents away. That clarity guided her to a unique entrepreneurial journey, one that, like all passion projects, circles back to love.
QUITE THE QUOTE
I’ll sign off today with an inspiring Chinese proverb that beautifully encompasses Aine Breen’s creative expedition.
“Walking 10,000 miles of the world is better than reading 10,000 scrolls.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.