Now this is a story all about how my life got flipped and turned upside down. Fresh Prince fans? I’d like to hit you guys with a JK but really, Heart Mercedes was started after my life went for tail spin.
Let’s take a quick rewind,
I was born in North Miami, Florida at a hospital that is now a well-known cooking school (yeahhhh kind of gross). Accessories have always been my favorite form of self-expression. I distinctly remember the first time I made my own jewelry, I was five years old, my mom gave me a heads up we were going to the grocery store and when you’re a kid that’s like a trip to the club! I decided to deck myself out in pipe cleaners, I was adorned in furry caterpillar looking pieces literally, I even had these antenna looking things sticking out of my hair.
Lucky for me my accessory style expanded with the help of my creative Mother, who handmade most of my accesories growing up. She made me things from hemp chockers to, beaded earrings and bracelets. She’s the truth. Even hired her as my first employee!
So when did I get into beading? I’ve always fooled around with it, but never took to the proper techniques until after graduate school. Fast forward to 2013, fresh out of graduate school (I have a masters in Social Work), I pack up my life from Dallas, TX and head back to the south, good ol’ ATL, Georgia. Long story short I started what I thought was my dream job, as an at risk youth therapist and quickly learned the agency did not have the clients best interest at hand.
Three weeks in, I was fired.
Told you I was not kidding about my life being flipped upside down.
Needless to say I did a lot of soul searching, and decided to pull out my old bead collection, which I like to call my Robin Hood collection, because it’s a collection of dope beads I stole from my mom over time (most of which I couldn’t afford). Heart Mercedes was born. Starting Heart Mercedes was about more than just making awesome jewelry but it was a lucrative hobby that I knew I could use to inspire and drive my purpose. I wanted to follow my dreams but also not abandon all the hard work I put behind my education.
How have I married the two? No worries, I’ve left my Robin Hood ways in the past but, thanks to my amazing customers I have been able to accumulate funds to support my Random Acts of Kindness movement the RAK Brigade. I’ve shown up to nursing homes with dozens of balloons (its true getting old is like begin a kid again they were tooooo hype), given out ponchos on a rainy day to dozens of homeless people, taught beading lessons to special needs kids as well as kindergartners.
My greatest accomplishment to date was Summer 2016. I funded a trip to Southeast Asia where I hosted a feeding program for the less fortunate. It's been an amazing journey and one I’m excited to continue to embark on and watch grow. Hopefully this leaves you with a better idea of who I am and what my brand is all about, I'll close this with some inspiration from my role model, Melody Ehsani,
“Stop waiting to be who you already are”
the journey is inside you. Don’t be good, be great!