This is a part of our Faces of FASHIONABLE series. The inspirational women behind our products have courageous stories of overcoming, and we are honored to share them with you.
Next up: Meet Chelsie, a ray of sunshine in our jewelry workshop with an incredible story. 2016 has been a major year of transformation for her, and she’s heading into 2017 with renewed vision and joy. Read her story below!
What's your story and how did you start working at FASHIONABLE?
I’ve been an alcoholic and an addict since I was 13 years old. I was actually in jail when I had an interview with the Women’s Life Recovery Program in Nashville to begin taking steps towards recovery. That program saved my life.
I began the program on a Monday in October 2015. The Thursday of that week, I found out that I was pregnant. I wasn’t detoxed yet but had to quit cold turkey. It was a huge wake up call for me that I needed to make a change. I already had 2 children previously that were taken away from me, and I didn’t want to lose this one.
One year later, in October 2016, I met FASHIONABLE. I had graduated my recovery program and had my 4 month old son. I was attending a chapel at the Nashville Rescue Mission, and FASHIONABLE was there, teaching women how to put together jewelry for the evening. Two of the employees noticed that I was helping all of the other girls finish their jewelry before I started my own, and came up to talk to me. They asked if I would be interested in a job making jewelry for their company. Just the fact that someone had noticed me was so encouraging. I’m a single parent. I’m the mom and the dad and was pretty down in the dumps still until they found me.
Tell us more about your role:
So I started making jewelry at FASHIONABLE the end of October 2016. Just 2 months ago. I make all the necklaces, the wire wrapping, the stamping. It’s fun, I love it. I kind of feel like an Elf! I just think it’s awesome that there’s a greater purpose behind what we’re doing. There are other women I’m working with who have been through similar things. It’s not like going to work, it’s a family, that will give you advice and love you through it.
When you’re not hard at work, what do you like to do in your free time?
I love talking with the other girls in the program and encouraging them, especially the new girls that have just started coming. When you first come in to work here, you’re so vulnerable. But I love talking to them. I love telling them my story and encouraging them. If I could do it, they can too.
We believe that every one of us understands what it means to overcome, and we are all ABLE to find purpose in the work we do. What is something YOU are ABLE to do because of your work?
I am ABLE to fully function without the use of substances in my life. It showed me how to be happy and to actually be who I am. I didn’t know who I was before. But I got sober and found good people.
When I found out the greater purpose behind FASHIONABLE, I realized how awesome it is to be a part of something so much bigger than me. Our mission is worldwide and empowering women to work in a safe environment. It has really inspired me to go back to school to become a paramedic, and to think about helping other people that don’t have the means and money for medical care. My job here is helping me dream bigger for my future.