Darling, You Should Just Go for It.

Hello Babes,

Before Thanksgiving, I applied for this really amazing job opportunity at a local boutique. The position entailed styling, merchandising, blogging, fashion…basically all things I love. I thought this job would be perfect for me. At first, I was hesitant to apply because I am only 21 and the job required many diverse skills. I wondered if I would just be overlooked. However, I preceded and applied.

I was offered an interview, which lead to a second interview. I was beyond thrilled to have this opportunity in front of me. It made my heart so happy. Lately, I have been feeling a little lost on my career path. As graduation draws closer for me, I wonder where I even want to be. I love fashion and I want to make an impact in my job, but where and what does that mean for my career?

So, these feelings of who I want to be have been swirling in my mind. I get hectic and wonder if I’m doing too much or maybe too little. Am I behind? This kind of mindset has made me feel a little burnt out and very uninspired. That’s why this job opportunity has really sparked the flame in my soul. It almost seemed too good to be true, everything about it was just ideal for what I love and what I want to do.

This week I received the news that I got the job. I haven’t been this excited and happy in quite awhile. My glass is overflowing with gratitude. This opportunity is what inspired my last post about manifesting positive thoughts. I envisioned myself in this position and I thought positively about receiving the job, and I truly felt as though this helped me achieve this goal. That’s why I write this post, in connection with How to Manifest Positive Thoughts.

Darling, just f*cking go for it.

There is a bracelet in the boutique that says this. I looked at it while I was in the store officially accepting the job, and although it is slightly vulgar language, I LOVED it.

As I said, I was weary of applying for the position when I first saw the posting because I figured I was not going to be good enough. However, I was exactly what the owner was looking for. This isn’t a post to toot my own horn, it’s to tell you to just f’ing go for it. Whatever you’re sort of, kind of thinking about doing – JUST DO IT. (Not endorsed by Nike)

Commit to making the decision to try. Taking the first step is the hardest part. The worst thing that will happen is you’ll be told no, but at least you tried. Failing is better than not trying at all. Through failure you learn more about yourself and more about where you’re supposed to be. Don’t take failure as something personal, it could just be a sign from the universe that you don’t belong there. Don’t doubt your abilities until you try.

Y’all know I’m a girl of many quotes, so in relation to this post, I found a quote that reads “One life. Just one. Why aren’t we running like we are on fire towards our wildest dreams?

For real, why not?

You get one life to make completely your own, so why not take the chance to do something great. Your life is a blank canvas and the paths you take create the art that covers that canvas. Making the decision to go big and just try will change your life. In order to make the life you want, you must make the decision to try, and even possibly fail. As always, I am constantly working on my own stuff too. Of course I still get caught up in the rules of the world, but don’t forget you’re life is completely up to you. Remembering this helps keep me grounded.

I just wanted to share my own experience to bring attention to how often we doubt ourselves when really we can achieve so much greatness if we allowed ourselves to take the necessary risks. It’s easier, and almost more comfortable, to just say we can’t do something. But think about all the things you could do, if you gave yourself the chance. Stop wasting time worrying about the “what if’s” and just f*cking go for it. You deserve greatness!

As always, thank you for reading PYM.

xo, Lyss

5 Books Every Girl Needs to Read

Hello Cuties,

Over the past few months, I have been working on building my personal library. I’ve never been much of a book worm, but I’ve found books to be really inspiring and helpful throughout my college career. There are so many books out there that can offer you almost any information you seek.

In our society today, knowledge is key. Therefore, reading opens many doors and provides you with valuable knowledge on life, career building and loving yourself.

Since I’ve been on a reading kick lately, I wanted to share five of my favorite books. I believe every young girl should read these before starting their career or just to keep them around the house. They are all inspiring and motivating, in my opinion.

Big Magic | Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic is about learning how to live your most creative life. Gilbert discusses how to incorporate creating living into your everyday activities. I’m still in the process of reading this one, but so far I love it. It makes you realize how to add creativity to all parts of your life. I think as we grow up, we forget about how important it is to be creative and let our expression flow. This book is a reminder of how to do so!

You Are a Badass | Jen Sincero

You Are a Badass is a really inspiring book that motivates you to care less about certain things and live your best life. One of my favorite parts of this book is that at the end of almost every chapter, one of the steps to follow is “love yourself”. I love that this is highlighted so much because the first step to living up to your full potential is loving yourself.

Leave Your Mark | Aliza Licht

I read this book my freshmen year of college, and it really set a positive tone for pursuing my dream career. This book has fun, sassy undertone from the author Aliza, former DKNY PR Girl. It not only shares her journey from the medical field to the high-fashion world, but it also covers all the tips you want to know to for pursuing a career in a competitive industry, like fashion.

The Sun & Her Flowers | Rupi Kaur

This book is not one you read all the way through at one time. I see this book as a resource you refer to when you need inspiration or words of affirmation. This a poetry book written by the magnificent Rupi Kaur. Her other book, Milk + Honey, is also highly praised. I have not purchased this one yet but I plan to in the future. I will share one of the passages from this book below.

#Girlboss | Sophia Amoruso 

Lastly, a classic favorite of mine, #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso. After reading this book, I was completely inspired by the tone and message behind Sophia Amoruso and her story to success. I also enjoyed the fashion piece in this book. From the story of Nasty Gal and her attitude towards life, it’s something all girls need to read. It’s sassy, fun and empowering!

These are just a few of the books that have really motivated me and inspired many of my goals, career and personal. I utilize these books as tools, I keep them on my shelf as a reference. I read them whenever I need a little pick-me-up. Perk: Most of these books are around $10!

What books do you love + recommend?

Please share below in the comments or on social media with #PYMbooks. I’m always on the hunt for a new book! Thanks for reading PYM today, see you next time.

xo, Lyss

Women Empowering Women

Hello Pretty People,

The other morning I attended a Women’s Leadership breakfast where a panel of accomplished women spoke on various topics. It was a very inspiring talk and it really resonated with me. The way these women took on difficult challenges to get in the positions they are in today was completely motivating.

As I listened and discussed with the women around me, I immediately thought of Pretty, Young & Motivated. I created this blog to empower other women. I want my writing to be a tool for you. A place you come when you need to be inspired and motivated. My passion is inspiring other women to realize their full potential.

During this breakfast, we discussed what leadership means to each of us. I think being a leader means you chose to be vulnerable. To be a leader, you must be willing to take the first step, even when it’s scary or uncomfortable. Leaders are the people who make everyone else comfortable. Leaders set examples, they are role models for a group or community. Leaders also empower others. They do not compete and they do not judge.

Real Talk

Ladies…I know we tend to be a little judgmental from time to time. Our society has taught us to compete with one another rather than empower each other. I know we feel like we have to compete with each other but guess what? If another female accomplishes something, that does not mean you cannot do the same. It may just not be the right timing for you. If you see a beautiful girl, that does not lessen your beauty.

Flowers are beautiful, but so are sunsets and they are nothing alike. 

Remember this. Flowers don’t stop growing just because the flower next to them is taller. Everyone is on their own journey and we all will experience different things in life.

The Point

Don’t compete with other women. You are still great. We are all great in our own ways. At this point of time, women need to stand together. As we move into the future, we are filling more leadership roles and defying traditions. Be who you want to be and take what is yours. Competing with other women will not benefit you or them. It really just defeats the process of creating more opportunities for women.

We rise together!

Females are strong, beautiful creatures. We are passionate and we listen to our hearts. Although this can be seen as sensitive by some, I believe following your heart creates more intentional actions. Passion will create more than plans ever will.

So, take initiative to be a leader for those around you. Men and women. Stand up for what you believe in. Women have enough critics, so offer compliments instead. Compliment their strength or bravery. Focus on the qualities of people. If we respect one another, it will set an example for others to do the same.

As females, it’s our job to stand up for one another. Together we are stronger.

xo, Lyss

#Girlboss: Danielle Davis

Hello Pretty People,

It’s time for another #Girlboss feature, and I am very excited for this one. I started this #Girlboss series on my blog almost a year ago, and it has been one of my favorite series to do. I was inspired by Sophia Amoruso, author of the book #Girlboss and founder of Nasty Gal. I loved the tone of her book and the message it portrayed to women. I knew that I wanted to do something similar on my blog. My #Girlboss series consists of finding women who have impacted the world, even in the slightest way; I want to highlight their girlboss moments and allow their stories to inspire others to channel their inner girlboss.

This month I am bringing you a brand new, wonderful #Girlboss feature. This woman is well-traveled, fashion forward and all around a genuine person. She is always so bubbly and happy, no matter how gloomy the day might be. So, I am happy to share this month’s #Girlboss: Danielle Davis. 

What’s your Story?

I have always been a dreamer, and sort of a free spirit. My parents always tell me that from a young age I talked about traveling and following my passions. Creativity has always been a huge party of my life. Growing up in a Midwest City having passions for acting and fashion weren’t number one on what everyone thought you should do. But, I was determined to follow my dreams and become the person I always wanted to be. So I ended up moving to LA at 17/18 and going to fashion school at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM). As soon as I stepped off that plane at LAX I felt a sense of belonging that I can’t really explain. It was like I was exactly where I was supposed to be. My eyes and my heart were opened so wide with the creativity and fashion, and all the opportunities that this place held. With the beauty of living in LA, there was also a dark side to moving to such a crazy city at 18 years old. At 18 you really don’t know who you are so it’s easy to get swallowed up in what others want you to be.

I started to slowly become someone who wasn’t a girl I remembered. I was always so full of life and bubbly and laughing; but I started becoming cynical, bitchy and started to trust less and less people. I also lived in New York City for 3 months working at a fashion house and modeling agency. NYC is a whole different animal but I absolutely loved it. It’s seriously its own little world, you could live in NY forever and forget that there is any other place out there. I’ve worked at NYFW for 4 years now and it is every bit of crazy and amazing as you can imagine. I remember my first Fashion week, it was like an absolute dream and chaos all wrapped into one week of no sleep and LOTS of coffee. All these beautiful collections, and all the beautiful people I was absolutely mesmerized. I’ve seen so many good and bad sides too this crazy fashion industry. I loved every minute of my time there but when I was done I needed a breath of fresh air. I knew that I loved this industry but I wasn’t sure if I loved who I was becoming. I knew some people who worked in this industry who seemed so full of life, and so centered in themselves and I didn’t understand how they did it. They all told me you need to know who YOU are in this industry and be confident in it or otherwise everyone else will tell you who to be and you won’t last a few years.

So I decided to move to Hawaii and work for a non-profit organization that helped other people in all different countries. Hawaii was such a change of pace to what I was used to. What I initially though would be a 6 month stint became three years of working and traveling. I took a little bit of a hiatus from the world that I had grown to love. I needed to figure out who I wanted to be in this world. Did I want to be that high power fashion girl who had no heart? Did I want to be that girl who was so nice but got walked all over? Maybe I could be a great combination of both. I ended up traveling to a number of different countries like Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, Nepal (where I engaged) and Fiji! My eyes were completely open and I saw that the world was so much bigger and loving than I could have ever imagined. I realized that there was more to life than just fashion, but that everywhere I went I saw the beauty in their fashion in every country and the diversity in it! I remembered who I was and became confident in who I wanted to be. I left Hawaii about a year ago and have the world ahead of me. I’ve taken such a crazy path but I feel so much more stable in myself and through that it helps me work better and love others better as well. I can’t wait to see what the future holds, I know it’s got to be something crazy.

What inspires you?

Genuine People inspire me. I loving seeing people being authentically themselves. You can see it in someone when they are happy and satisfied with who they are. Following their passions and not having fear about what anyone thinks. There is just something so beautiful about someone so free from fear and full of dreams that inspires me to keep chasing my dreams. When I see fire for life in someone else, it sparks fire in me to keep burning.

Favorite Quote:

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.” -Henry David Thoreau

I love this verse so much, it reminds me to confidently follow my dreams and following your dreams doesn’t always mean complicated. Simplify your life.

A lesson you learned and now live by:

You can’t make everyone happy, but you can make everyone feel valued. 

I lived so many years trying to please everyone and trying to make decisions based on how others would react or what would make them happy, but in the end I was just exhausted and there would still be days when someone wasn’t happy with my decisions. So I embraced the mantra of you can’t make everyone happy but you can make them feel valued. I  think it’s important to really listen to what others are saying and accept their advice but don’t get bent out of shape if you don’t feel like it’s right for you. Take in what feels right and leave behind what isn’t for you and others will respect you for that.

Career or life advice?

Don’t rush your life or feel like there is only one path to get where you want to go. Just because most people take a certain path to do something doesn’t mean that’s how everyone is going to do it. You might take a whole different journey to get to where your going and that is beautiful! and if you’re not sure how to get where you what to go, that’s even more exciting because maybe you’re going to do something that’s never been done before! 

Take time to remember your goals- Set your goals and every few months or years if you don’t feel like your on the right path, make a change. Don’t be afraid to stop what your doing and shift your life to how you want it to be! 

Fear is  the enemy of dreaming – Throughout your life your going to feel fear, it’s a natural thing, but don’t let it rule your life. If you do, you might miss some amazing opportunities. Fear wants to keep you from living your creativity but don’t let it keep you down. Kick fear in the ass and keep going, you’ll never regret it.

Danielle’s story inspired me because I am working on breaking into the fashion industry myself. Her perspective reminds me of how crazy it can be; it’s a beautiful industry but it can consume you. Danielle is actually one of my managers & I think she is an amazing person. She is truly beautiful inside and out! She is also very humble, she has done all of these amazing things and I had no idea until my co-workers informed me. I knew right then that I had to ask her to be my next girlboss feature.

I feel lucky to work with an inspiring human like Danielle.

Thank you for reading this month’s #Girlboss feature. I will be working on continuing these once a month. This is PYM’s first post in 2017 & there is much more to come. I decided to take this past Monday off and organize content, you can expect a post this coming Monday. I am continuing to brainstorm amazing content for you all, and as you know, I only post the content I am confident in. Keep reading PYM & follow me on social media.

New Year, New Goals!

xo, Lyss

#Girlboss: Elyse Welcher

Hello Beautiful Souls,

I am so happy to be bringing the #Girlboss series back because it not only embeds the exact message I want to portray on my blog but it’s also so fun to meet all these wonderful women. It’s been way too long since I have been able to write one of these but I am thrilled to restart this series. Since it has been awhile, I will give a little run down on the purpose behind the #Girlboss series. I originally started this series on my old blog. The main idea behind #Girlboss roots from the actual book called #Girlboss written by Sophia Amoruse. My goal is to interview women who have made an impact on the world, this could be locally or nationally. Sophia Amoruse built her own empire through opening an Ebay shop, and her company “Nasty Gal” is thriving today. I want to highlight women like Sophia. I want to share their successes, but also look back on their pasts to show my readers that anyone from any background can become a #Girlboss. I want these women to inspire my readers, therefore, I search for these women in all types of fields. I personally created this series to put women that deserve recognition in the spotlight. I strive to empower other women on a daily basis, and if I can bring that theme to my blog, I am accomplishing my goal.

So, today, I present you with the very first #Girlboss on Pretty, Young & Motivated: Elyse Welcher. I can ramble on about how amazing Elyse is, but I’ll let her tell you.

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What’s your story?

I am a maker, designer, and dreamer that likes to challenge myself and make things happen. I own two businesses; one, Littlewings Designs, is a lifestyle brand of handcrafted accessories for the self-empowered and creative minded featuring handbags, personal leather-goods, and leather jewelry. I also co-own a store and studio called Parliament, which is a collective of independent businesses that I run and own with my husband Jake, also a leather-worker, and our best friend and business partner Megan, a weaver and fiber artist. Parliament features the work from our handcrafted brands (Littlewings Designs, Harbinger Leather Design, and Adventure Textiles) as well as the work of 8 other West Michigan based makers with similar values and aesthetic.

I grew up Grand Rapids, MI, the older of two children. I was always a creative kid, and my parents always encouraged me to try anything I really wanted to take my hands to making. I learned to sew and got my first sewing machine for Christmas when I was 7 years old; from there, I never really stopped sewing. I was really into stories, and story-making, writing, plays, adventure games, and was constantly making props, costumes, clothes, for my (or my extensive American Girl Doll collection) stories and hijinks. As I got older, I applied the same skills to making clothes for myself, costumes for theater productions at my high-school, and formal gowns for myself and my friends. I also was really into band and played the flute, as well as wrote a book. I always had liked single-focus challenges, like the practice of learning to play an instrument, that art of mastering making clothing; I blame it on being a perfectionist. I was also really hard on myself when it came to grades and pushed myself academically; my parents encouraged me, but I was definitely toughest on myself.

I wanted to go into fashion after high-school, and after a year of completing my Gen Ed locally in Michigan, I went to the Savannah College of Art and Design to pursue my fashion degree. It was there that I really grew into the designer and business owner I would later become. At first, it was incredibly tough. I was a good student and pushed myself in high school, but I was among some world-class professors and creatives, and it really pushed me to grow. The fashion department was particularly competitive, which made me just keep pushing to work with new techniques and materials. I also got a first-time look into the reality of what a “fashion design” career meant, and was horrified by both the waste of the fast fashion industry (where most fashion grads end up working) and that you never actually make anything! I couldn’t wrap my head around being in a cubicle sketching on a computer for the rest of my life. It was during this first year at SCAD and coming to these big realizations, that they revamped their fashion department and added an Accessory Design BFA. I took the intro class thinking I would make it my minor; it was so hands-on, all based on making, working with materials, and then translating into sketches and documents for production. I found my niche; it was so process oriented, and I fell in love with making bags and shoes. I found a unique voice in my work as I immersed myself, and Littlewings Designs was launched as my senior capstone collection. I was also so lucky to have very supportive mentors and professors who encouraged me to forge my own way rather than heading to NYC like everyone else. 2010 was the unluckiest year to graduate with a creative degree; two years after the big crash and into the Recession, every creative company was on a hiring freeze or laying people off, and my class was competing against two classes ahead of us vying for those intro level jobs. Between that and the climbing success of Etsy and online sales, I said, screw it. What do I have to lose?

I moved back to Grand Rapids a year after graduating (I spent a year in Philadelphia as a free-lance stylist for Anthropologie), and in 2013 I launched Parliament the Boutique as a studio and storefront for my Littlewings Designs. That’s also when I met my husband, Jake, and it was pretty clear it was meant to be. We’re born two days apart in the same hospital, both leather-workers, both entrepreneurs. He and my best friend Megan were both so instrumental in launching Parliament, and as their creative practices grew alongside mine, we knew we needed more space and a bigger studio. That’s when Parliament became the collective it is today, run and owned by all three of us, and representing work from other local makers.

What inspires you?

So much! But conversations, traveling adventures (large and small), and the materials themselves that I use to make my work. Fellow makers and the process of making, of creation. Also, the Law of Attraction. The idea that unlike how society tries to mold us into believing that we are powerless, we are actually very in control and have so much influence over our own lives. I don’t subscribe to the idea that you have to “give it all up,” and be left at the whim of the world. Rather, we do luckily get to have so much say over our own lives and destinies, that those few instances where we don’t are rare invitations from the universe to learn and grow. We can change, alter, and influence our daily realities in accordance with our own will. So once you know what you want- what you’re truly engaged in “willing into being,” through your daily actions and energies- you can make it happen. I’m a big fan of the Law of Attraction, and that idea of constantly co-creating the life of your dreams along with the flow of the Universe recharges my inspiration battery daily.

Favorite quote?

A couple different ones:

1) This is from the Holstee Manifesto (and video, which is truly amazing:

“Life is about the People you meet, and the things you create with them. So go out and start creating- life is short! Live your dream and share your passion.” – The Holstee Manifesto

2) “Don’t think, just do.” -Isabella Rossellini, SCAD Commencement 2010.

Isabella Rossellini is an actress, model, writer, and filmmaker who spoke at my graduation ceremony in 2010. This was specifically in reference to your creative dreams- don’t overthink! When they light up your mind, just do them, and don’t let anyone get in your way.

Daily rituals or a look into your typical day?

Everyday looks different for me; I rarely have more than two days in a row that are the same. Sometimes, I’m in the studio, actively making my leather goods and bags. Other days, I’m doing all business management work- communication with clients, promoting, selling. Sometimes, it’ll be a Parliament day, and I’m merchandising the store or out on the road selling product at a show. Since no two days are ever alike, I try to maintain a couple of personal rituals:

1) My daily “session.” I set aside a chunk of time, usually an hour at night, for a quiet sacred session. This includes stretching and yoga, journaling, and meditation. It’s a deeply personal practice and space, and it recharges me emotionally, mentally, and even physically; it’s like running a “defrag,” of the head and heart before going to sleep.

2) I have been working to implement the “Getting Things Done,” model of productivity, pioneered by David Allen. This weekly organizational and planning method is very list and action-step based, and essentially creates a system to dump everything out of your head and onto pages, lists- whatever kind of delineated space- where is is thus captured and no longer triggering and/or distracting you from the task at hand.

Who is your role model?

On a local level, Rose Phillips of Conscious Clothing  an organic and handcrafted clothing brand based out of Rockford, MI. She has made a full life career of her business, while managing to both maintain her high levels of quality and construction, while also being a mom to 4. She makes beautiful clothes and happens to be a beautiful human inside and out; I look up to her and hope that I can follow in similar footsteps on my journey!

On a larger level, Grace Bonney, founder of Design*Sponge. She not only is a fabulous spacial designer and DIY crafter with fun, impeccable taste and style, but she also is such a strong leader among creative women. Between her feminist and LGBTQ activism, the positive digital space she creates on her blog, and being a pioneer of the design-blog movement, she is truly a power-house!

Is this where you thought you would end up?

Both yes and no. I had a hazy idea of what it meant to be a “designer,” and own a “fashion,” business when I was young that in some ways it feels like that dream, but other times it is so different. Did I see myself coming back to Grand Rapids, meeting my husband here, being a leather-worker with a shop specifically? Never. But did I think I would run a business… yeah, I’ve always had an inkling I would do that. And be a Girl Boss. I never could see myself working for someone else. I always imagined myself in charge when I was young, and that’s where I ended up. You could say I created my own reality that way.

Career or life advice for others?

Get out and live somewhere new! Whether in college or after, learn to find yourself in a new space and place. When you never leave home, it can be hard to fully grow, as your experience becomes a reflection, an echo-chamber, of so much of the same social programming that you grew up with. I learned so much about myself, my preferences, my creative style, by leaving Michigan for awhile. It’s not to say don’t ever go home after… but take some time somewhere else. You may fall in love with it, or you may learn just how much you loved home after all.

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I met Elyse, and the Parliament team, last Spring when I interviewed her for a local event going on in Grand Rapids. I was instantly inspired by her style and authenticity. Being a person that wants to go into the Fashion industry, I found it interesting to hear her perspective. I found their studio and boutique to be so quaint and unique. I recently reconnected with Elyse to not only ask her to be my next #Girlboss but also to discuss me being an intern for Parliament. I am excited to announce that I will be interning with Elyse and the Parliament team next semester doing Marketing and PR for the store. Parliament is a growing company and I cannot wait to be apart of that. After interviewing Elyse for this project, I could not be more thrilled to work along side her. She is a successful business owner, beautiful artist and authentic person; I feel honored to have the opportunity to learn from such a hard working and inspiring woman.

If you want to check out Parliament, which I highly encourage you to do, I will add some links here:

Facebook: Parliament the Boutique | Website: Parliament | Instagram: Parliament the Boutique

Parliament is undergoing some amazing changes, you do not want to miss out on their journey, so be sure to follow them now and check them out if you visit Grand Rapids.

Thank you all for checking out the very first #Girlboss on PYM. I cannot wait to continue my search for bright and intelligent women. If you have a recommendation for my next #Girlboss, please feel free to reach out to me and tell me. Don’t forget to share this post with friends and subscribe, if you love PYM. I hope you all have a spooky Halloween weekend and I’ll see your gorgeous faces on Monday. As always, thanks for reading!

Be the game changer.

xo, Lyss