If you’ve ever thought that things that happened to you in your past tarnished your ability to shine brightly, this is the story for you. Meet my friend Sally and her darling daughter, Rees. 25 years ago, Sally endured a tragic crime. It was a dark and lonely time in her life. For all of these years, Sally dreaded the date on the calendar that reminded her of this unthinkable experience, but this year, and every year forward, she’s decided it’s a day she will celebrate. It’s not that Sally has lived the last 25 years in gloom and despair, not even close. In fact, on that shocking day 25 years ago, Sally remembers clearly saying to herself:
“I will not let this define me.”
She went to school with a burning desire inside of her to help other people know that they can survive and ended up becoming a counselor. Sally says it’s like there is an unknown language between survivors, they connect. It’s like you feel this energetic connection with one another. When she feels that connection while helping others, that’s when she knows she’s living out her purpose. When she moved to California and began her career with Stella & Dot, it began to fill that part for her. It’s a vehicle she has to empower women to believe that they are capable of overcoming anything that has come their way.
Their stories of overcoming adversity are a constant reminder, that Sally is exactly where she’s supposed to be.
Sally’s incredible success with Stella & Dot led them to come to her in January, wanting to name a piece of jewelry after her. It’s a collection of jewelry that on one side is black and white, but when it turns over, it is full of incredible color. After letting it all sink in for a while, she knew she was supposed to do something with this. She kept trying to push it away, but it kept coming back. So one day, in a conversation with our mutual friend, Rae Phillips Luther, she decided that she was going to rewrite the script on that dreaded date on the calendar, by making it a celebration. She made it the launch date, and hosted a launch party for “The Sarees” jewelry collection on the 25th anniversary of that tragic event!
“That celebration was born from this network of incredible women, exceptional faith and God’s grace.”
“Sarees is the combination of my name (Sally) and my daughter Rees. She’s raised Rees to be strong, fearless & bold, but to anchor all of those things in love. She is a force and she lives life in color. The Sarees collection is a metaphor for my life in many ways. We’ve all faced devastating challenges or circumstances and the only thing I’m certain of is that we can choose to move beyond it, we can choose to live life in color. Through this piece of jewelry, I share that spirit with Rees, and this collection is a beautiful reminder of the ways we all can impact another woman’s life. “The Sarees” represents the past and the future… and is a reminder of the choice we can make daily. Through Stella & Dot, I’ve worked with women all over the country. These incredible connections remind me that we all have a story. Each of us has lived through a series of challenges that shaped us. As a Stella & Dot stylist, I have the honor of learning those stories, knowing these women’s hearts and ultimately, helping them style their own story. As these women, and the women they love, wear The Sarees, I’m hopeful they will be encouraged to live life in color and to keep turning the page until they’ve styled the life story they love.”
“I’m beginning this journey anchored in light, committed to looking UP and reminding anyone surrounded by darkness that they too can ‘turn the page’ and create a life in color.”
Despite the difficulty of publicly sharing her story, Sally has chosen to style her story and to do it in FULL COLOR, to help others find the courage to style their stories in color too. Most of us have experienced struggles and challenges that we haven’t shared publicly. Some, just like Sally, may have a story we’ve never shared at all. You, have undoubtedly experienced pain that has shaped you in ways that a life of only ease never could have. That means that you have a story to share. A story that has the potential to inspire others to make the choice to see color, even when life’s circumstances seem so dark.
I hope that Sally stepping up in courage and faith to share her story encourages you to share yours too.
Maybe it’s not from a stage or on a website. Maybe it’s not a movement started in faith, through a piece of jewelry. Maybe it starts with a close, trusted friend like Rae. Just know that sharing your story will begin to turn the darkness over to the full light of color, both for you and for the ones who desperately need to hear it.
You can choose to flip the story from one of darkness to life in full color.
It won’t be easy, but you can do hard things.
to more love,
P.S. Sally is going to share her FULL-COLOR story with us as our Featured Guest at “True Colors Birthday Bingo Bash GNO” this next Thursday night! There’s still space to join us for a girls night out, full of bingo, laughter, connection, fun, food, wine, prizes and inspiration for days (obviously)! Get your ticket today.
P.S.S. As part of our HeartStories GNO Birthday celebration, Sally will have Sarees 25 bracelets available for purchase, and many more available to order as a symbol of choosing to live life in full color. She’s chosen to donate all the proceeds from her sales for this event to The Birthday Party Project, led by my friend Paige Chenault. Their entire mission is to bring joy to homeless children through the magic of birthdays! We can’t wait to see what we can do for these precious children!
photo credit: Vanessa Corral Photography