I met Jan Thomas of Loved Unconditionally at the spring De Portola Boutique, where we had booths across from each other. I'm sure a lot of people can relate when I share I come from a bit of a rocky family background; it was just really neat to see this wife and mom from Mission Viejo and her daughters Kate (10) and Julia (7) work so happily together, with a project that is just so darned positive. That kind of stuff gives me hope for the future.
After the jump, Jan tells us more about these bracelets that will warm your heart like the end of the best of chick flicks. (I'm of course talking about Cannonball Run.) Plus, a chance to enter to win a free one for yourself!
OC Weekly: What's Loved Unconditionally all about, and how did you come to start your line of bracelets?
Jan Thomas: My daughters and I are in this together. We offer three powerful messages on bracelets: "I am Enough," "Loved Unconditionally," and "Blessed." I stumble when I say this is a bracelet business, because that's not what this is all about. It's really about embracing oneself and others throughout the day as we glance at our wrists. I registered the trademark "I am enough" on jewelry, thus the business began!
My favorite three words, "I am enough," applies to so many of us women. When we understand that we are enough, now, not "if," or "when," everything else - what we want for our life - follows with peace and confidence.
As a Christian, I am embraced by these words: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9) Yes, we are enough. The words, "I am enough" are also a major chord in Maria Shriver's book, Oprah's favorite mantra, and Suse Orman's advice to not define yourself through spending and accumulating possessions. Sally Field and Barbra Streisand emphasize as well the power of the three words, "I am enough."
OCW: What was the public's reaction to your affirmation bracelets?
JT: It's very interesting. Almost everyone likes the "Unconditionally Loved" and "Blessed" bracelets. But if someone likes "I am enough", they LOVE it! They either completely embrace it, or don't at all. That's fun to watch. "I am enough," is by far the most popular.
Once someone puts some thought into it, they think of someone in their life who may be empowered by the message. The card that accompanies the I am enough bracelet reads, "Your beautiful soul is enough - you are enough, independent of all that surrounds you in this world." That's a great reminder for any of us!
The market for "I am enough" is taking its own path - I never anticipated how this message would embrace people facing tough times with addictions and divorce/breakups. But in hindsight, it makes perfect sense.
OCW: What are some of the exciting things that have happened with Loved Unconditionally?
JT: At the very beginning of my business, I won grand prize in a national Hewlett-Packard, "What do you have to say?" small business contest. I won for the concept of embracing our daughter with "I am enough". So, the reaction was good from HP. They created my logo and website (through LogoWorks), so thanks to them I got off to a great start!
Also, in October of this year, I was honored to exhibit the bracelets at Maria Shriver's Women's Conference in Long Beach. What a perfect place to be - surrounded by women who want to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others.
OCW: Tell us a little about the bracelet-making process.
JT: I go to Los Angeles and buy hides of leather, then I have them rolled into straps. I design the metal plates and have the plates made. Once I have the plates and the leather strap, I bring rivets and the buckle to someone who finishes it for me. Then I package it myself.
OCW: What are some of your hopes for the future of Loved Unconditionally?
JT: It's just me and my daughters in this business. The "I am enough" message is so enthusiastically received; it's taking on a life of its own! My hope is that an organization with major resources (like Oprah) will license these words from me and take it to the next level!
I've met a lot of great "girl" organizations at the Women's Conference, and I will work closer with them. Lastly, the new $5.00 bracelet just arrived this week! It can be worn on your wrist or in your hair - I love it!
OCW: Any plans to expand into mens items in the future? I'd love to get something for josh that says "You don't smell THAT bad".
JT: That's a good one Steph! I do have people asking about a men's bracelet.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
In love with Loved Unconditionally? It's time to enter to win! Leave a comment on this post before midnight on Friday, December 4 and you'll be automatically entered to win a free bracelet of your choice!
Discussions in the comments are encouraged, but one entry per person will be counted, and if you've won a Gettin' Made giveaway in the last 30 days you'll be ineligible to win so others have a chance at awesomeness.