You have to see your own worth
I had always wanted to have my own jewelry line. Now my jewelry is in magazines. I am working on a new collection which goes into major department stores at the end of 2015.
Within three years I went from homeless living in a Jeep, to having my jewelry showcased around the world. Celebrities are wearing my designs and tweeting about me and my jewelry.
My son was born with Athrochalasia Ehlers-Danlos syndrome Type 7, a rare genetic disease with only 32 documented in the world. I later found out that I also have it. Ehlers-Danlos syndrome does not allow our tissues (skin, tendons, and muscles) to bind together. My son was very ill and I was in a wheelchair, barely able to walk.
After all that we’d been through, we found ourselves homeless on the streets of Miami. We were living in a Jeep with our little dog and my son’s rock collection. When you are not feeling well and you have an ill child, it’s hard to stay on track and keep up.
When my son was in CICU at Miami Children’s Hospital after suffering a heart attack, I got a call from the police department in Georgia. Someone had pulled a truck to my home and stole everything. They took toys, baby pictures and all our furniture. They just wiped us out. That’s how we ended up homeless.
What made you decide to finally realize your lifelong dream?
I had always taken my son rock mining because it was physically good for him. I took that rock collection and started to make jewelry. I have always wanted to use my artistic talents which challenges me.
What were the specific obstacles that you faced?
I was sick and paralyzed. The disease my son has, I also have. Our bones break easily, and dislocate. I experience chronic pain all the time. When you have a child that is sick, you get through the day concentrating on their aches and pains, not your own. I don’t realize mine until the next day because I was concentrating on my son.
What helped you get through them?
I make statement jewelry to help me get out of the Jeep and into a place to live. My pieces start at $25 and can get up to $1200-$16,000 apiece. It’s about realizing your potential. You have to see your own worth and be able to act upon it.
Were there people that tried to discourage you?
Yes there were. I was not able to get a regular job because I couldn’t stand for more than 20 minutes without experiencing chronic pain with vomiting.
How did you feel when you finally accomplished your lifelong dream?
It’s a great feeling to sell my jewelry and have it profiled in magazines like GQ South Africa, GQ Britain, and People magazine and on shows like Good Morning America.
As soon as the jewelry is in the department stores, my dreams will be fully realized.
What advice would you give to others that are contemplating finally living their dream?
Make a vision board and spend at least 15 minutes a day visualizing and staying positive. If you start to think negative, flip it around and concentrate on the positives.
You have to stay on a positive tracks. Little obstacles are not an obstacle. It’s opening the door to something else. You also have to get the toxic people out of your life.
If I hadn’t broken my neck years earlier when my son was ill, I would have never gotten to this point. I needed that obstacle to get me to the point of self-realization. It was a positive thing rather than negative.
To find out more about Josette and her jewelry, visit here.