Growing up, my dad had this saying, "Your life is like a book that's filled with many chapters. Try to have more good chapters than bad ones." Being an intern at Loyale these past 9 months was one of those good chapters. My time here has been filled with fun, love, laughter, hard work, some darn good conversations and I must add, food. It's bittersweet closing this chapter, so I wanted to share some highlights with you all...
I was in a lost place when I met Jenny, the founder and owner of Loyale. I’d just transferred to UNC Chapel Hill and didn't know what I was doing with my life (read all about that here). One thing I did know about myself, though, was that I liked to stay busy, so I started looking for a fall internship. Loyale is the one that caught my eye - an ethical clothing company then located in Raleigh, NC. I checked out the chic, clean website platform (in fact, I stalked all of their platforms) and knew that the internship was up my alley. The style and personality of this company captivated me, and its morals and vision were almost identical to my own. The job description seemed more like play work, so applied and crossed my fingers. It all felt meant to be during the interview - and it was...I was offered the internship, then I stayed for almost a year!
Unlike a lot of the internships available today, Loyale allowed me be creative in their workplace and celebrated my personality; instead of forcing me to fit in a box, I was free to come up with ideas for the company and share my opinions. Loyale has a cheerful atmosphere with fun, interesting people surrounding it. I got to work amongst some amazing people and was continuously collaborating with Jenny - like in what circumstances do you get to speak to THE owner of a company and work alongside them?! She trusted me to do my job efficiently and effectively, never hovering over my shoulder treating me like a child. Feeling like I was a part of a team and not "just an intern" is something I will be forever thankful for, and Jenny gave me the opportunity to grow and contribute my gifts to growing her vision and mission.
What were my favorite experiences? Learning the ins-and-outs of social media and how frustrating, and rewarding it can be. Reviewing marketing strategies, ambassador program concepts, database configurations, photoshoot plans, giveaway partnerships - you name it, we talked about it. Modeling for one of the Loyale photoshoots (never, ever thought I would model!), and working on fashion trends for the new collection Jenny is designing (you guys better fasten your seat belts, because this shiz is GOOD).
Let me let you in on a little secret - Jenny does it all. She has a drive and passion for this company that I think a lot of owners lack. She cares about others in a way that hits home, and she busts her butt to get things done. She is constantly on the go and always thinking creatively about things. There were times where I thought something wasn't working or meeting our expectations, and Jenny was quick to say, "Let's keep trying this, let's stay the course." She's very positive and doesn’t give up, ever, and this mentality is something I've learned that you HAVE to have when you’re running a startup, and my goodness, she has it.
I've learned tons from my time at Loyale, much more than just business tactics and strategies, and I felt like I was part of a family. I couldn't be more grateful to have worked alongside Jenny and her team. It was such a great chapter in my book that I’m sad to see close, but change is good and I’ve got exciting adventures ahead...for one last time, this is Loyale's intern signing off!
It was August 2017...my life was in major upheaval having just relaunched the business and an impending move to San Francisco...I’d almost forgotten I’d posted an internship with UNC Chapel Hill until I received a promising application from Meg.
My first thought was “Do I have time to meet with her? My life is a tornado!” but her letter was too good and I could feel there was something special brewing, so I set up an interview and we immediately bonded. Meg was the perfect fit for the company and was game to work remotely from NC, so I hired her, knowing she would contribute an energy and work ethic that would benefit not only Loyale, but me personally. Turns out she was looking for a port in the storm as well, so we were a perfect match!
Nine months later, tons of initiatives accomplished and a million texts/phone calls exchanged, I’ve come to regard Meg as a great asset and a personal friend. I’m happy/sad to report, she’s now moving on from us....flying off all around the country with a cool summer gig and soon to be entering her senior year at UNC Wilmington. I’ll miss her, but know the best is yet to come for this unicorn and I keep thinking - how lucky am I to have known someone who is so hard to say goodbye to?!
“I believe the world is incomprehensibly beautiful - an endless prospect of magic and wonder.” - Ansel Adams
Another dose of inspiration comes from this in-depth interview of Elizabeth Suzann, founder of her namesake ethical fashion brand - there is a cost to a company growing too fast - and she tells the world all about it.
May is National Egg Month, so we're talking eggs today and why shopping for them is confusing. Organic? Cage free? Free range? Brown or white? There’s no nutrition label to read and the jargon on the packages can be unclear, so you probably find yourself staring at a cold shelf of eggs for at least five minutes before just grabbing a random carton.
Here are some shopping tips:
Article credit: Wake the Wolves