A little synopsis of the RENÉ HABIE founding story thus far:
In Part I and Part II you learned how this love of my mine called jewelry—making was for years a secret pursuit. I was obsessed with designing these pieces and little by little they got out into the world. Mostly through friends and family, but I did have a couple of big breaks when the first complete stranger bought a ring and necklace from me on Etsy, or when one of my closest friends believed in the vision and bought ten rings for her NYC store.
Ok so back to the story. In Part II I left you at the moment when I took a long and winding road trip where my thoughts meandered more than I did. I'll skip the gritty details of these conversations I had with myself for now, but suffice to say that I was trying to reconcile personality paradoxes such as "the minimalist who thinks thrice before bringing any new object into her life and the lover of making more things like art and jewelry."
Finally I saw these conflicts and questions for what they were—totally theoretical. I was WAY too in my head and had an entire courtroom full of Jamies (plural of Jamie, not related to the homey term for pajamas FYI) fighting for different causes driving each other (me) mad. My rational brain was all sorts of confused, in other words, but my instinct was telling me do those things that give your life meaning. Which boils down to making stuff, helping others, spending quality time with friends and family, traveling and learning.
Ultimately, this instinct and the support of my peeps helped me launch RENÉ HABIE. One friend—whom I affectionately call Boimsy—was my cheerleader for years. She's a Boss and a proud wearer of my designs. It wasn't uncommon for her to tell me how many people complimented her RENÉ HABIE rings and asked where to buy them. For years, she got to brag about her fairy jewelry mother (moi) who made all her bling dreams come true. Or in other words, there was no place to buy them unless you knew me and I liked you.
I decided to trust my instinct which was, to say the least, a huge leap of faith into the unknown.
One fine morning (this may be an exaggeration, I can't actually remember if there was only one of these mornings) I woke up and just said to myself, lets do this! I found a product photographer and started setting up the website. Right in the middle of this, I was due for a trip home to Antigua. I was particularly excited because my friend and partner in crime Sarah (you'll know her on this site as many characters, including the Zillionaire, and as the most talented connector of dots) had just moved back to Guatemala.
Sarah and I have been collaborating for years on all sorts of projects, and like magic we spent the weeks we had together transforming ideas into the foundations of RENÉ HABIE. Sarah designed our logo and agreed to model. Indeed, the spirit of RENÉ HABIE formed over those sessions. I made a promise to myself: our models will always be friends and family and we will celebrate the human mind, body and spirit by keeping it real and producing empowering images. In this spirit, two of my sisters, Maria and Ingrid, and my cousin Robert also agreed to model.
A behind the scenes look at one of the finer moments from our shoots:
Tis hard to describe the exhilaration of those weeks. I was finally taking actionable steps to making RENÉ HABIE a reality and the sense of relief was blissful. I had a realization:
No matter how challenging, doing what you love feels better than being comfortable.
On December 15th I launched the site and the rest is history...Ok, its only been two weeks but to put that in perspective I'll leave you with this fun fact: that's 14x more than the entire lifespan of an insect called the mayfly.