A ring is not an uncommon object of symbolic value. Many of us wear engagement rings or wedding bands as reminders of our love and commitment to our spouses, but the ladies of Fred + Far have a different take on the symbol of love a ring can convey --- and we are feelin' it. The stunning pinky rings of Fred + Far are a reminder of a commitment you make to yourself, a commitment to self love -- a love we would argue is the most important kind to have in your life. We were fortunate to have the chance to ask co-founders Melody and Samira a little bit more about their rings, their journey to find self-love, the friendship that they share and a bit about becoming badass boss ladies, together.
Q: Were you friends or business partners first?
MG: We were friends first. Samira and I met our sophomore year at The University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles. We decided to become business partners after 10+ years of extremely close friendship.
Q: How has working together impacted your friendship?
A: Becoming business partners with your best friend transforms the friendship into a marriage of sorts. You commit to each other daily, and in the process unlock each other’s potential. You also eliminate the “pause” button. You don’t get to take a break when you’re in business together, regardless of how you’re feeling about the other person.
Q: What are the greatest parts of working with a friend?
A: When you work with a friend, a huge learning curve is automatically eliminated. You know each other’s strengths, and you know each other’s limitations. For me (Melody) I am extremely grateful that Samira steers me towards activities that maximize my strengths, and gently guides me away from things I shouldn’t be involved in. She seems me more clearly than I see myself.
Q: How did you decide/what made you want to go into business together?
MG: When I first shared the concept with Samira, her eyes lit up. She saw not just the potential in what I was hoping to create, but also my potential if given the opportunity to do something that was in perfect alignment with my greatest strengths. I knew working with Samira would help me achieve something far greater than I could alone, or with anyone else. She is extremely thoughtful, organized, strategic and balanced in everything she does. Her energy took what could have peaked at “passion project” and transformed it into a company with global reach.
Q: As entrepreneurial women, what are some of the greatest roadblocks you have encountered and how did you overcome them?
MG: The only roadblock I’ve ever encountered is myself. There have been periods where I’ve been stagnant in my growth because I didn’t want to fuel it. No one has ever said no to me. When I’ve devoted time, energy and care to my plans, and myself they have always come to fruition.
Q: Do you have any advice for other women looking to start their own companies/follow their passions?
MG: Whatever it is, start. Start it, and share it. Create an instagram. A blog. A Facebook page. Authentically share, and it will resonate. People today crave authenticity and connection. Start there, and it will grow. There is no need to feel the pressure of quitting your job or accumulating a ton of capital to get started. Samira and I started Fred+Far on the side while me continued to manage our other businesses, and just kept at it. There were many steps backwards before we got to where we are today. The key is to continue.
Q: Melody, your story and journey to self love and the creation and symbolism of your pinky ring is well documented in the story of your brand. Samira, what drew you to Fred + Far’s mission and did you have a similar or different story of discovering and embracing self love?
SF: From a very young age I made a decision to commit to myself and my dreams. I started a company. I grew as a woman side-by- side with it during my company's growth. Every year my self-commitment evolved. In 2016, the evolution turned inwards and I have learned how to have a better inward relationship with myself, embracing self love on an even deeper level than I ever have before. This mission is near and dear to my heart because I have always been involved with women. I have seen several hundred thousand women come through my first company (Bellacures Nail Salons) and I know what kind of impact self commitment and self love can have on a woman's life and everyone in her life. They say if you want to educate a community, you need to educate mothers. In this case, if you want to create global peace and love, you need to raise women who embrace self love.
Q: What role, if any, did your (Melody) female friends play in the creation of Fred and Far? Did you find them encouraging/skeptical/helpful?
MG: We were actually very quiet about Fred+Far for the first year that we were developing it. Only a few people knew what we were up to. When we finally did share, there were a handful of woman who instantly said, “How can I help?” and “Sign me up!” We never expected anything of our friends. But the support we did receive was incredibly heart-warming.
Q: As self-love is inherently a personal journey, do you think outside influences (friends/family/etc) can or should play a role in it?
MG: Self love is inherently personal, but making an outward commitment can be transformative. When I slipped on the very first Self Love Pinky Ring and took the Pinky Promise pledge, my family played a huge role in supporting me so I had the time and peace of mind to honor my commitment. My husband, mom, friends… they all helped me tremendously.
Q: As a symbol of self love, do you think the ring should be an investment women make for themselves? Or would it be appropriate to gift to someone you know would embrace the message?
We are inspired on a daily basis by the women who purchase our rings. They are our teachers, our muses, our community. The gift cards they include have taught us that this ring is the ultimate gift to self, a gift for a daughter or friend, or a mutual gift shared among women.