Self-love is happening. It doesn't matter if you're single, dating, or married. The first step is making you a priority. I'm seeing way too many ladies working hard and forgetting to take care of themselves. I want to change that. So I asked Melody Godfred, founder of Fred + Far, about her Self Love Pinky Rings. Read the exclusive below to find out how these beautiful pieces of jewelry are changing the ways we view commitment to ourselves. It's totally genius, and I'm dying to get my hands on one.
It's Danielle Marie (IDM): Melody, can you tell us a little bit about the backstory behind Fred+Far and why you started the company in the first place? How did you come up with the name for your business?
Melody Godfred (MG): Two years ago I was on the brink of collapse as a working mother with twin toddlers. I had lost complete sight of who I was, what my purpose was, and how to be happy in my own skin. Because I love jewelry, I decided to buy a new ring for a new finger - my pinky - and wear it with the idea that each time I looked at it I would be reminded to prioritize care for, know, and love myself. Within a few months, I was transformed. The impact was so powerful that I thought it might help other women as well. The origin of the Self Love Pinky Ring is deeply personal and profoundly simple. What would happen if every woman in the world loved and cared for herself, and then used that love to connect with and support other women? The community we’ve built is as much the core of our mission as the ring and choosing yourself.
The name is a blend of my last name, Godfred, and my best friend's last name, Far. She played an instrumental role in launching the business.
IDM: I personally believe self-love is such an important thing (no matter if you're in a relationship or not). How do your self-love pinky rings help to remind women to put themselves first?
MG: Throughout my life jewelry has signified important milestones. I remember going through my mom's jewelry with awe as a child, and witnessing how powerful women felt when they wore it. I also noticed that the only ring women wore as a symbol of commitment was the engagement ring, and that represents a commitment to someone else, and being chosen by someone else. I took my passion for jewelry and for empowering women and brought them together. Each morning, when a woman puts on her Self Love Pinky Ring, she is reminded of her commitment to practice self-love and self care, and throughout the day the reminder continues to be there, as part of every interaction. The ring also tells a story to the world. "There goes a chosen woman. A powerful woman. A loved woman."
IDM: Tell us about your creative process. What is it like for you to source material, design different ring styles etc.? What is your inspiration?
MG: That's a question we address internally on a daily basis. We aren't a jewelry company. We are a movement that uses jewelry as a symbol of our self-love mission. Being that I have no formal training in jewelry, creating the ring required a lot of research, love, trial and error and persistence. It was really important to me that the design be infused with the richness of the story it is telling, which is why we use the trillion shape and triangle cutouts. The upside down triangle represents the divine feminine, and we use this ring to channel her energy. We also made the decision to use lab-created white sapphires and other lab-created stones because we wanted the energy in the ring to be pure. Lab-created stones are biologically identical to mined stones; however, they are conflict free and environmentally much kinder. Plus, white sapphires metaphysically embody our core values of clarity, connecting with your intuition, and promoting wisdom and strength of spirit. I also took great care to create a packaging experience that was aligned with our values and made our tribe members feel very special. Every detail counts when you're asking someone to make a lifetime commitment - to themselves.
IDM: As a business owner, how do you juggle the demands of work with your personal life?
MG: I'm fortunate that Fred and Far is my second business, and so despite this company being only a year old, I have nearly a decade of experience balancing work and my personal life. At first - and by at first I mean the first five or so years - I didn't do a great job. I was the person responding to client requests at 11 pm, because I had no boundaries and thought work should always come first. I also used to believe that a job wasn't done right unless I did it myself. As my businesses have grown, and my family has grown, I've had to learn the value in setting realistic goals, empowering talented teams to work alongside me, and establishing boundaries that I try not to violate no matter what. I work at my office, and when I'm home, I belong to my kids, my husband and myself. My husband and I do at least one date night a week to remember that we're a couple (and not just working parents) and I also try to make self care a priority so I don't wear out.
IDM: I'm sure you are super busy all seven days of the week. What are some of the ways you make time to you give yourself self-love on a daily basis? Any tips for ladies that need some ideas?
MG: Self-love and care are not an all or nothing proposition. I think for many they simply don't know where to begin. The small things make a big difference for me, and making appointments that I can't flake on is a great way to make the small things a regular part of my routine. This includes a weekly blowout at Drybar (I don't feel human when my hair isn't right), and a weekly session at the gym with a trainer (again, for accountability). On a daily basis, I make taking myself to lunch a priority (because I have a tendency to forget to eat) and I also devote time to creating because that's what makes me feel alive. Even coming up with one original quote a day to share on Instagram counts as creativity for me. These are just a few things that work for me. The key is to get to know yourself, and then see what it is YOU need to feel taken care of. For some it might be a daily run, a manicure, time for reading, time with friends, a bath, meditation, or time in nature. There's no wrong way to love yourself. That's one of our core expressions at Fred and Far.
IDM: Do you have any amazing stories you're willing to share from some of your customers who have been changed by your products and company mission statement.
MG: There are so many. The stories we're privileged to hear from our tribe are my favorite part of what we've created. The widow who unexpectedly lost her husband and was buying the ring as a reminder to open her heart to loving again. The woman in Brazil who was buying the ring because she lives in a place where she feels women, especially unmarried women over the age of 25, are second class citizens. The woman who bought a ring for herself, and then once it worked its magic, passed it along to someone she just met who needed it. The women who are in the armed forces and are stationed all around the world who honor us by joining the tribe. The mothers who buy it for their daughters as a beacon of self worth; the daughters who buy it for their moms as a symbol of gratitude. Each woman has her own reason for making the commitment, and every single story is profoundly inspiring. You can read some of the stories on our website here, and you can read more on our Instagram. We do our best to share as many as possible.
IDM: From businesswoman to businesswoman - Do you have any advice you're willing to share to women looking to start a business of their own? What are the key things you believe a woman needs to be successful at what they do?
MG: Starting a business doesn't require having a ton of funding and a fifty page business plan. It requires having an idea that is born of your most authentic self - something that is so true to you that when you pitch it, people feel something. Once you have this idea, start nurturing it. Ask yourself: what do I want this idea, this brand, to make people feel? Branding is all about feelings, and your product or service offering, and all the content you create to promote it, should always keep this in mind. Success for me is about making an impact on someone's life. Every business has a purpose, and if you're achieving yours, you're impacting someone. The trick is to know who you are and what you stand for in your business, and then commit to making progress, however slow or circular that progress may feel at times. Every step you take forward will reveal what the next one should be, as well as the challenges you will need to grow as a person to accommodate. If you're not being challenged, you're coasting, and if you're coasting, your business is slowly dying. I'm happy to speak to anyone who has specific questions. Just email me!