This tribe, this product, this WOMAN. Melody Godfred is one of thecnnekt co-founder Emily's biggest inspirations. It was a little over a year ago when Emily spotted a shiny, diamond-like pinky ring on Teen Vogue's instagram page and it was love at first site. She stalked the ring for days, discovering the meaning behind the beautiful piece.
The "Self Love Pinky Ring" is a commitment to the most important person in your world; yourself. Obviously Emily started to do what she did best and put money aside each paycheck to invest in herself, but life happens and things fall through the cracks.
It wasn't until a few weeks ago when we spotted the ring on a friend of ours over at Nylonwhen they feelings came rushing back! But as a more mature woman, Emily thought, "who is BEHIND the ring?" and the rest is history.
Melody, what did you dream of becoming as a young girl?
As a young girl, music was my air. From the age of 4, I was playing the piano and singing, and by 7, I was composing my own music. I dreamed of being a singer/songwriter when I grew up, so I could share my voice with the world. It’s interesting now to see the parallels between that original dream, and what I am doing now. Sharing my voice through Fred and Far (albeit through words and not song just yet) has been one of the most fulfilling and inspiring experiences of my life.
You experienced two very powerful “ah-ha” moments in your life. One, regarding your career, and the only in your personal life. Can you describe these moments and how it lead you to create the Self Love Pinky Ring?
Somewhere between the clarity I had in my youth, when I knew I was destined to be a creator, and the mounting pressures of adulthood, I lost myself a bit. It was during this time that I retreated away from my heart into my brain and let my intellect lead. I went to law school (because it was the right thing for a bright girl like me to do) and then secured a dream job in big law as soon as I graduated. My first major “ah-ha” moment was realizing that despite being good at a job, it wasn’t necessarily the right job for me. Being an attorney was all about competition and following rules (and lots of paperwork - no one mentions how much paper there is in law), and I soon realized that for me, I needed a job that focused on collaboration and creativity. Transitioning out of law was a big, brave move, as the perks of being an attorney are ample, but I knew it was something I had to do. My personal “ah-ha” moment came a few years later, as a newly minted twin mother who also happened to run her own business. I was spending every hour of every day in service to the people in my life, and had no connection with myself, my passions, my dreams. I had to find that 4-year-old girl again who knew exactly what it was that made her happy. The alignment of my personal and professional ah-ha moments are what led to the creation of Fred and Far, my Self Love Movement.
Your brand, Fred + Far has built a community in which you call “the tribe”. What is the importance of connecting these women and keeping in touch with your customers?
The tribe is central to our movement. Every time a woman decides to choose herself and purchases a Self Love Pinky Ring, she is joining the ranks of a powerful self love sisterhood that is there to witness and celebrate her.
Each woman reaches her “ah-ha” moment of needing to choose herself for a different reason and at a different stage of life, and it has been wildly inspiring to learn about these women, their dips, their highs, their softness, their strength, their resilience.
I personally engage with as many tribe members as I can by following them on social media, and rooting for them as they embark on their self love journeys. Putting the ring on is the first step. The daily commitment that follows is when the magic happens. I believe it is my responsibility, privilege and pleasure to provide resources and support to make self love and self care actionable. There is incredible value in asking women, and almost giving permission to them, to choose themselves and put on a Self Love Pinky Ring. But where I think the true gift I can offer is a community that supports this commitment so that it sticks. When women come together, anything is possible. Our global tribe is proof of that.
Whether its our home lives, the political climate, or even our health and wellness, many tend to feel “stuck.” Can you share some advice or best practices for those who are yearning for something bigger within themselves?
Self-exploration is a gift we stop giving ourselves as the responsibilities of adulthood mount. When we’re children, we’re allowed to ask questions, to explore different paths, to be creative and open and unstructured. As we grow up, the path narrows, and we stop asking ourselves questions. We go down the path. The problem with this approach is that the path we choose at 18 may not be the path we need or crave at 35. The trick to remaining unstuck at every stage of life is to continue to engage in self discovery. I’ve found that a daily and weekly commitment to self care is a simple but groundbreaking method for getting to know yourself. How can you discover and care for yourself today? Whether it is writing in a gratitude journal, reading a book in the bath while trying out the latest Korean sheet mask, or schedule a culture day at a museum with friends, all these little acts of self care are acts of resistance against the stuck feeling. I’ve found that for me, writing is the best way for me to unlock my creativity and find the bigger parts of myself that need exploring. For one of my friends, yoga is what unlocks her inner world. For each and every person, there is a path towards knowing yourself that starts with asking questions and committing to self care. And from self discovery and self care comes self love, which is the most sustaining energy in the world. Self love is what allows you to be whole, and wholeness is what gives you the courage to tackle whatever the world presents you with.
What is next for you, Melody?
I used to have to know the answer to this question. Knowing what came next is what gave me security, and without it I couldn’t sleep at night. Now, I delight in not knowing. I delight in the idea that the future is open, and full of opportunity. Eight years ago I walked away from my dream job as a litigation attorney knowing only that it was time for me to tell a story. I wrote and published a book, then went on to start one business (Write In Color), and then went on to start a second (Fred and Far). I didn’t have a plan 8 years ago other than to choose myself over a career I knew wasn’t the right fit. That was the best decision of my life. So in terms of what comes next, my passion is to continue to grow Fred and Far, so that we can reach more women and make self love part of the daily conversation globally. When we raise a generation of self-loving women, who go into adolescence feeling whole instead of half, I’ll know that we’ll have succeeded in changing the way women feel about themselves and are perceived by the world. The Self Love Pinky Ring is both a reminder for the wearer and a symbol to the world. Our goal is to make it as recognizable as an engagement ring. Thanks to the women of our tribe we’re well on our way.
Introduction and interview by Emily