Brave Spotlight, Women of Sseko

New Beginnings || Barb Groves

This season we’re focusing on the magic that comes from a new beginning. Maybe you caught a glimpse of that with the launch of our SS 17 collection! The Spring / Summer 2017 collection is an ode to origins and new beginnings. Handcrafted in East Africa, this collection is a celebration of hope in the lives of Sseko women, both in Uganda and here at home. One of those women is named Barb Groves, and we are SO excited to introduce you to her.

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I live in the midwest right now with my husband Dusty, and our three cats. Five years of marriage in October! So crazy. We love to travel. Little trips, big trips, backpacking, or boutique hotels. All the different experiences please!  I’m a hairdresser, photographer, nanny and occasional baker. I love that my work day looks different depending on the week. It keeps things fun and interesting! I’m usually in the middle of a project, (I get that from my mom!) but I’m all about taking time to rest. Gotta have that balance! I’m also a list maker. Lists on lists on lists. So I’ll end with one of things that I will forever love: my family(convinced I have the best one in the world.)  tacos and margaritas, Phil Wickham singalongs, The Young Girls of Rochefort ( most inspiring french film. Put it on your list!), green tea, and really dancey pop music.

What inspires your personal style?

I’m all about easy pieces, handcrafted goods, pops of color and Interesting patterns. I grew up in Southern California and spent a lot of the summers in New York. California culture is laid back and New York can be bold. I love mixing the two. That really set the tone for my style. That, and my Nana. She’s totally who my style icon would be. She got married in Japan and had her wedding dress was made out of a cream and gold kimono fabric!  The silhouette was simple, so the fabric could show off. So brilliant!  She also had an eye for naturally beautiful things with a quirk. I love that.

What piece of the Brave Manifesto resonates most with you? Why?

Oh man, it’s all SO GOOD. But the one that really draws me in right now is “Surround yourself with people that believe in the best you.” Community is such a powerful thing.  I’m so thankful that my family and friends are always encouraging me in who I am and what I create. It’s so life giving when you have people cheering you on to try ideas, create new things and get after your dreams. Not everything works out. It’d be crazy if it did, but having a safe place to learn that is so needed. To me, the most important thing is just trying and being your best self in the failures and wins. I’m crazy grateful to have people who believe in me and spur me on. It’s something we should all be doing for at least one person!

This season we’re focusing on trusting in the magic of new beginnings. Can you tell us about a time where you saw this kind of magic first hand?

I just took a new job as social media director for The Influence Network.  I started in January and I’m still finding my rhythm. But I love it! The team of women I work with are really incredible, and we text all the time now. But in January it was new coworkers, new tasks, new responsibilities and new things to create. In my experience, beginnings have a tendency to shake things up just when you need it. It’s so good for us to be brought out of our comfort zone, because we learn. I’m not someone who loves the unfamiliar. I get nervous and a little overwhelmed. But with the nervousness of new beginnings comes an opportunity to grow in ways I haven’t yet. That’s where the magic of new beginnings is for me! In the opportunities that stretch you. There’s so much newness, so much growing as a person; and that can be draining sometimes. But when you nail something there’s a huge sense of accomplishment. Be proud. You did that! In this new atmosphere. You accomplished that!  You have to trust that the moments that make you nervous are just part of the bridge that brings you to the victory dances. There is so much magic in beginnings, we just have to be brave enough to say yes to them!

What is your favorite piece in our Spring collection?

Everything. It’s my favorite collection yet. I had to cut myself off because I wanted everything. It’s all so stunning.  But the star for me is The Conde Necklace! So beautiful! It’s polished and raw. That’s such a killer combo. It’s easily become my favorite necklace ever.

Follow along with Barb’s journey on her Instagram!

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