Elsa went from simply putting together her senior graphic design portfolio, to cultivating a business idea and presenting it to an audience of over 2,000 through the BGSU HATCH. So, where is she now? After entertaining endless applications, Pieces of Me found its niche: jewelry. Elsa's idea of bringing our inner personalities outward has become the mission behind the brand, inspiring our tagline, Wear Who You Are.
"It all started in a graphic design theory class. The project was constructed around design thinking, and working through a problem without fully understanding what form the visual would be in the end. For my project, I challenged myself to determine my own personality through the lens of friends and family. The idea spiraled until I had received responses from just about everyone I knew. After the results were tabulated, the next step was to figure out how to show the world who I was. That was my lightbulb moment. The first Pieces of Me product was brought to life, using icons representing each trait, patterned across fabric and transformed into a full dress. When I stepped back to look at it, I was impacted by the visual representation that was me!
Perspective can be life changing. Having that visual reminder of what other people saw in me truly helped me not only create a mosaic that represented my personality traits for that design project, it helped me discover and embrace who I truly was. It made me feel strong in my identity and showed me how unique I am. I felt a sense of freedom.
Professor Gene Poor at BGSU always talked about having the "entrepreneurial spirit" and explained that it's something you either have, or you don't. That always stuck with me.
Looking back on my life, I realize I've always had that internal entrepreneurial drive, so naturally after completing that project and realizing how impactful it was for me, I knew I wanted to share that experience somehow so others could feel it too."