Featured designer, Ashley Johns of Fierce Forward creates Limitless Bracelets using fair trade beads, a cause that she embraces and feels empowers women of less fortunate cultures.
The purpose of her Limitless Bracelets is to motivate and inspire individuals as they embark upon their own personal journeys, particularly weight loss.
30 year old Ashley, who says she has always been inspired by Bruce Lee, grew up in Elkhart, Indiana and currently resides in South Bend, Indiana with her fiance.
Enjoy her story!
How long have you been creating jewelry?
Since I was a kid I’ve always had my hands on something, whether it be paint or beads. I really began creating a year ago when I worked to problem solve and get this product just how I knew it needed to be.
Limitless Bracelets was created to help myself remember that as a person in this world, I am Limitless. Three years ago, I was overweight and unhappy with where I was in my life. I wanted more. I decided that I had a choice to move in that direction if I truly wanted to and so I did. I became a spokesmodel for Bodybuilding.com, a Motivational Speaker, a Personal Trainer, I created my own company to help others, Fierce Forward, and I even auditioned and made it to the finals for NBC’s Biggest Loser Trainer. Throughout the past three years of opportunity and growth, also came personal road blocks. I coined the term “Fierce Forward” to always move forward fiercely toward what you want. I then went through a period when I had to remember that no matter what was getting in my way, I am Limitless, in order to move forward fiercely still. So I began with a simple bracelet that had a cause behind it, that is, using Fair Trade Beads. I love these beads, they speak to me. They also go back to empowering women and their communities by supporting the creation of these beads. It began as one bracelet on my arm and I knew I had to bring it to my community of Fierce Fighters, then nearing 7,000 on my facebook page. I spent over a year perfecting the bracelet before I launched it. I launched it on Black Friday of 2012 and sold over 200 bracelets within the first week.
What do your bracelets symbolize?
In this life, there are no limitations, only ones we set up for ourselves. I’ve struggled with self confidence my entire life but I’ve always known we are Limitless as people, that it’s all in our minds to decide anything. It means a lot to me, this attitude, this way of thinking and approaching life, because it’s carried me through many attempts, many falls, and what some may say, many fails. On the other hand, it’s what has also brought me to all of the opportunities and doors that have opened for me because I will not stop knocking. I do not give up because I know that nothing is impossible and that with that belief, you will always get what you’re after if you never give up. I also hope that these bracelets may symbolize something different to each person. I love creating and the idea that something that meant so much to me might mean something just as important, or maybe different, to someone else, is what this is all about.
Growth, progression, facing challenging times but finding a way through it. What truly keeps me going at this is knowing that I’m somehow making a difference to someone by arming them with the Intention they need to move forward. It’s a very honorable thing to feel and I’m grateful to be where I am, to be able to help. Falling 6 times and standing up 7 inspires me. It always will.
What is your work space like?
I actually just cleaned out this room that I painted toothpaste blue and created a workspace with the belief this business would keep rolling forward, fiercely! I have an antique 1960’s desk that has a black and white tribal pattern on it, along with a similar chair. I have a hand made dream catcher that I bought while I was in Peru, hanging above my desk. I also have all of my visions that I cut out of magazines taped on my wall.
Well, I can’t really say I’m a jewelry expert, but what I can say is that I work on mastering self belief. So if you’re someone who has a dream to own your own business or create art because that’s your passion, then take one small step every day to making that a reality. Don’t ever think amazingness comes on a plate. You really, truly have to work and struggle, and then work and struggle some more, to eventually achieve opportunity and success. Once you decide, go fierce forward with everything you have and do not give up.
What are you working on now?
New charms for the bracelets that will have a few new intentions. The charm will be a completely new charm with a new style.
I like to listen to Swedish House Mafia/dance on Pandora, or Billie Holiday, Bob/Ziggy Marley or this new band I’m into, RAC. It depends on my mood, but I definitely listen to music while putting the bracelets together.
If you were a bead, what would you be?
I would be a trade bead. It has power and meaning behind it. It’s significant in the lives of those who make them. It’s completely unique and its own. Each bead is different in some way. My favorite from my collection are the Yellow Padre Trade Beads. I love how you’ll get a dark yellow, almost orange in the batch and then it completely transforms the bracelet by adding more dimension and just a combination you couldn’t repeat again. Plus they are made of glass and are always cold when I bead with them. I love that, that is has so many dimensions to it.
Thanks, Ashley, for sharing your story with us! Check out or purchase Ashley’s bracelets here: www.fierceforwardforlife.com/limitless-bracelets, then connect with her on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/FierceForward and visit her Fierce Forward website here: www.fierceforwardforlife.com.