Words are powerful. And when you put a woman with a mission behind them, she’s unstoppable. Adriana Carrig is the founder of Little Words Project — a multi-million dollar company that empowers women through kindness. She took a one-woman bracelet-making operation and turned it into a global movement in the pursuit of creating a culture of kindness. Adriana joins Her Life, By Design to share her humble beginnings. She offers tips for navigating the world of entrepreneurship, and how the Little Words Project became a symbol of sisterhood.
How This Multi-Million Dollar Empire Empowers Women Through Kindness
Paying it Forward
You’ve probably seen these bracelets before. And if you grew up in the 90s, you’ve most likely made some yourself. Little Words Project creates handcrafted bracelets with words of affirmation. The mission is simple: to inspire kindness amongst women. Be it to ourselves or others on our journey.
When you wear one of Little Words Project’s bracelets, you wear a word you need. Women can choose from words that embody strength, love, courage, or any word of their choice. Eventually, the bracelet will be passed to another woman who needs that same word more than you. What makes Little Words Project special is the unique code on each bracelet. The wearer registers their code online, sharing their story of what the word on the bracelet means to them. Once they pass the bracelet on, the new owner can do the same. This creates a chain of stories of how each woman manifested that specific word into their lives.
Little Words Project has allowed women to see how their single act of kindness empowered others down the line. It is the first brand of its kind, which started in the basement of Adriana’s parents’ home in 2013.
One Small Idea and a Big Mission
Adriana grew up experiencing a lot of negativity and bullying from other girls that continued into her college years. She realized that this issue was rampant among young women. Throughout adolescence, girls tend to form cliques where we put others down as a way to make friends. Adriana identified this huge problem and sought out to create a vehicle of kindness through Little Words Project.
This multi-million dollar empire started as an idea that Adriana was passionate about. “This bracelet that could live on someone’s wrist, that could infringe on the territory of cruelty, and really just make a difference in the lives of others by bringing someone up instead of putting them down.”
This was more than just another bracelet company; it is a kindness movement. Adriana first took these handmade bracelets to a sorority and saw them take off as an iconic symbol of sisterhood. With the blessing and help of the sorority, she took this idea and shared it with the world. Thus, establishing a solid community of kind women who all had a part in making Little Words Project profitable within the first month.
In the episode, Adriana advises all aspiring entrepreneurs to start with an idea they’re deeply passionate about. With drive and determination, these ideas could lead you down an incredible path.
Building a Community on Transparency
Up until 2019, Little Words Project didn’t put any money into influencer marketing or paid advertisement. Their growth and success have come from the community they’ve built and the transparency culture they’ve established.
“We really want you to feel like we’re an extension of your friend group. We call ourselves the ‘nice girl gang’.” By doing so, Little Words Project was able to create a community of customers who wanted to spread the word. Their Instagram account reflects this principle by showing a real, raw, behind-the-scenes look to their company. They forgo the meticulously curated feed and have shown the grassroots growth of Little Words Project from the very beginning.
What Networking Really Means and Why It’s Important
Little Words Project’s success can be attributed to a really important element in entrepreneurship: networking. From building their community, manufacturing, and getting into retail — networking has introduced Adriana to numerous possibilities and solutions. For Little Words Project, attending trade shows and meeting other entrepreneurs have been an invaluable resource.
“If you are in the wholesale industry and you have a product, trade shows are the best places to meet other business owners. Talk to them and ask them questions. How can they help you in some way, shape, or form? Always be nice. Offer your own information, don’t just beg people for answers and not give anything in return.”
According to Adriana, networking is the most important thing for any entrepreneur. It is all about reaching out and creating relationships, but Adriana understands that networking can feel uncomfortable.
“The word networking can sound daunting. It’s scary and sounds like a bunch of people in suits shaking hands at an event in the city. It doesn’t feel like what it really is when at the end of the day, it’s just being kind.”
Through networking, Little Words Project has built relationships with other entrepreneurs. Even collaborating with others as a result of the friendships they’ve formed. Networking and asking questions is necessary for all entrepreneurs no matter where they are on their journey. Adriana reminds listeners who are nervous about reaching out to just be nice and kind. You never know who you’re talking to, who they know, or how they’re going to be able to help you.
How to Deal with Copycats
One of the downsides of entrepreneurship is dealing with copycats. Unfortunately, a great idea will be mimicked over and over again, and others will ride on the coattails of your success. It’s something that every entrepreneur deals with at some point in their career. Adriana reminds listeners that as much as it may hurt, imitation is flattery. It reassures her that she created something worth copying.
However, Adriana admits to getting riled up every time she sees a knock-off being sold at a fraction of the price. Shes advises entrepreneurs to honor their feelings and not to put too much pressure on themselves to feel a certain way. She encourages us to let ourselves go through the process of emotions, keep our heads down, and stay focused. Little Words Project has created a culture of kindness within their community, and that is something their imitators cannot steal.
At the end of the day, there’s no one that is you, and people are going to buy from you for who you are and the community that you’ve built.
Hustle and Heart
All it takes is one great idea that’ll pave the way to entrepreneurship. For Adriana and Little Words Project, it all boils down to spreading kindness and empowering women. Because of her core mission, Adriana created a community of fiercely supportive women who are passionate about uplifting one another.
As the host of the popular Glow Through It podcast, and founder of the nonprofit called the Block Organization — Adriana is changing the way women show up for one another, starting from the formative high school and college years.
Tune into this episode to hear how a handmade bracelet is now leading a powerful community that inspires kindness amongst women. Adriana offers insight into turning this one-woman operation into a multi-million dollar empire with women, kindness, and empowerment at its core.
Little Words Project’s Instagram: www.instagram.com/littlewordsproject
Adriana’s Instagram: www.instagram.com/adrianacarrig
Buy a Bracelet from Little Words Project: www.littlewordsproject.com
Glow Through It podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/glow-through-it/id1505380576
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