Story of HOPE
Melissa ~ Angel Bracelets
Baby Montanez 12/05/09
After trying for a year to get pregnant, I was overjoyed to see those double lines in the fall of 2009. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be: after several ultrasounds, blood work, and waiting, it was confirmed that we had a missed miscarriage in December of 2009. Since my body wasn't taking care of it, I took medication to force my body to expel the baby on December 5th, 2009. I was at a loss after this happened, as I never thought it could happen to me (that's what everyone says, right?).
I had been taking classes to start my own business and had been planning to start a maternity shop. That was no longer emotionally possible, and also I felt that there were already so many options and resources for pregnant women. I was surprised at the lack of options for women who'd experienced a loss. So I decided to start a website and business that would benefit those women. Angel Bracelets is a company that I created in honor of my own angel baby, and I feel that the comfort we're bringing to others honors him/her in some way.
At Angel Bracelets, we donate $2 for every item that we sell to pregnancy and infant loss organizations. Not only do we give women a way to remember their babies forever, but at the same time, we provide them the opportunity to help others with the donation that we make for their purchase. It has made me feel like we are really doing something to help organizations that may otherwise tend to fly under the radar. And through those organizations, we are supporting the hundreds of thousands of women and families that experience pregnancy and infant loss every year.
We are pretty new, so we're still working on getting the word out about Angel Bracelets. Hearing the feedback from women who have purchased the bracelets makes it all feel worthwhile though. That we seem to bring some measure of happiness to them through our bracelets and website makes me feel that Angel Bracelets is really making a difference. For me, that's what it is all about.
My inspiration was like thunder! I did experience a few days of feeling lost - I didn't want to do the maternity shop business anymore, but I wanted to do SOMETHING. And I wanted it to be something meaningful. I was taking a business class around the time of my miscarriage, and one of the guest speakers was working to memorialize soldiers who have been lost to the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was selling dog tags and other memorial items, and donating part of the proceeds to Goldstar Moms and other military support organizations. I thought, something like that needs to be done for lost babies!
I always felt confident that I could run a company, but I never thought that it would be a company related to pregnancy and infant loss. That is the most unexpected part for me. But it's also the best part, because I'm not just running a business, I'm actually doing something to help people who need it, and organizations that don't always get a lot of support.
It can be tough starting and running one's own company. Things tend to be slow at first, and I'm sometimes left wondering if this thing will ever take off the way that I hope it will, and if it will ever pay for itself. There's also a lot of tasks to do, and there isn't anyone else to rely on for doing them - it's all me! I'm determined to stick with it though, and really give it a chance to work. What keeps me going is the feedback that I hear from my customers about how what the bracelets mean to them.
The photo above is of one of our silver bracelets. The message on it says: Though we never met face to face, you will not be forgotten. I was thinking of my own angel baby when I wrote it.
Melissa's amazing jewelry can be found at Angel Bracelets!