A person's style says a lot about who we are as an individual, especially during the formative teenage years. How did you develop your style? I remember a time where I would buy five of the same pairs of jeans and five of the same shirt in different colors and patterns. It was a simple uniform that I used to express my independence from my mother. When I went to junior high school, my friends started influencing my choices. I remember shopping and hanging out at the mall. My friends and I would spend hours trying on clothes to find that perfect outfit for the following Monday or for a school dance. It was a rite of passage.
However, everything changed for me whenever I had a tragic accident. I went swimming in my backyard swimming pool with a friend. I dove in and hit my head resulting in a spinal cord injury. I was now paralyzed from the shoulders down and had to learn new ways of taking care of and dressing my body. I spent several months at a rehabilitation hospital where I was told that I would need to wear sweatpants and sneakers for the rest of my life. To a thirteen-year old budding fashionista, this sounded like a horrible fate. I was determined to be the exception when it came to these so-called rules.
I spent the next several years experimenting with clothes, shoes, and accessories in order to find my personal style. Although this is a normal part of figuring out who you are as a teenager, it felt so much more important for me because I was no longer "normal". Having a good appearance was my way of getting people to focus back on me instead of my wheelchair. Earrings, shoes, or a hat gave people things to comment about other than my "wheels". It also gave me confidence in myself. I could stand out in a positive way and relate to people about things we have in common.
Then in 2010, I met my friend and namesake, Amy. We found that we shared so many things like our love of jewelry, our red hair and our name – Amy Elizabeth. She admired my necklaces every time I saw her and suggested that I would be good at designing jewelry. She taught me the basics and we collaborated to design really gorgeous pieces. Jewelry design turned out to be the perfect outlet for my creativity and passion.Today I use my name as an entrepreneur, sharing my creative imagination and building my business, Amy Elizabeth Design. You can add my designs to your personal style by checking out my products!