I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis (IC, a chronic condition of bladder pain and inflammation, also known as Painful Bladder Syndrome PBS)in December of 2008. At the time, I was only 18 years old and a senior in high school.
While I was relieved to finally have a diagnosis (I had been going to doctors for 5 years to find the cause of my pain), I had a hard time accepting it. There is no cure for IC. I had to change my diet and learn to manage stress.
At the age of 14, I had begun making my jewelry. It became an outlet for me. It was fun to do and a stress relieve.
I never really had any plans to start a jewelry business or any kind of business for that matter. It was never a goal of mine. My first year of college changed my thinking. I wasn’t like other people my age. I had limitations, my body had limitations.
At one point I became so sick, I had to drop out of college. Since dropping out, I decided I really needed to focus on my health. I had only ever had two jobs since I was 18, and I couldn’t handle them.
I had a hard time sticking to my diet, and just recently I have found out that I am gluten intolerant as well.
I knew I needed to find a job I could do at home. A job where I had complete control over the amount of time I worked, and, more importantly, a job that allowed me to still focus on my health.
In June 2011, I started Between 5th & 7th Fashion Accessories. I have never been more thankful for having such a hobby as jewelry making.
It has given me the chance to focus on my health and healing, while continuing to do what I love.
What an inspiring story of how you became a business owner. I always say that those in business do so to control their own destiny. Fine example you are setting. And loving the jewelry too.
Wonderful story of how your business came to fruition, and Leigh your comment was right on about controlling destiny, very insightful!
Resilience in the face of adversity
Brittney, I love that you’re not giving up – so many people would want to just throw in the towel after all you’ve been through.
Awesome that you keep bouncing back and finding new ways to work around your health issues. I have to say that your ability to bounce back and find work-arounds is a tremendously helpful skill for your jewelry business.
BTW, you probably already know this – but if you still want to do college or further your studies, there are a ton of great options for learning through online schools / colleges now, which could be easier for you to fit in around what’s going on in the other areas of your life.
I also wanted to mention that I love the necklace you posted above!
Wishing you healing and better health – and every success with your new jewelry business.
Keep up the great work, Brittney – and please keep us posted on your progress! We’re all pulling for you.
We have things in common!
by: Jodi Dickerson
My business started very much the same as yours. I have epilepsy, conversion disorder, fibromyalgia, and bipolar disorder and panic disorder and I have been unable to work a traditional 9-5 job since 1999. I have been making jewelry since for the last 13 years, it wasn’t until recently I realized I was not going to be able to work a regular job, that I too needed the time to focus on my health and raising my son but I did need to bring in an income. So Designs by Jodi was born. I am on Facebook at Designs by Jodi and you can also find me at Jodi Dickerson. I would love to talk with you. It sounds like we have some things in common. So friend request me and we can chat sometime.