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OUR STORY

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VANESSA

I am Vanes, forty years young and I am grateful for where I am in life. Married to the love of my life Bart, and mother of the sweetest boy, Bram. I enjoy the simple things and meditate every day to keep my mind peaceful. I am also a dreamer. Every day,  I take a moment to consider what I am grateful for and what my goals are. This helps me stay focused on what is most important to me. It's a great feeling to be surrounded by so much love and happiness.

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ARUBA

Aruba is my second home. On this magical island I met the love of my life and we got married right on its pristine coastline. For a few years, we even had the wonderful opportunity to live on this beautiful island with our son.

 

Even now, many years later, Aruba remains my second home - a place where I can relax and escape the day-to-day stresses of life, by reconnecting with nature and (re)finding joy in simple pleasures. I will forever cherish my memories of this extraordinary island as well as all the lovely people who call it home.

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ADVENTURE

Life is full of surprises, both good and bad. Sometimes the path to follow seems obvious and clear, but on occasion, it can be difficult and full of twists and turns. For me, this has often been the case. I have had to work hard at finding my own way in life, facing setbacks and overcoming challenges along the way.

 

But despite it all, I have never lost sight of my goals and I did nog give up on my dreams. Ultimately, that perseverance and dedication got me where I am today: a strong, independent woman who truly loves her life and all it has to offer.

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FEAR

If you would have told me a few years ago, that I would have a successful business today, I would not have believed you. At the time, I was held back by a deep sense of insecurity and fear. I did not believe in myself or my abilities, so safe to say I never thought I would ever be able to make my own choices and pursue my dreams fearlessly.

 

But after the death of my father, I wanted to both find myself and my true desires; a real self-assessment. I started by consciously letting go of my limiting beliefs that had defined my thought process for so long. Convictions like ‘if you are born on a dime, you will never become a quarter’ for example.

 

I realised that not only where these thoughts incorrect, they were also holding me back from reaching my true potential. Once I was able to let go of these negative beliefs, I felt truly liberated. And today, years later, I look back at where I started and I am still in awe of how far I have come. It truly feels like a dream come true.

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INNER STRENGHT

At the time, I found my inner strength and clarity through practising yoga and mindfulness regularly. I experienced a deeper connection with my body and mind and I learned to accept myself completely,  instead of wondering what could never be. This new sense of peace allowed me to take the bold steps needed to realise my dreams.

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FOODBANK

As a volunteer, my first experience helping at the food bank in Aruba was a huge revelation. I had never really seen the harsh reality people have to face, like severe hunger. Seeing little children suffer, made it impossible for me not to try and help them.

 

So in order to generate money in support of the food bank, I started making bracelets. It wasn't easy, but after a lot of perseverance, I managed to sell them all; raising 2,000 guilders within 3 weeks.

 

My work as a volunteer has shown me that we can always improve the lives of others - no matter how big or small our efforts. Whether it is donating your time or offering financial support, there is always something we can do to make a difference in someone's life. And for me, there is nothing more fulfilling in life.

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ENTERPRENEURSHIP

After volunteering in Aruba, I wanted to continue helping others upon our return to The Netherlands. My best friend suggested I start my own business, which is how ‘Zoet’ (which translates to Sweet in English) was born. My own business, aimed at making people happy with a piece of jewellery or meaningful gift.

 

Being my own boss and making people smile in the process, was (and is) the best feeling in the world! I have been told many times that I have a natural gift for making people feel good, which is what I love doing most. Making someone's day better with a simple act of kindness is the most rewarding feeling ever. I am so grateful to have been able to turn my passion into a successful business.

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LA LUZ LIFESTYLE

In recent years, ‘Zoet’ has grown from a small startup to a thriving lifestyle brand. This also called for a new name and branding and this has become La Luz, which translates into light.

The name La Luz was brought to me by the sweetest Aruban Cheryl, who was a teacher for many years and is now working at Hunga Teca; a foundation that supports the many underprivileged children of Aruba with a team of beautiful, powerful women.

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LOVE

Giving back has always been important to me, and it is one of the reasons why I decided to start my own business. I wanted to create a brand that would not only be successful, but also have a positive impact on the world. That is why we donate a percentage for every bracelet sold, to Free a Girl. It feels good to know that we are making a difference, and we will continue to do what we can to help others.

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THANK YOU

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story. Through my journey of self-discovery, I have realised something very important: every woman is truly beautiful. And that needs to put out into the world more.

 

As women, we are so often focused on our flaws and shortcomings, comparing ourselves unfavourably to others or forcing ourselves to meet unrealistic beauty standards. I believe it is vital for us to come together and cheer each other on, rather than tearing each other down. We should support each other in our efforts, celebrate each other’s’ successes and empower each other to be the very best we can be.

This can be done in many ways - through kind words and deeds, thoughtful and meaningful gifts, a bracelet with a special mantra that you can wear as a daily reminder of how worthy and loved you really are. Whatever form you choose, love, knowledge and light is something we all deserve in our lives. So let's come together and make it happen! Thank you again for your time, and for all the amazing things we will achieve together.

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