ARIANA PIÑERO FITZPATRICK /// JEWELER, HUMANITARIAN, OCEAN PROTECTOR
I first connected with Ariana through Instagram. I came across her jewelry line, Summer Love Jewelry, and was instantly obsessed with her simple-yet-elegant, beach-inspired creations. We finally met in person and I found myself drawn to her kind and calm demeanor, and looked to her, as well as many of the other empowering women in this town, for support and inspiration while I was trying to get myself established in a new place. Our friendship has grown since then and I always enjoy our conversations and time spent together. And not only does Ariana create beautiful, one-of-a-kind jewelry, but she also takes time to volunteer and give back to the environment and communities in need. Scroll down below to learn more about this Goddess and for links to her website and social media accounts!
Name? Ariana Marie Piñero
Where are you from? I was born and raised in Houston, Texas. I grew up spending summers in Puerto Rico, where my parents are from. I lived in Austin for 11 years before moving into my grandmother’s house here in Puerto Rico 5 ½ years ago.
What do you do? I design and create jewelry full time in my little studio at home, and I feel very blessed to be able to do so. Through this creative work I’ve met so many amazing, talented, and inspiring people, like Julia, the owner of Ocean State of Mind where I work 2 days a week.
I am a wife to a loving and uber-talented man that I “live it up” with, as my grandma says I should do. I am forever grateful and in awe of the life I live on this beautiful island where my family is from.
How did Summer Love Jewelry begin? Summer Love Jewelry began with a desire to create simple, high-quality jewelry with the beautiful shells and sea glass I began collecting after I moved to Puerto Rico. What started as a hobby has now become a job that I love. None of it would have been possible without the help from my husband who helped me manage this “hobby” into a business.
What’s your vision for your brand over the next few years? I plan to continue to grow and develop the brand, little by little to keep doing what I love. There are a lot of challenges involved with growing a brand that was built on the idea of one person doing all the production, and growing means getting more people involved. My goal is to hire local and pay people fair wages to do work that they can be proud of and enjoy.
In your business you’ve incorporated some rad humanitarian efforts to support the Hurricane Matthew victims in Haiti and you also work with the Surfrider Foundation. Can you explain this more? What drives you to get involved and to give back? My parents were amazing role models for me. I remember going with my father to hospitals in Houston where he used to volunteer. My mom always found ways to help others and did it with a happy heart. They hosted a Bolivian boy and his aunt at their house on and off for many years when he would come to receive treatment in Houston for the varying conditions he had that prevented him from being able to walk and lead a normal life.
These are some of the reasons why I have probably always felt compelled to get involved and connect with others to make a positive impact. Little acts of kindness go a long way. People really appreciate them and there is definitely a need. It’s so easy and rewarding to put a little bit of positivity into this world.
How do you find balance and stay grounded while you are working to grow your jewelry line and volunteering/giving back to the environment and other communities? I can’t say I have mastered the art of balancing volunteering, work life, and social activities, but it does help to combine my efforts like I did with the RINGS FOR HAITI campaign, which happened because of a moment of inspiration that I acted on right away. Because of this we, (you included, Cait), were able to donate $750 to Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees who helped in the relief effort after Hurricane Matthew. The things I think about for a long time often never end up happening. I am constantly learning how to manage my time and be more responsible and organized. That said, once a month I volunteer with Calorcito Pal’ Corazon by going to hospitals to deliver blankets to people in emergency rooms. The time commitment is minimal which allows me to continue to do it.
My work life outside of home often turns into my social life - the people I know, the things I do. Most of my friends are entrepreneurs and we help to keep each other grounded. It also helps to have someone assist me with jewelry production - I recently hired an assistant to help me keep up with all my orders and work.
#1 Daily health ritual that you never skip? Time outside in nature is a must for me - I often begin the day in my garden. The birds and other morning sounds are so peaceful and I really love caring for the plants and trees that grow in my yard and give me food. My husband and I often take walks at the beach in our neighborhood and at least once a week we spend a few hours in the ocean.
John Burroughs said it perfectly, “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”
What do you love most about being a Goddess? Connecting with other goddesses. Learning from them, supporting them, being a part of a group of women that are doing amazing things. There are a lot of them that I have had the honor of getting to know and I feel so lucky to know such amazing people and have them in my life!
Best advice you’ve ever received? Don’t stop until you’re proud.
Best advice that you can give to new entrepreneurs? Have a vision, hustle hard, be patient, stay inspired, but most of all - if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
Why do you think it’s important for women to support other women? So often women see each other as competition. As human beings we all just (mostly) want the same thing, I think. Amazing things happen when we support each other and give each other love.
Guilty pleasure that you’re not ashamed of? I’m a huge cheeseball. I love love. I love animals, flowers and sea shells. I put it out there for everyone to see with my social media posts.
Any final thoughts? Be who you want to be and do what makes you happy.