By Samantha Roberts
Whenever Julia Conte looks down at her wrist, she is quickly provided comfort from the memory of her late grandmother’s spirit. “Grace,” a word that to Julia symbolizes the loving and graceful nature of her grandmother, is printed on a bracelet that she wears daily.
To Julia, the simplicity of her “grace” bracelet serves as a constant source of her grandmother’s encouragement.
“I hold this bracelet so close to my heart because it’s a reminder for me to make graceful choices, like my grandmother would have,” Conte said.
Women everywhere are experiencing a similar sense of comfort to what Conte feels in her “grace” bracelet. Little Words Project, a bracelet company that aims to spread positivity in the form of simple “Little Words” accessories, is taking off, instilling simple meanings of goodwill such as “laughter,” “hope,” “inspire” and, in Conte’s case, “grace,” in girls around the nation.
Adriana Botti, 2012 alumna from the College and Little Words Project’s founder, created the company in hopes of inspiring individuals. Its mission is simple.
“One is to wear her Little Word for as long as the bracelet provides her the comfort she needs, and then, when the opportunity arises, she is to pass her Little Word on to someone who needs it more than she does,” Botti said.
Botti, a graduate from the College, accredits technology and social media largely for her company’s quick development.
“Social media is the foundation of my marketing efforts,” she said. “Without it, I wouldn’t have sold nearly as many bracelets.”
Botti, who was the vice president of recruitment for Delta Zeta sorority while she was a student at the College, also appoints much of Little Words Project’s success to the efforts of her sorority sisters. She said that on various social media networks, “Each member of my sorority, old and new, have been sharing everything, and you wouldn’t believe how many sales that has spurred.”
Additionally, Botti’s sorority was her largest inspiration in the founding of the idea behind her project.
“I was thinking just the other day that if I hadn’t gone to TCNJ, I never would have had the idea to start the business,” she said. “TCNJ brought me Delta Zeta and Delta Zeta brought me the courage to pursue my dreams.”
Botti’s idea behind Little Words Project initially stemmed during her tenure as a sister of the sorority. Botti said that as a sister at the College, she created “Warm Fuzzies,” an early version of what was to become “Little Words” Project.
“The concept of the bracelets caught on with my chapter — each girl wore and passed her bracelet on when she felt the time had come, an idea which quickly spread to a few other chapters around the nation,” she said.
Botti’s sorority-wide concept evolved into a legitimate business when she noticed the full potential of her products, since then making over 1,000 bracelets.
“I was able to fuse my creativity and my desire to do something important, and so Little Words Project was born,” Botti said.
Marissa Baum, a sophomore marketing major and fellow sorority sister of Botti, sports matching “forever” bracelets with her mother.
“My “Little Word” is a little piece of home for me,” she said. “I think of my mom every time I put my bracelet on while I’m away at school.”
Like Baum, Botti too sports her own personal Little Words bracelet. The Little Word that Botti holds nearest to her heart is “dream.”
“(The bracelet) ‘dream’ … means the most to me,” Botti said, recalling the first Little Word she ever made.
“The first of the new Little Words Project design, it truly inspired me to keep following my dreams,” she said. “Now that I look back on that day, I can’t believe how far I’ve come.”
Botti said her ultimate goal for the project is to continue “to reach as many customers as organically possible and to see girls everywhere passing on their Little Words.”
In the future, Conte hopes to pass on her “grace” bracelet, as does Baum with her “forever” bracelet.
Customers of “Little Words Project” are encouraged to come up with their own word that has significance in lives, as Conte did with her “grace” bracelet. However, the company also has pre-made Words, including “create,” “hope” and “live.”
“I think the simplicity and beauty of the bracelets do the selling for me — of course, with the help of social media and word of mouth,” she said.
Botti said she holds her company near and dear to her heart. Moreover, she takes pride in knowing her product has the power to make a difference in the lives of girls everywhere.
“There is so much negativity in this world,” Botti said. “It would be nice to see girls everywhere coming together to lift each other up, which is what Little Words Project is all about.”