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Note from Team LO: We at Live Original absolutely LOVE supporting brands that stand for a larger hope and mission. That’s why we have invited our friend Jordan Soderholm, Fashion Director at ABLE, to share a story that will touch your hearts today. And for our readers ONLY, they’re giving us 20% off using the code LIVEORIGINAL20 through Monday (11/25). Visit their website now to learn all about their mission and to treat yo’ self!

When I first met my friend Crystal, she was both timid and kind. We come from totally different worlds. She has lived all over the country (and in Canada!), she has a tough relationship with her family, and overall has overcome some incredible circumstances in order to be where she is now – a jeweler at ABLE. I, on the other hand, was born and raised in Tennessee, surrounded by family and friends who were like family, and I stumbled into a job at ABLE because one of my beloved professors thought it sounded like a perfect fit for me.

Over the past couple of years, Crystal and I have built a beautiful friendship. She stops by my desk with pieces of my favorite dark chocolate smuggled from the jewelry studio, always brightening my day with her sparkle shoes and bright colored tops – sister loves some color! When my family went through a hard time, she spent hours making them a homemade card (more like a work of art) telling them that she was praying for them without having ever even met them. She’s truly a special person.

Last year, I had a panic attack that totally caught me off-guard. I’d never had one before, and in my mind, I was toooottalllyyyy fiiiinnnne. Except I wasn’t, and I didn’t know how to deal with what had just happened to me. Enter Crystal. Crystal has dealt with anxiety and depression throughout her adult life – but you’d never know it. Today, she’s a light in our workplace and a true joy to be around. She’s done the hard work of digging into the tough parts of life, working through them, and coming out even better on the other side. 

When anxiety happens – it doesn’t make sense. There’s nothing you can do to “fix” it, but there are things you can do to put yourself in a better spot. My tendency was to completely isolate myself from all things, because I was scared that it would happen again. I didn’t want to burden or inconvenience anyone. But one of the biggest things I learned – which is totally the opposite of how I initially responded – is that leaning into people, and allowing them to sit with you in a messy spot, is important. So important that it’s literally how God created us! 

Each of us is a part of the body of Christ, working with all of the other parts to make us whole. We were designed for community, and to not only carry our friends’ burdens, but allow them to do the same for us.

Crystal stepped into a really tough time for me, and directed me towards truth. She listened to me as I tried to process through something for the first time. She gave me suggestions of things that had worked for her – the Calm app is her fave. And she sent me daily encouragement via text or little post-its on my computer.

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2

“…There should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” – 1 Corinthians 12:25-27

Obviously, you can see how amazing Crystal is. But the way Crystal loves those around her is because of the love of Christ in her. She’s diligent and self-aware and so faithful in her walk with Jesus – how could his love not shine through her?

I’m back on my feet once more, and now I have the honor of passing on that love and care I’ve received to those around me who are struggling. What greater gift is there than that?

About ABLE:
Founded in 2010 as a means to bring employment to disadvantaged women and communities reliant on charity, ABLE began as a single collection of scarves made by women in Ethiopia. ABLE has since become a lifestyle brand while remaining focused on the company’s mission: challenging the fashion industry by creating transformative economic opportunities for women to end poverty. The brand’s beautiful leather bags, handmade jewelry, denim, apparel and shoes are manufactured in the communities ABLE wishes to impact, both locally at the company’s headquarters in Nashville, T.N., and globally in Ethiopia, Mexico, Brazil, and India. For more information, please visit www.livefashionable.com.
About Jordan:
From the founding of fashionABLE scarves, Jordan Soderholm has grown from the company’s first intern in 2011 to her current role as Fashion Director, serving as the creative visionary behind ABLE’s modern lifestyle brand. She’s actually the reason ABLE makes their loved and bestselling leather bags – all because she wanted a leather tote herself. Driven by the idea that ethical fashion can be both cool and attainable, Soderholm is constantly finding balance in a trend-forward industry and the timelessness of ABLE’s dedication to social responsibility. Jordan resides in Nashville, T.N. with her husband Steve, dog Clooney, and a not-so-mild infatuation with all things leopard.
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