In honor of Women’s History Month, I am excited to introduce our next 20x20 collaborator, Natalie Alcala, Founder and CEO of Fashion Mamas, Father Collective, and Creative Career Club. After making her mark as a fashion writer, Natalie’s entrepreneurial spirit emerged when she started Fashion Mamas, the first and leading members-only network for dynamic and diverse mothers who work in fashion, art, design, media, and entertainment. In 2014, Natalie was a brand new mom searching for a judgment-free zone where she and other like-minded women could come together to talk about motherhood, business, collaboration, and ways to serve their community as well as each other. She came up empty-handed so she decided to create it herself! Today, Fashion Mamas has grown to include 600 members worldwide and features purpose-driven initiatives, social campaigns to produce meaningful change, and annual programming like the Mamas Making It Summits, Mama Markets and so much more. In the spirit of helping others find their support system, Natalie has chosen The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to receive 100% of the proceeds from our collaboration. “Therapy and mental health should be accessible for all, especially to our BIPOC brothers and sisters, and NAMI is an established organization that is doing the work.” As a working mom and a member of this vibrant community, I know from experience that the best thing we can do for each other is to support, empower, and uplift one another to make this world a better place.
What was the idea or inspiration behind this piece?
Taking care of your mental health is more important than ever. Individual self-care needs vary by person, and those needs may include creating boundaries, cleansing your circle, saying No to that RSVP, working smarter not harder, and being honest about your bandwidth, aka your energy or mental capacity. I created the phrase "No Bandwidth for Bullshit" because I mean it — I have a full life and I'm working on myself constantly, so the last thing I can give time and energy to is bullshit, and that bullshit includes gossip, microaggressions, judgmental people, toxic behavior, and hateful actions. It's a complete waste of time, and we all have limited time on this planet. I hope others join me in wearing this daily reminder proudly.
What was your favorite part of the jewelry design process with Zoë?
It was so easy, and I love that she gave me creative freedom, down to the font used. It truly feels like a piece that me and my friends would wear without hesitation, and that's all I could ever ask for. I really love the charitable element as well.
How does designing jewelry differ from your creative process?
I am a gold jewelry lover, so it was so fun to go behind-the-scenes of the jewelry-making process. It's quite different from my work that involves Zoom calls, deck-building, event-planning, and email-blasting. !
Why is this charity that you chose close to your heart?
As a former drug and alcohol abuser, and relationship trauma survivor, there are a lot of skeletons in my closet that continue to haunt me — I never know when a past memory or story will reappear in my mind unannounced. It's taken a lot of work on myself and therapy to not only survive but thrive in my life. I am so proud of who I am today, against all odds. Therapy and mental health should be accessible for all, especially to our BIPOC brothers and sisters, and NAMI is an established organization that is doing the work to help us all have the resources to do the work on ourselves.
What's your favorite way to style the piece?
I love layering my jewelry, and I've always loved medallions. I'm going to layer it with a shorter choker-style necklace, then cascade down with a medium length medallion, and this jewelry design will be the longer, anchoring piece of that trifecta. And it pairs perfectly with my thick gold hoops aka a Latina essential! Gold jewelry dresses up anything you're wearing, whether it's a sweatsuit or a simple black blazer.