It is hard to believe that a place you have lived in can dictate the person you will grow to be. Just a place can influence how you will be brought up and ultimately define your culture. Did you know there are about 7 billion people in the world? Where you were born but, most importantly, where you are raised, will define your roots. It will reward you with a culture that will define you forever.
I take a deep breath, the smell of salt penetrates my nose. I lick my lips and all I can taste is the water that drips down my face from my hair as I shake my head back and forth flicking the ocean water from my face. This right here is culture to me.
Growing up in the small island of Puerto Rico, the sound of the waves is melody to my ears. It brings me peace, it brings me harmony and most importantly, it makes me feel alive.
Culture for many is influential and definitive. It makes you act a certain way. For me, it is hard to stay true to it considering I now live miles away from home, from the place where I grew up. Far away from my siblings, from my mother and father who raised me to be proud of where I come from.
Many of my childhood memories were made by the ocean. In a bathing suit under the Caribbean sun next to my two siblings, Marisa and Nana. The bond that siblings have cannot be put into words. Now, years after, when we no longer sit next to each other, building sand castles, collecting seashells, or pretending to swim like mermaids, the memories keep us together. We still keep in touch, and we talk almost every day. I believe we are lucky to have each other but if the day comes where we are not fortunate enough, will our culture keep us together? Will it keep our relationship alive?
One out of three siblings, both Fred and I have this in common.
Fred Magnanimi is the founder and CEO of Luca + Danni, a fast growing jewelry line founded and handcrafted in the smallest state in the US, Rhode Island.
We both share many of the best memories with our siblings. Our culture defines us, it is the roots that keep us working hard and setting higher goals for ourselves. For Fred, culture is so much more than just a word. It is one of the three priorities his company is defined as. Luca + Danni was born in memory of Danny. Fred left his job at Wall Street to build his brother's dream, an American hand crafted jewelry line that inspires others through their journey of life. It was his culture, the roots of his family, that motivates him to tell his story. As CEO, he makes sure that Luca + Danni connects with partners that will understand the culture behind the story and represent it in the correct way.
Today, Fred believes that it is his duty to teach his employees about his culture. To educate them about his brother, and what he believed in. It is important for him to engrave this vision and make his team understand it. Many of his team members had the honor of meeting Danny and knew him personally. They are part of the roots of the company, they have become part of the culture.
When I look down on my hand, I stare at my wrist.
Wether I am wearing my Crystal AB Seashell or my Mermaid Bangle I transport myself to the beaches of Puerto Rico, to the oceans that hold some of my greatest memories with Marisa and Nana. Luca + Danni is so much more than just jewelry, it can symbolize and represent my roots. This can happen because I can choose to own different ones to wear. The anchor reminds me that for now, I am a Rhode Island resident. I now call this my home but, when I put them together with my seashell and my mermaid I know my heart will forever lie in my small island in the Caribbean. The place I will always call home...
Until my next topic...
© 2016 Gloria Isabel Nieto