As a female-owned and led brand, we feel an extra surge of pride on International Women's Day. It's a chance to celebrate how far we've come and reflect on how far we still have to go.  In the spirit of IWD on March 8, we asked the AGJ team to reflect on what it means to them to be a part of an all-female team and what pieces of AGJ they've had their eyes on.

Meet: Meredith Oleary @miss_mereditho
What does it mean to you working for a female-founded company?
It means a lot to me to work for a female-founded company. I've previously worked for companies that were mainly men, and there is a such a difference in the workflow, attitude and overall vibe when it's all women! Ariel is such a badass, and it's inspiring to see what she's built in a still very male dominated industry.

What woman do you admire most?
My mom, Theresa Andreas O'Leary. She raised 4 kids and ran a clean and happy household. We moved all around the world while I was growing up, so she did this from Paris to Cape Town and everywhere in between. Once all of us kids moved out of the house, she began to pursue her career outside of the home, and she has become a very prolific artist. (Shameless plug: you can check her out at andreasartstudio.com!)

What makes you feel empowered?
I love being a woman, and I feel so powerful in my femininity. Speaking up for myself, honoring my word, and following through on my commitments to myself and others all make me feel empowered—along with a great dress, lashes done, and (of course) dripping in gold!

What woman's cause is close to you?
I feel strongly about a woman's right to have autonomy over her own body. It seems like the government, society, and other outside forces are always vying for control over our bodies. Not just when it comes to reproductive health either. From being told to smile or what to wear or even being shamed by other women, it seems like everyone wants to control women. C'mon, let us be great!

What AGJ piece do you wear every day?
My Scorpio Zodiac Dog Tag Necklace. I've loved it from the first day I saw it, and I rarely take it off (which is kind of major for me because I put on and take off all my jewelry nonstop).

What piece of AGJ do you have your eyes on?
Omg! There are so many! Lately I've been obsessing over the Classic Link Necklace and the Diamond Bezel Tennis Bracelet. I'm also lusting after the Imperial Disc Pendant Necklace for my girlfriend.

Meet: Mariana Gerres @marianagerres
What does it mean to you working for a female-founded company?
I am proud to be working for a female founded company! I look up to Ariel, she supports and cares about so many amazing organizations, is such an inspiration and a badass through and through!

What woman do you admire most?
I admire so many women, it is hard to narrow down the list, but I absolutely worship my grandma’s! Both were raised in east Germany and grew up working at the family ranch along with their siblings, parents and grandparents - working just as hard as any male around…they always have! I was lucky that I got to be raised by such strong and hard-working woman!

What makes you feel empowered?
Self-confidence! It makes me view my mistakes and failures as a chance to learn, grow, and to keep trying. It also gives me the enthusiasm and readiness to believe in myself and never give up. To respect myself, flaws and all!

What woman's cause is close to you?
I care very much about Women's Rights - it would be crazy not to. Standing out to me are foundations like Care.org's Woman Empowerment Fund, Woman for Woman International, Equality Now and Dress for Success, just to name a few.

What AGJ piece do you wear every day?
My Medallion Signet Necklace! I love it so much and never take it off, even when surfing!

What piece of AGJ do you have your eyes on?
Right now, I am obsessing over the Classic Link Bracelet, the Roman Holiday Ring and ALL the new Rings that will be launching soon!

 

Meet: Kacie Goddard @kaciegoddard
What does it mean to you working for a female-founded company?
Ariel is the most humble human and is truly touching every part of AGJ, every day. I’m forever inspired and excited to be a part of it! We're soft yet strong, we know our values and make decisions from places of intention and compassion. We care a lot about our culture and our product because we're connected to ourselves, our vendors and our customers. At the end of the day it’s about making a positive impact for all three of those, not just selling a piece of jewelry. It's time for faceless capitalist business to go.

What woman do you admire most?
My sweet, sweet grandma. Forever holding it down with grace.

What makes you feel empowered?
Daily mindful choices, small but they mean so much and keep me feeling like myself. Being aware of what's going on in my community and the world. Solo travel.

What woman's cause is close to you?
Women's equality in business in less inclusive economic climates. I have a big soft spot for India and truly admire the women in more rural communities who are breaking the mold and starting businesses in union with each other.

What AGJ piece do you wear every day?
All the mismatched studs, always. And my Medallion Signet Necklace.

What piece of AGJ do you have your eyes on?
Do I have to pick one?! Fine Line Huggies (coming soon!), Classic Link Bracelet.

Meet: Cassie Cook @cassiecook1
What does it mean to you working for a female-founded company?
It is so inspiring working for Ariel and seeing all that she has accomplished in this industry so far. She is so driven, hardworking, kind, and giving. She is constantly empowering her team to make decisions, take initiative and solve problems not only in our work life but in our own lives. I feel an overall difference working in a female work environment by the teamwork mentality. I love my AGJ Gals!

What woman do you admire most?
I admire my mom the most. She is the most selfless, strong, hard-working woman I know. She always knows what to say to lift me up and I can always lean on her for advice when making life decisions no matter big or small. I love and adore her very much.

What makes you feel empowered?
Self-care is very important to me. I feel empowered when I feel my best both physically and mentally. I am able to set clear goals and feel more inspired and motivated to work towards achieving those goals.

What woman's cause is close to you?
Dress for success. I love their mission to uplift and support women by providing support, professional attire and the tools to succeed in work and in life.

What AGJ piece do you wear every day?
My Standard Endless hoops! I never leave the house without them!

What piece of AGJ do you have your eyes on?
I mean there are too many to choose from but recently I have had my eyes on the Zodiac Dog Tag necklace. It is such a classic!

Meet: Jenel Chesley Brayl
What does it mean to you working for a female-founded company?
Working for a female-owned and operated business in 1999 when I entered the workforce was a privilege and perk I didn't quite understand at the time. Over the years, especially during my time in more corporate male-dominated companies, the stark difference made me long for what I had and appreciate the passion and unique environments created by these incredible women. I've been lucky to be a part of a handful of really special female-founded brands and in them, I've discovered a deep connection to my work, a sense of pride and trust for what we are all making and a sense of beauty that runs like a thread through all areas of my life. The women on my journey have shown me what it means to show up, work hard, laugh (a lot!), fail, rise, win, loose, love and become our greatest selves together. I have met my dearest friends and mentors and I would not be who I am today without these wonderful women and the women-run businesses who hired all of them. I am truly grateful!

What woman do you admire most?
There are so many women over the years who stand as touchpoints for a particular moment or time in my life. These women were my lighthouse as I navigated whatever tough thing I was working through and they continue to be who I look to for guidance. Below are a few well-known women I most admire but there are many many more...

I did a book report on Helen Keller in 3rd grade and I remember sobbing while reading about her life, she was truly incredible. She made everything in life feel possible.

As a young confused teen, Kathleen Hanna was the voice the cut through all the literal noise of the 90's.... Her "girls to the front" mantra gave us all permission to participate in a major way, stand up, be counted, have something to say and then say it!

Through my 20's Joan Didion was someone I felt the biggest kinship to even though she came a full generation and a half before me. It's as if she reached into my soul and put words to all my feelings. I loved her point of view and still do.

Julia Child, M.F.K. Fisher and Alice Waters were the women I was totally obsessed with throughout my 30's. What lives, what passion! Did you know Julia was a CIA agent before she became the beloved cooking host we all know her as!? These three together truly taught me the art of living.

Most recently Michelle Obama has been a hero to me. I have thought the world of her since her days as First Lady but after reading her latest memoir I see her now what an incredible teacher, leader and mentor she has always been. A true example of what someone can do when she puts her mind to it. I think of her and am inspired almost daily.

What makes you feel empowered?
Being heard, seen, respected and loved for who I am. Helping other people find what empowers them.

What woman's cause is close to you?
Planned parenthood is my tried and true. They have done so much to help women live the lives they want to live - I am forever in their debt!

What AGJ piece do you wear every day?
My medallion signet, engraved with the word "cosmic" which serves as a reminder to trust the timing of my life and to be thankful for all that I have. And, my Fat Tire Ring which is also my wedding band.

What piece of AGJ do you have your eyes on?
I'm dying to add a diamond eternity band to my stack but I'm saving up for when the new collection launches...I want one of everything!

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