Aerie Friends & Family: Jocelyn L., Bright Pink Ambassador

Aerie Friends & Family: Jocelyn L., Bright Pink Ambassador

For the past few years, Aerie has been partnering with Bright Pink, a national non-profit organization focused on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women. Meet Jocelyn L., a Bright Pink Ambassador from Chicago, IL. Read on to learn more about how Jocelyn got involved with the organization and why it is important for young women to be proactive with their health.

Meet Jocelyn, a member of Team Bright Pink

Meet Jocelyn, a member of Team Bright Pink

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

My name is Jocelyn and I live in Chicago, Illinois. I am twenty nine years old and I work at a downtown Chicago firm as a fire protection engineer. In my free time I love knitting, running, and cooking with my husband Tim! We also love craft beer, and exploring all our great city has to offer.

How did you hear about/ get involved with Bright Pink?

My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 at the age of 27. At her gentle prodding, I finally began regularly seeing an OB/GYN who recommended I look into Bright Pink based on my family history. I put it on the back burner for awhile and then began to use it as a resource after my sister passed away, looking for information about my high risk. Because my sister was positive for the BRCA2 genetic mutation, I eventually met with a genetics counselor and was tested myself. After testing positive, I underwent the regimen of increased screening, and ultimately had a prophylactic double mastectomy in 2012. I remember distinctly after finding out I was BRCA2 positive, looking for people like me–people who didn’t have cancer, but those who were still at high risk. It’s a group that is very much a middle ground, people who are aware of their risk and what it means, but with the time and knowledge to do something about it. I was hungry for information during that time, and Bright Pink was a great resource for me.

Who has been the most important influence in your life?

My sister has been the most influential person of my life. I always looked up to my big sister growing up and as an adult valued her advice and opinions above all. Seeing her struggle with breast cancer, and ultimately succumbing to the disease in 2011 was the push I needed to become more involved in Bright Pink and to truly take care of myself. I would be foolish to see how serious the disease is and see her life cut short and not learn lessons from her experience. She’s still with me every day helping me navigate through life. I miss being able to talk to her, but I know she would be proud of my decisions.

Why is it important for girls/women to become educated in breast/ovarian health?

I think it’s important because it’s our bodies, and no one knows them like us. If we don’t take control then we passively wait to see what happens. Growing up when women in my family were diagnosed with breast cancer, I always imagined that it was something I would deal with in old age. But my sister’s diagnosis at a young age and its aggressiveness really shocked me. Not everyone’s case is so extreme, but it’s possible, and women can’t just put their breast/ovarian health in a box and wait to unpack in it their 40s, when they’re done having children, or when they have time. Cancer doesn’t wait until it’s convenient for you. It may never come, but accepting the possibility that it may come is what goes along with being a high-risk woman. There’s a lot of information out there, and it’s up to everyone to read between the lines and find out what’s best for them and their bodies.

What inspires you in everyday life?

The memory of my sister, and knowing that undergoing the mastectomy has made me proactive instead of waiting to be a victim. If I had to see my sister undergo what she did, and then do nothing to prevent it from happening to me, it would be wasteful. I feel like the gift of knowledge that my sister gave me through this experience is the greatest gift I could ever receive. Seeing strong women empowered in the face of adversity is inspiring to me.

What do you love about Bright Pink?

I love that Bright Pink networks you with real people, not just people in glossy pamphlets. I have participated in the Pink Pal program and spoken with a woman who was in my exact situation and could lend her experiences. I love that the outreach programs are fun and conducive to real discussions about the unique problems high risk women face. The women I meet there are a wealth of information, and they make me feel normal navigating my path. We can discuss anything. I love that there are also educational programs with experts who I feel I can ask anything. Bright Pink’s focus on knowledge and empowerment is the message I needed and I hope can continue to share.

How can girls/women get involved with Bright Pink?

All sorts of ways! Women can attend an outreach program, use the website as an informational resource, participate in the Pink Pal program, volunteer at events, or participate in fundraising activities. Last year I ran the Chicago Marathon (my first!) for Team Bright Pink, raising money for the organization and training with the team. This year I plan to run the Chicago Half Marathon with Team Bright Pink as well.

 

Bright Pink’s message is about the importance of taking a proactive approach to your health and they offer an interactive online quiz that combines your family health history and lifestyle factors to create a personalized risk assessment for you to save, print, and bring to your doctor to craft a proactive breast and ovarian health strategy unique to you!  Check out Bright Pink’s Assess Your Risk tool and check back for more updates on our partnership.

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Aerie Friends & Family: Sarah R., Bright Pink Storyteller

Aerie Friends & Family: Sarah R., Bright Pink Storyteller

For the past few years, Aerie has been partnering with Bright Pink, a national non-profit organization focused on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women. We wanted to celebrate our partnership with them by showcasing some of the members that make up the soul of the organization. Meet Sarah R., Bright Pink Storyteller and Fitness Director for Chicago Athletic Clubs. Read on to learn more about how Sarah’s journey with Bright Pink began and how you can get involved too.

 

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Sarah R., Bright Pink Storyteller

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am fortunate to be living in a city I love and working doing what started as a hobby, now turned passion. I started teaching group fitness classes in 1997 in Denver, Colorado before and after my “day” job as an marketing and event director for a publishing company. When my husband, son and I moved to Chicago seven years ago, I picked up some classes at several Chicago Athletic Clubs locations. I am now the Fitness Director for CAC, overseeing the Group Fitness and Personal Training Departments of all six locations and, of course, still teaching classes!

How did you hear about/ get involved with Bright Pink?

I was introduced to Bright Pink through lululemon four years ago. I am closely connected with the fitness community and was introduced to Lindsay prior to the very first Fit Fest (now Fab Fest). I was honored to teach a class at the inaugural event and am thrilled to continue my involvement.

Who or what has been the most important influence in your life?

My father is the most important influence in my life. He introduced me to fitness when I was nine years old. I ran my first race with him when I was ten. We ran the same race thirty years later and crossed the finish line hand in hand. His strength, dedication, compassion, commitment and unconditional love influences me daily.

Why is it important for girls/women to become educated in breast/ovarian health?

It is important to know our body, to know what it should be and to know what it should NOT be. This applies not just to breast/ovarian health, but overall health and fitness, as well. Awareness is the first step in being and staying healthy.

What inspires you in everyday life?

The real people around me inspire me daily. The people I see every day who often say they look to me for inspiration inspire me. They make me want to be better so I can continue to inspire and positively influence them.

What do you love about Bright Pink?

I love that Bright Pink focuses on education and prevention of breast/ovarian cancer to young women. The proactive nature of Bright Pink, combined with the support network and the fun events targeted to young women set it apart from other organizations.

How can girls/women get involved with Bright Pink?

Bright Pink has so many ways to get involved from donating, volunteering or participating in chapter events. I am a little biased though… one of the most fun ways to get involved would be to build a fundraising team of eleven friends and come to Chicago in September for Fab Fest 2013! Visit www.brightpink.org for opportunities and information.

Bright Pink’s message is about the importance of taking a proactive approach to your health and they offer an interactive online quiz that combines your family health history and lifestyle factors to create a personalized risk assessment for you to save, print, and bring to your doctor to craft a proactive breast and ovarian health strategy unique to you!  Check out Bright Pink’s Assess Your Risk tool and check back for more updates on our partnership.

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AE Friends & Family: NYDO Design Assistants

AE Friends & Family: NYDO Design Assistants

Meet Amanda, Colleen, Nina & Rachel – four of AEO‘s Assistant Designers. We brought these four in from our New York Design Office for a special photo shoot on the streets around our home office in Pittsburgh. After the shoot, we sat down to chat about their lives in New York and what makes these designers tick. Read on to learn more about how they discovered their passion for design and their fave hang out spots in NYC.

 

How did you get your start with AEO? 

Amanda: I started as our AEO Receptionist and also worked with the HR Department.  After working here for a couple months, I knew that I wanted to move into design and after a lot of hard work I finally got a position in the accessories department!

Colleen: I was recruited just before I graduated last year from the University of Cincinnati. I got called back for an interview in NYC and got the job as Assistant Designer for Women’s Sweaters a week later!

Nina: I started last August (2013) as a part of the AEO Designer Trainee Program.

Rachel: I met with some of the AE recruiters a few months after I graduated from school. I flew to NY to interview with my team, and left knowing that I wanted to work with them. I received a phone call a few days later offering me a position with women’s denim, and I moved two weeks later. It all happened very fast!

Meet Rachel, Assistant Designer - Denim

Meet Rachel, Assistant Designer – Denim

Who or what has been the most important influence in your life? 

Amanda: Everyone around me has had an influence on my life in some way, but specifically relating to fashion, I would say one of my close family friends.  She was always in the industry and had incredible drive that helped her to succeed and to bring her where she is today.

Nina: My family has been the most important influence on my life – they instilled values of honest, hard work early on in my life.  They’ve always encouraged me to explore my creativity. I’m really lucky to have them.

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What songs are playing on your iPod? 

Colleen: I have been listening to Why? a lot. I have a lot of hometown pride and there are tons of great bands coming out of Cincinnati lately. Why? As well as Tweens, Vacation, Wussy, and Walk The Moon are all great Ohio folks. I’ve also been super into Columbian heartthrob, Juanes, lately (sorry I’m not sorry). The song La Camisa Negra gets me PUMPED UP.

Rachel: Lana Del Rey, Santigold, Matt and Kim, Of Monsters and Men, and Florence + The Machine.

Meet Colleen, Assistant Designer - Women's Sweaters

Meet Colleen, Assistant Designer – Women’s Sweaters

 

How did you discover your passion? 

Nina: I have always sketched clothes – I started my first sketch book when I was 12.  I’ve never stopped loving design.

Rachel: Art is part of who I am, it has always been a part of my life in some form. Fashion was just another outlet but most certainly my favorite. Something just clicks when I’m designing, it’s what I’m supposed to be doing.

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What is next on your ‘To Do in Life’ list?

Amanda: TRAVEL!!! I love learning about new cultures and finding new and inspiring art around the world.  I would love to go to Morro de Sao Paulo in Brazil next!

Colleen: 1. Go to beach. 2. Eat brunch.

 

Meet Nina, Assistant Designer - Women's Wovens

Meet Nina, Assistant Designer – Women’s Wovens

How would you describe your style?

Amanda: My style depends on my mood.  Most of the time it’s pretty easy, like skinny jeans with a baggy tee or a button down, but sometimes I like to surprise people and wear super structured dresses and blazers.

Colleen: When I get dressed, I tend to channel a pop culture figure that embodies how I feel at that specific moment. In general I want to look like a girl that’s got it together, but is also a little wild. Lately I’ve been inspired by the heroines of Twin Peaks, especially Shelly. When she’s not serving diner coffee in her baby-blue uniform, she’s all big hair, dark lipstick and miniskirt. Hanging out with boys in flannel. The combination of 90’s grunge and 50’s retro seems so perfect right now.

 

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Favorite AE clothing piece? 

Nina: I love my moto jeans I scored on the shoot.  They are super flattering and I get tons of compliments on them (Yes, I’ve worn them already! I couldn’t wait.).

Rachel: A dark pair of jeggings.

Meet Amanda, Assistant Designer - Women's Accessories

Meet Amanda, Assistant Designer – Women’s Accessories

How does your work influence your style? 

Colleen: Since working at AE, my clothing choices have become much more colorful. I used to wear all black all the time because it’s easy and always looks cool, but working here I’ve been able to see how we create exciting palettes and have been better at incorporating color into my outfits.

Nina: I’m constantly in motion at work, so I like to have a cool casual look when I’m in the office.

 

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What is your dream job? 

Amanda: My current job is my dream job! I absolutely love the category that I’m in and feel so lucky to be given the opportunity.

Rachel: Collaborating with my fiancé on our own line.

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What is your favorite spot in NYC? 

Amanda: I love the West Village and Nolita. Both still have that old NY charm and feel so whimsical.

Rachel: I love the Brooklyn Flea in Williamsburg. It’s right on the water and there are always fun treasures to uncover. I also really enjoy The High Line. It’s a great spot to relax and it’s beautifully designed.

 

 

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Project Live Your Life: Kelly R., Writer

Project Live Your Life: Kelly R., Writer

Project Live Your Life is back and we’re looking for inspirational people with unique style to be a part of our brand. Each week we’ll share entries that are standing out to us to help you with building your profile.

Kelly R. is a Writer for The Oklahoma Daily and shared two articles on her profile that she wrote after the tornadoes devastated her hometown of Moore, OK. She also describes herself as a stylist, adventurer and volunteer.

Check out some of the highlights from her profile below.

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Kelly enjoying the lake.

 

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Kelly went to the prom with past Project Live Your Life winner Jason.

Enter Project Live Your Life now or vote for your favorites to be a part of an AEO campaign.

Coming Soon: The Return of Project Live Your Life

Coming Soon: The Return of Project Live Your Life

Have you seen the fresh faces currently in our stores, social profiles and on AE.com? They were the winners of our Project Live Your Life Contest last fall. Lucky for you, the contest is coming back even better this February.

We want to see your personal style and what makes you unique. This is your chance to show us how you live your life through photography, music, dancing or any other hobby or passion and the style you rock while doing it.

Here’s how you can prepare:

Find some photos

Scour Facebook, Flickr, Instagram and any other photo library you have for your favorite photos of yourself showcasing your individual style. Whether your looks are Bright & Bold, Sharp & Chic, Heritage, Festival, Beach or Spring Break we want to see you highlight your style with a few awesome shots.

Put your talent on display

What’s your talent, passion or hobby? Are you an Artist? Writer? Musician? No matter what you live to do, we want to see it! Prepare your best videos, photos, artwork, song files, writing samples and more to showcase in your contest entry.

Tell your friends and family

To be considered as a finalist by our judging panel, you must be voted in to the top 200 in your category by other people. So get the word out now to your friends and family! Once your entry is live on the Project Live Your Life site make sure you Tweet, Facebook, Pin and Email to get as many votes as you can.

That’s it! Be sure to bookmark ae.com/liveyourlife so you’re ready to go when the contest launches. Good luck and be sure to check back here and our Facebook page to get more details and updates throughout the contest.

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