Get to Know #AerieREAL Role Model Cleo Wade

Cleo Wade is an Artist, Poet and our newest #AerieREAL Role Model! Cleo is on a mission to tell the world about the power of love, & we’re right there with her. Learn more about Cleo & her mission.

H1_Insta_8Get to Know #AerieREAL Role Model Cleo Wade

Stay tuned for more #AerieREAL love from Cleo. And remember to share your #AerieREAL story with us @Aerie!

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3 Tips To Start Your Own Side Hustle

Hey Aerie girls, me again! It’s Jenna Kutcher over here waving at you in her yoga pants and hustling behind the keyboard, but that’s what life looks like these days — but it didn’t always look like this! Today? I get to serve the world as an #AerieREAL Role Model, through The Goal Digger Podcast, my online education, and the platforms I’ve built with encouraging messages, marketing know-how, and strategies that can help others get paid to do what they love! I used to dream that I’d wear power suits and have a corner office with windows but when I found myself in a stuffy windowless office at the age of 22 with a mountain of paperwork and lurking anxiety, I knew that the ladder climbing life wasn’t for me. I started to dream of ways I could escape the corporate hustle and when I dream, I don’t dream small. I should have known, the girl who would host lemonade stands on her country dirt road that saw maybe 10 cars a day would turn into an entrepreneur but I never thought that I could truly make a go at it…. the leap felt too big, too impossible for this Midwest girl who had landed what she thought was her “dream” job out of college.

3 Tips To Start Your Own Side Hustle

By chance, I stumbled upon a camera on Craigslist. It cost $300 and at the time, I was planning my wedding and knew I wanted to document some of the processes. It was my first “big” purchase I made with my corporate salary and I quickly fell in love with photography. Having never taken an art class, I found myself trying to learn all the funny dials and numbers and would wake up wanting to take pictures. I soon after started a blog and started to share my snapshots and what was going on in our lives as we got ready for our upcoming wedding, I shared my photos on Facebook, and soon I started to get people asking if I could take pictures of their kid or their cat or basically anything. I said “YES!” to everything and couldn’t believe someone would actually pay me to do what I loved, even if it was only $20!

I shortly after realized that my time was valuable and that there was true potential for me as a photographer. I set a goal of “retiring” from corporate America within one year’s time and I hustled…. I hustled hard. I hired a designer and got a logo made, I got asked to take pictures at my brother-in-law’s wedding in Jamaica and I went big! I didn’t want to throw away that chance so I studied wedding blogs and did the best I could. Within a year I had booked enough weddings to leave behind my salary and jump into a life of full-time entrepreneurship. Fast forward to 8 years later, I’m still an entrepreneur (though it looks drastically different than those early days!) and I’ve been able to build a multi-million dollar company from my small town in Minnesota.

So maybe you’re wondering, “Wait, how did she go from a $300 Craigslist camera to a 7-figure business?” Let me tell you: it was a lot of work, a lot of time, and a lot of passion. First things first, it all started with a side hustle. What is a side hustle? It’s not your primary income, often times it’s a passion project or an idea that you’re trying out or considering pursuing as a business. The beauty of a side hustle is that you don’t have the pressure of having to make big profits (which can quickly crush every ounce of creativity) but you can slowly focus on building it into whatever your vision is for it.

I’ve had a lot of side hustles over the years:

– Photography was my first side hustle when I was still working my corporate job!

– I started teaching online education as a side hustle to my booming wedding photography business.

– I started the Goal Digger Podcast as a side hustle when my education business was thriving!

All of these started out of pure passion where I took an idea, put some time into it and I was able to just test things out without the fear or the pressure of them having to be successful! So maybe you’re wondering, where do I begin? I’d challenge you to start with looking at the things that you’re passionate or curious about (no matter how obscure or random they may seem) and just pursue them in a focused way! What would it look like if you just worked on those passions a few hours every week for a month? You might discover you LOVE it or maybe a new idea will come to you!

Next? Focus on what you’re naturally good at. Too often, we’re so close to our genius spots that we don’t even realize that they don’t come naturally to others. What do people always ask you about? What advice do you find yourself giving over and over? What are you known for? These things can help you to determine a potential side hustle that could not only set you up to excel but also allow you to help others! Lastly, take your time. For me: I couldn’t just jump and hope the net would appear, I needed to make sure I had a plan that was sound and stable so that I wouldn’t totally fall flat on my face. There is absolutely no shame in having your side hustle be just that: a side hustle. When I was transitioning from my 9-5, I used every extra penny from that job to fund my dream and it was the best thing I did to set myself up for success.

So I want to know: what is your big, scary dream? If you could do anything in the world, what would it be? I’d love to read your comments below and be able to cheer you on! This entrepreneur life isn’t always glamorous, a lot of times it’s long days in my sweatpants behind a computer but I honestly wouldn’t change it for the world!

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Feeling REAL good in your bra with Jenna Kutcher

Let’s be honest, going bra shopping hasn’t been at the top of our list of “fun experiences”…. but that? That’s a thing of the past and now shopping for bras doesn’t have to be this daunting experience where you leave frustrated, insecure, and empty handed…. because if we get down to it, it’s not even really about the bra itself but how you FEEL in it and Aerie is making sure that you’ll leave the store feeling real good.

When I sat down with the Aerie team, recounting awkward dressing room experiences and frustrations that left me wondering what was wrong with my body or squeezing into bras that just didn’t fit right, I realized that many other women probably have shared similar experiences. Ladies, we are not alone in the fact that finding the best fit for the “the girls” isn’t an easy task – but now? It’s one that can leave you feeling powerful, happy, and REAL.

At the shoot, we quickly discovered that pregnancy had already changed my body (and cup size) a lot, so there I was, standing in a dressing room saying a silent prayer that I could find something to fit my changing body. The Aerie team got to work finding new bras that fit me amazingly and I let out a “sigh” of relief knowing there were options that could accommodate my changing “girls” that left me feeling powerful and confident. Dressing room nightmares, be gone, because Aerie’s changing the game once and for all.

So let’s dive on into what’s new at Aerie and I’ll share my personal experience (candidly) about each collection and how they made me feel!

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To kick off the collections, let’s start with the “Real Me” line, which feels almost like a second skin. The new Real Me Full Coverage Push Up Bra has a great amount of lift and boost, and I’m drawn to wear this bra in my everyday life the most because it feels like an extension of me without feeling like too much.

The “Real Happy” is named that for a reason, this collection is known for all the right options in all the right places and let me tell you… the Real Happy Full Coverage Lightly Lined Bras has the most cup coverage of all the options and reinforced straps. Since my body is a changing being pregnant, this one makes me feel the most secure of all!

3.jpgNow, let me tell you about the “Real Sunnie!” There’s a reason this is the #1 tee shirt bra for Aerie, it’s soft, stretchy, and supportive and amazing for under just about everything. It comes in many options from lightly lined to wireless, so you’re sure to find the best fit! Seriously, from strapless to push up, there’s a Real Sunnie waiting for you!

The “Real Power” lives up to its name with a plunging neckline and convertible straps – not to mention a convertible amount of boost in the form of a push up. It can be your secret power for the next time you need a little extra something! The lace options are TO-DIE-FOR and probably my personal favorite from this collection!

Regardless of which you choose, it’s all about how you F EEL – from the experience of shopping whether you’re in a fitting room or the comfort of your home, we want your Aerie purchase to be made with total confidence (and it can, because returns? They are on us!) Now? I’m excited to purchase new bras because I know that there’s a size for me and everybody and options for every occasion. Trust me, when you focus on how you feel, everything changes!

 

 

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You Got It From Your Mama!

Here’s to our role models! This Mother’s Day, we’re celebrating MOM—your original role model. To get ready, we brought our #AerieREAL Role Models and their moms together for an extra-special shoot. Find out what Iskra, Yara and Aly got from their mamas and share your story! Tell us what you got from your mama or what you hope to pass on to your kids with us @Aerie #AerieREAL.

See behind-the-scenes fun from the shoot and read our #AerieREAL Role Models’ stories below!

Iskra Lawrence with her mom, Wilma

Iskra: “Her gift is that she’s grateful and excited for each and every single thing in life. That’s really really wonderful and so happy and positive to be around. You show me what unconditional love truly means.”

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SHOP THE LOOK: Aerie Cross-Strap High Neck Bikini Top | Aerie Muscle Tank

Wilma: “I think for moms out there, it’s really important to always be positive, to bring a positive vibe each day, to tell your children how much you love them, how much you do appreciate them. Just be happy.”

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SHOP THE LOOK: Aerie Cut Out One Piece

Yara Shahidi with her mom, Keri

Yara: My mom is one of the biggest influences in my life. Part of it is just watching her maneuver through the world. Being able to be in your presence, I’ve watched you maneuver through the world without compromising. You’ve always been very honest and open with me.Even being able to see the times in which you’ve struggled has made it so I embrace myself and I embrace the moments when I don’t feel my best. And rather than glossing over those, you’ve taught me to really live in those moments and figure out how to grow from those moments rather than feeling as though I have to attain some random idea of perfection.”

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SHOP THE LOOK: Aerie Strapless Ruffle Jumpsuit

Keri: “I feel like one of my jobs before I had her, before my husband and I manifested this creature, was to know that we were depositing goodness. And for her to reflect back and say ‘geez thank you’ without me whispering in her ear “name me a role model” is honestly more than I could ever ask. So I’m honored.”

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SHOP THE LOOK: Distressed Cable Sweater | Lace-Up Easy Short | Long Sleeve Striped Shirt | Cut Out One Piece | Denim Fringe Short

Aly Raisman with her mom, Lynn

Aly: “No matter what I do, no matter how crazy everything gets, I always look forward to coming home & just being grounded & having that balance. Family is the best place for me, so I feel very lucky.”

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SHOP THE LOOK: Smocked One Piece Swimsuit | Long Sleeve Striped Shirt | Triangle Bikini Top | Bikini Bottom | Striped Kimono

Lynn: “Be confident, be supportive and kind, and just really love yourself.”

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SHOP THE LOOK: Triangle Bikini Top | Macrame Scoop One Piece Swimsuit | Macrame Top

Share your story! Tell us what you got from your mama or what you hope to pass on to your kids with us @Aerie #AerieREAL.

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Spring Break Playlist

The Aerie spring break playlist is ready? Ok, NOW you’re ready for your vacays! We’re kicking it off with #AerieREAL Role Model Rachel Platten’s “Whole Heart,” and the sunshine continues from there. Listen to our spring faves below.

Spring Break Playlist

Follow us on Spotify for more of our faves & comment below & tell us the spring jams you’re playing on repeat!

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Real Talk With Nia Pettitt

We met Nia last year, and since then she’s been inspiring us with her honesty about natural beauty, insecurities and confidence. Nia’s curls were always huge part of her life—she co-founded the Go With The Fro Tour, a movement to empower women with natural curls—but when she realized that her hair was starting to define her, she knew she had to let it go. We talked to Nia about that process and what she learned from it. Read on for more from this #AerieREAL Role Model!

 

Real Talk With Nia Pettitt

You’ve recently changed your look! Tell us why you decided to cut your hair.  

I knew I wanted to let go of my hair when the image of the woman I aspired to be wasn’t who I was. I was bored of looking the same every day just for validation through social media. I felt unhappy and drained but I couldn’t figure out why until I listed all the things I felt were holding me back. I wanted a fresh start and to completely step out of my comfort zone to finally see myself. I feel amazing, I feel so confident and free.

 

Real Talk With Nia Pettitt

What did you learn in the process?

That you should never remain in a career, relationship or friendship just because of the comfort. I could’ve remained talking about hair just because it was what I built my brand on but it wasn’t what I was truly passionate about anymore. I also learned that some people will be in your life just because of how you look which is sad but it made me appreciate the people in my life who love me for me. I also learned that I used to spend way too much time doing my hair because I can now sleep for an extra hour!

 

Real Talk With Nia Pettitt

#AerieREAL is about standing together and feeling confident and comfortable in your own skin. How do you personally identify with that message?

I have never felt more confident and comfortable in my skin as my comfort used to lie within my hair. I hid all of my insecurities underneath my hair because people always gravitated towards it. At first it was fun being known for my hair but I couldn’t keep up with the image of always having to look the same, I felt obliged to always wear my hair out for the gratification of others and thats when I knew I was no longer living for myself. I now identify with it through acceptance of my natural beauty, my intelligence, my kind soul and my ability to always evolve.

Real Talk With Nia PettittWho is your role model and why?

My role model is the older version of myself. We all have this idea in our head of who we want to be and sometimes we never know how we are going to get there. Whether that is a healthier version, a smarter one, a version that is more stylish or more happy. My version is a woman that doesn’t allow likes to validate her worth, that is free with herself to be herself at all times and never feel like she has to be in a box.

Real Talk With Nia Pettitt

What makes you an #AerieREAL Role Model?

I no longer look at my flaws as flaws. I look at my stretch marks as lines of love from girl to woman. I look at my acne scars as reminders to stop stressing over unnecessary things. I look at the hair which grows on my skin as a blanket and my belly button as a cool and unique part of me. I am an #AerieREAL Role Model because I understand that the natural me is the best version of me.

How do you stay true to yourself? Comment below & tell us what makes YOU an #AerieREAL Role Model.

 

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