My name is Callie Clark-Wood. I worked at La Vie Est Belle as a sales associate in 2011 and 2012 while I was working on my master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Reading and Language Arts at FSU in Panama City. For part of that time, I was also working as a research assistant for the Florida Center for Reading Research.
Currently, I am a third grade teacher at Butler Elementary School. Since working at La Vie, I have taught 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade. This is currently the start of my fifth year teaching. I hope to one day become a reading or curriculum coach, but want to have at least a couple more years’ experience in the classroom before taking on this type of position.
A teacher affects eternity; she can never tell where her influence stops” – Henry Adams
The most beneficial skill I gained from working at La Vie Est Belle, was to learn to connect with everyone I met. All types of people from all over the world are drawn to Wendy’s designs and I always tried to find a connection with each of them in order to personalize their experience at the gallery. It was a great skill to develop and I now use that in many aspects of my life and current career.
The first piece I got was a pink versatile necklace. I was always the person that wore my traditional strand of pearls with everything, even jeans and a t-shirt. Before I even worked for Wendy, I went into the gallery. When I saw the unique design, and the beautiful color, I knew I had to have it and saved for weeks to make it happen. It was the first “real purchase” I made after graduating from college and trying to make it on my own.
If I could say anything to Wendy, I would say thank you for welcoming me at a time when I really wanted to make a change in my life and go back to school for my master’s degree. I felt supported and know that she has never stopped rooting for me.
The beautiful Callie is just the beginning of this stroll down memory lane. Stay tuned to see who is next!
Over the years La Vie Est Belle has been the stepping stone for many on their lives journey. The employees of La Vie Est Belle, like the jewelry, are all one of a kind. They bring something to the store that is beautiful and welcoming. They bridge the gap between the customer and the jewelry, and through that bridge relationships are formed.
To the employees La Vie Est Belle isn’t just a job, it isn’t a place that you go because you have to, and it isn’t a place that makes you feel like you don’t matter. La Vie Est Belle is a home, it is somewhere that you know that no matter how long you were gone that you are always welcome back. No questions asked. It is a building block, a place that will shape you into the person that you always wanted to be. A place where you can go if you need support. A family, people that will support you and have your back no matter what. The kind of family that thrives on being different. At La Vie Est Belle we are anything but “cookie cutter,” we accept everyone and love unconditionally.
I myself have been an employee of La Vie Est Belle for many years, over those years I have had the opportunity to create friendships that I will cherish for the rest of my life. During this time I began to notice something, and it started to weigh on my mind. Customers are always curious as to “what happened” to that one special person that sold them their first or their most treasured piece of jewelry.
“The journey of a thousand miles began with one step”
Well for those of you who have been asking, your wait is over. I am going to reach out to past La Vie Est Belle employees and find out just “Where Are They Now?” This is going to be an ongoing blog that will reach into the lives of those special employees that have helped to develop La Vie Est Belle into the business that we all know and love. I ask that you join me on this stroll down memory lane, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!
In a quiet little town located off the beaten path in Santa Rosa Beach, two artists with a unique passion and a love for life set foot on a journey that would impact the lives of people throughout the country.
Have you ever wanted to feel apart of something bigger than you? To have had the feeling that no matter where you come from or what you do that thousands of other people share the same passions as you? Well that is only the tip of what it means to join our tribe.
About three years ago my family and I were in New York City, we were casually walking down 5th Avenue when this woman kept staring at me. Curious as to why she was continuing to stare at me I said “Hey, how are you?” You could tell that I caught her off guard, and she responded with “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to stare. I was just wondering if those were Wendy Pearls.” It immediately brought a smile to my face and we shared the connection then went on our way. In the eight years that I myself have been apart of the “tribe” this has happened so many times and I have made connections with such a variety of people that I began to feel apart of something that was in fact much bigger than I.
Throughout the years of working in the store I have seen first hand the impact Wendy Mignot Designs have had on the lives of others. I have seen little girls who save their money from lemonade stands and dog walking come in to purchase their designs, I have seen relationships form and traditions be made. Each and every time a design was being purchased a new love was found. When you stop and think about how special just a simple (or extravagant, in some cases) piece of jewelry can make someone feel it is incredible.
Over the years there have been many different artists that have made their own replication of the pearls and leather jewelry, but when it comes to the Wendy Mignot Designs there is no comparison. Its more than just a business, or selling the jewelry to make a quick buck. It’s about making a connection, giving someone a small piece of happiness and expanding the La Vie Est Belle family. If you take a walk around seaside you will see these pearls everywhere you turn. On seaside employees, on little girls and boys running around the amphitheater, on men and women, we have something for everyone!
If you have never had the chance to experience this, I “DARE YOU” to give it a try. You will not regret it, if you don’t take my word for it than you can ask just about anyone in seaside. It’s a love affair you will be able to treasure for the rest of your life.