Neontrepreneur: Adriana Botti of Little Words Project®

Guys, I can’t tell you how stoked I am to introduce this month’s Neon-trepreneur, Adriana Botti! Adriana and I went to high school together (whattup Livingston High School!) and I’ve been following her entrepreneurial journey as founder of Little Words Project® since basically the beginning.

Adriana is a #girlboss in every sense of the word and inspires me (and countless others, no doubt!) with her brand’s mission of spreading kindness.

Little Words Project® is more than just a jewelry company, it’s a community of women supporting women by sharing a word at a time when someone needs it most. LWP’s signature bracelets are crafted from Swarovski crystals and letter beads that spell out powerful sentiments like “HOPE,” “ACHIEVE,” and “CONFIDENCE.” The line has expanded to include mixed media bracelets, woven bracelets, and leather cord bracelets and chokers. The coolest part? Each piece comes with a gold tag featuring a unique number that allows its wearer to register it into LWP’s database and follow its journey as it’s passed from one woman to another. Totally genius, right?

I asked Adriana to share a bit about what sparked LWP, what drives her as an entrepreneur, her hopes and dreams, and (new to Neon-trepreneur) some fun lightening round questions at the end. I hope you all find Adriana’s story as inspiring as I do!

little words in action

Have you always had an entrepreneurial spirit? If so, can you share any early entrepreneurial endeavors?
Not necessarily! I grew up in a family of hardworking people, however. My mom moved here from Mexico when she was just 18 years old and completely made a life for herself. She has been my biggest inspiration over the years- I mean if she could do that, I could do anything. My dad also owns his own consulting business which he’s had for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a household watching him be able to make his own hours and live life on his terms and it must have inadvertently stuck with me.

What drove you to launch Little Words Project? How did you know it was “the right time” (if there is such a thing)?
I started Little Words Project when I was a full year out of college. I had done a bit of traveling after graduating and had every intention of going to Law School when I had the idea to launch LWP (sorry mom). I had come up with a version of the bracelets while attending The College of New Jersey as a member of my sorority there. The bracelets were a hit with my sisters and I wanted to bring that kind of “sisterhood” to the masses. Honestly the “ah ha” moment came one night while I was falling asleep. I had wanted to come up with something that could affect some sort of positive change on the world but couldn’t figure out what- I just had an itch to do it. All at once, I’d remembered the bracelets, realized how much people would benefit from something like this on the market, and decided to go for it.

“I allow others’ success to inspire me towards my own.”

What inspires you in regards to your business?
I’m inspired by other #girlbosses! I genuinely enjoy browsing Instagram and seeing what other girls out there are up to. Seeing so many women killing it at their respective jobs inspires me everyday to keep on going. It can be super tough sometimes to be self-motivating, so I allow others’ success to inspire me towards my own.

team lwp at their new digs in caldwell, nj!

Was there a moment when you felt like you’d “made it?” Or at least that you were truly onto something?
I think I have a moment like that every day where I think that maybe we are actually on to something. It’ll happen when someone on my team has a great idea, or we receive a customer email that is super inspiring. Mostly it happens when we’re reading the registration page and accepting new registrations. To see how many people benefit from our bracelets truly leads me to believe that we’ve got something good here.

What are the best and hardest parts about owning your own business?
The best part is the hardest part- it’s working for yourself. Sometimes I crave someone to just tell me what to do, as crazy as that sounds. It’s so great being able to come to work every day and make it what I want it to be, but it can be very difficult to keep myself on track and get things done in a timely manner. I have time management difficulties to begin with (ugh) so having to keep on top of every task not only for myself, but also for my team is a real struggle. That being said, it’s extremely rewarding to nail it when we do ….every once in a while :).

“It’s that belief in myself and my ability to make something happen that has propelled me forward day after day.”

To what do you attribute your success thus far?
Confidence. Through and through. I wasn’t always a confident person. In fact, I would argue that I still struggle with confidence levels today (which is why I’m not even further along than I could be at this point). But confidence is key. If I didn’t believe that I could accomplish anything I set my mind to, I would probably not set my mind to anything. It’s that belief in myself and my ability to make something happen that has propelled me forward day after day.

a dreamy shot from a lwp campaign

What have been your most successful marketing outlets/endeavors/strategies?
Social media! I absolutely love interacting with our following through meaningful digital content. It’s our direct lifeline to our #nicegirlgang and we absolutely love building it up. Beyond that, we love partnering for meaningful giveaways and collaborations with other girlbrands out there. We do our best to align ourselves strategically with other people affecting some sort of positive change on our world as well.

Which entrepreneurs and/or brands do you look up to?
Ohmigosh. Too many to name! For starters, we love our girls @headbandsofhope who we’ve worked with for a few years now. Then there’s @blaine_bowen whose “behind the scenes” blog post she wrote a year ago inspired me beyond belief. There’s @mvandersluis who I’ve worked with countless times and who has been a guiding voice for me as I navigate the waters of entrepreneurship- she also owns a jewelry brand called @bymelanieaudrey. Some other favorites include @tjazelle, @eff.y.bee, @waverlyproject, and @packedparty.

so many lwp choices!

Where do you see your business in 3-5 years?
I hope to see Little Words Project expand its reach across the country! We hope to be in as many stores and on as many wrists as possible. If everyone wore a Little Word® one day, we’d all constantly be thinking of other women and how we can help lift one another up. It’s no secret that we could all benefit from a little kindness these days, and I hope Little Words Project plays a major part in making that happen over the years.

“Keep building that brand, girlboss, the world needs more of you.”

Based on your experience, what advice would you offer other young, female entrepreneurs?
Just keep going. It can be so hard to be an entrepreneur and sometimes being a female entrepreneur is even harder. It can take a bit more as a young woman to be taken seriously (especially in certain industries) but all you can do is keep a smile on your face and prove all of your naysayers wrong through action. Keep building that brand, girlboss, the world needs more of you.

LIGHTENING ROUND!

FAVORITE COLOR? Pink

FAVORITE CREATIVE THING TO DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME? That would probably have to be photography! I love creating content for Little Words Project and can often be found forcing friends of mine to pose for impromptu LWP modeling sessions. They love me I swear.

IF YOU COULD BE A GENRE OF MUSIC, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Indie Rock

THREE PLACES YOU MUST VISIT IN YOUR LIFETIME? Hawaii (Where I’m honeymooning!), Greece, Ireland

DESCRIBE YOUR HOME IN THREE WORDS. Quaint, Cozy, Vintage Glam

NEXT BIG (OR MOST FUN!) PURCHASE? A house!

SWEET OR SAVORY? Sweet <3

FAVORITE CANDY? Ferrero Rochers

THREE PLACES YOU’D RECOMMEND TO A FRIEND VISITING YOUR CITY? That would be Jersey City, NJ – Taqueria (HANDS DOWN best Mexican food in the country), Razza (amazing pizza) and Another Man’s Treasure (awesome vintage boutique).

A HUGE thank you again to Adriana for this insightful interview! You can learn more about Little Words Project on their site and Instagram, and you can follow Adriana on Instagram here.

peace, love & neon,
marisa

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