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Annie at Wholehearted Empire

What did you wholeheartedly love to do when you were a child? I loved being silly, dressing up in costumes and putting on dance recitals in my living room. I loved gymnastics so much that I could not sit through a family dinner without getting up to do handstands and cartwheels.

I also wholeheartedly loved creating. I did not know it at the time, but the enthusiasm I felt (the electric energy coursing through me and lighting me up from the inside out) while I danced, sketched, sculpted, painted, photographed, played the guitar, or performed that monologue for theater class… that enthusiasm for creativity was my calling.

Then, I got busy growing up, and I more or less excluded creativity from my life for over a decade. I served in the military, received both a Bachelor and Master of Science and became a healthcare provider, a researcher and a project manager. Still, it felt like something was missing. It did not occur to me all at once, but eventually I realized how much I missed creativity in my life. More accurately, I needed creativity to feel like myself.

So, I set aside all the excuses, and I gave myself permission to play with creativity once again. I let myself get messy and imperfect and try any creative thing that sparked my curiosity. 

The researcher in me looked at this creative journey as an experiment. If I followed my heart, my joy, my curiosity, my enthusiasm… where would I end up? 

So far, my experiment has brought me here—to Wholehearted Empire!

Wholehearted Empire is an online shop where I sell lightweight, recycled paper earrings. I did not begin this experiment with the intention of creating a line of remarkably lightweight, hand-painted earrings. The first pair of earrings I ever made were actually created on a whim from materials I had on hand for other creative projects. But, I loved everything about them, and lucky for me, so did my Instagram followers. So, I made more…

You may be here simply for the earrings—nothing wrong with that! But, if you’d like a little more, here are some other things you can check out:

  • Browse the shop on this website for inspiration. I use my product descriptions to offer empowering, encouraging and inspiring messages.

  • Sign up for my email list below. I’ll only send a few emails per month and you’ll get first pick on new styles as well as chances to win exclusive discounts or prizes.

  • Follow Wholehearted Empire on Instagram and Facebook so that we can get to know each other and you can meet the rest of the community!

Welcome! I am so glad you are here!