This Is the Friendship Bracelet of the Future
Rocking a colorful braided friendship bracelet was the ultimate fashion accessory when we were kids, and little ones today still love it. Now founder Sara Chipps has taken the concept to a whole new level by creating Jewelbots, the friendship bracelets of the future. These trendy and brightly colored accessories incorporate coding into the design, all while teaching girls valuable skills.
Chipps has always been a champion of women in tech. Before coming up with Jewelbots, she founded Girl Develop It, an organization that provides software and tech programs to women. “It started when my friend Vanessa and I recognized that both of us were, at times, intimidated to ask questions when we had them in our college ComSci classes,” Chipps tells us. “We recognized that creating an environment that was judgement free and for beginners would be valuable, so we planned a class and it just ballooned from there. At last count, Girl Develop It is in 45 cities and has taught 17,000 women through in-person coding classes.”
Through her work with Girl Develop It, she learned that coding didn’t have to be an overwhelming concept. “I’ve seen women in their eighties take to it like fish to water, and now with Jewelbots, I’ve seen girls as young as five coding away. It’s been really inspiring watching these fearless beginners take so quickly to something so foreign to them,” she says. In fact, it was young girls who came up with the idea for Jewelbots. “We have talked to hundreds of girls and have asked them ‘what can we make for you that would inspire you to build and create?’ We ended up with Jewelbots: smart, open-source friendship bracelets.”
How It Works
“Jewelbots are open source, so the girls can use the Arduino IDE to make them do just about anything, like alerting them when they have a new Instagram follower or when their dad is on the way to pick them up, or even letting them control their drone,” Chipps explains.
“They just need to plug in the Jewelbot to their computer, and they can copy and paste code or create their own from scratch. Our hope is by making something girls love, and giving them the ability to customize it through code, they will be motivated to learn.”
The girls she has been testing the bracelets on are absolutely loving it. “It’s really inspiring to see them planning the different functionalities that they plan on giving their Jewelbots,” she says. “From weather updates to sending SMS, we know that the coolest Jewelbots code is yet to come and will be designed by girls.” Jewlbots’ Kickstarter campaign launched on Wednesday, raising over half of their campaign goal within the first few hours. While most of the early-bird packages have sold out, you can still nab two Jewelbots for aspiring BFF coders for only $72. With this much interest, we think it won’t be long until Jewelbots hit store shelves!
Do you know how to code? Would you give this a try with a little one in your life? Sound off in the comments.
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
Want to feel motivated to take the next step for your business? Let Office Depot OfficeMax give you the confidence you need with a suite of business services & solutions to help you put your best foot forward. Make a good first impression with business cards & build the business pitch of your dreams with custom presentations. With Office Depot OfficeMax you'll find the tools to reach new customers with confidence.
Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.