The woman who inspired ZIL

Spoiler Alert: it’s my Mother! 💓

It’s a long and emotional story, but it’s a special one! 

So here goes:

Both my mother and father passed away suddenly when I was 15 years old. It was deeply devastating. In retrospect, I was terribly lost for most of my youth and young adulthood as a result. And oh so angsty...haha

I’ve been a maker in some shape or form since I was a child. I’ve always viewed the world through a creative eye and had a desire to tinker, build, and create. But, as a young adult, I was still unsure of what I wanted to do with my life when it came time to start deciding. 

No real drive for anything in particular, except for acting, which I'd loved since I was a child. It was the only thing I could actually see myself doing. Thanks to my oldest sister and her husband, who took guardianship of me, I attended some drama camps that they enrolled me in while I was in high school. It really brought me out of my shell, and I fully committed myself to participating in my high school drama club. I then went on to college and graduated with a degree in theater. Problem was, I didn't have the focus or determination to follow through with pursuing it after college. I was still lost.

I moved to NYC after I graduated, because naturally that's where wide-eyed dreamers go to make it big...lol. And what did I do? Well, I'll tell you what I didn't do — go on a single audition. Instead, I partied. Yup. I stayed up nights dancing, adventuring, exploring, and consistently spending what little money I made as a waitress on anything other than my bills. To put it delicately, I was a hot mess...haha. I was purely pleasure-seeking. Doing only what felt good and running away from anything that didn't. I can clearly see now that I was just trying to fill a deep void. Unsuccessfully, I might add. And don’t get me wrong, I had a BLAST! Haha, I met some amazing people and had some incredible and positive, eye-opening experiences. But, there were a fair amount of experiences that were to my own detriment, and ultimately, were just ways to distract myself from my own pain.

It wasn't until I moved to New Orleans and started making jewelry that I found a part of myself that had been missing for a long time. This will sound SO cheesy, but it legitimately felt like a piece of my heart fell back into place. Something clicked. I had finally found something that felt like home. I didn't have to drum up any drive or determination to pursue it because it felt like the most natural and effortless thing for me to do — to create. Honestly, it's the only substantial thing that I've ever truly committed myself to. And, in a way, it has given me the space I needed to start healing because I finally stopped running away. I had found something I wanted to stop and focus on.

Zil is very near and dear to my heart for a lot of reasons, but the most important one is that it makes me feel connected to my mother. She was such a beautiful, vivacious, and stylish woman who loved everything fashion! Clothes, shoes, makeup, accessories, and ESPECIALLY jewelry. Seriously, she wore multiple rings on each finger just so she could have more jewelry on...haha. And you wouldn't have caught her in anything but heels unless she was at home or at the grocery store on the weekend! She was very intentional about how she presented herself -- her hair and makeup on point every morning. It's because of her that I, too, have such a deep love for fashion. A love for personal style as a form of self expression. A love for caring about the details.

She was such a confident woman. So unafraid of being herself. Unafraid to laugh loudly, sing along to a song she liked, or dance excitedly to music that was playing. She had such a joy for life! And the reason that's particularly special is because she had a rather difficult one. Regardless of her turmoil, she still walked out the door everyday with a smile on her face, pep in her step, and armed with a killer outfit. 

For that reason, and many more, I named my business after my mother. Her name was Elizabeth Ribiero Miranda. My father used to call her Betty, and I remember asking her when I was a kid whether or not she liked the nickname. I can't really remember what she said, but what I do remember is she told me that people at her office called her Liz...and she really loved it! Haha. And for some reason that has always stuck with me because of the way she lit up about it. So, when I was trying to think of a way to name my business after my mother, I decided to reverse Liz! And thus the name Zil Jewelry was born! A special way to honor my mother who influenced me so profoundly.

It's because of her that I am a strong and independent woman who forges her own path. It's because of her that I possessed the courage to take the risk of starting this business in the first place. It's because of her that my creativity can passionately express itself through fashion, style, and jewelry. Her essence runs through every part of my designs and my business. Her spirit lives on in my own sense of style and individuality. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the impression that this incredible woman left on me. And Zil Jewelry wouldn’t be here, either!

Happy Mother's Day, Mommy <3

And Happy Mother's Day to all of you amazing momma's out there!