Private Event with Pico Vela

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What happens when you bring together women who were complete strangers, to an intimate space? We wanted to celebrate real women who already wear Pico Vela -- the many faces of beauty and their stories. Pico Vela and Behold Her joined forces to celebrate women who are pushing the boundaries. Bringing together curated pieces from Pico Vela’s Fall/Winter Collection and Behold Her’s powerful portrait experience, the collaboration shares stories of women who are defying expectations in their own ways – in beauty, in life, and in their careers. We hope you are inspired by their stories as much as we enjoyed capturing them. Thanks you to The Apollo for being our host and to Ally for creating delectable treats for all the ladies! 

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“I was talking to the ladies, I mentioned that I’m having trouble understanding the concept of defying expectations. It just seems kind of disingenuous, why do you have to measure yourself up by yourself and by others? It feels like you’re trapped. Because you’re always trying to compare yourself with other’s standards. I feel like the answer should be within yourself.”

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"Coming here tonight I realized the first step is self love and care, you have to take care of yourself in order for others to foster that in you. When all these women came in I was intimidated by them. They look nice but they're dressed all fancy and look successful and then this one lady was like, 'I didn't have time to shave my legs,' and it was nice to know that everyone's human and we're all trying to survive and if we all just stick together then everything will be ok!"

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"The whole 9-5 was never for me and I kept trying to find ways to avoid it. There’s a part of me that thinks I would have been more impressive if I was a professor or had a doctorates, but in the end, I’m a Jane of all trades and there’s a lot I want to do. I want the end of life to be an expression of me and I want my masterpiece to say who I am, what I fought for, and what I believed in. I’m trying to find the path of becoming more confident in my work. I want to share daily and be consistent with what it means to be a business owner. It’s a journey, I wish I was going faster, but I love that I’m doing something for me and for no one else.”

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“I grew up in South America until I was a young adult. I feel like certain things were expected of women in South America so moving to the US has opened a new world to me. I didn’t love it, but it made me a stronger individual. I defied what was expected of me as a woman if I stayed home. It’s different, but in a good way.”

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“Defying expectations is really about trying to make myself happy and make myself satisfied and really, really feel good about myself. I believe that once I achieve that I'll be able to be a good mother, artist, business owner, wife, because we have to be so many things and personalities. There's this constant pressure on us to be great at something. Believing in yourself is extremely hard because of the judgement around us and all the opinions about how things should be done. We, as women, are all about emotions and we should really listen to our emotions and our heart. Follow that voice to defy expectations because in the end it doesn't matter what those expectations are.”

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"I'm 21 years old, I'm French, and I have a lot of expectations in my life because I'm entering my adult life. I ask myself a lot of questions, like who I want to be, what I want to do in the future, and when and how and with who. So, it's difficult for me and causing a lot of stress because my hands are shaking, it's hard to even speak about myself. Life is very complicated. It's very complicated to be yourself today. When I walk in the streets, I just see the ground, because I don't want to see people look at me. I'm shy and I don't want the attention of people. I'm proud of my studies though, it's my last year this year so I need to find a job next year. My dream is to become a business woman and be happy and I think I'm on a good path to be this woman.”Write here...

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“I think defying expectations started in my late teens or early 20’s and I was in art school. My mom didn’t want me to go through with an arts degree. It was hard for her to handle even though we come from a creative spirit, it wasn’t necessarily a money maker. After the second year she said that if I continued she wasn’t going to pay for school, and then she stopped paying for school. Unfortunately she had a brain aneurysm after a year of all of this starting and she passed away abruptly. That was another expectation obliterator. Everything went out the window. Two years later I graduated with a degree in metals art with a focus in jewelry fabrication and then two years later, my grandmother passed away. It was a huge thing in my world because she was the one that introduced me to jewelry and metalsmithing. I decided to move to D.C. and found a job as an apprentice metalsmith, but unfortunately the boss was an alcoholic and there was a lot of sexual and verbal harassment involved. I gained the courage to quit and start my own business with the little money I had. I met someone who encouraged me to open a shop in Georgetown, which I open, but it closed down after two years because overhead is not fun. I have continually gone against the grain. Everytime I feel like I have some sort of stronghold, or I felt grounded, something up roots me again, I’m constantly in this upheaval hurricane of life. Trying to make money off of something I love doing is difficult with an art degree because you don’t know how to make money. They teach you how to create, hear, listen, explore, discover, but nothing about money. I’m now married and my husband makes everything - he’s the ‘breadwinner’ as they call it, and it’s hard for me to sit back and know that I’m not contributing at the same capacity he is. I keep hearing my mother in the back of my head saying ‘you need to be someone that makes money,’ and so this has been the year I have a 10 month old baby, going against the grain, going through shifts...I should be laying flat on my back from depression...I’m constantly fearful I won’t make the money or feel worthless or inadequate. Society doesn’t seem to be that supportive. They don’t see the beauty in art or anything that doesn’t make money. That’s my new Wonder Woman goal is to make the profit I need to be heard and really defy expectations and say “this is not okay and I’m taking the power back!” At the end of the day yeah, money makes the world go around, but it’s such a tumultuous theme that needs to be uprooted and heaved out of society so we can learn how to be real humanitarians and come together to be there with one another.”

Leah Beilhart