Hope Wissel

The Power of One Word From You

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body – Proverbs 16:24 ESV

I was wandering around the tourist area of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Shelves with tacky little statues, snow globes with leaning towers, and $10 T-shirts crowed small booths for tourists.

Shifty men with cases of “genuine fake” watches swarmed like bees. Rolex, Cartier, and Infinity—all for fifty bucks or less. Flashing fake gold and flaunting fake brands; their swift feet were ready to run if the authorities were to show up.

“No thank you, no thank you, no thank you,” I sang as I swam through the men hocking their wares.

Then I spotted her. She sat on a bench with colorful scarves for purchase draped over her arm. A blue, yellow and red headdress wound around her head, and a purple full-length dress hung loosely from her shoulders. The bright colors shone against the backdrop of polished mahogany skin.

Tired eyes.

Tired feet.

Tired life.

What appeared to be her “handler” shared the bench with her. I walked over and bent low to look her in the eyes. “You are so beautiful,” I said.

“Deese?” she questioned as she held up the scarves for examination.

“No, not the scarves,” I replied. “YOU are beautiful!” I waved my hand from the top of her head to the hem of her dress and back up again. “YOU, all of you!”


She turned to the indifferent man beside her for translation. When she understood, her face lit up like morning and her ivory teeth flashed like a slice of sun. She simply nodded as if to say, “Thank you.”

I walked back over to the group I was traveling with, and in a few moments I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was the woman. Without words, she handed me a bracelet, one I’m thinking she had made herself.

It wasn’t anything fancy—just little white lettered cubes with alternating black beads strung together with elastic. But I wonder what it cost her to give it to a tourist.

I didn’t offer to pay for the gift. That would have taken away her pleasure in giving it. I did hand her a few coins for allowing me to take her picture.

I showed her the image of herself in my camera. “Beautiful,” I said once again. She smiled with a nod. Walked back to the bench. And handed the coins to the man.

Tears filled my eyes.

I don’t know what this woman’s life is like. I pray my assumptions are wrong. But I do know this: For one brief moment in her monotonous day of pedaling scarves, she felt lovely…because someone stopped and noticed her.

Oh how easy it is—this speaking a word of encouragement—this speaking words of life.

As you go about your day, look for opportunities to say a kind word. I promise, you won’t have to look very far.

Thank you to Girlfriends in God for today’s post.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

Make A Difference Day


Make a Difference day was started in 1990.  It is a national day devoted to helping others by doing volunteer work in the community. The activity can be almost anything. Today, millions of Americans will participate in community improvement projects. It can take the form of cleanup, fixup, painting, and repair in poorer neighborhoods or in parks and municipal facilities. It doesn’t matter what project you take on. It doesn’t matter whether you help a non-profit organization, the community, your town, nursing home, a church, a food kitchen, or any other group in need.  What matters is that you participate.

This is a great way to get the kids involved in giving back to their community.  Make it a family outing.  The joy on the faces of others as you make a difference in their lives will make a difference in your own life too.  My motto everyday is:

Giving myself away so others smile.

My vision is for a world where women are not judged on their circumstances but empowered to learn from them so that they can have harmony in their life and make a difference in the lives of those around them.

I want to make a difference in the lives of others whether it is with a smile, a card sent in the mail, or holding the door. I want to help them raise funds to pay a bill or for their kids activities or for that special Christmas present.  I want to help them to share their SPARKLE with friends and family.  

Today is the kickoff of my “USA HERO” Campaign.  Now through November 11th (Veteran’s Day), I will be collecting sponsors ($20) for zipper pouches that I will fill and deliver to the local VA Outpatient Hospital.  This is my way of “making a difference” in the lives of those who have sacrificed so much so that we can live in freedom.

USA Hero

Don’t make it just one day a year to “make a difference”.  Consider helping others on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.  I know, the holidays are coming and you say there is no extra money.  Volunteering your time is another way to make a difference.  That random act of kindness can make a difference too.  Small gestures can make big changes.

What will your commitment be to help others today? Make a difference on Make a Difference Day!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel


31 gives

Happy Saturday! I am so excited!  This past week I was asked to be a member of the Board of Directors for Redeem-Her.  I have been looking for a local cause that I can get involved in.  There are ALOT of amazing groups in Ocean County but none of them felt like the right fit.  I am a grassroots, non-profit kind of gal.  At the suggestion of my good friend, Karen, I checked out Redeem-Her.  I am a program person, a grant writer and when I am for a cause, they get me hook, line and sinker.  After researching the group, talking to some Board members – I am in!

Here is their mission:

Redeem-Her successfully transitions women recently released from prison, jail and drug rebab to become valued and contributing members of society.

Redeem-Her, a non-profit organization founded and operated by formerly incarcerated women, provides a safe, sober, supportive environment that is enhanced by positive role models who meet the tangible needs of clients.

Redeem-Her employs a model emphasizing that positive opportunities can transform the lives of women to become responsible, generous members of society.

So, how can you help?  They have a wish list online for products.  They have an AWESOME Thrift Store in Neptune City.  BUT right now, they need CASH donations.  Over the last two years, I have written checks for over $2,000 to local fundraisers (not counting the endless donations of product) as a result of fundraising efforts.  Don’t worry, I am still doing fundraisers for YOUR favorite cause!

BUT you guessed it – Redeem-Her is my September “gives” program.  There are THREE opportunities in September to help this AWESOME cause:

#1 Check out Thirty One’s September Hostess and Customer special. Thirty One’s Customer Special for September is the Deluxe Utility Tote – a top 10 product for $15 or the Double Up Crossbody – a NEW Fall product for $10 with a $35 purchase. Spend $70 and you can get BOTH of them for $25.  Place an order online at www.partywithHope.com.  Click the link and go directly to the Fundraiser.  If you are attending ANOTHER Thirty One party (not already a fundraiser), I will donate a portion of the sales from YOUR party as well.

both specials

#2 – Don’t want to shop BUT would love to help a great cause!  You can write a check and mail it directly to: Redeem-Her, PO Box 1913, Toms River, NJ 08754.  All donations are tax deductible!  We are a 501(c)3.


#3 – Fall means cleaning out the closets and the house.  Have things you don’t want.  Don’t toss them, donation them to our Second Hand Thrift Shop in Neptune City.  We take clothes, household items, shoes, books and furniture.  It can be dropped off at 101 Third Avenue in Neptune City!  Looking for bargains – check out the store.

How will you help?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

Memories of September 11th


Today is in honor of September 11th.   Do you remember where you were on September 11th?

I remember that day as if it was yesterday.  I was working at Mia’s Christmas Shop in Ocean City, NJ. We had just opened when I was called into the office by Charlie, the owner, who had the television on showing the attacks. Charlie immediately started to collect money for those whose families and lives would be changed as a result of this horrific event.  I got to share the events of the morning with many people who were on vacation and CLUELESS about what was happening on that day.  Those days were filled with words like: Hero, Compassion, Love, Kindness, and Bravery.

In 2011, September 11th took on a new meaning in our family.  Heaven gained another Weston angel – Edythe, my aunt, my friend and my mom’s middle sister.  Growing up, I  Edythe (and Elsie) were my babysitters. As the years went on, they were a BIG part of my support system.  Edythe (along with the rest of my family) helped to raise Belinda. Lives changed – the world moved a little faster and we lost touch with the exception of holidays.

In July, 2010, a call from a family friend caught me by surprise.  Edythe had gone to the ER for what she thought was pneumonia only to find out that she had cancer.  As tough as it was to take those first steps, stuff the years of negative feelings – I headed to the hospital, unsure of what to expect.  Awkward moments followed but over the next year or more, we would come to peace with the feelings of abandonment and of losing a friend. Edythe had a tumor adjacent to her kidney. Kidney cancer that moved to her lungs and her brain. No pain, no symptoms so through God’s grace a simple case of the flu took her to the ER. The next year plus would be filled with chemo, multiple doctor visits as well as long stints in Centra State Hospital.

On May 21st, 2011, Edythe attended our wedding after a brief stay in the hospital. She was DETERMINED to be there and she was – thankfully. The days leading up to September 11th were filled with many emotions. Edythe had been doing well and talked about going home. With a blink of an eye, things changed – the pain intensified until the only relief made her sick and almost comatose. She decided that this was not quality of life. Within  36 hours of asking for Hospice, Edythe was called home to join the rest of the Weston clan – Mom-mom, Pop-pop and Elsie on September 11th.

The words that described those involved in the September 11th attack and recovery efforts describe Edythe:

1. Hero who continued to fight despite the pain. Edythe still remained active in Eastern Star and Rainbow.  She gave her time to encourage and inspire others.  She was a beautician (I know I am showing my age now) who bought Tempo Hairdressers in Ocean Grove where she worked for many years. I was always in awe of the way that she managed money. Not making a lot by today’s standards, she managed to be debt free, have a home (rental property with a mortgage), a thriving business and live life to the fullest. I wish that some of that money management had of rubbed of on me!  Edythe was a HERO!

2. Compassion, Love, Kindness – all have different meanings but are so intertwined. Edythe never had an unkind word for anyone. She would give you the shirt off her back, if you needed it.  A trait that we all learned from my grandfather – thank you Pop-pop.  This is my mission with my business.  Showing compassion, kindness and love to those who are struggling to help them smile!

3. Bravery – Edythe was brave in many areas of her life long before the cancer hit. Some see it as business savvy.   She stepped out of the box to create the life she wanted, against all odds.  Her strength in those final weeks were beyond belief.

As we reflect on this day, hug the ones you love, forgive the ones who you believe have done you wrong and enjoy the moment with those you love.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

What’s Your Motivation

Operation Spring Child

Throwback Thursday is my first “gives” project. These 6 zipper pouches were delivered to Ocean Medical Center for the kids spending Easter in the hospital.  Filled with lots things to keep them busy and that they could share with their siblings.

That actually leads me into today’s blog..

WHAT motivates you to FOCUS on what you are doing? WHY is it important to you?

I know you are saying things like – To earn an income.  To be home with my family.  To impact the world.  To share my message.  To get out of debt.  To do meaningful work

So, here is my next question?  If that is REALLY what motivates you, why are you possibly struggling with growing your business, focusing on the things that need to be done and being consistent?  Don’t get me wrong, you are not alone.  The truth is that we really aren’t usually motivated by what we SAY we are motivated by!  I admit, I fall into this category too.

Those individuals that you know who are ROCKING their business are the ones who are SUPER CLEAR on what motivates them.  I came across a story about Sarah Kay Hoffman and her business ‘a loving spoon’ nut butter. She is passionate about healthy food, real food and nutrition. She also believe in Yumminess with a capital Y!

Sarah works a full time job, has an almost-2-year-old and STILL is cranking out weekend trade shows, doing full production of her product and media left and right. Rumor has it that you may see her on Season 8 of Shark Tank! #WOW!

What moves her to keep on? Despite fatigue, toddler momhood and even health challenges, she is ALWAYS moving forward!! She is RELENTLESS!

Here’s a clue… orphans. Yep. Sarah has a heart for orphans, for foster care adoption and it all starts at home. She and her husband fostered their little love until their recent adoption and because she has such a heart for this cause…a portion of EVERY JAR she sells goes towards orphans.

This is what keeps Sarah FIRED UP.  At the end of every month, she is thinking things like:

  • How can I make that orphan check bigger?
  • What media outlets will have the best results for my orphans?
  • Which influencers can share the story to impact the orphans?
  • How do I help more-more-more orphans?

This is different than ‘How can I make more money?’ or ‘How can I quit my job?’ or ‘How do I get to xx jars a week?’ or ‘How do I book more parties in a month?’

It is the fuel for your business.  That is where I am right now in my business…..my passion is to help women who are struggling especially single moms who are trying to make their life better.  See I was there – I was that single mom who fell into drug addiction who spent a few months being homeless.  With support and encouragement, I was able to turn things around.  Now I want to do the same for other women.  So what do I need to do?

Focus on THAT.

CAN it really be that simple?  The truth is that it can be that simple.  Get crystal clear on what you want to do.  Focus on what motivates you at the end of the day, the month or the year. Of course, I want to pay off credit card debt but to be honest, that is not what gets me up every morning and in my office.  What gets and keeps me in my office is my desire to bring a smile to the face of a woman who is struggling – to make her sparkle even if it is only for a moment.

Let me ask you again, what motivates you?  Is your answer different now?  Share your thoughts with us.  If you have a product that “gives back” let me know, I would love to share it with others.

Have  ThirtyOne-derful day!