I had the pleasure to do my first interview.
From collecting canned goods for hungry families in the neighborhood to saying hello to the new girl in class –Girl Scouts is all about being a sister to every girl! Francene “Treasure” Niemiec, has taken this to heart in everything she does, including her creative business BluSparkle.
This creative entrepreneur, troop leader, and former girl scout believes that everyone should have their own way of spreading smiles and happiness (and adding a dash of sparkle!) into the world.
We got in touch with Treasure to hear a little bit more about how she uses her business to promote happiness, and how her attitude and determination got her through one of the toughest challenges in her life.
Treasure been creating and working with art in one form or another since she was old enough to hold a pencil. With a passion for so many forms of art, she is always mixing mediums and seeing where the art can take her next. And has enjoyed watching her creative process evolve over time and blossom into a business!
Her grandmothers were her earliest creative influences (and biggest cheerleaders in starting her business!), one of them taking the time to teach her to crochet when she was only 5 years old! As a writer and an artist themselves, her grandmothers taught her how amazing it can be to make things with your hands and the lasting value that art brings to all aspects your life. Even before starting her business, Treasure found joy in making things for others, and saw how it added an extra dose of happy to her own life!
With so much negativity in the world, it became her goal to always choose happy in the face of “tragedy”. She saw the excitement and smiles her work brought, and was encouraged to turn that joy of creating and making things for others into a small business. But little did she know how she turned her own life tragedy into positivity and it would become the passion that changed her life and brought hope to so many others!
After her daughter unexpectedly passed away early on in her business, Treasure found herself facing the toughest time in her life. Floating in a sea of negativity, she could have easily lost hope but instead she used her art to heal. She would start each day with a positive quote to help her stay focused on the good things in life.
Her daily quotes began as a simple dose of happiness but eventually, with repetition, turned into real positivity! She wanted to find her own way to share that hope with other women who are also hurting. Putting her heart back into her business, she began sharing these happy messages, combining them with her art through wearable jewelry pieces.
For Treasure, her business isn’t about the money. She sees her jewelry as a means to lift up others around her and it has led her to many opportunities to tell her own story of healing. She speaks at events all around Minnesota, including the Minnesota State Fair, and recently met with a group of women transitioning out of poverty, to express the message that life does get better when you choose positivity.
As an artist and business owner, she encountered many naysayers along the way, even some members of her family, telling her she wouldn’t make if she didn’t, “take her business more seriously.” But for her it has always been about heart gain and not money. She has taken this mantra into all aspects of her life—including Girl Scouts! As a Troop leader and mom, she always fought to be a positive force in her girls’ lives and encouraged them to follow their heart regardless of what others may say.
“Figure out what you want to put into the world. Listen to what makes your heart happy,” she says. “When people tear you down, know that the only person you have to be true to is yourself. Then you can truly accomplish anything.”
Even after the loss of her own daughter, she has seen the value in continuing to mentor girls and young women. She has over a dozen “adopted daughters,” who she is still deeply connected with. Many of whom she knew when they were Girl Scouts in her troop. Years later, Treasure can still see that Girl Scouts provided her girls a positive outlet for them to be true to themselves, explore new skills, and figure out what they can bring into the world.
Although she is no longer a troop leader, by advocating for girls and supporting Girl Scouts through her business, she still finds ways to stay connected to a program that helped her discover her own sparkle!
I feel very special.