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Nasly Duarte

Pumpkin seeds, orange peels and coffee beans can be found in many of our kitchens. But while we may see only the mundane in these everyday items, 31-year-old Nasly Duarte sees materials for her one-of-a-kind sustainable jewelry collection. Founded five years ago by the eco-savvy entrepreneur, Seeds To Love offers organic necklaces, bracelets and earrings — all made with sustainable and recyclable materials. Depending on the piece, Nasly says her jewelry can take anywhere from one to four hours to create.  
 
Nasly stays busy with her husband and three daughters: 8-year-old twins Saniah Desiree and Zoey Marie and 2-year-old Azalia Ruth. But even before Seeds To Love came about, the Kennedale mother of three found time to scratch her entrepreneurial itch, purchasing pieces overseas and selling them here at home. In 2009, things took a serendipitous turn when she visited her mother in Columbia and fell in love with the beautiful, handmade baubles she found in various shops there. But after seeing the 2010 film Biutiful, in which a single father provides for his family through sweatshops and human trafficking, Nasly says she was determined not to buy overseas. “I didn’t want to support the slave trade,” she explains. 
 
Though she initially started making and selling jewelry to make ends meet, her unique pieces have garnered quite a following. Eager to share the secrets of her own success and empower other women, Nasly developed a Sustainable Entrepreneur Fashion Program, using her own business as a template for those looking to succeed in a similar field.
 
What exactly does running Seeds To Love entail? [A little bit of everything!] It involves design, inventory control, market sales, marketing, web design and networking.
 
Tell us about your efforts toward building a women’s shelter. Seeds To Love wants to collaborate with a women’s organization to open a shelter home where women can find themselves. The shelter will consist of a two-year program, teaching etiquette, job training, tips on enhancing creativity and implementing entrepreneurship skills through the Seeds To Love business model. The shelter will empower women with effective skills in fostering personal connections and resolving conflict through self-regulation of emotions, honest expression and empathy.
 
Has being a mom changed your perspective on things? Have your children changed how you work? Being a mother has made me realize that we are all children at heart. We are all learning as we go through our journey in life.
 
What do the children think about Mom’s craft? They love to make jewelry and make different kinds of art with my sustainable products. They tell their teachers that I am a jewelry designer (laughs)!
 
Do you make an effort to instill creativity and generosity in your children? Creativity is everything for my girls. [It would be a shame] if they couldn’t express their creative talents. Creativity is a form for them to be themselves; taking that away would be like taking their innocence away.
 
How do you normally spend your weekends? We are at farmers markets almost every weekend or at a green event. I am busy setting up displays, counting inventory — all while tending to my three kids!
 
How do you balance motherhood with preparing for events and volunteering? I balance motherhood by including my daughters in the other aspects of my life. They help me in different ways. I assign them tasks and then reward them at the end of the day. They love to help with advertising, so they’ll usually walk around the events I attend. Or, at the farmers market, they’ll give out my brochures to everyone.
 
How do you like to spend quality time with your daughters? Any favorite activities? Picnics in the park and going out to eat. We have spa days for just the four of us. I end up doing their hair and giving them a manicure and pedicure. We also like going to the Fort Worth Zoo and the Fort Worth Food Park.
 
How do your children inspire you? The twins are so different; they are my teachers. Their differences teach me how to deal with different characters in the adult world. They inspire me to be a better person and grow spiritually.
 
Any good habits you’d like to pass on to your children? Being a free spirit, having a laid-back attitude and always being able to see the good in tough situations. 
 
Your bad habit you hope they won’t pick up? Procrastinating.
 
Lowest parenting moment: Last July, we went to a “Mama Chicks” birthday gathering where mothers were invited if their child had a birthday that month. One of the moms mentioned that her daughter didn’t get a present [on her birthday]. I asked my daughters if they were willing to share one of theirs and give a present to the young girl that didn’t receive a gift. They did give the young girl a purse but then had a fit afterward because they now didn’t each have a purse of their own.
 
Highest parenting moment: After my lowest parenting moment, I explained to them that giving is always better then receiving and that when you are in the position to give, that’s God’s way of blessing someone. One day, getting out of Whole Foods, there was a woman and her daughter asking for money. My daughter Zoey grabbed her money from her pencil purse and gave it to the woman. She turned to me and said, “God blessed her, Mom!”