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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Happy Birthday RLT Collection!

By Rae Lewis-Thornton

August 23, 2011

Brooke from Harlem Heights wearing RLT bracelets.

Brooke from Harlem Heights wearing RLT bracelets.

It's my birthday! Yep, three years ago I launched my RLT Collection, a line of bracelets that I design and hand make myself. It was a brave endeavor but I figured that I had nothing to lose.

I watched all those Oprah shows where young white girls had an idea and ran with it and before you knew it, they were an overnight success. I remember when I made the decision, I had a lot of naysayers, Yep! In those early days, "friends" would say to me, "you really think people will buy them?" Or, "I thought it was just a hobby." Some of those people still haven't purchased a bracelet. One such person said to me one day, "well you know I don't wear bracelets." I just shrugged it off.

Markeeda wearing RLT bracelets.

Markeeda wearing RLT bracelets.

But three years later, RLT Collection is still here and growing. No, it hasn't made me rich; and in those first two years the collection was just hanging in there with very little profit. But I never gave up. I continued to invest in the collection with little return. I continued to shop for better and more beautiful gemstones and spent hours working on designs. And it is starting to pay off; my bracelets are more beautiful than ever and people are wearing my bracelets proudly.

I try to live by my motto, A Bracelet For Every Woman! I have them in every price range to fit every personality. And my Unisex Collection is growing so men can sport my bracelets too. It is my goal to have my bracelets become a household name. In the last 20 years, I never had a goal that didn't have something to do with HIV/AIDS in some way. RLT Collection is another way that I am making history.

It feels so awesome to have this gift designing bracelets and sharing it with others. I never thought that I would one day be a business woman, but I am! And I'm all giddy, even as I write this blog.

teamRae Diva II AIDS awareness bracelet.

teamRae Diva II AIDS awareness bracelet.

I take pride in my collection!! And I'm going to continue to invest all that I have to make RLT Collection the best it can be. Thank you for supporting me!! Your support has helped to make RLT Collection what it is today!

In honor of my third anniversary, I'm having a SALE! It starts today, August 21, and ends September 13. 30% off on all bracelets! The coupon code at checkout is Celebrate. My prayer is that I have many more wonderful years! And that RLT Collection will become a household name, at least in your home.

Post Script: There is a New teamRae Diva AIDS Awareness Bracelet. I had to discontinue the old one because the red rhinestone bead is no longer available. The new one has a simple angelic crystal dangle in the back. ... Also, please email me, or tweet me photos of you wearing RLT Collection for the photo album.

Happy Shopping!! Click Here!

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See Also
More Personal Accounts of Women With HIV/AIDS

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Rae Lewis-Thornton Speaks

Rae Lewis-Thornton

Rae Lewis-Thornton

Rae Lewis-Thornton is an Emmy Award-winning AIDS activist who rose to national acclaim when she told her story of living with AIDS in a cover story for Essence Magazine. She has lived with HIV for 27 years and AIDS for 19. Rae travels the country speaking and challenging stereotypes and myths about HIV/AIDS. She has a Master of Divinity degree and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Church History. Rae has been featured on Nightline, Dateline NBC, BET and The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as in countless magazines and newspapers, including Emerge, Glamour, O, the Oprah Winfrey Magazine, Jet, Ebony, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune, to name a few. She earned the coveted Emmy Award for a first-person series on living With AIDS for Chicago's CBS News.

Rae is an active user of social media -- read "Long-Term HIV Survivor Discovers the Power of Twitter," an article on about Rae's social media activities.

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Learn about RLT Collection, Rae's line of AIDS awareness/fashion bracelets

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