Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Growing up, I spent a number of summer vacations in India with my extended family. I would get gifts of dangly gold earrings and bright-colored jeweled bracelets that I would bring back home to Boston. I remember wearing the pieces to school and being teased for how gaudy, sparkly and odd they looked, so I stopped wearing Indian jewelry. Even as an adult, I struggle to pair Indian jewelry pieces with my Western clothing.
“I also remember being teased for the Indian gold chains my mom would put on me before I headed out to school,” says Rekha Brar, founder and CEO of Blossom Box Jewelry. “I was reluctant to wear the chains, but my mother would remind me that they were passed down from my grandmother and how beautiful they were. Despite how different I felt in school, my parents always encouraged me to embrace my individuality, not blend in, and to never forget where I came from.”