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In the Company of the JBx Women ft. Fran Fontaine

Posted on August 22 2018

When I was a little girl my role models were always the women in my life.  We started this brand (The Jewelry Bx) to empower ourselves and other women to create and style the life they envision for themselves. We did not set out to only sell jewelry, we wanted to start a conversation with women about where they are going and what life are they leading in that jewelry. How does the jewelry make you feel? To that end we launched a monthly interview series on our JBx Blog called, In the Company of the JBx Women. 

These are women we have been blessed to be connected to through business, family, or philanthropy. We ask the same 10 questions and are amazed at the remarks and insights provided by these women. We will publish and share them with you monthly through our blog so that you can get to know them too! 

The more we share about each other the stronger the community and support we can give one another. There are so many women living so many different experiences, and we salute them all!  We hope you will join us on our journey to showcase, support and discover what the authentic women in our life think about some very contemporary topics.Real women, Real answers....

I am so honored to be able to publish my favorite women who continue to teach me and inspire me every day.  This month I am so happy to introduce  Fran Fontaine!

I My Aunt Fran maybe surprised when she reads this, (I hope not), but I have always considered her one of the strongest, loving, and kind women I know.  As she will tell you in this article in her own words she has been a devoted daughter, mother, sister, aunt, and friend to all of us.   When we think of our life's purpose and answer the pivotal question , "Why am I here?" this JBx woman has truly followed her calling.  As with many of us on this journey through life I have had my share of "Life Crisis's", my aunt has always been there for me.  Without judgement, negativity, but only a sense of strength, love and support.  This is a woman who through her own empowerment gave back to her community at a very local level in various charitable and loving ways.  I remember when my cousin Jim went off to Desert Storm, she started a local support group in her town of Barrington, RI.  Those were frightening times and in those meetings people huddled to collect personal items, or letters to ship to the soldiers, but what was really happening in those meetings was a sense of unity, a place to talk about your loved one and share your knowledge of the inner pinnings of the "System of  providing Military Support".    My Aunt has also given decades of service in the Mental Health Care Field.  We are just starting an awakening on this subject in this country.  I am sure we all agree long overdue.  Addiction, depression, personality disorders and how the state funds and processes these areas and the people who depend on those services is where she has made her career.  As you can imagine this can be a dark, stressful environment to spend your days, but even after having retirement options she continues to stay committed to this ever evolving and critical field and the people who come through those doors in need.  I would say that my aunt is a brilliant example of how we woman can make an impact in the lives of others and lead a purposeful life right in our own backyard.  

We women currently have the spotlight- How do you think we can really support each other in this life of ours? 

When asked by my niece Marijean to participate in the series In the Company of JBX Women I immediately thought why? I have lived a very simple life, work, family and friends. However, the more I reflected on my life it wasn’t so simple. I was raised in a large Italian family comprised of 4 siblings and many Aunts, Uncles and Cousins. Again, the simple life of the traditional Sunday dinners, Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter always an event.

 

What in your life has brought you or given you the greatest satisfaction or fulfillment? 

That question is easy my husband Richard, a kind and gentle man, my three children Jim, Erica and Mark, and my 8 grandchildren. That will be my legacy.  

Fran, Mom, Auntie Fran, Grandma .. I answer to them all

 

What woman inspires you?

I am not sure that I had a specific role model while growing up but more of a combination of the qualities that the women in my life my Mother and aunts that I admired most. Their commitment to family and home life was always most important to them. This instilled in me that family always comes first. Although, one of my Uncles always stated “do the right thing” it always gives me pause even today to think before I act. I went to a private Catholic girl’s school for 12 years again the simple life. I went through my teen years in the 60’s the Beatles, President Kennedy, Vietnam war the age of Aquarius.   As I matured into adulthood and began to have children, my older sister Jean became a role model for me. Her nurturing qualities and her commitment and support to family.

What I am most known for?

I am most known for according to my family and friends is making a great meatball. Some say, “just like Mom’s”.

 

I aspire to… 

 

Continue my work in Administration in a local Mental Health facility for over 33 years. Through the years, I have learned dedication and commitment from the staff who provide services daily to clients who suffer from mental illness for them to survive in the community. The staff have opened my eyes to a world that I didn’t know existed and have helped me become more compassionate towards those less fortunate in life.

What is your go to? Netflix or a good book?

I love to read mysteries and watch movies that have happy endings. 

How would you define your personal style? 

 Jackie Kennedy was not my role model, but I admired her poise and style of dress and perhaps that is where I found my own classic style of dress. 

What is your most memorable travel destination? 

I love getting together with my siblings and their children and grandchildren. My greatest travel trip was when my husband, children and grandchildren all went to Disney as a family several years ago. It was a trip that brought us close together and probably cannot be replicated.  Has it always been easy NO but we are strong and will continue to survive the simple life.

 

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