In my last semester of university I was required to read Aristotle’s “Nicomachaen Ethics.” His teachings completely captured me. In the most beautiful manner, he explained his belief that a flourishing being is a result of a rational and virtuous approach to living. He also argued that the pursuit of happiness was the true motivator behind everything we do. I realize this sounds quite dramatic, but the blending of those two thoughts changed the way I look at life.
The word Aristotle used to summarize his theories was “eudaimonia”—to live well and do well. I love that word. Its look. Its sound. Its meaning. Most importantly, its impact on my thinking. I wanted to make it a part of me. So I decided to tattoo it on my wrist. But something held me back. Then, months later while backpacking in Southeast Asia, I came across a jewelry market as I explored. Suddenly, I understood why I had hesitated about getting the tattoo. I knew then what I had wanted all along. I had the word “eudaimonia” engraved on a beautiful piece of jewelry. It immediately became my favorite possession as it literally carried great meaning.
I didn’t realize it then, but that was the birth of Speechlust.
Later in my travels, I met a fellow adventurer from Germany. He introduced me to the word “fernweh.” It means a homesickness for far-off lands. After returning to Canada, I thought of that word often—it captured my feelings perfectly and reminded me of my amazing times abroad. Once again, I headed to the engraver.
My friends loved my jewelry pieces and enjoyed learning the unique words’ meanings. I quickly realized that I had stumbled onto something. So, with absolutely no background in business (not even a single university course), I set out to launch Speechlust.
It has been a fantastic learning experience. Dealing with everyone from lawyers to accountants to graphic designers has been intimidating but fun. Flying to the Far East and staying alone at hostels week after week while searching for suppliers and taking jewelry-making courses was beyond exciting. Testing my ideas on hundreds of women to see what designs appeal to them and what words resonate with them has been unbelievably helpful.
It’s clear that a well-chosen word has incredible power. Power to remind us of our core beliefs, goals we’ve set and memories we hold close.
A woman always keeps her word.
- Courtney Chilton (Instagram: @courtneychilton)
To learn more about our founder, Courtney Chilton, and her inspiring journey creating Speechlust, click the interviews below: