“Your predicament does not determine your destiny.” That’s what this guest’s mom always told her, and those words became a guiding light in her life
Raised in very humble beginnings in an impoverished neighborhood of Philadelphia, Lia Valencia Key lived in a homeless shelter with her mother, sister, and brother. Even in such dark times her mom told her, “your predicament does not determine your destiny.” She encouraged Lia to never leave the house without wearing her sparkling earrings, because they would serve as reminders of the light within.
I saw Lia speak at a virtual event and hoped one day I could share the Goal Digger stage with her. Today is that day. Lia shares her story, from the challenging beginnings to the highs and lows of entrepreneurship, we dig into the challenges and successes of starting a jewelry brand, and she speaks about the power of choosing and perseverance. Here she is to shine her light, Lia Valencia Key.
Where Her Story Began
“I come and was born in the roughest, poorest neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,” Lia began. “Trash rattling the streets. It’s abandoned homes. It’s drug transactions on every corner, violence breaking out in the streets. And this is, this is where I was born.”
Lia lived with her mother and siblings. Fear was an everyday reality for her mother and family. Lia shared, “she was truly paralyzed by fear… but through her fear she still could push through and share with her children, these beautiful nuggets, which I believe is my purpose on earth; to share how you can know that your predicament does not determine your destiny.”
When Lia and her family came home one day to find their apartment padlocked and all of their things inside, Lia’s mom loaded her three kids onto a city bus and they just rode. They had no place to go.
“And then when the moment we were transported to a women’s homeless shelter and we lived in this woman’s homeless shelter for a year,” Lia continued. “She looked at her children, directly in our eyes, and she said, ‘This predicament does not determine your destiny.’ And I was super young at this age, but those words really permeated my heart.”
Those words have guided Lia throughout her life, and now she shares that same light with others. Through her story, Lia helps others understand and know that they have the power to choose.
Lia says so powerfully, “I have the power to choose. I don’t have to be what I see.”
Sparkly Earring Symbolism
Lia’s mother, before she left this earth, looked her daughter in the eyes and spoke about the light that was gleaming from inside of her. Lia’s mom told her to never leave the house without her sparkly earrings, because they’ll always serve as a reminder of the light within.
Those words from her mother became not only a beautiful reminder to keep shining, but also a piece of incredible symbolism for what Lia decided to create.
“What keeps you going through the hard times? It’s beautiful symbolisms. It’s beautiful words. It’s beautiful moments that you can wear on your body to say I do have light inside of me and I can continuously choose to shine.”
“I started to just create this sketchbook of jewelry that symbolizes life and its journey and the greatness that we can be and how we can wear these just to remind us,” Lia explained. “And that really was the start of my passion.”
Pursuing Your Dream
“Your path can take many avenues to get you to your dream,” Lia reminded. She also wanted to remind everyone that you don’t have to be on big stages, or be a big business with a huge audience, to keep going after what you dream about in life.
Lia’s path to hear dreams followed many avenues, one of those being cosmetology. She had a master’s degree in education, and decided to pivot into a cosmetology career and get her license. “You can always reset,” Lia said.
Once she had her license, she knew she wanted to work on the set of QVC. Lia was denied the opportunity many times, but she took it as a learning experience. “Just because you get a no, that just means not right now,” Lia said. “It means you got a little more learning to do.”
Lia did eventually get on QVC as a hair and makeup artist, but being surrounded by the greatness there really showed her what was possible for the jewelry that she sketched as a hobby. Lia knew it was time to transform the sketches into a real life dream come true, and the power she had to impact people with what she was about to create.
More from Lia Valencia Key
“We are all made for greatness,” Lia said with encouragement. “Every person is special. No matter who you are, no matter where you are, no matter what the world or someone in your family or an outside world has told you, you are here because you are special and you deserve to be treated special and to do special things.”
She continued, “Believe that, and start to do small little actions and those small actions will move you toward the greatness that you have to give to this world. And we all are here to stand for you. We will be the light to shine you out of that darkness.”
Lia shared so much more about her QVC journey, the life she’s choosing each day, and the light that continues to radiate out of her. Find Lia on Instagram @liavalenciakey and online at valenciakey.com. I hope you’ll hit play on this episode to hear Lia’s full story on The Goal Digger Podcast.