About Our Founder

 

When I came to the United States as a 17-year-old exchange student, I couldn’t help but notice the differences between Serbia, where I grew up, and the U.S.  Today, Serbia is a market economy, but it wasn’t always like that. Serbia was part of SFR Yugoslavia from 1946 until 2003, and the predominant economic system was socialism. I grew up during the time when socialism was collapsing, and I was exposed to the effects it had most importantly on my parents, and the Serbian people in general. 

When I experienced life in the U.S., I was struck by how much more quickly a free-market society can advance. I couldn’t help but notice the many opportunities afforded to those living in a free market economy, and just how far living under communism/socialism could set a society back. Don’t get me wrong – I love Serbia! I miss the food, people and the beautiful landscape. (Seriously, if you don’t know much about Serbia, it’s worth looking up – it’s a European country, located in the Balkans – not to be confused with Siberia!)

But the more I saw, the more my passion for entrepreneurship and the free market grew. I saw the good it had done throughout history – the lives changed, the advances made, the people lifted out of poverty. But I also saw just how often people misunderstood the free market and failed to see its benefits. I founded Gratefully Helena to use my love of jewelry to educate people about free market economics, and how you can use the free market to live life on your own terms.

I believe that true empowerment comes from resilience and self-reliance, having high standards for ourselves, and knowing how to use economics to our advantage – all while improving life for the people around us. Through Gratefully Helena, I get to live that out firsthand, and I get to share it with you.

You can keep up with me over at @gratefullyhelena on Instagram, where I post about my life in Northwest Arkansas with my husband, Scott and our new baby on the way! I can’t wait to connect with you over there!