There is no question that our story; what we experience and face in our lives; deeply influences the passions we have to make an impact in the world. It is endlessly inspiring to see women putting those passions into action, especially when this means turning a major challenge they have faced into something beautiful that serves others. After the loss of her hand and eye in an accident, Lauren Scruggs Kennedy set out to bring hope, restore confidence, and ignite faith in women and girls who have also experienced limb loss. Hear more of her story and her gratitude-filled perspective on life below!
Tell us a little bit about yourself! What do you do and how are you using your work to make an impact on the world?
I am newly married, a new-ish resident to Los Angeles, and I am a twin who misses my Dallas-based family more than words. I have a blog that I enjoy so much because it is a space that I am vulnerable and creative, and I cherish the online community that has been formed! I launched a dry shampoo company called Stranded with my best friend, sister, and her husband a little over a year ago, and it has been the most rewarding learning experience and accomplishment. We cherish the journey so much!
I also launched my charity, called The Lauren Scruggs Kennedy Foundation, a little over a year ago. It has been such a joy to use my experience to help other women not feel alone in theirs! We provide beautiful cosmetic coverings for prosthetic arms and limbs for girls and women who have experienced limb loss. It has been so special to see all three of these projects intertwine together to help others!
You were in a plane accident that almost took your life and resulted in the loss of your hand and eye - how did your pain help you find meaning in your life and work?
Anything tragic and momentarily life-stopping brings so much focus to life.
What is truly important seems extra clear during those times, which is such a gift! My experience made me realize how short life is, how many people experience pain, and how life changing, difficult circumstances are for the best.
Our focus this month at Yellow is “privilege”. It’s a touchy subject, and is mostly seen in a negative light, but we see privilege as a responsibility. How do you see privilege?
The word privilege reminds me to always be thankful for what we have, to keep giving more, and it reminds me to view any public visibility as a responsibility and opportunity to bring hope to people!
It’s not our natural tendency to see our physical abilities as privilege, but in reality they really are. How did your circumstances change the way you look at the privileges you have?
They made me extra thankful for what I do have. For instance, I am so thankful for the amount of arm I still have, even though I am missing my hand. I am able to do so much because of the length of my arm, and it makes it easy to wear a prosthesis comfortably, hold a baby, carry groceries, and put up my hair. I also hear so many stories that specifically revolve around limb loss, and it makes me overwhelmed with gratefulness for what I have - two legs, two arms, and one hand!
You recently launched the Lauren Scruggs Kennedy Foundation, which exists to bring hope, restore dignity, and ignite faith in girls and women with limb loss by providing beautiful cosmetic coverings for prostheses. Through this you’re truly exemplifying how to use your own experience and story to give back to those in need. What is your favorite success story that’s come out of your foundation?
Oh my goodness, each story is so extra special! Our first recipient, Diana’s story, is what I related to most! She lost her arm recently, is really close to my age, was engaged, and is now married.
Her warrior perspective was so beautiful and real to me.
She is focused on living every day to the fullest with so much focus on how she can help others; so inspiring! It was also such a sweet experience because she received her arm before her wedding day!
You mention that your work is about, “Wellness rooted in balance.” Where does that come from?
I have learned so much about wellness as a whole specifically since my accident. It involves emotional health and awareness, spiritual health, and physical health; which includes rest and boundaries. So much easier said than done! I love sharing what I have learned and continue to learn in the journey of balancing life!
What is one book, tool, or resource that has impacted you along your journey?
The Bible, New Morning Mercies, and Present Over Perfect!
What is the dream that you are hoping to fulfill through your work?
I hope my work is always a tool to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others - offering hope, genuine encouragement, and wellness tips that impact the quality of life!
Photos courtesy of Lauren Scruggs Kennedy