I am April Bernal-Cleek! And I'm so excited that you are here and want to learn more about this amazing opportunity. I never believed that I was smart. I was an average student in high school and college and really didn't even know what I wanted to do with my life when I graduated. I had a ton of school debt, was trying to hold down three jobs and the smallest set-back felt like a million pounds of stress and disappointment-- I felt hopeless.
It wasn't until I had a close friend who challenged my thinking and said that if I kept believing that I wasn't smart, or successful or wasn't enough to see my circumstances change and improve, then it was almost certain that nothing would change. It wasn't until I started to believe, and change my thought life and perspective about who I was created to be- that I am smart, I am successful, I am worthy to receive more than I could ever ask or imagine and that this was the truth about who I am, then I started to see my life change. One of those three jobs led to an even better opportunity, allowing me to increase my wealth, pay off debt and travel as a consultant and educator in the healthcare IT industry-- who's smart now!
Fast forward to several years later when I started my own healthcare IT company- I didn't know how to start my own business, how to hire people not to mention how I was going to afford the price tag for such an endeavor. But I trusted God with each detail and believed that I am capable and I am knowledgeable and resourceful enough to do the hard work and see this vision become a reality. In our first year, EHR Concepts did 1 million in sales; by year 5, we were closing in on becoming a 10 million dollar company. But as successful as things were in my professional life, my personal life was a siege of emotional and spiritual turmoil.
I was married for 13 years and addiction had run its course in my marriage. I tried to make it work-- I did everything I could possibly think of to get him the help he needed and keep our family together but I finally had to leave for me and my children's sake. "I am brave..." were not just empty words, they were my daily, moment-to-moment mantra that I have repeated to myself and spoken over my kids more times than I can count - I am brave. And it was from this terrible and painful season of my life that these deep truths were galvanized even stronger in my heart. Against all things possible and maybe even logical, from the ashes came a new idea- a vision to share the power of these "I am..." statements with as many people as I possibly could.
I believed that like me, other women and families have been through hard, hard trials in their life and maybe they had lost sight of who they were created to be. I wanted to get this message of hope and healing out to those that needed to hear and say and believe their "I am..." statements. What better way to have a daily reminder right in front of us than to have our statements imprinted on our clothes and jewelry? Apparel was the perfect vehicle- because let's be honest, we love to look good and feel really good in what we're wearing. It all goes hand-in-hand with a positive image of yourself and then we can have a more hopeful perspective of others and the world we live in. The other realization I had was that I wanted to share my love of being an entrepreneur and the principals I've learned in my experiences of starting and running successful businesses. Illuminative started to form in mind as a message of hope for individuals and a practical business opportunity that people can use to see change happen in their lives!
We are seeing a change in the lives of three single-moms in Guatemala who work at the factory we hired to make our handbags and pillowcases. We are seeing a change in the lives of business partners, vendors and consultants that have helped us build this business, and we are seeing a change in the lives of the first few Luminaries who have already signed up and spoken out about this incredible opportunity. I'm inviting you to join our family, join Illuminative today and see a change in your life as well.