New beginnings are hard. Whether it’s the first day of school or moving across the country, stepping out of your comfort zone and away from your support system is a hard obstacle to tackle. One Swansea mother thought of a clever way to make hard day a little easier by designing a pair of bracelets that keep loved ones close.

Alicia Albernaz is a mother of two boys, ages 12 and seven, and she still remembers how hard it was to watch her children hop on the bus for the first time and ride off to school. They were nervous, and she was emotional.

“I ugly cried when my kids went to kindergarten,” joked Albernaz.

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Thanks to her love of crafting, she decided to create matching bracelets that she and her sons could wear as a friendly reminder that they always have each other.

Albernaz works as a special education paraprofessional while raising her two sons in Swansea, and she has seen first-hand how hard change can be. She has seen how anxiety affects her students and the stress on the faces of parents. She decided to start making bracelets through her crafting Facebook page, Alicia’s Craftopia, to bring loved ones closer during stressful times.

“I just thought it was a cute idea to have matching bracelets with mom, dad, or whoever,” Albernaz said. “They can look down (at the bracelet) and think of them to get through the tough time.”

She hand makes each bracelet, and sends them off with a hand written note that reads, "Here are two bracelets, one big and one small. I'll wear the big and I will think of you, the small one is yours so you can think of me, too. Wear to work or wherever you work or play, to have my heart with you while you're away."

Albernaz has been making her “unity” bracelets for several years now, and often has repeat customers.

“I have people who buy one for each year,” she said.

Albernaz describes herself as natural born helper. “It’s one of the best things in life. Anything I can do to help makes me feel fantastic," she said.

If your little one is gearing up for their very first day of school, if you miss someone far away, or you need some reassurance that you’re not alone, maybe one of these bracelets is your answer.

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