We Spoke to the Designer Behind the Bracelets Lance Bass Gave to Taylor Swift

Getty / Noam Galai / Stringer; Mariah Grippo

If you tuned into the 2023 MTV VMAs, you likely watched Lance Bass of *NSYNC hand Taylor Swift a stack of friendship bracelets as she accepted the award for best pop – a nod to the phenomenon happening at her Eras Tour shows among fans. The moment drummed up a lot of buzz, not least because Swift gushed over how much she looked up to the group growing up: “I had your dolls,” she told them after accepting the bracelets in near disbelief.

It might’ve been hard for viewers to get a good glimpse of the glimmering bracelets, but they were made by the brand Little Words Project – and they were hand-beaded the night before.

“When Lance Bass wants to hand out bracelets, you make it happen.”

Little Words Project (LWP) is a Latina-founded brand started by Adriana Carrig, whose motto of “just be nice” has translated to wearable and shareable bracelets featuring words of affirmation. Swift’s stack at the VMAs consisted of bracelets with the words “Lover,” “NSYNC,” and “FTGWHE,” a reference to the *NSYNC track “For the Girl Who Has Everything.”

Image Source: Mariah Grippo

According to Mariah Grippo, director of brand experience for LWP, Bass also had bracelets made for the rest of the boy-band members – Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone, and Chris Kirkpatrick – to wear while presenting the award. “Dirty Pop,” “NSYNC,” and “10.01.95” (the inception date of the group) were among those Lance gifted to his fellow bandmates, who reunited during the show for the first time in 10 years.

Grippo shared that she was in talks with Bass’s team the weekend before the show, trying to figure out a way to spread kindness and share bracelets with whoever the ultimate winner would be. The LWP team worked through the wee hours of the night before the VMAs to handmake each bracelet that would potentially be going to any one of the best pop nominees, including Olivia Rodrigo, Miley Cyrus, and more.

“Everyone’s in their friendship-bracelet era right now.”

“We had so much fun beading these while blasting *NSYNC music all night,” Grippo said, adding that she and her team hadn’t handmade the bracelets in years (they have an entire team dedicated to that now, as the company has grown). “But when Lance Bass wants to hand out bracelets, you make it happen.”

So when the night came and Swift won, the rest of the LWP team hoped Bass would make giving the bracelets to the pop star “a moment.” And to their delight, it indeed was a moment worthy of headlines and social media adoration.

“Lance has handed out our bracelets before at Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour,” Grippo added. “He believes in our mission of spreading kindness and wanted to specifically work with LWP on this” for the VMAs. (Bass’s reps did not immediately respond to POPSUGAR’s request for comment.)

Image Source: Mariah Grippo

Given the popularity of the Eras Tour tradition of handing out bracelets, as well as this latest exchange, we can only imagine Little Words Project will have many more customers lining up to create their own. The brand is available in stores like Target and Nordstrom, as well as on its website, where you can customize bracelets for a personalized stack.

“We pride ourselves on being the original friendship bracelet,” Grippo said, “and everyone’s in their friendship-bracelet era right now.”

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