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    Fear: Kick It In the Face

    Fear: Kick It In the Face

    "Sometimes fear does not subside and you must do it afraid." -Elisabeth Elliot 

    It's Saturday evening as I write this and I just arrived home from a piano recital. (Yes, I am 22 and just had a piano recital, HA!) Now to give you some context, I started playing piano a year ago for my dad. He bought us a piano when I was younger and none of us learned, so I decided it was going to be my New Years resolution. And if you know me, when I set my mind to something, you better believe I am going to accomplish it, or at least try to accomplish it. 

    This past year every Friday morning at 8 am I have had a piano lesson. Bright and early I would wake up to get an hour of piano in before work. And much to my surprise, I came to love it. There have been months where I practiced more than others, but I found that like anything in life the more work you put into it, the better you get at it. So, I practiced as much as I could in my spare time. It sounds funny, but it amazes me the sound that my fingers can make. How learning a run and chords can make the song sound so beautiful. And most of all, I have loved what a challenge it has been both physically and mentally. To me, learning the piano was a terrifying thought, which is exactly why I chose to do it. 

    Now, fast forward to today, my piano recital. I was playing Amazing Grace and all throughout the week I felt super confident, until today. This morning as I was practicing I could just tell I was off. Maybe it was nerves, maybe I was not rehearsed enough, I am not quite sure what it was, but I just didn't feel super confident about the song. I have a pretty good memory so it was unusual that I couldn't remember runs and was messing up on the easiest parts. Thus, I was pretty anxious about the recital.

    Fast forward to arriving at the recital. Now, picture this with me. I am in a church full of families with children 15 and under, seriously no one except a 41 year old woman was there to play. These children all have years of experience under their belt, recitals they have played at, school talent shows and so on. My hands immediately got sweaty, my heart racing and I must have looked like I was going to pass out because my mom kept saying to me, "breathe." Let's just say, I was a hot mess. I end up playing my song and about half way through, I blank. Like completely freeze. So, I restart the song, and AGAIN I freeze. My nightmare was coming true. Not only was it embarrassing enough to get up in front of everybody and announce that I was 22 and playing a song after the 4 year old because everyone else there was better than me. (HA!) But to then mess of TWICE, I mean for a perfectionist this was a nightmare scenario. I end up playing the song pretty well the third time through with only a few mess ups, but oh well! 

    Now, keep in mind this happened about two hours ago so I am writing this in part to hopefully give someone encouragement, as well as really just to vent. I was sitting there feeling pretty dumb. How did I mess up that bad. Then about half way through the recital a 14 year old boy, who is incredible I might add, got up there and did the same thing. He messed up twice and ended up playing perfectly on his third try. As the recital continued many others did the same thing, making me feel a lot better. (I know, it is sad I felt better when others messed up, but I will be honest and say it did, human nature I guess) Then, the last boy goes. Now I had never heard this young boy play, but I had heard my piano teacher rave about him. And I mean RAVE. So, I was super excited to hear him play. Then, it happened, he messed up TOO. Now, in all fairness, my piano piece was about 2 minutes and his was some hard Star Wars song that he memorized that was played at an incredible speed for about 7 minutes, but same thing right. :) In that moment, I felt for him. He was the last to go and I am sure he felt awful. Everyone was there waiting to see him play and he messed up. He handled it really well, picked up where he left on and played the end of the song to near perfection. 

    Now, as I was sitting there, I chuckled to myself at first how I put way too much pressure on myself for a silly recital. My mom said it best to me that no one expects perfection. How could we, nothing and no one is perfect in life. Even the best piano players, like the young boy that messed up, are going to have their off moments, their moments of weakness and so on. However, the thing that shows the most courage is putting yourself in situations where you are scared. Where you have maximum fear, your heart racing and you do it anyway. 

    For me, this is something I am really big on. I purposefully put myself in positions where I am really fearful. From skydiving to hikes with huge drop offs (terrified of heights), moving to LA at 18 alone and starting a company (terrified of failure), and most recently a piano recital (major perfectionist). We all have our own fear, but I was reminded today that what makes like worth living is facing that fear. It's not letting your life be defined by it. To go to the piano recital, try and fail and yet keep trying until you conquer it. 

    I guarantee that young boy was disappointed in his performance, as I was, but what we remember most is not the mess up, but when he conquered his fear. That to me shows great character. 

    While driving home this quote I posted on Soul Honey's account a while back kept playing in my mind. "Sometimes fear does not subside and you must do it afraid." 

    So, if you get anything from this rant of mine, I hope it is that we should face our fear. To push our comfort zone, big or small. 

    I absolutely never want my life to be defined by fear and my hope is that you choose to live that same way. Great reward can come from the most uncomfortable of situations. And it really just makes life more fun!

    And as I write this, I keep thinking of my biggest fear. That crippling, nightmare, cold sweats fear I have.... SHARKS. Thinking I should go cage diving, what do you think? 

    Push your fear aside. Piano recital or cage diving, just do it! 

    Have a great weekend.



    Founder and CEO - Soul Honey

    Summer Sneak Peak: 2018

    Summer Sneak Peak: 2018

    I frequently get asked why I chose a certain quote or author. How I found it, what stuck out to me, and so on. 

    My answer is always the same. That every quote that has struck me, I have found in a different way. I have found quotes from searching the internet for hours, to reading books, or hearing a great movie line that inspires me to look up a quote that is similar. Family, friends and customers send them to me as well. All in all, there is no set way I have found them, but each quote does have its own special unique meaning and story to me. 

    Most recently, I have been working on our new Summer releases for 2018. When finalizing a new line, I am oddly selective in the quotes I use. It matters to me what the words suggest, who said it, when they said it and so on. I can read a quote and instantly fall in love or pass it by and it resurfaces later on. Again, there really is no set rule in how I choose quotes for products. 

    However, one of our new quotes for our summer line has one of my favorite stories in how I have come to use it. The quote is by Henry Ward Beecher, "The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things." 

    Now, let me quickly tell you the story. I have a habit of taking a screen shot of every quote, saying, topic, I come across so I have it on my desktop to remind me for later. Because I have this habit, my desktop gets very crowded. My employees think its a nightmare, I call it organized chaos. Now, I will be honest and say that the chaos makes me crazy often, so I occasionally completely clean out my desktop, deleting quotes that I just don't think are right for the company right now. However, I always keep my lower lefthand corner compiled with quotes I just simply can't part with. About 6 months ago I hit the breaking point and realized I had not cleaned it out for a good year and a half and decided it was time. While sorting through, I realized I kept coming across this same quote. Pile after pile I cleaned out, it resurfaced and resurfaced. I thought it was worth keeping around so decided to keep it along with about 4 others. 

    I went on to design my Winter line and debated whether or not to use the quote. I usually come to the conclusion that if it is that hard of a decision, it is not the right timing, so I passed it by, yet again. By this point, it had been a good two years this quote sat on my computer and resurfaced while I searched for quotes. It was almost as if it was saying, "Hey, remember me, I'm still here!" 

    Most recently, I passed up the quote again for our Spring line, yet Summer came along and could not stop thinking about it. I debated if it was a quote that could work on a shirt, if it was too long, if the message made sense with our other quotes, really having this internal battle. Then I couldn't stop thinking about it. I would be working on designs or simply driving in my car and these words kept running words through my mind.

    "The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things." -Henry Ward Beecher

    I finally realized it was time! 

    I believe I never let this quote go for a reason. For the past two years, I believe it was because I needed the message. I find I am drawn to words I need at that time. While running Soul Honey as a young female entrepreneur, there are great highs and low low's, yet this quote has continued to be a great reminder that my own happiness should not be found in my successes and lost in my failures, yet found in the common things. The moments in between that make our life great.

    For me, these common things have been starting my day with a great workout, hearing my niece laugh, selling a product that touches people, having an old friend visit I hadn't seen in a year, nights walks with my parents, coming across a killer quote, green tea (and lots of it!), being able to bless a stranger and so on. 

    I'm convinced we would be much happier individuals if we focused on the things we do have, rather than the things we don't. The things that went right, instead of the things that went wrong. But maybe more importantly, following what the quote says, "extracting happiness from the common things". 

    I am so excited about this quote, this message and the reminder it is for me daily. Here at Soul Honey we believe good words inspire. That is exactly what Henry Ward Beecher's words did for me. My hope is that this quote does the same for you!

    Coming soon in our 2018 Summer releases!

    As always, thanks for reading. Soul Honey would not be here without you!



    Founder and CEO of Soul Honey

    Turn off Netflix: 4 Must Reads for Business Inspiration

    I read the other day that the average CEO reads 4-5 books each month.

    Thats 48-60 books a year.

    Now I don't know about you, but I definitely don't read 60 books a year. I know there will be a few of you that will be the exception, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say I was lucky if I read 10 books a year. This usually happened on a family vacation or those rare Fall weekends where I cozied up in a chair, cup of tea in hand and dove into the pages of Harry Potter. Yes, I know I am late to the Harry Potter game, but I'm now hooked (thanks sis!).

    Anyways, as I sat there reading that the average CEO reads 48-60 books a year, I naturally did what anyone would do. Google this information to verify its legitimacy. And much to my dismay, it was true. 

    Now, I began going through what my average day looked like, going over every excuse I could think of as to why I don't read even half that much, then finally got up and went straight to our local half priced book store. And I've got to say, this was one of the single greatest decisions I have made in a long time. 

    For the past few months I've made the conscious decision to read instead of watch Netflix, Youtube, shop online, etc. Really anything that consisted of me sitting there wasting time. Now don't get me wrong, I still do these things, but far less than I used to. I spend all of my work hours on a computer or my phone, so I find picking up a book to be the most beautiful contrast to my every day life. For an hour or two (sometimes more!) I get to sit, forget about deadlines, designs, sales, emails, and escape into a great book. It can be anything from a fairytale to a book from the founder of a rad company, I'm choosing to read them all. 

    Below are 4 of my favorites reads from companies I admire. These books are not just for someone who owns a company, they are books for people who want to be inspired, learn about overcoming obstacles, and realizing that a brand is often about so much more than a soft t-shirt or a great chicken sandwich. 

    Do yourself a favor, read at least one of the below, you won't regret it!

    1. Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycowskie, Founder of TOMS

    I read this book in one night. Not lying. This was the book that was the catalyst for me wanting to read from founders of rad companies. Blake's passion for life, TOMS and most importantly helping others is inspiring. There are many changes coming to Soul Honey in the new year and a lot of it is thanks to this book. So yeah, it's that good! Promise. 

    2. Doing Business the Chick-fil-a Way by S. Truett Cathy, Founder of Chick-fil-a

    I read this book in one day as well. Again, I am not lying. I had two long flights that day and couldn't put it down. To me, this book was so good that I feel like I would be doing it a disservice to try to sum it up. So I will just say that this book is about so much more than a company with a killer chicken sandwich. It's about one mans humble and hardworking life lived in service and sacrifice to others, that happened to start one of the greatest (or in my opinion the greatest) fast food chains. Needless to say, during my layover I went straight to Chick-fil-a and got a chicken sandwich. After this read, I was inspired and hungry!

    3. Life Is Good by by Bert and John Jacobs, Founders of Life Is Good

    Three days. I read this book in three days. If time had permitted, I guarantee this would have been one I finished in one day as well. To me, Bert and John Jacobs epitomize perseverance. When it would have been so much easier to give up, they didn't. Instead, they had the most optimistic attitudes with the challenges that came and still took time to enjoy their life. They realized that life was and is more than your success. It's the people you help along the way and the lives you change that matter far more than the number of t-shirt sales that season. I don't know about you, but I can learn from them! Also, this book is written in such a rad way. I'm not going to say anymore, I want to leave you enticed so you have to read it. You can thank me later!

    4. Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard, Founder of Patagonia

    Now, I will be totally honest, I am currently reading this book, but after the first bit, I knew I had to change this post from my top 3 favorite books, to top 4 favorite. I feel confident recommending this book without finishing it. It will give your chills, chills. It's that good. This book will make you want to go straight to Patagonia, buy a backpack and hike a mountain. (and hey, I encourage you to do so, with a Soul Honey hat on as well. :)). 

    If anything, I hope this post encourages you to turn off Netflix and do something different in your everyday routine. I have found escaping into these books to be the most beautiful thing for my life recently. I hope it does the same for you! 

    Happy Reading! 



    Dream No Small Dreams

    Dream No Small Dreams

    "Dream no small dreams." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

    I remember when I first found this quote and instantly fell in love with it. I just knew it had to go on a shirt. Because after all, who wants to live a life of small dreams? 

    I began working with my graphic designer, going through our usual collaborative process to bring my vision to life. Next steps, decide which shirt(s) it would go on, colors, placement, etc. I knew it was going to be a popular quote, but to be honest, I don't know if I really sat and pondered what this really meant, to "dream no small dreams". I usually do this for each quote. I know, it might sound crazy, but I put so much time into the true meaning behind the words we put on our products and what it means to live these words out. This quote did seem some sort of a "cliche" saying, however, I believe things are often cliche because they are so true. Thus, I moved forward with the design and production process. 

    Now, flash forward to today, September 18th, 2017. I started my usual Monday, answering emails we got over the weekend. I opened an email from a precious girl, I will leave her nameless for the sake of this post, but she stated how much she loved the brand and how she had followed us for some time. As I continued to read the email, I realized she is a photographer that was reaching out to possibly create brand content for us. Now, to be honest, I get these emails often. I wish I could work with anyone and everyone, but that would be virtually impossible. I ventured onto her instagram and actually fell in love. Like really in love! Her photos beautifully captured the spirit of the people she photographed, they were beautifully edited and not to mention she is adorable! 

    Now, you are probably thinking what is the point of you telling us this? Well, the first paragraph in the email I received from her stated this,

    "I work with a lot of brands to take pictures for their social media platforms, but what stands out to me are the brands I truly believe in what they stand for. You guys are one I've always had my eye on, but I've been too scared to ask since I don't have very many followers." 

    I don't know why the last sentence struck me so much, but it did. Moments before reading this email, I was looking at photos that Mary Kate Robertson posted on her blog (thelittleduckwife.com) in our shirt that had the exact words I talked about above, "dream no small dreams." While reading the email, I instantly thought of these words. How they are simple and easy to agree with, yet can be SO much harder to actually do. 

    Now, in no way am I saying a photographer emailing me and asking to work together is her dreaming big, but rather that every little step along the way for her to pursue her dreams can either help her or hinder her in accomplishing it. 

    It made me reflect on the first time I reached out to work with the Robertsons and how scared I was. I was so nervous when I sent that first DM to Bella, would she respond or not? Would she like my product? Looking back, how silly was that thinking? I was so worried about the potential rejection that I almost missed out on what later came to be me going to Louisiana and shooting my Fall '16 line with them. I can most certainly say, before I sent that DM, the idea of shooting my Fall line with the Robertsons would have been me dreaming big (maybe too big!). Yet the small steps came together to lead to the big dream and it has been one of the best things for the company. Thinking I could have totally missed that opportunity because I was fearful of rejection makes me just shake my head. Sitting here today, I have been turned down by some and been incredibly surprised by others who responded and wanted to work together. You'll never know if you don't ask!

    All this to say, these words that once seemed somewhat cliche to me, now have such a deeper meaning. To reach the big dream, you have to go through the sometimes scary little things. Success is never overnight and will come about when all the small steps add up. So send the email you have been wanting to send, ask for help from someone who is more experienced than you, and dedicate yourself every day to accomplish that dream. 

    If anything, face fear in the face, don't just dream it, take the actions to achieve it. 



    Why a Quote?

    Why a Quote?

    "I like good strong words that mean something." -Louisa May Alcott

    I was 19 years old, working out of a penthouse in Los Angeles, finding myself done with my work for the day. I sat in my swivel chair, starring at the cars passing below, horns honking, people either exchanging smiles or completely ignoring the strangers passing by. I found myself in deep thought about life. I found the age of 19 to be totally strange. In one sense, you have the rest of your life ahead of you, the world is your oyster. On the other hand, whether I liked it or not, my 20's were coming, which to me meant growing up, having my life together and the inevitable 9-5 job.

    I had made the decision earlier that year to take the road less traveled. I moved to LA three days after I graduated high school and decided to go for it. (It being acting, which quickly changed into working for fashion bloggers, authors, and just learning as much as I could wherever I could. I often describe it as learning to drink out of a fire hose, in every aspect of the industry.) 

    Back to the story. I was in deep thought about everything that had happened in my life to lead me to this point. I was a hard working honors student from Arizona. I should have gone to college, gotten a safe job, hopefully gotten married one day, and so on. Why was I sitting here in LA? I eventually ventured onto pinterest, as one does when you have no work to do, and found myself scrolling through quotes. I am not exaggerating when I say I scrolled for a good hour or two. Pinning my favorites, thinking about what each meant, and how they related to my life at this point. I was living in a city full of the most beautiful, creative, wealthy, talented people, yet I often found sad eyes, empty spirits, and frankly a lot of discontentment among those I met. I realized that many of them were not living lives like the quotes suggested one should. 

    Simple quotes were ringing true with me such as, "Do small things with great love." -Mother Teresa and "The purpose of life is a life of purpose." -Robert Byrne. These quotes were concise, yet each one was deep and meaningful. At first glance you may think, "Thats so true." But the more you think about what those words mean and what it means to really do things with great love or to live a life with purpose, it means so much more than just a few words thoughtfully put together. I went through this process with countless quotes, "May you be happy always." -Balzac, "Whatever you are, be a good one." -Lincoln, "There are no ordinary people." -C.S. Lewis. 

    I left work that day with my head spinning. I remember it all like it was yesterday, I called my mom at a red light in traffic on Wilshire Blvd. I told her all about my day and my new idea, to start a t-shirt company with quotes on them. Because after all, there were tons of companies that sold high end t-shirts with words on them, but not many, if any, with quotes. The rest was history... 

    I began diving into why a quote meant something to me. I came to the conclusion that a good quote contained words that stood the test of time. My favorite poet, Atticus writes, "Words live longer than kingdoms." To me, that is so powerful. Our words can be so fleeting, yet in complete contrast, can be so important. Think of the last mean thing someone said to you. I bet you can remember it and exactly how it made you feel. Now think of the best compliment you ever got. I bet you can remember where it was, what you were wearing, how it made you feel, how you thought about it driving home that day. Simply put, our words have weight and when used correctly, or unfortunately sometimes incorrectly, they can be remembered. 

    I loved that someone like Mother Teresa who did so much good for others was not only remembered for fulfilling physical needs, but also the words she said. How Ronald Reagan, of course will be remembered for his decisions he made while being president, yet also for the wonderful words he said. How an artist like Vincent Van Gogh could leave this world with such incredible, tangible beauty in his paintings, yet was still remembered for saying, "What is done in love is done well." I could go on, but in efforts to keep this somewhat short, I'll leave it there. 

    All in all, the meaning and thought behind using quotes was so much deeper than just good words someone said. I made it my mission with Soul Honey to quote people that live/lived for something greater than themselves. That does not mean they were or are perfect people, or that I believe everything they believed. Rather that the variety of people we use on our products would inspire you that you both can be and should be someone that could be remembered. Remember, your life does not have to be seen by the masses to be significant. 

    I now know why I was placed in that swivel chair at the age of 19. I believe we all were placed on this earth to bring glory to our Savior with our lives, and if you are willing to trust Him, His plan is so much better than any we can imagine. Sitting here writing this, there is no doubt in my mind that both my life and yours have a purpose. Mine was to skip college, move to a big city where I knew no one, only to start a t-shirt line. Countless people called me crazy, yet I did it anyway. Try something and work to be the absolute best at whatever that is. Don't be afraid to fail. People care a lot less than you think they do. Act accordingly. Risk. Love others well. Live a full life. Be kind and compassionate. Enjoy the ride, hands in the air, through each up and down. And while you're at it, snag a Soul Honey shirt or hat, spreading words that will be sweet "Honey" for people's "Soul." (shameless plug!)

    Be a person worth quoting...that's my goal, and I hope it becomes yours as well.