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Honey for your Soul — quotes

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! 

xx

Abby

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. 

xx,

Abby