"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.