Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Living Life Like a Dancing Fool.

The jacket came off after about an hour of dancing during a friends wedding a few weeks ago. Zoe and Shiloh will dance around the house together sometimes, but I never knew how entranced Shiloh gets by music. The kids literally danced like a maniac for probably 2.5 hours straight.
And then Gangam Style came on, or whatever it's called, and he just stole the show. At one point during his dancing, we all left to see if he would even notice that we were gone. He didnt. He danced and danced and danced and didn't pay attention to anything else. People were uploading videos of him on YouTube, he was right on beat and busting out some fancy moves... I was shocked. Tears were streaming down my face from laughing so hard, and I couldn't believe all of the movement and energy that was coming from his little body.

He was so excited and focused on what he was doing, nothing else mattered. I've actually never seen anything like it, and his energy spread to everyone else in the room. 

I often think when the turning point was in my life that I started caring more about what people thought about me, and allowed that to change things that I did. I've met a lot of people who feel like they can't be different from everyone else. Being different calls attention, it puts you up for scrutiny, and it might mean that you're going against the popular opinion. I've put a lot of effort these past couple of years to be the leader of my life. To do what I know I need to do, take bold and smart risks, and not worry too much about what other people say about it. Sometimes it's a natural reaction to look around and see what everyone else is doing, and try to get validation that what you're doing is cool, too.

Get in your zone.
Give out positive energy and encouragement to others.
Do what brings you passion.
And live your life like a freaking dancing fool...

I love you Shiloh. Thanks for teaching me more about life than I ever thought I'd learn.
And for being the bravest human I know.

Monday, April 21, 2014

6 Things I'm Glad My Momma Taught Me.

Entire Outfit- c/o Kiki La Rue

1- I'm Accountable For My Actions- It doesn't matter if my dog just died and I was hit in the face with a watermelon and my bike was stolen from my back yard... There is no excuse for me to act out or do things on an emotional reaction, and if I do, it is MY choice. No blaming others actions, no calling someone else out for my behavior; my actions are mine and I have to take responsibility for them.

2- Some things are more important than making dinner- My mom didn't spend a lot of time in the kitchen, not that it's bad if you do. In fact, the times that we have the best family time is around the dinner table. However, I think as women as a whole we freak out if dinner isn't perfectly made or we have to come up with a quick meal solution 10 minutes before the kids are supposed to be in bed. Sometimes, there are things more important than taking time to make an intricate meal. I remember her always playing with us, reading to us, and taking the time to spend time. In my moments where I freak out because I feel like I have failed the day and don't have meals ready, I remember that I have spent my day doing more important things... and it's okay.

3- Keep your blinders on- I'll never forget a year into our jewelry line when I was facing some really hard stuff. My mom said something I'll never forget, "Ashley, keep your blinders on. Since when have you cared what everyone else is doing and thinking? You know what you know, so just do it."

4- Cheer on the under dog- My mom is always the one rooting on the least likely candidate. She's the one working behind the scenes with the people who seem to have been forgotten, and finding the good in the ones who are overlooked. I've learned my love for other people from my momma, and I'll forever be a cheerleader for the underdogs.

5- God always comes through- Doubt your doubt, not your faith. God will always come through for you.

**Edited to add... this morning I got a text from my sister that said, Mom wants to know if number 6 is a surprise.. Oops ;)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Proof That Miracles Happen.

I heard a quote last week that said, "Miracles happen one prayer at a time."
This is the result of many, many, many prayers and little miracles happening. I remember working out of our TINY condo, recently married and graduated from college, 45 minutes from downtown Phoenix, dropping off supplies to the employees houses and picking them up every week.I remember hoping and praying the first week we even launched that at least my mom would purchase a bracelet. I remember a stranger running up to me in public for the first time, telling me how much they love The Shine Project and showing me their wrist full of bracelets. I remember crunching numbers with my accountant at the end of last year, trying to make this possible, and screaming with excitement when I realized that it was not only possible, but time for this growth. 

Let me introduce you to Shine Headquarters in Phoenix, AZ.
Proof that miracles happen:
Almost two years after launching Threads by The Shine Project, we opening our first Shine Headquarters in Phoenix. I can't tell you how long I've dreamed of this. Our office is 2,000 sqft and consists of: my office, Brooke's office, a photography room, intern room, conference room, shipping room, an area where our employees make the bracelets, and our showroom. Our space is an old house that has been converted for commercial use, and our landlords really put a lot of work into it! You can visit our show room Thursdays and Fridays from 10-5 at 1137 W. Mcdowell Road in Phoenix.
I don't know many people who will stand by their spouse during the biggest roller coaster ever, and I am SO lucky that Mike not only cheers me on, but helps as much as he can. Love you babe.
Working with my sister, Brooke, has literally been a dream come true. I couldn't believe it all night that we were celebrating the grand opening of OUR business. Bringing her on full time is, to date, the best business decision I have ever made and I couldn't feel more grateful to her dedication to making The Shine Project grow. 
Waffle Crush was there for food... um... I'm drooling for one right now.
Here are some of our employees that your purchased help. They were all there helping run the show, and many of them have been with us from the very beginning. They were all excited to show off all the work and progress we've made! 
I knew we needed something extra shiney for the main wall, and it took me a while to find the perfect fit for it. Junk Yard Gypsyz  created us the perfect custom piece, and it made it onto the wall just hours before the grand opening. It was meant to be ;)
This is half of our photoroom... and we took polaroids of everyone who came that night to add to our picture wall. When you come shop our showroom your picture will be added to our wall too!
 Over 200 people came to our grand opening, and we're still trying to get our office back in order from how crazy it was! THANK YOU for flooding us with your support. I can't thank you enough.
When I look back over these past couple of years, I am so overwhelmed with gratitude of how far we have come. I often think about how far we still have left to go, how many more people we still have to help... but when I think of how far we've come I am so full of hope and excitement and gratitude, and I can't wait for what the future holds. I know who holds the future, and He has poured out so many miracles into this project that it is undeniable who really runs this operation.  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Beachin' It.

These are the last of the California pics from our trip a couple of weeks ago. I am a beach bum, and have to talk myself out of not moving to California every time I go and visit. I can't wait for summer and more beach trips... Actually, we'll be there again the first weekend of next month for Queen Bee Market in Oceanside. Come see us if you live around there!

I feel like my blog posts have been a little MIA lately. I'm trying to make more time for blogging and am excited to start having more content every week. Hope you all are having a very happy Tuesday, and are now free from stresses of tax day! It's over! YAHOO! PS to celebrate that it's over, you can use code "taxday" tonight for 25% off your Threads bracelets at