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 theshineproject.com.

Friday, April 11, 2014

What Is Easter? Thoughts From a 5 and 7 Year Old


 Easter Baskets- c/o Personal Creations

This will be our first official Easter with the kids. I spent Easter with them a couple of years ago, which was actually the first weekend that I ever met them. They've been so excited about Easter baskets, and wearing their little outfits to church. Today I set out their Easter baskets from Personal Creations and they went crazy for them. I pulled out the Peeps and their eyes literally got huge,
WHAT. ARE. THOSE!

They ate them. With no self control, eyes wide open and giggling with each other. I love these little things. These are so yummmmy! I found a new appreciation for Peeps today.

I asked the kids a few questions about Easter. Here's what they said:

What is Easter for?
Zoe: It's for Jesus's death. And birth. I think.
Shiloh: It's to celebrate Jesus's death and resurrected. He was resurrected so we will be too.

Why do we have an Easter bunny?
Zoe: To hide little eggs for us so we can celebrate Jesus! 
Me: How does that help celebrate Jesus?
Zoe: I'm not really sure....
Shiloh: We have an Easter bunny to bring presents. But wait, Easter is to celebrate Jesus. I'm actually not sure why we have an Easter bunny... (pause)... Hey, why is there an Easter bunny?

What's your favorite part of Easter?
Shiloh: Celebrating Jesus's resurrection. Well, I've actually never celebrated his resurrection before. So up until now it's been getting presents.
Zoe: Easter eggs. Definitely Easter eggs.

I'm not sure why all of the extra fluffy Easter stuff happens either, BUT I am excited that I forever get to be one and bring joy to and magic into these little lives!

Personal Creations is offering you 25% off of their amazing, personalized Easter baskets with code
"Bunnyhop25" until the 14th!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

American Blogger. And Who I Am As One.


Last August, Chris Wiegand pulled out front of my little home in downtown Phoenix in an airstream that he refinished and had been driving around the country in for months to film American bloggers. I was one of his last stops, and was so grateful that he came to tell a glimpse of my story. Chris was excited, tired, and I saw his heart that he had wrapped up into sharing with the world the story of this crazy blogging world that lifts, loves, guides, helps women launch businesses, gives hope, creates friendship... but he also listened to over 50 of us who go through every day trials, struggles, get torn apart from allowing our lives to be seen by thousands of people on the internet... all the while just wanting to tell our story.

An hour ago I posted a picture on Instagram, sharing my excitement, and tagging this movement that I'm honored to be a part of. I was shocked to see that there had been so much backlash to the trailer of a movie. I'll I have seen is the positive response, love, and anticipation for the full film to come out. I try not to ever engage in negative "stuff" here on the internet. But I stumbled upon the negativity accidentally. And it's all over a trailer.  A trailer that only shows 2 minutes of a feature film. A trailer that shows seconds of glimpses of only a handful of women who are in the movie.

To those of you who say, "It's not real life. They're all perfect and pretty and have no real problems. There is no diversity and I can't believe how mad I am about 2 minutes of a trailer"....

I am an American Blogger.
I am blonde, and white, and get paid to wear clothing from awesome companies.
I didn't know until today that that was something to apologize for. #sorryimnotsorry 
I work 15 hours a day on my business that started from my social media networks.
I use my social networks to send inner city American youth to college.
How excited I am that this film will help further that.

My family grew last year from 2 to 4 people. 
We now have two African American children, and people look at me so confused everywhere I go. I love them with my entire being and have sacrificed everything that I used to know to give them the absolute best life possible.
I go to counseling because I can't handle all the anxiety I feel of trying to deal with everything that comes along with that. I go to counseling because it's the most overwhelming yet beautiful thing I will ever experience, and I want my kids to be happy. For the rest of their lives.
I sit in American youth homes, the youth I employ,  who have no parents, and cry with them, counsel them, and haven't taken a pay check in two years so I can build a successful company that ensures that they will have a future of promise, opportunities, and potential.

My home is clean 1% of the time.
The other 99% of the time it's full of dishes, and I'm late to pick my kids up from school, and I am working until 1 in the morning and letting out a good cry because I just don't know how much more I can handle at the given moment. And then, every time, I realize that this is my beautiful, amazing, incredibly blessed life. And I get to share it with thousands and thousands and thousands of people.

What you didn't see in the trailer is me sitting on my couch, talking to Chris, crying about all of this.
What you didn't see is Ashley's openness about how she has a nervous disorder where she pulls out her hair, and Casey's struggle about her miscarriage that completely tore out her heart, and Mrs. Hackshaw's incredible and completely scary battle with cancer and the post where her husband shaved off all of her hair because it was falling out around her house. Every single person on his list has inspired me in some way because of the realness of the struggles that they openly share for people who they don't even know. We share our stories to lift, encourage, and inspire. He has captured us, each in our own little quirky way, perfectly. 

I can not wait to see the full movie of American Blogger.
I am proud to be one.
I am proud to share my story.
And I am grateful that Chris took a year out of his life to capture it.
Thank you, for telling our stories.