The Big Anniversary

I can't believe it has already been 2 years since we opened the doors to my storefront here in Seattle, WA. It's so cliché to say, but in some ways it feels like its only been a few weeks since we launched this venture for my brand and in other ways, WOAH, it really feels like we have been working immensely hard at this for years and years. At the end of the day, it's thanks to you guys, my friends, followers, and customers who keep my business going. Even with all of the countless hours we work overtime to grow this company, it wouldn't be alive and sustaining itself without your support.

Truthfully, honestly, it really really means so much to me personally every single time I see an online order come through or an in store purchase. Even though my store front is just 2 years old, I've actually be working at all of this for over 7 years. And even beyond that, I've dreamt of being my own boss since I was a little girl. I just had no idea how much sacrifice and hard work and sweat and tears would be needed to make all this happen and I had no idea that finding your own marker points of success is an inner decision, not one the world can dictate to you. I've gotten to at least where I am at now because of those sacrifices, because of that hard work, and because of your kindness and belief in me. And even 7 years in, I'm learning how to believe in myself, take pride in what I've done, and be at peace in all the successes and failures. I'm very lucky that so many people tell me these days that they are amazed at my success. But at the end of the day, only you can determine what success means in your own life. And even after 7 years of building my own business, I still am critical of myself, I'm still self conscious, I'm still nervous and allow self doubt to creep in, I still compare myself to others and think, "oh you're not doing good enough." I still battle imposter syndrome. I fight back anxiety and depression every single day. And so even with the kindest compliments, I still have a hard time seeing the full truth of my accomplishments, owning my what I've achieved so far, and believing in my own success. I'm not saying that to appear humble. I'm saying it because it's the honest truth.

At this 2 year point of my store front marks so many more important landmarks for my career. It's been almost 3 years since we launched mooreaseal.com which feels like a lifetime ago. It's been 3 years of my staff believing in my vision and investing so much of themselves into making this all reality. I owe so much to my team of co-workers and friends and it's an honor to work beside them daily. The pressure to be my best for my team is wild and heavy at times, but it's because I love them so so so dearly, I am so grateful for each of them and their own sacrifices and hard work, and I want to truly do all I can so that I can contribute to their own personal successes and accomplishments. Though my name is on the business, this isn't a one woman show. It's the people on my staff that make our website and store front magic happen. And like a devoted mama, I want to be all and do all that I can to support, love and give to this team of people I appreciate and admire so much.

It's been 3 years since I start The 52 Lists Project as a series on my blog, and now it's a book. It has been 4 years since my own jewelry line was stocked in over 40 stores across the world and since my following on Pinterest motivated me to expand my business. It's been 4 years since I left my jobs nannying for two families full time, running my Etsy shop, blogging almost daily, doing freelance graphic design and illustration, and taking on any side gig I could find. It's been 5 years since I started taking my jewelry business seriously, believing I could start some sort of creative career because of it.  It's been 5 years since I performed music with my old band and my solo project. It's been 6 years since I established so many incredible friendships in the blogging community, voices and friends who helped me believe my voice matters, friends who I still call friends and fellow entrepreneurs and inspirations today. It's been 7 years since I graduated college in a season where creative career opportunities seemed impossible to find or create. It's been 7 years since I decided to embark on an unknown, unmarked path towards where I am now.

I'm a forward thinker and my own biggest critic. As soon as I have reached one accomplishment, I am already setting expectations for myself for the next big thing. But this Anniversary, this year I want to slow down, if just for a second to remind myself that I deserve to be proud of myself, I deserve peace and healthy pride amidst the whirlwind that is my life and my career. In loving and wanting to provide for my team so much, I must remember to love and provide for myself equally as well. Self love, healthy pride, confidence and courage can happen at the same time as being extremely grateful for all that others have done for you and alongside you. Self love is the foundation for loving others well, and even as the author of a best selling book about self love, I myself must remember to practice that every single day, in my moments of celebration and moments or hardship. These last 7 years and most specifically the last 2 years of my store front sure as hell haven't been easy! Haha. But they have been beyond fulfilling, incredibly challenging in the greatest ways, inspiring, encouraging, and forever memorable in the story of my personal life, my brand's growth, and every life of each member of my team. I want to keep growing, I want to keep being challenged in my work and in who I am and what I stand for. I want my business to thrive, and with it, see the lives of all 100+ handmade designers in my store thrive, all of the non-profits that we give to thrive, and all the members of my staff thrive. I want YOU to feel like your best self when you shop in my stores. Positivity is the key, and love and compassion are my greatest goals.

Thank you to each of you who have shopped in my store front and online site. Thank you for giving me reason to feel challenged, for giving me opportunity to grow and make big decisions. Thank you for giving me the chance to discover who I want to be in my career, what inspires me the most, what I am willing to make sacrifices for. Thank you for giving me the chance to become a better version of myself with each day that I invest in my work. Thank you for providing jobs for each member of my staff. Thank you for supporting each handmade designer who is featured in our stores who is working hard to keep their career dreams alive as well. Thank you for shopping and giving us the chance to give back to charity with every dollar you spend.

As my favorite quote of all time says, "Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen." - Conan. And in partnership, one of my other favorite quotes, "If you can't love yourself, how the hell are you going to love somebody else? Can I get an Amen?" - Ru Paul.
Business is HARD! Self love is HARD! But if you believe in the journey, if it is truthfully what you want and need, you can make it happen. And I know I'm making it all happen, one step at a time.

So! With all that emotional stuff out of the way, let's get to the fun part, shall we? :)

The Moorea Seal Store Anniversary Party! 
7-9pm June 3rd 
2523 3rd Ave, Seattle WA

Come join us at our second annual anniversary party! Not only do our first 100 guests get a free Anniversary tote, but we're also giving away tons of products from all of our favorite designers. With every purchase, you'll get a chance to spin our giveaway wheel. What will you win? Will it be a new backpack from Herschel Supply Co, some soothing bath and body products from Herbivore Botanicals, or maybe even some gorgeous jewelry by Everli! We have over 100 of our favorite products just waiting for you to win!

Mix and mingle with me and the whole Moorea Seal crew. You're welcome to bring your 52 Lists Project book for me to sign, and we will have plenty of copies on hand too. We can't wait to see you there! We recommend getting there a little early before we open for the big party. Last year we had a line going down the block to grab those first free 100 Anniversary totes, and this year's design is our best yet, you wont want to miss out!

One spin of the giveaway wheel per person.


52 Lists for Happiness!

So in my last blog post... last month for April Fools... I announced my FAKE new book "The 52,000 Lists Project." Heehee, I had a surprising amount of friends and fans who legitimately thought it was real! Holy crap, you guys. I would need a lot longer than a few months for even a few years to come up with 52,000 list prompts to fill an entire book. Also, that sounds like the world's most overwhelming journal and I would never want to force that sort of torment upon anyone. Let's just stick with 52 Lists a year ;)

So for reals guys, I HAVE written a new book, and it comes out this Fall in September! It's called 52 Lists for Happiness and I'm so so so excited that I get to turn 52 Lists into a series of journals inspired by my own pursuits, experiences, and areas where I myself want to learn to be my best and most balanced self. It means so much to me that I get to invest time into really researching the sorts of ideas that I can convey through fun and interesting prompts, the sorts of prompts that I think will be most encouraging, inspiring and helpful for you.

I've started sharing more about my life, my work, behind the scenes and stories about what I do and why I do what I do on Snapchat and Periscope lately. You can find me on both apps with my user name @mooreaseal. And today I did a little live chat on Periscope, sharing what motivated me to create the 52 Lists series in the first place.  You can watch it here! It was a little glitchy in the first 3 1/2 minutes, but I ended up moving outside and sat right outside my store so the cell reception was better, haha. So hopefully you find the video interesting, candid, and helpful in learning about my inspiration for my books. I get real honest! You know me ;)

Anyway, you can now pre-order 52 Lists for Happiness on MooreaSeal.com and the first 600 copies will be signed by me! 
You're welcome to scoop up a couple copies for friends and family or just grab one for yourself. They start shipping in September! I really hope you love #52HappyLists as much as my first journal, #52ListsProject. Both of these books are true labors of love. I really throw my heart into writing and crafting these books and it means the world to me that at this point, the 52 Lists Project has 100,000 copies printed in only about 6 months since it's release! So many people all over the world are using the journal I wrote to improve their lives and find encouragement and empowerment within themselves. I'm so honored I get to do this, and so honored that so many people love using my book. And I can't wait to hear and see how my second journal becomes special to people all over the world.


I'm writing another book!

Exciting news guys... I'm writing a new book! Check out the video to learn more and at the end, there's a discount code to take 15% off of my current book the 52 Lists Project!


Sounds That Inspire Me

Music and sounds and interesting sounds have always been so inspiring for me. My mom and dad are both great singers and use music as interesting inspirational tools for their lives in completely different ways. Growing up, I observed how incredibly important finding new music was to my dad. To me, it looked like a journey of self understanding, finding sounds that spoke the language of who he was inside for him to revel in on his own. He likes a wide array of music from Animal Collective to Jefferson Airplane to modern House music. For my mom, music is a very outward expression of who she is, and I think music helps her express the very best version of herself through upbeat expressive and dramatic music like Whitney Houston and R Kelly. Yep, for reals she loves R Kelly! Bahah.

For me, music has been a huge part of my life in varying degrees. But in recent years, I really put it on the back burner and I'm not entirely sure why. When I was little, I was desperate to sing in my dad's church's choir. I joined choir at school as soon as I was old enough. And by the end of high school I was singing almost 40 hours a week on average inside of school and out, classical vocal performance and writing music on my own. I taught myself guitar was I was 15 and wrote my own music for 10 years. I wrote a folk album when I was 19, performed my music a lot from 19-24. Was in a band for 2 years that was kind of surf rock/weezer inspired. I loved performing classical music as an artistic and kind of analytical challenge, I guess emotional as well as I needed to evoke the meaning and feelings behind the songs through how I sang and performed. And I loved writing and performing my own music as self expression, revealing my inner world, and feeling challenged to create something unique and perform it well.

All throughout that as well, I was desperately hunting for music that not only expressed who I felt I was inside but inspired me to explore new musical movements and discover something new and different. My teenage years were filled with hours and hours worth of hunting chat rooms for new music, sitting and watching songs slowly download on napster, making mixtapes of songs I heard on the radio, recording music videos that I loved on tapes, flipping through music magazines, going to record stores, and writing my own music quietly in my room. For most of my childhood and teen years, I didn't really have any friends who I felt like I deeply connected with on music. But there were a few people throughout my later teenage years who I felt like really got the music I dug, and it felt so incredible finally getting to talk to people my age about all of the music that inspired me and all the music that inspired them.

When it was time to apply to colleges, I had a hard time deciding whether or not to major or minor in music, or just not pursue it at all in the college setting. I remember during a college interview, the interviewer kept trying to hint to me that I should apply to their music school but I was so spacey and set on being an Art History major that I totally didn't catch it until it was too late. I obviously didn't get into that school, ha!

In college, I decided not to pursue a music education. I felt like I had already received so much training in junior high and high school that if I did any more training, I would lose my emotional connection to music and wouldn't be able to express myself the way I wanted to so purely. So I just wrote music in my free time and performed it on campus and around the city. I also got involved in the on campus radio station and was a part of their staff for a few years. I wrote music all the way through college and included some of my songs in my senior art show. But by the time I was 23, I really wanted to be able to experiment with creating music more outside of just playing guitar and singing. But I didn't have the resources to figure it out. I played around on iMusic and wrote a couple of more experimental songs that I loved, but I just wanted to play more with percussions and mixing and didn't know how to go about that within my means. By 23, I was also bringing out a lot of my deepest thoughts and feelings through my music and I was getting nervous about it. I loved music as self expression but I didn't particularly want to share EVERYTHING that was being brought out of me by writing.

So around 2010, I wrote my last song, not intending it to be my last, but the lyrics just felt too vulnerable to share. So I stopped. I quit the band I was in because I wanted it to be all or nothing, I wanted to devote all my time to it and have everyone else do the same but it felt too wishy washy so I quit. I also started dating my husband and realized that I had written a song about almost everyone I had dated or had ever had a huge crush on and I was legitimately worried that if I wrote a song about him, we would be destined for failure. So that was it! No more song writing.

And in the last 3 years of owning a business and working side by side people everyday, I have totally dropped out of hunting for music that I deeply connect with. I spent a lot of time alone in junior high, high school, college, and post college. But as of the last 3 years, I have worked all day beside other people for the first time in my life and as an introvert, I think it definitely drains me, sound wise. So I don't look for interesting sounds in my free time because I want quite. But miss the musical hunt!

I want 2016 to be the year that I connect again with music, seeking out sounds that inspire me and bring out the person that I feel I am in my interior world. So here is a collection of songs I have loved for a long time, and songs that I randomly have heard lately that I find inspiring. It's a wide array and I love all of it.