I don’t believe in fearlessness. I hear people say it, I read it magazine articles and all over social media, but the idea of being fearless just doesn’t sit well with me. Something about it doesn’t feel right. Maybe it’s because I know I am not fearless. It’s not who I am.

You see, I believe in bravery and courage. When I hear the word fearless, I think of the absence of fear. But when I hear courageous, that resonates with me. For me, courage means that you are very much afraid, but you push through the fear and do it anyway. Now that is a notion I can rock with.

I’m afraid every day. Every. Single. Day. Some days I muster up the courage to move beyond my fears and make things happen. Other days, I’m not that lucky. I have days where fear wins. I am not proud of those days. They make me feel upset. Defeated. But I know that those days are a part of the human experience. I know that courage is a muscle that I have to build over time. I have days when I kick ass at training that muscle, but sometimes I just can’t do it. Some days I ain’t got it. The muscle goes without being trained.

So here is something that only a select group of people know about me. I’ve always wanted to start a t-shirt brand. I LOVE t-shirts. If I become a millionaire today, my go-to outfit would be a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. It makes me feel comfortable–like myself. I love feeling like myself. I’m sure you do, too.

Last year, I read a book called “Launching a Kick-Ass T-Shirt Brand.” It was a really insightful book. I learned a lot about starting my own t-shirt brand, but I just wasn’t ready. I could share a laundry list of reasons why I wasn’t ready, but I’ll spare you all the details.

I just wasn’t ready.

I decided to wait until 2016. I thought maybe I could pull my thoughts and my life together enough to make it happen by 2016. But the closer I got to 2016, the more I got scared. What if no one cares? What if I can’t keep up with two brands? What if no one buys my t-shirts? What if this flops?

Man, those “what if” questions sure can be discouraging. That’s what fear does. It makes you focus on everything that can go wrong instead of focusing on what can go right.

I decided to tell fear to shut the hell up because I had no intentions of waiting until 2017 to do this. I have other things lined up for 2017 (I stay busy). I had to make this happen simply because it’s something I wanted to see happen. It felt right in my heart. I could not let fear win. I needed to be bold. 

quotes about boldness

So between November of 2015 and February of 2016, I found pockets of time to work on this new brand. I had a simple logo designed, I decided that my tagline would focus on being bold and living life candidly, I chose to target women (although I will be offering unisex tees soon), and I figured out what I wanted to offer and what would make my brand unique.

On Friday, March 4, 2016, I launched CandidLiving. That day was my son’s sixth birthday and it just felt like a good day to launch a new brand. My son and daughter are bold. They do things without overthinking it. They don’t let anything bother them for too long. They don’t let past mistakes stop them from taking new risks. They inspire me to make more chances. They inspire me to get comfortable (like t-shirt and jeans comfortable) with being uncomfortable. I love them for that!

Why CandidLiving?

It’s pretty obvious that I have a thing with the word candid. I’ve always felt like although being candid isn’t always easy, it does ease the spirit. When we lie, front, and pretend to be something we are not, a part of our spirit dies. It fades away. But the closer we get to being authentic–doing and saying what feels true to us–a sense of peace and joy prevails. We feel light and free. We feel comfortable.

I’m certain that the people who love me most know I may not always say what they want to hear, but they know I will always tell them the truth. They can count on me to be honest.

candid

Being anything other than candid makes me feel strange. It makes me feel out of place. I think we should all live life candidly. Why waste time faking it, right?

And so that is how the name of the brand was born. I promise this will be my last brand using the word candid…LOL.

Who is CandidLiving for and what’s offered?

Straight from CandidLiving’s about page:

CandidLiving is the lifestyle brand for women who are bold enough to live life candidly. We exist because we believe your home, your style, and your life should all be a reflection of who you are, what you believe, and what matters to you most.

Fun, edgy, inspirational and honest, our products are here to help you express the truest version of yourself.

Be Bold. Live life candidly. 

CandidLiving offers t-shirts, mugs, totes, pillows and wall art. I started small because I wanted needed to start somewhere. I plan to add more designs in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out what the store does have to offer. And make sure you sign up for the CandidLiving newsletter so you can get 10% off of your first order.

inspirational tees

And one of the things that truly makes me smile is the CandidLiving Statement. A manifesto of sorts, this statement reminds us how to live well. I didn’t plan on creating something like this when I first decided to launch CandidLiving, but it just happened and I soon realized that this was one of the things that make the brand unique. I love wall art and I know so many other women do too. I also love reading things that make me feel inspired, so I wrote this. Whether you put it in your office, your bedroom, or even your closet, I think the words serve as a powerful reminder of what life should be about.

inspirational wall art

So what’s next? 

I wrote this post because I want to share my new brand with you. But I also wrote it because I know so man of us place our dreams on a shelf somewhere. We tell ourselves that we will get to it later, but later never comes for anything that isn’t in your line of sight. Out of sight, out of mind. Our lives are too busy to keep up with the stuff that’s in plain site, so a dream placed on a shelf just stays there, collecting dust.

I’m going to keep it real with you: I have NO IDEA where this journey will lead. Could CandidLiving become a major brand and evolve over the years? If that is God’s will, it sure can. Can this be an experience that I just need to have because it will lead me to something else? That’s possible, too. I just know that God placed this in my heart and I needed to act.

If God has placed something in your heart, don’t place it up on some shelf. Do something. Do anything. Small steps lead to big steps. But no steps? Well, we all know where that leads.

So no, I’m not fearless. Not by a longshot. But I am a believer and nothing can take that from me. I dig deep so I can have moments–even days–where I display immense courage. On those days, I look fear in the face and say ” I wish you would get in my way.” Fear hears the tone in my voice and backs up off of me. Those days make me proud. Those are the days when the Brooklyn girl in me shines.

Here’s to my new adventure. Here’s to a lifestyle brand that I hope inspires you, makes you smile, encourages you, and allows you to purchase products that are in alignment with who you are and what matters to you most.

The best is yet to come, and I am glad I get to share it all with you.