When I made the phone call on January 6th, 2017 for one lawn sign and quickly decided to order 200 to save myself money because one sign was so expensive to have made, challenging myself to find homes for the other 199 signs, I NEVER, EVER could have imagine that I would still be selling lawn signs 3 years later. Given that I was a self-employed photographer, mother of two boys with ZERO merchandising experience, I don't think anyone could have predicted the formation of the Believe Love Unite movement. With the unknown challenges that I was to face combined with my lack of experience, I think even today I would question why I am continuing to push forward to find ways to grow the reach and sales of this campaign, if I wasn't the one having had the lived experiences the last three years has provided me.
I never could have predicted connecting with so many incredible humans and reconnecting with many from my past who lifted my spirits, spread the love and the BLU message into their communities. I have gotten to experience the beauty of the human spirit. I have gotten to learn from people who come from backgrounds, ethnicities and worlds that I have had very limited experiences with. I have had countless strangers tell me how much the message has meant to them. How they were unexpectedly impacted by a sign or a person wearing a BLU top or hat. How seeing the rainbow collection of statement has lifted them up when they needed it. How a simple message or material good can make someone feel seen and/or safe. I never could have predicted dropping off checks to unsuspecting organization impacted the people working at those organizations.
Ultimately, I never could have imagine that one sign, one idea, one leap of faith would help me realize what is most important to me and is truly the mission of Believe Love Unite:
To empower humans to have the courage to connect.
With BLU, it starts with a sign. Standing up for what you believe. Being open to new conversations. Listening to other peoples' perspectives. Learning, growing, sharing, and being hopeful that unity and peace in our world is possible. I believe it is if we all take small steps to show up for each other. Not just the people we know. Not just for our family. Not just for the community we are most familiar with. We must show up in spaces and places that are unfamiliar, connect with people who are outside of our silos and be open to sharing kindness, stories, knowledge and resources with everyone. Crazily that can happen with a sign or wearing an article of clothing that states what you believe.
If you are hopeful for unity in 2020 and want to an easy way to make a right now, head to the shop page now and purchase some BLU items for yourself and your favorite friends.
And, if you are in Seattle, you can join me tomorrow night, January 23rd, for the first of a series of monthly community gatherings. Click on image for more details. I apologize for the late notice. The next gathering will be February 26th in Madison Valley.
I am hopeful and optimistic for the new year and decade ahead. Thank you to those who have been a part of the BLU movement thus far, here's to the future and this growing movement.
WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER!