An Evening of Indulgence!

Last week we hosted a Girls Night of Indulgence with The Caress Forever Collection at Baby Bea's Bakeshop - the hottest new bakery in Beverly Hills! Women were greeted with a delicious array of baked goods from mint chocolate cupcakes to cake pops to champagne - and even some gluten free selections!

The purpose of the event was for the women to truly allow themselves a night of fun, connection, and inspiration - a time to indulge for themselves! The spark for the event came during a conversation with Beatrice (founder of Baby Bea's Bakeshop) wherein we observed women holding themselves back from what they really want in life. Ranging from a simple cupcake to that dream job or making a big move - a lot of women tend to talk themselves out of their desires.

So, why not throw an event where women can just say yes to taking time for themselves without agenda? Or to that cupcake (or three!) that they would usually decline? Or getting their hands dirty to play with frosting?

What I've realized about life as I get older is this:

I much prefer collecting GREAT people and experiences to things.

This night was one of rejuvenation. And, even if just for an hour or two, allowing ourselves to let go to smile, toast, be messy, and overload with sweets. There is nothing like laughing and dreaming with a room full of amazing women. 

So..... Please share with us - What can you do CONNECT and INDULGE in your life this week?

 

The Caress Forever Collection is the world's first body wash with fragrance touch technology. The breakthrough technology of Fragrance Release PearlsTM releases bursts of perfume with every touch of your skin. The collection delivers long-lasting, unforgettable, fine fragrance for up to 12 hours.

And a huge thanks to Jen Renee Photography for the amazing images from the night!!!

IWP Launch Party!

It's been just about a month since our Los Angeles launch party for the Inspirational Woman Project. I feel a little guilty that this hasn't come sooner.... but once you know what I know about the past month, I guarantee you'll understand ;-)

What an amazing evening! We were so lucky to have around 150 women join the party, including 18 amazing women from the book who shared their inspiration on a panel. PLUS - we couldn't have pulled off the night without the following sponsors and partners: Caress, GLAMSQUAD, Hint Water, TGIF Guide, and Women Empowered. 

And we're so excited to announce that an image from our Caress photobooth ended up in OK Magazine! You can see more photos from the event HERE and from the photobooth HERE.

OK Magazine Italia Ricci

Thanks again to everyone who attended! And don't forget.... if you purchased a book, be sure to send us your 100th woman answers so we can share them on our social media!

SoGal Pitch Summit

March is Women's History Month. While I believe it's important to look back and celebrate what has happened in our past, it's equally important to recognize how our actions now will be looked back upon. The SoGal Summit happening in Los Angeles on March 28, 2015 (this Saturday!) is an event that could change the course of history for women.

The SoGal Summit is a day-long event created to empower young millennial women to take the lead in entrepreneurship by providing the mindset, inspiration and resources to succeed in all aspects of their startup journey. Hosted by GirlsUp, the event features fireside chats, keynotes, entrepreneur lifecycle panels, and mentoring sessions with over 40 top-notch female CEOs, investors, executives and influencers in Southern California. 

I sat down with the founder, Pocket Sun, to find out more:

You're about to host Southern California's largest all-female entrepreneurship summit. What inspired you to do this?

When I started my organization GirlsUp in November, I was amazed by how fast the young female entrepreneur's community was able to grow. Sara Clayton, President of Girls in Tech USC, had a similar idea as well, and I thought it would create a unique opportunity to connect female students to successful women mentors, experts and investors.

Why do you think there is still a gap between female and male entrepreneurship?

When I came to USC, I went to many entrepreneurship events, both inside and outside the school. At Startup Equinox, I was one of the three females on stage among 40 teams or individuals. I've heard girls complain to me that they felt intimidated and uncomfortable going into "a men's world". I am taking a class teaching venture investment in startups, and we have venture capitalists and entrepreneurs as guest speakers every single week. But throughout the whole semester, there are NO women coming to speak. None. This is not the right message we want to send to female students in college. 

What are the main issues facing women entrepreneurs?

  • Lack of role models - Most CEOs are men; most success stories out there are about men; most speakers and mentors are men... Women can feel excluded. Or even worse, they feel not good enough and disadvantaged because they are female. When there's not enough female investors, women's startup ideas are less likely to be valued and funded. 
  • Underestimation and underselling - One of the most common responses I got from young women about starting their own businesses is "That's good, but I think I'll start my business when I am 30 / richer / more experienced / more resourceful / more mature...". What I've been trying to do is to convince them that they are just as ready and equipped as anyone else. At this young age, people WANT to see you succeed! Women are less comfortable about "bragging" than men. They can lose an opportunity because the world doesn't know how good they really are!
  • Lack of access to essential skills - Few women are in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields, and few women have sufficient knowledge to handle finances. Traditionally labeled as "guys' thing", these skills are very essential to a startup's success. 

How can women entrepreneurs overcome these issues?

  • Be in the right network - Being around a group of motivated, driven, ambitious women is the fastest way to get yourself going. GirlsUp is growing this community in Los Angeles at an amazing speed by bringing together like-minded young women who are not afraid to chase their dreams. You never know how quickly your business will grow with the right network!
  • Learn how to sell - Find the genuine voice in you that is persuasive enough to close deals. Know what you are good at and let people know about it. Getting a coach can be helpful! 
  • Be fearless - You lose 100% of the shot you did not take. I've always told myself that and have seen amazing things happen out of it. Do things that scare you a little bit first, and the rest is easy. 


What is your vision for the next generation of female entrepreneurs?

The next generation of female entrepreneurs should be hard to define, because they can wear many different hats all at once - founders, executives, speakers, writers, travelers, mentors, students, chefs, fashionistas, creators, artists, yogis, surfers... Meeting a diversity of young women every day has inspired me to build a collaborative community and make more magic happen for them. They are more connected than ever, and more supportive of each other. There are so many opportunities to create amazing things together just through meeting each other. I am very excited to see that many GirlsUp members have taken actions on their venture ideas since joining, and hopefully the SoGal Summit will open even more doors for them!

Join the over 330 women who have already registered (including myself!) HERE. See you Saturday!

The end of an era

The past year has been all about change and expansion. It's been a year of pursuing only what feels good.  It has brought me the knowledge that I do have a power flowing through me that can change the world.

But it's also brought me recognition to see what's not working for me. Which has resulted in ending business and personal relationships, leaving my day job, a new car, and two new offices. 

There is still one residual piece lingering. I have known one thing throughout the year that I have not wanted to address or acknowledge. And that's my fashion.

When I started my fashion brand it was an escape from my day job. It was just a little something on the side to keep my creative energies flowing. And then it became more. And then I wanted more. But the more wasn't flowing like I wanted it to. I dumped all of my energy into something that wasn't giving me energy in return. I would see expansion in these short bursts that would quickly fizzle out. The lack of sustainable and consistent business started to grate at me. I became more focused on what I didn't have and why everyone else was seeing success but me.

Don't get me wrong - from the outside I made it look REALLY good. But the reality was that I was drained, angry, frustrated, jealous, ornery, and borderline depressed. Then I started the Inspirational Woman Project and life began to change. I suddenly loved getting out of bed again. My life was filled with positive and uplifting energy. I returned to my usual optimistic, light-hearted self. And I'm at the point where I can no longer deny all of this.

So, it is with complete exhilaration and concurrent heartbreak that I write the next sentence. The collection that I am releasing this week will be the last one - for a long time.

I'm not completely throwing in the hat, but I'm not going to be putting out any collections until I can afford to have an entire team around me. The reality of one person doing the designing, patterning, sample making, sales, marketing, public relations, production, shipping, stylist/celebrity pulls, etc. is completely absurd. Honestly, I can't believe I did it as long as I did.

The good news is..... there is one last collection. And I think it's *really* good! So, check it out and shop the collection at www.briseeley.com/shopfashion (note: the collection will be live by 3/24/2015). Also, keep your eyes peeled for the unveiling of my new direction in the coming week - it fills my heart and will impact the lives of SO many women! 

Wild Soul Movement

I just finished interviewing Liz DiAlto of the Wild Soul Movement on my weekly blogtalkradio show Inspire and Influence. And I just had to follow up our amazing conversation with some additional links for you all to check out.....

First - you should listen to our talk. Liz shared how she uses sensual movement to help women connect with their bodies in the Wild Soul Movement series - and so much more!!! 

Second - You can practice some of the movements on your own with access to this free video (Thanks Liz!!!). And if you feel inspired by this video and connecting with your body, join Liz for the Wild Soul Movement - enroll and claim your spot HERE!

She also talked about a blog that she wrote after her first experience posing nude and truly falling in love with her body. This was a blog she didn't publish for OVER TWO YEARS after the photoshoot because she didn't feel like she had permission to do so. It's powerful. Read it here.

Thanks again to Liz for joining me on Inspire and Influence today!

Be sure to listen in next week (3/9) at 1pm PST when I interview Mama Seeley!!!

Balance

I've blogged before about the importance of taking time to rejuvenate yourself..... but it's a subject that has been coming up over and over again with myself and others in my life. As women, we tend to give - A LOT! And we don't always take the time to replenish ourselves before giving again. And again. And again.

I have always been a firm believer that you cannot fill up someone else's cup without first having a full cup yourself. So this is a gentle reminder to fill up your cup. Whether it be through yoga, meditation, a glass of wine, a hot bath, a good book, etc. Take some time to make YOU happy.

DIY Home Spa Recipe


Here are two recipes that I use to relax and give my body a little extra TLC:

1. Coffee / Coconut face scrub. Full disclosure - I've been using this recipe daily. It has completely changed the texture of my skin AND gotten rid of all blemishes! My face feels like silk.

1 used, dry puck of espresso grounds
2 TBSP coconut oil
Mix and apply to your skin. Allow to soak for a minute or two and rinse.

2. Ginger / Salt body scrub. I generally use this on my legs before shaving. It smells amazing, feels great, and makes shaving SO much easier!

2 cups Epson Salt
4 Tbsp ground Ginger
1/2 Lemon - juiced
Mix all ingredients and scrub away!

What are your favorite recipes for DIY spa treatments?

***Note: These quantities make more than one application. I generally keep a few mason jars in my shower filled so they are always ready when I need them.

Entrepreneur Advice

This morning I opened my Instagram account as usual, and had received a comment from @kristinsonsma "I teach a collegiate class for #Entrepreneurs. What's one piece of advice you would give?" I thought about my answer in the shower and as I was prepping for my day. What is the one thing that keeps me going as an entrepreneur?

What I realized is that the only thing that keeps me going is my passion for my purpose. When I have hard days and face walls, the vision I hold for the future of women centers my thoughts and reminds me that setbacks are only temporary.

In addition to this, authenticity is key. Living in a time where everyones dirty laundry can be aired at the click of a button - it's important to live a heart centered life. Approaching business from the heart will open doors and align your purpose with other heart centered entrepreneurs looking to change the world.

Intuition

It's all a bit funny.... I would consider myself to be a highly intuitive person. I am very in touch with what works for me, what my needs are, and my inner truth. I check in with my intuition all the time. In fact, I'm leading a seminar in March about Intuition for Female Entrepreneurs (side note: it's free and you can register HERE). 

This past week while at a training, I had an epiphany. You see, I had said no to attending the training. A friend approached me in November, "You have to attend this training. It will change your life." I agreed passively to check it out. And I did. But while reading about their program online, I had no reaction.

I know what YES feels like. I can feel this vibrant pulsing in my solar plexus. Every atom in my body stands at attention and begins buzzing. I know because I've had several decisions where this has been the case - attending the Archangel Academy, applying to Phoenix Fashion Week, moving to Los Angeles, adopting my kitties, etc. 

 A few weeks later he contacted me again, "Did you check out that training? They're having one in February." I politely said I wasn't interested, to which he responded, "I'm taking care of it. I'm going to make an investment in you and enroll you." How could I say no to that?

So, back to that epiphany. I felt like I was wasting my time and was completely out of alignment with my surroundings (I literally felt like a different person!). While sitting there contemplating why I was there, I started talking to my intuition. My answer: You're not supposed to be here. The conversations with my friend began flashing in my mind - doing my research, saying no, and then caving to attend despite my intuition.

Since when did I become someone who surrendered to peer pressure? Looking back on some of my life interactions/experiences I realized that I actually do it A LOT. I think it's a combination of not wanting to hurt the person's feelings and not wanting to argue with people. I back down almost instantaneously so as not to create conflict.

The byproduct of saying yes when I really mean no is that I suppress my intuition. It's like saying to myself, "I don't trust me." or "I hear what I'm saying, but I'm choosing not to listen." And if I can't listen to myself and trust in myself.... then who will?

My commitment from this moment forward is to make my intuition my best friend. To consult it every time I have a decision to make and to LISTEN even in the face of opposition. To stand strong in my truth and live from my heart in every moment. Because I'm not able to serve anyone if I am out of alignment with my truth. And I am on this earth to be of service.

2014 (Part 2)

Well, despite 2014 being tumultuous, it was also full of some really great moments. Here is our Top 4 highlight reel from the year.....


1. From the Grammy's to the Alma's and more, 2014 was our biggest year for red carpet and celebrities wearing Bri Seeley!

Vivian Lamolli Alma Awards
Italia Ricci fashion
Bumblefoot Grammy Red Carpet

2. I could not have asked for a better response to my Huffington Post childfree article! With 160,000 Likes, nearly 19,000 Facebook shares, and landing me on the TODAY show..... it still leaves me speechless!

3. The Chrysalis Collection is hands-down my best collection to date. It up-leveled the fashion brand in ways I could not have imagined - and got some great recognition at the same time!

4. The Inspirational Woman Project. This project brought such an immense amount of clarity for my vision and purpose in life - it really showed me how I am to be of service to this world. I'm not quite sure how I would have made it through 2014 without this in my life.

2014

Wow. What a year. I think I can safely say this has been the most tumultuous year of my life - it definitely was so for the business! While there were a lot of really great things that came out of 2014, it's not really a year I'd like to relive.

Oddly enough, that's exactly what I'm about to do tonight. You see.... In January I met a filmmaker and he asked to follow me around this year with a camera. Documenting the reality of being an emerging fashion designer.  

My year saw lots of tears, heard some choice words, felt frustrations, and celebrated every victory (especially the small ones!). And in just a few hours I'll be witness to it all over again..... 

Maybe it's good timing. I mean, it is the time of year to reflect and revise. And as much as I hate seeing myself on film, my hope is that it will give me more of a third party perspective on how I can make the changes I want for 2015. Now to figure out what to wear.......

 

image.jpg

May your last two days of 2014 bring you closure in the areas you wish to leave behind and allow you to clear space for all of the abundance that 2015 has in store for you! Cheers to a fabulous year ahead!

Hugs,

Bri

Keeping My Options Open

This month marks 10 years since I graduated college. Being the nostalgic person I am, I've been reminiscing over my life and how I have evolved during those 10 years.

Some may venture to guess that the biggest change I have made in my life has been the move to Los Angeles, which is in part true. I would instead pinpoint something more internal - my commitment to my dreams.

You see, when I landed in Olympia in September, 2006 I needed a job. Any job. Just one that paid and allowed me to stay in Olympia without having to move back to my parents couch. I landed a Receptionist position with a small contracting firm. It was easy and mindless work that I was skilled at. 

A month later they offered to promote me, and again four months after that, and again two years later when I passed my certification exam. Over the course of eight years in that field my salary increased by a multiplier of 6.5. As a single girl in her mid-twenties, I couldn't ask for more than a great salary and benefits - could I?

The problem was that I wasn't happy. In fact, I finally admitted in January of last year that doing that job made me want to die. It filled me with anxiety, stress, guilt, anger, resentment, and more than I care to go into here. 

Most people haven't known for the past several years that I've had a job in addition to running my brand. I have been dividing my time, my focus, my energy, and my heart for the past eight years. And it's beginning to show. This year I have let more things slip, missed more opportunities, run my body ragged, and been generally miserable. That is, until I let my job go in June.

This month also marks an important milestone for my future. My certification exam that I passed 5.5 years ago is set to expire. Parts of me have thought, "Maybe I should just renew it. It's a good credential to have and I do NOT want to take the exam again." Advice from peers has been, "Well, it'll be something to fall back on if your business doesn't work out. Keep your options open"

Except I don't want to keep my options open. My fashion brand and The Inspirational Woman Project is my calling. It's my gift to the world. And it makes me happy (yes, stressed too.... but still happy).

What I've realized over the past week is that keeping my options open is akin to me saying, "I am anticipating this to fail."

This marks the moment that I say goodbye to my certification with gratitude for all that it has brought me. It. month marks the moment in my life that I no longer keep my options open. It marks the moment when I make the commitment to doing whatever it takes to succeed. It marks the moment when I say, "I believe in my dreams. I believe in my ability to change the world."


One Feminist's Take on American Apparel

When all of the media blew up about American Apparel's CEO this summer, I held my tongue. Don't get me wrong - I had A LOT of opinions on it. But I thought it'd be better if I just didn't share them. Fortunately, I have found my voice..... so here goes my first semi-controversial, outspoken blog.


Driving around Los Angeles, there is one thing explicitly clear about American Apparel - they have absolutely no respect for women. I would even go so far to say that they hate women. Block after block I drive by a multitude of billboards featuring scantily clad women in frankly embarrassing poses. The fashion industry has long been accused of objectifying women, but American Apparel takes it to an entirely new dimension.

Great Britain's Advertising Standard's Authority investigated complaints regarding their advertising and found, "a voyeuristic quality to the images which served to heighten the impression that the women were vulnerable and in sexually provocative poses." Their most recent scandalous ad featured inappropriate sexualization of school-age girls.

Jumping onto the internet to do some brief research easily reveals numerous sexual abuse allegations against (now former) CEO, Dov Charney, including forced oral sex and masturbating in front of a reporter, their model agreements which require the girl to essentially keep her mouth shut in the event of any complaints, firing employees based on their attractiveness, and more. 

In June when the news broke of Charney's termination, I hoped that his replacement would turn around the company's representation of women and girls. Which is why I found it so interesting to learn that American Apparel has appointed a woman as their new CEO. As of January 5, 2015 Paula Schneider will take the reigns of American Apparel. The big question is - will she be able to change the company culture to one that gives women the respect we deserve?

I desperately hope this isn't just a publicity stunt to turn around their falling stock prices, but instead an opportunity to re-establish the brand's reputation in a positive light. Only time will tell..... but the world (this feminist in particular) is watching.