Friday, February 4, 2011

Last-Minute Handmade Love

Hi everyone!

We just wanted to give you a head's up on our next show! We'll be taking part in the "Last-Minute Handmade Love" trunk show!

We'll be showing along with some other pretty fabulous vendors the weekend right before Valentine's Day! Woot!

We know you've probably been looking for that special gift for that special someone, whether it's your partner, friend, parent, or child, there's something for everyone!

Looking for that last-minute Valentine's day gift for your sweetie? Look no further than Big Umbrella Studios' trunk show "Last-Minute Handmade Love!"
Featuring some of the most awesome handmade artisans from around the Bay, don't miss your chance to find the perfect gift that you've been holding out for at this two-day show.

Saturday, browse the magical wares of Nerd Jerk, Heathered, Compass Rose Design, and Etta + Billie.
On Sunday, find joy in the majesty of Twinkie Chan, Mangosteen, Crooked Sister, and Monkey + Seal.

Saturday, Feb.12 & Sunday, Feb. 13 from 12-5pm
Big Umbrella Studios, 906 1/2 Divisadero St., SF, 94115

Nerd Jerk:
Compass Rose Design:
Etta + Billie:
Twinkie Chan:
Crooked Sister:
Monkey + Seal:

So we hope you'll stop by and grab a bite to eat (there will be food carts) and don't forget to say hi!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Your Pace

In our society, there is definitely a big push to do bigger, better, be greater, faster, stronger, etc. There is a sense of urgency - we need to do it yesterday, and if not then, now now now.

However, this fear of losing something - an opportunity - is based out of a mentality of lack. We think we won't have another chance, or that perhaps that you'll never be as good as you are now.

While there is definitely times when you do need to go all-out, those times are probably less frequent than you might believe. As weighed-down as we are with commitments, duties, responsibilities, and a bunch of other stuff, it's good to really evaluate how much time you really have.

Sometimes it might seem like you're going back downhill when you're trying to desperately to climb uphill. Well, maybe that's for the best, as if you were going to fast previously, perhaps you need to take a break - don't burn yourself out too quickly.

When you are climbing a mountain (literally), if you ascend too quickly you can get altitude sickness. Monkey has experienced this firsthand, with extreme headaches, nausea and/or is not fun. Guess what the only cure for altitude sickness is? Going back down the mountain and lowering your elevation. You can stay where you are and painfully tough it out, but climbing only makes it worse.

Same goes for any challenges in your life. Go at YOUR Pace. Some people might have trained longer than you have. Some people might be riding yaks up the mountain. Whatever. Don't compare yourself to the rates that other people are going because you don't know their story, their backgrounds, their support teams, or their advantages. You can only go at Your Pace, and that's the fastest you can go. Go any faster, and you risk burning yourself out and hurting yourself in the long run.

Sure, Monkey + Seal preach sustainability over destroying a bit of yourself to reach the goal faster, but that's because we're in this for the long haul. There are numerous times where we could have taken shortcuts, or done things like other people, or worked ourselves sick. But every time we've even considered doing this, we realize that it's just not how we work. If we push ourselves too hard, we get sick or burnt out. If we do things unethically, we feel guilty and terrible and self-sabotage ourselves. If we copy others, we feel cheap and like we've lost our identity. All in all, you just have to be yourself and go at Your Pace.

The fastest way up the mountain - where you can enjoy the view at the top - is Your Pace. Embrace it.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Who Is Your Hero?

Whenever you are doing anything that you haven't done before (or even if you have), it's always good to find a good role-model to look up to. Even if you are doing something that's never been done before, there are still people to learn from. We think it's very important to find your heroes in order to learn important lessons to help with your own growth.

If you're chasing your dream, and you can find someone who is already living that dream, you should ask yourself what you can learn from that person. How did they do it? Did they do it under similar circumstances as to others, or did they carve their own path? Who helped them? What sort of conditions allowed them to make it there?

Monkey + Seal enjoy reading biographies of great people, as we often find that there are similar traits that amazing people have. Determination, unwavering will in the face of hardship, a good support network, a lot a lot a lot of hard work - all of these are usually constants in major successes. There's also a little bit of luck, but when you read deeper into success stories, often this luck is actually the manisfestation of networking, guts, and years of hard work.

Often times Michael Jordan is seen as the pinnacle of athleticism, one (if not THE) greatest basketball players of all time. However, as he'll tell you, it's not a natural talent, but an unnatural drive and perseverance that made him the legend that he is today. Arriving to practice early and leaving late every single practice is what set him apart. If you look at most professional superstar athletes, it's that hard work that makes them great, not natural talent or luck.

The point of this is that on the surface, our heroes may look like shining idols on pedestals, but they all have a plan that worked for them. For MJ, it was a plan to show up early and leave late and never stop working hard. That plan is something you can replicate.

Hello Lucky! started out in co-owner Eunice Moyle's garage - the story goes that after three years of 7-day workweeks and non-stop door-knocking, card-printing, and all-around-hustling, Hello Lucky was able to grow to the stationery giant they are now with a world-wide distribution, features in Martha Stewart Wedding, and two craft books under their belt. Formula? Lots of hours spent perfecting designs and having a great business plan + a few years of non-stop hard work = awesomeness.

So whether your ambitions are in sports, stationery, medicine, or whatever, find your heroes. Who is doing what you want to be doing? If no one is doing what you want to be doing, find someone who is doing something similar, even if it's in a different field. Learn from people who have done it before. Find out their story. Ask them for interviews. Read their biographies. Research their companies and figure out what you need to do to make your own dreams come true. Find your heroes and then become one yourself. Go get 'em!