When I was 5 years old I was playing Tag with my friend Kristen on the playground, and ended up in the urgent care because I ran into a fence and cut my eyebrow off. Sounds dramatic right? It gets better, while the doctors were trying to stitch my face back together, I was kicking and screaming begging them to “Just let me die” because obviously I was too far gone.
After my face was healed I survived the “terrible” reality of being the kid that had to wear an eye-patch to school, I showed up to Mrs. Carrol’s Kindergarten class with a brand new pair of purple Mickey Mouse bottle-cap glasses. Now here is the part of me being brave because I don’t share this with anyone; I ran into the fence because I was suffering from double vision because of a lazy eye—which I still have to this day.
Now, I share that to show that I am not perfect at all; and until this moment maybe 10 people on the entire planet knew this—I didn’t show my boyfriend my special eye until over a year of dating. I always thought this imperfection was going to ruin my life and hated having to wear extremely thick glasses and contacts. This was until my year of Miss New Mexico.
Through my year, I was tore apart by so many for my imperfections, but it made me love them that much more. Any time I would see a small child with glasses, I knew the feelings of insecurity they internalized. Especially if I had my crown on I would travel across the room just to say “I like your glasses” or “Hey! I wear glasses too!”. Seeing their faces light up and smile because someone saw them meant so much; this act became addicting and would sometimes get me in trouble for stopping parades and having my own Princess Mia moment (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndEhclIZxso).
I started The Brave Company to help pay for my Master’s Degree, but to also empower women to feel brave in their own skin. By no means am I pressuring women to “fit in a box” but rather to provide clothing that makes them feel unique, empowered, and ready to show their truth. Sheryl Sandburg writes in her book Lean In that women stop themselves from success because they don’t feel qualified or good enough; while 93% of women and young girls report feeling anxiety or stress about their looks while getting ready each morning. Enough is enough, and if I help at least one person defeat the feeling of not being good enough, TBC will be successful.
This company is fueled by my own insecurities as I conquer them even to this day; but I can only do it through God. Where God is present, there is always hope—and I hope TBC will step in and change people’s lives; because you ARE good enough. Throughout the bible we see verses of being wonderfully and perfectly made, and more precious than rubies—but do we as women take that to heart?
Do we remember the verse of 1 Samuel 16:7 where it says that God overlooks our outward appearances and truly looks at our heart? Some days I stop myself from getting ready because I feel like there is no hope, and it truly taints my heart for the rest of the day; and that is not at all glorifying him. On the days I wake up, truly loving the thick glasses, curves, and every other blessing he has given me, my heart overflows with hope.
As women it is our duty to empower each other and it seems like we do that best when we feel good enough or capable enough. I want each and every person who leaves TBC with their cup overflowing and ready to share the love to themselves and others. It is our role to lean in, it is our role to help our mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends love themselves, and it is our role to Be BRAVE!