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Validation. We all need it. Sometimes more than others. Sometimes we need it just to know we’re on the right path or making the right decision. And sometimes it’s just the icing on the cake; the exclamation point on what already feels like the right thing.
I’ve had a lot of those moments when it came to starting and running my brand Have Some Fun Today. Seeing my brand take hold in my hometown, watching the positive response to our brand message and of course, seeing pics of celebrities like Brooke Shields with the luxe tote, Reese Witherspoon in our muscle tank and Kate Hudson in the zip hoodie. Those are moments that have inspired me to keep going and to explore what else is out there!
Certainly, being featured on the cover of a magazine with my HSFT luxe tote is one of those moments. When Lehigh Valley Style approached me about a story, I was already flattered. Sure, it’s great for any brand to land a cover story, but honestly, I love telling the story of my father, his legacy and how I was inspired to start the company after his passing.
Those validation moments are important guides when we take any journey. I take them as signs to keep going and inspiration to do things my own way, even when it isn't what everyone else is doing.
I’ve always felt confident in my vision, even if it wasn’t the popular one. I can visualize where I’m going when I create and design. Not everyone is going to agree. And that’s ok. I feel like that was the gift of my art and being a painter. You have to trust the vision and the process. Your vision. It’s not supposed to look like anyone else’s.
It's been over four years since I started and I've now got a beautiful collection of those moments and stories as HSFT has grown. Even from the very beginning when I went back to my old stomping grounds in NYC to Parsons School of Design and begin designing our popular Luxe Tote. I learned so much through each of those experiences and those stories have become the fabric of the HSFT story.
Each time I become inspired to try something new or create another direction for HSFT, I take time to be reflective and really tune in to what it could be. It's less about a hot, new trend and more about the big picture of what I'm trying to create with HSFT. I'd rather create something classic and reflective of our brand than just a seasonal fad.
I've long been a big believer in meditation and I've openly shared in this blog my daily ritual of Rune Stones as a guide for my life. Those things help me tune in and connect energetically to my vision.
And when you get that validating moment, a pic of a celeb wearing HSFT, a note from a customer fighting cancer who connects to the message, that's when I know I'm right where I need to be.
I know I have a story to tell but to have the privilege of sharing it on a larger platform like a magazine, and for others to have a chance to share in it, that just feels good.
It’s in those moments when I realize I’ve created something real from the legacy of my father’s words. The vision I had for an HSFT painting that day sitting on my couch, took on a life of its own. And now my brand is sold all over the world. It’s humbling and it’s beautiful and I’m proud of what’s come from it.
I know my Dad is, too. He’s beaming from ear to ear up there with that unmistakable Joe Rado smile and reminding me to just revel in the accomplishments, stay on my track and always, "Have Some Fun Today".
Love & Light,
You can read the whole article featured in Lehigh Valley style here.
HAVE SOME FUN TODAY - You know that innate feeling you get that if you push a little harder or dig a little deeper, you just know you're going to do "it"? "It" could be nailing that interview, or pushing that extra mile during your morning run or sealing up that job promotion. You've worked hard. You know it's going to happen. You're determined and fierce. That is powerful stuff. And that is powerful enough to propel a rocket into space, launch big ideas into bigger realities, and help inspire one woman to start a "mindset" brand in a small town of PA.
It's grit, and guts and tenacity. And that, we know, is one of the biggest influential factors in succeeding at anything. A recent article in Inc. magazine, "How Grit and Determination Exceed Talent and Intelligence Every Time" exposes the idea that working hard and being persistent are powerful forces in our success.
Have Some Fun Today was started on those same principles of grit and determination. HFST Founder Stephanie Rado Taormina is a do-it-all kind of entrepreneur. She's set her sights on being a global brand. A global "mindset" brand with a positive message and a community who follows.
"No matter what success means to the individual, studies actually show that those who exhibit more "grit" and persistence have a better chance of reaching milestones and exceeding personal goals. And guess what? Grit, like many other competencies, is something that can be developed with practice." -Brent Gleeson, Inc Magazine
It's not always easy being a one-woman-show. On any given day, she's packing up her car with HSFT gear for an event, looking over the books, writing checks, implementing new designs, checking emails, creating looks for her social media accounts, and hand-packing orders from her website. She often squeezes all that in before noon. Sometimes it's overwhelming. And she's the first to admit, it doesn't always all get done.
"A lot of stuff falls through the cracks, because it's just me," Stephanie says in the upcoming YouTube episode of HSFT: Building a Brand With Soul. In this episode, we see her spending a much-needed afternoon in her PA studio, getting caught up with the many tasks required to run a company.
She still sees clients with her interior design business, is a single mom raising two daughters, and tries to find time to work out and keep healthy. She likes keeping her hand in all details of HSFT, big or small, because after all, it is her vision. And it's a vision she fiercely protects as she builds her brand.
"I actually write a little thank you note on most of the orders....," Stephanie says in the upcoming vlog. "....I really try to add a personal touch to everything that we do, to make people feel special for buying Have Some Fun Today."
Catch Episode 5 of HSFT: Building A Brand With Soul - "A Day in The Studio" on HSFT's YouTube Channel.
It may just look like a t-shirt, but at HSFT it's also a state of mind. HAVE SOME FUN TODAY is emblazoned on all of our fabulous shirts and accessories and it's the guiding force behind everything we do at HSFT. So how can a t-shirt make your day?
Life can be pretty intense. Sometimes we need a reminder to lighten up. And yeah, there are always gonna be good days and bad days, this we know. But finding a little ray of light or some FUN, even in the darkest of days, is what brings hope. Hope is good. Life is short. HAVE SOME FUN TODAY!
Pay the water bill, pick up the dry cleaning, HAVE SOME FUN TODAY. Go to work, go to school, HAVE SOME FUN TODAY. Like it's your job. Think of it as the string around your index finger or the reminder alert on your phone. Your daily pep talk. Studies show making a visual and concrete connection to positive affirmations can be hugely impactful on our stress levels and improve the way we see ourselves in the world. Try this: Pull on your HSFT original tee or the HSFT slouchy tee and stand in the mirror. See what it says? HAVE SOME FUN TODAY. Do that. Rinse. Repeat. You're welcome.
It's a philosophy, an ideology. HSFT started a brand with mindset and challenges us to see the bigger picture. What could you do if you broke free of what you were supposed to do? What would it mean to live boldly and without fear? You never know what you're going to find around the corner, who your going to meet, or what unexpected gift the universe is going to bring. Our brand is so much more than just amazing t-shirts (and other luxe goods and accessories!) but when you embrace the mindset, you shift your thinking. You begin to open up a pathway to seeing the world a different way. We think that's pretty damn good for a t-shirt.
HAVE SOME FUN TODAY - Stephanie Taormina was sitting in her living room one day, shortly after the passing of her father, when she began to visualize a painting she wanted to create. As an artist and designer, she was inspired by something her father had said every day; Have Some Fun Today. She saw this painting so clearly and immediately knew she wanted to design a t-shirt, a beach tote, a hat. That was the day she started this brand.
That was over two years ago and since then, Stephanie has worked tirelessly to share her message of positivity and pass on the legacy of her father's love through her chic and stylish goods. She started the HSFT online store and began to use social media to tell her story. It's been a grassroots effort from the beginning, with local pop-up shops in Pennsylvania and event parties in people's homes. New York, New Jersey, Connecticut. Packing and unpacking her wares and setting up shop in unlikely places, all to keep building a brand and sharing the message of Have Some Fun Today.
Stephanie will be taking HSFT to the west coast soon and hosting event parties in Los Angeles and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She's racking up the mileage and the social media followers and showing people what HSFT is all about.
The message remains the same; life is short, it's fleeting, it's weird and wonderful. And beautiful. Life, is what you make it. So make it fun....Have Some Fun Today.
So we've been working up a little something at the HSFT studios that we're beyond excited to share with the world. Today we officially launched the trailer for our new vlog series, Have Some Fun Today: Building a Brand With Soul. We wanted to share the story of HSFT, because it’s a good one. Have Some Fun Today is so much more than luxury goods with a positive message. It’s the legacy of a father’s love, it’s the mission of one woman to change the world, it’s a “kick-your-ass-claw-your-way-to-success” kind of story.
We hired a killer video guy, (Patrick Corcoran) to follow us around, and help capture the essence of what Have Some Fun Today is all about. We couldn’t imagine why sewing labels on t-shirts and packing up the car for HSFT events was something people wanted to see, but what we realized along the way is that it’s all part of our story, building our brand and making something good.
"I met with a young, talented film maker that has really good sense of story telling," said HSFT founder Stephanie Rado Taormina. His talent and passion were very clear from the beginning. He told me how we could pull together a vlog series about my brand. And I really think it works."
There’s always more to the story than you think, and we think it’s worth sharing the trials, triumphs and tribulations as Have Some Fun Today grows into something more each and every day. It isn't always picture perfect but it's not supposed to be. It's real life, on the way to building a brand with soul.
Our HSFT vlog series is about the grit and grind of one woman building her brand, brick by brick and piece by piece. And all along the way, she is definitely going to Have Some Fun Today.
In Have Some Fun Today: Building a Brand With Soul, you’ll see the blood, sweat, and tears of manifesting an idea, with a fire in our gut and sheer determination. You'll see that time we hosted a Happy Hour at Facebook. Or the time we got lost in Philly on our way to an event. Real life. Real heart. A real brand, with soul.
Check out and subscribe to our HSFT YouTube Channel to see our weekly video episodes of Have Some Fun Today: The Making of a Lifestyle Brand.
Life is what you make it, so make it fun....
HAVE SOME FUN TODAY - It started with four words on a t-shirt, words near and dear to our founder's heart, but what happened along the way is that we discovered a community of people who got it. They got our vibe and the essence of HSFT. Those four words are a mindset. A philosophy. A little slip of paper in the fortune cookie of life. HAVE SOME FUN TODAY. It's a call to action to make your life FUN, even in the most mundane of moments. The Law of Attraction is pretty simple. You get what you give, so why not give positivity and possibility. Why not Have Some Fun Today?
We're a company with soul. Yeah, we make great t-shirts, totes, and gifts emblazoned with those four words, but it's become so much more than that. As we grow and expand the business, so too, does our community and our collective inspiration. And we've become this beautiful patchwork quilt of all these HSFT people and experiences that are re-defining what we are everyday. You could say it's taken on a life and breath of it's own.
Wanna join our HSFT tribe? It's simple really. Be Adventurous. Smile More. Be Grateful. Be Confident. Spread Happiness. You can buy our luxe t-shirts, cool trucker hats other HSFT gear, but the magic of HSFT is that the mindset is free.