That's A Yes!
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 All Started With A Painting
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.
A Vision Turns Into A Brand
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.
By Stephanie Taormina
Founder and CEO of Have Some Fun Today
Chronic pain sucks. It sucks the life out of you. The fun out of you. It sucks to hurt and have your whole perspective tainted by physical pain. And lots of people have it. For the last two years, I've been living with excruciating pain in my hips. And for two years I've been on a quest to understand what it is and how to stop it.
I fully believe that the physical body is an expression of the spiritual, emotional and mental body. My chronic pain, it turns out, is arthritis. Through mindfulness and learning to be present, I'm learning that it's less about stopping the pain and more about being the best expression of myself. With diet, exercise, awareness and openness, my pain is pushing me to be a better and stronger and me.
My arthritis is a blessing. It's brought me to a completely new consciousness and awareness about myself and my place in the world. When it hurts and when I can't sleep at night, I've found myself digging deep. I have a whole new level of appreciation for my body, wellness and my life.
Finding Joy Through The Pain
It may sound strange, but this pain has brought me to a place of bliss. I'm so inspired and motivated to learn, share and connect with people who are the same path, and who work to be better every day. I want to be strong again. I will be strong again and this journey is putting me on the road to something greater.
What I'm coming to realize is that every day, our challenges in life are the biggest opportunities on our path to finding true happiness. Think about that. Things that may seem like obstacles or road blocks to getting what we want, are actually things that can help us. My arthritis has been a challenge but it certainly isn't my first and won't be my last. What I do with this opportunity and this new found awareness is what counts. I think that's why I'm inspired to share it with people and talk about it.
Something My Dad Used To Say
I started a brand almost four years ago based on something my father used to say. Have Some Fun Today. I design cool t-shirts, bags, totes, a whole line of products with those four words. I think about my Dad everyday and why he said that to anyone as they left a room.
I think what my Dad was really saying was, "Hey, take a moment today and enjoy your life. It goes too fast and you'll miss the good stuff if you're not looking. So look up, take a beat, and soak it in."
That's mindfulness. My Dad was talking about being present and aware and looking for a moment to be grateful. And so now, more than ever, I am living that every single day.
That's the beauty. It's taken the pain to show me the pleasure. It's the days I feel good that give me the greatest gift and reminders of how much I have to feel grateful for. And even when it hurts like hell and it's my darkest, I'm still going find the joy and the light. I'm going to work that much harder to Have Some Fun Today.
Peace and Love,
"Beauty Broker" Melinda Farina, seen here with the HSFT luxe tote.
Melinda Farina loves to help people. Aka the Beauty Broker, Melinda founded her health and beauty consulting business, "Integrated Aesthetics" in 2004. She connects her clients with the best doctors and experts in their fields, like plastic surgeons and cosmetic dentists. With her degrees in dental science and psychology, her brains are as impressive as her beauty. She studied extensively under top cosmetic Dr. Rosenthal of New York City where she learned much about consulting and working with patients first hand. "I would study my patients and take inventory, from looking at their health histories every day to what surgeries they had and who did them. It was so interesting to me...." Her own consulting business has since grown to three international businesses and keeps her on the move. We were thrilled to have Melinda take some take to talk with HSFT about what inspires her and how she like to Have Some Fun...
What is your personal mantra or Mission Statement?
I live by the “Golden Rule”, Do Unto Others… I actually even tattooed it on my left forearm. I always put myself in another person's shoes, listen thoroughly to and try to fully understand them before I act. I never treat another as I wouldn't want to be treated. Making people feel loved, comfortable and included is my thing. It's something that is not practiced often enough, unfortunately. This is one thing that I will be sure my children grow up practicing. Also, Be Original. The only way to true success is practicing originality- people want authenticity not a copy or hacked version of another person’s hard work and creativity. Always be one of a kind!
What inspires you?
The ability to change a person's life for the better. The reason I started my company was to help people. Both men and women come to me usually when they're feeling at their very worst. Having the ability to guide them through a reinvention process and watch them walk away with their heads held high - that is exactly why I do what I do, day after day. Nothing more gratifying than being the orchestrator of such a beautiful process. It is the one driving force that pushes me to become better and expand my services year after year.
What do you value most in life?
My mind and my heart. I place a lot of value on being a woman who thinks deeply and loves deeply. A beautiful mind and a huge heart can take you anywhere in life. Never underestimate the power of these two things.
Do you use any daily disciplines or practices to energize you?
Early to bed early to rise - and no processed junk food. I lead an organic lifestyle through and through! Good rest and healthy living will always keep you young and energized. I always make sure that I put aside ME TIME- spa days - steam room at the gym, ocean time with no electronics in sight. Your body speaks to you- if you take the time to listen to it and address its needs-you will always feel your best. I take 4x yearly trips to Italy for work and family. The Amalfi Coast just simply revives me! In the past two years or so I have also practiced "toxic elimination" toxic people, toxic habits, toxic environments- GOODBYE. I won't allow it. Constant cleansing of these things are necessary- especially living in NYC!
What is the most valuable advice you've even been given or words of inspiration you live by?
"Let Cooler Heads Prevail"- brilliant words handed over to me by my brilliant older brother. He is an uber successful business man. I am a business woman- and as women, sometimes we allow our emotions to guide us and speak on our behalf. I have learned to stop reacting out of emotions and take a few days to think about a situation before addressing it. There is always truth in facts and numbers. Presenting facts and making solid factual points, strategically and systematically is the wiser path to choose. Reacting out of emotions automatically makes you the weaker counterpart- no matter how RIGHT you may be. Stop, breathe, think- and always let cooler heads prevail. You will thank me for this one!
What helps you Have Some Fun Today - each and every day?
My core group of brilliant friends. We constantly bounce brilliant business and travel ideas off of one another- all of my friends are wickedly creative and innovative- we truly enjoy each others company. My family and my adorably hysterical nephew, who always does and says the funniest things. I am also so lucky to work with world renown surgeons and specialists that have become some of my closest friends. We laugh so much day in and day out, they're wonderful people! Laughter is life. When I am around the people I love, I am always donning an ear to ear smile. I just couldn't do it without them!
Written and contributed by Rebecca Doubek...
Have Some Fun Today Founder Stephanie Taormina and her bestie and HSFT team member Kristin Golden Mancuso
At HAVE SOME FUN TODAY, we're inspired by women! We love powerful, creative, thoughtful, unique women who follow their hearts and share their vision with those around them. It's the reason we started our "Inspiring Women" series on the blog. It's the reason our founder Stephanie Taormina started the HSFT fashion and lifestyle brand aimed at celebrating women and honoring her late father's lifelong mantra. Our mission at HSFT is to lift women up, share empowerment and passion, and connect women to a community where we celebrate each other. There's beauty and compassion when we honor each other, and ourselves, by sticking together and rising above.
1) Don't Hate - Celebrate!
Empower other women when they have a victory and take it as a win for all women. Yay women! Don't become petty and jealous because another woman's success makes you feel insecure about your own. Let it inspire you and motivate you. We all move forward when a woman succeeds. It's called progress and we need more of it!
2) It's No Contest... We're All Winners
There's no Blue Ribbon Winner or diamond tiara placed on your head for winning the big prize. It's life, not a beauty pageant or a Spelling Bee. Don't compare yourself to everyone woman that walks in the room, or for that matter, into your life. It's way better for all of us when we're all on the same side and not judging each other. Let's not worry about beating each other at the game but rather cheering on our fellow women as they cross the finish line.
3) We Have More in Common Than We Think
We've come a long way, baby! We've only had the right to vote in this country for 95 years. Many of us get paid less money to do the same job as our male counterparts. And all of us at some point have had to overcome at least one stereotype about being a woman. We are all someone's daughter and granddaughter. Some of us are sisters and mothers. There are so many common threads that connect us as women. Let's celebrate our similarities AND our differences and remember we are all in this together.
4) Cultivate Friendships, Not Rumors
Don't be that woman who talks about other women behind their back. Be true and authentic. What if instead of talking gossip about someone, you just called her? If it's gossip you've heard being dished around, then maybe she needs a friend. If you've got an issue with a woman, be brave and authentic enough to say it directly to her and not through someone else. Wouldn't it be a nicer world if we taught young girls to do this and we did it, too?
5) Girlfriends Are Good For You
Our girlfriends have been scientifically proven to be good for easing stress and making us feel better! If you have a squad of women who lift you up or just one bestie who keeps you grounded, count yourself lucky. Research has shown that being with our girlfriends creates oxytocin in the body, which feels good and soothes anxiety. This is also thought to offset the negative effects of stress. A good girlfriend will get you through the hardest of times of your life and be there when you're celebrating the best. Keep them close and love them up. They're irreplaceable.
As women, being nurturers and caretakers runs deep in our DNA. We do it for our families but when we do it for each other, we're a force of nature. There's a palpable energy capable of changing the world when we empower women with love and support. That's our mission at HSFT, share the love, spread the vibe. Live. Love. Wear. Share. And celebrate women! It's that easy.
Written and contributed by HSFT writer and blogger Rebecca Doubek who treasures her girlfriends and the power of women
You can tell by talking to her that Cindy Webster likes to smile. And that she is perpetual motion. "I wish there were 20 hours more in every day!" she says. She's a woman on the move in her job as Marketing Director for SportsRadio 94WIP in Philadelphia. Whether she is creating events to increase listeners for the station or attending them, her job can be all hours of the day and night, sometimes starting at 5 and ending at 11. "Grass will never grow under my feet as long as I’m in radio." Growing up just outside of Philly, Cindy's almost 25 years radio career has given her the chance to support charities and those in need and meet some amazing people. No day at her job is ever the same and that's what she loves about it. She's an avid sports fan, loves live music and admits she will never miss a chance to hug a mascot and take a pic. We love that she radiates positivity and kindness. Cindy took some time out from her busy radio schedule to answer a few questions about life and her connection to HSFT.
What is your personal Mission Statement?
Live life to the fullest (even when you’re tired) and to be nice to everyone you meet. I hope my legacy would be that I helped people somehow. Whether it’s by helping with a charitable initiative someone has, or trying to help make a wish come true for a sick child, or helping someone with tickets to an event they wouldn’t normally have access to, or even just by being a good friend.
What inspires you to create the life you live?
Life inspires me. The fact that we are on this beautiful earth and get to take advantage of everything out there, as long as we are healthy and able, inspires me. I’m in awe of simple things like a sunset (I have to go out and see it every night no matter where I am). I appreciate the little things and the little gestures people make. I’m inspired by my friends and family. I’m inspired by strong and talented people.
Do you use any daily disciplines or practices to energize you?
I am a planner so I do my best to look months ahead and lay out everything I hope to accomplish. I am a list maker and I won’t be satisfied 'til I have checked everything off the list and I know I’ve done everything. At least once a day (if not all day!), I need to step outside and see the sun and the trees (any time of the year, -even in a blizzard!). It energizes me to be outside.
What is one piece of advice or words of inspiration you live by?
I live by the motto to always tell people how you feel about them. To me, if you don’t tell them in the living years, then you’ve missed an opportunity. Even if it’s an acquaintance or someone you met on the street. If someone does something nice, I want to say thank you and acknowledge what they did. And I want to tell someone when they’ve made an impact on my life. I try not to ever leave loose ends-in my job, with my friends and in life.
What helps you Have Some Fun Today - each and every day?
I try to have fun no matter what I’m doing, no matter where I am and no matter who I am with. Knowing Joe Rado and the love he had for life and his family always inspired me. Whenever I would visit the Rado Family and he would say “Have Some Fun Today” to me, I always walked away and knew I had to go have some fun! Life is about having fun because there is so much of it out there to experience. There are days that I can’t believe how much I have gotten to see and do and that’s when I stop and realize how lucky I am. I never stop appreciating all that I have gotten to do thanks to the strong foundation my family provided, thanks to my education, thanks to the friends I have made and thanks to the career path I have chosen. I think the trick is to just appreciate what you have and try to look at things as a glass half full. If you do that, anything you do is fun!