***PREFACE*** I decided to reveal/relaunch my new logo today on 8/11(my favorite numbers are 11 and 81so it seemed perfect), not expecting the historical significance of today. Senator, Kamala Harris of CA (who I am proud to say I voted for), the first woman of color, was chosen to be Joe Biden’s VP. TODAY. 8/11 . It was a surprise announcement so I felt it worth mentioning since Kamala Harris, is absolutely on-brand for Tiny Bubbles, read on and I think you’ll see why.***
Clearly I was born to write an athleisure blog. Look at this trendsetting tot!
Tiny Bubbles was never going to be a blog though. Tiny Bubbles, the brand, has been in the works for over 15 years in my head. Where it began and where it is now is the story of my life: unpredictable, constantly evolving, grandiose, so many ideas, confusing, everchanging, all over the place, contradictory, fun, happy, and all about freedom.
Tiny Bubbles was birthed in Maui, HI when I was nine. My family and I vacationed there (very lucky little girl) and I instantly fell in love with the sunsets, cool breezes, plumeria, and the freedom I felt. Add to that, the perfect temperature, the palm trees swaying making that peaceful sound and the sun, glorious sun.
I also loved Don Ho’s song, “Tiny Bubbles.”
The rest is history. The name anyway. It stuck.
The irony, of course, is that I had no idea what “Tiny Bubbles” meant at the time, only that I loved that song and the vibe of Don’s smoovvveee voice. I am not sure there is a more blatant example of foreshadowing. My favorite thing in the world is having a Pineapple Mimosa at brunch on the weekend. Some good ole fashioned “tiny bubbles” and those that know me know the love affair I have with Sauvignon Blanc.
“Tiny bubbles (tiny bubbles)
In the wine (in the wine)
Make me happy (make me happy)
Make me feel fine (make me feel fine)”
Coincidence? I think not. See how the universe works! Bringing it back full circle?!
Initially, Tiny Bubbles was going to be a retail store filled with unique beach vibe products made by local artisans that all had a story. I love local and I want to see people who are creating succeed! I am not sure why it did not occur to me that I really have no desire to do ALL of the work it takes to be an online retailer (outside of the fun part of shopping local and discovering new artists). There is nothing I bitch about more than the post office so why would I choose a life path where I would be at the mercy of a government-run business I would have to interact with and rely on the daily?
To say that Tiny Bubbles has evolved since I first thought of the idea 15+ years ago is an understatement.
I began the Tiny Bubbles rebrand mid-March, literally the day after COVID hit southern CA and we got quarantined. I had an all-day in-person meeting scheduled with my branding agency, So Creative Design Studio, and the night before we had to change to this thing I was not at all familiar with called Zoom. I was bummed. I’m not a fan of Facetime or video chat but we had no choice so Zoom Zoom Zoom it was. It went perfectly fine once I figured out where the volume button was and how to turn the video on.
The process of branding is not for the faint of heart. Creating a brand and/or rebranding takes serious soul-searching. (Assuming you are working with the right agency, and if they are good it’s not cheap and it shouldn’t be). I have been in therapy before and this rivals that process; figuring out who you are, what you want to say, and who you’re speaking to. It literally is finding your voice. It helped that Stephanie, the branding guru I worked with, from So Creative was very forthright with me; she challenged me to a point of maximum discomfort. I like my comfort zone. It has worked for me until it hasn’t and then like clockwork I am forced to face my fears, my ego, who I really am. If you are like me, your true voice may have been buried amongst a heap of emotional baggage.
You will find out who the fuck you are in this process.
You will also gain the clarity you need to find your brand identity and voice and it likely will NOT EVEN be close to what you started with or what you thought it would be. And that’s a good thing. It means you are evolving and you are open, something I was not when I did this a few years ago.
Going through the process there was one theme that kept reoccurring, it might not be a theme as much as it’s just who I am. Juxtaposition - if a person could be such a thing. I am a walking contradiction and that came through in the branding process. I can’t be confined to one or the other. I am both. It reminds me of a TED X talk I watched that I would highly recommend that made me dig deeper into who I am.
Every year, Emily asks her students, “Where are you from ?”— not in the limiting sense of location. In a much broader context. Dig deeper. And deeper. I did.
Digging deep I realized, is the only way to discover your brand.
Below is an excerpt from my “Where am I from” exercise.
“I am from Eugene, Oregon but in my heart, I am a big city girl. I am from a small town and also a big city where I feel most alive.
I am from the land of mashed potatoes, garlic bread, whip cream, Red Lobster biscuits. I am also from the island of diets, insecurities, cravings unfulfilled, and societal expectations.
I am white privilege and also from immense struggle. People think they know me. Few people really know what I have gone through to get to where I am today.
I am from a hopeful but sometimes desperate place where I don’t always fit in. I have been told I am too loud, bossy, too emotional, too passionate too ambitious. Marcella “RELAX.” “Chill Out.” These are my biggest strengths and also my biggest weaknesses. For many people this is true. Your biggest strength is also your biggest weakness.
I am from a place where I am not always accepted but know now that is the beauty of me and it’s a good thing when there are people who don’t necessarily like you. You learn that to be everything to everyone is a street lined of mediocrity akin to saltine crackers and Wal-Mart.
I am from a mountaintop of scared shitless while also being a chameleon and exuding the confidence of Michael Jordan in the Finals making a 3-point shot at the buzzer.
I am from a sexist, patriarchal society that does not always value or respect women, and as a female, at work, you are expected to “let boys be boys” even though they are grown-ass men. You forget right and wrong behavior, sexist remarks become the norm because society has forever indoctrinated into you that everything is your fault. Apologize. Apologize. Apologize. Women are always apologizing. For what?
I am from a place where I am vocal but also silent. I am finding the courage now to take back my voice and shine my light so bright motherfuckers have to wear sunglasses.
I am from a country of UN-LEARNING where I am having to re-educate myself on just about everything I was taught. I am creating my own syllabi for my life.
I am from a place where Bridget Bardot intersects with Pam Grier (Foxy Brown), takes a left and runs into Blondie gets lost, and makes a U-Turn to meet Olivia Pope.
I am from a land of juxtaposition; sometimes blissfully happy, sometimes hopeless, and wrecked.
I AM FROM JUXTAPOSITION CITY, USA route 73.
I am more than meets the eye and so is my brand. “Tiny Bubbles” conjures up images and feelings of well, bubbly, light happiness and doesn’t really signify the depth and seriousness that I have expressed above. I thought many times, should I change the name? Then I remembered who I am.
I am a walking contradiction, of course, I am not changing the name!
I also did some research. The universe once again comes through with the WIN.
“A bubble in the ocean may seem insignificant, but consider all the bubbles in all the oceans and you find a powerful influence on the planet.” ~Physics World
The universe has a way of doing things that are best for you despite your fears, anxiety, and reluctance. TRUST.
Brands, if they are any good, are truth. Your truth. Your voice. Brave. Opinionated. UNCOMFORTABLE.
The best brands have a point of view. They will piss people off. They will light people on fire. They will energize you and galvanize groups of people, they will inspire some, while instantly turning off others. This is the secret sauce to emotional connection. Never try to be everything to everybody. That is boring AF, weak and people can see right through that like a shitty pair of leggings.
Tiny Bubbles is more than an athleisure blog. It serves as a daily reminder for women to live the life they want to live- not the one society tells them they should. It’s about living life on your own terms and forgetting society’s expectations.
Some of you reading this will be turned off, may not even make it this far, and will never see this paragraph, others will be like OMG I get this.
I get HER. This is relatable AF.
You are my people.
I’m for the day drinkers. For the anti-soccer moms and the women who choose to remain childless. I’m for the underdogs and the undervalued. I am about women living a life of freedom, confidence, and fucking fun! Forget societal norms and the always predictable “Best Outfits For Women Over 40” Lists. I will wear what I want thank you very much and will not be reduced to a list that was written by a 24-year-old. I’m for the optimistic and hopeful, the rescue dog lovers, and the relentless justice warriors.
Remember that girl you were when you were five? Fearless, relentless, powerful? She wore whatever she wanted, said whatever she wanted, and with no inner critic, or society telling her she was doing life wrong. She’s still in there! Kinda sounds like Kamala Harris!
If this is you…
Welcome to the Tiny Bubbles Tribe.
No validation required.
Thank you for reading and….
Peace Love & Prosecco with a splash of beach vibes!
Cheers, Kamala!!!! Time for some Tiny Bubbles! ;)