Category: Life

January 9 2018

To Kick off 2018: Top 20 Quotes from Tribe of Mentors

I’m always looking for some good advice on how to live a more fulfilling life. Sometimes I got stressed out about making Skylar Yoo succeed or I get in a silly fight with Sam and I feel like the whole world is crashing down on me. How do I feel more centered? I found some good advice in this book by Timothy Ferriss called “Tribe of Mentors.” Here are 20 of my favorite quotes.

1. “Instead, Dani declared that courage was more important than confidence. When you are operating out of courage, you are saying that no matter how you feel about yourself or your opportunities or the outcome, you are going to take a risk and take a step toward what you want. You are not waiting for the confidence to mysteriously arrive. I now believe that confidence is achieved through repeated success at any endeavor. The more you practice doing something, the better you will get at it, and your confidence will grow over time.” – Debbie Millman

2. “All of us come with baggage and wounds and pain; all of us. But recognizing that common, human bond is what helps us transcend that pain.” – Soman Chainani

3. “Though most people will typically blame other people or circumstances in their life when they are unhappy, Buddhists believe that we are the cause of our own suffering. We can’t control the fact that bad things are going to happen, but it’s how we react to them that really matters, and that we can learn to control.” – Dustin Moskovitz

4. “‘The difference between winning and losing is most often not quitting.’ This famous line from Walt Disney on willpower cannot be more true when it comes to entrepreneurship. The only predictable thing about startups is their unpredictability, and powering through the lows of the startup roller coaster ultimately just takes grit – yours and your team’s.” – Max Levchin

5. Q: In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
A: “Daily meditation, twice a day. Just giving my brain a chance to power the fuck down and refresh. Makes all the difference.” – Patton Oswalt

6. “If you are struggling to figure out where you are headed in life or what you are passionate about, pay attention to activities ideas and areas where you love the process, not just the results or the outcome. We are drawn to tasks where we can receive validation through results, but I’ve learned that true fulfillment comes from love of the process. Look for something where you love the process, and the results will follow.” – Amelia Boone

7. “‘BE HERE NOW’ (something I am constantly trying to do, though not always successfully). Because life is short, and we only have the current moment. Our memories are precious because they are the past, and future is not here now. As I get older, I am trying to life fully in moments with the people I love and care about.” – Ben Stiller

8. “When I was younger, it’s not like I was ‘ungrateful,’ but I never stopped to take the time to reflect on everything I had going for me. Now I do a gratitude practice every morning.” – Turia Pitt

9. “Every smart person and stable person I know both walks and meditates. The app Headspace is a fun way to start. Try and do it every day.” – Jimmy Fallon

10. “‘Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.’ – Henry Ford. That’s hands down my favorite quote of all time. My core values in life are positive mindset, focusing on your priorities, and being passionate and determined to reach your goals.” – Fedor Holz

11. “You are a person worthy of love. You don’t have to do anything to prove that. You do not have to earn love. You simply have to exist.” – Sharon Salzberg

12. “Embrace lifelong learning. Do something new. Physical exercise is repetitive; mental exercise is eclectic.” – Steve Jurvetson

13. “Studies tell us that spending that yields the greatest happiness is the kind that buys you time or experiences, not things.” – Sarah Elizabeth Lewis

14. “And it turns out there are some pretty simply buttons you can press to give yourself a great day. Start by waking up from a good sleep, eating good food, leaving your phone/newspaper/computer behind, and simply writing down your plan for what will make the day great. Several hours of physical activity, some hard work, a chance to laugh with and help out other people – and you’re pretty much there.” – Mr. Money Mustache

15. “I try to live in a space of bravery in every aspect of my life: creative, professional, familial, and in my friendships. Being brave means being present and willing to give of yourself regardless of result.” – Aisha Tyler

16. “Life is not designed to hand us success or satisfaction, but rather to present us with challenges that make us grow.” – Terry Laughlin

17. “Love the plateau. All worthwhile progress occurs through brief, thrilling leaps forward followed by long stretches during which you feel you’re going nowhere. Though it seems as if we’re making no progress, we are turning new behavior into habits.” – Terry Laughlin

18. Q: In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
A: “Asking myself this question, ‘ When I’m old, how much would I be wiling to pay to travel back in time and relive the moment that I’m experiencing right now?’ If that moment is something like rocking my six-month-old daughter to sleep when she hugs me, then the answer is anything; I’d literally pay all the money I’d have in the bank at, say, age 70 to get a chance to relive that moment. This simple question just puts things in perspective and makes you grateful for the experience you’re having right now versus being lost in thoughts about the past or the future.” – Muneeb Ali

19. “Chances are, if you’re reaching books like this, you will succeed, but I’ve found that it all feels pretty meaningless if you’re not in some way helping people or improving humanity in some way. Instead of striving to be a CEO or an entrepreneur, strive to be a hero. We need more of those.” – Whitney Cummings

20. “Fear is a friend of exceptional people.” – Cus D’Amato

Read this book! It’s filled with incredibly inspirational quotes.

December 27 2017

Calling All Female Entrepreneurs – Here’s Your Best $5 Investment

When I was in 5th grade, I was taught the word “entrepreneur” and it immediately intrigued me. What? You could start your own business and be your own boss? Something lit up inside of me and I knew that, one day, I would fulfill that dream of becoming an entrepreneur. I started the art blog My Modern Met back in 2007 and ran it with my business partner/brother Eugene. Within a year, we started making money from sponsorships and ad banners and by the fourth or fifth year we had hit our stride, with 3 million visitors a month and news sites like The Today Show and Huffington Post coming to us for content ideas. Our sponsors included Intel, Honda, Cadillac and Saab.

After a mental meltdown, in the seventh year, I sold my share of the company to my brother and decided to start anew. It took me three years to figure out what would come next. I dabbled in becoming a lifestyle blogger (looking up to A Cup of Jo and Oh Joy!) and even thought about becoming a photographer. None of it stuck. Then, the new women’s movement began, and I felt I had a bigger calling. Skylar Yoo is dedicated to inspiring and empowering women to be bold. We just so happen to sell art, apparel and accessories. What comes next? I have a million ideas swirling around in my head but I’m trying to slow down and let the Universe (God) lead me down the right path.

I’m part of a mastermind that guides entrepreneurs. We went through a six week course and by the end of it, all ten of us were crying about how much each person had impacted our lives (and our businesses). The mentors gave us guidance, and more importantly, confidence to pursue our passion.

This leads me to watching this inspirational documentary video. I heard about Dream, Girl a year ago but never had a chance to go to a screening of it. Today, an email popped up that stated that for the next 48 hours, you could pay $5 and watch it online. Your time commitment? 62 minutes. I paid the money, set aside some time this morning and clicked “play.”

An all-female crew created this documentary, which premiered in May 2016 at the White House. (Yes, it’s that good.) Watch as ambitious female entrepreneurs tell us about their unique journey. I got weepy at certain parts and I rejoiced in others. If you do one thing in the next two days, make time for this. Here is your 48-hour digital pass.

December 21 2017

What’s Your Morning Routine?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve adopted a whole new morning routine. Every night, I set my alarm for 5am. (Yes, that frickin’ early!) It takes me a few minutes to get out of bed (ok, sometimes 30) but then I head to my downstair’s guest bedroom and get ready to start my day. I bust out my EarPods (hear that nice little “ching” when it connects to my iPhone) and then click on the Headspace app. I spend the next twenty minutes in a guided meditation. I’ve tried meditating in silence but that just bores the shit out of me (sorry for the profane language but we don’t have sponsors here so let’s just go with it). Instead, I let Andy Puddicombe, one of the founders of Headspace, help me find that sweet spot between focus and relaxation. I must admit that in the beginning I thought Headspace wouldn’t work for me. This busy mind? Who can tame it? But Puddicombe’s wise words and soothing voice calm me. My favorite part? When he tells you to stop focusing on your breathe and then let your mind just wander. Each time I finish a session, I feel like I’m returning from an enlightened journey.

Part I done. Part II. I read for about 30 minutes. Pure, uninterrupted reading. I just finished Today Matters by John C. Maxwell and I’m looking forward to getting Tribe of Mentors and reading it next.

Part III. Journaling. I do this for about the next 20 minutes. I’ll write about what I’m grateful for (not just friends and family, something new), what my major goals are for the day and any unsettling feelings I’m going through. It’s nice to take pen and paper and let your mind freely write whatever it wants to. It’s cathartic.

Ok, so now the sun has come up and I’m ready for my jog. I choose my playlist “Let’s Run” and let the music of Imagine Dragons, Rita Ora, The Weeknd, P!nk and Lady Gaga bump in my ears. It’s exhilarating. I use this trick that Joanna Goddard of A Cup of Jo taught me, I just try to run (or jog) to certain markers like a stop sign or a fire hydrant. That way it doesn’t feel too overwhelming. 30-35 minutes and I’m back home. I wake up the boys and help prepare breakfast.

News Flash! I was just asked to be a speaker at Alt Summit this year which means I have almost exactly two months left to get in shape and be mentally and physically ready for it. This is both exciting news and terrifying news…you get me?! Time to be bold and step up!

December 12 2017

10 of My Favorite Things Right Now – Beauty, Books and More

Hello, all! Yes, I’m back after a long hiatus. I’ve been busy working on Skylar Yoo, it take a lot to start up a whole new company. Sorry if I’ve been neglecting this blog, I feel like I have so much to write about now. I’ll start out with just sharing ten of my favorite things – from books to beauty products.

1. The Go-Giver book: This short story gives you some heartfelt lessons on business and life in general. It outlines five laws for stratospheric success. I love the concept of giving without asking for anything in return. Here’s a good quote: “Watch out for the other guy. Watch out for his interests. Watch his back. Forget about fifty-fifty, son. Fifty-fifty’s a losing proposition. The only winning proposition is one hundred percent. Make your win about the other person, go after what he wants. Forget win-win – focus on the other person’s win.”

This, too: “You give, give, give. Why?…Because you love to. It’s not a strategy, it’s a way of life.”

2. Rihanna’s Red Lip Paint, “Stunna“: I’ve always admired a woman who can carry off bold red lips. It’s hard to find the perfect shade, you get me, girls?! That’s why when I finally tried Rihanna’s brand Fenty Beauty’s “Uncensored” I was extremely happy! Unlike a lot of glosses and lipsticks these days that are totally drying, this one is less so. It stays on for hours and it’s a universally great shade of red. (See Rihanna in it, above.) Give it a go! You won’t regret it. (I’m now onto trying her metallic hot pink lipstick and her glitter eyeliner in blue.

3. Thick Classic Notebook with Pen Loop – Lately, I’ve been waking up early to journal. It’s a great, refreshing way to start the day (or end it). There’s tons of notebooks out there but this one spoke to me because it’s timeless, it’s not too bulky or too thin, and it has this handy pen loop so you’ll never lose your pen again. I’ll still collect my notebooks, but for my journals, I think I’ll stick to this one.

4. iPhone X: I recently received my iPhone X and can’t say enough how much I love it. I used to have the iPhone 6+ and that was a giant compared to this. The X is the perfect size, it’s not too heavy and I can use it with one hand. I love the the edge to edge OLED screen, how fast it is and, most importantly, Face ID. It’s weird not having a real, touchable home button but you get used to it. Good job, Apple, on making me fall in love with Apple again! (Speaking of which, I love my AirPods, too!)

5. Bandolino ballet flats in gold: I try to avoid heels whenever I can so when I see a good pair of flats I snatch them up. These gold ones, by Bandolino, are shimmery and cute. They don’t have a lot of support at the bottom, but they’re not for hiking a hill, they’re more for casual work wear. Lord & Taylor’s having a good sale on them right now!

6. Pentel EnerGel Liquid Gel Pen: This is by far the best pen I’ve ever used. It’s just so smooth and the the way it grips makes it feel so natural. I want 1000 of these. Speaking of pens, I use this black one for my journaling. Love it, too.

7. Baebody Eye Gel: Now that I’m past 40, I need me some eye cream. I checked Amazon and this one was far and away the best seller. Tried it on and loved it! It feels gel-like at first but then quickly absorbs into the skin. I used to suffer from dryness around my eyes but that’s all been cured.

8. Iconic Eyelashes at House of Lashes: These are my go-to eyelashes. They’re super full, I wear them daily, but you may want to save them for a special night out. House of Lashes has good eyelash glue, too.

9. Pink faux fur coat from Zara: This is one of my favorite coats right now. (I’ve started a small collection.) It’s super fluffy and warm. Who doesn’t love this color, too? It’s not too baby pink or too bright pink.

10. Today Matters: 12 Daily Practices to Guarantee Tomorrow’s Success (Maxwell, John C.) – This is kind of an older book (2005) but it still has a lot of valuable life lessons. Maxwell is a pastor so there are some references to God but overall you can learn a lot of what you can do today to be successful tomorrow. He includes a ton of quotes in this book so if that’s your jam, you’re going to love this. He narrows down the areas for critical success to 12 or what he calls the “”Daily Dozen.” This includes having a positive attitude, sticking to priorities and investing in good relationships. Solid.

November 10 2017

Skylar Yoo’s Debut at Platform’s Hip Marketplace?

Have you heard of Platform? It’s this relatively new spot in LA that one person described as “Culver City’s Hipster/Millennial Answer to The Grove.” With cool shops and hip restaurants, it’s a hidden hot spot. Vanity Fair called it, “L.A.’s Hottest Urban Development.” A new opportunity just opened up for us to possibly display our products there!

Here’s where you, our early believers, can help us out! We may get a chance to show off our inspiring apparel at Platform on November 25. You can nominate Skylar Yoo by going to our Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/skylar.yoo, picking any one of our photos, and then tagging @Platform_LA and hashtagging #SBSPLATFORM. Winners will receive a spot at Platform’s marketplace on November 25. Would appreciate your support! We’ll know if we’ve been selected by November 15. Thank you!

October 31 2017

Kick-Ass Mantras at Lenny Letter

I like subscribing to email newsletters but most of them are all about the news. Have you heard about Lenny Letter? Launched a few years ago, in 2015, Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner have a twice-weekly email newsletter with 500,000 subscribers. They write about everything from Style to Politics. One of their consistent series is this thing called Daily Affirmations. Here, they pair enlightening messages with cute and funny illustrations. They’re “mantras to help you start your day.” I’m smitten.

I also love this essay Tracee Ellis Ross wrote about Michelle Obama. Man, I miss our past president and his powerful wife.

October 30 2017

Please Welcome Skylar Yoo to the World!

I tried to soft launch Skylar Yoo last week but we had so many back-end problems I couldn’t do it…till now! Yay! We are now live. Thank you for going on this journey with me. For all my readers, (hello sisters, Arlene, Chris Kwok and Rachel!), I couldn’t have gotten here without all of your support. It took true “grit” to get this far. Countless nights wondering what this brand stood for, anticipation for how the photoshoot would go, and then making countless changes on the website till it felt just right.

I really have to give credit to my two partners-in-crime, Sam (my husband) and Kat (one of my best friends). Without you two, I would have gone psycho. Kat, the way you help turn my anxiety into excitement is pure genius, you’re like the ultimate guru. Sammy, what would I do without your pep talks and emotional support? I’d be a wreck! It reminds me of that old African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Let’s see where Skylar Yoo goes. We got some orders in today so we’re doing a little “happy dance” at the office. I know it takes years to grow a brand people love and connect with. I hope we can be one of those brands. There are real people behind this company who truly care about our mission: to inspire and empower women. Let’s be bold!

If you haven’t heard, we have a special promo going on right now. Be one of our first 100 customers and type in FIRST100 in the discount box and you’ll get 50% off your whole order. Seize the day! This won’t last long.

October 13 2017

Skylar Yoo: 10 Days Out Till Soft Launch!

Anxiety. Panic. Excitement. Worry. These are all of the emotions that have overtaken my body this last month. The launch of my new company, Skylar Yoo, is set for October 23, 2017. That’s 10 days away. There’s still so much to do. Some products have not even arrived yet, there’s still pages to be filled in which includes the “About Me” section. For some reason or another I’m having a tough time putting together a few paragraphs on who I am.

Sure, I have spilled my guts to you 10 readers out there about my mother’s suicide, my manic episodes I go through because I’m bipolar, but how can I succinctly convey my life story and how my tragedies and triumphs have brought me to creating Skylar Yoo? This, my friends, is the struggle.

Then again, I have a shirt that we’ll be selling that says, “The Struggle is Part of the Story.” We all go through struggles, we’re united by them, it’s what connects each and every one of us together. I love Brene Brown and the way she writes or talks about vulnerability.

My sister also got me into reading books and watching videos on Simon Sinek. His Start with Why book had me thinking about why I created Skylar Yoo. It helped me tremendously. For all the negativity that’s out there right now, I love that there’s articles upon articles about the rise of the women’s movement. In fact, my husband and I had a very spirited discussion recently about the word “Feminist.” Simply, it means that men and women should have equal rights. His view is that we should emphasize that girls should support girls or that women should band together to lift each other up. Maybe I’m an idealist but I want every person, man or woman, to believe that we should all have equal rights. That means men and women should support women, or as they say, “We should all be feminists.”

I’ll leave you with this. After days and days of thinking about my “Why?”(thank you, Simon Sinek), I think I’ve figured out Skylar Yoo’s. This will be a company dedicated to inspiring and empowering women. (In 10 days, you’ll have to read the About section to find out more.) I’ve already pondered, what’s next? In my efforts to dream big, I hope that Skylar Yoo can, one day, be a publication, an online and print magazine, that shares inspiring stories about women entrepreneurs. I’ve even toyed with the idea of rebranding this blog, Adventures of Yoo, to become a place to share those inspiring stories. Just a thought for now. I’ll let you know if or when we make that switch.

Out of all the photos we took at the photo shoot, the one featured here is my favorite. Why? Because the woman, with the city backdrop behind her, is looking up at the sky. She is confident and hopeful. She believes that she can be anything she wants to be. Nothing can stop her. She proudly declares to the world, “Yes, I can.”

September 30 2017

Behind the Scenes of the Skylar Yoo Photo Shoot

This past Monday, we shot professional photos for the shirts we’ll be selling at Skylar Yoo. We’re about a month out till launch, people! Isn’t that crazy?

Instead of worrying about morning traffic to LA, Sam, my friend and manager of Skylar Yoo, Kat, and I stayed at the Ace Hotel in downtown. That hotel is extra special to me because it’s where the thought of having an actual clothing line seemed like a possibility. The excitement of the day caused me to wake up at a frickin’ crazy hour, 5am. (Call time was 8am.) I just didn’t know what to expect for my first photo shoot. Did the photographer understand my vision? Would the outfits work? What if the model didn’t show?

I found my photographer, Karen Chen, while browsing through Instagram. I went to her website, dug around and found out that she had worked three years as photographer for one of the top fashion bloggers today, Chriselle Lim. I was sold. (If you’re out there reading this Chriselle, I love ya, girl. Same to you, Aimee Song. Go Korean girls!)

Included in Karen’s fee was her photography assistant and a MUA (make-up artist, don’t worry I had to Google it, too). I found out at the shoot that the make-up artist was Andrew Velazquez who is currently on a Lifetime show called American Beauty Star. Read about it, here, or you can watch snippets of it on Andrew’s Instagram.

Now, I needed a stylist and a model. Karen recommended Michelle Chan as well as Ford model Victoria Peyser. For a model, I was looking for someone with a mixed heritage. Victoria immediately caught my eye. The 19-year-old is a beautiful mix of German, Irish, Korean and Japanese.

I’d love to give you all the details about the shoot but you would probably be overwhelmed. All I have to say is that it was an A-MAZING day. Like one of those days that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Everything just came together perfectly. No drama, no chaos, every single person in the team brought their A game. We spent four long hours in the studio getting all the product shots done and then jumped around three different spots in downtown LA to get the editorial ones. My favorite part was working with Michelle in styling the outfits. It was so much fun pairing the shirts with jackets, jewelry and shoes. I know it’s such a girly thing but it felt like a cool, creative part of the project. Victoria made the clothes come alive!

Karen is a super talented, super hard working photographer. The girl had a contact sheet with all the photos sent to me that same night (it was right around 11:30pm). Talk about fast turnaround time. I would work with her again in a heartbeat.

Sam and I catch ourselves reminiscing about the day. How the weather was perfect, how hard everyone worked, how stunning Victoria looked in the shirts. I can’t wait to show you the final, edited shots.

At the end of the shoot, Sam, Kat and I went to this really cool vegan restaurant in the Arts District called Cafe Gratitude. We sat around reflecting on the day. All those long hours, working with the designers on the shirts, figuring out our brand and our message culminated in that moment. Though we haven’t launched yet it felt like we had reached a major milestone.

Thank you to everyone for helping us get this far. Skylar Yoo will be making her debut soon!

July 14 2017

Welcome Model Victoria Peyser to Our Skylar Yoo Team!

For weeks and weeks, I’ve been looking for the perfect girl to represent the Skylar Yoo brand. I can’t put into words who I was looking for, I just hoped and prayed she would appear. It now brings me great pleasure to introduce you to Victoria Peyser, a Ford model. You can see more pictures of her, here, or follow on Instagram, here.

We’re set to shoot at the end of September. Can’t wait to show you the behind-the-scene pics!

Excited to have you on our team, Victoria! We’re so lucky to have found you.

Older posts