Monday, February 20, 2012

The Lessons Of The Honey Badger

Few of us haven't heard of the Honey Badger by now. He is small, fearless, ferocious and doesn't fear any enemy. He's become something of a pop culture legend, with his own YouTube videos, commercials, and possibly even a TV show! No matter what happens to him, the Honey Badger don't care!

At Uppercase Living, the Honey Badger has become a symbol of strength against adversity. Our Honey Badger charm was an instant favorite of the Blume jewelry line. Inscribed "Stand Strong" on the back, we like to think he brings an extra dose of toughness to the person who's wearing it, especially during those tough times in life. Recently, one of our owners, Jeff Wilson, shared a touching story of how the Honey Badger became a source of strength for one of his sweet young daughters. Here's the story, as Jeff told it to us:

Stand Strong: a message from Jeff Wilson
As many of you know, I am a man in living in a woman’s world.  The vast majority of our Demonstrators are women.  I have four daughters and a wife and presumably all of our pets are female, including the fish.
So what do I do when something goes awry with one of my female counterparts?  I do what every man should not do; I offer advice. Fortunately, the following is a story of when my advice actually helped.

In December, my 11-year-old, Hannah, came home from a particularly rough day at school.  A few kids were saying “mean things” behind her back and it really upset her.  Being the questionable parent that I am, I invited Hannah on a Daddy Daughter date to Walmart.  During the drive we were able to talk about life, school, and Hannah’s concerns.  It was apparent that Hannah’s feelings were really hurt.  I wasn’t quite sure what to say to help.  In a stroke of genius I said the first thing that came to my mind, “Hannah you need to be strong.”  I continued, “you need live your life in such a way that everyone who knows you will know that the mean things are not true. And because they know you, they’ll never believe the lies.”  I told her how wonderful she is and that sometimes, boys are dumb (I couldn’t admit that we’re dumb most of the time).  I told her that I loved her and I think the world of her. 
Later that week, I was working late in the warehouse and I was thinking about Hannah.  I was bothered that she was hurt and I wanted to help in some way.  Christmas was fast approaching and I thought of the perfect present to help out, the Honey Badger charm.   The Honey Badger’s call to action of “Stand Strong” was exactly what Hannah needed.   
Christmas morning arrived and she opened my poorly wrapped present and she gleefully exclaimed that she had, “always wanted a beaver.”   I explained the meaning behind the badger and how she can clip it on a necklace or on her backpack as a reminder that she is beautiful and strong in her Dad’s eye. 
During the Christmas break, Hannah built a fort. Typically, we have several feet of snow in Utah around Christmas, so it was rare that she built a fort instead of an igloo or a snowman.  While she enjoyed her break from school, she kept herself occupied building and stylizing the fort to perfection.  She added protection from the wind and rain.  She accessorized with an iPod holder made out of a burnt log.  She fortified the structure with ribbon.  She was ecstatic to show me the fort during daylight hours. I rearranged my morning work schedule and stayed home so I could get the tour during the day.  
Hannah surprised me with her teepee building skills.  I was impressed with her craftsmanship and her attention to the little details.  But the part that surprised me the most was the message that she inscribed on a rock.  Hannah bravely declared on her little rock the unequivocal decree of, “Stand Strong.”  It is her war cry.  It was her message to the bullies at school.  It was her way of reversing the teacher/student relationship and teaching her dad a lesson.   
Hannah reinforced the power of our products.  That inspiration is inspiration.  She can gather inspiration, confidence, and comfort from a Honey Badger/Beaver.  That inspiration can be worn around her neck or declared on a rock in a fort.  Whether it’s UL Blume or our vinyl, our products and the messages they carry, can shape and mold peoples’ lives for the better.  Oh, how I feel blessed to be a part of Uppercase Living, to be Hannah’s dad, and for all of the women in my life.  Stand Strong! 

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